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Showing posts from October, 2018

Sukhothai, Bangkok & Kanchanuburi

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Sukhothai
Our train left Chiang Mai early morning and we settled in to our seats for the 6 hr journey to Phitsanulok. We were heading to Sukhothai really but as there is no train station there it was going to be a bit of a hotchpotch of travel methods before we finally got to our the hotel.  After 2 tuk-tuk rides and a minivan we arrived at the Blue House hostel, which is just off the main road in the new town of Sukhothai, where we had a private a/c room booked.  The town is very small, but they manage to squeeze in a few bars, a night market and a couple of restaurants along the busy road. 

Part of the night market is held in the Buddhist temple and is set up more like a fun fair, with half the walkway filled with spinning, flashing buddha statues, monks offering blessings and a pulley system carrying flower garlands up to be draped over a giant Buddha statue.  They also had a big wheel for the kids, a stage show, an outdoor cinema screen and your normal clothes, bags and sunglasses…

Pai

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We got a Grab from our hotel to the bus terminal which is as usual on the outskirts of the city. Then got our tickets printed off as we had booked online for the transport to and from Pai, as this way you can pre-book what seats you want for the 3-hour journey. This route is prone to people suffering from travel sickness due to the 762 bends between CM and Pai, whilst it passes through some amazing scenery to look at if you’re not throwing up into a plastic bag.
Obviously, we had booked the front seat and the one behind the driver for both legs, and thankfully we had no issues with either journey about getting these seats this time.
Our driver for the day was a young lad, and with a full minivan of tourists and locals, we headed off 10 minutes early. We had both taken travel sickness tablets before we set off, and these ones Sadie has make you pretty drowsy, so much so that even I had a short sleep near the start of the journey.
But it wasn’t long before we hit the start of the bend…

Chiang Mai

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After breakfast we had time to pack and say our goodbyes to Jane as we headed to the bus station. Our mid-morning journey to Chiang Mai was uneventful, and after we arrived we got a Grab to our hotel. We had got checked in and unpacked properly for our 6 nights at the White Boutique Hotel which was a lovely place, and not far from the old town boundary walls and had its own small pool, not that we used it though.

Chiang Mai is larger than Chiang Rai, and is definitely geared up to tourists more, and therefore we had a list of things we wanted to see and do during our time here. Most of the main tourist parts are within the old city walls, which is a huge square surrounded by a moat on all 4 sides, where there are endless temples, tour shops, bars and markets.


Sadly, we only did about ½ of the things we wanted to see and do as we took the opportunity to unwind and chill out a bit more after the hectic previous 2 weeks where we only had a couple of days in places. Well that and we als…

Chiang Rai

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This bit of the journey had been primarily planned around being in a major town for Glastonbury Ticket day and Jane only having a few more days with us but I’d also heard from various sources that Chiang Rai was a nice less touristy town to stay in. In actual fact we were a bit disappointed on first impressions of the town, the beer was expensive, the food mainly western and things in the main town seemed a bit grotty.

They did have a good market and the most sparkly clock tower I've ever seen and our hotel was not disappointing as the rooms were big, clean, had A/C and the 2 girls that ran the hotel were amazingly helpful.  This was most evident when the morning after we arrived both Jane and myself appeared asking about internet or gamer cafes where we could use the internet on a desktop. They didn’t know of any off the top of their heads but after Jane explained what it was for and how much it was like a mega important competition that we needed to win they quickly started pho…

Slow Boat To Thailand

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As we had an early start in the morning, Sadie had already spoken to the reception guy the previous evening (as their breakfast starts at 7am, with our pick up arranged for 7.30am) and arranged for it to be pre-ordered and ready for us. Sadly, when we sat down at 7am, it seemed he hadn’t arranged this, and the kitchen staff just appeared out their accommodation and went off to prepare it. Plus, the guy had got the order wrong with wrong drinks arriving and we didn’t get our breakfast till 7.15am… and even at that they forgot to bring the coffee too! We were quite annoyed as up till then, the staff were brilliant, and the hotel was decent too. He did apologise to Sadie, and as our Tuk Tuk arrived, we just managed to leave on time albeit rushing our breakfast down. We set off to the boat jetty which is 9km out of town, after stopping to pick up 2 French guys who were not even ready as they though the pick-up time was 8.30am, but that is when the boat leaves!

The driver helped us sort o…