A Travellerspoint blog

LopBuri

Monkeys and ancient temples

36 °C
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LopBuri was a slow 3 hour train ride from Bangkok, but it cost less than a pound for both of us to travel.
We were travelling with other backpackers, but also Thai people visiting and shopping in other places. There was also the odd Buddist Monk around aswell. We caught one chatting on a mobile phone, and then napping. It must have been a busy day at the Monastery.

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LopBuri is not as common as other places for backpackers, so we have been of interest to some local people whilst here, being stared at with curiosity.

The main reason for coming was a recommendation from another traveller, as there are ancient temple ruins and wild monkeys (a type of Macaque). It is weird walking along the street and a monkey walking past you, or above your head on the telephone cables tightrope walking.

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We spent quite a long time taking photos at a temple until a couple took a run at us and looked like they wanted a piece of us. So we made a hasty retreat. It was a surreal experience.

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Next we have a overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai. We get our own bunk beds so hopefully we will get a bit of sleep. Again for 10 pounds each for 11 hours journey (over 300 miles) this is a bargain.
We'll let you know what it was like.

Posted by blytonrtw 23:22 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Bangkok

Hussle, bustle, ladyboys and whole families on single mopeds

sunny 37 °C
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We arrived into Bangkok a bit too late to really explore. So it was the next day we stepped into the heat of the day and the busy and polluted streets. We were amazed to see whole families riding on one moped. Toddler in front, on dads knee, 6 year old behind, with mum side saddle at the back. Of course, none had helmets! I wonder what the accident rate is. They drive like maniacs, and taxi drivers think nothing of zooming through the city at over 100km an hour, swerving to avoid the Tuk Tuk's and bikes.

We went to the Grand palace, despite tuk tuk drivers all over trying to tell us it was closed. Thankfully we had been warned by lots of people to take no notice of these stories and go anyway. The oppulence of these buildings was amazing. You'll love the photos (to follow).

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We were zapped by the heat, and the colds we have both caught in Adelaide and had to retreat into a bar for a time on Khao San Road.

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A bottle of Singha beer later we both felt ready to explore the road. It was fascinating with the stalls, hawker food stalls and european travellers all mixing together. The clothes are an absolute bargain.

Later that night we went to a hotel to get a skyline view of Bangkok at night. The Vertigo bar at the Banyon hotel was recommended. We snuck in to take some photos, but didn't stay for a drink as it was about 8 pounds for a beer! We wouldn't even pay that in London.

After this we walked to Patpong, an area with markets, bars and famous "shows". We'll leave the type to your imagination. Most of the lady boys are stunning, and glamorous in this area and scarily feminine. We had some drinks, and went back to Khao San to find a Thai rock band playing in a bar. Their rendition of Back in Black (ACDC) was really good. It was a bit strange only when the R's were replaced with L's in the lyrics, but the place was rocking.

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On our second day we went to Jatujat market, and had a look around (10,000 stalls). This market is huge and you can literally buy anything. From tarantulas and puppies to furniture and counterfeit designer goods.
The furnishings were beautiful and we would have loved to buy a new set of furtniure for our house. It was so cheap.

After being distraught by Man Utd's performance in the football that evening, we returned to our room to pack for the next stage of our journey towards north Thailand.

Posted by blytonrtw 23:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Singapore

Chinese New Year

sunny 32 °C
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We arrived into Singapore to find we were in the middle of the Lunar New Year Celebrations, welcoming in the Year of the Rat!

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So everything closed down, the shops closed , a lot of places to eat also closed. So we didn't arrive at the best time to explore the city.

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However, we saw first hand how the Chinese celebrate, which was great. We saw fireworks and joined the crowds for some good food. We also managed to find some time to try a Singapore Sling at the world famous colonial style Raffles hotel.

Now we head into the real Asia!

Posted by blytonrtw 00:20 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Adelaide

Final stop in Australia before Asia.

sunny
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For a state capital it is a fairly small place, and nice enough, but after Melbourne has high standards to meet. The central market was really good for food shopping. The meat is really great quality, we ate really well thanks to this place.

We didn't do a great deal in Adelaide in the end. We visited the museum and art gallery, which are free and reasonably good. We also went to the Wine Centre of Australia, which was a good overview of the wine industry in Australia and well worth a visit.

The free internet in the Library was a bonus and good to book onward accommodation and check emails, as you get an hour a day.

So now onto Singapore and the East!

Posted by blytonrtw 22:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Great Ocean Road to Barossa

Apostles, Surfers and wine

sunny 29 °C
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We drove from Melbourne along the great ocean road visiting surf spots, beaches and the monoliths eroded in the sea.

It wasn't quite as impressive as Highway 1 in California, but pretty spectacular. The 12 Apostles at Sunset are a sight to see.

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Some of the towns are a bit hicksville along the way. Our favourite was Port Fairy.

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I wouldn't recommend Mount Gambier, a strange place. Avoid the Jail hostel!

We ultimately ended up in the Barossa Valley and stayed at a great place, Doubles De'Vine. There we had free wine tasting and met some nice people. Cycling after a few glasses was fun, but they had very sensibly put in an off road cycle track for safety.

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From here it was the last of our driving to head to reach Adelaide.

Posted by blytonrtw 22:10 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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