Friday, February 28, 2014

Vespa town ....ehm China town and more :-)

I will start with Thursday night as it was spectacular! We have plotted a dinner out with my newly gained Dhamma sisters from Kancana centre: Pueng, Natt and Mee. They have chosen an amazing restaurant above the big and mighty Chao Phraya river with a view of the temple of Dawn. We shared food the Thai way and had lots of fun.

I have to say that this great evening was followed by a very enjoyable Friday. I spent it all in China town and the temple of dawn. After some troubles finding the river pontoons and boat hopping which was great, it's so cool on the water, I arrived at this famous quarter in good mood. The amount of goods, stalls, tourists, traffic, I mean it's buzzing! For me the best surprise was the number of old Vespas here, these old ladies are still riding in style and look just fab, what ever business they are used for. I found a great lunch with no chilies and no meat in a small restaurant, where some guests were happy to talk to me and even share their food! Later on I escaped the noise to a nice temple and then found a bit modern PHRA MAHA MONDOP - a museum of history of China town and history of golden Buddha image and finally the image it self on 4th floor. Cost me 140b for the full exhibition and I have to say that it was worth the money and I can recommend you to visit this place because the exhibition is of a high quality (comperable to British museums) and well explains the history of china town, in line with history of China and Thailand so it provides full picture till modern days. Then the technique of making a Buddha image in 13th century is well explained here step by step, which I found very interesting as well.

Back in the town, I bought an original tiger balm and jumped on a boat to Temple of Dawn. This place is also worth your time and money (50b), it was nice in sunset scenery and as you can climb up the main shrine, it provides nice view. This very busy day left me quite tired so I'm just chilling today. Natt is taking me to her home town Nakhonpathom tomorrow and I want to be fresh to enjoy it. I will just go and try my selling skills in Khaosan road where I want to sell my book about sailing which I have fully studied and want to pass on for someone else to enjoy. It's also pretty heavy as it's on a good quality paper...

All pictures in the Thailand album as previously!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Back to Bangkok

I took a train to Bangkok yesterday, it costs 28 baths and takes about 3 hours from Lop buri. The journey was pleasant as much as it can be in midday heat, but all those aisle sellers keep you occupied :-) . When I was trying to get a taxi on the main train station I noticed two German guys just doing the same, so I jumped in a tuk-tuk with them, 3 people, lots of bicycle bags and a bike :-) . I had a nice chat with one of them and the other one didn't take my share of the costs when we arrived at Khao San road. Very nice and generous gentlemen! Thank you again :-) .
From there I took it by walk to Samsen and found a guesthouse recommended to me by my Spanish friend from meditation course - yes, you Monika :-) . Its called Bangkok House, night is for 200b! And it's cute, clean and quiet (depending on guests as it's an old wooden house). See my new home :-) + do not trust searching sites like TripAdvisor or other sites for accommodation, these were saying that this hostel is full and price was much higher. Just be brave and go, there will be surely a free room somewhere!
Well after a short stroll around famous Khao San, I went back and had a sound sleep.
Today I felt brave so went walking towards the grand palace, found Wat Pho - very nice, pictures in the album. Its a long walk, I have to admit. The emeralrd Buddha will have to wait before I go to see him, the price is just so high! 500b... I am not sure if I can efford it now, maybe next time. It was recommended to me so it is probably worth it. Instead I bought myself a skirt :-) I had to throw one shorts away so didn't have spare leg cover, now I can go to do my laundry and still be well dressed. :-) 
Well I hope you have fun reading my blog, you can comment and let me know.
This is my favourite dish here, okok, I know it is a dessert, but desserts were always my favourite part of the menu! It's a pumpkin in coconut milk served hot. Yum! Family, I will make you some when I'm back, just remind me, OK?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ayutthaya - Lopburi

To continue where I stopped last time, ... Auythaya by boat is a great idea, the trip takes 2 hours, costs about 200bth and will provide completely different angle to sightseeing.
Despite all the looks and question marks in eyes of locals, we insisted on morning tour and it was well worth it. Later on we discovered that the boat trip was Normaly set for 4pm to catch the scenery at sunset. But without extra colours we experienced pleasant journey without extra tourists! More over, there was a ceremony in one temple so, it was truly great.

Next day me and the two nice Germans Alex and Theresa took the river crossing boat to the train station (cost 3bth! Unlike tuk-tuk) and headed north. I have jumped out just after an hour in Lop buri and waved the young couple goodbye. I chose this place in pursuit of cheaper stay and peace and quiet. While to my surprise the accommodation costs are the same and Sunday was the last day of big festival celebrating the king here, so far far away from quiet. :-)  but that's life.

There are plenty of ruins for such a small town but only limited places to stay. The whole town is also occupied by a high number of monkeys which are a bit violent. I have witnessed an attack on plastic back with bananas. The woman who carried it did let go of it with a smile, so probably a common scenery here. But I was happy to have my foldable shopping bag from ikea, pink, but not see through! It looks like the only place which monkeys do not like is ruins of European diplomatic site from 18th century. :-)
To the festival, it actually brought much more coloure to what Lopburi can offer. People dressed up in some kind of traditional pants and dresses, some heavily make-upped and everyone in a good festive mood. High number of stalls with expensive fabrics and clothes, cosmetics and food was something a bit different to the normal markets cramped with cheep Chinese goods. Lots of places were decorated with fresh flowers arranged in sand and wonder gardens were created in two places as well.

Enjoy new pictures here:
Next report will be from Bangkok. :-)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ayutthaya - wonders of ruins

OK first thing in this post I want to say how much I love Thai women driving their Scooters around. They look so magestic! Turning elegantly around corners, smiling, of course they do not wear helmets so you can enjoy the full picture. Without effort, they just look good. They also drive their kithe driver and the older on the back. And sure you can see all kinds of passengers here, dogs on the foot rest and many other types of luggage hanging.

And on the road we stay for now :-) . I decided to leave Kanchanaburi on Thursday so early in the morning, I headed to the bus station. Let me just say, that around 7 in the morning, when I was about to snooze my alarm, a heavy shower started. Yes, it was raining for about 10 minutes and the air got cooler to some 22°C and freshened up nicely. So in this cool morning I took a tuk-tuk and the driver took me to a better spot than the main station but to the right bus at the corner of one street. A 2-hour long rather chilli ride to Suphanburi, where a mini bus driver took over me and got me safe to Ayuthaya. She played a movie on the way, I sat in the front so had the screen just before my nose, it was hard to avoid it. Very silly movie, all I say...
Now Ayuthaya, what is this place like. Well it's on the railway track up north and its a former kings home town. This country was defeated by the strong burmies army and after that the capital was moved. The very center is situated on a large river island encircled by 3 rivers. But the whole thing is not completely natural, there was some digging done in early days for defense purpose. Currently this city is not less dusty then any other place in Thailand and customes are the same as well. Fortunately all hostels are situated in one spot 2 minutes from the bus terminal. Huray, no taxi, no long walks! I got a cheep room, found a post office and finally got food in the hostel's restaurant. I didn't feel like doing much so chilled for the day. This morning I had a bicycle ride around historical sites in my mind so I went to get a bike (40bath/day).

A young German couple was just doing the same thing, hiring a bike so I asked them where they were going and if I could hang out and they were pretty happy so off we peddalled together.
All that remains from Ayuthaya's former glory are few cheddies and lots of brick ruins. (See pictures) most of sites charge 50b and the temple with huge bronze (but goldplated) statue of Buddha is free of charge. So we talked, had lunch, did some stalls strolling and more peddalling on these busy dusty roads. At one moment we saw a pretty long snake hurrying into bushes. Spotted few birds too. I have to say it was very enjoyable shared experience. We met for dinner again and will try to do a boat trip tomorrow.
Also hostel staff around this place is very nice and friendly, making jokes and mess around. Sweet people!
I'm not exactly sure where I will move next, but it will be on Sunday. Let's just say that having window to the main street with all day and nigh buzz is not exactly my cup of tea now.

Stay tuned, I'll try to update pictures daily!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A bit of nature

Another hot day is over here in Thailand - still Kanchanaburi district. It's still a hot night, at least indoors, outside, above the river shallows is a nice cooling temperature (but many mosquitos too...).

Pictures from yesterday and today are here:  I will, always feed them to this album so if you want to see only pictures, you can save the link.

Well, I took a bus to Erawan water falls this morning. It sounded as a good idea and so it certainly was. The only disappointment was the number of people who thought the same, especially groups of Russian tourists... Falls are pretty and the temperature was a tiny bit more bearable there in the Forrest and close to cold azure water. Unfortunately, I was not clever enough to bring a swimsuit, well I will do so next time. Check out pictures, the water was so clear and cool! Once I've found a small track of the tourist stream I managed to see some unique butterflies, common lizards, birds and blue flowers producing beautiful fragrance. 

The bus ride is enjoyable despite the old shiny Mercedes vehicle which struggles uphills. :-) it takes only 1,5 hours and the driver will stop where you want to on the way back. (Find alarm clock on the picture.) ;) There is no aircon and you can open a window, much better way of traveling than modern busses - I say.
Back in the town, I looked at the train station which is cute and then went to the post office, pharmacy for vitamins, finaly bought a comb for my messy hair and also got some water. I can finally appreciate the cold shower in these hot days. 
Tomorrows plan is to visit some museums, and I might head out to Ayuthaya the following day. Although the landlord made me a dinner tonight which was very nice of him, he is really above the river and fishermen are passing by on the piers leading to bungalow rooms just below the porch. It creates authentic atmosphere I have to say. They use sort of harpunas and bring the fish in plastic bags full of water. There is no wind tonight so mosquitos do bite!
Oh and I met two sisters from Alaska there in the forest, we sort of met on my first day here as I was asking them for directions. Such nice girls, traveling for two month Thailand + China. Exciting!
                              So long!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kanchanaburi first days

 This is where I am now. River Guest House. Yesterday's sunset was nice, right? As I am not feeling perfectly well today, I will stay in for now and see, if my condition improves, I will take pictures of sunset on the bridge. River Kway is very clean, at least here, when the mud settles down. This place is not super clean, but the owner is very nice, speaks good English and is very helpful (took my bag in the room and placed my water in a fridge).
Yesterday, I got a lift from the meditation center to Kanchanaburi by a nice woman Ning and her son Not. She has been meditating for ten years and now when her son graduated, she went to a monastery. She also said that she knew me from past life, that she recognised me! Thai people are nice! But there was aircon in the car and that caused me a headache. Well I felt lucky so started walking to the center, as they dropped me next to the huge war cemetery, but that was a mistake, I should have had to go to the river instead. Never mind, spend some hours walking around with the heavy bag looking for place to stay, when I was super tired and hungry, an oldish man on a motorbike asked Taxi? And I jumped behind him and felt very happy. He took me to this place for 20 baths. I was just walking the wrong direction... This town is not in my guidebook and I couldn't even find an internet cafe. At least I know where  the bus station and pier is and bought Thai phone number which needs to top up. Number is: 0066958200291. Oh well not everything is always perfect right?

 Hey and there is a gecko in my room now! ;) . I will keep you posted!
Other picture will be here

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Bangkok

Dear friends, so I arrived in Bangkok. Totally jetlagged, tired and with a pounding headache. I just don't take 10 hours under instant draft well. It's nice and warm here, after some struggle looking for a bus I found a train and then a taxi with two other fresh tourists. We enjoyed the traffic jam together and saw a cigarette smokig monk! :) even the taxi driver was laughing! Well, now when in bed, under my Happy misu fan, after thorough Thai massage, dinner and legs eaten by some mosquitos or what, I feel content and very sleepy. Good night my English speaking friends!

Par osobních zpráv:
Ondro, bundu jsem si nakonec koupila, tak nezmrznu! Dik za radu, je opravdu lehká a může se hodit.
Baru, Dik za first aid a dovybaveni, nikomu to nedám :) !

Musím, vám říct, že v prvních chvílích mě bolest hlavy zmahala natolik, že jsem si říkala, co tu vůbec jako dělám...ale po 4 hodinách spánku se stal svět zase přívětivým. Dala jsem si super masáž zad, chvilkama jsem se svijela jak mučene zvířátko a intenzivně myslela na Kordika, které by byl milosrdnejsi, nic méně palce té paní byly úžasné a až se sem dní vrátím tak tam zajdu zas.
Zítra mě čeká ranní hon na autobus a pak budete mít 11 dni pokoj :).

Dobré myšlenky!

Breakfast - fried bananas!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thejourney has started

Hellos from the great Frankfurt airport!

First I need to thank you all for your wishes, help, advice, care, messages and calls! The number of people that said happy journey to me is so high that this trip will be amazing for sure! Thank you!

From the moment I woke up this morning, I feel like in a dream which is real.
This airport feels like a huge fish tank, I had no idea how big it was!
Longest ever flight is ahead of me and once I get out of the plane, it will be a busy morning in great Bangkok. The first quest is to find my hostel which should be easy and the next day the spot with bus to meditation center in Kanchanaburi. For you who don't know look up for more info about meditation I practice.
I will add some departure pictures later on. So far I had an amazing pumpkin-ginger soup here in a restaurant and a vegetarian sandwich on the plane served by nice and friendly Lufthansa. Thats just facts, but it feels all amazing! Tha's it from me for now. Take care and enjoy the snow!! ;)