Evergreen Place Apartments (Bangkok, Thailand)

We stayed here in February 2009 for a week, and found it to be a nice break from staying in crowded hotel rooms. As a traveling party of 5 adults + 1 baby, being able to stretch out in a 2 bedroom apartment, with a separate sitting area was great. We had a type A apartment, which had a large master bedroom, with an ensuite, another bedroom, a small kitchenette area, a sitting room, with a rollaway bed and a couch and tv, and another bathroom. The cot cost an extra 350 THB per night.

The ability to stretch out was fantastic, as we had a baby who just wanted to explore so the bub was able to crawl around a decent (clean) area. The pool was lovely, and the room was cleaned daily. There was a DVD and tv in the room, allowing us to chill out, and a few 7/11’s in the area, great for stocking up on snack food. The location was good – very close to Ratchthewi train station and Asia hotel (maybe a 3 minute walk) and relatively close to MBK (maybe a 10 minute walk). The walk to MBK wasn’t too difficult, however the last part takes you up a flight of steps and over an overpass, difficult with a stroller. Similarly, the walk to the train station wasn’t too bad, but to get up to the train station, you need to either climb the (two) flights of steps, or cross the road to the escalator.

We found the cafe on premises to be overpriced and not all that great. Internet options weren’t great – there was internet in the foyer, but it was quite expensive. As mentioned above, getting to the station etc with a stroller was a bit difficult, and the the beds were quite hard (but that is often the case in Thailand!)

Overall, highly recommended if you’re looking for some privacy, particularly if staying for a while, and traveling with family.

Happy Valentines Day from Crazy Bangkok…

Asia ~ Thailand ~ Bangkok

Well, my ‘Asia-trip’ is over once again…  I’m now relaxing in front of my own computer, in my own bedroom… ahh, and my own bed – nice!  But first – Bangkok…

Arrival in Bangkok was crazy – our flight was supposed to get us into Bangkok in time for Matt’s flight to Hong Kong – you don’t need to know anymore – we arrived at the Krabi airport to find that our flight had been delayed – and it continued to be delayed.  Finally, Matt bought a different ticket for an earlier flight, and off he sped, arriving just in time for his connecting flight.  Mum and I had to wait around for the original flight and eventually got to Bangkok (and I grabbed a quick snooze on the plane, much to mum’s disgust)…

We spent our first two nights in a hotel ‘just near’ Khao San Road.  Turns out it was only 5minutes away, as the crow flies, but as the average Aussie attempts to cross the 7 lane intersection without getting killed, it was a hell of a lot further away.  And yet, we made it across to Khao San to do some shopping, as well as knock back some Mai Tai’s (a necessity to boost our courage before attempting the walk back…).  Khao San is as crazy as ever, with vendors selling everything from pad thai to deep fried cockroaches, bikini’s to fishermen pants.  And backpackers just everywhere…

Khao San Road

Khao San Road

On one of our days, mum and I visited the snake farm in downtown Bangkok – an interesting and slightly terrifying experience.  It is the second oldest snake farm in the world, and is a leader in Thailand for snake anti-venom.   We heard a talk (with slideshow), and then they bought out some of their deadly friends.  The presenter was a crack up, telling us in an extremely dramatic voice about just how fast this particular snake can kill… After explaining that Australia has some of the worlds most dangerous animals – snakes, spiders, jellyfish, sharks etc etc, he asked if anyone was from Australia. Mum and I looked at each other and decided not to answer till we knew what it was all about. Another guy put up his hand. “What do you think is Australia’s most deadliest animal?” asked the guide. “The brown snake?” replied the Aussie guy. “No”, said the guide in a very serious tone. “The Australian woman…”

Me with a python

Me with a python

After mum took off, I spent my last few days at a hostel on Khao San Road. Spent my days swimming and shopping, and my evenings in bars. Met a group of people starting out their travels in Bangkok and saw a couple of movies with them – only $4 for a movie here (although you do have to stand for the Kings anthem).

And now I’m back home. Survived my flight home and am just getting ready to start uni. Ugh. Already planning the next travels – back to China area somewhere or another…

Take Care All,
xoxo bobbi

Being bitten by underwater ‘mosquitoes’

Asia ~ Thailand ~ Krabi ~ Koh Lanta

Welcome to warm weather! I love Thailand! Finally I am no longer shivering from the cold Beijing winter (although it is a little chilly in some of the air-conditioned rooms). After a early early morning, I arrived at the new Bangkok Airport to meet my mum and Matt. The new airport is nice enough, although the walk from the where you get off the plane through to where you pick up your luggage is a little long… Never mind, met up with my fellow travelers and we caught up over Thai curry, before catching our flight to Krabi. Krabi was just a pit stop where we stayed the night before heading over to the ultimate destination – Lanta Island.

At the last minute, mum and I managed to find a beautiful resort area on the bottom end of Lanta, and it is there that we stayed for a couple of blissful days. On our first full day, Matt and I spent the day snorkeling at Koh Raa – beautiful. Of course, it wasn’t without drama – we caught a long boat to the diving boat, and after boarding the diving boat we found out that the engine was playing up. Never fear – the diving group had another big boat, which they quickly pulled up beside us. A little too quickly, as it turned out, because, as the boat was coming in along-side us, they hit the boat, causing all the oxygen tanks behind me to spill out onto the deck, knocking us over. Thankfully I’m a quick mover – I copped the brunt of it, but only managed to get a tank on my little toe. The snorkeling itself was awesome – we saw a heap of different beautiful fish, as well as a sea snake and a tortoise. We also spotted (and got ‘bitten’ by) a huge number of small jellyfish (‘mosquitoes’), which kept us scurrying out of their way.

The beach that we caught the boat from to go snorkeling

The beach that we caught the boat from to go snorkeling

Whilst on Koh Lanta, we decided to hire motorbikes to scoot around. Our first attempt wasn’t so successful – they only had one spare bike, so we decided it’d be fine, we could ride with two people… Turns out we were wrong. First time on a bike, first time trying to balance on a bike – not particularly easy with two people. Fortunately, Matt chose the better option – he crashed the bike instead of taking us head first down a 50meter cliff into the sea… The next day we were able to hire a bike each (even mum!) and we headed off into the sunset on our bikes…

Matt & I on my bike

Matt & I on my bike

All of a sudden, it was time to leave. Unfortunately, our bikes had to be returned before we caught the bus to the airport – the bus was to pick us up at 6am, so it was with weary eyes (we went out to a funky outdoor club the night before) that we dragged ourselves out of bed at 4.30am… And proceeded to ride our bikes at a very slow speed into town (for we had just realised that we were dangerously close to running out of petrol – oops). As soon as we could see we were going to make it, we sped the last km and made it in time – phew!

And now I’m ready (I think) for the craziness of Bangkok – bring it on!

xoxo bobs

Things I forgot to mention about Thailand

Asia ~ Thailand

Hey guys, I’m now in India, but before I start going on and on about my experiences here, I want to quickly outline a few things (mainly so I don’t forget) that I didn’t mention in my earlier posts…

The road rules – there don’t seem to be any. Just advisory lanes, advisory traffic lights, etc etc. And despite all this, I only saw one accident. Almost none of the cars had scratches either (although Tash has her own theory on this – when they crash a car they completely wipe it out, therefore all the cars on the road are new replacements). I found the easiest way to stay sane was just to close your eyes, pretend you can’t see the speedo (and pretend that 140 km/hr isn’t really that fast) and hang on! Also, all the taxi drivers had little plastic budha’s hanging from the mirrors… One even had a little disco ball.

The animals everywhere – dogs and cats, absolutley everywhere. They didn’t seem to be particularily hungry, or savage, very placid, everyone was happy to give them food. And despite the crazy driving, I didn’t see any injured animals…

I can’t think of much more right now, I’m so tired, Delhi is an exhausting city. But more about that later.

Phi Phi Islands

Asia ~ Thailand ~ Phi Phi Island

Well well well, another day another adventure. Tash and I are just about to leave Phi Phi Island, its been like a dream. After spending two nights on trains we ended up in Phuket (Southern Thailand). The trains weren’t tooo bad, the first one was a sleeper train, we had beds and everything. The second one, however, didn’t have any sleepers left (we didn’t book early enough), so we ended up on seats for a 13 hour train trip. Ugh. Oh yeh, while we were in Bangkok, on our way down here, I had my hair plaited. Blonde and Purple, almost down to my waist. Very different, have got quite a few comments.

Anyway… Phuket was different, we spent the time on Karon Beach, there was no evidence of the Tsunami there. People were really nice, but obviously hurting, it was so quiet, no tourists anywhere. Meanwhile, we managed to find a mexican resturant that sold jugs of mararitas for about $4. mmm. Tash and I have got quite accustomed to the local drinks, the beer (Singha is the best) and the cocktails (mmm Mai Tai is awesome). But dont drink the whiskey….

We also went and visited Katong beach, the destruction there was obvious. All the resturants along the main beach had been wiped out, but were well on the way to being re-built. Construction was happening all around and people were really happy to see tourists starting to visit again. When we were there, they were having a bit of a celebration, to get the tourists through, so we sat on the beach for a while, having dinner and drinks.

The next day we set off for the Phi Phi Islands. Ferry across was uneventful, after watching a horror movie on giant squid we kept our eyes open though… Arrival at Phi Phi Don (the larger of the islands) was, well, theres no way to describe it. The tsunami had really hit here. The main beach, which used to be a collection of beautiful beach huts, stores, resturants and bars was just sand, dirt and corrugated iron. Some of the stores were being propped up by who knows what, others were tumbling into the sea. On our way through town to our hotel, we could see that basically everything had been wiped away. Surprisingly, here and there were places that apeared not to have been touched at all. Scary.

Eventually we made it to our resort, which only survived because it is on a hill, the waters didn’t reach it. It used to have a bridge crossing the canal in front of it, but that was washed away. In its place stands three planks that we had to wobble across (with our huge, heavy packs!!!) to get to the resort. Tsunami aside, the island is absolutley beautiful. The beaches are white sand, the water is the prettiest blue you’ve ever seen. We spent four days on Phi Phi Don, with a visit to Phi Phi Lei. Phi Phi Lei is where the movie “The Beach’ was shot. We visited Maya Bay and did some snorkelling, there were fish everywhere. They all loved trying to nibble on my hair – i guess the purple and blonde is a *BIT* strange… Back on Phi Phi Island we went to a beach party on of the nights, where songs were sung and people were auctioned off for charity… All proceeds were going to helping the people re-build, so everyone was quite happy to drink up! We also had fire twirling, which was quite awesome. Met quite a few foreigners from around the world. I must admit though, Australians are definetly the loudest drinkers, that and the Irish, Tash and I pretended we werent aussie… Theres only so many times you can hear ‘Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Oy Oy Oy’ in one night. There are about 100, maybe 150 people staying on the Island as far as I could see, an Island that used to have thousands visiting it, if anyone wants to take a holiday, I suggest Phi Phi, they definetly need the tourists, and its a beautiful place.

If you guys could see where I’m sitting to type ths email, its like paradise. I’m sitting on one of the decks at the resort, overlooking the bay, palm trees swinging in the breeze… Mmmm… Hope you’re all having a great time at home, next time I write, I’ll be in India, can’t wait, Indian food yum.

xoxo Bobs

ps Met some guys from England yesterday, they’re leaving for home today, its -4 Celcius over there right now, ugh! By the time we get there, it had better be warmer!!!