Thailand Part Three: markets, tigers and Johnny English

20-24 September 2011

After my tour in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, I had a few days left in Bangkok to explore and enjoy myself. I moved from the Bangkok Centre Hotel to a hotel on road parallel to Khao San Road. I know when you’re backpacking in Asia, you should be spending your nights in a hostel bed for a couple of pounds, but when I found a very reasonably priced hotel room, with an en-suite, a double bed and breakfast, I decided to indulge. Continue reading “Thailand Part Three: markets, tigers and Johnny English”

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Thailand Part Two: the tour comes to an end

19 September 2011

After a surprisingly good night sleep on the overnight train from Chiang Mai, I was ousted from my bed at 7am by staff who wanted to put the beds back. An hour or two later, we were finally pulling into Bangkok station and we walked the short distance over to the rather nice Bangkok Centre Hotel, before popping to the nearby 7-Eleven for breakfast. Since my steamed pork bun was a bit disappointing, I ended up with popcorn chicken from the station’s KFC. Never mind. Continue reading “Thailand Part Two: the tour comes to an end”

Thailand Part One: Pad Thai, Predator and the Sleeper Train

17 -18 September 2011

After my boat docked on the shore of Thailand, I passed through passport control in Chiang Kong easily enough, along with the rest of my tour group. We loaded up two tuk tuks with our luggage. Just like the last time, we were too heavy. The driver pumped up the tyres and we set off, almost immediately getting stuck behind a coach that was barely moving. Unlike in Laos, the tuk tuks were not trucks with us in the back but bikes with trailers for us to sit in, meaning we got blasted by fumes coming in from all directions. Continue reading “Thailand Part One: Pad Thai, Predator and the Sleeper Train”

Travel Photo: a view of Burma where three countries meet

17 September 2011 During my second trip to Asia, I found myself at the point where three countries met: Laos, Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). As I crossed the Mekong River, leaving Laos and entering Thailand, I snapped a photo, just in case that was as much of Burma as I will ever get to see. Hopefully it won’t be. Continue reading Travel Photo: a view of Burma where three countries meet

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Laos Part Four: the long journey to Thailand

Dates I was there: 16-17 September 2011

We had an earlier than usual start the next morning. Our guide had told us that first thing the monks walked past our hotel as they collected food, donated to them by the local people, so we went to see it for ourselves. Soon enough, a line of monks glad in orange robes walked past, whilst villagers sat at the roadside offering them food.  Continue reading “Laos Part Four: the long journey to Thailand”

Laos Part Three: elephants, waterfalls and dodging water buffalo

Dates I was there: 14-15 September 2011

The journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang was an unpleasantly bumpy one. There were six of us piled into the mini-bus along with our tour guide and the driver. Since there were three sets of three seats on the back, we divided into pairs and sprawled across them.  I get car sick at the best of times and, as we swung around mountain corner after mountain corner, I could barely sit up straight. In fact, I couldn’t sit up at all. Instead, I had to lay across my seats with my travel buddy holding onto me, acting as my seatbelt to stop me from falling off. In that position, the ride was much more comfortable. I think I even dozed off. Continue reading “Laos Part Three: elephants, waterfalls and dodging water buffalo”

Laos Part Two: caves, lagoons and rubber rings

12-13 September 2011

With a 9am start, we got a bit of a lie-in before leaving Vientiane for Vang Vieng and, after quite a bumpy ride, we arrived early afternoon.  We checked into the Inthira hotel and went straight back out again to find food down by the river. Continue reading “Laos Part Two: caves, lagoons and rubber rings”