A Travellerspoint blog

Cookies home town - Phetchaburi !

The heat goes on---

Day 3
We traveled from the hotel to the bus terminal at Victory Monument in downtown Bangkok. As usual, the taxi driver was lost :-)
Immediately, we caught a 2 hour trip in a van to Phetchaburi. The van was packed to the max. Thankfully it was air conditioned.
Upon arrival we caught a TukTuk to Cokkies home in a nicer neighborhood. We were impressed with her two story, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. She said she pays about 7,000 Bhat a month, ($200.00, and divides it with her roommate). Fortunately two of the bedrooms have great AC.
Our first night, she took us to a great restaurant in town "Riverside", but it was closed. Imagine that, a restaurant that chooses to close on Saturday nights! We opted for another cute place "PP and Q". The food was very good, and her delightful roommate Stephanie joined us.

After dinner, we went to the best spa in town. One of Cookies adorable students was working the front desk. Turns out her Mother owns the place.
We opted for each of us to have a 1 hour scrub followed by another hour of Thai massage. Danny and I chose "Honey with Tamarind". They gave us each a female masseuse and took us to pretty individual scrub room. Upon enetering the room we were asked if we wanted to start with a sauna. Seeing as it was still over 95 degrees outside, we opted out. We showered first, then put on the sarong and funny stretchy underwear, it was about the size of a cocktail napkin. It pretty funny trying to get them on! Next the masseuse comes in, has you lie down, face-first and proceeds to scrub. Next comes a good shower to get off the goo. Incredibly relaxing and refreshing. Then the 1 hour massage. We were led to a large room with 4 mats on the floor. Okay, evidently we do this together... It was so fun! We laughed and chatted as each of us had our own personal massage terrorist stretch and deep tissue massage our knots away. The cost for two hours of special treatment was 600 Bhat each. ($ 18.00 USD).
While waiting for our TukTuk, we discussed the issues of the mean monkeys that lived in the park across the street. They told us they bought a BB gun to keep the monkey's from coming into their spa. By the way, it is common for the locals to carry a sling shot or stick to keep the monkeys at bay. Then it was time for bed.
Day 4
We slept in before heading out to the ... Cave nearby. There are no words to describe its beauty. But before getting to the cave, your TukTuk driver will drop you off a short walk from the opening. This area has pretty aggressive monkeys. People stopped leaving their vehicles in this parking lot, as the monkeys would tear them apart. Things like a stick or umbrella helps. This being said, we asked our driver to pick us up in 1 hour. The heat was building outside, but the cave was cool. Entering, we see the bats on the ceiling, the stalactites, and the many steps downward. Once inside, there are over a hundred statues. Some are gigantic and the cave is well lit by the natural openings in the ceiling. We spent an hour enjoying this sacred spot. We took many photos. The climb back up the stairs was a task and we didn't want to leave...
Next we headed to a ...... And took a tram towards the top. It was the hottest hike we ever had! The heat index was about 107 Fahrenheit. Once again, we had to deal with the monkeys. Fortunately none of them took after us. It was beautiful despite the heat with panoramic views of the area. Lots of flowers and in some spots, piped-in traditional Thai music. As we labored upward, Cookie danced across the pathways. After an hour, we'd had enough and took the tram back down for a cool treat. Danny a coconut Popsicle, Carol, coffee ice cream, Cookie had --- Ice cream.
Our TukTuk driver arrived and Cookie took us to lunch at a riverside restaurant she frequents. It was paradise inside. The owner adores Cookie and treated us well. His wife was a cat lady with many cats. After lunch, our driver brought us home as we were done for the day. Cool showers and short naps were in order. In the late afternoon, Cookie taught Carol how to ride a scooter. Then while Danny read books on Thailand, Cookie and Mom went on her scooter to an open air market. The sights filled the sense, but I didn't see anything I wanted to eat. Between the exotic fruits, seafood, vegetables and heat, I couldn't have dinner. Danny had a coconut pumpkin soup that Cookies roommate made. He loved it!
After a good visit it was time for bed.
Day 5
Was a restful day. Cookie had errands to run, so we slept in, made ourselves at home in her cozy, yet warm house. The air conditioner in her room was a blessing! In the mid afternoon, we caught up with Cookie at a Doctors appointment. It was a follow up visit to check on kidney stones. It is a very nice and modern hospital. She doesn't want family or friends to worry, she is on medication and not much pain at present. For dinner we met her friends at a restaurant called "Side Track". The TukTuk driver invited himself to join us. Their was great dinner conversation with Eddie, a teacher in Cookie's town. A very knowledgable and interesting young man, with fascinating reflections on the last Coup in Thailand. He is from San Diego. Small world! The next morning we headed out early to catch a train to Bangkok, to catch our flight to Phuket.
More to follow.

Posted by CarolandDanny 19:01 Comments (0)

Bangkok!

Our first few days in Thailand

sunny 36 °C
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Our arrival in Bangkok was uneventful. We waddled off the plane about midnight, after 23 travel hours. We knew it would be a long day, but nothing can teach you patience like having to sit in a small space so long. All Nippon Airlines was actually quite nice, it's just that the numb sensation in your bum after sitting for hours on end. The first thing we felt when you step off the plane is the heat and humidity, and this was at midnight. However we were so grateful to be standing and walking, free from the confinement of the economy cabin.
Customs was quick, no one gave us a second look as we entered with our bags to the taxi area. I was relieved, having brought all the cheese and salami I could squeeze in our checked-in bag for Cookie. Evidently good cheese is hard to find in Thailand and pricey.
We caught a ride at the taxi stand, just as we left the terminal. UhOh, our driver had a hand towel over the meter. We had been warned taxi drivers prefer to not use the meter. After a short discussion, we settled on the fare and headed to our hotel, "Park Residence 19". We loved this place! Close to everything but away from the noise. Swimming Pool. Black out curtains and a strong AC unit. We found the management had upgraded us to a one bedroom suite. Nice. We open a bottle of scotch we bought from duty free and had a heavy pour for a night cap. Long last sleep....

Our first morning in Bangkok:
Up, dressed and ready to explore, we decided to take a short walk to get our bearings. After several blocks, we made a U Turn and headed back to the hotel. It was simply too hot and humid to go far from the hotel on foot. Our front desk set up a free tuktuk ride to the bts train. After studying the map we took a short ride to Phrom Phrong Station. When the doors of the train opened, it was packed inside! Barely room for us, but we squeezed in and managed to squeeze out at the right stop. The exquisite "EM Quaterier" shopping mall.
This was by far the most futuristic and gorgeous mall I have ever scene. Several large buildings, all connected by walkways of beautiful shopping centers. It was icy cool, fabulous! One building featured 4 floors of restaurants. All had interesting displays and great lunch specials to choose from. We finally opted for Japanese food and we weren't disappointed. The mall also featured an outdoor indoor garden walk, very zen-like, with water features, flowering plants and gorgeous views of Bangkok. Finally, made it back to the hotel, and then it happened, COOKIE ARRIVED! I was so happy to see her, I had to choke back the tears.

Our first night in Bangkok:
Cookie got us to an eccentric furniture-store-turned-restaurant, "TUBA". We enjoyed cocktails, dinner and great conversation. After dinner, Danny was ready to call it a night. So Cookie took me out for a drink at an off-beat bar, "Studio Lamb". They ferment their own rum and whisky. It was surreal, to have Mother-Daughter time alone in this exotic city. We caught up on many subjects, her eyes lit up and danced as she shared her stories of the people she had met along the way. We stopped at a local street-food corner for dessert of "Mango Sticky Rice". Then headed back to the hotel, as this mom was exhausted.

Day 2 - Bangkok:
Cookie helped us plan a day of sight seeing.
We started early in attempt to avoid the heat. Caught a TukTuk to a crowed river boat for commuters, then another TukTuk to a riverboat tour of the city by water on the Chao Phraya River. We got off the boat at "The Grand Palace and temple of the Emerald Buddha". Despite the threat of it being high season, with heavy crowds of tourists, we were pleasantly surprised to find there was more then enough room for everyone to take memorable photos and dive into spirituality. We opted to visit cookies favorite temple next, "WatIntharawihan" aka the giant golden Buddha. Undisturbed by tourists, Cookie demonstrated an offering to Buddha. It was a quiet moment to embrace the culture and appreciate those that are no longer with us.
Emotionally and physically drained by Bangkok, we ventured home. Desperately longing to cool off in the infinity pool.
Once the sun had set we made our way to a trendy skybar known as "Above 11". It's exhilarating views of the skyline and tasteful drinks on the ledge was the perfect kickstart to our Friday night. For dinner we shuffled our way to the next "Soi" for Korean Bar-B-Que at "Doo Rae". We had our fill, so Danny and I went back to the hotel, but Cookie opted to dance the night away!
Posting some photos from this leg of the Journey below, more to follow when I can download them from the camera, these are from our cell phone.
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Posted by CarolandDanny 18:11 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Getting ready and beginning a travel journal

Planning to leave your home to travel for a month, there is so much to do! We are getting as much as possible sorted out before we depart and one of the things on my list is to start a travel blog! So here it begins~


View Southern Asia 2016 on CarolandDanny's travel map.

Well, if you are reading this blog, it means I actually found the time and patience to write one!
It is a leap of faith to trust that I will compose anything worth reading, but I'm willing to give it a try.
In my mind, I hear the beginning of a Star Trek episode...
Space: The final frontier Senior Life: The final travels
These are the voyages of Carol and Danny
Their 10 year mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new friends and travel new beaches
To boldly go everywhere they can before they're on walkers and wheelchairs
:-)
See this is how my mind works.

In recent years when planning for vacations, we thought of normal places to visit, like Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska.
We took many traditional vacations like this.
Here is an incredible photo from our apartment balcony in Maui, it was early in the morning and we happened to catch this rainbow.
It felt like a gift somehow, to arise on your first day in a tropical paradise and be blessed with such beauty ~
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Maui was absolutely magical, and I do hope we can go back again someday.

But I digress, this is about our future adventures.
Let me begin here by confessing our taxes are done, the appointments for shots are made, the pet food being stocked up on.
All that and more, not very exciting tasks that I won't bore you with.
However, practicality has it's place... And we are getting through the to do lists.

We'll be traveling light. Most of the trip we'll be like old 'hippies' with back packs.
Weather looks to be upper 80's and mid 90's with humidity to be above 80%.
Because of overwhelming heat, our plans include many beach areas.
Cookie is between semesters teaching, which is fantastic for us, as she will be our tour guide once we arrive in Bangkok.
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Below is our tentative itinerary;
LAX to Bangkok, with a change of planes in Tokyo (approx. 22 travel hours!)
Bangkok to Cookies town of Phetchaburi.
Back to Bangkok to catch a flight to Phuket.
Ferry from Phuket to Krabi.
Flight back to Bangkok for a night.
Flight to Bali. We'll stay in Amed 2 nights.
Ferry to Gili Islands (Our hotel for 2 nights is on Gili Air)
Ferry back to Bali for 1 night before flying back to Bangkok.
Two last nights in Bangkok before flying home on the 27th

Well, this is all I have to post as we continue to get ready.

I hope you like our online travel journal. It will help us to share our travels with you, our family and friends.
Thank you for coming along.
XOXO Carol

Posted by CarolandDanny 07:42 Comments (0)

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