Bangkok - city of shopping and crazy parties - that's what we thought at least. But to be honest we seemed to got spoiled on our travels so far because Bangkok shopping is alright but nothing special at all. And since we didn't manage to have a serious party, we can't judge about this part of the Bangkok legend.
However, we managed to meet Dimi and Ruth (whom we have met years ago in Africa). What a great reunion. We had cocktails a roof top bars enjoyed amazing Thai food directly at the river and did extensive temple sightseeing. Also we managed to visit the grand palace. We have to say, this is quite something special: the size, amount of gold being used and layout are breath taking.
After this amazing stop we'll leave South East Asia and will travel to our last country on this round the world trip: Sri Lanka!
Meeting with old friends from Africa in Bangkok..
The temples were exceptional
After nearly one year of traveling Thailand made tourists our of us: Niels got one of these beauties and Eva got a skirt.
Food was presented very tourist friendly but still very tasty 😉
After Bangkok and the islands, Chiang Mai is definitely the most visited place in Thailand. As we found out this is for a reason. The pure number and density of temples is breath taking. Basically there is a temple at every corner.
In our hostel we met Tom and Judit. Both were Germans and we went sightseeing together. We shared a car and went on a temple sightseeing spree. After that we had food together which is quite different to the south of Thailand. It has less coconut but more stew with potatoes. Also there are less Muslims than in the south (for instance Koh Lanta had 90% Muslims) and therefore you wouldn't find any food with pork in it. In Chiang Mai that was very different.
In the evening we went for an event of its own kind (Iris and Jaap). Together with a dutch couple we went for Thai Boxing in a little "stadium". We managed to secure seats in the first row and sat right next to the blue corner. We could even hear the coach giving advice but of course didn't understand a single word - however we were right up close. The fights were very brutal but still very good Entertainment. We were betting 4 Times and manged to only win once :P. Especially, the last fight was spectacular. It only lasted a few seconds but a guy from England (!) in his first fight (!) did a round-house kick and knocked the other guy out. After this event Iris and Eva took a fish massage and the guys got some McDonald's.
Next day was all about elephants. Before deciding for a elephant tour Eva did a lot of research. There are countless places in the surrounding of Chiang Mai who offer the elephant experience. But Eva wanted to be double and triple sure that we'd only go to a place were elephants a treated right and nothing would be done with them that would harm them. She wasn't sure especially about the riding part. So our main focus would be to spend time and interact with these gentle giants. Therefore, we deciding for a sanctuary with an extremely good reputation where you are allowed to ride elephants bareback because it shouldn't harm them. And yes, also Eva was very curious about the feeling of riding an elephant.
She shouldn't be disappointed. Riding an elephant is quite different to a horse. Also they interact way different than horses. The whole day was just amazing - but see yourself....
Just after 3 mins Eva felt super comfortable and took a nap on her new friend
If Wisard could see this he'd be very upset!!!
Saying thank you by donating some bananas and sugar cane
First time with the Dr. in front...
3-2-1 Risk time - This time without any major damage
A really nice temple
This is how it started
This is how it ended. Both girls could hold back and laughed there guts out
Before the fight we had no clue what we were going for
The British champion.
This was by far the funniest part of the day. 6 guys blind folded tried to kick each others asses 😉
A monk that supposingly being sitting like this for a few hundred years
To be honest there is not a lot to write about our stay on Koh Jum because we didn't do too much besides relaxing and eating. The best way to describe our place is the name of it: "peace paradise". If you add hippy to it you'd have the right picture in your mind. The bungalows are very basic - like everything else - but that's what gives the place it's special atmosphere and there is no chance resisting the laid back vibe. Next to our place there were a few other cool hippy places with tree and hanging houses. Only once we needed Internet and therefore went to a place with wifi. The best part about this place is the empty beach. You almost have the beach alone to yourself. Along the whole stretch of around 1 km you might see 10 other people.
Also we had a fun encounter with a mouse in our bungalow. We are still not sure if Eva or the mouse was more frightened... When we told the owner he just smiled at us and got his cat. Luckily for the mouse the cat got fed by the tourist all the time so it didn't even try to find the mouse 🙂
A hanging house - next time we should stay in one like these - not sure if you get sea sick in them though.
A tree house might be the better option in terms of sea sickness
View directly from the beach to the bar of the hotel
Sun bed in front of the bar
And a different angel of the sun bed - it was soooo relaxingNiels found a huge fan. They seem to have shared the same music taste
The inside of our "house"
Our friend we had to share the house with...
Leaving the island part #1
Leaving the island part #2
Koh Lanta is one of the biggest islands in the region. The north is very touristy. Luckily we stayed in the south of the island in a small and very relaxed resort. The best way to explore the island is by scooter. It's easy to get around and we found some local food places with great food.
View from the island was magical!
Classic patrol station
The helmet is not too big, it is the head that is too small 😛 At least the helmet was pink!
What should we say: both of us lookged really funny, but riding over the island was great!
Planing the next stops. Eva is doing most of the work (as always...) - but she enjoys the good life while doing so.
A secret spot we found!
Relaxed bar directly at the beach
We entered Thailand from Malaysia by boat. Since we spend 11 nights on Langkawi in December we knew exactly where to go, eat and drink. Our plans were made long before we arrived on the island. Having the best Indian food (we even knew what to order before looking in the menu), we decided to pay our favorite barkeeper a visit. We planed on having one drink only but ended up with a few more 😉 The next day a boat ride of around 1,5 hours to Koh Lipe was waiting for us. Therefore, we called it an earlier night as usual on Langkawi.
The next day we left for Thailand. The boat ride and migration went totally smooth. To be honest the first impression of the island was a shock. Way too many tourists and especially the type of tourists was frightening. On top our accommodation was not worth it's money but luckily we only booked it for 2 nights. The next day our mission was to find a nicer place for less money, which turned out to be a very tricky task not only because it was high season but also Chinese New Year. During this time of the year Malaysian, Chinese and Thai people travel around and nearly everything is booked out.
Luckily we found a great deal in the hills with an amazing view for only 800 b (20€). Which is very cheap for the time of the year and the island (one of the most expensive ones). After finding the new accommodation our mood changed rapidly. The many tourist didn't bother us anymore and we could enjoy the beauty of the island.
Once a hidden treasure. Koh Lipe is now well known by tourists all over the world. And it's not without a reason. The island is blessed with 2 long white sandy beaches separated by the jungle hills and surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water. Along the beach you find lovely bars which are not packed with tourists. If you know where to go and stay there is still plenty to like about the small island.
It was impossible not getting in touch with other people on Koh Lipe therefore our evenings were always full of chatting and a lot of laughing.
Traditional boat that we obviously took to do a tour
The boat took us here and to some other places
Our first place we stayed at - we called it the "italian village" since there were so many Italians (all with tattoos and apple products...)
Our second home - way better!!!
View from our home!
Made some great friends....
Eva was very sad that we had to leave the island!