A Travellerspoint blog

Some more photos!

As always, you can view the full set in the gallery, but here are my favourites:

Cute Monkey.JPG
Cute Monkey!

Forest.JPG
A stream running through the rainforest

Lagoon.JPG
Where we had our lunch today while out trekking

me Motorbike.JPG
Yay! It's the motorbike we've been riding on!

We left for our trek at 9am this morning, and got back about 3pm. Our guide was very nice, and spoke near perfect English, which is very rare out here. On the one hand, he seemed to hate tourists – telling us how since their arrival the island has been ruined, but as he made his living from selling trekking to tourists and was recently married to an English lady who came here as a tourist herself, he couldn’t have hated our presence that much.

The trek itself was exhausting and pretty scary; at several places we were clambering around without any safety equipment in front of huge drops, but the scenery was breathtaking and we learnt a lot (did you know loofahs grow on trees?).

Later in the afternoon we took the bike on a nice long ride around the island, stopping off on a mini trek of our own through the national park to take another couple of pics that finished off the memory card.

We’re going to stay here another couple of nights at least, deciding that there probably isn’t time to visit any where else in Thailand, given that we’d have to head back to Bangkok first, and we don’t want to be traveling on Tabi’s birthday.

PS – There are two Thai girls next to me in the internet café, who seem to be writing love letters to men somewhere in the West. They’re copying from what looks like a very well worn ‘template’ letter. They've obviously been trying to get their green card for quite some time!

Posted by roblist 03:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (3)

Ko Chang Island

We managed to get a ride on the pack of a pick up truck from Trat down to the pier, about 20km away, where we picked up the ferry to take us to Ko Chang. When we disembarked we expected to be besieged by rickshaw drivers and touts as is customary, however the pier at Ko Chang was more or less deserted. Eventually though we managed to get to our hotel by sharing truck space with a delivery of pineapples that had arrived on our ferry.

We were dropped off in the centre of town, and had to make our own way to the hotel. Our guidebook is pretty light on information about Ko Chang, so the first thing we did was try and get a map. The only one we could find was the ‘Ko Chang Treasure Trail Map’ which isn’t exactly ordinance survey standard so we ended up walking for about 2-3 km with our backpacks when the place we were trying to get was just around the corner. We’re staying in a little bungalow (or bung-low as the BBC spell it) on the beach which has lots of character, although is a little noisy at night.

There are no rickshaws or taxis on Ko Chang, so we’ve rented a little motorbike. We took it out for a spin today and covered about 80km or so visiting various places on the island. It only came with 1l of petrol, so we set off straight away to look for a filling station. Expecting to see a Shell or Esso that never materialised, we ran out and broke down on a steep hill and ended up having to push the bike until a nice Thai lady stopped and gave us some gas (and refused payment). It turns out they don't have petrol stations here and instead sell petrol by the coke bottle load from roadside shacks.

Tomorrow we’re going on a trek into the rainforest, which sounds great, but means getting up very early.

Posted by roblist 06:12 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Trat

We’ve spent all day on a coach, moving to a small town about 400km South-East of Bangkok called Trat, on our way down to Ko Chag, one of the islands off the south coast. We’ve booked into a hotel that has the luxury of hot water, so I’m looking forward to a nice long shower before setting off for the Ko Chang ferry tomorrow.

On the coach, we heard reports of a coup taking place in Fiji, but can’t find anything on the internet about it – has anything been on the news? We’ve found a bargain way to travel round our next stop, Cambodia. Apparently, it’s completely free to travel in the front carriage of any train there – the only slight downside is that the front carriage doubles as a minesweeper.

Ko Chang looks absolutly idillic, so you can look forward to some nice pictures when we get back to the mainland!

Posted by roblist 07:19 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Still in Bangkok

We haven't done an awful lot in Thailand as yet. We're trying to arrange our overland trip to Ho Chi Min, but everything closes down here for the weekend which means we have to stay until Monday at the earliest.

Last night we left our safe haven of the Siam Dang district and took the efficient skytrain downtown for a river cruise. Security chased us onto the train, and we were pretty relieved to learn that it was just because I was carrying a drink.

The taxis here are generally very good, and all use the meter which prevents drivers from ripping people off (although it does encourage them to take creative routes to places). We have had one bad experience though, when trying to get to a restaurant for dinner the driver told us he knew where we wanted to go, but instead took us somewhere different. They do this because they get commission from the owner, but it means vastly inflated bills for us, so we refused to get out and demanded he take us to the correct restaurant. Firstly, he tried to talk us out of it by saying it was over an hour away, which was silly as he already knew we had a map. When we said we wanted to go anyway, he wasn’t very happy and started shouting high-pitched Thai obscenities at us, speeding around the city and banging on the steering wheel. Eventually we got out of the taxi around the station area, with the driver shouting ‘fook you’ as we left. Eventually, we found our way and had the best meal we've had in ages.

Posted by roblist 03:23 Archived in Thailand Comments (3)

Arrived in Thailand!

We arrived in Bangkok at about 6:30am this morning and spent about an hour queuing for a visa unnecessarily. Once past airport security we were relieved to find our two bags still going round on the baggage reclaim carousel. Neither of us had any sleep on the plane so it was such a relief to find a taxi that we couldn’t be bothered to argue about the price.

If you’ve been reading the blog for long, you’ll know that we found Delhi about as much fun as using a rabid porcupine to loofah, so when we left the airport and saw the clean streets and skyscrapers of Bangkok for the first time we had to check we’d flown into the right city. Given that the city looked so western I started to feel nervous about the quality of our seven pound a night hotel, so we felt absolutely elated when we saw our hotel for the first time, it’s almost as good as the Orchid hotel in Mumbai.

By the time we’d checked in it was 10am, and all we wanted to do was sleep. We woke up at about 3pm and had some ‘breakfast’. We were feeling smug about booking this hotel so cheaply, but then realised we’ve only got the room for one night. We’re going to try and extend our booking, but apparently the hotel is full. We’re hoping that there’s going to be a cancellation tonight, but we won’t find out until tomorrow.

We ventured into town to do some shopping. The Thais don’t appreciate it if you’re not dressed reasonably smartly (or at least not in a T-shirt with food stains on it), so I wanted to pick up some new clothes. In a department store we found a Marks and Spencer food section with loads of yummy stuff from back home.

We’re in an internet/gaming café now, trying to arrange backup accommodation for tomorrow and a route from here to Ho Chi Min. I might stop here a while and play some computer games with the locals (if Tabi lets me).

Posted by roblist 08:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

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