Travelling around South East Asia
Continued from Laos
Getting to Thailand so quickly was a jolt to the system but it was nice to hit the ground refreshed and ready for what Thailand had to offer.
Having been to Thailand many times before I wanted to explore more and venture further.
Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is a central city for the north and again a great place to base yourselves if you really want to get amongst the happenings and culture of the Thai people.
I haven't really gone into the food of Asia yet and maybe this is something we should add to the website but you really have to eat with the locals to find out what Thai cuisine is all about.
If you are a hotel grazer or fast food fan of the west then Thailand in my opinion is not for you.
My plan was to head south after going up to Pi, a little further north and boy was I glad I went north first.
This magical place is not to be missed and yet so many do!
Only approximately 150 Km north west of Chiang Mai, so why not take the little diversion!
Again like Vang Vieng in Laos, this place is a little gem. There is something about the remoteness of this place that sends you into a dream of happiness.
This is a photographers paradise and you could quite simply spend ages here if not on a schedule.
I stretched my time here another day and then started off for the south.
Having spent some time in Thailand already in the past, I took the night train down to Bangkok stopping in the morning just 80 km short in Si Ayutthaya.
I had heard so much about this place and spent a whole day just walking around all the temples I could.
The train arrived in the early hours of the morning and I had booked my exit for the late evening of the same day. So it was done in a day and I guess probably one of the most tiring days so far on this trip.
If you find yourself in Bangkok with a couple of days to spare, definitely head north to here. The history of this place is amazing.
A short train ride south and I was back in the think of city life and Bangkok was mine once again.
Having been to Bangkok many times, I used this great city as a base for my next week or so of travelling west and east in Thailand.
For those of you who have never been to this amazing city, there is loads to do, see and experience.
We could write a book on this city alone but for this brief visit I will say get away from the high rise city life and explore just a little further than the usual touristy places to visit.
Eat on the streets where the locals eat. you will get a true taste of Thailand and for a fraction of the cost. It beats me why so many travellers don't do it!
Many people will only eat in restaurants and hotels. Have you ever been in the kitchens of many of these places.
Out on the streets, you can see the fresh produce and watch them cook in front of your very eyes. It's a no brainer.
Koh Chang the largest of an archipelago in the far south east of the Gulf of Thailand.
A fairly unspoilt island and a favourite of mine to say the least.
Get yourselves over to White sands beach. This extraordinary beach is the best in my book.
Shop around for your accommodation and out of season you will pick up an absolute bargain. You can walk for miles and find something different at every turn.
This is another great base for Island hoping and exploring the interior.
Personally I stayed far too long, as this is somewhere to get lost in. But I had to bite the bullet and tear myself away to head back west to Bangkok and down south for my final section of travel.
My first step away from Bangkok was a sort train journey west to Kanchanaburi and once again I was in a different world.
My accommodation I chose on arrival was right overlooking where the Mae Klong and Khwae Yai join just south east of the Death Railway (Burma Railway). A short stroll to get to the bridge over the river Khwae.
This seemingly lazy and laid back province of Thailand to the west has so much to offer, steeped in history and it would be a shame not to get there if you get the chance.
A couple of days was more than enough for me to take in all the local sites by foot and I was content to head back east. You could of course spend a lot more time exploring further afield but I was on a mission to head east of Bangkok to Pattaya and beyond.
This does seem to be on everyone's list and why not, there is much to do here. A mini city in itself close to Bangkok relatively speaking, a cost effective touristy place to go and wind down for a week or two.
The nearby temple of Wat Phra Yai is a must see and Pattaya also seems to be a golfers paradise, although I can't comment as I have never played golf here.
There is lots to do here and the beach is lovely too. Many places of interest and there is of course the famous Walking Street that many go there for.
I was on a mission to get further east and after a couple of days here, I was off to another key destination of mine.