A Travellerspoint blog

Bangkok

sunny 36 °C
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First day out and about we got the skytrain to the famous Jim Thompson house (Silk mogul), he was the millionaire dude that disappeared mysteriously in the 70's, but who has a cracking big wooden house now that tourists can walk around... not to mention the beautiful store attached to his house that sells all the silk products - which of course i had to see and a half hour left with a bag full of silk scarves small and large!

In sweltering heat and humidity we decided to visit the royal palace where you had to cover up and wear long sleeves and cover your legs - not good! Guys are normally ok with tshirts etc but me with a vest top on ended up with Ger's woolly v neck jumper (random..) and a pashmina wrapped around my legs, and i think i lost about 2 stone in the hour we spent walking around, apart from that the place was well cool..

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Once we finished we wanted to head on north of the city to the teak royal mansion however we fell for the oldest line in the book and believed a tour guide called Mos when he told us it was closed and that he would arrange for us to visit other temples etc... this only turned out to be 2 suit shops, 3 jewellers and a chinese store! Pure gangster but hey funny though sitting in the back of a tuk tuk all day just so thay can get free petrol for us going into these stop off shops.. and then just to take us to random buddha temples that not even locals go to and that sell birds!!

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The following day though we did make it to the big royal teak Vimamek mansion - cool because not a sinlge nail was used to put it together but yes again you have to cover up so very warm!! The irish influence was even in the house as the king at the time had waterford crystal in his jacks!!

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The Dusit zoo is next door to the big mansion so Ger wanted to go in and say hi to his big bear relatives..! haha not a very good zoo though as most of the animals looked as if they wanted to leave with us.. bit sad really.. but Ger was well excited..

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I thought this pic of a turtle was class it reminded me of dinner around the McParland kitchen table too..!

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From the hostel we stayed at you could take trips out to Kanchanaburi to visit the bridge over the river Kwai, the death railway and the Tiger Temple. We left at 630 in the morning and it took 3 hours to travel out to the river Kwai this is a must see as the whole day was fab..we took a boat trip down the river and then walked across the bridge and then you can get on one of the original trains and go across it and onto the death railway - wooden tracks around a mountainside!

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From here you go on to an elephant farm for some trekking if you fancy it and then onto the Tiger Temple. This temple is run by monks and they started by taking in wounded or orphaned tiger cubs but the place is huge now and they have all sorts of animals walking about freely now.. you gotta sign a form as well before you go in to say that they arent respnosible basically if you get eaten whilst walking about!! But there was about 16 tigers in the place and the handlers took your camera from you and placed you beside each tiger and took your photo for you while you petted the tigers! they are huge beasts too but it was absoulutely brilliant to be able to get so close to them even better to be able to walk away with all our limbs still intact..

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We left Bangkok the following morning to fly to Siem reap, Cambodia. We meet up with a couple Andy and Jane who we met on our China trip and also 2 friends from Dublin so the 6 of us headed away for a week together.. great to catch up with Andy and Jane again even if Andy is a Man U fan... myself and Jane were able to spend our time shopping when the footie was on..lol
Bangkok wasnt as seedy as we had thought but highlight definitely was the bridge and the Tigers... oh yeah and finding the Dubliner pub where the spuds and gravy was fab!

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Until next time..
love Deb and Ger

Posted by geranddebs 23:24 Archived in Thailand Comments (3)

Koh Phangan - Bangkok

sunny 34 °C
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Hey - sorry its taken us so long for an update but we have been moving about so much recently..
We went on our safari tour of koh phangan and did the elephant trekking and visited some waterfalls and view points on the island was pretty cool...

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The following day we just chilled and did some snorkelling - up towards bottle beach and Chaloklum is fab for snorkelling and the beaches are gorgeous..

Sunset on Koh Phangan was well nice..

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Check out the elephant trekking the guy just kept laughing because we didnt have our "weight" distributed evenly enough!

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We arranged to get the boat and bus back up to Bangkok - as it was far cheaper than a flight - 900 baht but it does take 12 hours to get there.. the boat was grand and it left us up to Chumphon where we transferred to the bus - big air con with movies so cool and also stops for dinner etc at Hua Hin.. we arrive in Bangkok on the Khao San road at about 130am and had to make our way to our hostel the HI on Sukumvit road - this was not easy! it was dark we were tired i needed to go to the loo and and hour and a half later after haggling with several tuk tuk drivers and one taxi taking us but then procedding to get out of his car turn on his full beams and was studying our lonely planet book to see how to get there!
Moral for that day was to make sure you get transport and accomodation sorted well before you arrive...leads to a lot more peace and quite!!
The hostel was super and cheap even for a double private room, so we booked in here for 5 nights..
The first day in Bangkok was spent shopping using the sky train - i was in heaven as the Siam centre has everything even though we only went to buy a replacement camera since the last one drowned in Gers shorts.. we both managed to leave with extra bags of goodies ( north face shop inside had a sale on!!)
The food court on the ground floor is great as well caters for everybody and after we decided to go to the Siam Ocean World in the basement - more for kids really but it has a super aquarium tunnel thing that is massive and full of rays, huge sharks and wierd looking creatures that probably resemble some folks on a saturday night trying to get home from Copperface Jacks in Dublin..!
Keep in touch folks and will uplaod photos on our next session - bye for now!

D&G

Posted by geranddebs 22:38 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Thailand - Koh Sumui - Koh Tao - Koh Phangan

sunny 35 °C
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Arrived in sunnt Thailand and decided to head straight to teh islands for some serious relaxation and take in teh sights in bangkok on our way back... we headedstraight for Koh Samui and stayed at the Chaweng Garden Beach "resort" , first impressions of the place were like playa de Ibiza.. for those here before you nay see some changes in the main street below!

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Remember this haunt anyone...!!

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Boots, loads of families and constant raves - pure party central, so we decided to leave and look for somewhere more secluded...! we headed up to Koh Tao and it was fab.. we stayed at the Sensi Paradise resort just on the beach and it was gorgeous..checkout views from the room below..

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More pics...sooo nice..

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Needless to say the food was fab too - as usual one of our main prioirities is to make sure we eat - loads ... lol

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From here we did boat trips up to Koh NangJuan and around the island and also managed to swim with balck tipped sharks which was great it was just like being in a massive aquarium!... the rest of the time was spent chilling and snorkelling around our beach as there was a huge ship that had sunk 45yrs ago that you could dive around...
we then decided to head to Koh Phangan and stayed one night in Haad Son but then went further north to Haad Salad were we are at the minute.. we would love to add more pics but teh camera had a bit of an accident in the swimming pool and so you will have to wait until some shopping is done in Bangkok til you see more pics i'm afraid... (first and hopefully only casualty!).. :-(

anyhow staying at the Haad salad resort now and its lovely, however the actual salad isnt very good... dont seem to believe in lettuce! heading on more boat trips, elephant trekking and to waterfalls in the next few days so we will keep you posted...
hope all is well back home

love Deb and Ger

Posted by geranddebs 05:03 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Hong Kong - last stop in China

sunny 27 °C
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We finally arrived in a very hot Hong Kong after a 5 hour bus ride, 16 hour overnight train, walking across the hong kong and china border for a hour, and a 10 minute taxi ride to our hotel - West hotel..

The first thing we noticed once across the border was a sign saying no spitting fine 1500 dollars... absolutely fantastic! it was a welcome relief not to have to hear heckling every minute, i swear they did it on purpose when they seen me coming..
Hotel was fab too, no squat / drip dry toilets to be found anywhere... found it quite odd to have a seat again lol

Anyhow headed out that night to the light show that is on each night at the harbour... small bit cheesy but hey we love a bit of that now and again, basically the lights all did their thing on each of the big buildings, the city is well cool and the buildings even more so...their lecky bill must be huge though and theres me with my enery saving lightbulbs at home...sod that!

The shopping is the best ever (surprise surprise) and the electronic section is fab.. we headed up to Victoria peak then after for the views over the city and oh my god... that was amazing, you can get the ferry across to it for nice rosemantic atmosphere as well!

heading to thailand now for some island hopping so keep you posted...

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love d&g

Posted by geranddebs 04:33 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (1)

Wuhan - Guilin - Yangshuo

sunny 20 °C

Spent a night in Wuhan which looked nice but we were only here for a night so we really didn't get any time to have a look around. the next day we spent travelling, First of all caught an day/overnight train to guilin , shared a cabin with two chinese OAP's among a massive retirement group with long johns and a lot of snoring! we arrived at 5:30 am. NIGHTMARE. Got off this and then it was a 2 hour drive to yangshuo. Yangshuo is very tourist based and we have seen alot more western people here. Fab small village with lots of pubs and places to eat and they do a light show that is the chinese equivalent of riverdance - brilliant!

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We spent a day walking around the place and yes you guessed it Deborah bought something !!!! Meet the rest of the group in a bar for cocktail happy hour which started at 6 !!! Left the place at 1 am locked. Good fun. One of the boys in the group ordered bamboo RAT, so i had to try some, not the best, he managed to eat the lot of it even the teeth!

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Woke up the next morning with both of us feeling very dodgy. Both of us had stomach bugs. There was a cycle through the country side booked so we decided to go, got to halfway through it and could not go any further so we came back to the hotel. checki out pics of intels new offices on the Li river and gers new job!

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Spent the rest of the night staying very close to the toilet !!!!

Well we are heading for hong kong today, so another over night train and lots of travel. Not looking forward to it, but then onto Thailand at weekend for some serious relaxing! gers attempt at growing a beard and becoming a wannabe Tom Hanks didnt last very long as he looked more like desperate dan from the beano!

will update again soon
love D&G

Posted by geranddebs 21:44 Archived in China Comments (0)

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