A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

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!

IMG_0527.jpgIMG_0530.jpgIMG_0540.jpgIMG_0559.jpg90_IMG_0565.jpg90_IMG_0605.jpgIMG_0584.jpgIMG_0632.jpg90_IMG_0480.jpg

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!

IMG_0319.jpgIMG_0407.jpgIMG_0429.jpg90_IMG_0443.jpg90_IMG_0479.jpg90_IMG_0480.3jpg90_IMG_0408.jpg

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:

IMG_0248.jpgIMG_0276.jpg90_IMG_0247.jpgIMG_0251.jpg90_IMG_0254.jpgIMG_0263.jpg90_IMG_0277.jpgIMG_0286.jpg90_IMG_0302.jpg90_IMG_0265.jpg90_IMG_0293.jpg

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

King Cobras loose in Bangkok!

overcast 36 °C

IMG_0051.jpgIMG_0047.jpg45A59B84F93D1F18AAB8FA0F492AFD78.jpgIMG_0010.jpgIMG_0007.jpg==Your heading here...==
IMG_0141.jpg90_IMG_0117.jpg90_IMG_0116.jpgIMG_0133.jpgIMG_0125.jpgIMG_0111.jpgIMG_0106.jpgIMG_0093.jpg90_IMG_0074.jpgIMG_0055.jpgIMG_0019.jpgIMG_0015.jpg
When we first got to Bangkok it was about noon. We got a taxi for 200 baht( 10$) to our hotel when we got there i could not belive it on the doors were two signs one saying sex tourists not permitted and another saying this is the place you are looking for if you know it if you dont you will never find it. We went in and it was nice. It had a swiming pool, turtles and 30 cats! But on the funny side there were signs everywhere saying things like no complaints, at least not at the prices we charge! And swim trunks cannot be worn in the lobby.

Bangkok was great we traveled mostly by Skytrain to beat the traffic. Bangkok is ten times the populaion of Edmonton but takes up less space than it should because everyone lives in giant towers and condos.

After the next day we went to the snake farm and they were playing with king cobras and the man was almost letting the snake bite him and then yanking his arm away with no time to spare. The snake farm was in a hospital and was built to milk snakes to make anti-venom.

The next day we took a 3 hour taxi drive down to Ko Samet,a little island off the shore and our beach was so nice (other than the fact that it was covered from head to toe in resorts. After a good night's sleep we were ready to party on the beach then i noticed the beach was covered in balls of sand and I looked closer and i saw crabs digging holes. I took a step closer all the crabs around me ran into their holes. In the next hour i had caught 50 of them. That night we were looking around for dinner and we saw tables with mountainous amounts of sea food on them. The next day we learnt that you could pick anything off of those tables and get the restoraunt to cook it for you they also had skewers and corn. At night after we were done eating there were fire dancers.

After 3 days there we went back to Bangkok to catch the sleeper train to Chiang Mai. The sleeper train was nice we had 2nd class seats i slept on the bottom bunk when i woke up in the morning i was cold and in two hours we were there. When we firstt got here it was 10 in the morning we got a taxi to what we thought was our place but they told us our place was across the river! That evening we went to the night market i bought a bug in glass and glass cobra. Chiang Mai is great.

Posted by Arin MacDyer 21:57 Archived in Thailand Tagged james Comments (3)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]