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March 21st – Bangkok – City Of Angels Apparently

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008


Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

Bangkok is crazy. How the city is even standing I have no idea. The traffic, pollution and noise are overwhelming and at night time the skyline is like something out of Bladerunner. The city goes on for miles and is concrete above you (with the new Skytrain system), people everywhere, street market stalls selling everything from shower caps to all kinds of weird and wonderful foods. The roads are packed with taxis, Mercedes, mopeds and tuk tuks and I have actually found it a bit harder to breathe with the air. I don’t feel like we need suncream as nothing is going to get through that layer of smog easily.

Our hostel – HI Central is very new and clean. It is right by the intersection of both Metro and Skytrain on Sukhumvit so would recommend it. The staff are really nice and nothing seems to be too much trouble. We spent our first day getting to grips with the very easy Skytrain system and people watching. Clothing is certainly more conservative here and teen’s hair styling seems to be taken seriously. I have seem nearly all teen boys with primped and premed hair, perfectly cut and teased into place with what can only be straighteners and a ton of hair product.

Our first day was an introduction – we went to the famous Chatuchak weekend market. The place is huge and a labyrinth of sweltering stalls packed with all sorts of goods. It really is hot here and is not for the feint hearted but what an array! We saw painted stones, tee shirts of all kinds including some very funky Japanese ones, puppies and kittens galore, flying squirrels complete with reigns and woolly hats (they are only about 6” long), bedspreads, old cowboy boots, second hand jeans, strange voodoo keyrings, bags, Guchi, Prado, Barberry and Tiffanee too. It is mindblowing but completely addictive. Anyone coming here should get the excellent Nancy Chandler’s map as her guide is invaluable.

After such a bizarre shopping experience we went for the more westernised mall – MBK. 7 storeys of goods and this is where the young Thais hang out at weekends. Again huge does really describe what is on offer here. The top floor is dedicated to entertainment with internet, gaming and electronic shops. You can also go to one of the glass oval Karaoke booths and sing a long to a few tunes if the mood takes you! Exhausted we fell to sleep without much effort.

March 20th – The Longest Journey

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008


Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

What should have been quite an easy journey turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. On the way to Bali airport I realised I still had the safety deposit box key in my purse and all our documents were still stored in the safe at the hotel. This is the second time I have done this so shows that dementia is setting in. The cheap flight we got to Singapore was fine. We would stay there all night and half the following day before our flight on to Bangkok. I had read on-line about how fabulous the transit facilities are at Singapore, free internet, PS2, movies and city trip. It all sounded great. Slight problem – we had to come out of the transit area to get our bags from the flight and once these were collected were not allowed back in to the transit centre until we had our boarding passes for the next flight. The check in did not open until 6am and we arrived at 1am. We spent the night in a nest of seats at a pub – along with lots of others who were having the same issue. The kids slept fine – I could not.

5.30 came and the nice lady at check in for Cathay Pacific said we could go ahead and check in – great at last through to the comfy chairs! Got to the check in desk to find we had been bumped off the flight onto a waiting list – what! Our flights had been confirmed back in Australia and to cut a long story short Qantas had no idea what had gone on but endorsed our tickets over to another airline. We got through to the transit area finally at 10. We missed the city tour by 10 minutes, the free cinema was being renovated and all the internet desks were free but you had to stand up and log on every 15 mins. The kids loved it and had fun with the PS2 and MTV chairs that had speakers in them so we managed to waste the time until our flight at 3 quite well.

What did we do in Ubud?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
DSC01418 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour Saw the monkeys at the Monkey Forest. It is not so much a forest as a large area of trees. The highlight is that it is inhabited by a large ... [Continue reading this entry]

March 12th – 16th Ubud

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
DSC01395 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour We hired a driver for the day to see a bit more of the countryside. In the morning we were treated to a Barong (Balinese story dance) featuring costumes galore ... [Continue reading this entry]

March 8th – 10th Bali

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
DSC01331 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour It is nice to change scenery and it feels like a bit of an adventure again. Bali is beautiful – lush green scenery and small temples everywhere with the detailing ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mar 2nd – Mar 5th The Outback – The Final Frontier

Thursday, March 6th, 2008
DSC01295 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour It was with some excitement that we landed al the way out in the middle of nowhere. You don’t really know what to expect, except heat and desert of course. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Feb 29th – Finding Nemo

Saturday, March 1st, 2008
DSC_0286 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour Why do most people come to Cairns? It’s not because of the beaches – there are only mud flats – it’s for the accessibility to the Great Barrier Reef. The ... [Continue reading this entry]

Feb 28th – Kurunda

Thursday, February 28th, 2008
Cairns 256 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour The rain has nearly washed the van away. The rain meant we could not have the windows open last night and the humidity meant a hard going night. The ... [Continue reading this entry]

Feb 27th – Cairns At Last

Thursday, February 28th, 2008
Cairns 253 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour What a relief to have reached out furthest North destination. It sounds strange but it has been harder driving North. Someone said it was because every mile gets you ... [Continue reading this entry]

Feb 26th – Mission Beach

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Cairns 218

Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

A small town with a great beach. It’s so chilled out here I could easily spend some ... [Continue reading this entry]