Thailand

Thailand

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  • Day114

    It's an early morning, and it certainly feels early today. Despite the early night last night it is hard to drag ourselves out of bed, even though we are very excited to spend a morning with the elephants. The minibus picks us up just after 6.30, and we are joined by an Italian couple who look as bleary eyed and half awake as we do. The only other person to board is a Polish girl who is travelling alone, and soon enough we are on our way. It is great to be in such a small group, but we are still a bit too tired to truly feel excited yet.
    As the minutes pass by in the van, we head out of the city in a direction which I guess is north due to the mountainous countryside that we enter. It isn't long before we have pulled off the busy main road and begin to climb one of these mountains. The minibus is almost silent as everyone in it is fast asleep, but I struggle to get to sleep in these things, especially as we are being thrown left and right as the bus rags itself around some incredibly tight bends as it climbs. the views are pretty breathtaking though, and more then enough to keep me occupied as we slowly climb and climb. It isn't long before we reach a few villages, and soon enough we see some elephants wandering up the side of the road with locals sat on their head directing them. It's an odd sight to see, especially when your mind still isn't fully awake. We pass by a few elephant reserves, ranging from small with only a few elephants, to much bigger. By now excitement is kicking in, and soon enough we pull down a small and very bumpy dirt road and stop. We all clamber out and take in the beautiful surroundings that we have stumbled into. Mountains surround us on almost every side, one of which is the biggest in Thailand (and which showcasing a very cold stream as we find out later on) and luscious green fields lead right up to them. What's more exciting is the family of six elephants standing in a field slightly uphill from the small keep where we stand.
    After a brief introduction and question and answer session with the incredibly informative and friendly guide Singha (like the beer) it is time for us to meet the family. We wander up with huge stacks of grass over our shoulder and a bag of fruit each, with the excitement fading to nerves slightly as the size of these animals dawns on us. We are dressed in traditional tops, which the elephants know means food, so they come walking over to us rather quickly. It's enough to worry everyone slightly, but they stop just in front of us and throw their trunk out in search of food. The grass is thrown onto the floor and the fruit is placed into the trunk or the mouth as the elephants devour it as if it's nothing. It is great fun to spend some time with these wonderful creatures, who are incredibly calm and gentle, apart from the mischievous baby Dumbo who seems to be a lot more active then the others, snatching food straight from the bags. One of them has learnt to wrap his trunk around people and then plant a kiss on their face, which is as fun as it is disgusting.
    After some time stroking the animals and getting some photos, it is bath time. We follow three of the elephants down to the stream, and get in. It is incredibly cold at first, and the temperature is not helped by the guides throwing buckets of the icy water down your backs. After a while of being soaked in it though your body seems to get used to it, and before we know it we are in with the elephants. They lay down as we throw water all over them before rubbing it in. They seem to enjoy it as they squirm and roll playfully in the water. It is hard to forget the enormity of them as they walk back through the water and we pose for a group photo. They seem so friendly and nice, but I wouldn't want one to stand on my foot!
    After the bathing we eat dinner. The Dumbo elephant crew serve a great buffet of sweet and sour and curry, and we dry off in the Sun watching the elephants make their way back to camp. A large group that start later then us come in as we finish eating and start their day, which makes us very glad we started early in a much smaller group. After a final goodbye and a few more minutes with them, we again board the bus, ready for the journey back home.
    This time, I do manage to get to sleep, along with everyone else on board. It doesn't seem long before we are back in Chiang Mai, ready to relax and process what a great day it has been. We only head out again once more for tea, which is at a great place. i try pad sea-ew which is like a spicy, big noodle dish and tastes great. After that we do a spot of shopping before heading back. The day has knackered us out. We will sleep well tonight!
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  • Day4

    Took a night #25 train to Nong Khai. Of course bed was about 180cm short, of course there were mosquitos. But it was a nice ride. Did 4 hours of work and now a train to Laos over the friendship bridge (see picture). Officialy I’m nowhere, checked out of Thailand. No mans land :)

  • Day112

    Another early start and this one feel's tough. The prospect of the seven hour train journey ahead of us doesn't help. We get some toast and have a coffee before the incredibly cheerful woman who owns the hotel books us a taxi. She is a character, and is very helpful despite recently breaking her neck.
    We get our tickets with no trouble, £1.50 each for a 7 hour journey. You might be able to get a few miles on a train in England for that price. As the train pulls up to the stop, it is packed, but miraculously almost everyone gets off, leaving us a choice of seats. We get sat down and get our bags put in the luggage compartments overhead and settle in. The train journeys here seem to go much quicker then the bus journeys. This one in particular is a good one, as it goes through mostly untouched (apart from the track) land which is great to see out of the window. Hills loom in the distance, some of them barely an outline against the overcast sky. It is similar to the North of Vietnam, and seems a million miles away from Bangkok. It is so far out that the toilet on the train is simply a hole onto the tracks that pass by underneath. This could lead to an awkward situation if someone has to go while the train is stopped at a station. After watching the scenery pass by, and watching a few episodes of some Netfliix shows, we arrive in Chiang Mai.
    After getting a tuk tuk into the city, we arrive at our hostel. It is nice, despite the bathroom being on the balcony. We then head into Chiang Mai, and there are so many placees to eat at that we feel spoilt for choice. After the recent few days it is great to have a choice, and right on our doorstep. We grab some food and chill out for a bit, before heading out again later for another meal (there was about 3 hours inbetween them, think we got a bit excited) and head out to explore Chiang Mai. We plan to maybe go to a few bars, but are distracted by some sort of festival that is going on. We walk in and grab a beer, before sitting down and watching some of the local bands that are taking the stage. It is a very cool place to wander about, with loads of people there, and different types of music being placed all over. There are loads of stalls selling different homemade goods, and lots of places selling all kinds of food.
    We find a band playing some rock classic which warrants another beer, before heading back. The walk back to the hotel isn't as enjoyable as it could have been as I am bursting for the loo, but we almost stop in at some very cool looking bars anyway.
    As we get back it doesn't take long for us both to fall asleep (beer and an early morning is one strong cocktail) but we are already very excited at the small bit of Chiang Mai we have seen. It is also very Christmassy, and we are chuffed to be spending it here. There's even a place cooking a roast dinner!
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  • Day113

    A much slower start to the day then yesterday as we make the most of having nothing to get up for by sleeping in most of the morning. It's nice to not be rushed, and the idea that we have another 5 days to spend here over Christmas means that we can take our time seeing the sights. It is around 11 when we head off. We decide to stay another night before heading to Pai as we want to see some elephants, so we get that booked in for tomorrow and grab some food. The food in Thailand has been great so far. The curries have much more spice then Vietnam and Cambodia and Pad Thai is always a winner!
    After eating we head out to see some of the temples that are in the city centre. The staff in the hostel have highlighted the key places on a map so we try follow that (with the help of google maps as well after our last few map reading attempts) an before we know it we are at the 3 King's monument. It is a statue of said 3 King's and stands in a lovely square right next to the fine art museum, which is showcasing some pieces outside.
    After the monument we go looking at the temples. First up is Wat Phan Tao. This temple is different o many we have seen as it is made completely of wood. Inside isn't quite as lavish and extreme as some of the others we have seen, but this gives it a certain kind of ambience that makes it feel really quite special as you walk around silently. It is great, and is a nice break from the ruins that we have seemed to spend weeks seeing after Angkor Wat.
    After that we head on the short walk to Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara. What the previous Wat lacked in Gold and decorations, this one certainly makes up for. Amy puts on a long robe/dressing gown to walk around which makes her incredibly hot, but it is still fascinating. The first temple is actually only for men. The reason is something to do with menstruation but I forget the details. The temple is fascinating though, with some of the most intricate drawings I have seen carved and painted onto the walls, and a Golden Buddha taking centre stage in the middle. After that we walk around the complex together, taking in all the other structures. The main temple is huge, amazingly decorated and stunningly kitted out with Gold and Silver everywhere. A huge Buddha sits at the end. There is also a great ruin, with long steps leading up the Buddha's on every side and statues of elephants that are half decayed standing out like sentries on guard. Add this to the other temples with statues of monks, paintings, and innumerable decorations, and it is an hour well spent.
    Wat Phra Singh is our next stop, and I walk in and have a look around the main temple here, which isn't quite as spectacular as the other one but does house another enormous Buddha statue, before we head back.
    We chill out for a few hours in the room before going out to eat and watch the football. After the footy we head to the night market expecting good things. Every Sunday a whole road is closed to allow for the amount of stalls that stand here, so we hope for bargains galore. When we arrive though it is quite different. It is so busy it is almost impossible to see what is for sale on the stores, and after a bad meal Amy seeks out the food stalls that seem to be non-existent. It is more frustrating then anything trying to push your way through the crowd and we soon head back to the hotel, getting ready for a 5.30 get up tomorrow to meet some elephants!
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  • Day9

    Kai.
    Kai ist kein thailändisches Grußwort, keine unbekannte Obstsorte, kein Thai-Insektenvernichtungsmittel und erst recht kein männlicher Vorname. Kai ist eine Frau - und zwar die Besitzerin des Casacool Hotels in Khao Lak.
    Danke TripAdvisor bzw. den vielen voherigen Besuchern dieses Guesthouses, ohne deren Kommentare und Bewertungen wir diese Unterkunft ziemlich sicher gar nicht gebucht hätten. Was für ein Glück, dass uns unsere Reise dort hin gebracht hat!

    Der Check-In war ehrlich gesagt ziemlich chaotisch, die Mitarbeiter konnten alle kein Englisch und irgendwie hatten wir das Gefühl, dass niemand etwas von uns bzw. unserer Buchung wusste was uns im ersten Moment etwas verunsicherte und die Laune sinken ließ. Irgendwie haben wir dann doch ein Zimmer bekommen - und dann standen wir da und schauten uns in dem niedlichen Raum um: Türkisfarbene Wände, weiße Möbel, viel zu hohe Decken, ein großes Bad und direkt vor dem Balkon stand eine Kuh (oder ein Rind oder ein thailändisches irgendwas 😅) und muhte fröhlich vor sich hin.
    Und spätestens am nächsten Morgen waren wir vollends angekommen, als wir die Besitzerin Kai kennenlernten mit ihrer etwas durchgeknallten aber total liebenswerten Art, als wir ein leckeres Frühstück gemacht bekommen haben mit Omelette, frischem Obst und selbstgepresstem Ananassaft, als wir einen kleinen Gecko im Zimmer entdeckten, der uns anmeckerte, als Kai uns als Honeymoon-Geschenk einen Tag gratis Rollerfahren ließ und uns die beste Fahrtstrecke erklärte, als sie uns sogar anbot, uns mit dem Van zum Nationalpark zu fahren oder uns die Schnorcheltour mit einem extrafetten Rabatt organisierte oder oder oder.
    Sehr sehr angenehm, dort Gast zu sein. Selbst unsere nach der Wäsche verschollenen Socken wurden ersetzt. Am Tag der Abreise gab es Fahrtproviant, Abschiedsgeschenke von Kai und eine Umarmung.
    Wenn wir irgendwann noch einmal nach Khao Lak kommen sollten, dann nicht, ohne Kai zu besuchen!

    „Casacool Hotel“
    Tambon Khuekkhak, Amphoe Takua Pa, Chang Wat Phang-nga 82190
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  • Day9

    Mit SeaStar Andaman haben wir uns auf einen 1-Day-Trip zu den Surin Islands gemacht. Ursprünglich standen die Similan Islands auf dem Plan, allerdings hat man hier die Qual der Wahl: Similan hat wohl die schöneren Strände, Surin die netteren Schnorchelspots - wir entschieden uns fürs Schnorcheln. Das ganze haben wir über Kai, die Besitzerin unseres Guesthouses, buchen lassen, die uns noch einen ordentlichen Rabatt rausgeschlagen hat.

    Morgens gegen 8 Uhr wurden wir mit dem Minivan abgeholt und zum Pier in Khao Lak gebracht. Dort gab es das Schnorchel-Equipment (Tauchmaske, Schnorchel, Flossen) und eine Einweisung in den Tagesablauf. Mit einer Gruppe von ca. 30-40 anderen Personen wurden wir anschließend auf ein Speedboat verfrachtet - klingt nach vielen Menschen, ging aber erstaunlicherweise. Auch die 1 1/2 Stunden Fahrt zu den Surin Islands hatten wir schlimmer erwartet, da viele so negativ von Speedbooten reden. Wir haben die Reisetabletten ignorieren können und mit Konzentration auf den Horizont ließ sich Nicis anfängliche Flauheit im Magen sehr gut bekämpfen.
    Während der Bootsfahrten wurden wir sowieso super umsorgt, es gab Wasser und Cola für alle, frisches Obst, Kekse und Cracker...

    Vor Ort angekommen wurden wir dann direkt für 40 Minuten am ersten Schnorchelspot ins Wasser geworfen. Sowohl für Marcel als auch für mich war es das erste Mal Schnorcheln und es war wirklich wirklich toll. Wir haben sogar lauter Nemos gesehen!

    Weiter ging es nach Ko Surin Tai zu einem Dorf von See-Nomaden, „Moken“ oder „Morgan“ genannt. Die Dorfbewohner leben in einfachen Hütten und dürfen wohl als einzige in den Gewässern rund um die Surin Islands fischen. Irgendwie hatte man das Gefühl, dass kurz bevor unser Boot dort anlegte, die niedlichen kleinen Kinder und Säuglinge vor den Hütten drapiert wurden, um möglichst viele handgemachte Souvenirs zu verkaufen. Das ganze war relativ unangenehm, die anderen Touristen fotografierten in jede Hütte und bestürmten die Moken... Nichts für ungut, aber wir waren irgendwie froh, als wir wieder auf dem Boot waren.

    Anschließend gab es einen Zwischenstopp auf Koh Surin Nuea, wo uns ein kleines Mittagessen und ein traumhaft schöner Strand erwarteten.

    Gut gestärkt ging es dann nochmal zu weiteren Schnorchelspots. Bei dem ersten davon haben wir die Schwimmwesten weggelassen mit dem Ziel, etwas näher an die Korallen zu tauchen - Nici ist bei dem Versuch gefühlt 10 mal fast ertrunken dank zig Krämpfen in den Füßen. Eine stützende Hand von Marcel unterm Po hat ihr quasi das Leben gerettet. 😅 Beim letzten Schnorchelgang wurde dann also wieder die stilvolle neonorange Weste angezogen, aber hey, damit waren wir wieder mit Nemo im Partnerlook.

    Gegen 17 Uhr waren wir dann wieder zurück an Land und wurden zum Guesthouse zurückkutschiert.
    Daumen hoch für diese Tour!
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  • Day39

    Strand, Meer und Meeresrauschen - wir haben dich die letzten Wochen sehr vermisst! 🏖🌊

    Seit gestern wir auf der Insel Koh Lanta gelandet (mit einem Zwischenstopp in Krabi) - auch wenn uns das Stadtleben sehr gefällt, freuen wir uns total wieder in der Nähe vom Strand zu sein! 🙆‍♀️🙆‍♂️

    Die nächsten Wochen bleiben wir hier im Süden Thailands - und schon bald bekommen wir auch Besuch! 💗

  • Day31

    Hallo zusammen

    Ein kurzer Eintrag zu unserem letzten Ziel: Ko Samui.

    Mit großer Spannung sind wir vorgestern auf Ko Samui angekommen. War es die richtige Entscheidung, die Route zu ändern und anstelle von Ko Tao nun Ko Samui anzusteuern? Hat Ko Samui doch eher den Ruf das Mallorca Thailands zu sein...😆

    Schon nach zwei Tagen können wir sagen, es ist ein Volltreffer☺️. Unsere Unterkunft ist der absolute Hammer. Genauso, wie wir es uns vorgestellt haben. Eine kleine, sehr geschmackvolle und bunte Anlage direkt am Strand bzw. mehr oder weniger auf dem Strand. Unser Bungalow ist 20m vom Wasser entfernt und 5m von der Beachbar. Ein Traum... und keine Spur von Massentourismus✌️🏖.

    Wir fühlen uns super wohl und freuen uns, hier unsere letzte Woche zu verbringen. Jetzt werden wir erstmal die Tage bei bestem Wetter am Strand verbringen - später dann aber sicherlich auch nochmal die Insel erkunden.

    Melden uns die Tage nochmal. Bis dahin und liebe Grüße aus der Ferne🤗.
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  • Day2

    Let bol narocny, polka lietadla kaslala, ale zas Tomco bacilov poslusne opatoval, ked kazdu chvilu fukal nos.
    Letusky to uz nie je co byvalo, ked kedysi nastupili do lietadla ako modelky na molo. Teraz asi v ramci zrovnopravnenia robia letusky aj muzi, aj rozne ine kreatury. Ani tie sluzby neboli zazracne (ziadne drinky o.i.), ale zas priamy let to snad vyvazil.

    Na letisku v Bangkoku sme na tom tak zle, ze vsetci okamzite bezime na WCko a tento Projekt s velkym P nas tak zdrzi, ze nakoniec svoju batozinu berieme uz z pasu, na ktorom svieti cervenym "last bags" (posledne tasky).

    Vsetci sme ukrutne nevyspati a Bangkok nas privital tradicne zamracenym pocasim, pocas pristavania dokonca padlo aj zopar kvapiek, ale riadne teplo padne celkom dobre...

    Az kym nenasadneme do tradicne klimatizovaneho a kvalitne podchladeneho autobusu a tam Danka obsadi miesto pre invalidov. Ked to zistime a zacneme sa smiat, objavime, ze Tomco sedi pre zmenu na mieste pre tehotne zeny...

    Cela cesta do hotela sa zacne 9 prudovou (to len v nasom smere) plne upchatou cestou a pokracuje to vyhladmi na cesty a krizovatky, pri ktorych bratislavsky Pristavny most nestoji ani za povsimnutie. Okolo kopa mrakodrapov a miliarda aut jednoducho toto dopravne sialenstvo treba zazit.

    Vecer este na znamu Khaosan road "backpackerske getto", kde to fakt zije. Nikto z nas sa vsak neodvazil vyskusat vyprazane skorpiony, opekame larvicky a podobne dobroty. V jednej ulicke to dokonca vyzeralo ako keby tam zopar psov cakalo na porazku.
    Okrem kopy jedla vsetkeho mozneho druhu a inych obchodikov so satstvom sa tam prehanalo zopar vyzorovych exotov, ktori predavali nejake cudesnosti.
    Navyse sme narazili na prvy cerveny bar a uz pred nim to riadne zilo.
    Samozrejme v ramci ochutnavky sme si dali stiplavu green carry polievku... No vecerna atmosfera super az na to, ze ledva zijeme, takze sup do postele.
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  • Day39

    Wer noch nicht genug Tempel gesehen hat - dem kann ich die Stadt Lamphun (20km von Chiang Mai) absolut empfehlen! 😍

    Hier gibt es super schöne Tempel zu besichtigen - zum Teil ganz ohne Touristenmassen. 😊

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Thailand, Thailand, Taeland, ታይላንድ, Tailandia, تايلند, Thailandia, Tailand, Тайланд, Tayilandi, থাইল্যান্ড, ཐའི་ལེན།, Tajland, Tailàndia, Thajsko, Gwlad Thai, ཐཱའི་ལེནཌ, Tailand nutome, Ταϊλάνδη, Tajlando, Tai, تایلند, Taylannda, Thaimaa, Teiland, Thaïlande, Tayilande, Tailân, An Téalainn, થાઇલેંડ, Tailan, תאילנד, थाईलैण्ड, Thailandska, Thaiföld, Թաիլանդ, Tailando, Taíland, タイ, ტაილანდი, Tailandi, Thailandi, ថៃ, ಥೈಲ್ಯಾಂಡ್, 태국, थाइलैंड, تایلەند, Pow Tay, Tayirandi, Tailandɛ, ປະເທດໄທ, Tailandas, Tayilanda, Taizeme, Thailandy, Тајланд, തായ്‌ലാന്‍ഡ്, थायलंड, Tajlandja, ထိုင်း, Thayilandi, थाइल्याण्ड, ଥାଇଲାଣ୍ଡ, Tailandya, Tajlandia, تايلنډ, Tailândia, Thaysuyu, Tailanda, थैलेण्ड्, Thaieana, Tailânde, තායිලන්තය, Tajska, Taylaand, Tajlanda, தாய்லாந்து, థాయ్ లాండ్, Таиланд, ไทย, Taýland, Taylandiya, Taileni, Tayland, تھائی لینڈ, Thái Lan, Tayän, Taylandya, Orílẹ́ède Tailandi, 泰国, i-Thailand

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