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Thailand

Bangkok

sunny 96 °F

After getting up and seeing Vietnam streets silent...something I thought I would never see, but at 05:00am anything is possible, I take my taxi to the airport, a much nicer guy than the one last night!!

Bangkok airport busy busy but very well laid out and easy to get around, well I thought so being my first visit and all. Or maybe it is just my organised approach to things, always go to the information desk and get them to write your hotel in local language so you can show the cab driver....99% you will arrived at your destination, in good time and hassle free....easy.

I am staying at the Heritage Hotel Bangkok good local near the station, plus the hotel has everything, roof top swimming pool, fitness centre, massage centre, restaurant...what more could a girl want, after being on the go for 15 days around Vietnam. Today is all about me, so having a massage and a pamper before, starting another tour tomorrow around Thailand.

First impressions of Bangkok is nice, cannot believe they have a 7/11 shop on almost every street, along with Boots.....time to head out and explore some more. As in desperate need to get more sun tan lotion... Yes I do use it!!!

After a very relaxing massage, it was time to meet my tour leader, who was very nice, just 4 people on the tour including myself, what a result. The tour leader and I headed into the centre of Bangkok on the train, where we had dinner then went to the Calypso show, which is in a nut shell amazing looking lady boys cabaret show, see attached link http://www.calypsocabaret.com

Looking forward to what our tour leader has in store for tomorrow.

You cannot visit Bangkok without visiting 'The Grand Palace', the complex was established in 1782 and consists of not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the emerald buddha.

History of Bangkok ticked off my list, The Grand Palace, Jim Thompson's House, the late Thai Silk King, it was time to see more attractions such as the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, although it rained it was amazing, watching the crocodile show with two guys wrestling with them, putting there heads in the mouths of these large beasts. The elephant show was great it was so cute seeing the elephants playing football dancing and doing a prayer rite, along with witnessing a historical re-enactment of the elephants role during the wars of ancient Siam. It's true to say that I have fallen in love with these huge animals, they are just so adorable, once you take the time to look deeper than there size, they all have their own personalities which they are happy to show and are very loving.

Last thing which I managed to squeeze in was a visit to Floating Market at Damnernsaduak, well worth the visit along with a trip along the canel and getting to interact with the locals, was just great.

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Posted by djAsia2010 01:06 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Thailand

Bangkok

all seasons in one day 92 °F
View Asia on djAsia2010's travel map.

Early start this morning where we went to visit a few temples, followed by a walk around the flower market, is there no end to the Thai's talents. We rose with the sun to give alms to the local Buddhist monks. Following this ritual, we take a walk along the bustling flower market, brimming with colours and fragrance continuing through the vibrant Chinatown area where we visit the oldest cafe.

After a lovely lunch and watching the downpour of a thunder storm, we finally got to visit The Kings Palace which was just amazing. We took a long boat ride along the Chao Phraya River, Temple of Dawn, Wat Phra Kaew, The Grand Palace (built in 1782), Wat Pho. Lots of walking and learning, very enjoyable....

This evening we had dinner at the Silom Village great food including a show, what a great introduction to Bangkok.... Tomorrow morning we are off to pastures new...another early morning flight... Fingers crossed more fun times lie ahead.......

Posted by djAsia2010 08:41 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Thailand

Chiang Mai

sunny 94 °F

After a short flight northward we arrived in Chiang Mai, and settle into our exquisite surroundings, taking a relaxing break from the fast pace of Bangkok. Late in the day we visit Doi Suthep Temple, established in 1383 this is one of the most sacred Buddhist Temples in Thailand. The views and serenity rewarded to us after climbing over 300 stairs to reach the top are amazing (yes I have photos to prove it). The place is so peaceful and is open to the public to live with the Buddhists for a week to meditate, what a rewarding experience this would be and one that I might have to experience in the future.

The evening was spent enjoying the Kantoke dinner, sampling several dishes of exotic Thai flavours some Thai music and authentic dance.

Day two

We try our hands at creating some of the dynamic taste creations we have been eating the past few days at a Thai Cooking School called Thai Orchid. With our teacher we visit the local market to learn more about the ingredients in Thai cooking and then take our purchases back to the school where the teacher explains and demonstrates the basics of some of the more Thai dishes of our choice, Thai Green Curry, Phad Thai, Spring Rolls, of course I did well I love cooking, cannot wait to cook the dishes I have learnt for my many friends who are interested, once I have saved up some money after this fantastic trip of course. We then enjoyed the results for lunch. To congratulate ourselves on our culinary achievements we are rewarded with the pleasures of a Thai massage, of course I am used to massages now given I am having minimum one a day...... Remember this is a trip of a lifetime, plus the cost of a 2 hour massage costing around £6:00 who would not, given that you can have a meal for around the same price.

The evening is spent visiting Chiang Mai's popular downtown night market to see where all the locals and visitors spend the evening.

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Posted by djAsia2010 09:27 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Thailand

Lampang

sunny 91 °F

Finally the day that I have been waiting for the visit to the Elephant Conservation Center. In the morning given we are a small group we decide we would like to visit Tiger Temple. The place was just amazing, I never once thought that I would get so close to such a wild cat. The place was clean and well organised, so much so before I knew it, I had agreed to get into a big cat enclosure with not one but three big cats, I know what you are thinking I must have lost my mind!!!!! Well I have not, maybe it is all the buddhist blessings I have had, that has made me feel fearless it is hard to explain really, anyway I went in and was told two rules; walk slowly and no sudden movements, when I touch one of the large cats I do so with force, otherwise if done gently they will think it is a fly and swipe at me. Believe you me it was a strange feeling bashing a tiger on the back, he just sat there like a house cat but on a larger scale, yes I also have photos of this will share all my photos when I return home and get a chance to upload, once again have far to much going on to do now, am busy day and night. An adventure like this you need to make sure you appreciate and experience as much as possible, not wasting a second, minute, hour or day.

Elephant Conservation Center

We arrive at the centre in time for lunch, whilst sitting eating our lunch I see a baby elephant with a girl riding it, when our tour guide calls out to it and the elephant comes over to say hello. It was just amazing, our tour leader said that it was a very special elephant to her given she had seen her born 5 years ago. Funny enough once again I was not frightened just curious how such an animal could be so beautiful and loving yet so large a gentle giant.

After a brief chat with her trainer, he invited me to come and take a look at bath time/playtime in the river. You really had to be there to appreciate it, they were so lovely and with there own personalities, plus clearly enjoy it at the centre and were having fun. The people at the center have a real love for them and in return the elephants feel the same, one big happy family of various shapes and sizes. It truly has been the best day of my trip so far... I will never forget this day for as long as I live, as I also got to ride an elephant, plus feed them and cuddle them, and have them talk to me was just mind blowing. The good news is that you can pay to stay at the center and learn more about talking to the elephants and you get your own elephant to work with, this will have to be another trip as I don't have time to fit it in this time around basically you train to be a mahout, which is such a shame and I would have loved to have learnt more about them with working with them up close and personal.

Well worth a visit www.thailandelephant.org

All the money the centre makes goes towards the care of the wrinkled giants, who are just so beautiful.

We spend the evening in Lampang, known as Horse Cart City.

Posted by djAsia2010 09:53 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Thailand

Sukhothai

sunny 102 °F

We spend approximately 4 hours driving to Sukhothai from Lampang!!! We visit one of Thailand's UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sukhothai Historical Park, which we explore by bicycle. The city of Sukhothai, translated as Dawn of Happiness, was the original capital of Thailand's first kingdom and is viewed as representative of the golden age of this civilisation. The Sukhothai ruins contain the remains of 21 historical sites with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with lotus flowers in full bloom.

The hotel here was amazing our own little pool side room, tranquil and just bliss.

Posted by djAsia2010 11:24 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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