A Travellerspoint blog

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The Planning Stages

I am not the Backpacking Kind

Let me start by telling you...I am not the backpacking kind.

I've travelled extensively for work all over Europe and Uk and it's always been in Business Class. I consider myself a
Hilton/Marriott type of girl so the thought of Hostel/Mixed Dorm fills me with dread.

My other half is more of a Festival-Going-Tent-Dweller so is more at home with the dirty and unwashed so you can imagine my retisance when Him Indoors suggests that we backpack around South East Asia.

Well, fast forward two years and lets say whilst I haven´t exactly EMBRACED the idea, I have agreed!

I came to the conclusion that it´s “Now or Never” to do it. Four months off work on holiday, adequate savings and no commitments means we are in a rather fortunate position of doing exactly as we please for a while, so why not sod off to the other side of the world?

So thats it, the decision is made, flights are booked and we begin the "The Planning Stages"

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Armed with a budget somewhere in between "Backpacker" and "Flashpacker" I am hoping we can reach a compromise.

I am clinging to the dictionary definition of a "Flashpacker":

"Definitions: noun
(informal) a backpacker who has a considerable disposable income"

But the truth is probably more like....

"a verteran traveller skilled in the art of sniffing out a 5-star bargain, loaded with connectivity devices and pretending to have more money than they actually do."

This trip is going to be a challenge, but I am now (it took me a while) actually looking forward to it.

Posted by Gingertoad 01:18 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

To Pack or Not to Pack...That is the question.

A Master Class in Packing "Light"

It's funny when you've been in a relationship with someone a long time how you both adopt you unspoken, yet agreed upon roles in the run up to the holiday.

Him - making sure we have enough gadgetry to sink a war ship.
Me - making sure we have enough egg mayo butties for the journey. (None of that plasticy airplane food for us! No Sir-eee!)

Anyway, I've finally packed and it is what I have only even seen referred to in Women's magazines as a "Capsule Wardrobe".
The total weight of my rucksack is 7 kilos.

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I am feeling quite smug at achieveing this near mythical status of "Packing Light". My everyday handbag weighs more than that.
I am clearly born to do this "Travelling" malarkey!

How hard can it be?

(I know I will be grieving for the Frizz Ease Hair Serum I had to leave behind the second we touchdown in Bangkok and my hair becomes an instant Ginger Afro)

So my loved ones tomorrow we say "Adios" to Spain and "Sawaddekrap" to Thailand!!

Excited.com

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Posted by Gingertoad 12:22 Comments (0)

Day one Bangkok.

Crikey! Bangkok ain't for the faint hearted.

23hrs straight travelling to get here and I am so glad we booked a nice hotel to acclimatise.

We are staying Two nights at the Raddison on The Sukhumvit road. We got a 70% discount on www.asiarooms.web so the rooms were really good value and we got a free upgrade to a suite it's lush.

If you are flying long haul to get here I heartily recommend breaking yourself in gently.

After 2 hours quick nap at the hotel a wonderful shower change of clothes we were ready to explore. We used the complimentary "tuk tuk" (hotel taxi) to drop us off at one of the main squares and off we set to have a looky looky.

Nothing prepared us for the heat & humidity. Walking up stairs reminded me of living in Andorra where everything is at altitude we were both out of breath.
Ten o'clock at night and it's still 35 degrees! we lived in Tenerife for years so it's not the heat that got us its the combination of heat, pollution, noise and smells - after 20mins we were gone at the game and had to rush into a western style shopping mall urgently for the air conditioning.

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Anyway that turned out to be a real winner as the top floor food court was exceptional. Www.terminal21.co.th. food court, you buy credit on a swipe card and then pop round the multiple vendors buying whatever you fancy the look of its all made fresh in front of you.

Playing it safe on day one I opted for chicken fried rice and J got the Tom yum soup (big portions) also we both had a delicious fresh smoothie and the total bill was only 155bhat.
(3.15€)
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Then we set off on foot down the Sukhumvit road towards our hotel.

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Feeling rested and full up we decided to have a look around the Nana plaza area which is one of the red light districts.

This was when my jet lag reared its ugly head.

Lady boys, amputee beggars, litter foul smells and a street cart selling deep fried cockroaches sent me right under and I practically RAN back to the sterile confines of our hotel!!

By the way, Bangkok smells. It stinks, I mean really stinks. Rotten sewage and fresh turd type stink. I may have to obtain a handkerchief doused with perfume like the Elizabethan ladies did.

Not quite ready to Cast off my western shackles and get into the groove yet, forgive me folks but I'm British.

Posted by Gingertoad 21.02.2013 09:02 Comments (1)

Bangkok day 2

Him indoors had previously dismissed jet lag as "poppycock" and "new age nonsense" so I think it was a bit of a shock for him to be wide awake and craving a Sunday Roast at 03.45am.

Decided to have a nice chilled day today went for a swim in the roof top pool and then sat in the Jacuzzi tanning (I am ginger so for "tanning" see "burning") while sleepy head tried to come round.

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The hotel has a complimentary tuk tuk which drops you off at the metro stations.

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We headed over to the big shopping mall MBK taking the sky train which is very cool riding high above the traffic.

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The mall was like a gigantic Arndale centre market full of everything you can possibly imagine, and then some.

We ate in the 5th floor food court which turned out to be a real rip off. We had virtually the same meal as the night before but the price was triple.

After lunch we both had the most amazing foot massage in a beauty salon at the mall. Only 300bhat (7€) for a full hour. Was wonderfull, we floated out of there. Those are Jason's hairy legs by the way!

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We learned a valuable lesson today, if you go anywhere sanitised and Western you will pay hugely inflated prices. We need to get stuck into the street food carts, not in Bangkok though its too dirty.

We are off to Pattaya tomorrow by bus to stay in Bang Sare with Dave and his thai family before hitting the islands.

More than happy to be leaving Bangkok its like a different planet.

Posted by Gingertoad 22.02.2013 11:52 Comments (0)

Moving on....

Starting to head down the Eastern coast

Sad to check out of the Radison today - no more luxury! So glad I managed to talk the old man into that two days to acclimatise, I don't think I would have been able to cope with the full on assault that is Bangkok without that sanctuary.

Made our way via sky train to the central bus depot to suss out best way of getting to Pattaya. I was nervous about our first attempt at public transport as we don't speak or read Thai. But It was so easy! Bought a Ticket at booth for 124bhat, walk to bus stop no. 1, the bus leaves in twenty mins. Two hours later arrived in Pattaya. Nice air conditioned bus plenty of leg room, no stress at all.

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Rang Dave on way using our newly acquired Thai phone and he was there to meet us in his pick up truck. His Mrs and daughter are lovely. Si-shon and Ariel.

He took us for a quick drive through Pattaya which looks like Benidorm, we are having a night out there tomorrow.

Then half hour drive to his house in the country village of Bang Sare. It's a lovely big house in the countryside, really unspoiled. We have our own room with ensuite, might never leave!

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It was lovely to see him in his family setting and finally meet his kid who is cute as a button. I had a Brad and Angelina moment, Thai kids are really really cute. Might sneak one back in hand luggage.

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Quick freshen up then out to the sea front in Bang Sare for food. Dave took us all to this fantastic sea food restaurant in THE most amazing setting.
All the fish was alive and swimming in big tanks and you choose what you fancy.

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Si-shon ordered for us and we all shared like Tapas style. We had papaya salad, sweet n sour fish, mussels with basil, prawns and broccoli, fried rice, spicy dips all washed down with nice cold beer. Dave paid the bill when we werent looking the sneaky rascal! Thanks Dave.

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Then he took us to his village night market which was ace. They were gearing up for a local fiesta for the Buddha on Monday so there was a real party atmosphere. Si-chon made a donation for Buddha and Dave made us laugh by saying "I hope that wasn't a fucking 100" which is about 2.50€

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Ariel went on the fun fair and me n J took a look at all the bonkers food stalls.

More deep fried insects, not for shock value - Thai people were actually buying them. Cockroaches, worms, locusts.

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We were the only westerners there, it was fantastic to see just an ordinary village not geared up for tourists. Feel very privilaged and grateful.

Writing this now from bed and it is unbelievably hot: 23.00hrs and its still 28degrees.

(Later that same night) Still got jet lag wide awake at 4am again.....

I miss that 5*air con at the Radison.

No wifi at the moment so can't whats app you Alix big kisses I will bring you back a deep fried cockroach lol x x

Posted by Gingertoad 23:22 Comments (0)

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