Chiang Mai, Thailand

TEMPLES

united_kingdomChiang Mai is the most touristic city in the North of Thailand. It’s a cool city, I felt safe and didn’t get bored at all. We spent 4 nights here: we ate Thai food with the locals, we saw a crowd of young monks in the city, walked a lot and relaxed our feet with a foot massage. In one of the days we went for Thai Cooking School.

 The first batch of photos are from different temples in the city.


romania_flagChiang Mai este cel mai turistic oras din Nordul Tailandei.  Mi s-a parut un oras fain, m-am simtit in siguranta si nu m-am plictisit deloc. Am stat 4 nopti aici, am mancat ieftin si bun la restaurante alaturi de localnici si am vazut un mare grup de tineri calugari. Intr-una din zile am fost la un curs de gatit mancare tailandeza, despre care am povestit aici.

In primele poze sunt diverse temple din oras.

Wat Pra Singh Chiang mai thailandfiber glass monk chiang mai thailandFiber Glass statue (it looks real!) // Statuie din fibra de sticla (pare real!)

people praying temple thailand sleeping buddha statue chiang mai wat chedi luang chiang maiwat chedi luang thailand chiang mai wat chiang mai wat pan thao chiang mai orange cloths for monkstemple chiang mai donation box temple thailandbuddha chiang mai chiang mai wat chiang mai temple flowers temple thailand wat chedi luang chiang mai, thailand snatch tief thailand cat sleeping on chair eating at local restaurant chiang mai monks chiang mai 4 girls on motorcicle three kings monument chiang maiThe Tree King Monument

girls studying chiang mai hug academy chiang mai monks ceremony thailand

WAT DOI SUTHEP

united_kingdomNext photos are taken at Wat Doi Suthep. At the entrance were little girls with make-up who were dancing for money (a fancy way of begging, with child exploitation) and at the entrance were children wearing colorful costumes and posing with tourists also for money; if you want to take their photo and not give them money, they cover their faces.


romania_flagUrmatoarele poze sunt de la la templul  Doi Sutep, unde erau fetite machiate strident ce dansau pentru bani (o exploatare a copiilor pentru un cersit mai …fitzos), iar la intrare alti copii in costume colorate, pozau cu turistii pentru bani; daca nu le dadeai bani isi acopereau chipul si nu se lasau pozati.

 

wat doi suthep chiang mai, children little girls dancing with makeup, chiang mai, thailand children with makeup dancing, thailand, chiang mai tiny buddha statue, chiang mai little buddha statues wat doi suthep chiang mai wat doi suthep in chiang maiwat doi suthep, thailand, chiang maiwat doi suthep stairs shoe locker temple thailand street food, small eggs

SUNDAY WALKING STREET AND NIGHT BAZAAR

united_kingdomFollowing are photos from the night bazaar and Sunday Walking Street (street markets where you can find lots of stuff like clothes, food, souvenirs).


romania_flagIn pozele urmatoare puteti vedea Bazarul de Noapte si Piata de Duminica din Chiang Mai unde se gasesc o multime de produse: haine, mancare, suveniruri.

street food chiang mai thailand meat balls street food thailand temple night chiang mai night bazaar chiang mai night bazaar chiang mai thailand sunday walking street sunday walking street chiang mai, recycle bin

NATIONAL ANTHEM

united_kingdomNext photo is taken at Sunday Walking Street and people are standing still while the National Anthem of Thailand was played on speakers at 6:00 PM. Thailand’s National Anthem is played twice per day at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM and you have to stand up while it plays.


romania_flagUrmatoarea poza e facuta in Piata de Duminica: oamenii stateau nemiscati in timp ce din difuzoare rasuna Imnul National al Tailandei. Imnul Tailandei se aude de doua ori pe zi (la ora 8:00 si ora 18:00, pe strazi la ocazii speciale, in cinematografe inainte de inceperea fimlului, la TV) si trebuie sa te ridici in picioare in timp ce canta.

standing for national anthem thailand

VIDEO

united_kingdomIn the next video you can see Buddhist Monks praying (it’s a rhythmic and repetitive song. Very interesting!) (put the volume high!)


romania_flagIn urmatorul videoclip sunt calugari budisti la rugaciune (e un cantec ritmic si repetitiv. Foarte interesant) (dati volumul tare pentru a auzi!)

Don’t miss:

Kanchanaburi’s role in WWII, Thailand

The Bridge on the River Kwai

united_kingdomAfter entering the Second World War in December 1941, the Japanese forces quickly overran most South-East Asia. In 1942, in order to have a short and secure line of supply between Burma (now Myanmar) and Siam (now Thailand), they decided to use prisoners of war and civilian labor to build a single line railway: the Burma-Siam railway.  This railway also passed through Kanchanaburi (in Thailand): the Bridge on the River Kwai. The project cost the lives of more than one hundred thousand prisoners of war and civilians,  as a result of sickness, accidents, exhaustion, malnutrition and mistreatment. It all ended in 1944 when the Allied forces bombed the bridge several times, to stop the Japanese invasion.


romania_flagPodul peste raul Kwai: Dupa ce au intrat in cel de-al II-lea razboi mondial in Dec. 1941, japonezii au invadat rapid Asia de Sud-Est. In 1942, ca sa aiba un transport rapid si sigur intre Burma (acum Myanmar) si Siam (acum Thailanda), au decis sa construiasca – folosing prizonieri de razboi – calea ferata Burma-Siam. Aceasta cale ferata trecea si prin Kanchanaburi, traversand raul Kwai (Podul peste raul Kwai). Constructia acestei cai ferate a costat peste 100 000 de vieti ale prizonierilor de razboi datorita bolilor, accidentelor, epuizarii, malnutritiei si tratamentului barbar. Totul s-a sfarsit in 1944 cand Aliatii au bombardat podul de cateva ori, pentru a opri avansarea invaziei Japoneze.

Bridge on the river Kwai
Bridge on the river Kwai, in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. This is not the original bridge, it’s a reconstruction (the original one was destroyed by bombing)//
Podul peste raul Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Tailanda. Acesta este o reconstruictie, originalul fiind bombardat in timpul celui de-al doilea razboi mondial pentru a opri invazia Japonezilor in Asia.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

united_kingdomThis cemetery was built to commemorate the deaths of more than 5000 British and 1800 Dutch during the construction of Burma Railway. It’s quiet, peaceful and very well taken care of: with nice cut grass and flowers next to the tombstones.


romania_flagCimitirul acesta a fost construit pentru a comemora moartea a peste 5000 de britanici si 1800 de olandezi, decedati in timpul constructiei caii ferate de care va spuneam mai sus. Aici e liniste, pace si e foarte ingrijit: iarba tunsa si flori langa pietrele funerare.

War cemetery kanchanaburi

The Death Railway Museum and Research Center

united_kingdomThis is a great museum which I think you have to visit while in Kanchanaburi, because it presents in chronological order the historical facts and the reasons behind the construction of Railway. The exhibitions display POW’s personal belongings, journals and describe the conditions in which they had to work and live in.


romania_flagMuzeul Caii Ferate Burma-Siam: e un muzeu foarte bine organizat – prezinta in ordine cronologica istoria si motivul construirii caii ferate, sunt expuse obiecte personale ale prizonierilor de razboi, jurnalele lor, scrisori, si sunt descrise conditiile in care traiau si munceau.

death railway museum kanchanaburi

The World War II Museum

united_kingdomNot really worth visiting unless you are bored and don’t know what to do with your time. There is a bunch of things from the war period like cars, weapons, money, but not in a very well organized manner.


romania_flagMuzeul celui de-al II-lea razboi mondial: nu e musai de vizitat, decat daca esti super plictisit si nu ai altceva de facut. Sunt expuse diverse chestii din timpul razboiului: arme, masini, dar nu intr-o maniera organizata.

wwII museum kanchanaburi weapons World war two museum kanchanaburi old car WWII museum kanchanaburiold car kanchanaburi

After so much learning, time for sightseeing

united_kingdomLike usual, there will be dogs and cats in some of the photos…


romania_flagDupa atata istorie, e timpul de hoinarit prin oras. Vor fi catei si pisici in poze…bineinteles.

family on motorbike

shops kanchanaburi

kanchanaburi houses on river

houses on river Kwai

bridge on the river kwai kanchanaburi

on bridge on the kwai river

girl in kanchanaburi

dog with vest thailand
This puppy with pink vest was scared every time I clicked the camera//
Acest catelus cu vesta roz se speria la fiecare click cand ii faceam poza 😀

big lizard colorful telephones street in kanchanaburi river kwai in kanchanaburi street kanchanaburi street shops kanchanaburiantennas thailand kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi WWII Museum Thailand

A cat at our hotel// O pisica la hotelul nostru
A cat at our hotel//
O pisica la hotelul nostru
Our housing in Kanchanaburi// Hotelul in care am stat in Kanchanaburi
Our housing in Kanchanaburi//
Hotelul in care am stat in Kanchanaburi
View from our window// Vedere din camera
View from our window//
Vedere din camera
I'm tired, let's sleep with our bellies on the ground// Hai ca am obosit. Sa dormim cu burtile pe ciment!
I’m tired, let’s sleep with our bellies on the ground//
Hai ca am obosit. Sa dormim cu burtile pe ciment!

The slowest transportation ever!

united_kingdomWhen it’s Very Hot and you’re tired, taking a “vehicle” to drive you around seems like a good idea…but make sure you ask the maximum speed before you make a deal, because you might end up slower than by foot…


romania_flagCand e Foarte Cald si esti obosit, un mijloc de transport pare o idee foarte buna…dar inainte sa bati palma cu soferul, ar fi bine sa il intrebi care e viteza maxima, caci s-ar putea sa fie mai incet ca mersul pe jos…

Chiang Rai, Thailand

united_kingdomThe reason I wanted to visit Chiang Rai, a city in the North of Thailand, was to see the White Temple which is located just outside the city. But we also explored the city to “catch” its vibe: we saw Buddhist temples, the city life and the night bazaar. The weather was humid, there were clouds – not the best for photographing, but hopefully you’ll enjoy this virtual trip to Chiang Rai, with a nice surprise at the end of the post 🙂


romania_flagMotivul pentru care am vrut sa vizitez orasul Chiang Rai din Nordul Tailandei a fost Templul Alb – situat chiar in afara orasului. Dar am explorat si orasul intr-o seara: strazi, bazarul de noapte si temple budiste, bineinteles. Vremea nu a tinut cu noi, a fost umezeala si inorat, ce nu arata prea bine in poze, dar eu sper sa va placa oricum aceasta calatorie virtuala, cu o surpiza frumoasa la sfarsitul postarii 🙂

street in chiang rai thailandclock chiang raistreet in chiang raioctopus street foodcat chiang raistreet chiang raistreet market chiang raifish street market chiang raiwat pra kaew chiang raiwat pra kaew in chiang rai temple thailand snake  temple thailand wat prasingha chiang rai wat pra singha in chiang rai emerald temple chiang raibuddhas temple thailand statue temple in thailand little buddhas elephants temple thailand statue temple thailandoverall shop chiang rai hospital chiang rai night bazaar chiang rai food night bazaar chiang rai foor night bazaar chiang rai thailand girl dress night market chiang rai elephant statues temple thailand wat klang wieng chiang rai statue wat pra singha chiang rai wat jet yotinside wat jet yot chiang rai fat buddha chiang rai 7 eleven chiang rai motorbikes traffic chiang rai chiang rai street architecture shop chiang rai hdr

Surprise!

united_kingdomAnd now, the surprise I promised you: a dog on motorbike! She patiently waited for her “parents” to come back from the shop, then, all three of them (Man, woman and dog) went away on the bike. See video.


romania_flagSi acum surpriza pe care v-am promis-o: un catel pe scuter! Isi astepta rabdatoare “parintii” sa iasa din magazin, dupa care au plecat toti trei cu scuterul. Vezi video mai jos! 🙂

dog on motorbike

SEE VIDEO of dog on motorbike!

Don’t miss:

Ayutthaya, Thailand

united_kingdomAyutthaya is located at one and half hours from Bangkok.

For 400 years Ayutthaya was one of the biggest and most important cities in the world, with a blooming commerce and over a million inhabitants. To protect the city, the king surrounded it by brick walls and defense towers. Unfortunately, in 1767  the Burmese army, after many attempted attacks, finally managed to conquer the city and they destroyed the Royal Palace and decapitated thousands of Buddha statues. The population abandoned the city and Ayutthaya remained a pile of ruined temples.


romania_flagVa vine sa credeti ca timp de 400 de ani Ayutthaya a fost unul din cele mai mari si importante orase din lume, cu un comert infloritor si peste un milion de locuitori? Ca sa protejeze orasul de atacurile Birmanezilor, regele din Ayutthaya a construit ziduri si turnuri de aparare de jur imprejur, dar din pacate, in 1767 armata birmaneza, dupa mai multe atacuri, a reusit sa cucereasca orasul. Palatul regal a fost distrus, la fel si templele, iar miile de statui ale lui Buddha au fost decapitate. Populatia a abandonat orasul iar Ayutthaya a ramas o gramada de ruine si temple distruse. In prezent centrul istoric al orasului Ayutthaya se afla in patrimoniul UNESCO.

Ayutthaya at sunset

Sights in Ayutthaya

united_kingdomThe ruined temples in the historical park in Ayutthaya. You can visit by foot (there’s a lot of walking involved!). For the sights that are not in the historical park you can take a tuk-tuk (which can be quite pricey compared to other cities). Many recommend a bike, but to me it didn’t seem like a good idea because the traffic is busy and the weather is too hot and humid for biking.

Most of the temples have an entry fee (50 or 100 Bahts/person – up to 2,5 Euros). The seller at the counter doesn’t give you the ticket unless you ask for it (so I assume the money goes into their pockets). Not all temples worth visiting though.


romania_flagCe e de vazut in Ayutthaya? Ruinele templelor din centrul istoric – poti merge pe jos, dar neaparat trebuie incaltaminte comoda, pentru ca e muuuult de mers. Multi recomanda bicicleta, dar mie nu mi s-a parut o idee buna datorita traficului, dar si vremii extrem de calduroasa si umeda. Multe temple sunt cu intrare iar casierul iti da bilet doar daca il ceri in mod special (banuiesc ca banii intra in buzunarele lor). Nu toate templele merita banii (costa pana la 10 lei de persoana ceea ce e destul de mult pentru Tailanda).

buddhist monk smoking

Wat Maha That

united_kingdomThis temple is famous for having a Buddha head entangled in the roots of a banyan tree. Here you can see many decapitated Buddha statues (The Burmese decapitated the statues when they invaded Ayutthaya, as they believed that Buddha’s spirit was living in them). There is an entry fee and if you go very soon in the morning (before 8) there are almost no visitors.


romania_flagAcest templu este faimos pentru un cap de Buddha prins intre radacinile unui copac. De asemenea aici se gasesc foarte multe statui decapitate (Birmanezii decapitau statuile lui  crezand ca in ele se afla spiritul lui Buddha). Si aici se plateste intrarea, iar daca ajungi devreme (inainte de 8), aproape ca nu e niciun vizitator.

Buddha head in Banyan Treehead of Buddha in the treeWat Maha That in AyutthayaWat Maha That

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

united_kingdomThis temple is the symbol of Ayutthaya with its three big Stupas (chedis) in a row. It served as a royal temple in old times.


romania_flagPe vremuri a fost templu regal si acum e simbolul orasului Ayutthaya (cele trei turnuri aliniate).
Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

united_kingdomThis temple is the most touristic attraction in Ayutthaya and also my favorite. It’s outside the historical park, so we took a tuk-tuk to get there. It has a big central tower (prang) built in Khmer style (symbolizing Mount Meru) and small stupas around it (the continents).


romania_flagAcest templu e cea mai mare atractie turistica si favoritul meu. Se afla in afara centrului istoric si am ajuns la el cu un tuk-tuk. Are un turn central in stil Khmer (simbolizeaza muntele Meru) si mici turnulete in jurul sau (simbolizeaza continentele).

Wat Chaiwatthanaram in AyutthayaWat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

united_kingdomThis temple is a mix of old and new: old ruins with an active monastery next to it. There are many Buddha statues of various sizes around the courtyard and also a big reclining Buddha covered with orange cloth.


romania_flagAici gasim un amestec de nou si vechi: o manastire inca activa si ruinele de langa ea. Multe statui ale lui Buddha, de diverse marimi se gasesc imprejurul curtii, printre care si un Buddha culcat.

reclining buddha

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Many Buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Ratchaburana

united_kingdomThis one is really old, built in 1424. The main prang (tower) is under restoration, covered partially by a green cloth, but you can still see old original carvings on it (Lotus flowers and mythical creatures). It can be easily viewed from outside and in my opinion it’s not worth paying to get in: there was nothing spectacular to see.


romania_flagE un templu vechi, din 1424. Turnul central se restaureaza si e acoperit partial de o carpa verde, dar se pot inca vedea vechile sculpturi (flori de lotus si creaturi mitice). Din punctul meu de vedere, nu merita intrarea: se poate vedea foarte bine si din afara, iar inauntru nu e nimic spectacular de vazut.
Wat Ratchaburana

Around the city

united_kingdomWe stayed in Ayutthaya 2 nights, which I found too much for this city (many people come for one day trips from Bangkok – which is more than enough to see the essential). I didn’t like Ayutthaya too much: it was quite dirty, the tuk-tuk drivers tried to rip us off (one even lied to us that the temples open only after 9AM, but he will take us to some temples that open sooner. Luckily we didn’t believe him). On top of this, the weather tends to be hot and humid all year round. We started sightseeing at 7 in the morning hoping it would be colder, but it wasn’t; I felt I’m disintegrating and melting all day. One evening there was a local fair (with food, lots of people and noise) and we saw pink elephants and funky looking tuk-tuks.


romania_flagAm stat 2 nopti in Ayutthaya (adica mult prea mult). Multi vin doar in excursii de o zi din Bangkok (care e la doar o ora distanta), mai mult decat suficient ca sa vezi esentialul. Merita oare sa vizitezi Ayutthaya? Da, poate, dar o zi e suficienta. Personal, mie nu prea mi-a placut: e un oras cam murdarel, soferii de tuk-tuk cauta sa te jecmaneasca, unul chiar ne-a mintit ca templele se deschid dupa ora 9, dar ca ne duce el la alte temple care se deschid mai devreme (din fericire nu i-am crezut minciunile). Si peste toate, vremea tinde sa fie umeda si caniculara tot timpul anului. Am plecat sa vizitam la 7 dimineata, cu speranta ca va fi mai racoare, dar nuuuu, simteam ca ma dezintegrez si ma topesc de caldura.

Intr-una din seri am dat peste un targ local (cu mancare, aglomeratie si galagie), am vazut elefanti roz si tuk-tuk-uri…mai altfel.

pink elephants

people at a local fair in Ayutthaya

local food in Ayutthaya

Tuk-tuk in Ayutthaya

colored tuk-tuk

NO sex, just massage

shops in Ayuthhaya

flowers with different colors on the same tree

This tree had different colored flowers / Copacel cu flori de culori diferite

Don’t miss:

Koh Chang Island, Thailand

Koh Chang, Thailand

united_kingdom“Koh”= Island and “Chang”=Elephant in Thai language. Koh Chang is translated “Elephant island” named like this because of its shape.

If you are looking for a quiet and Not crowded place to spend the most relaxing vacation of your life, Koh Chang might be the place: is not as popular as the Southern destinations (like Phuket, Krabi or Ko Samui), it’s covered in jungle and the beaches are quiet and relaxing.


romania_flagInsula elefant (numita asa datorita formei sale) e, dupa parerea mea, destinatia perfecta pentru o vacanta de vis: nu e atat de populara si faimoasa (precum Phuket, Krabi sau Ko Samui) si deci nu e aglomerata! E linistita si relaxata.Khong Kloi beach koh chang

Khong Kloi Beach thailand

Transportation

united_kingdomFrom Bangkok Airport to Koh Chang take a bus to Trat and from there take the ferry to Koh Chang. Once arrived on the island, there are lots of shared Taxis (Songthaew) waiting in the port. We jumped in one of them who dropped us in front of our resort.

Koh Chang is quite big – it takes around 45 minutes by shared Taxi to get from one end to the other- and to get from one beach to another you also need transportation. Taxi driver can ask between 50-200 Baht/person (1-4 Euros) depending on the distance. It’s much cheaper to rent a motorbike: 250 Bahts/day (6 Euros) plus 3000 Bahts deposit if you don’t want to leave your Passport as a guarantee. The gasoline bottles cost another 40 Bahts/liter. (Driving a motorbike on this island is challenging and quite dangerous for an inexperienced person, because of the twisted curves going up and down. Also, remember that in Thailand they drive on the left side of the road!)

There is only one main road that goes around the island, with ups and downs, with curves and twists that can make your adrenaline go high while driving. Here is a video we took on a Taxi ride:


romania_flagInsula Koh Chang e a doua ca marime in Tailanda si transpotul cu Taxiul de la un cap la altul dureaza mai bine de 45 de minute. Distantele intre plaje sunt mari iar soferul de taxi poate cere intre 50-200 Baht (5-20 lei) in functie de distanta. Mai ieftin e sa inchiriezi un scuter cu 250 Baht/zi (25 lei pe zi) plus 40 Baht (4 Lei) gazolina. Dar e dificil si destul de periculos daca nu esti obisnuti sa mergi pe scuter, pentru ca sunt curbe cu suisuri si coborasuri, iar pe langa asta, in Tailanda se conduce pe partea stanga!

Exista un singur drum principal ce face incojurul insulei, iar cursa cu taxiul e plina de adrenalina datorita curbelor de care va spuneam (taxiul e un fel de remorca deschisa, doar cu acoperis in care nu te simti prea in siguranta, dar cu toate astea e super distractiv). Puteti vedea urmatorul video facut din taxi in drum spre plaja:

There are several beaches in Koh Chang (my favourite was Khong Kloi – see the photos) and there are national parks with a waterfalls in which you can swim (we went to Klong Plu – see photos).

Khong Kloi Beach

united_kingdomLocated on the very south of Koh Chang, this beach was nice and cozy, with fine sand. The water is clear blue and is not at all crowded (maybe 20 people on a whole beach). There are little wooden huts where they serve food and cocktails, the chairs are free to sit on and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxing.


romania_flagSunt multe plaje pe insula Koh Chang (preferata mea a fost Khong Kloi – in pozele urmatoare). E liniste, nisipul e fin, iar apa clara si albastra. Sunt casute mici din lemn unde poti manca sau comanda cocktailuri, sezlongurile sunt gratis si atmosfera e deosebit de relaxanta. Erau foarte putine persoane aici, ca si pe restul insulei de alftel.

kong kloi beach beach koh changfruit cocktail thailand hut beach thailand me in koh chang coconuts beach thailand klong kloi beach koh chang

Fried banans and honey/ Banane prajite si miereFried banans and honey / Banane prajite si miere

Lonely Beach

united_kingdomApparently this small beach is one of the most known in Thailand, but except for one restaurant where people can meet and become friends, there wasn’t much to see or do there. The food was cheap (80 Baht -2 Euros for Pad Thai) and I also drank an amazingly flavored watermelon cocktail!


romania_flag“Plaja singuratica” – se pare ca e printre cele mai faimoase in Tailanda, dar sincer nu mi s-a parut extraordinara. E destul de micuta si are un singur restaurant unde poti intra in vorba cu ceilalti turisti si iti poti face noi prieteni. Mancarea este ieftina (Pad Thai a costat 80 Bahts – 8 Lei) si am baut un super gustos shake de pepene rosu.

lonely beach sunset lonely beach night

Pad thai is a traditional Thai dish - noodles with veggies and nuts/ Pad Thai e o mancare traditionala tailandeza - taitei cu legume si arahidePad thai is a traditional Thai dish – noodles with veggies and nuts /Pad Thai e o mancare traditionala tailandeza: taitei cu legume si arahide

lonely beach

Klong Plu Waterfall

united_kingdomIt’s a pleasant walk through the jungle to this waterfall. You can swim there and again, it wasn’t crowded, which I loved! I didn’t have the bathing suit so I went in with my clothes on, because the heat was unbearable and I needed to cool down 😀


romania_flagCa sa ajungem la Cascada Klong Plu, am mers prin jungla cam 30 de minute. Poti inota acolo, nu era aglomerat – ceea ce mi-a placut, evident. Pentru ca nu am avut costumul de baie si era o caldura insuportabila, ca sa ma racoresc am intrat in apa cu haine cu tot! 😀

Klong Plu klong plu waterfall klong plu thailand klong plu koh chang

Klong Prao Beach

united_kingdomThis is another pretty beach with white sand and clear, blue water. There are a few wooden huts directly on the beach in between the palm trees. There were barely a few people here and it was very quiet!


romania_flag Klong Prao e o alta plaja draguta, cu nisip fin si alb, apa cristalina si albastra. Cateva cabane de lemn sunt construite direct pe plaja intre palmieri. Erau doar cateva persoane pe plaja, intr-o liniste paradisiaca.

Klong Prao Koh chang klong prao thailand beach thailand Klong Prao Beach swing beach thailand beach in thailand

More photos from Koh Chang

Cliff top view/ Vedere din punctul cel mai inalt al insuleiCliff top view / Vedere din punctul cel mai inalt al insulei

This dog was staying under my chair/ Un catel prietenos ce statea sub sezlongul meu
This dog was staying under my chair/
Un catel prietenos ce statea sub sezlongul meu
Man relaxing in hammock/ Relaxare in hamac
Man relaxing in hammock/
Relaxare in hamac
Little elephants crossing the street/ Mici elefanti trec strada
Little elephants crossing the street/
Mici elefanti trec strada
Street in Koh Chang, with a taxi and the 7eleven supermarket/ Strada in Koh Chang, Puteti vedea un Taxi si magazinul 7 eleven
Street in Koh Chang, with a taxi and the 7eleven supermarket/
Strada in Koh Chang, Puteti vedea un Taxi si magazinul 7 eleven
Dogs at sunset/ Catei pe plaja la apus
Dogs at sunset/
Catei pe plaja la apus
In the very south of the island/ In sudul insulei
In the very south of the island/
In sudul insulei

chairs beach thailand beach thailand ko chang

Gecko on our balcony/ micile soparle care erau peste tot - in camera, pe balcon... :D o placere
Gecko on our balcony/
micile soparle care erau peste tot – in camera, pe balcon… 😀 o placere

night beach thailand palm thailand

Me in a perfect swing on the beach/ Eu in leaganul acesta minunat pe plaja Khong Kloi
Me in a perfect swing on the beach/
Eu in leaganul acesta minunat pe plaja Khong Kloi
This is the garden of our resort/ Gradina statiunii in care am stat in cele 5 nopti pe insula
This is the garden of our resort/
Gradina statiunii in care am stat in cele 5 nopti pe insula

Don’t miss:

Cooking school in Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are many cooking schools all over Thailand. We had some extra spare time in Chiang Mai so we went to Thai Farm Cooking School. I chose this cooking school because all the ingredients used for cooking were from their own organic garden. It was a great day, the atmosphere was nice and relaxed, the teacher was funny and happy all the time.

The day started by visiting a local market where the teacher showed us various products that you can buy there, such as: many types of rice, noodles, meats, sauces, pink eggs, salty eggs and she explained also how the coconut milk is produced.

local market chiang maiUp left: machine for shredding coconut. Right: pink eggs, that come from pink chicken 😀
Stanga-sus: masina pentru tocat nucile de cocos. Dreapta-oua roz de la gaini roz (glumesc. Sunt oua fermentate in solutie salina care nu miros tocmai placut, din spusele profei)

Veggies and chillies at local market in Chiang Mai

So many types of rice! Sticky, non sticky, brown, black, long grain, short grain...Many types of rice: sticky, non sticky, brown, black, long grain, short grain…
Multe tipuri de orez: lipicios, nelipicios, maro, negru, bob lung, scurt…

Sauces, pickles mushrooms, noodles..you find everything at the local marketSauces, pickled mushrooms, noodles..you find everything at the local market

Fried crickets and bugs to eat/Greieri si gandaci prajiti gata pentru a fi mancati.Fried crickets and bugs to eat / Greieri si gandaci prajiti gata pentru a fi mancati.

Yummy food at local market in Chiang Mai/Mancare in piata din Chiang Mai

We finished with the market and all 10 of us (the teacher and the driver included) drove to the farm. It was a nice ride on country roads. At school we put on hats and red aprons and started with a tour of the garden to see the different types of plants that we will use for cooking.

We tasted all sorts of leaves and plants. Up left: kafir lime; Up right: lemongrass/ Am gustat din toate frunzele si plantele din gradina. Sus stanga: Frunze de kafir. Dreapta: lemongrassWe tasted leaves and plants. Up left: kaffir lime; Up right: lemon-grass
Am gustat din toate frunzele si plantele din gradina. Sus stanga: Frunze de kaffir. Dreapta: lemongrass

The garden of the farm, with big water lillies/ Gradina cu nuferi imensiThe school’s garden, with big water lillies/ Gradina cu nuferi imensi

In exteriorExterior

Our working tables / Mesele de lucruOur working tables / Mesele de lucru

With red aprons and hats around the garden where we tasted all sorts of leaves and plants / cu sorturi rosii si palarii prin gradina, unde am gustat tot felul de frunze si planteWith red aprons and hats around the garden where we tasted all sorts of leaves and plants/
Cu sorturi rosii si palarii prin gradina, unde am gustat tot felul de frunze si plante

Let the cooking begin! First, we made our own curry paste. Then we chopped, cut, boiled and ate all the 5 types of foods that we cooked, with a siesta break in the middle of the day. The left-overs were put in bags and we took them home. The food was so tasty and flavored! And as a bonus, at the end of the class we received a small cooking book with all the Thai recipes that we cooked.

Cooking at Thai farm cooking school in Chiang Mai. Men are sexy while cooking, right? / Barbatii sunt sexy la cratita, nu-i asa?Man cooking

We started by making our own curry paste/ Am facut pasta de curryWe started by making our own curry paste/ Am facut pasta de curry

Me in cooking classMe in cooking class

Ingredients for the first course: Tom Yam Soup / Ingrediente pentru primul fel de mancare: eu am gatit supa Tom YamIngredients for the foods we were about to cook. My first course was Tom Yam Soup / Ingrediente pentru felurile de mancare: primul fel de mancare gatit de mine a fost supa Tom Yam

Eating our first dish - the soups/ aici mancam primul fel de mancare: supeleEating our first dish – the soups/ aici mancam primul fel de mancare: supele

All the foods we made: red curry, yellow curry, chicken with caju nuts, pad thai/ Orez, curry rosu, curry galben, pui cu caju, pad thaiAll the foods we made: red curry, yellow curry, chicken with cashew nuts, pad thai/ Orez, curry rosu, curry galben, pui cu caju, pad thai

Of course I couldn't eat everything, so I took it to go / bineinteles ca nu am putut manca tot si le-am luat la pachetI couldn’t eat everything, so I took it to go / Nu am putut manca tot si le-am luat la pachet

A lazy cat that slept all day /O pisica lenesa ce a dormit toata ziuaA lazy cat that slept all day /O pisica lenesa ce a dormit toata ziua

Bangkok, day 3 – markets and malls

There are many markets and shopping centers in Bangkok, each stand selling different products than the others, with big diversity and many choices.

Pratunam Market in Bangkok

Apparently it’s the cheapest market in all Thailand and people all over the country come to shop here, especially in bulk, as the prices go lower for bigger quantities.

The choices are endless and the prices are too good to be true compared to European prices. Most products are made in Thailand and have a good quality.

Pratunam market bangkok pratunam market in bangkok bangkok pratunam market pratunam market

Platinum Mall in Bangkok

It’s a wholesale mall just next to Pratunam Market and it sells mostly women clothes and accessories. There are so many products and choices! Basically, you can dress yourself from head to toes at reasonable prices. The sizes are usually small, because Thai women are petite.

platinum mall bangkokaround platinum mall

Street food in Bangkok

Would you believe that for 2-4 Euros you can eat a great dinner and have drinks? It’s true! The street food is good it’s safe, considering that for a hole month I’ve been eating it and didn’t have any troubles 😀 They cook and sell things like: soup, fish, rice, chicken, pork, fruits, seafood and curry. Sometimes there are tables on the sidewalk and eating with the locals is the best way to dive into local culture.

street food bangkok eating on street bangkok

Central World Mall in Bangkok

This one has brands from Calvin Klein to Forever 21.  It wasn’t the inside that intrigued me, but the nice Christmasy feeling around it, with lights, decorations and teenagers hanging out.

central world in bangkok christmas tree at central world bangkok central world mall bangkok

Night traffic in Bangkok

Day and night, the traffic is horrendous!

traffic bangkok bangkok night traffic night bangkok night traffic bangkok

motorbikes bangkok

Dont miss:

Touching the stars in Bangkok, Thailand – Sirocco Sky Bar

The Sirocco Sky Bar in Bangkok is the highest rooftop bar in the city, located at the 63rd floor of Lebua State Tower – the second tallest building in Thailand. What makes Sirocco Sky Bar in Bangkok more special than any other rooftop bar is the fact that scenes from the movie “The Hangover 2” were filmed here.

Apart from being the highest rooftop bar in Bangkok, Sirocco Sky Bar serves tasty, strong, but expensive cocktails. Enjoy your drink while admiring the panoramic view of Bangkok, Thailand’s vibrant and bright capital. It’s truly breathtaking!

I recommend you try their ‘Long Island Ice Tea’ and the ‘Hangovertini‘ – the cocktail created for the staff of the movie “The Hangover 2” while they were shooting in Bangkok.

The service at Sirocco Sky Bar in Bangkok is impeccable. The staff is guiding the guests from the ground floor, to the elevator until the bar at the roof. There is a dress code (men can’t wear shorts and sandals, but jeans and snickers can be accepted).

The view over Bangkok from the 63rd floor is breathtaking and made 20th of December 2013 an unforgettable, beautiful memory.

sirocco sky bar in Bangkok Sirocco Sky Bar in Bangkok – they serve very good, but expensive cocktails!
Barul Sirocco, situat la etajul 63 pe cea mai inalta cladire din Bangkok. Printre multele si scumpele cocktailuri pe care le servesc aici, se numara si Hangovertini, special creat pentru echipa din filmul “Marea mahmureala 2”.

view from 63rd floor from Lebua HotelNight view over Bangkok from the 63rd floor of Lebua State Tower

view from 63d floor, BangkokNight view from Sirocco Sky Bar in Bangkok

Bangkok Sirocco bar, where hangover II was filmedThe dome at Sirocco Sky Bar in Bangkok

Sirocco Restaurant, BangkokRestaurant in the sky, overlooking Bangkok
Restaurant in cer, cu vedere asupra orasului Bangkok

63rd floor at Lebua hotel. Sirocco BarPeople enjoying the view
Toata lumea admira orasul de la inaltime

hangover II locationI’ve been here, at Lebua Hotel and Sirocco sky bar, where “Hangover 2” was filmed.
Am fost aici! unde s-a filmat “Marea mahmureala 2”

Bangkok, day 2 – temples

On the second day in Bangkok, the plan was to see Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.

(Wat=Temple)

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn/Templul Rasaritului)

I thought I will see yet another temple, but Wat Arun is slightly different than any other that I’ve seen so far. The central tower is built in Khmer style and has pieces of colorful porcelain encrusted on its surface. It has very steep stairs and there are statues of monkeys and demons all around it.

To get to Wat Arun, we took the sky-train to Saphan Taksin (the Central pier) and from there the express boat to Tha Thien pier (40 Bahts/person), from where we took a ferry to cross Chao Phraya River (3 Baht/person).

Wat Arun seen from the express boat on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok/ templul wat Arun vazut de pe raul Chao Phraya din BangkokWat Arun seen from the express boat on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok/ templul wat Arun vazut de pe raul Chao Phraya din Bangkok

The entrance at Wat Arun Temple/intrarea in templul ArunThe entrance at Wat Arun Temple/intrarea in templul Arun

Guardian at Wat ArunGuardian at Wat Arun

Beautiful columns at Wat Arun Temple in BangkokBeautiful columns at Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok

at wat arun complex in bangkokWat Arun gardens, in Bangkok

thailand king
Thailand’s king photo is all over the country./Poza regelui Tailandei este peste tot
wat arun bangkok sculptures
Sculptures at Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok./Statui
buddha statues at wat arun
buddha statues at wat arun./Multe statui ale lui Buddha
inside Arun
inside Wat Arun
wat arun posing
some people posing in Thai costumes./oameni pozand in costume tailandeze
wat arun Bangkok
Insite Wat Arun./In interiorul templului Arun
an Asian lady wanted to have a photo with me/o doamna asiatica a vrut sa faca o poza cu mine
an Asian lady wanted to have a photo with me/o doamna asiatica a vrut sa faca o poza cu mine
Attention, if you are a foreigner and you don't pay the 50 Baht ticket, this fierce Police Dog will bark, and bark...and bark.../Daca nu cumperi bilet, acest "fioros" caine politist va latra necontenit
Attention, if you are a foreigner and you don’t pay the 50 Baht ticket, this fierce Police Dog will bark, and bark…and bark…/Daca nu cumperi bilet, acest “fioros” caine politist va latra necontenit
Sculptures on the central tower at Wat Arun/sculpturi pe turnul central in Templul Arun
Sculptures on the central tower at Wat Arun/sculpturi pe turnul central in Templul Arun
Stone sculptures in Wat Arun complex
Stone sculptures in Wat Arun complex
Monk vacuuming in the temple./calugar dand cu aspiratorul
Monk vacuuming in the temple./calugar dand cu aspiratorul
Beautiful flowers at Wat Arun/Flori proaspete in templul Arun
Beautiful flowers at Wat Arun/Flori proaspete in templul Arun
children
children
Porcelain on Wat Arun central tower/portelan pe turnul central din templul Arun
Porcelain on Wat Arun central tower/portelan pe turnul central din templul Arun
A fat Buddha./ Un Buddha cam grasut
A fat Buddha./ Un Buddha cam grasut
columns at Wat Arun./Coloane la templul Arun
columns at Wat Arun./Coloane la templul Arun
Wat Arun Complex
Wat Arun Complex
Statue at Wat Arun
Statue at Wat Arun
Me at Wat Arun
Me at Wat Arun
Garden at Wat Arun in Bangkok./Gradina templului Arun
Garden at Wat Arun in Bangkok./Gradina templului Arun
Tower at Wat Arun
Tower at Wat Arun
Steep Stairs at Wat Arun./Scari abrupte
Steep Stairs at Wat Arun./Scari abrupte
Wat Arun Complex viewed from the central temple./Complexul Templului Arun, vedere din turnul central
Wat Arun Complex viewed from the central temple./Complexul Templului Arun, vedere din turnul central

Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha/Templul lui Buddha culcat)

Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok and it hosts over 1000 images of Buddha and also the biggest Buddha statue in Thailand – a 43 m long Reclining Buddha (his position before entering Nirvana -the ultimate state of peace and happiness).

Around the temple there are 16 gates  guarded by Chinese rock giants. Inside the courtyard there are many beautiful chedis containing the ashes of Buddha.

The reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok./ Buddha culcat in templul Pho din Bangkok
The reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok./ Buddha culcat in templul Pho din Bangkok. Statuie de 43 metri lungime
Wat Pho/Templul Pho
Wat Pho/Templul Pho
Chedis (Stupas) at Wat Pho
Chedis (Stupas) at Wat Pho
Chinese guard at one of the entrances at Wat Pho/Statuie de paza la una din intrarile in templul Pho
Chinese guard at one of the entrances at Wat Pho/Statuie de paza la una din intrarile in templul Pho
Reclining Buddha with his giant feet./Buddha culcat si picioarele sale uriase
Reclining Buddha with his giant feet./Buddha culcat si picioarele sale uriase
one of the many chedis at Wat Pho
one of the many chedis at Wat Pho
Detail
Detail
many Buddha statues
many Buddha statues
Rules./"Ingenuncheati pe podea pentru a arata respect statuii lui Buddha"
Rules./”Ingenuncheati pe podea pentru a arata respect statuii lui Buddha”
Wat Pho
Wat Pho
Another Buddha statue at Wat Pho./O alta statuie a lui Buddha in templul Pho din Bangkok
Another Buddha statue at Wat Pho./O alta statuie a lui Buddha in templul Pho din Bangkok
Bell at Wat Pho
Bell at Wat Pho

Shall we see Grand Palace?

At least this was the plan, but at the first gate the guard told us the site is closed until 2PM.

At the next gate few hundred meters further, a friendly man with guard badge and very official looking approached us and said the temple is closed for a few hours, but in the mean time we should take a tuk-tuk to see 3 other places around Bangkok  and that we should not pay more than 40 Baht. He sounded very plausible so we fell for it.

Apparently, this is one of the biggest scams at Grand Place, in Bangkok, but I had no clue about it!!! They want to take you to different tailor shops to buy clothes and they get commission for it (they get much more if the clients that they bring in order suits or dresses).

Only in the tuk-tuk I realized something is not right and the scam was confirmed when one of the sites we “visited” was a tailor shop and the driver asked us to go in and have a look. Of course we did not buy any suit or dress, so we went to the third site, The Golden Mount, where our tuk-tuk driver abandoned us (we didn’t even pay him before he left). Luckily it wasn’t far from Grand Palace, so we walked, having the chance to see more parts of Bangkok.

On the streets of Bangkok./Pe strazile din Bangkok
On the streets of Bangkok./Pe strazile din Bangkok
Bus on the streets of Bangkok./Autobuz in Bangkok
Bus on the streets of Bangkok./Autobuz in Bangkok
Barbed wire due to the protests in Bangkok./Sarma ghimpata datorita protestelor din Bangkok
Barbed wire due to the protests in Bangkok./Sarma ghimpata datorita protestelor din Bangkok
Pink elephants statues next to Grand Palace./Elefanti roz langa palat
Pink elephants statues next to Grand Palace./Elefanti roz langa palat

So, the Grand Palace is NOT closed during day for monks to pray, nor for god know what ceremony! Don’t believe anything anyone is telling you! If you have to ask for direction or information, is better to ask another tourist.

At the Grand Palace it was very crowded, lots of Asians and noisy tourists. The first thing you see is that you have to wear long pants and cover your shoulders (but they lend you clothes to cover yourself if necessary). The entrance is 500 Baht.

Considering all that happened before (the scam) and the ridiculous price and rules to see just another temple, we decided that Grand Palace is not worth the visit.

Outfit rules at Grand Palace in Bangkok./Restrictii vestimentare la palatul din Bangkok. Obligatoriu pantaloni lungi!
Outfit rules at Grand Palace in Bangkok./Restrictii vestimentare la palatul din Bangkok. Obligatoriu pantaloni lungi!
Grand Palace viewed from outside
Grand Palace viewed from outside

And 3 more photos taken from the boat:

Buddhist monk on the boat./Calugar budist in barca pe raul Chao Phraya din Bangkok
Buddhist monk on the boat./Calugar budist in barca pe raul Chao Phraya din Bangkok
View of Bangkok from Chao Phraya river./Bangkok vazut din barca de pe raul Chao Phraya
View of Bangkok from Chao Phraya river./Bangkok vazut din barca de pe raul Chao Phraya
Bangkok- view from the boat/vedere din barca
Bangkok- view from the boat/vedere din barca

Bangkok, day 1 – the city

night bangkokNight in Bangkok, view from the 16th floor
Noaptea in Bangkok, vedere din camera de hotel

A 5 star hotel with an infinity pool in Bangkok is a nice way of ending a 28 days trip through Thailand and Cambodia, a month of heat, dust, funky smells, poverty, scams and ancient temples full of stories of past history.

The view from the hotel room at the 16th floor is magical, especially at night time, when cars in traffic and skyscrapers are full of sparkly lights.

View over bangkokView over Bangkok from the 32nd floor
Vedere de la etajul 32 asupra Bangkokului

One happy thing leads to another….(’cause life has to keep balance): not even 5 minutes in the room, ecstatic of how perfect everything is, and I step on a sharp thing on the floor (a nail going through the carpet). My heel is bleeding from a tiny hole. Handymen come to fix the nail. A nurse in uniform like taken from an old movie, comes to disinfect the wound and puts a band aid on it. The manager of the hotel comes to apologize offering us free pass to the Executive’s Lounge during evening at the 32st floor, with free cocktails and food. Perfect turn of events – the view from that height is dazzling!

So, the first day in Bangkok looked like this:

Sky train (BTS)

It’s like a subway, but the rails are in the air, in between buildings and above the streets.

The stations have 3 levels: the street level with stairs towards the second level where you buy tickets from machines or ticket booths. Escalators will take you the the third level to the platforms where the train comes.

You pay accordingly to the distance of travel. People stay in line waiting for the train. It doesn’t cover all the city.

The platform level is good for photographing the flowing traffic underneath: with colorful taxis, lots of motorcycles and tuk-tuks.

sky train bts bangkokPeople waiting in line to get in the sky train in Bangkok
Oamenii asteapta civilizat la coada sa urce in trenul suspendat in Bangkok

bangkok trafficTraffic in Bangkok, view from the sky train station. On the right is the stair towards the level with ticket booths for the Sky Train
Trafic in Bangkok vazut de la nivelul statiei de tren suspendat. In dreapta sunt scarile ce duc spre nivelul unde se vand biletele.

bangkok streetView over traffic and the Sky Train rails crossing over the streets
In dreapta este una din statiile Trenului Suspendat.

traffic bangkokView of Bangkok, seen from one of the levels of the Sky Train Station
Strada in Bangkok vazuta de la nivelul statiei de Tren Suspendat

Siam Paragon

One of the biggest shopping centers in Asia, with luxury labels from Fendi to Lamborghini, was (finally) a sign of modern civilization and the closest I felt to Christmas here in Thailand (nice decorations and colorful globes in the fake Christmas trees put between the palm trees).

The best part in this mall was the bookshop, with only english books from where we bought 3 books: 2 from Terry Pratchett: “Small Gods” and “Sourcery” and 1 by Elizabeth Gilbert -“Eat, Pray, Love”.

The “funniest” part was to see the pure stupidity in human kind: the Louis Vuitton shop with their “too full to come in” sign and the idiots staying in line waiting to get in.

The yummiest part was eating a very spicy red curry in the food court, followed by the sweetest, most flavored cinnamon rolls.

Bankok Mall siam paragonSiam Paragon Mall, on of the biggest shopping centers in Asia
Mallul Siam Paragon, unul din cele mai mari din Asia

Christmas decorations in Bangkok/Decoratiuni de Craciun in BangkokChristmas decorations in Bangkok
Decoratiuni de Craciun in Bangkok

Christmas ornaments in Bangkok at Siam Paragon mall

Christmas decorations and Palm Trees in Bangkok at Siam Paragon Mall/ decoratiuni de Craciun printre palmieriChristmas decorations and Palm Trees in Bangkok at Siam Paragon Mall
Decoratiuni de Craciun printre palmieri

"Due to the crowd in the store, please kindly wait for a moment. We apologize for any inconvenience caused". I still can't believe there are people willingly waiting in line to get in the shop./"Datorita aglomeratiei din magazin, va rugam asteptati. Ne cerem scuze pentru disconfortul creat". Mentionez ca in magazin erau doar 5 persoane, iar alti cativa asteptau la coada in afara magazinului. No comment.

“Due to the crowd in the store, please kindly wait for a moment. We apologize for any inconvenience caused”. I still can’t believe there are people willingly waiting in line to get in the shop.
“Datorita aglomeratiei din magazin, va rugam asteptati. Ne cerem scuze pentru disconfortul creat”. Mentionez ca in magazin erau doar 5 persoane, iar alti cativa asteptau la coada in afara magazinului. No comment.

Floating spoons/Linguri in aer!Floating spoons
Linguri in aer!

Hot cinnamon rolls for desert/Rulouri calde cu scortisoara la desertHot cinnamon rolls for desert, because “Life needs frosting”
Rulouri calde cu scortisoara la desert, pentru ca “viata are nevoie de glazura” 🙂

christmas decorations

Walk around Siam Square

I like going off the beaten path, away from tourist sights, to “get the feeling” of the city.

Thailand welcomes the new year of  2557. /Tailanda se pregateste pentru anul nou, 2557Thailand welcomes the new year of 2557.
Tailanda se pregateste pentru anul nou, 2557

A colorful tuk-tuk./Un tuk-tuk coloratA colorful tuk-tuk.
Un tuk-tuk colorat

Pool and cocktails at the hotel

At the Eastin Sathorn Hotel in Bangkok everything is nice: from the big, cozy rooms with fabulous views, to the infinity pool at the 14th floor. I admired, I photographed, I relaxed.

I was quite melancholic (being away from home and missing everyone, far away from a real, cold Christmas), but the evening spent at the Lounge with a Long Ice Tea made everything seem better.

The infinity pool area at the hotelThe infinity pool area at the hotel

View from the 16th floor/Vedere de la piscinaView from the 16th floor
Vedere de la piscina, et. 16

At the pool

Admiring the view/M-a furat peisajul, ca sa zic asaAdmiring the view
M-a furat peisajul, ca sa zic asa

The next photo is taken from this location at the 32nd floor/ Poza urmatoare e facuta de aici, etajul 32The next photo is taken from this location at the 32nd floor/ Poza urmatoare e facuta de aici, etajul 32

Bright and colorful BangkokView from 32nd floor

Bangkok during day

Koh Wai Island, Thailand

I’ve always dreamt of being in a place that looks like a wallpaper for the monitor, with palm trees leaning over the sea, blue sky, turquoise waters. I think Koh Wai Island in Thailand is almost close to perfection. What do you think?

Beach Koh Wai Thailand

beach thailandKoh wai beach thailand Ko Wai Island, Thailand

Koh Wai Island

The Island was not crowded (compared to the European Beaches) and the tourists vacationing on the island were mostly (if not only) Russians. There are wooden bungalows directly on the beach, in between the palm trees, very basic, built on high wooden pillars in the air, with holes between the wooden walls, no insect nets and with shared toilets and showers.

We came here as a one day trip from Koh Chang island (a bigger sister of Koh Wai).

bungalow koh waiswing koh wai beach koh wai islandbeach palmtree thailand koh wai Bungalows Koh Wai Thailand

Things to do on Koh Wai Island

Koh Wai Island it’s a great spot for snorkeling.

Roast in the sun, enjoy the quiet atmosphere and the relaxing views over the clear blue sea.

Have a fruit cocktail or eat spicy Thai food at one of the two restaurants on Koh Wai (the one on the main beach lends books).

Walk along the main beach and find a path which will take you further to a small, quiet and private beach.

Enjoy the sound of nature!

books koh waienjoy the sound of nature beach palmtree thailand Koh waiKoh Wai Island, ThailandPalmtree beach koh wai

What if…

I couldn’t help but wonder, if I were alone on an empty island, would I make it to survive? There are bananas and coconuts growing on trees, so maybe I wouldn’t starve…but it’s quite scary to be alone in the middle of the nature, even in a gorgeous place like this :).

bee at koh wai beachIsland ko waikoh wai islandkoh wai beachKoh wai, thailandIsland Thailand waibeach thailand koh waiKoh wai thailandPalmtree koh wai thailandbananas thailandIf you to travel to Thailand for you next exotic vacation, don’t forget that the best times to visit this region of Thailand is in the dry season (end of November until March). Don’t miss:

The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is a surreal looking temple located 13 km South of Chiang Rai, a city in the North of Tailand. The construction of the White Temple started in 1997 and still goes on to the present time (it’s said that it will go on till 2070!). BUT…Unfortunately, on 6th of May 2014 the White Temple in Chiang Rai was affected and damaged by an Earthquake of 6.3 Richter scale and the interior of the temple is closed to the public for an unknown period of time. But you CAN VISIT THE EXTERIOR AND THE GARDEN which are the most interesting parts anyway!

It’s sad that such a beautiful temple, after so many years of working on it, it’s now damaged with cracks and broken towers.

I was lucky to see the White Temple in Chiang Rai before it was damaged by the earthquake, so please enjoy the PHOTOS TAKEN BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE, when the White Temple was intact, in all its beauty.

The front view over the White Temple The magnificent White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand it’s rich in detailed carvings and little mirrors.

The entrance of White Temple

The entrance in the White Temple and its surrounding gardens is free!

The path leading to the White Temple is surrounded by horror scenes and sculptures, like skulls and hands reaching up the the visitors.

white temple chiang rai handsAt the entrance of the White Temple in Chiang Rai hands reach up to you with hope and desperation

Heads, skulls at the entrance of the White Temple

Details of the chaos and horror in front of the White TempleDetails of the chaos and horror in front of the White Temple

Vanity, all is vanityVanity, all is vanity

If you are going through Hell, keep going

Once you pass the horror path, the way further in the White Temple is guarded by Demons. Climb up with courage and discover a temple like you’ve never seen before!

The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand, is not an ordinary Buddhist Temple, no no. It’s an unconventional, contemporary work of art. This makes it unique in the world and I think is a MUST when you visit Thailand.

Demons guarding the entrance at the White TempleDemons guarding the entrance at the White Temple

The Guards at the entrance of the White TempleThe Guards at the entrance of the White Temple

Passed the Guards and going up towards peace and quiet

Decorated balustrade Decorated balustrade

There it is, the surreal White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, a temple like you've never seen before

Demon guards in front of the White Temple

chiang rai white temple thailand

white temple thailand

Detail of the roof of the White Temple

thailand white temple

Decorations and carvings reaching towards the sky

White details

The White Temple in Chiang Rai, view from the front garden

The magical Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai

Inside the White Temple

Inside, you think you see a simple Thai Temple with people praying peacefully in front of a Buddha Statue, but if you turn around, there are mural depictions from Matrix, the attack on the Twin Towers from 9.11, the red angry bird, a Hello Kitty, Superman, Spiderman, scenes from Star Wars and even Michael Jackson! Strange for a Buddhist Temple, isn’t it? I managed to take 2 photos (shame on me, because photographing is forbidden).

Spiderman depicted on the walls of the White TempleSpiderman depicted on the walls of the White Temple

Angry Bird and Hello Kitty on the left edge, Twin Towers under attackAngry Bird and Hello Kitty on the left edge, Twin Towers under attack

The Garden of the White Temple

Of course the garden is the same weird. Creatures and heads are hanging from the trees or raising from the ground.

Predator rising from the ground in the garden of the White TemplePredator rising from the ground in the garden of the White Temple

Ghost heads hanging from the trees in the garden of the White TempleHeads hanging from the trees in the garden of the White Temple: Batman, Hellraiser, Hellboy, Jack the Ripper

No drinking sign in the garden of the White Temple“No drinking” sign in the garden of the White Temple

The Toilets at White Temple

If you drank to much water and nature calls, there is a beautiful golden toilet building, which blends perfectly with the architecture of the White Temple 😀

 

The golden toilet building at the White Temple

:D

Toilet sign: Women, MenToilet sign: Women, Men

How to get from Chiang Rai to the White Temple?

The White Temple is located 13 km South of Chiang Rai.

To get from Chiang Rai to the White Temple:

  • take either songthaew (covered pick-up trucks) – wave at them
  • or take bus from the Chiang Rai Old Bus Station located in town’s center (platform 7 or 8). It costs 20 bahts (50 cents) per person and the trip takes around 20-30 minutes (the lady at the Information Counter said there are buses every 30 minutes, but we waited at least 45 minutes in our bus before it finally left). When the driver drops you off, cross the double lane street and walk for about 1 minute.

To get back from the White Temple to Chiang Rai

  • wait on the opposite side of the street from where you were dropped off and wave to a bus or a songthaew (covered pick-up trucks) which goes back to the city.