A Travellerspoint blog

March 2015

paris (with a french accent)

overcast 5 °C

We are now in Paris. For the first time in three months we are experiancing cold weather. When we first got here we still had to wait in the airport for 3 hours. We were waiting for our grandparents when they finally got here. We still had to find a taxi for 6 poeple and then drive off to our hotel. But when we got here i noticed it wasint a hotel it was a rental house. On our second day we went to the Louvre it is the bigest museam in the world. It was so big that me and Neve did only a couple of the exibits (including the Mona Lisa). On our second day we went on a boat ride to the eiffel tower the catheidral of Notre Dame and the kids natural history museum. The next day we went to the top of the eiffel tower. Me and neve and daddy walked all the way down from the 2nd level and beat my mom who was in the elavator. And yesterday our parents went to the catacombs. (The catacombs is a long tunnel lined with the bones of the people that they dug up from overflowing grave yards).

My favorite part of Paris was when we ran down from the second floor of the eiffel tower and beat my mom who was in the elavator. And my least favorite part about Paris was the one day when it was freezing.

Now we are leaving to Montresor and our house is 600 years old. We also have one bed room in a cave and tonight i am sleeping in it!

Posted by Arin MacDyer 10:58 Archived in France Tagged james Comments (2)

Last impressions of South East Asia

overcast 35 °C

We are on our final few days here in Thailand and will soon be flying onto France. Our two months travelling through parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand have really been a dream come true for me as i've always wanted to experience this part of the world. Culturally and linguistically it was the most different for the kids and hopefully will be remembered as a meaningful experience.

One night we sat down at dinner over a bowl of green curry and made a list, all four of us, of our favourite things in SE Asia. The kids loved the night markets and shopping for souvenirs. Snakes, and particularly the snake-man in Indonesia, made the top ten. We really really enjoyed our time at Bukit Lawang - the river, wild orangutans and macaques, and EcoTravel Cottages was definitely the nicest accommodation we stayed in. Travelling in Tuk Tuks in Siem Reap and visiting Angkor Wat was special, it is truly a wonder of the world. The Escape adventure centre in Malaysia was so much fun. Simon loved playing afternoon football in the park with the local men. I loved seeing orchids everywhere we went in Thailand. The food was wonderful in each of the countries (although James ate mostly spaghetti and Neve prefers white rice with ketchup), but we really liked dining on the beach in Ko Samet with the waves lapping at our feet under the table. Fresh pineapple shakes were only slightly more expensivve than water and beer actually cost less than water. Everywhere we've travelled people have been kind and friendly, especially to the kids.

Not everything was perfect, we were bothered by the pervasive air pollution in all of the countries. Probably a result of slash and burn practices and large numbers of motorbikes creating choking exhaust. The old white men hanging out withThai "bargirls" gave me the creeps. Elephants are revered in Thailand yet there are few left in the wild and the rest suffer the indignity of performing for tourists day in, day out. We wish all of the national parks we visited didn't have such denuded nature. We are definitely "templed-out", we've seen big grand ones to small shrines tucked into city sidewalks and even ones in the woods by the side of the road.

Some photos from our last couple of days in Thailand and the most beautiful waterfall ever (according to James). Look for him on the suspension bridge!


Posted by Arin MacDyer 05:02 Archived in Thailand Tagged arin Comments (2)

Tagging the tail of the Himalayas

overcast 35 °C

We are now standing on the tail of the Himalayas, Doi Inthanon. At the summit it is 2600 meters above sea level and the tallest mountain in Thailand. We have to walk all the way up every day. Just kidding we drive up to the top and the longest trail takes 2-3 hours.

The town were staying in is so small all it has is one restaurant one conveinince store, some bamboo huts and is in the middle of the jungle. This is the coldest place in Thailand. It is so cold that i woke up shivering and had to steal some covers from my sister who is a total blanket hog. But besides that it is quite nice we have already seen 2 endemic species some cool grouse and a male and female sunbird. My mom loves the orchids and the flowering bushes (rhododendrons). Today we went on the nature trail the best hike in the park our guide didnt know how to say anything in english was playing music the whole way and he was brushing all the leaves kicking dust in the air so i could barely breathe but on the good side when we were walking through the meadow and he stepped into the bushes and came out with a handful of blue berries covered in powder i tasted them they were were sweet and sour with a bitter after taste then i felt the powder blah!


Posted by Arin MacDyer 01:31 Archived in Thailand Tagged james Comments (0)

Chillin in Chiang Dao

38 °C

By James:
We are now in Chiang Dao in the mountains 1 hours drive from Chiang Mai. We are staying at Malees bungalows and they have a kid! He is 12 years old and his name is Peter we play all day (unless I'm doing my shcool work). On our first day here me and my dad went on a fun bike ride with Peter and his dad on our way back we stopped at a cute little coffee shop. I ordered a one scooop ice cream but ended up getting 3 scoops and it was before 10 in the morning.

Peter was also a good guide he took us on a jungle hike we had huge sticks for poking snakes but we didnt find any.

The next day we were walking down to the celebration at the temple for dinner we went on the trampoline. The next day we were walking back from the celebration holding four little toys that our dad won for us in the shooting game. Today we went on a half day tour we saw the cultures of 6 different hill tribes. My mom liked how they were weaving scarves out of cotton. Me and Neve discovered a fruit that was so sour that it even made me pucker. We called it a lemon-tomato. There were also so many chickens and pigs and ducks and even a monkey on a leash!

By Arin:
We escaped the city to the mountains for some nature and to be able to sleep! Its so hot, reaching 37 degrees during the day. The image of Thailand I imagined doesn't exist at this time of year, its brown and dry in the forest and in the rice fields. The view of the mountains is completely obsccured by smoke from nearby forest fires. These are deliberately set to make clearing and planting easier. But Chiang Doa has been really nice in other ways, Malee's bungalows feel very welcoming and home-y, the temples nearby aren't over-the-top ritzy like we've seen everywhere else but seem more holy and certainly more thought provoking. The monastery has 600 steps leading to the summit with motivational sayings on signs all the way up. The temple James mentioned is actually inside a deep and convoluted cave. We had to hire a guide to lead us through the small openings and twists and turns of the cave to get to the main shrine. This temple is the one holding the festival, it is fundraising party whereby people from the region make money trees and parade them into the temple to help fund a new project. The festival has been running for four days with games, food stalls, souvenir stores, live music and dancing and even a Thai boxing ring. In Chiang Mai all these activities would have been charged for separately and not have been anywhere near as authentic. Good times, even the monks were getting into the shooting games!

here are some snapshots of the area:


Posted by Arin MacDyer 02:24 Archived in Thailand Tagged james Comments (0)

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