Saturday, 31 January 2009

Night Train to Chiang Mai

I have 20 minutes to kill so decided to post another entry - all be it a less interesting one (probably).

The weekend market was awesome, SO many stalls down lanes and lanes of markets. You just walk in any direction and make it up as you go along because it's so big that you never have any idea which way is which, it's just rows and rows of stalls. I resisted buying stuff just because it's too early to be stocking up on souvenirs, I might send some stuff home though that I buy, a lot of people do that so MAYBE expect something in the post in five to six weeks (?).

Oh, and I haven't sent any postcards yet if you were wondering, it seems the North will be a lot quieter (but not any less beautiful) so will probably send out a few when im done at the elephant sanctuary.

I've also looked into spending a few days (maybe a week...) at a monastary in Chiang Mai. Frida's done it and apparently you're up at 4am every day, you're not allowed to speak and no meals can be eaten after 12pm. Ha, although tourists can get away with breaking the rules so we'll see.

Ok my computer's telling me time is up so i'll be off. See you (metaphorically) in Chiang Mai! X

Friday, 30 January 2009

Bangkok (For One Night)

Back in Bangkok, only staying the one night and then catching me a night train to Chiang Mai tomorrow (19:55 Thailand time, 12:55 your time), takes about 10 hours but I get a bed so should be fine.

My friend Frida who I met on Ko Chang got the same boat/bus back with me to Bangkok and she's been here like five times so she knows lots of cool little places I missed. Im staying at a place a few streets down from Khaos San Road (the popular street - think Camden - where I stayed before) but still a nice place. Luckily because we've arrived on a Friday we get to experience the weekend market tomorrow. Apparently it's pretty amazing, if you can think of it, they'll sell it sort of place. I was last here on a Tuesday and Wednesday so missed it. I'll be taking orders for monkeys and snakes yeah?

It doesn't feel that i've been away from Bangkok for two weeks, there's such a difference here from the islands though. Luckily upon my return i've learnt quite a few Thai words so "Mia Kapp" (no thanks) comes in handy here. Everyone just tries to sell you suits! Yeah it's 35 degrees i'd LOVE a suit :-/

I miss the beach... X

Thursday, 29 January 2009

D Money

Happy Birthday Daniel Jon Mumford.

Together we are half a century old, think of the wisdom... Go on, think. A Thai slogan (the sort of stuff written on T-shirts) is 'Same Same But Different'. I think that applies to us.

Have a lovely day and save me some cake yeah? X

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Ko'ntinue to be in Chang

Hello there, how are we? Im still in Ko Chang, leave here Friday via Bangkok and then up to Chiang Mai. Times gone quick here, I mean I last posted on the 22nd but it doesn't feel that long ago. I'll be over informative in a bulletpoint style:

- Moved North along Lonely Beach to a place called Nature Beach, staying in wooden huts with showers - lots of character. Alot more is going on here... I mean not to rub it in, but i've been out every night... There's always a party somewhere, the bars & resorts rotate every day so there's something going on all the time.

- Met loads of folk, got a whole global group going on - German, Swedish, South American, Italian, French-Canadian, Danish... Been having much laughs. Seriously though, dickheads dont come traveling... I haven't met anyone like that, everyone's really nice (many Facebooks have been swapped).

- Went to a place called Khlong Phlu Falls, a big waterfall on the island. Im not so good with estimating heights, but i'd say like maybe... 80 ft? There's quite a few waterfalls and im sure there are better ones out there, but considering i've only seen things like that on tv, it was pretty stunning (took some good pics).

- And, had my first glimpse of elephants! They were doing the whole carrying tourists thing and we passed them on our mopeds but they seem very gentle and prehistoric. I've seen them before at London Zoo but this was different.

- Celebrated National Australia Day on Monday, there's lots of Aussies here so the all descended on our beach, had a good day drinking Australian beer - Pure Blonde anyone?

- Oh, and although I did have a go on a moped to try it out, I didn't feel totally confident so I rode on the back of Jeos' (French-Candian guy) who had been riding for bikes for a while. The roads here are quite good if a LITTLE steep and curvy in some places, but because the island is so big you need them to travel to the next town/beach. Tomorrow im going to go see the South pier if the weather holds out...

- Yeah, it rained last night all of a sudden when we were walking home, like a mini-monsoon. It seems speaking to the staff here, the weather is slowly changing (climate change) but it was quite funny seeing how surprised the Thai people were, like it was the last thing they expected. I know I certainly didn't expect it. It was also raining this afternoon so we just sat under the big hut and played music - oh and by the way Daniel Mumford, kudos for putting 'Battles' on my iPod, I know one of the songs from LittleBigPlanet, very good album! Was so Surprised, you defintely made my afternoon :)

- And to finish i'll just say that yesterday we played volleyball with the ladyboys (ha ha) and we lost - the weren't all ladyboys though. I know, the shame - but I haven't played in like 10 years...(!). They have a court set up by the beach so probably play everyday but they were just too good for us. Very amusing though, our team lost 3 out of 3 :(

- Ok i'll probably next post something when im back in Bangkok, i'll be there for a couple of days so im sure I can find a moment to post something - so much effort :)

...Oh, and of course, how could I forget, Happy Birthday Lozinge O'Rouke. I hope you have a really really lovely day. I see you in the face of every ladyboy, hairy armpits and all. Miss you! X


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Ko Chang

Left Ko Samet to day after a 6 hour journey arrived in Ko Chang. It's hard to get an impression of it at the moment as I didn't arrive till 7ish, was luckily able to find a room at a place called Paradise Cottage before it got too dark. Think i'll only stay the one night here though before moving on - very quiet. Im at a place called Lonely Beach, which judging by this place, I see why. It's alot busier North though, but still very chilled out. Im paying 100 Baht more but my room here is really rustic and has alot of character - with en suite too! (well, it's outside but still fenced attached to my cabin so I guess that's where the extra 100 Baht come in, my room at Jeps had shared bathroom).

Spent the day in mini-buses, coaches and boats, one of those days where ironically, you just want to chill out, so maybe Paradise Cottage is a good place to spend my first night here. The coach was air conditioned though - and decorated like an old ladies' living room - but met a nice Scottish/New Zealand girl, made the bumpy coach journey a bit more bearable ;-)

There's apparently alot to do on Ko Chang, even have elephant trekking so i'll investigate that and see if I can get a bit of a taster before Chiang Mai. It's very jungly (think Jurassic Park) and pretty picturesque, seems much more greener that Ko Samet but definitely much more chilled. It's quite a big island (second biggest after Phucket) so you cant really just walk from beach to beach. Might enquire about renting a bike (push not motor) (well, maybe motor - the roads are flat here atleast).

Ok well my time seems to counting down on the internet. I still haven't figured out the whole uploading pictures thing, you all might just have to wait im afraid. Oh, and yesterday I saw my first proper Thailand sunset on Ao Prao Beach (Ko Samet) (!). But, I didn't take my camera but im sure there'll be plenty more. A memory, not a photo. All good things in sunsets. :)

Speak soon and hope everybody is doing ok. Maybe at some point i'll start missing a few of you... (except Benson, I kinda miss him, he'd love the beach!) X

Happy Birthday Nick

Ideally i'd wish you it in Thai but my language skills dont reach as far... Yet. Nor does my guide book tell me such phrasings, the best I can do is "Chok dii" which means "Good luck/Cheers".

What are you now, 28? I somehow never seem to remember how many years older you are than me... :-/

Have a good one! See you soon (but not too soon). X

Monday, 19 January 2009


So, 1 week down... 24 to go? The last 3 days have gone pretty quick, but you do literally forget about times and dates because you just dont need to know - kinda liberating. Also, not having my phone in my pocket is an added blessing, when I return i'll be worse than ever in using/switching on/picking up the damn thing :)

Im still on Ko Samet, leave for Ko Chang in 3 days (I think). Met some nice folk here, the bar staff by my room are all really nice, today they were teaching me Thai... But only phonetically (dont know how to spell that word), for instance "mia-kapp" is "no thanks" and "swa-di-kapp" is "hello".

Been hanging out with a guy called Matt, he's from Canada and is staying in the same block as me. Nice guy, he's into snowboarding and frisbee so we have a few things in common. On Saturday we met an Australian, a Swede and a Danish girl and we went to a local beach bar where they had fire jugglers (some great photos) and a Philippino band - very amusing, they were playing all English/American covers and did it pretty well. Their Britney Spears cover (ha) has amazing.

Ok well since interent here is costing me loads of Baht i'll leave it there. My eyes and brain feel good, body is healthy, foot no longer hurts... All is well. I will probably see you (metaphorically) in Ko Chang. X

P.s. I'll try and upload some photo's too... :)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Ko Samet

No words.
They are beyond me.
Postcard paradise.
No joke.
For less than six pounds a night.

Two nights in Bangkok extinguished by 2 minutes of Ko Samet.
Smog becomes smug.
All doubt goes walkies.

This will be my last post for a couple of days... Or maybe ten (?). Im staying at "Jeff's Bungalows" on the beach so i'll be working my tan (ha). Total rub your eyes moments aplenty.

Oh and Kate Ferrier, there are loads of fat people in skimpy outfits around, whenever I see them, I think of you... Not because you're fat, but because I imagine you laughing.

Adios! X

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

"You Know What, We're All Incredibly Flat Footed"

- Quote of the day (not to be some sort of new recurring feature).

Last day in Bangkok today, for the time being atleast. Will be returning later on as it basically forms the hub of my trip in Thailand. Visited the Reclining Buddha and Grand Palace today - all very impressive, they're very strict on clothing there so wripped shorts were definitely not popular... Nor were vests, T-shirts, tight fitting trousers, short shorts... Basically ALOT of 'dont dos'. Dont worry though, they provide covering up clothes - namely some thin baggy pantaloons for me - definitely investing in a pair of those when i get back!

So, like I said before, it feels like i've spent a lot longer than 2 days here. It's pretty intense when you arrive, lots of folk taking an interest in you and where you're going, but never in a threatening way, after an hour you're just used to it. Now though, in a way which only other people who have spent periods of time traveling will know, you just "get it". You feel totally at ease and get on with it because there's no mummy or daddy to hide behind - not that I do that but you get my point. I didn't expect to feel totally comfortable (for a first time backpacker) after just 2 days. It feels... Pretty good :)

Today I booked a few things to continue my journey, tomorrow I leave for the island of Ko Samet with an open ticket to continue to Ko Chang (both South-East of Bangkok). Will be staying for about 15 days over these 2 islands and then return to Bankok on January 31st for an overnight train journey to Chiang Mai (12 hours North) where I start my week long stay at the Elephant Sanctuary (Feb 2nd - Feb 8th). After that, I have 3 weeks to head South passing through Sukhothai, Umphang and Ayutthaya, before heading to Kanchahaburi (West of Bangkok) to visit The Death Railway.

From then, I head back to Bangkok where I have booked to go South to the Islands of Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, then head overland South-East to Krabi and onto the islands of Ko Phi Phi and Phuket. This is an open ticket so I can stay for as long or as little in each place as I like before moving on. All this pretty much leads up to the end of March - which judging by my time so far - seems AGES away. From Phuket we'll see what happens but will head North again via Phang Nga, Khao Sok National Park and Ko Similan.

That's quite a big round up so i'll leave it there. Im well, foods good - lots of Western places aswell as Thai cafes, weather's great and everyone apart from those blasted Tuk Tuk drivers are really nice.

Nick, just to say, if you want to grab a Thailand/Cambodia map from my room to see where im going, feel free, they're on top of the desk behind my bed.

Speak soon! X

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Im Not Joking When I Say, 1 Day Has Felt Like A Week

I cant take this, im coming home ;-)

Oh, and if you're thinking to yourself he's updating this WAY too much, it's because they have internet by reception. And Plus, it'll make my mum happy. X


Hello! Arrive about midnight your time, or 7:00am Thailand time. It is hot, busy and has MASSIVE billboards. It's all very garden centre actually in some parts, I kept thinking it all looked very fake but then realising I was living it. Hmmm... Strange.

Im showered and about to venture out, might visit the Grand Palace. Lots of backpackers around and all seems pretty good. Only staying here 2 nights and then venturing down to the island of Ko Samet (South-East of Bangkok) for a week before heading North to elephant country.

Anyway, Bangkok. Yeah. X

Friday, 9 January 2009