Pai-Land in Thailand – Winter 2016/2017

2017-03-19 at 10:28

The farmers in the north start to burn the fields and mountains every year a bit earlier. And I do not like to sit in the smoke all day and night. The particles are super small and go really deep into your lungs. And with plenty of places to choose it is easy to avoid. So I took a 2 months visa only – that leaves about 7 weeks for Pai.
Still I will bring a proper mask next year. It is also very useful in other places where it is dusty and smoky here in Asia and back home. Garlic after the rice
Like every year: garlic after the rice in front of the bungalow.

Bungalow # 7
Bungalow # 7

Terry was here for a quick visit
Terry was here for a quick visit

Fire in the night at Twin Hut
Fire in the night at Twin Hut. A strange winter this was. Most of the night I went out with the thin fleece jacket but only needed it 3 or 4 times. Most of the nights a T-shirt was enough. The last years it was more like a fleece jacket, a down jacket and the hard shell as well.

They get more expensive every day
They get more expensive every day! Last year it started with 190 for 10 and went up to 240 in the end. Now they did start with 220 and went up to 390. Thank you very much – but that is a bit too much!

Boon Ko Ku So Bridge

Another bamboo bridge – and it was built so the monks can short cut to the village in the morning to collect offers from the folks of the village. Hmmm to me it looks more like one more tourist stop on the way to fill the day tours. Some even say it is the longest bamboo bridge (mostly steel and concrete underneath!) and there are little huts to rest and a few restaurants on the village side. On the temple side you find one place for food and refreshments.
It is somehow a copy of the Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge in Mae Hong Son
It was a gray day – another new addition to the winters in Pai – we even had rain this winter!! – and I had only the iPhone to take pictures. I was not even aware that this place was build – the last time I passed it there where only rice fields. Hope they compensate the villagers for the lost crops.

The newest attraction in Pai - A bamboo walkway for the monks....
The newest attraction in Pai – A bamboo walkway for the monks…. so they say!

Bamboo walkway

Bamboo walkway

Left or right?

That took quite some space from the fields
That bridge took quite some space from the fields

Rice harvest here too
Rice harvest here too

Lunch break - nobody is working
Lunch break – nobody is working

At the other side of the bridge
“At the other side of the bridge

And the view towards the end of the bridge
And the view towards the end of the bridge

And from the end of the bridge
And from the end of the bridge

End of the line - the door is closed
End of the line – the door is closed

Modern house
Somebody put a modern house in the village.

Music at the Saturday Market
There is a new Saturday Market KAD BODHI (next to the Wednesday Market) every Saturday afternoon. Some food, second-hand and new stuff and music as well.

Nice Crema
Nice Crema

The keeper of the bridge
The keeper of the bridge

Breakfast at Twin Hut - Fruits with Müsli sprinkle and black organic Hill Tribe Coffee
Breakfast at Twin Hut – Fruits with Müsli sprinkle and black organic Hill Tribe Coffee

Cats awake
Cat awake

Cat sleeps
Cat sleeps

Flower Power at Twin Hut
Flower Power at Twin Hut

Aliens next to my bungalow
Aliens next to my bungalow

Isara Cafe
Isara Cafe

Homemade Ice Cream at Isara Cafe
Homemade Ice Cream at Isara Cafe

Back in Pai – Winter 2016/2017

2017-03-15 at 13:40

After a few days in Bangkok it was time to go up north. The night bus to Chiang Mai and the mini bus to Pai.

The bus to Chiang Mai
The bus to Chiang Mai

You have about 4 times more space than on the Swiss flight!
I had about 8 times more space than on the Swiss flight!

Pai river with the big Buddha in the mountain
Pai river with the big Buddha in the mountain

The first Khao Soi this winter
The first Khao Soi this winter – many more to follow!

A misty morning at Twin Hut
A misty morning at Twin Hut

A misty morning at Twin Hut

The Twin Hut cats
The Twin Hut cats

The mountains on the other side
The mountains on the other side – with the 200mm

A very happy Scottish Mark
A very happy Scottish Mark

Sunset from my Bungalow at Twin Hut
Sunset from my Bungalow at Twin Hut

Hi Leo!
Leo is back – great to see you my friend!!

Rice harvest all over in the valley
Rice harvest all over in the valley

The boss of Sapah Muang makes it a bit different every day. This is the special VIP portion. See how big the bow is? Still 40 Baht :-)
The boss of Sapah Muang makes it a little bit different every day. This is the special VIP portion. See how big the bow is? Still 40 Baht 🙂

Bungalow #7
Bungalow #7 at Twin Hut – still the best place in Pai!!

Construction Thai style. You take 9 people and fill 2 big tubs
Construction Thai style. You take 9 people and fill 2 big tubs

Now you take the little bucket and fill from the tub - the curved thing. Instead you could drive slow with the truck and fill it from there??
Now you take the little bucket and fill from the tub – the curved thing. Instead you could drive slow with the truck and fill it from there??

Some of them do come without seeds
Some of them do come without seeds

And some of them do come with seeds
And some of them do come with seeds

Morning at Twin Hut
Morning at Twin Hut

Evening at Twin Hut
Evening at Twin Hut

Another Khao Soi
Another Khao Soi

Trip to the highest Mountain of Pai – Doi Thong

Bike trip with Sapah Muang
A bike trip with the Sapah Muang Gang

Bike trip with Sapah Muang

The Pai valley in the back
The Pai valley in the back

100 cc are not enough to go up steep mountains. But the bike is over 30 years old.
100 cc are not enough to go up steep mountains. But the bike is over 30 years old.

Pai - you can see the White Buddha on the mountain in the middle
Pai – you can see the White Buddha on the mountain in the middle

Up up - goes the Sapah Muang Boss Lady
Up up – goes the Sapah Muang Boss Lady

Staff following swift
Staff following swift

Lunch
Lunch before the final approach

No smoke - nice blue sky
No smoke – nice blue sky

Up there is the little temple
Up there is the little temple

Doi Thong
Doi Thong

View from Doi Thong

View from Doi Thong

View from Doi Thong

View from Doi Thong

Back in Thailand – Winter 2016/2017

2017-03-14 at 08:56

Enough of the zigzagging round Europe. Time to see some sunshine and blue sky. Mid November it was – time to fly to BKK. Did book the flight quite early this year after all the cheap offers in my mail box. 528€ with Lufthansa from STR over FRA to BKK. Back BKK over ZHR to STR. Of course the cheapest offer was 430€ with China and I got it after I booked the ticket.
So my Lufthansa flight was Wednesday the 23rd and Monday evening two days before the flight Lufthansa pilots announced they will strike. Starting Wednesday! Great news!
So Lufthansa has a hotline – but only one or two people working that hotline I guess – and after about 10 to 15 minutes the computer tells you to go to the web site and change the flight yourself. So I tried the web site and the phone at the same time. Guess a few more people tried that as well. Nothing worked – every time I had changed the ticket the server gave me an error – so I looked up the Lufthansa number in New York and VOIP them. 6 minutes later I was rebooked to Swiss from STR over ZHR to BKK the same day as the original flight. No sure why Lufthansa can not even deal with a strike that they know is coming? And it was not even the first time. I really have to change back to one of the Golf airlines again.
The first leg was quite nice – small plane and all. The second leg was impossible – I had more leg room in the small propeller plane!! Absolute no space to move – and not only me. That was a quite new Boeing 777-300ER – and do you think you can move the screen? If the person in front of you leans back your movie is over – unless you lean back as well. What a BS! Even the average customer was complaining. To bad I have the same plane on the way back 🙁
The small one to Zürich
The first leg – STR to ZHR.

Adios STR
Adios STR

En route to Zürich
En route to Zürich

Guess which Airport that is
Guess which Airport that is

Swiss No Space Inside Plane
Swiss No Space Inside Plane

No space Swiss Airlines
See the old guy? He was something like 166cm and he did fit into that seat. But you are better not over 170cm! And see the screens – you can not tilt them a millimetre. So comfort in this plane: Zero as in there is none!

Dinner
Had my Vegetarian Meal and two red wines. And after a movie and 2 sleeping pills I was finally sleeping a bit.

Little fluffy clouds
Little fluffy clouds

Breakfast
Breakfast

Over Thailand

Blue sky over Thailand
Blue sky over Thailand

A few seconds before touchdown in Bangkok
A few seconds before touchdown in Bangkok

Airport Transfer
The last few times I took the train down town and a taxi – this time I was lazy and took the good old mini bus again. Takes forever but you save the hassle with finding a taxi that turns on the meter at the place where they know that you are a tourist coming from the airport.

Pad Thai
My good old Noodle Lady in the park was on vacation so I had my first Pad Thai in the evening somewhere on the street.

Booze only from 11-14 and 17-24!
Booze only from 11-14 and 17-24 at 7/11! I know I do not get my beer here – I support the small shops – and they do sell the whole day as well. I was only here to get a new toothbrush – sorry small shops – only seven has it.

Leo at my favourite bar
Leo at my favourite bar: Nom Tung Loaw in the little alley next to Soi Samsen

Andy is the Man
Thank you Andy for coming over to my neck of the woods.

The boss man on the left
The boss man on the left

Possmann
The next day I went to see Scott. Ended up at a Couchsurf meeting at Silom. Later we passed this – ha!

Pilsen for a beer or two – Part 2

2017-03-07 at 15:55

The rest of the pictures from the last trip to Pilsen or Plzeň. The forecast called for rain so I only took the iPhone 6 to take pictures – and it did not rain and I was not happy. The quality of the pictures is just not the same as with a DSLR. Still the best camera is the camera you have with you! Next time I bring the Canon – rain or shine!
Enjoy the rest of the pictures.

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Usually I never pay to go inside a church. I hate it when you have to pay to go to Siam Reap or Bagan in Asia. But a church in Europe? Impossible – this time we had so much time and it was super cheap – so we went in the church. Armed with a few pages of information from the friendly woman at the counter we looked at everything described there. They had the organ music going inside so it was a very good experience after all. If you are like me – make an exception to the rule and visit this one!

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew
Construction started around 1295 but there are no records left. The first time the church is documented was in 1307. Wolfram Zwinillinger must had some problems sleeping good at night. So he bequeathed his malt and drying factory to the church for serving a mass on behalf of his soul. That sounds like a very good deal – for the church!
At the time a church was not usually build on a public market so the old church could have been build somewhere else. However – the presbytery was build in 1342. Later they extended the church and rebuild it a few times. They also wanted to add a second tower. That never happened.

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

A bell with a name
A bell with a name

View from the tower of Cathedral of St. Bartholomew
View from the tower of Cathedral of St. Bartholomew – they do charge you extra to climb up – of course!

The market square
The market square

Part of the market square
Part of the market square

The Black Tower on the left
The Black Tower on the left

Houses at the market square
Houses at the market square

Renaissance Town Hall
Renaissance Town Hall

Statue at the market square

Coffee break
Coffee break at a small local place next to the market. I have no clue why all the tourists go to the big and fancy places. Here they have only 4 small tables and only old people come and have a coffee with some sweets. One day these small places will be gone so now is a good time to go there. All that stuff was less than 3€ – served with a smile from the lady behind the counter. This one is a Turkish Coffee. I ordered black – no sugar. The next day we had to come back to sample 4 other cakes. She made us a regular coffee – I ordered black – no sugar. Ha ha – why not??

Not all the churches are renovated
Not all the churches are renovated

Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Entrance to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. Boy oh boy what a tourist trap. If you like to visit a brewery – go and visit. It is way cheaper than the Guinness brewery for example but do not eat there or drink a beer. Or drink one beer so you can say I had a beer at the brewery.
We decided to save the entrance fee and invest that money into craft beer!

A fresh brew - the unfiltered one of course!
A fresh brew – the unfiltered one of course! I had a beer at the brewery! OK – since we walked there we had one – to get energy to walk to the main beer place for today. And have a few non Pilsner beers as well.

Klub malych pivovaru

Since we had our Pilsner Urquell at the brewery we went – almost – next door. 3 minutes to walk from the gate to Klub malych pivovaru. A mix of student bar and old school drinking hole with a small menu. They have 8 craft beers on tab. And when the cask is empty you have to wait till next day. Or have some of the bottled stuff. Check out the selection before you go: Klub malych pivovaru.

Klub malych pivovaru
Of course we had to try all the different beers on tab. And had chips, an onion soup and some more food. All together was not even 20€! This is way cheaper than Bangkok!! And the beer 1000 times better 🙂

http://www.klubmalychpivovaru.cz/

http://www.klubmalychpivovaru.cz/

House at Nadrazni street - not all the houses are renovated
House at Nadrazni street – not all the houses are renovated. In fact – most of them are not…

Main train station
Main train station

Západočeské muzeum
Západočeské muzeum

District Court
District Court

Another small church
Another small church

House at Perinova street
House at Perinova street

House at Veleslayinova street
House at Veleslayinova street

Dinner at the hotel - we have a kitchen - so lets use it!
Dinner at the hotel – we have a kitchen – so lets use it!

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