A Travellerspoint blog

Travels in Thailand.

Floating market, Bridge on the River Kwai, Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Nong Khai, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle, Mai Sai, Hill Tribe Village.

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Us in our favourite restaurant in Bangkok.

Us in our favourite restaurant in Bangkok.

I have already made blogs about Bangkok and Sukhothai but I have been to many more places in Thailand and I've decided to also add a blog for these.

I'll start with the floating market. We went here on a day tour to the Bridge on the River Kwai. It was a very poor choice of tour for us. We stopped at this market for a very long period of time. Personally I just wanted to take a few photos and leave, I've seldom been so bored. The market is so touristy. No-one seems to buy anything. They all just take photos so it ends up being tourists taking photos of tourists taking photos.

There are several floating markets. The one we went to was Damnoen Saduak. It was used as a setting in the 1974 James Bond movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun'. That's why so many tourists want to go there. It is about 100 km away from Bangkok and is open daily from 7am to 5pm.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

The Floating Market.

After the market our tour took us to a war cemetery. We were very interested in this, but before we could enter some very sweet Thai children came and asked really nicely if they could interview us for a school project so we did not have the heart to say no and ended up with only about 5 minutes left to see the cemetery. When we got back after racing round part of it, our guide screamed at us for being about 2 minutes late.

The war cemetery.

The war cemetery.

The war cemetery.

The war cemetery.

After the cemetery we went to a museum about the prisoners of war who built the Bridge on the River Kwai. Now we were really interested in learning about this but we were given a ridiculously short period of time here - about ten minutes. Our guide came in looking for us after about 5 minutes and screamed that we'd held everyone up at the cemetery and we were to come out and get on the bus straight away. We were really angry about this. We ended up getting back on the bus without seeing anything as we'd spent our alloted time at the museum fighting with the guide. No photos to share here. I didn't have time to take my camera out.

Then we got to the Bridge on the River Kwai and an included set lunch. The lunch was ok and we got enough time to see the bridge and railway but it still did not make up for our earlier disappointments.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai.

A second day trip we did from Bangkok was to Ayutthaya. This was a much better trip than the above one. We were taken to Ayutthaya and given a few hours to look at it by ourselves before coming back on a boat with a buffet. Ayutthaya really deserved more time than we had to do it full justice and I've often said we should go back and stay overnight, but even so we saw a lot. The journey back by boat was long, maybe too long, but it was still worth doing.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya.

On this trip we also visited Bang Pa Inn - a palace built by King Prasat Thong of Ayutthaya in the seventeenth century. It was very beautiful and had beautiful flower filled grounds.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Bang Pa In.

Another place we visited twice in Thailand was Pattaya. Now Pattaya has a reputation for being sleazy and in many respects that is true, but it does not have to be sleazy. It's got a beautiful long stretch of beach. It's got temples. It's got lots of resorts. When you are out looking for somewhere to eat you'll find normal restaurants next to strip clubs etc and that's where Pattaya may not be a good choice as a family resort, but it's not a horrible place. We had a perfectly peaceful and relaxing time here.

I don't remember the names of either of our hotels, but I know one was off the main stretch of beach to the south and the other was off the main stretch to the north. Both hotels were very pleasant.

Pattaya has a long beach, an interesting temple called Wat Phra Yai Temple and some viewpoints. While in Pattaya we also attended a show featuring the famous ladyboys. The ladyboys are men who live and dress as women. All of them are stunning enough to be Miss World. The show they do, in my opinion, was only interesting because the performers are men who look like beautiful women and not because of their performances. Once you get over the fact they are men, it was all a bit dreary really. We also did a day trip from Pattaya to Nong Nooch Gardens which are wonderfully landscaped gardens but which sadly have drugged out of their head wild animals you can take a photo with. We didn't. Tranquilized tigers are not my thing. There was also an elephant show here but it also seemed rather cruel. Minus the animal abuse these gardens would be nice.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One

Accommodation One

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation One.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Accommodation Two.

Temple Pattaya.

Temple Pattaya.

Temple Pattaya.

Temple Pattaya.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

At the Temple.

At the Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Me at the temple.

Me at the temple.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Eating Out.

Eating Out.

Eating Out.

Eating Out.

Lady boys.

Lady boys.

Lady boys.

Lady boys.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

Nong Nooch Gardens.

At one point we decided we would like to go to Laos. It did not, at that time, seem all that easy to fly to Vientiane, so we decided to take a tour from Bangkok to Nong Khai in Northern Thailand and do a day trip across to Vientiane from there. Not the best idea we've ever had as Nong Khai was a very long way from Bangkok. On route we stopped briefly at a reservoir and in Kon Kaen. We also stopped at some stalls on the side of the road. For example there was one selling honey from a honey comb.

Our hotel in Nong Khai was very nice. It had a very nice though chilly swimming pool. While in Nong Khai we visited a temple, the market and did a boat trip along the Mekong at night. The most noticeable thing about the boat trip was the Thai side of the River was fairly brightly lit and the Laotian side was absolutely pitch black.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Honey comb seller.

Honey comb seller.

Kon Kaen.

Kon Kaen.

Kon Kaen.

Kon Kaen.

Our Hotel in Nong Khai.

Our Hotel in Nong Khai.

Our Room.

Our Room.

Our Pool.

Our Pool.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Mekong.

Mekong.

Mekong.

Mekong.

Mekong Cruise.

Mekong Cruise.

Dinner on Mekong Cruise.

Dinner on Mekong Cruise.

Night Market.

Night Market.

Night Market.

Night Market.

Nong Khai.

Nong Khai.

A resort we really enjoy visiting in Thailand is Hua Hin. This is a seaside resort, but it's much quieter and more peaceful than Pattaya. It has a long sandy beach, a monkey mountain, lots of Buddhist shrines, a night market, an interesting old railway station and lots of places to eat and drink. We also enjoyed wandering around the gardens of the Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Sofitel.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

One of Hua Hin's best known sights is its beautiful, brightly-coloured old wooden railway station. This was built during the reign of King Rama VI.

Railway Station.

Railway Station.

Railway Station.

Railway Station.

Another sight is Khao Takiab Mountain, also known as Chopstick Mountain or Monkey Mountain. It is located next to the sea. There are several Buddhist shrines here and of course many, many wild monkeys. The views from the top of the mountain are lovely.

View from Monkey Mountain.

View from Monkey Mountain.

Monkeys on Monkey Mountain.

Monkeys on Monkey Mountain.

Flowers and Monkey Mountain.

Flowers and Monkey Mountain.

While out exploring we also came to another hill covered with Buddhist shrines and brightly coloured flowers. I think this is called Wat Khao Krailas.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Buddah images half hidden in flowers.

Buddah images half hidden in flowers.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Near Hua Hin there's a place called Cha-Am. This is home to a royal summer palace - the Maruekathaiyawan Palace. This palace was constructed in the early 1920s during the reign of King Rama VI. The palace is made of teak and is located close to the sea. It consists of three inter- connected one-storey pavilions supported by more than one thousand pillars to avoid flood damage.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

Summer Palace.

We've been to Hua Hin twice. Once we stayed in the Grand Hyatt Hotel which had the best swimming pool ever due to the lazy river which joins on it. It took me a thousand strokes to go round the pool and river once. I nearly did not bother to look at Hua Hin I loved this pool so much. On the other stay we stayed in the Blue Wave Hotel which was also lovely.

Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Hotel.

Hotel.

Drinks in the hotel.

Drinks in the hotel.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

Dinner out.

One last trip we did to Thailand was our trip to Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is Thailand's second biggest city. It was founded in 1296. The old part of town is surrounded by walls and a moat. Throughout its history. Chiang Mai often fought with Burma and Laos. It was captured by the Burmese in 1556 and rejoined Thailand (then known as Siam) in1775.

During our stay here we explored the old city, visited several temples, went to a traditional Thai dinner dance evening, saw some traditional Thai crafts and visited the night market. We also did a day trip which I'll put at the end.

Our Hotel.

Our Hotel.

Our Hotel.

Our Hotel.

Our Hotel.

Our Hotel.

Old City Moat.

Old City Moat.

Old City Moat.

Old City Moat.

One of the temples in the old city we visited was Wat Chedi Luang - the temple of the big stupa. This temple was started in the fourteenth century by King Saen Muang Ma. He wanted to bury his father's ashes here. In 1468, the famous Emerald Buddha was housed here. In 1545 an earthquake caused the top part of the temple's stupa to collapse.

Wat Cheri Luang.

Wat Cheri Luang.

Wat Chedi Luang.

Wat Chedi Luang.

Wat Chedi Luang.

Wat Chedi Luang.

Another lovely temple was the Wat Chiang Man. This is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai and dates from 1296. It was built by King Mengrai who founded Chiang Mai. The oldest part of this temple is the Chang Lom Chedi or Elephant Chedi. This sits on a square base surrounded by 15 elephants.

Wat Chiang Man.

Wat Chiang Man.

Wat Chiang Man.

Wat Chiang Man.

Wat.

Wat.

Wat.

Wat.

Wat.

Wat.

Shrine.

Shrine.

We had a khantoke dinner one evening. This is traditional Northern Thai meal served on a round wooden table. The restaurant also stages traditional Thai music and dancing.

Khantoke Palace.

Khantoke Palace.

We saw some traditional Thai crafts such as umbrella making and lacquerware.

Umbrellas.

Umbrellas.

Lacquer ware.

Lacquer ware.

Dinner.

Dinner.

Dinner.

Dinner.

Dinner.

Dinner.

Finally, we did a day trip which took us to The Golden Triangle. This is an area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. It has been one of the world's largest opium-producing areas since the 1950s, though that's not why we went - honest.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle.

Our trip also took us to Mai Sai where it is possible to cross the border into Myanmar. There was a lot of Burmese craft on sale at the border. I bought two beautifully embroidered neck purses.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

Mai Sai.

We also visited a hill tribe village and saw inside some tribal homes as well as watching traditional dance performances.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

Hill Tribe Village.

We also stopped at one point to watch workers tending their rice crops in their paddy fields.

Tending their crops.

Tending their crops.

Tending their crops.

Tending their crops.

Tending their crops.

Tending their crops.

Posted by irenevt 06:49 Archived in Thailand

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Comments

Why do they wrap the statues in gold cloths? How often do they change them? It must be difficult to keep up with it so there has to be a reason. Ayutthaya looked fascinating.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally. The cloths are like those worn by the monks. Putting them on the statues is probably a sign of respect. I don't know how often they are changed. They always look very clean. Ayutthaya also has a statue that is completely enclosed in tree roots. You can only see its head. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

Nice colourful pictures and your new "laissez faire" hairstyle makes you look younger. My enduring memories of Bangkok were the mosquitoes hovering over the canals and the horrendous traffic being brought to a standstill when the monsoon rain landing on the hot tarmac created clouds of steam, and windscreen wipers unable to cope with the deluge.

by Bennytheball

Hi Benny, that's a very poetic description of the rain. Ever thought of becoming a novelist?

Sadly it's not my hair making me look younger. I just was younger. Some of these photos are from 20 years ago. I've not finished this page yet. I'm writing up all our old trips to Thailand. I've still got Hua Hin, Nong Khai and Chiang Mia to do. Hope you are well.
Cheers,
Irene

by irenevt

Whoops, my clumsy "faux pas".....I forgot you were rewriting historical blogs, but you still look younger than me, I have to use several discreet disguises on the internet.

No, I'm not thinking of being a writer, I'm happily retired and don't need to work any more, just busy planning my June walkabout in Morocco again.

by Bennytheball

Happy planning. June is later than usual for your trip?

by irenevt

My mother and a friend went to Thailand with my daughter and son-in-law c 1990 and your photos look a lot like the ones they took

by greatgrandmaR

Hi Rosalie, Hope they enjoyed it. It's a beautiful country.Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

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