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  • A few presents at breakfast (all pack flat or are light for easy transportation courtesy of the night market). A day round the city on bikes, more temples of course plus the local park which is a hang out for yoga and climbing community travellers. Fed some holy Catfish at a temple, they were huge and plentiful, hopefully loaded up with good karma now. Also are travelling with a third person for a few days until we manage to get rid of them...... somehow James has a burrowing worm thing in his foot, probably from a cat/dog deposit on a beach. Boots the chemists (really) sorted him out and should be rid soon - might even miss the critter! Thanks for all the messages and birthday wishes, raising a toast to all of you. Out to dinner, trying to find somewhere that can offer a glass of wine- not as easy as you might think! Persevered and tracked one down - success!!!Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Mostly an admin day which is a reality when travelling for so long - booking flights for months away, arranging buses and getting info on how to get to/stay in and what to do in new locations. It's not all winging it!! Well not always anyway. Visited a couple of new temples close to the hostel, again so different to other places we've visited. Had lunch at 'Fawlty Towers' again, best Thai food anywhere despite the surly owner/chef/waitress/man/woman. Visited the night market which covering 3 square km is the largest in Asia. 5 hours and we'd only seen half of what was going on. A mix of locals and tourists after bargains, food, clothing and crafts. Purchased a few nic-nacs which are light and flat enough to fit into a rucksack. Absolutely packed but great fun and atmosphere.
    Following the death of the King 3 months ago, many buildings have a poster, photo or black/white silk hangings around the perimeter as a mark of respect. Many people wear a ribbon, armband or black clothing in remembrance for the next year. He was an incredibly respected person in Thailand.
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  • More temples.... Took a trip out of town to Doi Suthep temple complex, on a hill nearly 1,000m vertically above the town. Used the local bus which is essentially a taxi in that it takes you where you want to go, however it doesn't leave until 8 people have the same idea (cue a wait of over an hour to leave, or 12 people packed in if busy!). 306 steps led up to the temple, very busy with local people as it is the weekend and Chinese tourists wielding selfie sticks everywhere. Beautiful golden stupa plus lots of Buddha statues, prayer alcoves and amazing views over the city. Despite the crowds, it was easy to find a quiet spot to take it all in. There is a downhill mountain bike track from the top, we saw a couple of jeeps with locals and their dh bikes being shuttled to the top - so jealous! Had a wander round a couple of additional temples at the North gate of the old city. Despite the quantity of temples, each one is different in its own way. Also found a tiny streetside jazz club with people standing in the road to listen as it was packed full.Read more

  • Had some great street finger food for tea last night including steamed pork buns. Went to Wat Chedi Luang (Buddhist temple) early to beat the crowds and walked into some special police ceremony, followed by a school visiting. Good to know school children are the same world round, quite amusing to watch... On the bikes again! Rode around looking at the old city and wandering around a huge market. Highlight was the stall selling live animals (for food) including frogs in nets and buckets of cat fish and eel's. Spent a while looking for flip flops for James as his fell apart and it appears western feet are a lot longer and wider than Asian!Read more

  • Wee wander round the old town of Chiang Mai. Chock full of Wats (Buddhist shrines) with lots of Monks, Buddhas, temples, paintings and peace & quiet. Despite being third largest city in Thailand, the large old quarter surround by moats has a low rise small city feel to it. It has changed massively in the 12 years since we were last here, more hostels of a decent standard, cafes and traveller amenities. Typically Thai, loads of small shops selling everything and plenty of street food sellers. Busy but relaxed vibe. Beautiful food in a tiny 'cafe' with Fawlty Towers levels of service by man/lady owner - mad but so funny (we'll be back). First tuk-tuk ride in Thailand, rapid and a bit mental.Read more

  • Finally pulled ourselves away from the island and have been moving on again using a longboat, speedboat, minibus, plane and taxi. It was more appealing than a 28 hour bus ride! 800 miles in a straight line, wee bit more with the route we took!

  • We have enjoyed some relaxation time on this beautiful island. We were surprised to find a completely deserted beach on such a small island, have enjoyed some picnics and sundowners on the beach too. We also went on another snorkelling trip visiting these islands, Koh Hin Sorn, Koh Lugoi, Koh Dong (lunch), Koh Pung, Koh Bulu (our favourite), Koh Hin Ngam (black stones), Jabang (an underwater 16 meter pinnacle). The current at the last stop was fierce this time, so were thankful for our flippers and a rope to hang onto! The warm water, clear seas and beautiful coral and fish have kept us here longer than we thought we would stay but the snorkelling was great and the island quiet with not much development at all.Read more

  • Took a snorkelling boat trip to visit the islands around this National Park and snorkel off some of the reefs that surround them. The water was crystal clear with the coral and fish not disappointing. Saw massive clams, a huge metre long eel, all sorts of tropical fish, a type of sea horse and nearly got overrun by hermit crabs at the lunch stop! The evening sunset improved on the previous night, enjoying sat on the beach with many others in a very chilled out vibe.Read more

  • Spent a couple of days lounging around on this amazing beach that is at the end of 'Walking Street', where our hostel is. The water is incredibly clear and warm with coral at the edge of it. Enjoyed a sundowner then pad thai and chicken satay on the beach.

  • In this very unseasonable weather we have got off very lightly with just over two days of rain as most of southern Thailand is under water, people have died and services cancelled. Did see an amazing sunset tonight as the sun returned.

  • After another day yesterday exploring Langkawi by moped. While we were in the sea we saw a big pod of dolphins swim along the bay. By evening, really heavy rains arrived as we are getting the tail end of a storm. Even the frog wanted to find refuge from it! The continuing storm today made for an adventurous boat journey on rough seas. The boat was meant to dock on the south of the island next to a floating pontoon about 200m off the coast and then we were meant to get a long boat to the shore (the island is too small for a pier) but after waiting for ages they decided it was far too rough. The boat made it round to the north and a quick transfer, without a pontoon, to a longboat in heavy rain and swell was not quite what we had in mind when arriving at a Thai island. Where is the sun? Immigration was the best yet, however, a kiosk on the beach! It's so good to be back in Thailand as their food is amazing, fresh fruits, red curry... With the weather set to continue for for a couple of days we will have to spend our time working through the menus! They have a unique style of taxi's on the island too - motorbike and pillion with a difference.Read more

  • As the island has no public transport, we resorted to two wheels again - this time powered, which gave us the chance to find the out of the way places (James piloted, Louisa Nav'd but had to wear a childs Minions helmet as head too small!). As the island is 70km around the perimeter, roads are quiet and any drivers are very courteous. Explored the North of the island with its jungles, white sand beaches, inlets and rubber plantations. Many of the beaches were pretty much deserted until small boats arrived later in the day with day-trippers. Found a couple of impossibly beautiful locations (sorry but it's true and doesn't help when the UK weather is so dreich!) which the photos don't do justice to.Read more