Winter 17/18 – From Rayong over Bangkok to Pai

October 13, 2018 at 10:05

Ban Hua Khod Mangrove Forest in Rayong

Dee’s brother was in town with his girlfriend and we went all together to the Ban Hua Khod Mangrove Forest near Prasae. When we arrived there was almost nobody there. We took a boat out to the open water and back into a pier that leads to elevated walks in the mangrove forest.

From the Golden Meadow (Tung Prong Thong) we took a boat out of the mangrove forest
From the Golden Meadow (Tung Prong Thong) we took a boat out of the mangrove forest

Saw some birds on the way
Saw some birds on the way

The ocean is coming into view
The ocean is coming into view

Open water ahead
Open water ahead

To protect the marsh from the open sea they build a wall
To protect the marsh from the open sea they build a wall

Once outside we turned back
Once outside we turned back

And they let you out at a pier. From where you can walk to Prasae the Estuary Viewpoint (จุดชมวิว ปากน้ำประแสร์) and back to your car again.
And they let you out at a pier. From where you can walk to Prasae the Estuary Viewpoint (จุดชมวิว ปากน้ำประแสร์) and back to your car again.

And from there back to the car again

Rayong

We stayed in a small place downtown close to the market. Went with Gerben and the Monkey to a big playground and after the little one was tired we circled back to the hotel again.

Walk in Rayon
Walk in Rayon

Found a little place with food and beers
Found a little place with food and beers

And full of collectibles
And full of collectibles it was

And the former king of course
And the former king of course

Dee took us to a meeting with her former class mates. I catched the biggest cold in centuries there
Dee took us to a meeting with her former class mates. I catched the biggest cold in centuries there

Finally a place that understands customer needs
Finally a place that understands customer needs. We had dinner at the night market.

Bangkok

Spend most of my time in Bangkok in bed fighting my cold. A few shitty days and worst of all X-Mas approaching and all the busses out of Bangkok are full. Everybody leaves the city for a few days.

Former food places
They been here for 30 years or what? And now they had to go. A government crackdown on the small people. My favorite Fruit Shake place – Gone. My favorite daytime snack/lunch place – gone. Great Job!

They killed the old wood house as well. And instead of cleaning the place up they left all the rubbish there...
They killed the old wood house as well. And instead of cleaning the place up they left all the rubbish there…

This is good news. Now one can see where the bus goes. For the 1st time :-)
This is good news. Now one can see where the bus goes. For the 1st time 🙂 Well I use here since years and it tells me which bus goes where and where to change etc. A great app if you travel and it does work offline as well!

Merry X-Mas!
Merry X-Mas! Due to my cold, I almost went back from the bus stop. to bed. But the bus came round the corner when I started to walk back to the hotel. So I want and we had a bit of an X-Mas party and Hello Hello at Scotts place.

My favourite hideaway bar - gone. Replaced by the stupid shutter shops
My favourite hideaway bar – gone. Replaced by the stupid shutter shops. There was a little mom and pop shop and behind a hidden bar / restaurant. Great place in the center of it all but nobody knew about it. So usually only a few locals at the place. Well, that was it…

At last these guys are still here. For more than 40 years and still the best Tom Yum Goong in Bangkok
At last these guys are still here. For more than 40 years and still the best Tom Yum Goong in Bangkok. Since I do not eat animals for quite a while now it is not really useful for me but if you are in town. Go and try!

Breakfast for Champions
Breakfast for Champions

Since the portion is small and cheap...
Since the portion is small and cheap…

... I might as well have two of them
… I might as well have two of them

Off to the North

If you ever been to Bangkok a few days before X-Mas you know how fast the city gets empty as soon as X-Mas is here. Everybody gets out of town for a few days. By cold was better and I wanted to be in Pai for New Year’s Eve.
My usual choice – Bangkok Bus Lines (Read my review here) was booked solid. Now what? Could not even choose anything – was happy I got a VIP bus in the end.
It was chaos at the bus station! So many people and all slots full with busses. A lot of busses had no slot so they loaded customers in between. After more than an hour, our bus finally arrived – one guy came to our ramp and hushed us out in the rain. The bus was waiting somewhere far from the ramps. And there where many busses. Big confusion who goes where since 5 or 6 busses were parked next to each other. In the end, I had my seat and was happy.
And what is it with that rain? In the good old times, there was no rain in the dry season! Global warming eh?

On the bus to Chang Mai
On the bus to Chang Mai – OK seat in the front.

Not my usual one but still ok
Not my usual company but still OK. Note the rain – it is still raining.

My seat on the window
My seat on the window

Chiang Mai

The bus arrives at the new terminal. It still rains so you get a bit wet on the way to the old terminal. Got my ticket to Pai and all the mini busses where full for the next 2 hours. Which leaves me some time to get breakfast at my usual place. The restaurant at the right corner when you walk from the old to the new bus station. It is there since forever and one day and I stop there every time I have to wait for a connection.

I see egg but no pork - where is it?
I see egg but no pork – where is it? Never mind – I take the same as usually.

If I have time before the minibus to Pai I go here for years. At the corner between the two bus stations. And have the same two dishes usually.
If I have time before the minibus to Pai I go here for years. At the corner between the two bus stations. And have the same two dishes usually.

On the Way to Pai

After breakfast, I had a coffee from the coffee place next to the restaurant and wheeled my bag back to the minibus stop. Still raining – how wired!

At the stop on the way to Pai. They do roast their own coffee
At the stop on the way to Pai. They do roast their own coffee

Cat-Car
Cat-Car

Still raining - the mini bus to Pai
Still raining – the mini bus to Pai

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A visit at Ho Chi Minh Historical Park and back to Bangkok

November 24, 2017 at 16:25

Ho Chi Minh Historical Park

The Ho Chi Minh Historical Park is about 10km west of the Udon Thani in Nong Pracham a bit away from the main road. It first opened it’s doors to the public in 2001.

Ho Chi Minh spent about 3 years in Thailand from the beginning of 1927 when he first arrived in Bangkok. For 3 months he lived in Nong Pracham. Most of the time he taught English, Thai and Vietnamese to local children. Also he connected to the local Vietnamese traders that had migrated from Vietnam to find support for his fight against the French colonialists.

Shrine in the entrance hall of the museum
Shrine in the entrance hall of the museum

Recreated houses at the complex
Recreated houses at the complex

Some tools
Some tools

Uncle Ho's room
Uncle Ho's room

Recreation of the sleeping room
Recreation of the sleeping room

Some personal exhibits
Some personal exhibits

Of course the famous Vietnamese thuốc lào
Of course the famous Vietnamese Thuốc Lào

Kitchen stuff
Kitchen stuff

Mangoes are one of the  fruits in the garden
Mangoes are one of the fruits in the garden

A map where Ho Chi Minh traveled from 1911 to 1941
A map where Ho Chi Minh traveled from 1911 to 1941 at the 1st floor of the museum.

Back to Bangkok

Had a bus from Budsarakam Tours. Departing Udon at 20:45 which was changed to 21:15. 470 Bath for a seat in a 1-2 configured VIP bus. Great!

Small people are more happy in a bus!
Small people are more happy in a bus!

If you do not speak Thai and do not dig their shows the TV is not for you
If you do not speak Thai and do not dig their shows the TV is not for you

Snack Pack included in the fare
Snack Pack included in the fare

Enough space for me
Enough space for me

Bangkok

On the way back to Europe I like to take a AC room. In April it gets so hot in Bangkok – and this April it was even hotter than the last few years. Went to my usual place at Soi Samsen 2. It is close to my water hole and all the places where I do the last-minute shopping. Dee and Gerben are in town and even Nadtharin was here to pay respect to the last king of Thailand.

My room in Soi Samsen 2
My room. Super quiet and in the middle of “my” neighborhood.

My room in Soi Samsen 2

Thank you for the coffee!
Big meeting at the coffee shop of Nadtharin’s friend

Nadtharin and her friend
Nadtharin and her friend

BKK skyline from the parking deck of a shopping center
BKK skyline from the parking deck of a shopping center

Friendly Farang
Friendly Farang – we could help a woman starting her car again. She left the light on and went shopping.

Quick pit stop
Quick pit stop

Bike trip on Bang Krachao

Bang Krachao is an artificial island in a bend of the Chao Phraya River and a canal. It is at the southern tip of Bangkok and still quite green. Some refer to it as the “green lung” of Bangkok. A lot of paths are elevated since the ground is close to the water-level is too wet to build paths. Of course the flooding does not help as well. There is a lake and some places to view birds as well. If you have nothing to do and like biking – go and have a look!

Pay attention to details - look at the lower left!
Pay attention to details – look at the lower left!

The gang at the start of our bike trip
The gang at the start of our bike trip

Taken with the back camera of the iPhone with a Selfi app. While riding the bike - worked quite good
Taken with the back camera of the iPhone with a Selfi app. While riding the bike – worked quite good

Bikes make happy people
Bikes make happy people

Mr. Cool
Mr. Cool

Big ships going towards BKK
Big ships going towards BKK

Mostly paths like this one round the island
Mostly paths like this one round the island

And not the best bikes
Not the best bikes

Temple on the Island
Temple on the Island

Since we are here - lets take the opportunity
Since we are here – lets take the opportunity

The fastest taxi in Bangkok
The fastest taxi in Bangkok

Back in the City

Now what?
Now what?

The Democracy Monument
The Democracy Monument

Art in The Queen's Gallery
Art in The Queen's Gallery

The temple of the Golden Mount from the museum window
The temple of the Golden Mount from the museum window

Big Boy
Big Boy

He has to touch everything!
He has to touch everything!

Best place in town!
Best place in town: นม ตั้ง เหล้า (Nom Tung Loaw)! And the Austrians where here as well!

Pad Thai
Pad Thai – 1 €

Wat Chanasongkhram Ratchaworamahawihan
Wat Chanasongkhram Ratchaworamahawihan – what a name!

Vegetables with tofu
Vegetables with tofu

Birds on a wire
Birds on a wire on the way back from the small vegetarian place. Now back to the hotel and off to the airport. Good Bye Bangkok – see you again in the winter!

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Hanoi – Bangkok – Udon Thani – Kut Chap

November 19, 2017 at 20:13

The last few days in Asia for this trip. Hanoi International or Noi Bai Airport as they call it here. I have a VietJet flight to Bangkok. And a bus ticket a few days later to Kut Chap to see Nong and the girls.

My plane to Bangkok
My plane to Bangkok

VietJet from the inside
VietJet from the inside. I had enough space and was quite happy with VietJet. Booked my 2 flights in 2018 already with them.

Adios Hanoi
Adios Hanoi

Over the clouds - over Laos
Over the clouds – over Laos

Bangkok

Two nights in BKK – visited Melanie and Scott – that was all.

Bangkok Architecture
Bangkok Architecture

Bird of Pray? Not really
Bird of Pray? Not really

Coffee
Coffee

Off to Udon Thani

My VIP bus to Udon Thani
My TCK Rungroj VIP bus to Udon Thani. Left Bangkok at 21:00 for 454 Bath. Quite a good deal. There are snacks and food vouchers included.

Enough space for the night
Enough space for the night

The usual 2-1 seating arrangement
The usual 2-1 seating arrangement

Gave my food to the lady next to me
Gave my food to the lady next to me

Breakfast in Udon
Breakfast in Udon. Had to wait for Nong to pick me up and give me a lift to Kut Chap

Kut Chap

Good to be back but it was bloody hot there. Nong arranged a room at her neighbors place. They build a small house to rent apartments. Mine was not really finished but the bathroom worked and there was WiFi – what more do you need??

My room
My room

At the coffee shop
At the coffee shop

What you do?
What you do?

Evening with the girls
The best part of the day – the evenings with the girls

Evening with the girls

The fish market
The fish market part of the market. The market is behind the bar and there is a public toilet. Way more space to take a leak. I never tried the toilet in the small restaurant.

Breakfast
Breakfast – Nong cooked for me in the morning – great when you wake up and find some fresh food on your doorstep! Thank you Nong!!

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