Chatuchak Market BKK
This weekend market is probably the biggest of Thailand. There's nothing you can't find at Chatuchak. From clothes to furniture to living animals, they've got everything. The narrow lanes with the roof above your head are perfect to get lost and get some souvenirs for your people at home.
I added a map for you (it would've been great if we had one ;-) ).
22 December 2013
The VIP-bus was a nice way to travel. It had seats which were also comfortable to sleep in and the price included a lunch box. I think if you book a flight from Phuket to BKK earlier, there isn't a big price difference between the bus and the plane. But we didn't, so this was the cheaper (and more ecologic) way to get to BKK. We paid about 900 Baht each (as always you've got to compare agencies, the prices were from about 900 up to 1400 Baht!). With the bus we had one stop around am. It was a big bus station aka food market with restaurants and so on.
21 December 2013
Walk trough the city
On this day we made nothing really special, we just walked through the city and watched the surfer boys and girls! If you want to be really relaxed there is a very nice yoga group, called "hot yoga" here is also the website : http://www.katahotyoga.com/. The teacher is very friendly and the classes are 4 times a day with different levels, so you have the opportunity to choose.
20 December 2013
From Kata you can see a big Buddha on a mountain. We went there by motorcycle. You drive direction Phuket and then there are the "Big Buddha-Signs" which lead you on to the mountain top (It was were nice to drive there by motorcycle). On top there is also a temple and a possibility to eat. The view from there was nice and even nicer was the monk who blessed us and gave us a wristband.
19 December 2013
Kata Yai Beach is no perfect place for swimming. There is a dangerous current (you're warned by colored flags if it's dangerous or not), but it's the perfect place to surf. If you are a beginner (like me) there are several surf shops which offer surf training (the more people the cheaper) or you do it like me and just rent a board for a few hours (I think it was 100 bath an hour and 500 bath a day). There are al lot of surf shops along the south cost of Kata. At the "Surf House Phuket you can also try surfing in an imitation wavepool. The Surf house is a very cool surferlocation where you can also have a drink or something to eat. Here is a video: http://vimeo.com/68596082
Makes a lot of fun!
- See more at: http://www.surfhousephuket.com
18 December 2013
If you like to play soccer you just have to go to Hat Rai Leh West when the ebb is coming. Many locals (and some tourists with them) play there and it's fun to watch them: 30 men run after a ball and try to get it into a ridiculously small goal until the sun goes down.
17 December 2013
There is a little climbing path (with ropes) where you'll get a beautiful view of the peninsula).
16 December 2013
Railay is the paradise. Only reachable by boat there are 4 beaches. We've been to Hat Ton Sai which is again separated from the others, you just can reach it at ebb (or you have to climb). There are some bungalows in the jungle behind the beach. In the reggae-bar at the beach you can enjoy your cocktail while lying in a hammock and watching the sunset (or the thai guy who is unbelievably good at Slacklining). One of the two restaurants at the beach offered a (really cheap) fish barbecue. We had salmon, it was the most delicious dish of the whole journey.
Railay is the perfect place if you like to climb. Also nice is renting a kajak and driving around in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean'-like scenery.
All in all: Don't miss this little paradise!
15 December 2013
Yes there is a hype amongst the tourists about this party. Yes it's kind of touristic and overfilled. Yes it's loud. Do we want to miss it? No!
That party was really really cool. We didn't even see the moon because it was cloudy but the atmosphere at the party was really impressive: people from all over the world celebrate, party, dance (and obviously drink) together. There is black light and everyone's body paint is glowing in the dark. You've got like 4 'stages' were different music is played, fire shows everywhere and the beach (1km) was crowded. Between crazy fire-rope-jumpers and "bucket-bucket"-shouts (yes they offer you buckets to mix your own drink), you'll have the time of your life.
By the way: If you go to sleep early and live next to the beach you gonna have a bad time, because the loud music doesn't stop until 10 in the morning.
14 December 2013
The ferry to Panghan is very nice, you meet a lot of (full-moon) travellers there and it has also an on-board supermarket.
From the little port we drove (by minivan) directly to the Hat Rin Beach. The ride to the beach was 100 bath per person, and we compared and did not find a cheaper one. Still, I think if you don't have that much luggage renting a motorcycle is the cheaper option here.
In Hat Rin you'll see what the phrase "same same but different" means. Especially at the time around the full moon every store offers bodypainting colours and fullmoon party shirts and stuff like this.
The beach itself is very beautiful, with white sand and clear water.
I don't remember the name of our guesthouse, but it was in the first row to the beach and it was the only one with a first floor (the other buildings around are bungalows). We were kind of lucky with that one because almost every bungalow or accomodation was full or too expensive for us, so my tip is: If fullmoon party, book it before.
13 December 2013
We took the train from BKK to Surat Thani. At Surat Thani we got the possibility to buy the ferry transfer (it takes about 1 1/2 hours to the pier by bus) and ferry tickets. They also offered us Combi-Train-Bus-Ferry-ticket in BKK but we thought this was some kind of scam (which it was). You pay less if you buy them separately.
12 December 2013
Booking a flight
Don't take the first offer given. The agencies in Chiang Mai are often more expensive than the ones at the airport. We drove to the airport at our first visit in Chiang Mai and compared the offers of the agencies with the ones at the airport. We paid about 1100 bath each, but I think the earlier you book the cheaper it is. The flight was very comfortable, especially when you consider all the long lasting train and bus-trips before.
11 December 2013
If you want to make some sport, it is very cool to go for a run, because you get a very different kind of view of the city. On he map you can see how the city is built. There is a small river surrounding the town center. It takes about 30 or 40 minutes to make the whole "circle".
10 December 2013
Pai ist most famous for his adventurous rafting tour. We booked one tour for 2 days - it was about 2000 bath per person (including everything). A van picked us up at 8am, we had breakfast and the van drove inside the jungle. 2 other girls from Belgium also attended the tour. After a long time paddling on the river (including jumping in the river and floating down a little bit) we had a lunch stop and we explored the jungle a litte bit. At 6pm we arrived at the jungle camp. Our guide cooked a really delicious meal for us, and we played funny thai games with the litte boy from the family who lived there. We slept under the heaven (with a mosquito-net), far away from civilization. Next day we did the last kilometers including jumping from a rock and bathing. Then a van picked us up und got us back to Pai. Very cool experience!
P.S.: Be aware of mosquitoes! ;)
9 December 2013
Golden Hut Bungalow
In Pai the bungalows are built on stilts to be safe from animals. The Golden Hut Bungalow has a comfortable bed, and also a great view (there's also a river), a wonderful litte jungle garden and also very quiet and clean rooms. Nice staff and for each person 300-400 bath, which is very cheap for a bungalow like that!
8 December 2013
Grab some snacks at the Seven Eleven in Chiang Mai before the journey starts, but consider that it's a very curvy mountain road (you might get sick)!
Tip: take a window seat!
7 December 2013
Muay Thai Boxing
Just because we thought, that it's a must. Very cool but also a little bit touristic. But good for Boxingfans, I attend the boxing class of our University, and the Thais are beastlier than here in Europe! There was also a ridiculous special fight - five men fought at the same time against each other - with their eyes blindfolded. The entry is about 400 bath, and they promote the event in the city very well, so you will get the notice where and when it takes place.
6 December 2013
S.K. Guest House
The S.K. Guest House was one of the best (or even the best) Guest House we stayed in. Maybe because of the wonderful pool, and the pretty curtilage. It was about 350-400 bath for a double bedroom. The bathroom was very cleanly, new and with warm water. They also offer laundry service 40 bath for one kilo. For breakfast we had a very good fruitmuesli.
Be Mario from the Mario Kart Game
With a motorbike we drove around for the whole day. It was 200 bath for one day (24hours!), and a lot of fun! You only need a passport and maybe they take a look at your driving license. At first we drove to the highest temple in Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep. When we arrived there we had to walk 300 stairs and up on the mountain there was a great Wat full of golden decoration and buddhas! Back in the city we explored the city by motorbike. Funny day!
5 December 2013
J+J Guesthouse bungalows
Best bungalow at our trip. Nice little clean bedroom and a bathroom. The walls were full of stones and very stylish furniture. In the garden you could sit and talk to other travelers. The breakfast was fresh and delicious. Also many little cats - with one little cat, we fell in love - it slept at the corner of our bed and drank our water. We don´t know the exactly price, but we think it was about 600 bath or cheaper.
Rent a bicycle and go around the historical park
The historical park is approximately 7 km from the city. We rent a bike (each for 200 bath - 5 Euros - which was a bit too much, but we took the first offer) and then we drove to the historical park. Long road, but worthwhile at the end. When you arrive the park you have to pay 100 bath for the entry. It's also allowed to drive through the park with the bikes. Many, many old ruins of buddhas, chedis, and wonderful little rivers. Very nice place to relax, meditate and dream in this green oasis.
4 December 2013
When we left Pat Chong we traveled to Lopburi, the monkey city. Everywhere you look, there are monkeys - on the rooftops, on the streets, at the main station, on the Buddha statues - everywhere! But don't look into their eyes, because they will might get aggressive and even bite you. But besides the monkey we didn't see much from the city. Except the hospital and our hotel, because in an Internetcafe in Pak chong, an insect bit me, why I had to go to the hospital. The nurses and doctors in Lopburi were very nice (and extremly young, not older than 25!), they gave me an injection and then we left the hospital. After 2 more days everything was gone again.
3 December 2013
KaoYai National Park
For us one of the best experiences we ever had! This kind of adrenaline rush, when you walk through the jungle and hear the monkey screaming, and watch the elephants in the freedom of the nature life. And all these little insects you've never seen before. Don't visit the park without a guide, because it's too dangerous, you could get lost in the jungle or be attacked by an animal. In our hotel we met a really nice woman who gave us the tip to follow one of the guided tours. Her name is Noi, she is an English teacher in Thailand and she also organizes some tours in the silk factory near Pak Chong. She guided us around on the food market and recommended what we should try. When we came back from the one-day jungle tour, she brought us to the train station when we left the city (the train left half past 12 am!). And she also taught me some Thai language, just because she liked us (she believes in Karma). Very nice and wise woman! Her email: email@example.com
2 December 2013
We took the train from BKK to Pak Chong. Normally every train, bus, ferry, whatever you will take, has an delay. But that's the kind of everyday business in Thailand! On the train every 20 minutes somebody comes up selling food or drinks, the food is at the most very very hot & spicy but also delicious. If you're a smoker, you can go to the entrance of the train, because the trains are open - like the old ones which are well known from the Western movies! And it's also allowed to open the windows to have the best view when you're driving through the jungle. If you like to draw, the train is the best location, because everyone sleep or look throughout the window.
1 December 2013
Drinks on the top!
The vertigo moon bar, is a bar on top of a skyscraper. The view over BKK at night is breathtakingly pretty. With well-mixed cocktails and lounge music the rooftop bar is worth to visit and to have a drink or two (they are expensive ~7-10€, but worth it). Try the Mojito - the best Mojito we ever had! We wore our "tourist clothes" which is of course not the best. Wear something more elegant if you don't want to feel underdressed, because it's very luxurious there.
It's also not easy to find. You have to go inside the hotel and take the elevator up to the highest floor.
Take the ferry to Chao Praya and walk through the little streets until you reach China Town. It is very nice to take a walk, especially when you are fed up with the touristic areas. Here you can see the difference between Thailand and China (different food, clothes, people) or a mix of both. Just walk and watch (and smell)!
30 November 2013
If you are not so interested in tourist attractions, just take a walk trough the city. Go wherever you want. If you're getting lost, a taxi will take you home, surely. You'll find some interesting places, which show you the real life of the Thais.
Streetfood Streetfood Streetfood
Everywhere you get you see this pimped motorcycles with a hotplate or something similar that reminds you of a hotplate. Around this self-made construction, there are little plastic chairs and tables where you can sit and eat. Almost every dish is spicy. If you are concerned about the hygienic circumstances take one rule: Everything which is cooked fresh (in front of you at food markets etc.) for you - try it! It's not so bad if you have the runs, cause that's normal for our european food habbits.
If you stay at the Khaosan road, you can easily walk to the Wat. Along the Majesty Park and the Princess Palace you reach the temple. Wat Pho is most famous for its 46 m long and 15 m high sleeping Buddha Statue. The Wat is overloaded with a lot of chedis, temple and small places to relax. You are invited to meditate or if you're lucky you can even watch a professional meditation group which you can also join.
You have to pay a fee of 100 bath (2,50€). Which is a good alternative if you don't want to spend up to 800 bath (or even more) for the Princess Palace.
You have to wear long trousers, closed shoes, and long arm shirt!
Most flights from Europe to Bangkok are non direct flights. Usually they have a stopover in Doha or in Abu Dhabi. We have an overnight at the airport Doha. When you step out from the airplane you think that here is an absolute humidity and it is really hot. But inside the airport it´s getting cool because of the air conditioner. There are also some relaxing rooms. But the seats were not really comfortable at all, so it is not easy to fall asleep, especially if it´s´ too cold. Tip: Take one or two bedsheets in your hand luggage, (or steel the blankets from the airplane), and dress warmly! Then it is much easier to sleep!
Barn Thai hostel
The Khaosan Road is famous for being the "Backpacker Mekka". On the road you can find other backpackers, there are many hotels and hostels, also western food restaurants - for the first days when you are in Bangkok its very helpful to acclimate. Still, it's not so nice to stay there for longer, because its so touristic, and there are many many trickers (Beware of trickers every time!). We found a very beautiful hostel named "Barn Thai" in a sidestreet. Very small and simple, but with a romantic charm and very cheap (150 Bath pro person = 3€)