A Travellerspoint blog

Day 11 Cooking with Gayray

Today we learnt to cook pad thai, spicy basil leaf stir fry, massaman curry, papaya salad, tom yum soup, spring rolls, deep friend banana and sticky coconut rice. As you can imagine, after eating all that, we were pretty sluggish! Dan was the only male in the group and an American lady who was there watching the lesson became his loyal cheerleader.

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At 4pm we got a mini bus to Pai, on arrival we were surprised to find the town the most touristy destination yet- imagine a Thai version on Camden. Although its not what we were expecting the great news is that we found REAL CAKE. I'm stocking up.

Posted by vincerb 23:09 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 10 Toe Cracking

Today we visited a few of Chiang Mai's Wats. Dan is not yet tired of the joke (On approaching a Wat) 'Hey Becks, 'Wats' that?'

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After lunch we stumbled upon an insect museum, it reminded me of Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors and Fine Art in Bethnal Green (Google it) The giant beetles and grasshoppers gave me the heebie jeebies but Dan seemed to enjoy it. In return I took him to a local hand made paper shop, when I informed him they sold plain milled/marbled paper not prints he wasn't exactly impressed.

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In the afternoon we went for Thai foot massages, all very nice and relaxing for me up till the point that she decided it was time to crack my toes. Dan did not get this special treatment, he was not disappointed. Although (as expected) some of it was pretty painful it felt amazing afterwards.

We also went to the night bazaar, whilst I browsed the hill tribe handicrafts and embroidered textiles Dan searched the antique shops for traditional hand poked tattoo needles.

Posted by vincerb 23:04 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 9 Baby Elephant Chase

When you turn around to see your guide has bolted from the group you quickly realise that you should also be running.

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Today we visited The Elephant Nature Park founded by award winning conservationist Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert. The park rescues injured, sick and mistreated elephants. (Google it) We spent the day feeding, bathing and walking alongside elephants, many with leg or back injuries from car accidents or being over worked for tourism.
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We were able to watch a baby elephant go to bathe with its mother and nanny. The guide was telling us that as a young male, the baby can be naughty sometimes. About 2 minutes afterwards the elephant starts to approach us and we are told to start calmly walking away. The next second the guide is pegging it as the baby elephant is now in full pursuit running after us. The group of ten split into two and he flicks his trunk at three people who thought a side step onto a bank would be adequate. Luckily a mahout came to the rescue by running towards the baby and tapping it on the trunk and distracting him with food. Thai health and safety at its best!

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Later we were able to watch a family of elephants eat, they had free reign of the area and you'd be surprised how easy it is for one to sneak up in you.

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Here is me and Dan with the baby after his attempt to play with us.

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We were even able to meet Lek and ask a few questions.

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We have chosen not to ride an elephant, visit a zoo or visit Tiger Temple/Kingdom whilst in Thailand. Whilst I am sure that not all elephant parks mistreat their animals we wanted to support a good cause and in no way do we feel like we have missed out.

Posted by vincerb 23:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 8 Chiang Mai


Today we went to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Its was so gold that it actually hurt to look directly at it.

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Huay Kaew Waterfall

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Dan after falling into Huay Kaew Waterfall

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Posted by vincerb 04:31 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 6 & 7 Monkey Nips

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Much to Dan's disappointment I didn't get mugged by monkeys in Lopburi. We were accompanied by a 'security guard' with a twig he waved anytime a monkey looked ready to pounce.

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Lopburi was a great but small town we'd planned to leave for Chiang Mai overnight but couldn't get tickets so decided to get the train to Phitsanulok.

Phitsanulok wasn't for us. We were ready for the Chiang Mai national parks and instead spent an awkward evening as the only people in a restaurant with only a Thai menu and no English speaking staff. After much sign language we ordered a mystery (awful) dish and spent the whole time being giggled at and having our photo taken with/by everyone. It was all a bit strange. Our hotel was badly located and in general the stop over was a bit of a flop.

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Dan also squashed a cockroach in our room with the SE Asia guide. If you've seen MIB then you can imagine the gooey residue it left on the book.

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Posted by vincerb 04:29 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Day 5 Cycling with Elephants

Today I cycled around an elephant. It was pretty awesome. Here is Dan with the dodgy bikes.

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We rented bikes for the day and I was lucky enough to have breaks on mine. As we cycled through the town and locals gave us thumbs up from their street stalls, we past giant gaudy tributes to the King and ancient temple ruins. I couldn't help but think 'This is more like it, this is what we've been saving for'

It was then made even better when we went around a corner and found ourselves cycling alongside an elephant. We stopped on a corner and took the opportunity for a selfie with some tourists.

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Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, when we stopped for lunch at a market we found the elephant pen in which tourists where crowded round watching elephants 'dance' to a Fatman Scoop remix. Needless to say we moved on quickly.

On returning to our bikes Dan realised that he'd lost the key to the padlock the hostel had loaned us. After a needle in a haystack attempt at finding the rusty key, hacking at it with bricks and considering retuning to the hostel to confess. In a stroke of Dexter inspired genius Dan picked the lock with a bit of wire.

We got another 3rd class train to our next stop Lopburi where we had £1.60 steak dinners on the street. Dan is adamant that seeing me with a monkey on my head/me being mugged by a monkey is all he wants for Christmas this year so watch this space.

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Posted by vincerb 04:13 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 4 Paparazzi


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As soon as we arrived in Attuhaya we loved it. When you say 'no thank-you' to a tuk tuk driver they don't continue to follow you for 5 minutes going '5 baht + 5 baht = 10 baht good deal!' The atmosphere is relaxed and the people are very hospitable. This feels like what I have been dreaming of for the past 12 months.

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On our first evening we visited a few ruins and had Thai curries on a balcony overlooking Wat Ratchaburana.

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While crossing a road we were stopped for our picture outside a street wear shop. The guy was so excited by us/Dan's arm. I felt it only fair that we got a picture of him too.

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We also made it to his Facebook page, here's a screen shot for you. Ha!

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Posted by vincerb 03:57 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 3 Skybar

Okay I don't think Bangkok likes us. We've done a few tall buildings before- Rockefeller/Effiel/London Eye but Bangkok Skybar (As seen in The Hangover 2) was by far the most breathtaking. 

And then it rained (15 mins into our £10 cocktails)

And then we got soaked trying to get a taxi after seeking refuge in a strange 'Irish Bar'

And then there were pandas eating dinner in the rain.

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Posted by vincerb 09:01 Comments (2)

Day 3 Melting

Everyone knows that I (we) do not cope well in hot weather.

This morning was probably the most uncomfortable I have ever been walking around the Grand Palace. I love a palace, culture and a royal family. But I did not appreciate any of the sights we went to see today as much as I probably should. Far too hot, sweaty and don’t you just hate other people getting in the way- especially when they are wearing boots and coats!
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Dan also kept taking photos of me with tour groups
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I could have spent hours in Queen Sirikit’s Museum of Textiles; it was really fascinating for a textile /arts enthusiast. Not so interesting for Dan.

Success!- I remembered to ask for 'not too spicey' at lunch and we enjoyed a 1 pound street lunch before getting the river boat back to the hostel. We should have gone across to see Wat Arun but did a Karl Pilkington (Machu Picchu) and decided seeing it from a distance was good enough.

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Posted by vincerb 01:26 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 2 Frustration

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Day 2 wasn't an ideal day for us. Our plans to go to the temples in the morning were rained off.

We reluctantly went to MBK. After ordering something that was far too hot I shamefully wimped out and ordered chicken nuggets with a strange green cream soda.

Trying to stay true to the guide books advice and insist taxi’s go on the meter is tough when it’s humid and in reality you know they are ripping you off by about 50p, so is the hassle really worth it? On top of being targeted by every tuc tuc driver and random people trying to get us to go places- I’m yet to like this city.

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Posted by vincerb 01:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 1: Cozy Bangkok Hostel

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Thanks to Dan's research we are staying a really cute hostel with hearts plastered everywhere.

On our first evening we successfully got a bus to China town. Bangkok is quite overwhelming after 24 hours of travelling so the sense of achievement was huge. The only problem being- Neither of us like Chinese food. We noticed that the waiters were eating any food left on plates at our street restaurant so didn't feel too worried that it would go to waste if we didn't eat it.

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Posted by vincerb 01:24 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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