Thursday, April 17, 2008

thailand in review -- part one

photo in the courtyard of wat pho. photo by nicole block, all rights reserved.

hey everyone! i know i've been back for a few days now without posting about the trip. so i'm here to make up for it.

thing is, my nikon d40 camera was lost/stolen in bangkok, in the last few days of our trip. so, not only did i lose my wonderful camera, i lost all the photos on it. all 1000. trip and otherwise... sniff, sniff... thankfully, we still had another small digital with us, which we had used a bit before we lost the nikon. and we used it daily after we lost the nikon. so we still have pics, just not as good and not as complete. here's a pic of me with it in chiang mai...

moving on... here's part one of the trip info:

thailand is a great place to visit. there's a ton to do, and also ample opportunity to just sit back and relax. we do love a good, involved travel, so it was great for that. while not a re-visit place in my books, it was an interesting trip and well worth it.

travel in thailand is cheap, even if plane tickets cost a lot. we did a ton of stuff and ate like pigs for 2 weeks on the budget of a couple of days in europe. the accommodations are plentiful and inexpensive. our favorite place was the "middle-grade" guest house in bangkok, bann sukhumvit, which ran us a whopping $45 a night with full breakfast included. we also stayed at a friendly and informative guest house in chiang mai for $22 a night and a least-favorite resort on the beach in krabi for $75 a night. if anyone wants references for the accommodations, let me know.

bangkok -- fun, but large and crowded, city. I really enjoyed it to be honest, but the general thought process of most there seems to be that it's too crowded and polluted. guess being a NY'er, i didn't mind! lots of beautiful wats (temples) that are well-kept and worth visiting. plus you get to see monks, who i love! we loved chinatown there for some authentic daily-life sightseeing, and the food vendors on the streets are amazing (even if some do steal cameras). we also loved the canal trip on the other side of the river and going to the movies there! the most fun we had at night was at an ex-pat irish pub (it was the night i lost my camera, and i wanted to stay away from all things thai) called the dubliner. awesome, awesome place. great live music and good beer. though the burgers were weird and seasoned... but what can you expect from a burger in thailand? =D

photos above, from top: scary guys on the first level of wat arun, young monks walking around wat pho, and ladies doing business in chinatown, bangkok. all photos by nicole block, all rights reserved.

chiang mai
-- country/city. quieter than bangkok, though plenty touristy. good place to do adventurous stuff from, so we went on an elephant trek, which is what all tourists do when they go to chiang mai. LOL... still, quite worth it, and so much fun. i now have a new love for elephants! two girls actually fell off their elephant in front of us, which i felt awful about, but they were unhurt and in good humor about it. we also saw a couple of elephants randomly being led into the city over the river, right in front of us on our walk back to the guest house. very odd!! once you go a little further into the city, you get away from some tourists and more into daily thai life, which is more interesting. there are very kind people in this town.
krabi -- beautiful, beautiful, beyond beautiful place on the coast. we stayed on ao nang beach, which is quite quite touristy but an easy jump-off for outings to the surrounds islands in the province. we took a kayaking trip through a mangrove forest off the coast (amazing trip, very peaceful and fun), and a full-day snorkeling and beach trip through the phi phi islands (where they filmed the beach). we also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in krabi on the 7th, with a seafood dinner in a restaurant right on the sand. some things that were interesting/fun: great, and i mean great, street food stalls, including an amazing bbq chicken/corn lunch and a yummy thai "pancake" with banana and condensed milk; these odd lanterns, made out of rice paper, that one lights and makes a wish on, and then sends up into the air. the lanterns take off on their own and wind up looking like constellations in the sky. seemingly traditional there.

canoe trip through the mangrove forest in krabi at top; on our snorkeling trip through ko phi phi. both photos by nicole block, all rights reserved.

lanterns being lit on a holiday in chiang mai, like the ones we saw daily in krabi (top photo courtesy of the travel blog, bottom from travel happy.)

1 comment:

jm said...

that sucks about your camera! looks like it was still a great trip though.