Mango & Sticky Rice for Breakfast
Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
35Trip End Sep 01, 2008
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Where I stayed
Ban Wiang Guest House, Chang Mai
Sawasdee Smile Inn, Bangkok
Viking Resort, Ko Phi Phi
We stayed in the tourist ghetto of Banglamphu for several days where we enjoyed the night market shopping on the infamous Khao San Road, the cheap food and beer and the many cafe's showing films all day long. It's amazing how long you can make one drink last when you're on a budget and want to stay and watch a whole film! We were near the Mae Nam Chao Phraya river and used the river taxi to get into town as well as hopping on the sky train
We were in Thailand for two things, the islands and the food. Naturally, we decided we needed a whole week on one island to really be able to relax and soak up the island vibe. We chose Ko Phi Phi - think beautiful beaches backed by lush green scenery. It's a long journey from Bangkok to the islands, about 15 hours by coach including the stops which are made all through the night, making the term 'sleeper coach' a bit of a misnomer! The film The Beach was filmed on Ko Phi Phi so for anyone who has seen it, you can picture the place. It really was incredibly pretty and arriving by ferry from the mainland we realised why so many people flock to Thailands islands. We were really blessed to find a gorgeous place to stay, it was a small resort built on it's own cove which was really quiet and secluded. It was nicely seperated from nearby Long Beach and the main town. Our room was a small wooden bamboo hut. One afternoon we took a kayak out to a nearby reef where we went snorkelling. We enjoyed fresh coconut shakes whilst sitting in hammocks, bliss! Four years after the tsunami, they are still rebuilding some parts but much of the town has been built back up again, it was interesting to see that they have tsunami evacuation routes and at certain points boxes of emergency supplies. We were very pleased to have found that we were in the quiet part of the island as the main town and nearby beaches did have a bit of a 'package holiday' feel
We had decided before going to Thailand that we wanted to go on a Thai cooking course. Chang Mai was supposed to be the best place to take a course so we took another long overnight coach, this time north. Chang Mai is an old city surrounded by medievil style walls and a moat. We found it a really peaceful place and booked a cooking course at Chang Mai Thai Cookery School. So for two days we learnt about Thai ingredients, visiting a local market to buy them and the basic cooking methods, and the best bit? We got to eat everything we cooked, which was six dishes a day! And we know we're going to get so many comments about cooking back home! After eating that much, we worked it off by hiring bikes and spent a day touring the city. Somehow, Sarah managed to find a 'chocolate cafe' on the other side of the river (not on a map!) where they sold a lot of chocolate goodies. Maybe we needed the bikes for two days.
Thai food is very good, there's so much choice, red curry, yellow curry, green curry, Penang curry. No seriously, there are so many other dishes! We enjoyed eating from the street vendors, sitting on little chairs watching the world go by - fresh mango and coconut sticky rice for breakfast, and Pad Thai for 20Bhat (30p), freshly BBQ'd chicken on bamboo sticks, iced coffee, fresh fruit shakes as well as Sarah's favourite the Roti, which is a deep fried pancake. It's all so good.
We found travelling so easy around Thailand, it's really set up for backpackers. But with this comes the fact that there are backpackers everywhere you go! Still, we had a great three weeks there and we were really able to chill out and relax.