Monday, 11 June 2012

A new beginning!

Hello Everyone!

I would like to thank everyone who followed Mal and I through our Thai blog.  It was a once in a lifetime experience which, sadly, has come to an end.  But I am about to embark on a new adventure, solo this time, across the Rocky Mountains.  This is another G-Adventure tour where you start in Calgary and make your way to Vancouver while stopping at the national and provincial parks.  I am leaving this Saturday and will be back in Toronto the second Saturday after that (so total 15 days).

Here is a map with all our pit-stops.  If you would like to view my itinerary, here is the link:

Here is what's included in this tour: all entrance fees to the parks, hiking, a gondola ride in Banff, natural hot springs, a full day canoe tour in Wells Gray, ferry rides and a full day zodiac tour (whale-watching).  The accommodations include some hotels but mostly campgrounds.

Once again, I will be bringing my camera so I will try to upload pictures as often as I can.  I'm super excited!
Don't forget to keep checking for updates.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The end!

Hello everyone!  I'm afraid our lovely trip has come to an end.  After a few long plane rides, Mal and I landed in Toronto a day and a half ago.  The trip home took a little longer than expected because of delays, missed flights, having to stop in Vancouver... but we made it home, and are luggage was not lost.

Our trip has been absolutely amazing, and G adventures did a really good job organizing everything.  We also had an awesome tour guide which made everything better.  It was nice not having to worry about getting on trains, booking hotels and getting from one place to another.  So thank you Gap tours.

I'm still working on my last album, for some reason it won't upload.  I will post it as soon as I can.  If anyone wants to see the slideshow of all my pictures then let me know and and we will arrange something.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Koh Samui and Koh Tao

Hello from Koh Tao, an absolutely beautiful island off the east coast Thailand.  We've been here for the last two days, it's very relaxing and sunny.  We both like Koh Tao much more than Koh Samui, it's much nicer and cheaper for some reason.  So anyways here is a summary of the last couple days of our trip.

Koh Samui:  So we arrive here several days ago, but I think I already blogged about our arrival.  The next day we set off on an adventure to the Angthon national marine park, which is absolutely beautiful.  There we visited the islands, kayaked and snorkelled (although the snorkeling was very dissappointing).  We couldn't see anything except rocks and eels... gross!!  But the views were wonderful, especially from the top of the view point, which only I and two others on our tour were brave enough to climb.  It honestly was 500 m straight up on pure rock, you had to use a rope to pull yourself up for most of it.  But the climb down was probably worst.
After that we took the boat back to koh samui.  At night, we went to arc bar for dinner, which was dinner on the beach (very nice).  Then we went to another lady boy show (for the new people) and after to the green mango to go dancing.  We had a lot of fun.
koh samui

The next day we took a speed boat to koh tao, a much nicer island.  We arrived in the afternoon and chilled by the beach.  The next day, some of us set off on a snorkeling tour of the island.  This snorkeling was absolutely beautiful.  We saw alot of fish, no sharks though.  I did see these small sucker fish we ended up trying to attach to me, which completely freaked my out.  Luckily, the sucker fish were only at the first snorkeling site and we never saw them again.  I do have some pictures of the tour, but for some reason I couldn't upload my koh tao pictures so you will all just have to wait for those.

Well that's all for now.  Tonight we leave on the sleeper train back to bangkok, where our tour will come to an end :(  We will be home on tuesday, and although we are sad to see our trip end, we are also glad to go home.  Not sure if I will be posting anymore pictures after this, we'll see.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Part 1 of the South

Hello Everyone from the South of Thailand!  We finally have internet, and it's free :)  So here is an update of our travels so far.  It's very different in the south, still just as hot though.  There are definitely more tourists, and it's a lot more relaxed.  The mountains are even different, down south the mountains are very jagged (with huge cliffs) whereas up north they are rounded.   Can't wait to see to see the islands.

We arrived yesterday morning in Surat Thani where we travelled to our resort in the National Park.  We got there in the afternoon.  Once we checked in, we went tubing, which is like a lazy river ride for 2 hours.  The views were beautiful!  After tubing we went to go see some monkeys.  The people gave my a banana for the monkeys but since they wouldn't take it from me I just ate it instead.  I have lot's of good monkey picture :)  We stayed in a treehouse, it was pretty cool... except when we found a scorpion in our room :(

This morning we took a bus to the port then took a ferry, and finally arrived at Koh Samui in the afternoon.  Mal and I then chilled by the pool and the beach.    Tonight we have an early bed time because we are waking up early for a day trip which includes snorkeling, kayaking and sightseeing.  It's going to be a lot of fun.
south 1

I hope everything at home is going well.  We will be heading home in about six days, and we can't wait to see everyone.  It's been such an amazing trip so far, but its not over yet.  A few more days on the beach first.

That's all for now,

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Day 8/9/10

Hello everyone. Sorry for not posting yesterday but the free internet at our hotel in Chiang Mai was not working. So here is my recap of the last few days.

Day 8: We got back from our trek at around 3pm and had free time until 7:30pm. At 7:30 we took a truck to the night market and had dinner. After dinner we saw several matches of Thai Boxing (muy thai), which is the national sport of Thailand. There is a lot of kicking in this type of boxing, at first I didn't really enjoy it but by the end of the evening it got better. We saw both women and men matches. And the best part was a match with four guys instead of two, and all of them were blindfolded. It was hilarious! After that we went to a local bar for a few hours then headed back to the hotel.

Day 9 (still in Chiang Mai): Yesterday we did a cooking class in Chiang Mai. It was really awesome! We made 4 different types of dishes, and went to the market before hand. Mal made hot and sour soup, pad thai, spring rolls and curry. I made coconut milk soup, chicken with cashews, spring rolls and curry. Everything was so good. And we got a thai cook book with dozens of recipes. A very good deal in my opinion. After the class we were dropped off at our hotel and relaxed until it was time to board our sleeper train. We then took the train overnight to Bangkok.

Day 10: We arrived in Bangkok in the morning. We had time for a swim before lunch. Then we got foot massages :) It was wonderful. Now I am writing this post.

Sorry about the small amount of pictures. I didn't bring my camera to the boxing matches unfortunately. But I will take many pictures when we leave tomorrow for the south of Thailand.
So a quick update before I sign out: We are starting our southern tour today, so half way done our lovely adventures.

Well that's all for now.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Chiang Mai and Trekking

Hello everyone.  It's been a couple very exciting/exhausting days but we are back from our trekking adventure, and I finally have internet access!  We just got back an hour ago and the first thing we did was shower!! Finally, a real bathroom.

So these pictures begin with a city tour of Chiang Mai, where we saw more lovely temples.  That night we went to the famous night market where there were hundreds of stalls selling absolutely everything.  We also saw a Lady Boy show, which is apparently very famous here in Chiang Mai.  So basically men dressed as women were dancing and singing for us.  All I will say is that is was very interesting.

The next day we started our lovely trek into the wilderness.  We started by driving to a beautiful and famous waterfall, we went for a swim :)  Then we continued to drive up the mountains towards our drop off spot.  By the way, when I say drive we are sitting on the back of a covered pick-up truck.  It's hard to explain but I did take a picture.  The trekking the first day was quite nice, I believe we walked approximately 4 km and most of it was downhill :)  We arrived at our first village a few hours before dinner time.  We had time to shower in the river, tour the village and just relax for a bit.  Dinner was delicious and plentiful.  Most of our meals during the trek involved rice, mixed vegetables and some kind of curry.  We also made spring rolls.  Our accommodation for both days was a one-roomed hut with small mattresses and mosquito nets.  It wasn't the comfiest bed but the fact that we were shielded from the bugs was probably a luxury.  And the cabins were very open so the animals woke us up pretty early each morning.

The next morning we woke up at six (because of the animals mostly) and had breakfast at 7:30.  Breakfast included eggs, toast, jam and fruit.  It was also delicious and plentiful.  We then started our 9km walk to the elephant camp.  Most of that walk was manageable, but there was this one enormous hill that was absolutely brutal.  We were all exhausted, it was the never ending climb.  But the views from the top make it all worth it.  We had lunch at the elephant camp, which was instant noodles.  The elephants were so friendly, they came right up to us after lunch looking for food.  We then rode the elephants to our next village.  The ride was actually quite bumpy and if you didn't hold on to your chair you would fall off.

At the village we had a similar dinner to the one before, then played games with our guides.  They started as drinking games but because we were drinking locally made moonshine, we were disgusted by it pretty quickly.  So instead of drinking when you lost, they put charcoal on our faces... It was pretty funny.

The next morning we took a bamboo raft for several hours to a village where our trucks were waiting for us to drive us back to the city.  The bamboo rafts were a lot of fun!  We had a few fast rapids, and the view was amazing.  Also, when the water was calmer, we could swim beside the raft and float down the river.
Our drive back to Chiang Mai was pretty rough.  We sat at the back of the pick up trucks on some very bumpy roads.  But we made it back and now I am writing this blog :)

Well that's all for now.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Day 4

Hello everyone from Chiang Mai!  Sorry but my posts seem to be delayed one day.  Hopefully I will post again tomorrow morning to get back on track with my posting.
So day 4 (which is actually yesterday for me):  We've met our group and tour leader!  There is about 14 of us in total.  Everyone seems very nice, most of the people are from England.  So day 4 we toured Bangkok with our guide.  We began the day with a trip to a local market, where our guide explained some of the streetfood, and we got to sample a few thai sweets which were delicious!  After the market we walked to the pier and took a boat tour of the Bangkok klongs (canals).  The klongs were very exciting, we saw many houses and temples beside the canal.  Plus we saw a couple very large lizards and hundreds of catfish! They were actually everywhere and we got to feed them, it was chaotic!  After that we visited two of Bangkok's most famous attractions, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.  Wat Pho is the home of the famous reclining budhha which is 48 meters long.  The feet alone were huge and had very beautiful patterns on them.

Then we went to the Grand Palace, past home of the King and current home of the famous emerald buddha.  The palace grounds are huge, you can easily get lost in there.  The emerald buddha on the other hand was very small, but was sitting on a large pile of golden ornaments.  Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the buddha.  We didn't get to see all of the palace because it was so hot and all we wanted to do was head back to the hotel pool.  At 5pm we headed to the train station to catch our sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

We arrived in Chiang Mai at noon today since we were delayed a few hours.  It's probably just as hot here I'm afraid.  I thought it might be a little cooler since it was more north but no.  We walked around the city for a while and tonight we are going to the night market.  And we are seeing a the lady boy show (men dressed as women), apparently it's really famous over here.  Tomorrow we start our 3 day trek and definitely will not be able to blog.

Well that's all for now. Here are my day 4 pictures of bangkok and the sleeper train.

day 4