Dave On Tour

From Thu, 01 Jan 1970 until Thu, 01 Jan 1970

Bangkok and Khao Yai

Added on Sat, 11 Sep 2010 11:26 GMT+7, from Thailand

Hey hey!

Finally, I arrived in Bangkok in the evening of 6th September and I could stay in my French friends' flat for the two nights in Bangkok.

Since we arrived very late in the evening, we didn't go out that day. But in the next morning, we got up quiet early, so we could take the Bus line 75 to the city. Arriving at the River, we split up and I took the boat to Tha Tien Station (single way pass: 30 Baht). So, I visited Wat Pho, Grand Palace and Wat Khruawan Worawihan (on the other side of the river). See the pictures!

Greetings from Pak Chong ...

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Jungle, Khao Yai and Bangkok again

Added on Sun, 12 Sep 2010 19:21 GMT+7, from Thailand

And here's part no. 2 of Thailand...

In the morning of the 8th September, I took the minibus (45 Baht) to Ban Na, where friends collected me, because I would spend the next days with them together. At first we dropped our luggage in their house near Nakornnayok, which the built up recently. I like the location very much. It is next to a forest, owns a big ground and is surrounded by a large, beautiful garden. Later in the afternoon, we walked over several markets (e.g. in Lop Buri) and visited a temple, which could be reached by car easily. It is called "Wat Pa Sawang Bun" (see the pictures). On the second day we had a wine tasting session in the PB Winery near Muak Lek, which consisted of a tour over the wine fields and the tasting of five different sorts of wine. Additionally, this session was lit by a very nice guide, who explained any details about every wine (personal thanks to her)!
The next step a two-days jungle trip with "Bobbys Appartment and Jungle trip - Khao Yai" near Pak Chong, lit by a German man, who's been living here for many years now. So, on Thursday, a guide showed us around in a cave and we drove a place, from where we could see many bats coming out of another cave at about 5:00 PM. Every day, they fly in one big line in direction to the Khao Yai Park for having "dinner" (they eat all the insects). You can watch this for several hours every day. So, there must be millions of bats coming out. Awesome show (see the pictures).

We could sleep in bobby's apartment and got up early in the next morning again, because the day-plan was a trip through the "jungle" in the park, in order to see some exotic animal, which can't be seen in Europe, except in a zoo, such as elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, exotic birds and many more!
Another great sight were the waterfall, which is known from the movie "The Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Again: look at the pictures!

On the following day I said goodbye to my friends, because they drove to another city this morning. I took a minibus from Pak Chong to Bangkok Victory Monument today and found a cheap accommodation in Khao San Road, in order to stay some more days in the mother city of all Southeast Asian Capitals. This will probably be the last step on my Southeast Asia holiday trip this year.
I think, I will make my next post from Singapore, before I unfortunately have to leave for Germany again.

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Journey to Ko Pha-Ngan

Added on Mon, 25 Jul 2011 10:40 GMT+7, from Thailand

Back to civilization, finally!

After this demanding jungle trip we wanted to find place to chill out and just relax at. And where can you relax better than at a beautiful beach on a sunny island in Thailand?!
We made a decision: Next destination would be Ko Tao!
Route: Suratthani (Thai east coast), ferry to the island.

So, before going to bed we checked the bus schedule for the next day and fixed a route for going back to Jerantut. Therefore, we got up at 6 AM, packed our backpack and took the bus at 6.30 AM – and guess, it was the same crappy bus that we had taken on the way to Kuala Tahan, and (I'm not sure, but …) I think it was even the same driver. We had another horrible trip, although we should have got used to it by that day.
Arriving in Jerantut, we had to wait at the train station for about 2 hours. The time was come to have breakfast (or rather brunch?!).
The train was leaving at 12.39 PM and was supposed to take us to a city called “Tumpat” by 7.29 PM. Tumpat is a city right in front of the Thai borderline. But whilst reading in Michael's travel guide, we figured out it'd be easier to alight in Pasir Mas, because we'd reach the border more easily. So we did.
In Pasir Mas several private drivers offered us a car ride to the border. At first we refused, but soon we realised it was the only way to get there. As it was already “night”, there were no more buses or taxis leaving. And we definitely wanted to arrive in Thailand the same day.
A private car driver took us to the borderline, we spent our last Malaysian money on several bottles of water and two Nescafe in a supermarket and then experienced something really weird at immigration: there was not even one real checkpoint that could have stopped illegal immigrants or anyone who checked our passports. We kinda had to search this place for the arrival cards, that we wanted to fill in. If if hadn't filled them in, we might have got into trough when leaving Thailand someday.
In order to avoid that, we found the immigration officer who gave the cards to us, we filled them in, went back, got the stamps and finally, crossed the border.

Thailand! ...

that means we had to reset our watches, cellphones etc. from 9.10 PM to 8.10 PM, since there is one hour difference between Malaysia and Thailand. That was funny, because it was the very first time we had crossed a time-border by feet.

The first thing we wanted to do (after getting cash at the next ATM) was checking the train schedule for the next day. Tough! We couldn't because the train station was closed already, at 8.30 PM. And not only the station itself, but also the ground in front of the station, which might have provided train schedules. No chance.
So, we decided to go and find a hostel instead. We planned to get up early in the next morning and check the schedules there at about 7 AM. It's been quiet hard to find a hotel where the staff speaks proper English. As Su-Ngai Kolok (the city right next to the border) is not really a touristic area, there were not many people who spoke English. Nevertheless, we found a cheap and very clean hotel with fan / TV / toilet / shower for THB 300 (~ EUR 7). After check-in we explored the closer area in the town, drank this year's first Chang (elephant) beer, got a sandwich and talked to a girl, whose English was the best we heard in Thailand until this day.
But we didn't go to bed too late, as we had planned to get up at 6 AM the next morning.

So we did. Yesterday, we spent another full day traveling in Thailand. Actually, we wanted to travel to Chumphon (east coast, next to Ko Tao) on the early train, but we missed it by 30 minutes. But we were lucky: We payed THB 680 for a bus ride to Ko Samui (breakfast and ferry included), which is another island and a compulsory stop when traveling to other neighboured islands. After a 10 hrs bus ride we arrived in Don Sak (ferry harbour) and switched the ferry ticket to “Ko Pha-Ngan”, which is another island, closer to Ko Tao. For that we payed another THB 70 (almost EUR 2).

Now you're wondering about all the islands “Ko ….” in Thailand:
Ko Samui is the biggest island along the east-coast of Suratthani (Thailand) and also the most famous destination for tourists over there. Exactly for that reason we'd decided NOT to stay there, because it would be really touristy and full of people, especially on the beaches and other main tourist attractions! We agreed on staying on Ko Tao for some days, as a German guy in Kuala Lumpur had recommended us to do our PADI license (open-water diving license) over there, as it costs only about EUR 220 (just to let you know what it costs in Europe: a comparable course, e.g. in Italy would cost us at least EUR 1500).

On the ferry to Ko Pha-Ngan we met a German girl called “Melissa”, who was also going to stay in a resort on the island. We met another Swiss guy called “Hai”, who's been living on Ko Pha-Ngan for 10 years now and recommended us to stay on Ko Pha-Ngan for the same reason I explained above. Ko Tao is very small and it's a paradise for snorkellers and divers. Well, if we'd the fixed plan to make the PADI license in Thailand, we should really go there. But if it's not absolutely necessary, we should avoid this touristy region and experience Ko Pha-Ngan instead. He told us some nice places and insider information for this island: An awesome waterfall, beach, good Italian restaurant and many more.
So, we decided to stay there, as the PADI was not absolutely necessary and we could save these EUR 220 or spend them somewhere else.

Melissa had booked the “Moon Beach Resort” in advance in a small town called “Sri Thanu”. We joined her; luckily they had one more Bungalow free for Christian and me. And as Melissa was somehow connected to the owners of this resort via her cousin's Thai wife, we even got some discount and finally payed THB 600 per night for the two of us. Of course that sounds quiet expensive for Asia, but: it is an island, the Bungalows are very clean and with air-conditioner and the resort is located right next to the sea. So, sea-view is included as well!

Yesterday evening we didn't do much more things. We sat down outside a restaurant, because Melissa hadn't had any meal yet. Then we walked up and down the main road and checked the prices for renting motorbikes. All of them cost around THB 150 per day (less then EUR 4) per bike.
That's it.

Now, we just got up, finally, got a working key for the wifi and wanna go out around in the city, have breakfast and rent motorbikes!

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