Gallery: Playing about in Pai!

We were rewarded four our efforts with a final soaking before drying off!

We were rewarded four our efforts with a final soaking before drying off!11-Dec-2009 09:33, NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D80, 4.2, 32.0mm, ISO 400

Our last stop in Thailand is Pai, a bohemian town with allegedly lots to offer including copious amounts of live music, jungle trekking, fishing, massages and a generally chilled out stay. Except for the one week we were there. Would we find a hostel during the King’s Birthday? Would we see a ‘hilltribe village’? Would we stay on the elephants? Are all Finns called Antti? Continue reading Gallery: Playing about in Pai!…

Gallery: Cycling Wat Ruins in Ayutthaya and Bashing in Chiang Mai!

A friendly chap who spoke excellent English, not sure what his favourite colour was.

A friendly chap who spoke excellent English, not sure what his favourite colour was.03-Dec-2009 11:45, Panasonic DMC-TZ6, 3.8, 7.9mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400

Our continuing route North (saving the sun and beaches for our return in a few months time) took us through Ayutthaya for a bit of ruined Wat exploration by bicycle, before a pit pause in the inevitable city stop of Chiang Mai, a place where experiencing almost any element of Thailand is possible. Back in the stride of things, and ready for our traditional first night bus of the country, we set off for the next two stops. Could we spend another day among ruins without falling asleep at the wheel? Would a Thai cookery course unlock great mysteries in the art of making a green curry? And where in Thailand can you find the best fish and chips around? Continue reading Gallery: Cycling Wat Ruins in Ayutthaya and Bashing in Chiang Mai!…

Gallery: Trekking in Khao Yai and the Bridge over River Kwai festival!

The expiditionary crew for the day, wearing trendy leech protectors.

The expiditionary crew for the day, wearing trendy leech protectors.23-Nov-2009 02:00, Canon Canon EOS 400D DIGIT, 10.0, 30.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 100

On 18th September 1962, Khao Yai became the first national park of Thailand, and at only four hours from Bangkok one of the most popular. We’d been in cities for a while again now, and with a thirst for wildlife decided for a brief stop here on the way back from Surin. No three day hikes, just a day and a half tour, we hopped off our bus at 14:45 immediately meeting a lady on her first few days of selling tours. After a quick bit of bargaining, we managed to arrange our tour with Bobby’s Accommodation and were on our half day starting trek by 15:00 with bags in rooms. Not bad going, but was the trip itself going to be any good? Would we see the fabled Gibbon monkey? What does bat pee smell like? Continue reading Gallery: Trekking in Khao Yai and the Bridge over River Kwai festival!…

Gallery: The Tourist marvel that is the Surin Elephant Roundup!

On our way out we were kidnapped by school kids interviewing farangs for their school project. A friendly bunch, we were even given a present to say thanks for participating!

On our way out we were kidnapped by school kids interviewing farangs for their school project. A friendly bunch, we were even given a present to say thanks for participating!21-Nov-2009 05:13, Panasonic DMC-TZ6, 4.0, 4.1mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80

Our arrival in Thailand conveniently (and completely unintentionally) coincided with the annual Surin Elephant Roundup, a huge event for the area apparently. A chance to see some local excitement and our first elephants outside of a zoo sucked us across to East Thailand to Surin in our first Thai train, armed with nothing more than our guidebook and a smile. On our way we met a documentary crew hoping to scratch the festival’s surface, discovered why Wikipedia describes Surin as having a ‘substantial population of expatriate westerners married to local women’, and saw an elephant commit a blatant ‘trunk-ball’ without even receiving a yellow card. Continue reading Gallery: The Tourist marvel that is the Surin Elephant Roundup!…

Gallery: Arrival in Thailand and Big Hello in Bangkok!

Lynette and I in front of Chakri Maha Prasat Hall.

Lynette and I in front of Chakri Maha Prasat Hall.26-Nov-2009 09:23, Canon Canon EOS 400D DIGIT, 20.0, 28.0mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 200

After the rib tickling gut punch from India and a growing rose tinted fondness for South America, we were looking immensely forward to Thailand. It heralded the start of our South East Asia journey, and we arrived with high hopes propped up by more recommendations that any other to date. Plus, we had timed our arrival to overlap with Dave and Emma’s departure, so with a bit of knowledge transfer, and beer, our arrival in Bangkok had the potential to be quite wonderful. Was the capital of Thailand just another big stinky city? Would the locals be pleased to see us? Just what do cockroaches taste like?

Continue reading Gallery: Arrival in Thailand and Big Hello in Bangkok!…