A Travellerspoint blog

A different Bangkok

sunny 30 °C
View RTW on adamandrina's travel map.

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With mixed reports of the extent of flooding, we were unsure of what to expect in Bangkok. The city was still functioning, although we did observe minor modifications to daily routine. Convenience stores were out of bottled water, ice cream shops only offered a few flavours and there were sandbag walls and concrete reinforcements to climb over at every shopfront.

Tourists were rare, attractions closed or quiet, even the backpacker strip Khaosan Road seemed less lively.

According to our guide, seven districts had been flooded with more at risk. We stayed in the safe CBD area of Si Lom, near the Burmese embassy.

The river celebration Loi Kratong was also subdued this year, with authorities discouraging festivities of the floating candlelit boats - for fear of pollution and fire hazards caused by the bursting river.

The Thai are kind, gentle mannered people and are a lot of fun to negotiate with! Street food is irresistible and always accessible, food courts and markets are frequently stumbled upon.

Just about any good or service is for sale, so be prepared to say ‘No’ with a smile. Shopping is the main activity in Bangkok, with malls at every block to comfort the masses with air conditioning and romantic pop. The air is dense - the pollution, building lights and neon billboards perpetuating what appears to be an endless artificial day.

Our five days ends with a night at Brown Sugar Jazz Bar with Chulalongkorn Economics professor Daniel Ray Lewis, a good humoured intellectual with great insights into Thai culture, a local of 15 years.

Bangkok from our plane - completely flooded!

Bangkok from our plane - completely flooded!

The city was lined with sand bags

The city was lined with sand bags

The only sensible answer . . . inflatable toys for everyone!

The only sensible answer . . . inflatable toys for everyone!

Hectic

Hectic

Delicious pastry ball type thingys from the market - we often have no idea what we are buying

Delicious pastry ball type thingys from the market - we often have no idea what we are buying

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Just one more can't hurt

Just one more can't hurt

The fashion police?

The fashion police?

On of the many tuk-tuks buzzing around the city

On of the many tuk-tuks buzzing around the city

Street food

Street food

Our first Buddhist temple

Our first Buddhist temple

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The Reclining Buddha building was lined with donation bowls

The Reclining Buddha building was lined with donation bowls

Thai massaging can be learnt at this temple in a 2 week course

Thai massaging can be learnt at this temple in a 2 week course

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Rina and our travel companions demonstrating the three stances of Buddha

Rina and our travel companions demonstrating the three stances of Buddha

The usually packed tourist strip of Khaosan Road

The usually packed tourist strip of Khaosan Road

Pad Thai in 2 minutes - yum!

Pad Thai in 2 minutes - yum!

Adam being shown a magic card trick on Khaosan Road

Adam being shown a magic card trick on Khaosan Road

Posted by adamandrina 01:13 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok Comments (7)

Bingin Beach – Heaven

03/11/11 to 06/11/11

sunny 30 °C
View RTW on adamandrina's travel map.

After what seemed to be the end of a dirt road, we were stranded in the heat at Bingin Beach. Yet there was no beach in sight, and our packs felt heavier as the sun boiled past midday.

Bingin beach is south east of Kuta, and is surrounded by cliffs. Defying logic are the flimsy warung (accommodation) houses on these cliffs. Broken and incomplete stone staircases are the only way to get around.

Big breakfast of Mi Goreng in Ubud - 03/11/11

Big breakfast of Mi Goreng in Ubud - 03/11/11

Searching for the beach and finding the Internet - 04/11/11

Searching for the beach and finding the Internet - 04/11/11

After scaling the cliffs, our warung is right on the beach and only 100,000 IDR ($11 AUD) for the night. There are few tourists thus plenty of space on the beach. Although renowned for its surfing, it had been flat for the past fortnight, and would remain so for the length our stay. There were daily swims in the crystal clear water (28 degrees) and not much else – except for eating and drinking of course.

We upgrade to the penthouse at the other end of the beach for 200,000 IDR ($22). Dinners were seafood banquets, caught daily, served on the sand after sunset. We dine on plastic tables and chairs with our two new friends Mick and Bridget, snowboard and surf enthusiasts. We extend our stay another night.

A family of monkeys invade our room in the morning of our departure. We clearly didn’t intimidate them – even with a broom!

Our first warung at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Our first warung at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

View from our window - 03/11/11

View from our window - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Our accommodation upgrade at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Our accommodation upgrade at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

Sunset at Bingin Beach - 03/11/11

The whole top floor to ourselves - 04/11/11

The whole top floor to ourselves - 04/11/11

Breakfast at Kembang Kuning - 05/11/11

Breakfast at Kembang Kuning - 05/11/11

Looking down at the ocean - 05/11/11

Looking down at the ocean - 05/11/11

Monkey encounter - 05/11/11

Monkey encounter - 05/11/11

Talented monkey opens and drinks soft drink - 06/11/11

Talented monkey opens and drinks soft drink - 06/11/11

Monkey visit in the morning - 06/11/11

Monkey visit in the morning - 06/11/11

Rina didn't scare anyone - 06/11/11

Rina didn't scare anyone - 06/11/11

Our friend Shamun

Our most attentive host was Shamun. With his cheeky smile and melodic voice he managed to entice us into eating absolutely everything! His kindness and genuine approach has made our time in Bali so memorable. He prepared a feast for our final dinner and we even got a few hugs from him each day. While the Balinese are definitely friendly and hospitable, Shamun is a truly special person.

Our friend Shamun, we'll never forget you! - 05/11/11

Our friend Shamun, we'll never forget you! - 05/11/11

Posted by adamandrina 09:30 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia bingin Comments (1)

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