A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Traveling from Nong Khai to Loei and Loei to Phitsanulok

semi-overcast 36 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

We decided to Travel to Loei as according to the guides the views from the bus were really nice and also to avoid to be in the bus to Chiang Mai for 12 hours therefore we thought that we will do it in stages. We managed to find the right bus, helpfull people in the bus station and a lot of sign Language and writing in a pice of paper was required though. 3rd class bus, very cheap around 250km to our destination, looking good... It seem that this bus wasn't very popular among foreigners as people on the bus were looking at us. Once that a brave woman started to speak with us in thai more people joined in to know what the heck we were doing there. We told them that we were going to Loei and they seem satisfied with it until they start giving us water and Food, rice and dry squid with some dumplings. Once that they fed us they relaxed and they continued with their thing. The bus follows the Mekong and the Laos border and Goes up the mountains. Stunning views along the way. After 4 hours in the bus we started wondering if we would arrive soon to Loei, it took us another 4!

Arriving to Loei, it wasnt looking very nice. We try to go to the guesthouse that we were thinking to sleep and it turn out that it was closed. We finished in chinese hotel that we must say was ok, as it had air con. Total luxury for our recent standards.... After a night sleep and a short walk , city didn't seem nice at all, we decided that we better go to our next destination Phitsanulok

Another 5 hours in the bus and more scenic views and we were there. As this time we were going in air con bus, people seem more unfriendly. No food for us :(. Phitsanulok was looking better and booked a room that was extremely cheap also extremely small and hot but it had a nice retro look. We spent 2 nights in there doing some sightseeing and resting. The place is not tourist oriented at all and was a bit hard to get by, ordering food was very random. Anyway was good to see how a true Thai city looks..

3rd class bus

3rd class bus

3rd class bus

3rd class bus

View from the bus

View from the bus

More views

More views

View from the bus

View from the bus

Photo with nice ladies that were feeding us

Photo with nice ladies that were feeding us

It was a long trip to Loei

It was a long trip to Loei

Loei, not much to say

Loei, not much to say

Loei

Loei

Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok

Thais doing aerobic, free classes for everybody

Thais doing aerobic, free classes for everybody

Phitsanulok cultural centre

Phitsanulok cultural centre

Local bar, asian pop and western pop blasting non stop

Local bar, asian pop and western pop blasting non stop

Walking around the city at night

Walking around the city at night

Wat ratburana

Wat ratburana

Wat ratburana

Wat ratburana

Wat ratburana

Wat ratburana

Small museum inside the wat ratburana

Small museum inside the wat ratburana

Museum

Museum

Wat ratburana

Wat ratburana

Boat belonging to king Chulalongkorn

Boat belonging to king Chulalongkorn

Murals inside the wat, really nice and all walls are decorated

Murals inside the wat, really nice and all walls are decorated

Murals

Murals

Monk doing what monks do

Monk doing what monks do

image

image

Wat Yai, second most sacred buddha in thailand

Wat Yai, second most sacred buddha in thailand

Wat Yai, second most sacred Buddha in Thailand is here

Wat Yai, second most sacred Buddha in Thailand is here

Wat Yai

Wat Yai

Wat Yai, full of people

Wat Yai, full of people

Our room in phitsanulok, very cheap, small and hot

Our room in phitsanulok, very cheap, small and hot

Our room

Our room

Comic store, owner surprised that we wanted a picture

Comic store, owner surprised that we wanted a picture

Our chinese coffe shop, really nice coffe, Second day we get a discount <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Our chinese coffe shop, really nice coffe, Second day we get a discount :)

Posted by joxa 01:33 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

trapped in Chiang Mai

sunny 28 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

After our previous adventures we arri ved to Chiang Mai with the deep need to relax,recharge batteries, do all practical things and attend to basic needs. Chiang Mai in itself is not ugly, has some sort of atmosphere of a laid back town but is sooo tourist oriented that we found ourselves lucky to be living downtown in a hostel/homestay accmodation. Chiang Mai has a spletoroum of temples, Western bars in every corner, and is a one big market place which we think can meet everybody's needs once you manage to go over the bargaining barrier. For some perhaps.its fun for us the necessary devil in here to quarrel with people over money! But we managed to equip ourselves in more appropriate for the tropical weather clothing and in this way transformed into true hippies on the road. Anyway we gave ourselves enough time to think what to do next. We also managed to explore more of a culinary side of Thailand with the everyday adventure of going to the Thai market for Thais where we tried all sorts of fruit, fish and other delicacies. We were fortunate to be here on the most important Buddhist day -Visakha Bucha , the day of Buddha's birth and enlightenment. As it was challenging to gain sufficient information about the details of celebrations, by walking around temples we managed to see a Thai dance and drama performance, take part in walk around the arun and experience candlelight atmosphere. Now moving up the north to small mountain towns. We might nit be able to update this blog for the next 3-4 weeks.

Po trudach naszej podrozy zrobilismy przymusowy przystanek w Chiang Mai, gdzie udalo nam sie zrelaksowac, zmienic garderobe na bardziej odpowiedni styl dzieci kwiatow oraz zaplanowac dalsze etapy podrozy. Samo Chiang Mai jest bardzo turystyczne i nie tyle brzydkie co malo interesujace i niezbyt przyjazne ludziom, ktorzy lubia chodzic gdyz nie posiada chodnikow! Mnostwa buddyjskich swiatyn, barow i targow. Wlasciwie to jest to jedno wielkie miejsce targowe. Mielismy szczescie wziac czesciowy udzial w najwazniejszym swiecie buddyjskim - Visakha Bucha i mimo braku informacji udalo nam sie zobaczyc tradycyjny tajski taniec, zapalanie swiec przez mnichow nowicjuszy i wraz z z ludzmi przejsc wokol starego arun.questions Jedno, co pozwolilo nam zostac dluzej, to ogrod w domu na przedmiesciach, gdzie sie zatrzymalismy i gdzie probowalismy przeroznych dan mniej lub bardziej wiadomego pochodzenia.. jutro udajemy sie na polnoc, kontakt moze byc znikomy przez kilka tygodni.

Estamos ahora en Chiang Mai y basicamente descansando despues de viajar. Chiang Mai no es una ciudad fea pero esta totalmente horientada al turismo. Nuestro hostel esta fuera de lo que es el centro de la ciudad que es bastante practico puesto que nos da la opcion de coner comida thai . El centro de la ciudad esta lleno de restaurantes occidentales, incluido como no, un tapas bar . La ciudad esta llena de templos y de mercados: mercado de dia, de noche, del sabado y domingo. Este ultimo inmenso. Asi que la ciudad es un bazar para turistas, muy barato pero te tiene que gustar el regateo. De todas maneras hemos hecho nuestras compras y estamos me
jor equipados para el calor. Nuestra actividad favorita ha sido ir al mercado local a comer. Buena oportunidad para provar frutas y platos del lugar. Entre otras cosas concidio que estabamos aqui el dia del nacimiento de buddha - visakha bucha y estuvimos viendo como lo celebraban. El siguiente paso es ir mas al norte a un pequeno pueblo y explorar la zona. Puede que no tengamos oportunidad de actualizar el blog por 3 o 4 semanas..
Visakha Bucha Celebrations

Visakha Bucha Celebrations

Visqkha Bucha 24th May

Visqkha Bucha 24th May

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration, ancient temple

Buddha's day celebration, ancient temple

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration, you need to around the temple at least 3 times

Buddha's day celebration, you need to around the temple at least 3 times

Buddha's day celebration, all part of the same wat

Buddha's day celebration, all part of the same wat

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration - a well fed one <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Buddha's day celebration - a well fed one :)

Just a tree

Just a tree

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration, performance was included

Buddha's day celebration, performance was included

Buddha's day celebration

Buddha's day celebration

Another temple another celebration

Another temple another celebration

Another temple another celebration of Visakha Bucha

Another temple another celebration of Visakha Bucha

Another temple another celebration of Visakha Bucha

Another temple another celebration of Visakha Bucha

New Monks are ordained in Buddha's day

New Monks are ordained in Buddha's day

Buddha is everywhere

Buddha is everywhere

Temple

Temple

Temple

Temple

Temple

Temple

Elephant seem to be the animal of the region

Elephant seem to be the animal of the region

image

image

Offerings on the temple

Offerings on the temple

Random guy that we meet.

Random guy that we meet.

Looking up

Looking up

Murals whit the life of Buddha

Murals whit the life of Buddha

Fried squid, tapas thai style

Fried squid, tapas thai style

Market

Market

Market

Market

They love scooters in thailand

They love scooters in thailand

Lizard

Lizard

Dinner from the market

Dinner from the market

karp grilowany w soli (grilled carp in salt)

karp grilowany w soli (grilled carp in salt)

lychees from the market

lychees from the market

Cooking class

Cooking class

cooking preparations

cooking preparations

Fishes in a flower pot!?

Fishes in a flower pot!?

More Fish

More Fish

<img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

:)

Temple time again

Temple time again

Lot of stray dogs in thailand

Lot of stray dogs in thailand

sunset in Chiang Mai

sunset in Chiang Mai

Donald Duck is Buddhist!?

Donald Duck is Buddhist!?

Eating in our breakfast place

Eating in our breakfast place

Of course we got a place for coffee

Of course we got a place for coffee

Bored monkey <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Bored monkey :)

Three kings, founders if Chiang Mai

Three kings, founders if Chiang Mai

City is full of wats (=temples)l

City is full of wats (=temples)l

Old city gates

Old city gates

City walls, not much left of them

City walls, not much left of them

Chiang Mai river

Chiang Mai river

Old city was protected by walls and moat

Old city was protected by walls and moat


]

Links to some videos that we took on Buddha's day:

http://youtu.be/WoB_Mj0y0bI

http://youtu.be/Jeoa-u_p0hM

Posted by joxa 09:34 Archived in Thailand Comments (4)

Pai

sunny 32 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

We are now back online, still in the North of Thailand. We are hoping to be moving soon.. but first a small update on our experiences.. we spent a few days in Pai at the beginning of the month. Although touristic and full of hippies, it was a charming little town surrounded by mountains. We had a lovely bungalow in outskirts of town with the view to the fields and mountains. Xabi found his new hobby - Honda scooter. Joanna prefers cars:-) but it is a great and practical way to explore the surroundings in here! amazing butterflies and views al over. More tourists had also a good side - some more socializing and exchanging travelling experience..

Jestesmy z powrotem na laczach. Kilka dni w Pai na poczatku miesiaca dalo naszym duszom troche radosci - piekne widoki, roznokolorowe motyle, plywanie w wodospadzie oraz odkrycie nowego sposobu zwiedzania na skuterze... wszystko to dalo nam sily na dalsze etapy podrozy...mielismy tez okazje wymienic sie podrozniczymi historiami z innymi turystami, ktorych wiele w Pai.

Volvemos otra vez a estar online. Este tiempo hemos estado primero en pequeno pueblo llamado Pai. El pueblo parece estar centrado en el turismo y esta situado en un valle entre montanas. Alli pasamos unos dias y exploramos el area un nuestro nuevo de locomocion: el escooter. Bastante practico para moverte por aqui.

Our Bungalow in Pai

Our Bungalow in Pai

Of course must be a temple

Of course must be a temple

Pai is focused in tourism and there is lot of western style places

Pai is focused in tourism and there is lot of western style places

Pai at night

Pai at night

Nothing to say

Nothing to say

Chilling out <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Chilling out :)

image

image

View from our room

View from our room

Walking around the hills

Walking around the hills

Pai is a valley surrounded by mountains

Pai is a valley surrounded by mountains

Travelling by motorbike <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Travelling by motorbike :)

Memorial bridge. Build by japanese during wwII

Memorial bridge. Build by japanese during wwII

Cannyon nearby Pai

Cannyon nearby Pai

Canyon

Canyon

Local temple

Local temple

Nice skies

Nice skies

Joanna trying new things, lemongrass tea from Bamboo

Joanna trying new things, lemongrass tea from Bamboo

Hot springs around Pai

Hot springs around Pai

Stone Forrest

Stone Forrest

Our new traveling method <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Our new traveling method :)

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

A weird Fish <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

A weird Fish :)

Another waterfall

Another waterfall

Posted by joxa 02:50 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Wat Tam Wua

Meditation Retreat

semi-overcast 31 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

18 days in Wat Tam Wua, which is a buddhist monastery offerring meditation retreat to everybody. You just need to turn up...and stay as long as you want. It is donation based and you also help out as required. Apart from meditation we had a chance to observe the monastery life and in this way get to know the Thai culture in a more authentic way. We also met great people from all over the world. The place was positioned in the mountains, very quiet and beautiful. However, no meals after 11am, sleeping on the floor, hard physical work with bricks and cement, lack of nutrients in the diet, strong presence of religion and isolated atmosphere of the monastery community did contribute to our happiness when we hit the road again. For those interested the monastery has a facebook page and their website is as follows: http://althaiman.ru/thai%20htm/Province/wattamwua.htm

Z Pai udalismy sie do buddyjskiego klasztoru w gorach, gdzie tamtejsi mnisi oferuja kursy medytacji. Wystarczy sie tam pojawic i mozna zostac, jak dlugo sie chce i potrzebuje. Oprocz medytacji przez te kilka tygodni mielismy okazje doswiadczyc zycie klasztoru i w ten bardziej autentyczny sposob poznac kulture Tajlandii. Spotkalismy mnostwo interesujacych ludzi z calego swiata. lono natury z przepieknymi widokami bylo imponujace. Jednakze brak jedzenia po 11 rano, spanie na podlodze, obecnosc wszelkiego rodzaju insektow, ciezka fizyczna praca, malo zroznicowana dieta, obecnosc religii oraz odizolowana spolecznosc dodaly radosci, kiedy przyszedl czas na kontynuowanie naszej podrozy. Dla zainteresowanych klasztor ma strone na facebooku oraz wlasna strone internetowa: http://althaiman.ru/thai%20htm/Province/wattamwua.htm

Hemos aprovechado y hemos ido a un temlo buddhista a pasar un tiempo alli. El templo se llama Wat Tam Wua y acoge gente de todo el Mundo. Alli tuvimos la opurtunidad y practicar meditacion y vivir con los monjes segun las reglas buddhistas. Lo que significa no comer carne, ni consumir alimentos despues del mediodia. Aparte de ello se medita de en unas horas establecidas y se colabora con el mantenimiento del lugar. Una buena opurtunidad para aprender y tambien ver la cultura local puesto que la gente de larededor tambien venia a ofrecer regalos y meditar por unos dias. Mucho que discutir y decir acerca de esta estancia que a veces parecia un capitulo de lost.

Going to the Temple

Going to the Temple

Room in the temple

Room in the temple

Offering food to the Monks

Offering food to the Monks

Meditation

Meditation

Lotus pond

Lotus pond

Garden and Carp Pond

Garden and Carp Pond

Garden

Garden

Views around the temple

Views around the temple

More views

More views

Dress Code was white

Dress Code was white

image

image

Inside the temple

Inside the temple

Head monk

Head monk

Mediation

Mediation

Us <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Us :)

Posted by joxa 03:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Mae Hong Son and Tham Lod

Mountain trekking, caves and more motorbikes

overcast 30 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

When we arrived to Mae Hong Son we started the new chapter by eating roast chicken! We stayed in the town for a bit longer as Joanna was trying to locate one of the teachers in the local school who had invited her to visit the school. However Mae Hong Son turned out to be quite big and unable to contact her via phone. so we did sight seeing instead, relaxed in the guesthouse chatting with other travellers, reading, and Xabi reached another stage of familiarity with scooters by renting a manual honda and riding in the very mountainous steep roads. This was great as we had a chance to reach Myanmar border, ride along tea plantations, deserted roads and try Shan version of noodle soup - very tasty! Commonly in the mountains the rainy season was more rainy than in other areas. We got literally soaked several times. And very beaten by mosquitos! In terms of walking which we really like - stray dogs appeared agressive so no much of town exploration:-( We then moved to Pang Mapha from where by motortaxies (basically back of scooter) we reached a village near Tham Lod cave. We stayed in the cabin in the woods but fortunately no horror stories to be shared! We did some mountain treks to the local hill tribe villages and caves and explored amazing Tham Lod cave which was superhuge and contained a prehistoric painting made by a hunter. We also experienced rural Thailand with very friendly people and children waving to us everywhere.

Despues de meditar y ganar puntos de Karma, lo primero que hicimos fue ir a comer pollo :). Estuvimos en Mae hong Son, que es un pueblo perdido en los montes. Pasando el tiempo y disfrutando los alrededores. Como viene siendo costumbre alquilamos una scooter y fuimos hsta el borde con Burma, pasando por unas cascadas y un palacio real que mas bien era una cabana... No hubo muchos paseos aqui por que estaba lleno de perros abandonados que no eran precisamente amistosos. Aparte, es temporada de lluvia y en los montes le da por llover todavia mas.

Despues de descansar fuimos a Pang Mapha donde cogimos una mototaxi para ir a un pueblo cerca Tham load Cave. Aprovechamos para dar una vuelta por los alrededores pues habia senderos y visitamos unas tribus locales y cuevas en el area. La principal cueva es Tham load que se compone de tres partes y es bastante grande. La cueva tiene unas pinturas prehistoricas y fue usada como fines funerarios. Se encontraron alli ataudes de madera de mas de mil anos.

Po prawie trzech tygodniach w klasztorze powrocilismy do zycia. Nasz przystanek w miasteczku Mae Hong Son rozpoczelismy od zjedzenia grilowanego kurczaka. Nasz pobyt byl troche dluzszy gdyz Asia probowala zlokalizowac nauczycielke, ktora zaprosila ja do lokalnej szkoly. Niestety, okazalo sie to niemozliwe w zwiazku z czym szczegolowo zwiedzilismy okolice oraz spozytkowalismy dodatkkowy czas na relaksie, czytaniu i rozmowach z przygodnymi turystami oraz tubylcami. Xabi osiagnal kolejnym stopien wtajemniczenia jesli chodzi o jazde na skuterze - manualna skrzynia biegowni gorskie tereny. Byl to fantastyczny sposob zwiedzania, ktory pozwolil nam dotrrzec do granicy z Burma poprzez plantacje herbaty, opuszczone drogi i tradycyjne wsie. Pyszne jedzenie i herbata umilily nam zwiedzanie. Wrecz przeciwne doswiadczenie mielismy chodzac po miasteczku - agresywne psy nie dawaly nam przejsc poza centrum. Dodatkowo, pora deszczowa oznaczala niespodziewane fontanny z nieba oraz podwojna ilosc komarow! Nie zrazeni tymi przeciwnosciami udalismy sie jeszcze bardziej wglab gor, gdzie wynajelismy gorskie kabiny nieopodal wielkiego kompleksu jaskin Tam Lod. Poza ogromnymi kolumnami, stalaktytami i stalagmitami, jaskinia zawierala obraz namalowany przez prehistorycznego mysliwego! Udalo nam sie tez rozwinac kondycje fizyczna poprzez wycieczki w gory do mniejszych jaskin i gorskich wiosek. Napotkani tam ludzie byli bardzo mili, dzieci chcialy paktykowac swoj angielski i nawet psy merdaly ogonem. Wzbudzalismy powszechne zainteresowanie chodzac po gorach i pocac sie!

Mae hon song lake

Mae hon song lake

Mae hong song lake

Mae hong song lake

Mae hong son lake

Mae hong son lake

Walking to waterfalls nearby

Walking to waterfalls nearby

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

Views from the king's palace in the mountains

Views from the king's palace in the mountains

View from the king's palace

View from the king's palace

Taking rest in our way

Taking rest in our way

297BF0A52219AC6817F72EC77E1D27E0.jpgBan Rak Thai. Last town before Burma

Ban Rak Thai. Last town before Burma

Ben Rak Thai

Ben Rak Thai

Temple on the lake

Temple on the lake

On the road

On the road

Rice fields

Rice fields

Temple near the lake

Temple near the lake

Night view

Night view

We went up wat doi kong mu. Walking and sweating <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

We went up wat doi kong mu. Walking and sweating :)

View from the mountain temple

View from the mountain temple

Wat doi kung mu

Wat doi kung mu

Wat doi kung mu

Wat doi kung mu

On our way back

On our way back

Rainy day

Rainy day


Our hostel in the mountains

Our hostel in the mountains

Walking around

Walking around

Views of our trek

Views of our trek

Local village

Local village

More views

More views

Going up to a small cave

Going up to a small cave

Cave used by monks to meditate

Cave used by monks to meditate

<img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

:)

It was a long trek that day

It was a long trek that day

More views

More views

View from our room

View from our room

We went to see cave Tham  Lod

We went to see cave Tham Lod

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Prehistoric painting, if you are able to spot it, it should be a deer like animal

Prehistoric painting, if you are able to spot it, it should be a deer like animal

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

Cave were used as burial places and they are coffins, 1000 year old

Cave were used as burial places and they are coffins, 1000 year old

Cave is full of bats and birds

Cave is full of bats and birds

Last walk around the area

Last walk around the area

Posted by joxa 20:47 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 64) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »