John and I are married, retired and love to travel. We have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. We are living the dream and our ambition is too visit as many countries before we are too old to travel and enjoy what this wonderful world has to offer.
  • Day21

    We are Home

    March 20 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    We are now home and in self isolation. We just might be able to catch up on some of the tasks we thought we would do when we first retired.

    The changeover was quite successful. Melissa has stocked the cupboard and we are ready to eat some hot meals with some flavour. Unfortunately most meals in Thailand were a bit bland and cold. It was disappointing we could not play with Charlie when we got home but better to be safe than sorry. 14 days will fly we have so much to do.

    Goodbye Thailand see you soon.

    We have finished unpacking and on the 4th load so far of washing.

    We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and are saddened by the panic of COVID-19 as it ruined our holiday plans to see the Northern parts of Thailand. Oh well I guess it is back on the list.
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  • Day21

    Sydney Airport

    March 20, Tasman Sea ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    No social skills in Sydney people everywhere. Heaps of people waiting to collect friends and family. I still think if we get the virus it will be from Sydney Airport it is ridiculous how disorganised they are.

    At least the view coming into Sydney is sensational.
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  • Day20

    Singapore Airport

    March 19 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    That was an easy flight. I caught up on some reading, John did some puzzles and had a sleep.

    Now in the lounge waiting for our flight. This lounge is much larger but the food not great.

    Some people are dressed for the occasion and totally understand social distance and some not so muchRead more

  • Day20

    At the Airport

    March 19 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    We have left the Hotel and now in the Airport Lounge. The airport was not very busy so that is a plus. The lounge is just 3 people but it is small so hopefully no body else will come here.

    Check in was excellent even though it was Jetstar we were not charged any excess luggage fee. Well done Jetstar.

    Now to wait for 2.5 hours for our flight to Singapore. At least we have free food and Wi-Fi.
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  • Day19

    Game Changer What a Crazy World

    March 18 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    We were told this morning that Luxury Escapes have cancelled the remainder of our trip. We spent the morning arranging new flights for tomorrow as this was the earliest Qantas online could change our bookings. This has now created an issue with our luggage as we booked flights with 30kg limits. Our first leg is with Jetstar to Singapore at 20kg maybe 23kg (cannot make any sense of the allowance info). Second leg is BA with 23 kg. Unable to contact Qantas for assistance.

    We have booked into the Novatel at Bangkok airport. However, it is not really a good Hotel and booking on the day was at premium rates.

    We are not sure if insurance will cover all our out of pockets expenses so far around $500 Not counting the flight from Chang Rai which we now have to cancel as well.

    Oh the joys of a world pandemic.
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  • Day18

    Classic Cameo Ayutthaya

    March 17 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

    Home for the night, a pretty basic hotel but after all the driving that is all we really need.

    Basically as soon as we checked in we put on our swimmers and went for a swim, sorry forgot to take photo's we were to busy chatting with our fellow travellers.

    We also had dinner in the Hotel and now ready to watch some Netflix as we have another early day tomorrow.

    Step count today 11,194.
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  • Day18

    It was a Wat day

    March 17 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 36 °C

    After nearly 4 hours of driving we arrived in Ayutthaya where the agenda is to visit 3 Wats.

    Ayutthaya is an ancient city and was once the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai and one of the most powerful in Asia. It had more than 1 million residents by AD1700 and enjoyed great riches, due to trading, with lavish palaces and temples.

    The first Wat we explored was Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon “the Monastery of Auspicious Victory” . The temple was founded in the second half of the 14th century during the reign of King U Thong, first ruler of Ayutthaya.

    The monastery got its present name after construction of the Chedi Chai Mongkhon in the late 16th century.

    During the Burmese invasion of 1767 the temple was largely destroyed.

    In 1592 the battle of Nong Sarai took place, one of many battles between Ayutthaya and the Burmese. During the battle Ayutthaya King Naresuan moved forward and attacked the Burmese Crown Prince Minchit Sra in one to one combat on war elephants.

    King Naresuan killed the Burmese Prince with his sword, after which the Burmese army retreated. On return to Ayutthaya the King ordered the Chedi Chai Mongkhon built to commemorate the victory over the Burmese.

    The second Wat is called Wat Phanan Choeng.

    Wat Phanan Choeng is famous for its enormous seated Buddha image, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country. According to legend tears shed from the eyes of the image just before the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767.

    The temple’s main attraction is its 19 metre high Buddha. The brick and mortar image named Phra Chao Phanan Choeng is seated in the posture of subduing Mara, otherwise known as Calling the Earth to witness.

    The image was built in 1324, several decades before Ayutthaya was founded. After its completion the image stood outside, as the viharn had not been built yet.

    Today the Phra Chao Phanan Choeng is enshrined in a Viharn (which is a large assembly hall), the Viharn Phra Phanan Choeng and its walls are lined with hundreds of niches containing small images of the Buddha.

    Third Wat was called Wat Phra Mahathat.

    Wat Mahathat, “the temple of the Great Relic” was one of the most important temples in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Located on the historical island the large monastery features a huge central prang (spire), a very large principal viharn (assembly hall) an ubosot (hall) and a great number of subsidiary chedis (Stupas/tombs)) and viharns. The upper part of its once massive central prang has collapsed. Today only the base remains.

    The temple was constructed in 1374 by King Boromma Rachathirat I. A large prang was built to enshrine Buddha relics. The prang collapsed in the early 17th century, after which it was restored and enlarged. A large number of viharns and chedis have been added during the reign of later Kings.

    When the Burmese invaded and largely destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767, the Wat Mahathat was set on fire. The central prang collapsed again in the early 20th century and has not been restore. This Wat had one of the heads of a Bhudda entwined in the roots of a Banyan tree.
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  • Day18

    Bridge over River Kwai

    March 17 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    After a short drive we arrived at the River Kwai Bridge.

    During WW II, Japan constructed the metergauge railway line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma. The line passing through the scenic Three Pagodas Pass runs for 250 miles it is also known as The Death Railway.

    The railway line was meant to transport cargo daily to India, to back up their planned attack on India. The construction was done using POWs and Asian slave laborers in unfavorable conditions. The work started in October 1942 was completed in a year.

    Due to the difficult terrain, thousands of laborers lost their lives. It is believed that one life was lost for each sleeper laid in the track.

    At the nearby Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, around 7,000 POWs, who sacrificed their lives in the railway construction, are buried. Another 2,000 are laid to rest at the Chungkai Cemetery.

    Allied Forces bombed the iron bridge in 1944. Three sections of Bridge River Kwai were destroyed. The present bridge has two of its central spans rebuilt.
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  • Day17

    Back at the Resort

    March 16 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    Back at the resort relaxing and watching the water run very fast down the river and having a nice cold drink before dinner.

    Tomorrow is another full day and we will start at 8.30am again.

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