A Travellerspoint blog

January 2007

Last Days in Thailand

sunny 32 °C
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I drank instant coffee (with sugar in it) and my spork broke. Only those of you that understand and appreciate the beauty of a spork know what I am talking about.. . .

Our time in Thailand is drawing to a close. We will probably be here for about four or five more days then we are off to Cambodia. Not sure how our planned border crossing will go (I suspect not that smoothly) but it will save some backtracking - which I hate - and will allow us to go to at least one of Thailand's famous beaches.

We spent the last six days travelling to Chiang Mai, trekking in Chiang Mai and returning from Chiang Mai. The trek was quite touristy but fantastic. It was only three days and not arduous by any stretch of the imagination.

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We had a bit of an elephant ride - big fan of elephants, would really like one. . . .then trekking and bamboo rafting which was surprisingly good fun. We stayed in bamboo hut type things which were very cool and the food was amazing. We met some nice people on the trek who we are hoping to freeload off in the not too distant future! Gotta love networking. . . .We went swimming at some beautiful waterfalls and saw some amazing scenery.

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However, we were both quite challenged by the environmental (or lack of) considerations during the trek. It didn't spoil our experience but made us wonder how sustainable those trips will continue to be.

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Our return to Bangkok was kind of fun in a really loud, uncomfortable, shaky, dirty kind of way. The train was a local overnight sleeper which is funny because neither of us remember sleeping really. A few times I thought we were going have a crash / did have a crash. Quite a painful tripreally. This does not bode (my favourite word of the trip) well for the Transiberian Rail!!!! Originally we were going to try and get to Ko Chang today but decided to spend a night in Bangkok to rest and relax and send emails before the next adventure. We are staying in a reasonable guesthouse for about $9AUD . . all good. We had three hours sleep this morning after the train extravaganza and have had nothing else to do all day. A rarity for us while we are on holidays. The adventure starts again tomorrow. . .early . . .who knows how far we will get. Bangkok seems unseasonably cool today which is a welcome surprise.

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We have registered our Cambodia trip with DFAT and will try to continue update the registration as we go. Skype has been going pretty well but not all of the internet cafes have it so we have to search for it. Good to talk to Peta and Bwett and Jen today - reception was bad though. . . .

Posted by adamandmeg 03:55 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Kanchanaburi

The Bridge on the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass

sunny 30 °C
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We are in Kanchanaburi and have been for a couple of days. It is a small country version of Bangkok (kind of like Target Country) but it has been very interesting. We went to the Allied War Cemetary and Death Railway Museum - both of which were incredibly well kept and very interesting. We were quite moved by both experiences which was only topped by the Bridge on the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass today. What can I say? Awesome . . .

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We are staying in a guesthouse called Jolly Frog, it probably has a web site - it is really good value and really nice. Apparently it is very close to at least 2 ATMs as well. Unfortunately not spotted by one member of the team when he went to get money. Adam says - "which is just as well, so I don't have to make the 40 minute round trip into town (again)".

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Todays trip up to Hellfire pass was a true adventure - we stumbled around town for about an hour trying to work out how to catch the (local) bus. We gave up and asked our newest best friend at the iced coffee shop to do it for us. We had the whole street vendor crew on the corner in our corner (ha ha) helping us flag down a bus. Worth it - only $5 for the 4 hour round trip for both of us.

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Keep thinking that we have a pool at the guesthouse but it is only old men walking around in speedos . . .not a pool to be seen. It is a constant source of disappointment, it is really hot here!!

We are off back to Bangkok tomorrow morning, then later on tomorrow afternoon we are overnighting on the train to Chiang Mai. We are there for 5 days then back to Bangkok.

Posted by adamandmeg 03:55 Archived in Thailand Tagged train_travel Comments (0)

The first 48 Hours

sunny 30 °C
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I hope everyone is wondering how our first 48 hours have been and are missing us terribly!!! The airport was quite intense so it was a relief to get through customs (even though I left my leatherman in my hand luggage . . Mum (of the Barry variety), this is coming to you through the mail!) and have a drink and celebrate our last moments in Australia for some time. . .all going well.

Bangkok is ace! Uneventful taxi trip from the airport although the driver was trying to break the land speed record in big city traffic, nice one. Uneventful guesthouse - no five star luxury but comfortable and conveniently located. Not that we knew where it was actually located as it turned out. The first few hours of exploring were annoyingly interrupted by people wanting our money and people wanting us to ride in tuk tuks. We eventually got to a tourist bureau where we booked a trip up to Chiang Mai - leaving on the 23rd and returning on the 29th. Can't wait . . .literally. . .so we are going to Kanchanaburi tomorrow for a couple of days. Kanchanaburi is of Bridge over the River Kwai fame and we are also hoping to get up to Hell Fire Pass. We leave tomorrow. Had dinner in Khao San Rd last night. Khao San rd is close to our guesthouse if you take a direct route. . . . which we do now. . .but earlier. . .

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Today in Bangkok was truly amazing. We are both constantly surprised at how clean it is and compared to Manilla or Cairo it isn't that busy. Heaps of backpackers everywhere which is a bit strange but it is all good. We went to the Grand Palace, National Museum, the Reclining Buddha and had a little boat ride. Meals on the street are cheap and good - we are both still healthy so it must be ok. There was some huge shindig on all for the King of Thailand. Still not sure what it was all about but it was very busy today.

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Jen and Stephen - we have thought about the two of you quite a bit over the last two days. We hope that your flight was good and that London is blowing your mind. Can you send us your mobile phone number in England. We will try and give you a call over the next week.

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Anyway, we are safe and well and loving it. We are looking forward to heading off tomorrow - Kanchanaburi should be grouse (Adam's word suggestion - nice one. . .). Missing everybody lots.

Posted by adamandmeg 19:35 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Preparations

As ready as we will ever be...

all seasons in one day
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Here we are, we are finally at the point of no return. After months of seemingly endless admin, last minute changes and some mad saving of the much needed spondulas, we are about to leave on our next big adventure. Those of you that know us well know that this has been in the making for some years. Those of you that know us really well, know also that we have paid off doing much of the finer detail planning until the last possible minute - hence our rather rushed visit to the Royal Thai Consulate three days before we leave to get our visas. A small oversight - no doubt one of many to come.
Our first official leg is the flight to Thailand.

Really, we are pretty we ready, that is, when we have finalised and paid for our Trans Siberian travels through Tatiana the Russian Travel Agent, gotten our Cambodia and Vietnam Visas, arranged a bike hire one way from Saigon to Hanoi (and arranged our gear to be delivered to meet up with us there), picked up our tickets and travel vouchers from an as yet undisclosed location in Beijing. As I said we are pretty well ready.

Posted by adamandmeg 05:45 Tagged preparation Comments (1)

In the beginning...

all seasons in one day -17 °C

"Get the scales"
"The kitchen ones?"
"Yep"
When looking at upgrading the trusty tent, weight and packed size were the major selling points... hence the scales. Didn't work so until the MSR tent arrives we won't know exactly how good the purchase was. This was the story of our lives... and so begins the epic...

When I think about packing up our lives and saying goodbye to all things familiar, I don't feel anxious at all, because I am going with Adam. He is pretty similar. It isn't the 'home is where the heart is' or having a 'soul mate' to share things with - it is having someone to blame when things go horribly wrong, and they will - that is the only certainty, for the next few years at least.

We had a great Christmas catching up with friends and family and of course going to the MCG for the Boxing Day Test and a One Day International.

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We went to Broken Hill for a great New Years Eve (and a dodgy firework!!) with Peta and Brett and managed to be there for the Fifty Year Storm. We slept through the house flooding . . . haha!!

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We even had a little party at Denmark st with our roomies (Jen and Stephen), Jon and Shivaun, and Eddie. The weather was ridiculously hot therefore requiring us to drink ridiculous amounts of beer. It was a great send off.

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Posted by adamandmeg 04:30 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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