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July 7, 2003

Thai Elephant Conservation Center

The next morning we got up early to go to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, about 1 hour back towards Lampang right off the highway. We had frustratingly passed it the previous day on the road in to Chiang Mai, but couldn’t figure out how to get the bus driver [...]

July 6, 2003

Chiang Mai

In the morning, we got going early again to Chiang Mai. The bus left on time and was comfortable.  We grabbed a Tuk-Tuk to get to our hotel through the narrow twisty streets of the old city. We were staying at the Libra Guest House.  This was another wonderful budget [...]

July 5, 2003

Sukhothai (Sukkhothai, Sukkhotai)

We tuk-tuk’ed to the bus station in Ayutthaya, as it is outside the main city and quite a walk. The bus station is set up in a pretty strange way. It is not possible to buy a ticket until the bus arrives. In our case, the bus originated in Bangkok. [...]

July 4, 2003

Ayutthaya

Early the next morning we caught a train to Ayutthaya. Contrary to what our guidebooks said, it only takes one hour 20 minutes on the train to get to Ayuthaya from Bangkok – faster than the bus. (We travelled in non-AC, but clean, third class. There are no assigned seats, [...]

Ko Samet

Although we would have preferred to visit the beaches in the south (Ko Samui etc.) we didn’t have time, and decided to do an couple of days in Ko Samet instead.  This really wasn’t worth it.  We should have made the time to see the south or skipped the beach.  [...]

July 3, 2003

Daytrip: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

First of all, it takes a long, long time to get there. Our guidebook didn’t actually tell us how long, but it took the better part of three hours. The best time to see it is at 6am or 7am when it opens. Buses don’t even leave from Bangkok that [...]

July 2, 2003

MBK Shopping Center

If you’re wondering wat to do next (these puns just never stop being funny), and need a break from temples, grab a cab over to the MBK Shopping Complex. (Do not walk. The walk ain’t pretty – unless you have a particular fetish for automotive and appliance repair shops). This [...]

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

We got a cab over to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (and what a ride it was!). It was the most disappointing and "tourist trap like" of all the wats we saw – there was video slot Buddha machines just outside the temple, lots of souvenir stands, etc. Give [...]

Wat Arun

A 5 minute walk from Wat Pho got us to a boat which took us across the river to Wat Arun. The river isn’t that picturesque, but taking the boat is fast and cheap (I think it was a dime). It’s only a couple hundred feet, and there are two [...]

Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Wat Pho is just a 15 minute walk away from the palace, this was the most interesting wat we visited in Bangkok. As is the case with most wats, this is not just a single building, but more of a complex of different buildings with the temple at the center. [...]

There’s a Wat to See! Wat Mahathat, The Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaiew

  We headed out first thing in the morning on our walking tour. A lot of the best sites and "must-see" wats are within walking distance of each other. We first tried to find Wat Mahathat but.. well, either we never found it, or it’s incredibly small. A few people [...]

July 1, 2003

New Siam Guest House and New Siam Guest House 2

The cab dropped us right off at the hotel we had reserved a few nights before which we had found from our trusty Let’s Go guide book. Anyways, we are told the hotel was full (despite the credit card reservation), but there is another hotel they will take us to. [...]

Arrival in Bangkok

The airport is well run and smooth. There is a fairly organized taxi coupon system in place that fixes the price, but also adds a surcharge. The cabbie tried to persuade us to ignore the system and surcharge and it would be cheaper but we stuck with the fixed price [...]

Getting To Bangkok From San Francisco via Tokyo

We got to Bangkok via Tokyo, on the strangest ticket we’ve ever seen. It was bought from Expedia and involved many unrelated airlines. SFO to Tokyo was on Northwest (codeshare with Continental). The second flight to Bangkok was United with another bizarre codeshare. The trip started off rough as we [...]

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