fredag 15. juli 2011

New place, new country.

After more than six weeks, I'm outside Thailand again!

The last few days in sothern Thailand have been rainy and not at all the beach paradise we'd been hoping for, so now we have high hopes that Malaysia will deliver what Thailand didn't. So far it's been a tiresome journey. From riding on the back of a scooter in the rain, with two backpacks and a bag when going to the hotel in Phuket to the seriously tubulent flight from Phuket to KL. Luckily the flight from KL to Kota Bharu was more pleasant, and we found a taxi and a guest house easily enough.

So far we've only had a little walk around town, some dinner and are planning on taking a walk through the night market a little later. Our taxi to Perenthian leaves at 8.00 in the morning, so no late night tonight.

I was planning on transferring some pictures today as well, but seeing as the computer at the guesthouse sounds like a jet engine taking off I'll be postponing that for later.

Now I think it's time for a stretch on my bed, before checking out some more night market delights! No bugs this time.....

torsdag 14. juli 2011

Bye bye Railey!

And just like that we've left another place...

We got to Railey on Monday, looking forward to some more peace and quiet after the packed conditions of Phi Phi. Turns out Railey is definetly peaceful and quiet during the day, and unless you're interested in doing rock climbing ther really isn't all that much to do in day time. Of course, night time is a whole other story.

We got some flyers advertising a fire show, and decided to check it out, even after having seen the one at Phi Phi several times. Turns out the guys at Raileys Last Bar, allthough not as hunky looking, are even better at juggling fire than the guys at Phi Phi. Very impressive! The youngest guy there is only 16, and put on a crazy show. Pictures and video to come as soon as I get to transfer from my camera again.

At Railey we stayed at the Yaya resort, where we payed 350 baht for a room that was definelty better than the one at Phi Phi. No Gustav either. We spent most of our day time at the beach, all though some heavy rain showers cut our beachtime short some days. Still nice, and still an amazing place to be. Quite sure I'll be going back there one day.

Right now we're back in Phuket, staying in a very nice hotel that even has hot water in the shower! What a splurge! For 500 baht, it is actually almost a splurge, but soo worth it after a long day of travelling from Railey. One longtail boat and three minibuses, and two very uncomfortable stops to wait for the next bus along the way. So glad to be done with that!

Tomorrow we're heading out to the airport early, to catch our 8.15 flight to Kuala Lumpur, where we're transferring to Kota Bharu. Hopefully once we get there we'll be able to catch the last boat out to Perenthian. Crossing fingers for that.

Now it's time to get some sleep, next update; Malaysia!

lørdag 9. juli 2011

Phi Phi Island report

From Chiang Mai we flew to Phuket to go directly to Phi Phi the following morning. Getting here well before noon on Monday we had enough time to get to know the place and to check out the beach. And after staying at the temple for a month, and then travelling around for a few days the laid back feeling of Phi Phi was just what the doctor ordered.

We've been staying at a nice little guest house called Harmony House. The room is 350 baht a night (less than 50NOK per person), and the guest house located a little way away from the beach and the "bar centre" which means it's pretty quiet and not to mention safe. The room was a pretty typical standard from what I've come to expect from guest houses in Thailand. No aircon (that'll just give you a cold anyway), no hot water in the shower (who needs that when the ocean is warm??) and a little house pet we decided to name Gustav (cockroaches aren't my favorite pets, but I'm not one to be picky).

The beaches are pale sand and the water is (mostly) a clear green blue. Perfect for lazy days just chilling out with a book. We've spent most of our beach time on the closest beach at Loh Dalam Bay, but also high jacked a long tail boat to take us out to Long Beach one morning.

Yesterday we did one of the mandatory tours of the surrounding area, where we among other places visited Maya Beach, made famous by the movie The Beach. Incredibly gorgeous, as was the other places we visited on our sunset cruice.

The nights here at Phi Phi are spent at some of the most amazing beach parties ever known to man. It starts out with a fire show, and ends in loud music and hordes of people dancing in the sand. Though it's been a lot of fun, getting to Ray Leh for a bit of relaxing probably won't be the worst thing right now.

Which brings me to our plans from here.. We're leaving for Ray Leh today, and plan to stay there for a few days before moving on. Our initial plans were to go to Cambodia after the south of Thailand, but after some consideration of time and financial matters we've decided to go to Malaysia instead. I've never been there either, so another notch in the belt for me countrywise.

Aaaan, that should be all for now. Might come back with more news from Ray Leh. :)

Chiang Mai jungle flight!

It's been a while since I've sat down by a computer, so please forgive me if I leave something out...

We spent our last day in Chiang Mai at the Jungle Flight treetop adventures. This is basically a web of ziplines connecting to different platforms high in the jungle canopy. And let me tell you, it's awesome!!!

The longest of the ziplines is around 300m high, and actually gives you a view of the jungle all the way to Burma. You do move pretty fast though, so there's not really all that much time to enjoy the view. Especially when you take into account that the highest of the ziplines is a staggering 120m above ground. For me, having a slight fear of hights, that was a challenge. But when I did throw myself over the edge of that platform it was without a doubt worth it!

We also did a few abseils, where the longest was a 40m drop straight down. What a thrill!

Definetly one of the most fun days I've had in a looong time, and I'm positive I'll do it again if I ever go back to Chiang Mai. If you're ever in the area - check it out!

søndag 3. juli 2011

Chiang Mai night market delights

One of my favorite things about markets is the food. I'm not going to lie to you, I enjoy the shopping as well, but the food is something else entirely.

Yesterday we decided to try what Chiang Mai's night market had to offer.

I started with something safe and well known, namely chicken livers. I love the way they cook them in a nice sticky sauce on the tiny little wooden sticks. Ten livers, 15 baht - kept me going for a while.

Next out we had to try something sweet, and went for the waffles with chocolate and condenced milk. To be honest I think I could have eaten quite a few more of those!

Right by the waffle stall I spotted a stall selling sushi, and instantly decided that eating sushi from a market stall in Thailand would be a very bad idea indeed. Which I ended up filling up a tray. Twice. And let me tell you, that 90 baht worth of sushi was my best desicion yesterday. Completely yummy!

ne thing I had promised myself I would not eat on this trip was bugs... But when faced with a dare, how can one refuse?? We bumped into two guys from our guesthouse, and one of them had a bag of crickets with him, and pretty much dared me to taste one. I had to think about that one a little longer than the sushi, but eventually chewed and swallowed the little critter. No, it didn't taste good but it wasn't completely disgusting either. I did have to drink an entire bottle of water tp get it down, and then a butterscotch coffee frappe to get rid of the taste.

All in all, some experiences richer, and definetly that bug point crossed off my list!

Chiang Mai so far

We got to the train station in Chiang Mai somewhere around 6.30 this morning. 11 hours on a train was not what my body had ordered, and I was tired and pretty much stiff as a board.

We found a taxi right outside and told him to take us to a guest house we found in the Lonely Planet guide. So he did, or so we thought.. We arrived at what we thought was the right guest house, only to be surprised by the price that was pretty much 3 times what we expected. Since it was now 6.40 am and we had no tuk tuk we just decieded to stay, since we're just staying the one night anyway. The place is nice and clean and the night marked is pretty much right down the street from here.

We've now booked a zip-line tour tomorrow (, and I can't wait to try that! So far today, we've walked around the city, had brunch in a middle eastern restaurant (I had the chicken chawarma, YUM!), got a foot massage (where I nearly fell asleep) and then had a couple of hours relaxation in our room before doing som picture transfers and blog updating.

Right now we're starting to get ready for the night marked and hopefully an early night as we're being picked up between 6.30 and 7.00 tomorrow for the zip-line. Can't wait!! :)

lørdag 2. juli 2011

Changing plans.. And then changing them again!

After a month at the temple, I've now started my somewhat aimless travelling with June by my side.

Our plan was to go to Ayutthaya yesterday, preferably by bus from Kanchanaburi, early in the morning. That plan fell through as the only minibus leaving Kanchan left at 1.30pm. Too late we decided. Since the plan was to go to Chian Mai with the night train after spending the day in Ayutthaya, we decided we might as well go directly there in stead. Sooo.. Tickets were booked to Bangkok, and we arrived at Khao San Road with hopes high and stomachs empty. A quick stop by KFC took care of the last bit, and some heavy rain shopping just got our spirits even higher. We weren't exactly thrilled we had to stop by Bangkok, but it turns out it wasn't so bad after all.

After that short visit to the backpacker centre of Bangkok we headed to the train station to get our tickets to Chiang Mai. We knew the train should be leaving at 8pm and had lots of time. Actually, it turns out we had a lot more time than we had expected.... When we got to the train station we quickly found out that all trains and buses to Chiang Mai were fully booked because of todays election. So, what now??

We tried to find out when the next option would be, and after realizing it wouldn't be until the following evening we decided we had to do something else. We didn't want to spend the night in Bangkok, but going to Chiang Mai was definetly not an option.

Well, we decided it was fate, and got a ticket to Ayutthaya in stead! Again, after finding the right platform we nearly ended up in the wrong place - as we managed to get on the wrong train to god knows where. Luckly we asked some neighbour passengers and they told us to get off quickly before the train started moving.

The right train did leave eventually. Almost an hour late and freezingly cold, but it did get us there.

So, we've spent today walking around the temple city of Aytthaya. We saw some of the temples from atop an elephant, and then walked until our feet got sore. We still have some hours until out train leaves for Chiang Mai, and we're trying to spend it relaxing, definetly not letting our feet getting any sorer.

Next update: Chiang Mai!