Archive: Thailand

Visiting Wat Doi Suthep

Wat Doi Suthep is a Buddhist Temple, situated in Doi Suthep-Doi Nathional Park, just outside of Chiang Mai. We decided to visit this temple at the weekend after hearing so much about the views from the top. We walked to the Chiang Mai zoo from Chiang Mai city centre, which took around 40 minutes. Then we got a Red Taxi (Shared taxi-which is the main source of transport around Chiang Mai) from the zoo-which cost us 40 Baht each (£1) for a 20 minute journey up a steep winding road, which took us about 1,600 m above sea level. The taxi dropped us at the foot hill of the temple.

We prepared ourselves for the 304 steps that we had to climb to get to the top of the temple. There is the option to get a train up, but we decided to take the difficult path, as always!

304 Steps leading to Wat Doi Suthep

304 Steps leading to Wat Doi Suthep

It was worth it-to see the view over the city from the top. You can see over the whole city and over the forests of Doi Suthep National Park. The entrance fee into the temple is 30 baht for foreigners (65p). Like all temples you have to make sure you are dressed respectively, covering shoulders and wearing long trousers.

Wat Doi Suthep

Wat Doi Suthep

Wat Doi Suthep was founded in the 14th Century but has been renovated many times since. Unfortunately it was in the middle of being renovated when we were there, so we weren’t able to get the best photos.  When we got to the temple, there was a young Thai band playing music, and young dancers. We sat and enjoyed the music and looked over the view of Chiang Mai city!

Over looking Chiang Mai City

Over looking Chiang Mai City

Useful Information

  • Opening Times; 5:30am-7:30 pm
  • Entrance Fee-30Baht (Foreigners)
  • Located 16 Km (10 miles) NW of Chiang Mai Province
  • Red Taxi’s from Chiang Mai Zoo to Doi Suthep cost 40 Baht per person (When in a shared taxi with 8-10 People)

We got the bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok today and will be getting a flight tomorrow to Hong Kong. Thailand is a beautiful country which we will miss very much! We practically enjoyed our time in Chiang Mai, and will miss the city and the beautiful people. I’m sure we will be back one day though!

It is hard getting back on the road when you have stopped for such a long time, but we are excited about discovering a new country and meeting new people.

Speak soon

Paul and Ruth

Bangkok Protests

We are now back in Chiang Mai, where we will stay for about 2-3 weeks. We stayed in Bangkok for about a week, but mostly stayed inside, due to the protests! We managed to get to see a few sights, including some of the temples, such as Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaeo. Wat Pho is famous for it’s reclining Budda, which is 47 meters long and 15 meters high. This is very impressive to see!

Ruth at Wat Pho

Ruth at Wat Pho

When visiting the temples make sure you are covering your arms and legs, as you will not be allowed to enter! We also visited China Town and a few parks, including Lumphini Park,which was hit by the protests the We would of liked to see more, but with all the protests going on at the moment, it was safer to stay inside!

We were staying at the @ Hua Lumphong hotel, which we have stayed in every time we’ve been in Bangkok. The rooms are really comfortable and the hotel staff are extremely friendly! There is a living room area for guests to use, where you can sit, chat, relax and watch TV. There is also a beautiful little Cafe downstairs, with excellent food and warm, friendly staff!! I would recommend anyone who is going to Bangkok to stay here, you will not be disappointed! It is right opposite the Hua Lumphong train station, so it is in a perfect location, for a quick stop in Bangkok.

We will be staying in Chiang Mai for a few weeks now, where I have to  wait for things to be sent  from home, because of my bag being stloen in Cambodia. Our next stop will be China. We are disappointed that we will not be going to Vietnam now, but maybe some other time we will:)

We will write more soon.

Ruth and Paul

Journey from Chiangmai to Bangkok

We left for Bangkok on Wednesday 21st April. Ning took me to get our bus ticket from Chiangmai to Bangkok a couple of days before. We got our ticket for 600 Baht (£12) each. This is 250 Baht (£5) cheaper than we paid getting to Chiangmai from Bangkok. You get charged more when you go to a tour office, as they take a commission and will charge you as high as they can. Our mistake was that we didn’t look around more. When you are rushing to get a ticket it’s difficult though. Most of the time they will always drop their price, so there’s no harm in trying!

We left Chiangmai at 7.00 am and arrived in Bangkok at 5pm. The bus was really comfortable. We were served food and drinks throughout the journey and stopped half way to get a meal in a restaurant, that was included in the price. They didn’t have any vegetarian option though so I just had a plate of rice.

We stayed in the @Hua Lamphong hotel. We stayed here last time we were in Bangkok and were really happy with it. The staff are so friendly and helpful and the rooms are beautiful and very comfortable. The hotel has wifi and a Cafe. The staff in the cafe are extremely friendly and give you the best service! We were really impressed with this hotel and would definitely stay there again, if we return.

We only stayed in Bangkok for 4 nights. It is quite crazy in Bangkok at the moment because of the protests, so it wasn’t worth risking anything by going out. A lot of the streets are blocked by baracades made of car tires and sharpened bamboo. We were there when the blasts happened, just around the corner from our hotel. Luckily we were safe in our hotel that night.

We took a bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap in Cambodia on Sunday 25th April 2010. We will write about that journey in our next Blog.

Paul and Ruth :)

Saying goodbye to Chiangmai

We had a fantastic time in Chiangmai. I have always wanted to go, after hearing many stories from my Dad and I was more than impressed. The people are so friendly and Chiangmai city has so much character. It is both modern and cultural at the same time. There is so much to see around Chiangmai that we were unable to do everything in 2 weeks. We definitely want to return! We would of liked to see Chiang Rai and more of the surounding areas. We also want to return to the Lisu Village to spend more time there and maybe stay over in the village.

It was especially good having Suriya and Ning to show us around. You really get to see a more ‘real’ side of a place when you are with locals. They took us to local restaurants, local super markets and local attractions.

We went out for dinner with Ning and her family one night, to a large local restaurant. You all get a heater in the middle of your table and you go and select what meat, vegetables, noodles, sauces ect that you want and cook it on the heater. This is a really nice way of lengthening your meal out and socializing at the same time. There was so much choice of meat and fish, so that wasn’t so good for me, being a vegetarian, but it was still fantastic! We really enjoyed being surrounded by the locals and eating like they do, and tasting Thai food in it’s true form. Ning was explaining that alot of the Thai food in the tourist restaurants is nothing like traditional Thai food.

Eating out

You could eat as much as you wanted at the restaurant. You just keep going back and cooking more food up! The total of the food for all 8 of us was roughly the same price as a meal for 2 in a tourist restaurant. So it’s best to eat with the locals or at least in the local restaurants! If you can find them that is. They are never in the tourist areas, you need to go a little bit out.

Summary of Chiangmai
Average price of a Budget Hotel- £5-10
Average meal cost- £2-£3
Favourite Day out: Hill Tribes, Elephant Riding on Mae Ping River.

Chiangmai Hot Springs

On Friday 16th April 2010, we went to visit some hot springs with Ning and pi Toiy, a friend who works with Ning. Alot of locals go here to bathe their feet into the hot springs, and some even get fully in. This seems crazy in the heat! I managed to slowly put my feet into the water, but I found it too hot to keep it in their for too long! We looked around for a while and then went for lunch together.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs

On the way back we went to visit some shops. We went to see where Silk is made. First we went to a demonstration room, where you can see them making the silk on the machines. They have to concentrate so much as they have to count how many of each colour they have done, and keep count of the changes in the pattern. After watching them weave scarfs we went to look around the shop. You can purchase several things like scarfs, bedding, clothing, table matts and small sovouneirs.

We then went to see where bamboo umberellas are made. The umbrella frames are made completley of bamboo and the cover is decorated with different paintings.

Bamboo Umbrellas

Bamboo Umbrellas

We saw many beautiful things in the shops, but we had to resist! We can’t carry that much backage around! Plus we would soon run out of money if we kept buying.

Ruth and Paul