weltreis.ch

16. Oktober 2006

Kurztrip nach Utrecht & Amsterdam

Nachdem wir die Zugfahrt nach einer weiteren strengen Woche so richtig genossen, wir fühlten uns wieder etwas wie auf Reisen, wurden wir am Bahnhof in Utrecht von Marko abgeholt. Dabei hatten wir jedoch einige Schwierigkeiten, da der Bahnhof gerade im Umbau war und wir zweimal den falschen Ausgang erwischten.

After a nice trainride, we felt a little bit like back on our journey, Marko came to pick us up at the station. We had some problems to find the exit because of the construction works at the station but finally we found him.

Soon-Hye und Marko haben wir in Vietnam kennengelernt. Sie waren damals ebenfalls auf dem 3tägigen Halong-Bucht Trip und danach liefen wir uns das eine oder andere Mal in Vietnam in einer nächsten Stadt wieder in die Arme, das war recht witzig.

We got to know Soon-Hye and Marko in Vietnam. They booked the same 3day HalongBay Trip as we did and after this trip we met occasionally in other villages on our way down to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), this was really funny.

Mittlerweile war fast ein Jahr vergangen und ein Souvenir von Vietnam auf die Welt gekommen 😉

It was nearly a year ago when we first met in Vietnam and in the meantime a Souvenir from Vietnam was born 😉

Wir hatten uns natürlich viel zu erzählen am Freitagabend und etliche Photos zu betrachten voneinander. Am Samstagmorgen nach gemütlichem Frühstück hatten die Beiden etwas spezielles geplant, nachdem wir im gutbesetzten Zug nach Amsterdam gefahren waren hiess es nun mit eigener Muskelkraft die Stadt zu besichtigen.

On friday evening we had a lot to talk about and with the photos we had a revival of our holidayfeelings. Saturdaymorning after a homey breakfast they have planned something special. We took the train to Amsterdam and from there we explored the city by bike.

Bald hatten wir aus diesem Fahrraddschungel unsere Drahtesel ausgelesen…

Shortly we had choosen a bike out of the bunch…

IMGP3953.JPG

…und es konnte losgehen!

and we were ready to start!

IMGP3954.JPG

Anfangs war uns das Wetter noch nicht so freundlich gesinnt doch Spass hatten wir trotzdem 🙂

At the beginning the weather wasn’t in his best mood, but anyway we had fun 🙂

IMGP3958.JPG

Vorbei ging es an modernen Gebäude wovon es in Amsterdam nicht wenige hat

Driving along modern buildings whereof there are not only a few

IMGP3961.JPG

Musikhalle

the music hall

IMGP3969.JPG

an verschiedenen Häuserfassaden, wobei jedes Haus ganz anders aussieht (in der Schweiz nicht vorstellbar, aber hat doch auch seinen Reiz, oder?)

along different facades, and each of them looks really different (not imaginable in Switzerland, but they have there own charm, don’t you think?)

IMGP3974.JPG

durch schöne moderne Wohnquartiere

through beautiful modern residence quarters

IMGP3977.JPG

und eigenwilligen Konstruktionen

and special constructions

und natürlich durfte ein gemütlicher Mittagshalt im Freien an der herrlichen warmen Herbstsonne nicht fehlen!

and of course we could’t resist to take a comfy rest at lunchtime out in the green under the lovely warming autumnsun
IMGP3980.JPG

IMGP3982.JPG

Natürlich mussten auch die Karten neu studiert werden, damit wir auch ja nichts verpassen 🙂

Of course the maps had to be studied once again to be sure not to miss anything 🙂

IMGP3988.JPG

IMGP3991.JPG

IMGP3992.JPG

Dieser Block öffnet den Bewohnern den Blick direkt aufs Meer und die beiden herausragenden Kubus zeigen die unterschiedlichsten Nutzungsarten.

This building opens the view directly to the sea and the two prominent cubes show the different exploitation possibilities.

Während der blaue rechts oben das Schlafzimmer darstellt (das muss ein herrliches Erwachen sein) hat wohl bei der Familie links im grünen Kubus das Kind das sagen, denn die beste Aussicht bekam das Kinderzimmer!

On one hand the blue one is a bedroom (wow that must be a exquisite wake up) on the other hand in the family with the green cube probably the child decide what should be fact, in the green cube is located the nursery with the best view on the world!
IMGP3993.JPG

Auch „Klein-Venedig“ haben wir in Amsterdam gefunden

We could as well find „little venice“ in Amsterdam
IMGP3997.JPG

IMGP3999.JPG

und natürlich darf eine richtige Windmühle nicht fehlen, sonst glaubt uns ja niemand dass wir in Holland waren 😉

Certainly a real windmill has as well to be posted on this page, otherwise nobody would believe that we were in the Netherlands 😉

IMGP4001.JPG

Doch eigentlich sind die vielen Fahrräder bereits Beweis genug in welchem Land wir uns befinden (ach nein, das könnte ja auch China sein)

But actually the bunch of bikes should be proof enough in which country we were (ok, you’re right it could also have been in China)

IMGP4012.JPG

Wir hatten auch noch das Glück ein Ruderrennen durch die Grachten beobachten zu können, das war eine Meisterleistung durch die schmalen Tunnels zu zirkeln, denn sobald sie drin waren mussten alle Ruder eingezogen werden, denn es war zu schmal!

We were lucky to watch a part of a rowing competition in the canals. It was outstandig how exact they had to steer to find the way through the narrow tunnels. In the tunnel al rudders had to be hold into the boat to pass the hole.

IMGP4017.JPG

Abends führten uns die Beiden dann, wie könnte es anders sein, in ein asiatisches Lokal, schliesslich haben wir uns ja in Asien kennengelernt. Das Restaurant war wie eine Lounge eingerichtet, man sass oder lag auf Sofas und konnte gemütlich die verschiedenen Köstlichkeiten geniessen, richtig zum entspannen.

In the evening the two of them showed us an asian lounge restaurant. We sat or lay down on a big sofa and enjoyed the fantastic food and relaxed.
IMGP4025.JPG

IMGP4029.JPG

Danach gings noch für einen „Verteiler“ in eine Bar mitten in Utrecht, Prost !!!

After the men had to have a „Digestif“ in a bar in the middle of Utrecht, cheers!!!

IMGP4041.JPG

Und beim durch die Gassen schlendern genossen wir die wunderschöne Atmosphäre von Utrecht.

On the way home we enjoyed the nice athmosphere of Utrecht by night.

IMGP4043.JPG

Am nächsten Tag musste dann mal noch etwas für die Bildung getan werden deshalb gings auf die

ArchitekTour in Utrecht

Das Educatorium, eine Bildungs- und Forschungsstätte, gebaut 1992-97 von OMA, Rem Koolhaas und Christophe Cornubert

The next day an architectural excursion to two famous buildings in Utrecht was planned.

IMGP4052.JPG

Das Schroder House, gebaut 1924-24 von Gerrit Rietveld
IMGP4063.JPG

Eine Innenansicht
IMGP4076.JPG

Aber das war’s dann auch schon wir wollten ja Utrecht auch noch bei Tage sehen.

This two buildings were enough we wanted to see as well the city by day.

Die Studentenstadt hat sehr viel Flair und ist weniger hektisch wie Amsterdam.

The students city is really charming and less restless than Amsterdam.

Wir schlenderten durch die Gassen

We strolled through alleyways

IMGP4079.JPG

IMGP4077.JPG

genossen die Herbststimmung und schalteten so richtig ab.

enjoyed the spirit of autumn and forgot the stress of the daily business.

Ein weiterer Unterschied von Amsterdam zu Utrecht ist, dass in Utrecht die Grachten tiefer liegen, das hat den schönen Nebeneffekt, dass das Blätterdach auf Augenhöhe der Spaziergänger ist und die Promenade am Wasser im Sommer als Terassen für Restaurants dienen.

In comparison to Amsterdam the canals in Utrecht are lower and therefore the green of the trees are better visible by walking around the streets. The free space down at the water is used during summertime from restaurants as patios.

IMGP4088.JPG

IMGP4090.JPG

Dann kamen wir noch an diesem eingepackten Fahrrad vorbei, die wussten anscheinend, dass wir es nicht schaffen unseren Bericht vor Weihnachten zu veröffentlichen 😉

One weird things was the wrapped bike below, probably they knew that it becomes Christmas until we achieve to post this article on our websites.

IMGP4078.JPG

Der Kirchturm von Utrecht ist imposant hoch und genau da rauf wollten wir noch…

The Churchtower of Utrecht is impressive and excatly up there we wanted to go…

IMGP4085.JPG
und schon bald hatten wir die Hunderten von Treppen geschafft und konnten das wunderbare Panorama geniessen

and shortly after a hundreds of stairs we were able to enjoy a spectacular view over Utrecht

IMGP4102.JPG

IMGP4103.JPG

IMGP4107.JPG
Der kleine Matthew war so brav und hatte sich nach dem ausgiebigen Spaziergang sein Essen redlich verdient.

Little Matthew was the whole time so quiet and deserved after a long walkingtour his goody ;-).

IMGP4113.JPG

Der Kurztrip nach Holland war wunderbar. Wir konnten abschalten, ausspannen, zwei schöne Städte kennenlernen und vorallem und das ist das schönste wir haben drei wunderbare Menschen näher kennengelernt und freuen uns bereits auf das Wiedersehen in der Schweiz 🙂

This shorttrip to the Netherlands was fantastic. We could slow down, forget, enjoy and got to know two beautiful cities but the most important we got to know better three wonderful people and are really looking forward to welcoming you in Switzerland 🙂

An dieser Stelle nochmals herzlichen Dank für Eure Gastfreundschaft und das spezielle Wochenende und bis bald 🙂

We would like to thank you once again for your hospitality and the extraordinary weekend and see you soon:-)!

IMGP4116.JPG

Soon-Hye und Marko mit Matthew


13. April 2006

San Pedro de Atacama

Our busjourney from Arica to Calama was harder than expected. First we had to pass with our bags the custom office? We were a bit surprised, because our busride will not go over any border, but because Arica is a bordertown, it’s mandatory for every bus leaving Arica. After this check our bags were on a pile and we could only hope, that they will be loaded in the right bus. But in front of the boarding door there was a pile of bags as big as the one for the cargo lot and Stephan couldn’t first believe, that the passengers will take all this bags in the bus. But when we left Arica the whole gangway and every little place was filled with bags. We had booked a night bus, but this time not the luxury one, probably this decision stole us a good sleep. Because it was a bus full of locals (we were the only tourists) and nearly everybody was a dealer, we had to leave twice during the night the bus with all our handluggage for a luggagecontrol of smugglegoods. And you can imagine how long this took until all elderly womens and mens had unloaded all their big bags from everywhere in the bus…
This procedure took place at midnight and at four o’clock in the morning. Exhausted we arrived even one hour earlier than planned in Calama. At six o’clock in the morning. Once we really hoped, that the bus will arrive late and exactly this time, it arrived even earlier, and dropped us of in front of a mall. All closed as you can imagine. We ask the next taxidriver we could find and he drove us to a petrolstation out of town, where we could at least escape into a warm place and drink a coffee. We waited there for 3 hours in this little coffeeshop until we could phone to find out, if the coppermine we wanted to visit here, was really closed for the next two days (the taxi driver told us this, but it was the 1st of april 😉 ). We couldn’t reach the office so we decided to take a bus to the city, check in at a hostel and find out directly at the tourist information. Calama has really nothing to offer beside the coppermine. And therefore our decision was quickly made to leave for San Pedo de Atacama, because the mine was really closed. The next day the busdriver was the next surprise. Spiderman drove us to San Pedro, we couldn’t believe our eyes.

We thought, San Pedro was a touristy village like Pucon, but it’s a small little sleepy village during the day. Nearly 80% are touragencies or restaurants.

The first day we took a rest before we started slowly to get to know, what tours you could book. Once again we tried out to ride the horses through the „valle de la muerte“ but this time with bigger horses than in Mongolia. That was fantastic and we were alone in the valley.


Valle de la muerte

Only the next day was less fun to walk, because we couldn’t handle the galopp like our guide and flew around in the saddle but anyway it was worth it and a special experience.
Then all went really fast, the driver we had recommended for our trip to Uyuni left one day earlier than we had planned and so all in a sudden we had a full programm for each day until our departure to Bolivia.
We found a especially good agency with different tours and smaller groups than the bunch of agencies offer (maximum experience) and the boss himself guide most of the tours.
We went to the „laguna seja“ where you have the same conditions than in the dead see

saw the „ojos del salar“

and the highlight of this tour was the southern end of the Salar de Atacama, where a white plane from salt gave us a lot of photosujets.

To end this trip we were offered a aperitive in the middle of nowhere during the sunset 🙂

The next day we booked the normal tour to the Tatio Geysirs, once again our alarmclock rang at 3.15 in the morning during our „holidays“. As well as it was all full of tourists, it was worth the trip even if we had to insist not to leave the Geysirs just as the sun was coming up and enlightend the geysirs.

The other day we had once again a tour with maximum experience booked and enjoyed the special service from Juan Carlos. Instead of visiting the „Valle de la Luna“ like every other tour in the evening with another 300 visitors, we went there before sunrise and were only the five of our tourgroup. Fantastic to see the sunrise tipping the peaks of the mountainrange.

For the next day our start to the 3-day trip to Bolivia and through the Salar the Uyuni was planned and therefore we visited nearly every store in San Pedro to buy snacks for the trip, as we were advised from other travellers who had made the trip that you don’t get enough food througout the trip.

The next day Katja was extremly nervous if we get the guide recommended for our journey because there were three jeeps from the same company leaving for this trip. If we got it you can read soon on this page 😉


6. März 2006

Tahiti – dream in the pacific ?

A really funny thing is that we flew off from Auckland on Sunday the 5th of February and we landed in Papeete on the Saturday the 4th! We’ve got the chance to have one day twice 🙂 The bad thing about it is that in Tahiti on a Sunday every single shop is closed. Because of this we had to wait until Monday to change our money in polynesian Franc and hung around a bit at our accommodation 20 km out of town.

The water is absolutely clear, a real dream… We could even see the fishs (and take pictures of them) from above the water without any mask!

The capitol Papeete looks like a town in France and everybody speaks french, as well with one another. Nobody uses their own original language anymore! We also didn’t know that this islands still belongs to France, they don’t have their own government! We heard that they are speaking even to introduce the EURO…
After some days on Tahiti we decided to have a look on a different island, as well because this island is not really backpacker friendly. We paid for a dorm room with shared bathroom (and it wasn’t even cleaned once during our stay) nearly 80 Swiss Francs per night! Mo’orea is just a one hour boat trip away from Tahiti.

On this Island we allowed ourself a small bungalow at a beach. The water is absolutely perfect, it is about 29 C warm and the visibility is around 20 to 30 meter. Even stingrays were swimming around us two meters away!


The specialty on French Polynesia is, that one nearly every island the waves break the first time far outside in the water, that’s really nice to see

One day Stephan made a scuba dive in this cristal clear water and had the chance to see two blacktip sharks 🙂 and hundreds of fishes.

Another day we rented a motorbike to explore the island.

There are two wonderful bays, the cook bay

and the opunohu bay.

The weather can change very quickly on this islands and we got totally wet on the way back home by motorbike…
After some nice and expensive days we had to go back to Tahiti. The last evening in Papeete we decided to get the luxury and go eating in a restaurant to have once a different meal than usual (sandwich, pasta or porridge). But during the meal we wished our selfmade dinner back! Something so expensive, so small and so bad we never ate before! Oh no, it wasn’t „nouvelle cuisine“ but it was so awful that we had to left over more than the half of it. Although the stomache of Katja started to rebel and this really bad dinner was followed by a very hot, endlessly long and sleeplessly night! We removed the plastic on our mattress but it didn’t help much then here you don’t even get a ventilator in a 100.- CHF room!
In the morning we got up early that we at least wouldn’t miss breakfast which would only be served until 8 am! Afterwards we walked to the sunday morning market which was already almost finished at half past eight.


at the market

At the church we were luckier. We joined the mass and got a really nice experience with all this different clans inside. Every clan sung a song. We were sitting above them at the second floor and could take some pictures of it. And the 2 hours flew by. The tahitian church is really different from our in Switzerland and probably if it would be so unsteril in Switzerland as well there more people would join on Sunday in church. The kids are allowed to walk around during the mass, some were listening to their walkmans, some others, as well the adults where sometimes talking to eachother, especially during the songs of other clans. It seemed to be more a reunion than a mass.


the whole church is full of women with hats, it seems to be a competition


and it´s even accepted to sleep in the first row! 🙂


and the smaller children are so cutly dressed up 🙂

After this mass the waiting of our nightflight at 1 am started. We haven’t got any room anymore and outside it was extremely hot so we decided to leave our luggage at the hostel and spend the day in restaurants and with shopping. But at this time we didn’t know that on a sunday in Papeete as well the the cafes and restaurants are closed! After two hours outside on a bench in the park we flew to the only open place which we found and where we could afford, although it was more expensive than in Switzerland, the McDonalds! (shame on us 😉 ) The good thing about it was that the room was airconditioned, and we had a table to write. We spent several hours in there, even the Ronald McDonald children birthday party went out faster than we did 😉
About 6 hours before our plane took off we arrived at the airport. You don´t know how long a waiting day can be without a good place to stay and without a shower when you have sweat. And the waiting wasn´t finished at the airport!


the never ending waiting story, here at the queue in front of the check in desk which opened as well too late…


and naturally, a nice sunset, we saw some of them on the islands, shouldn’t be missed!


23. Dezember 2005

Driving, diving, raining and dining

The last nearly two weeks we wanted to spend out time on the beach. First of all for the Open Water Licence on Koh Tao and then some relaxing beachdays on Koh Phangan. We got a really good deal for the diving package directly booked from Bangkok including transfer with a Airconditioned bus and the High Speed Express Ferry from the mainland to the Island. The busride was during the night and because they calculate some extra time to make sure that we won’t miss the Ferry we has about 3 stops during the night to make sure we don’t arrive to early because on this day there was no traffic. Therefore we couldn’t sleep very well and the busdriver tried to make a refrigerator out of the bus, Katja was nearly freezing. At 5 o’clock in the morning we arrived at the ferry terminal still two hours to early for the Ferry departure. So we spent some time with our heads on stone tables and tried to sleep a little bit more…
At 7 o’clock we could board the Catamaran High Speed Ferry. Half an hour everything was fine, but then, Katja had forgotten to take the travel medicine (because the last rides in the bus she was always fine) and this was a big mistake with this High Speed Catamaran Ferries, because the Captain does normally not care from which side the waves are coming, he just drives through or bumps over them. When we arrived finally in Koh Tao there was no more color in her face and she just decided to walk to the resort instead of taking the offered car transfer. After this very long and taff journey the only thing we wanted was a bed. But there was no more airconditioned bungalow left, and we were asked to wait for a transfer to another resort with aircon-bungalows.
Another 80 minutes of waiting until we got a transfer to the resort, which was far away. And because we had all our lessons for the PADI at the first resort we decided to take a fan bungalow back in the other resort to avoid every day four transfers for the diving . Finally we had our accomodation and the course started on the same day in the afternoon.


Chrystal dive resort

Four hours of video and answering questions about the video. Glad there was a person which invented Coke 😉
After this day our lights were turned off really early.
For the next day there was another video session in the morning and the afternoon we spent in the pool to train the required skills for the Open Water. More than 6 hours in a cold pool with two short breaks in between and Katja got a new nickname (Miss Blue, Fraeulein Blau), because she had already blue lips after an hour in the pool. At the end all of us couldn’t stop shaking. This was really hard work during our „beachholidays“ but we could manage every single task in the pool and didn’t have to repeat the poolsession the other day!
The next day we had the final theoretical test before we started on the boat to the sea for the first two dives.


Our dive-instructor Johan, we couldn’t take him always serious


preparations


Buddycheck with Buddy Denis


everything ok

Unfortunately the weather during the last 3 days was always bad and this had also consequences on the visibility conditions in the sea. Katja had to give up her first attempt to dive because of her claustrophobie 🙁 , Stephan and Denis (a german guy from Munich) went down for their first dive with Johan (our instructor from Denmark). They completed two dives in this afternoon and did a really good job although the visibility was bad.


surroundings of the dive spot

The next morning we had to be on the boat at 7.15 am (and we thought, we go on holiday 😉 ). Katja decided to come as well to be able to take some photos. There was as well a professional cameraman on the boat. He made a video from all Open Water students. He did a really good job even though the visibilty was worse than the day before. At noon Denis and Stephan had passed their Open Water and where now certified divers :-).


after the first dive of the day


after the completed course, only one big smile 🙂


Thanks very much Johan, you are the best!

Holidays could start.

In the afternoon we only lay at the pool and the sun was once shining!


pool life can be so nice, when the weather is fine


our dive group including instructor with his favourite RDP table

In the evening they should show the movie from the morning, but there was a technical problem and after more than 2 hours of waiting we decided to go for dinner. We had a really nice little party with Denis, Giovanni (friend of Denis) and Johan. I stopped to count how many buckets we drank but it was really fun. After the restaurant closed a free air Pick up Taxi brought us to a Beachside Bar with music.


already one over the thirst? 😉

The next day we went once again on the Catamaran to Koh Phangan. But this time with the tablets Katja was ok. Our accomodation on Koh Phangan was only a little box, but directly at the beachside. We could lay on the bed and watch the waves on the beach.


our beach box


the view from the beach box

But as well in Koh Phangan the monsun was not over and the beachvolley camp, which was the reason why we have choosen this resort was flooded :-(. We really miss it, but now we have to wait until Australia.
The next 5 days we relaxed on the beach or in the cabin (because of the rain) with reading, SuDoku and writing. Nearly every evening we walked along the beachside to different Restaurants which organised barbecues directly on the beach and Stephan tried different kind of fresh fish (Red Snapper is his favourite).


Barbecue, that’s not only looking very good, it was excellent!

Only one evening there was a really bad surprise in our cabin waiting. It was raining really hard in the evening and as we arrived from dinner, the room was full of cockroaches! ! ! First of all we saw only one (a big one). Stephan catched it and brought it outside. Because we know, you should not smash them. But when we saw the others, there was no other possibility than to kill them and it took more than an hour. Stephan was soaked with sweat after this session and Katja called him a „mass murderer“, although she was really glad, she had only to block the entrance holes for other cockroaches to come in with toiletpaper.
For the next nights we were cockroachfree! Good job 🙂


before a thunderstorm, and it was not the only one… 🙁

After this relaxing days we had planned to go back to bangkok during the day (not another night bus trip). But the sea was really rough, the waves were 6 meters high and as you know the ruddertecnic of the captains on this boats, we smashed over the waves and we had to hold us on the seat to prevent from flying out of our seats! That was too much for Katja. As well with the tablets she went paler and paler, was soaked with sweat (now it was her turn 😉 ) and the rest of the details we keep in secret. There was no sense to go further on because after the boattrip there was waiting a six hour busride back to Bangkok. We decided to disembark in Koh Tao and stop overnight. We didn’t regret this stop at all. We had another afternoon at the pool with some sunshine, met Johan (our really nice instructor, actually the best you can have) once again for dinner and we had the possibility to watch the movie of Stephans Open Water dive finally this evening. In the endeffect we were really happy to have made this decision for another day in Koh Tao. Katja took a higher dose of Stugeron for preparing for the next day. And the next day although she took 6 times as much as on the sailingboat trips last year she was afraid of the boat and busjourney. But everything was good the next day, even though the waves were the same or actually sometimes higher but she just closed her eyes, put earplugs in (to prevent from hearing the other pale faces) and lived in her own world for 2 hours until the catamaran trip was over.


Katja’s beloved Catamaran High Speed Ferry

On this day we finished our trip back to Bangkok and enjoyed our last days in Asia. Now we will fly further on to Australia 🙂


31. Oktober 2005

Bangkok, Sukothai, Lampang (Thailand)

We were curios if we would end up at the airport or will fly with Royal Nepal Airlines to Bangkok, because we heard different stories about the reliability of this Airline. But we only had to be patient because every step we had to go at the Airport was still closed when we arrived. First the airportdoor was locked, then the check-in desk was still closed, as well as the passport control and the security check. But finally we got on the plane and took-off. The flight was amazing, we could see the mountains we were supposed to see in Nepal, even Mount Everest showed us his best side. Unfortunately we don’t have pictures out of this flight, but they are in our mind :-).

We arrived in Bangkok and it was a bit hotter than in Nepal, but not as humid as we expected. At the Airport it was very easy to find a shuttle to town and we already liked this city. Already the very first day we got caught by the amenities a big international city like Bangkok has. Katja found a Delifrance and couldn’t resist to make a special order for a crispy, fresh wholemeal baguette filled only with butter. You can’t believe how good a piece of bread can taste after monthes of fluffy toast bread!
But this shouldn’t be the last enjoyable food and experience for this day…
In the evening we bought two tickets for a movie in a big movie theater. And if you know Katja, a movie can’t start without a big box of popcorn on the knees. Actually the first box was already finished before the movie started and we had to get another one ;-). We enjoyed this day and night back in „civilization“. Don’t missunderstand this, we like travelling, but sometimes it’s nice to have the possibility to have some luxury again. The next day we spent by looking for a new accomodation at the famous Khao San road, the backpacker road in Bangkok. We ended up in a Hotel with airconditioned rooms and a roof top Swimming Pool.


(Thanks for this great hint, grisu 🙂 )

We decided to stay there and make our stay a little bit with beach feeling instead of travelling already south to the beaches of Thailand, because there they still have monsson season. During this days we made not a lot of sightseeing because we know, we will be back in town and at the moment we just wanted to get some energy to go further on. We just strolled around at the Khao San Road,


took some rides in a boat on the What Phrat River,


checked out the know how of a tailor,


had a look at the weekend market

and organized our Vietnam Visa and busticket to the North.
The first stop to the north was in Phitsanulok, our base to go to Sukothai the next day. In Sukothai there are a lot of ruins and temples of the time the Khmer were also active in Thailand from the 9th to the 13th century. It lookes somehow like in Cambodia in Angkor What. And we were happy to have the chances to see this nice sight in Thailand, because we don’t have time to visit Cambodia during this trip.

The next day we drove to Lampang, where we wanted to organize a special mahout training day at the only Elephant training center in Thailand. After the first contact we were really disappointed because we just missed the start of a tree day course and the next which will start is too late for us and they didn’t arrange one day courses like written in our guide book. So we decided to visit the Center and hospital the next day just like tourists. After a ride in a shared taxi „Sawngthaew“


a 3rd class bus with fan and 5 seatrows brought us from Lampang bus station to the Camp.

Once again we couldn’t fit on the benches (probably after our trip, when we have lost some weight, we would fit on them, but not now 😉 ). We just arrived when the Elephant bathing started and we saw other tourists on the back of the elephants bathing and cleaning them.

Afterwards there was a show where the elephants showed the skills they learned in the camp to be able to work in the jungle.

They learn to push, carry and staple trunks with their trunks


and they also know how to paint!

The elephants know to walk backwards or turn around on a trunk if the way in the jungle is too narrow. It’s really impressive what an elephant is able to learn and to do! After this show we were pretty sure, we wanted to try once again to have some training with the elephants as a mahout (elephant trainer). After some discussions with Pat, the guy who organises this trainings (thanks once again, that you made it possible for us!) we had found a special deal for a training just for the two of us, but we had to start immediately.
Therefore he organised a special transfer back to the hotel for us, to pick up some clothes and sanitary items and an hour later we where already back and dressed as Mahouts to start the first training session with the elephants.


Nächste Seite »