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Archive for October, 2008

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Bangkok to Chang Mai – by train

Friday, October 31st, 2008

old style railcar - sidelined !

Oct 30-31 night sleeper Bangkok to Chang Mai.  this time, no Daewoo.  so an old style railcar and not up to scratch, as we were to find out.  instantly, you see that the railcars are older and the bunks are narrower, and once we passed the half-way point, it became apparent that something was not right.  were alternating between full speed ahead – crawling very slowly – and stopping in what seemed to be nowhere – for no reason. 

 dirty window - gorgeous scenery

no worries – kept going.  until morning time – arrival time – and no Chang Mai..  finally, stopped for good about an hour outside of Chang Mai, and hours behind schedule.  there was a problem with the brakes and after much ado and no solution, the train backed up onto a side track and we were transferred onto a much older-style train for the final leg.  arrived in Chang Mai four hours late and a little bedraggled.  the last part of the trip had great scenery – up into the hills – lots of dense rainforest and high train tressels over the jade green jungle valleys – beautiful.  very happy to arrive in Chang Mai.

hard core travel - for this final leg to Chang Mai

Penang to Bangkok – by train

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

inside Daewoo sleeper car

Oct 27-28 Penang to Bangkok night train (2nd class air-con sleeper).  another good ride – one of the newer Daewoo sleeping cars again.  enjoyed the roomy cot at night and blood-red sky at sunrise.  saw for the first time the shanty lean-to town that sprawls for miles along the outskirts of Bangkok.  met a couple from the train in a Bangkok cafe – they from my home province – travelling again after almost 30 years, saying so much has changed.  Bangkok was better this 2nd time around for me.  instantly knew my way and so was easily able to broaden my experience over last trip.  amazed at just how much i ‘did not see’ last time.  it was all there – just did not see it.  or maybe it depends on where you have just come from.  this time, after 2 weeks in ‘old’ Georgetown, Penang – Bangkok seemed strikingly modern and up-to-date, as i spent more time in the flash downtown shopping area – a shopper’s and gourmet’s delight .  could spend days just shopping and browsing.  my one day in Bangkok flew by.  did not buy anything but the food was superb.  very happy to have booked the Cozy Bangkok Palace – just a short walk from the main Hualamphong Rail Station.  so – easy in and easy out – for onward train to Chang Mai.


nighttime setup on Daewoo sleeper car

Pulau Penang – a tour day

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Georgetown  ... <a href=[Continue reading this entry]

Of Art and Tea

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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Penang National Park

Saturday, October 18th, 2008
penang national park

bus #101 from Georgetown west, along the north coast.  the road narrows and winds up and down, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tan Jetty – Georgetown

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Tan Jetty - Georgetown, Pulau Penang  

evening walk along Tan Jetty - heritage site in Georgetown, Penang - close to the ferry dock.  old houses on stilts - from the ... [Continue reading this entry]

“It must get lonely, travelling alone?”

Friday, October 17th, 2008

hen solo 

Actually, no.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  Yes, there are many times when I would love to say to someone, wow look at that!  But for the most ... [Continue reading this entry]

Georgetown, Pulau Penang

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

buddha at the Khoo Kongsi

last week was bad news for everyone.  worldwide financal crisis.  a wild ride ... [Continue reading this entry]

Kula Lumpur to Penang

Friday, October 10th, 2008
love lane from the inn terrace 

after 5 nights in Kuala Lumpur, took the monorail back to the main train station to board the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Singapore to Kuala Lumpur

Saturday, October 4th, 2008
tandoori naan set and ice tea 

train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur departed 8 am.  first class air con seat.  AUD$57.  the view: endless palm oil plantations.  every hill and dale - row upon ... [Continue reading this entry]