Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho is a really nice temple and you can also find the famous Reclining Buddha there. I liked it because it was not so crowded with tourists and a bit smaller than the big Royal Grand Palace.
Ayutthaya is ideal for a day trip. It's a bit outside of Bangkok (1 hour). It's the old Kingdom and you can see the old ruins, temples and the beautiful and stunning buddah tree. Absolutely worth visiting ! :) Enjoy.
Klongs - Floating Market
There are a few Klongs/floating markets in Bangkok. The one, big famous one was to touristy for me. Bangkok offers many smaller, nicer Klongs. Just ask at your hotel, where you can find the nearest Klong.
The Chatuchak Market (or also called J.J. Market) is the biggest of its kind in Thailand. It's just open on weekends, but if you can manage you should really go there. It's a really busy and crowded place but still you can buy everything you want. I bought lots of clothes for my own and some souvenirs for friends and family. If you find something you like buy it, because the chances to find the stand again are almost zero, the market is simply to big. :)
The Royal Grand Palace
This Temple/Palace is the most popular sight in Bangkok, so I guess you can imagine how busy it is ^^. The temple was really nice and it's beautiful but you should go there very early otherwise the crowd will spoil your visit.
Wat Arun - Temple of Dawn
My favorite Temple (Wat in Thai) is the Wat Arun. It's a beautiful temple located near the river Chao Prao, which goes trough Bangkok. At night it's really stunning.
4 March 2013
Khao San Road
The famous and notorious Khao San Road is the most touristy road you can find in Bangkok. Despite all the tourists it was quite fun. You can find a lot of nice restaurants, shops, bars ect. Even if you're more the type who wants to explore the authentic Thailand, Khao San road is worth a look.
Hotel Sala Arun - top accomodation in Bangkok
I spent 4 days in Bangkok and even if i traveled on budget, I decided to indulge myself a nice fancy hotel. For one person it's surely to expensive but if you stay with a buddy for a few nights in can work.
The Sala Arun hotel is located directly on the Chao Phraya, the big river going trough Bangkok, with a stunning view to the Temple Wat Arun. The small hotel is really beautiful and the staff is really helpful. The restaurant is situated on the river side, so I enjoyed my breakfast every morning with an magnificent view on the river and Wat Arun. They also have a really beautiful rooftop bar with an even nicer view. I can really recommend this hotel.
Enjoy your time in Bangkok!
Thailand in general is very corrupt and tourist get cheated on a regular basis. So make sure you don't pay to much when you take the taxi or the tuk tuk :) I personally favor the tuk tuk! You should really try it, it's fun! :) but be aware a lot of tuk tuk drivers can't really speak english and they always smile and nod (which doesn't mean that they understood you) so that can be a bit confusing at the beginning :)
Enjoy your first tuk tuk drive!
3 March 2013
Klong Plu Waterfall
The biggest Waterfall on Koh Chang is Klong Plu, you can easily find it and you can swimm in the pond where the waterfall ends. Really worth seeing :) Just ask the staff from your hostel/hotel how to get there.
Bai Lan and Bang Bao Beach
After lonely beach you reach Bai Lan Beach and Bang Bao Beach, both more cliffy, but more quiet than the other beaches. Enjoy the sand under your feet, no matter which beach you fancy.
At the beginning of Lonely Beach you get to an Observation Deck. The view that is spreading in front of you is amazing, espacially if you go there by sundown ;) !! Enjoy the beautiful view.
After that you will come to the lonely beach (where I spend most of the time). This place is made for backpackers and young tourists with a wild nightlife and cheaper accommodations and restaurants. Even if it's made for backpackers, that beach was the nicest for me and the restaurants and "streets" are much more authentic than on other beaches.
Kai Bae Beach
Then the Kai Bae Beach which is a bit smaller than White Sand Beach, but still very touristy.
Klong Prao Beach
The next beach is the Khlong Prao Beach. It is a bit smaller but still very touristy.
When you are at Koh Chang you should really do a snorkeling tour. You can book a one day tour at the tourist offices in the fishermen village Ao Bang Bao. The boats also leave from there. By boat you go to 4 different islands and snorkel around. The beaches that we reached by boat where really stunning, never seen beaches like this!! Breakfast and lunch will be served on the boat. If you do this trip I recommend doing it in the low season, in the high-season you can end up with nearly 100 people on one boat.
White Sand Beach
On the west side of Koh Chang you will find many different beaches. Most of the ferries set you on the island on the northern tip. So if you start from there to the west side, the first beach on the west side is White Sand Beach (really big, lots of Resorts and fancy hotels, really touristy and also the island center).
Ao Bang Bao - Fishermen Village
Ao Bang Bao is a really cute and small fishermen village at the southern tip of Koh Chang. You can easily reach it when you rented a autocycle. It's a lovely place to have lunch or dinner and when you prefer a harbor and silence over a beach and nightlife, you should stay at Ao Bang Bao in of the nice guesthouses.
2 March 2013
If you want to stay in an accomodation which is completely different to what you ever experienced, than go to Independent Bo's Guesthouse. It's directly on the beach (at the beginning of White Sand Beach). It's a really funky, hippy, colorful accomodation where you can meet a lot of interesting people. Do it ! Get out of your comfort zone and explore something new :)
Food on Koh Chang
Koh Chang is a really touristy island. The main income for the population is the tourism business, so nearly everything is made for tourists. You will find a lot of good restaurants, from Kebab to Schnitzel, Thai dishes and italian ice cream. But there are possibilities to eat cheaper and much better! Just get on your autocycle and search for nice small thai-family run restaurants. Mostly you find them next to the street with just a few tables and an open kitchen. The people serving you in these restaurants give you such a warm feeling and they are so grateful! If you like the food you can say: "A loi ma" - which means "It was really good", don't miss the big smile and happiness in there face when you say it! Food is everything for the Thais. Enjoy :)
Roundtrip by autocycle
Koh Chang is not such a big island, so for me the best way to explore it was by autocycle. You can rent an autocycle at nearly every corner and you will find fuel stations every now and then. While the west side of the island is flourishing with tourists, the west side is really calm and there are really few resorts and restaurants etc. So if you travel to the east side, make sure that you have enough fuel, because it's hard to find a gas station! Enjoy the feeling of freedom while traveling by autocycle :)
1 March 2013
The Island Koh Chang
After my internship at the Faasai Eco Resort I went to the beautiful island Koh Chang. Koh Chang is the second biggest island of Thailand.
I recommend going there at low-season, at peak-season it can be quite busy.
I spend one week at Koh Chang in the Nature Beach Resort at lonely beach. A really lovely resort directly on the beach. So you wake up and the first thing you can do is jumping in the beautiful clear water! The restaurant/bar area is also situated outside and directly on the beach so I couldn't thing of anything more beautiful that having breakfast with the view on the beach! The prices are also very cheap (accomodation and food). See more pics on http://www.booking.com/hotel/th/nature-beach-resort.de
Shark feeding !
Throughout my one month internship in the Faasai Eco Resort in the Province Chanthaburi, I traveled a bit in the nearby area. One thing I really liked was shark feeding in Klong Khut. Klong Khut is only 30 min. by autocycle away from the Kung Wiman beach/ Faasai Eco Resort. You can rent a autocycle at the Resort and just explore the area on your own!
If you come to Klong Khut you will find street signs pointing you to the shark feeding, if you can't find it, just do it the old fashion way and ask somebody. When you come to the shark feeding station you will find some basins where they keep different types of fish including cat sharks :) :) The staff gives you some fish which you can feed to the sharks. You don't just trough it in the basin, but you can put the fish directly in the sharks mouth. That was an amazing experience! So anybody who loves animals as much as I do, do it! :)
Yummy Thai Food
If you don't like rice you're pretty much fu....ed :P. Well it's not so bad. The Thai cuisine has a lot to offer. One of the things nearly everybody likes is fried rice. It's very useful to know the thai name, it's khao (means white) pad gai. I think gai means chicken, so if you are a vegetarian, simply ask for no gai ;).
While traveling trough Thailand you should try a coconut. They simply open the coconut at the top and put a straw in it...voila! It's delicious. Also try the green ice tea. Thailand is blessed with a lot of exotic fruits. My favorite was the mangosteen, which is not the same than a Mango (see the picture below).
The Thai people like bamboo soup. You collect bamboo and then cook it very long (also pic below), it's very spicy but reallyyy healthy. You shouldn't miss to try a papaya salad.
Also very very important to know is the word spicy in thai: PET! I always asked for: "no pet" and everything was fine.
Enjoy the exotic and delicious Thai Food!
28 February 2013
When you travel in the countryside of Thailand, you will very soon meet a lot of fascinating animals. I discovered the large distribution of scorpions. At the beginning I was a bit freaked out, but very soon you got used to it and by time you learn where they live and when you need to be careful.
The more pleasant animals were butterflies. There a a lot of really beautiful and rare species. You can also find a lot of interesting birds.
Everywhere you go, there are street dogs, really beautiful and cute ones. A lot of them where breed in Thailand under terrible circumstances and then sold cheap.
My favorite animals In Thailand: GECKOS: They make really cute noises and they are everywhere :) So if you are not afraid of them (which you really don't need to be) enjoy the company!! :)
My volunteer work
Trough the website http://www.workaway.info/ I found the Faasai Eco Resort. For my internship I arranged everything directly with the owner. I really want to recommend this website. For anybody who wants to volunteer, do an internship or just wants to spend some authentic days while working in a country abroad for free food and accommodation.
The website offers places all over the world! So have a look at it, I assure you it's worth it :)
At the Faasai Eco Resort my job was to work at the farm (make compost, look after the cows, plant trees, harvest rice) and also speak to English speaking guests, go with them on tours etc. I had a wonderful internship at the resort.
How to say hello and thank you in Thai
The Thai people are really polite and calm people. It is considered as rude, if you get upset in public. Always remember, you are a guest in their land and you can't speak thai so don't take it for granted that they can speak English!
So the two words I learned in my time in Thailand:
- "Hello": Sawadi kaaaa (if you are a woman) / Sawadi kap (if you are a man)
- "Thank you": Kop kung kaaa / Kop kung kap
so the ending for women is always kaaaa (a reaaaalyyy long a) and for men kap :)
When you say "Hello" and "Thank you" fold your hands like you want to pray and bend your head a bit. You should fold your hands on the level of your breast. There are different "levels" where you can fold your hands: for priests you fold them on the level of your nose, for buddha statues they fold their hands on their forehead.
I am not a 100% sure about this information (because the English of the guy who told me that, wasn't so good), but that is how I understood it and it worked for me.
Arrival at the Faasai Eco Resort & Spa
If you want to travel to the Province Chanthaburi, I can really recommend the Faasai Resort, although it's not so cheap for a backpacker. But you can also volunteer there for free food and accommodation. Just check with the owner (Infos on the homepage) if you can come and volunteer for a few days.The pics below are made at the Resort and surroundings
Have a wonderful stay at Faasai Resort :)
From Bangkok to the middle of Nowhere
By taxi I went from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the Bangkok city center. More precise to the Ekkamai Bus Station.
A lot of busses go from there to all over Thailand, so it's a good place to start. From there I took the bus (No.9907) (200 Bath) to the Province Chanthaburi. After about 3,5 hours I got of the Nong Singha (Singha means dragon by the way) station, 18 kilometers from the Faasai Eco Resort & Spa, where I did my internship.
Bangkok Airport - Share a taxi !
As I arrived at Bangkok Airport I went to the taxi station to go to the city centre. It is very easy to find people who want to share a taxi, so go for it. You can travel really really cheap in Thailand if you know how to do it ;) From Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport to the city center you shouldn't pay more than 400 Bath. If the taxi driver wants more than that, go to the next one ;) Enjoy your first Thai-style taxi drive!