A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

Thailand, Lao, and China Feb. 2012

From the South to the North, Bangkok to Chiang Rai. We decided to rent a van and drive north through the ancient cities of Ayutthaya, and Sukhothai for our first week

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The tourist van we rented. They actually let us drive it away ourselves....even though we drive on the wrong side of the road!
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Elephant ranglin' in Ayutthaya
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He was goin' for my wallet!
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Ayutthaya has its own style...even the tuk-tuk's were different
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Ruins at Ayutthaya Historical City. Built around 1350, destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. It's estimated that Ayutthaya, by the year 1600, had a population of about 300,000, with the population perhaps reaching 1,000,000 around 1700. Making it one of the world's largest cities at that time
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Wonder how long that's been there?
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He didn't look happy having his lunch interupted
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After checking out the ruins we went for a boat ride on the river. The city is basically an island surrounded by the river. In the old days it was used as a defense system. The food was great, cooked on the boat, with a few cold Chang beers large_IMG_2233.jpg
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We had a great time...especially after it got dark and our lovely captain ran out of diesel. We had to tie to a piling in the pitch black night, refuel with the spare can she had on board, and then bleed the system. She was worried. We told her she had three guys, all who had had boats, all with diesels, and all have run outta fuel in the dark! We just laughed and thought it was funny! Made her feel a lot better. Good thing I had a flashlight handy.
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Giant Monk statue on the way to Sukhothai
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Real live pig butt! A bunch of em, all numbered and ready for market
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Now there's somethin' ya don't see everyday!
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We stopped here for lunch. Chicken wings and beer!
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Giant Golden Buddha on the way to Sukhothai
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Had to maneuver our van down some pretty small roads to get to some of the temple cities
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The ruins at Sukhothai and surrounding cities were just as impressive. A little older than Ayutthaya, around 1238, and spread out over a much larger area.
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I climbed to the top of one temple for pics. I asked first
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The town was all decked out for a festival. Perfect time to be there!
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Bring on the Festival!
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Lots of fun, music, dance, food, and fireworks!
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Headed out the next morning for Chiang Mai. Mostly superhighway, nice Morning Glorylarge_IMG_2761.jpg
Back in Chiang Mai. Spent the night, and then headed for Chiang Rai, and Ban Lao, where Nattaya's family lives
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Breakfast at our guesthouse
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Cute little car
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Chiang mai is full of beautiful temples
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Orchid nursery, Chiang Rai
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Wat Tham Pla, the Fish and Monkey cave near the Myanmar border. They don't tell ya about the crocodiles!
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Apparently the monkeys and crocodiles are pals
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The 'fish' part of Fish and Monkey cave
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The cave temple was wonderful, and quite the hike up the mountain.
400 of these.....
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Which leads to this....
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And gets you here. to the entrance
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Buddha image in the cave
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Buffet in Chiang Rai near my guesthouse. There's a new idea, pay by the minute!
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Yum, live crickets, you could get them live, or have them deep fried.
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I opted for the squid! Deeeeeelicious!
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The roaches were next on the menu
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The scenery on the way to Ban Lao
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Thai Scarecrow
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Back at my favorite restaurant, Haad Chiang Rai (Chiang Rai Beach)
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Just tryin' to relax!
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Great temple tucked away from the beach on a hill overlooking the river
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Posted by ikombazana 08:16 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

North to South, Chiang Rai to Pattaya

Garlic fields outside Thaton, on the way to Fang
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Hotel in Fang. Very nice, $15.00 a night!
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Beautiful temple at Chiang Dao caves
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Herb vendor outside Chiang Dao
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Catfish pond, Chiang Dao caves
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Entrance to Wat Tham Chiang Dao
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The cave was great. 453 meters, many temples, bridges over streams, and stalactites
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Back in Chiang Mai, temples everywhere!
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Monkmobile
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Beautifully carved and polished teak Buddha image
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Kunan, or jackfruit. The tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 80 pounds in weight, and up to 36 inches long and 20 inches in diameter.
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And then it was on to Pattaya to wait for Ted to get his replacement Passport. Not exactly why I go to Thailand, but had never been and everybody said I should see it at least once. That was enough
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Some cool cars
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I asked for a half dozen oysters on the half shell. They were fresh, delicious, probably two dozen of them, and $3.00!
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The duck was delicious too. Ate where the locals did, instead of the big seafood places where the clientele was mostly Russian! And the food rediculously overpriced
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The beach was nice, but very touristy. And the umbrellas cost ya.
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Went to the harbor. Lots of boat building
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The yacht club and harbor were nice
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Ouch!
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Yacht club apartments at Ocean Marina Yacht Club
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My Gucci motorbike to tool around on
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There were a couple of nice temples up on the hill overlooking the city
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The Chinese temple and gardens were truly beautiful.
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As you can see, Pattaya is a large tourist beach town, lots of nightclubs, bars, and, well, rooms rented by the hour, if you know what I mean....and I think you do! Not really my 'cup of tea'. Onward to meet Ted and Nattaya in Ubon, and head to Lao
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Posted by ikombazana 22:48 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Loy Krathong Festival

Lanna Meditation Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand Nov. 21 2010

Posted by ikombazana 14:59 Archived in Thailand Tagged meditation chiang mai center lantern lanna krathong loy Comments (0)

My Favorite Restaurant

sunny 91 °F

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Bo, Kent, Eli and I gettin' a little downtime after Ted and Nattaya's wedding

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Haad Chiang Rai

The 'Small River Shrimp' on the menu turned out to be REALLY Fresh!

I ordered 'em, I ate 'em.

Posted by ikombazana 19:54 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

The Beautiful Diversity of Thailand

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Wat near Chiang Saen. 160 Buddhas

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Downtown Mae Sai, Myanmar Border

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Remains of 12th Century Temple, Chiang Mai

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Every Temple Was Guarded By Nagas, Chiang Mai

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Golden Buddhas, Grand Palace, Bangkok

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Wat Chet Yot at sunrise, across the street from my guesthouse, Chiang Rai

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Carved Teak Elephant, Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai

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Local Critter, Tha Ton
This thing was the size of your hand with a long proboscus

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Longtail Boat Trip, Kok River
From Tha Ton near the Myanmar border, downstream to Chiang Rai

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Hand Carved Stone Elephants, Buddhist Monastery, Tha Ton

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Real Elephants, Ban Ruam Mit, Kok River

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I stuck out my hand and he put his trunk in it. I scratched him behind his ears, he lowered his head and rubbed up against my shoulder. Just like a big happy dog.

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Haad Kruad Beach, Koh Phangan Island. Absolute Serenity.

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Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Center, Chiang Rai

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Koh Tao Island

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Giant Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, Koh Samui Island

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Another View Of The Giant Buddha

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Another Very Large Buddha

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Koh Samui Yacht Club

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Mexico? Koh Samui Island

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Yum! Market at Mae Sai, Myanmar Border

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Keepin' The Neighbors Out, Mae Sai, Myanmar Border

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The Monk Who Blessed Me With Long Life and Happiness

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My Favorite Restaurant, Haad Chiang Rai

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Bob's Big Buddha, Tha Ton, Northern Thailand

Posted by ikombazana 16:34 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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