Sue's Big Trip travel blog

A waterfall area of dubious quality

Sort of pretty but not spectacular

Osha our guide sampling his "Sushi!

He didn't like the wasabi sauce!!

I want this plant for my pond

Best thing in the mock Italian village was this duck salad

Hot spring area that was cold!

Buddha shrine in the bat cave!

Welcome to Gotham City

Yes, there are bats! Wrinkle lipped bats apparently!

 

The exodus of bats begins at dusk

Thousands start to emerge

 

Amazing, they just kept coming!

and coming.............

 

And so to Khao Yai National Park

Very beautiful

 

 

Monkeys invade the roadways looking for food from visitors

 

and getting it!

Turtle

A disappointing visitor centre

In our unnecessary "Leech socks"

Hmmm, needed these in Chitwan but not here!

First waterfall....over 200 steps down (and back up!)

Ummm...apparently it's warning us the bridge is unsafe

Lovely area

A vine! Looks like a chain?

Large ants here

A spider for Dr Smith (bright yellow and black stripes)

The descent to the base of the falls

Here we are. Dry season so water these heavy

Haew Narok Waterfall

and back up again! Phew!!!

Saying 198 steps but we counted more!

Monkeys on the road between falls

Ummm, some sort of shy deer!

A Kingfisher

Next falls, made famous by the film "The Beach" (nowhere NEAR the...

Lovely!

 

Great vines!

 

 

 

Chris Bonnington

As Debbie said "Thai optimism" that these sticks would hold the rock...

Trudge trudge!!

 

 

Thought this was funny!

Still in those ridiculou,s unecessary leech socks

D not sure about being so close to edge!

 

Strabge signs in the park. You get shot in the butt if...

Elephant temple

 

Offerings

 

On Mass.....so to speak

Leaving the park

The Vineyard Visit

Random Lily

 

Lots of grape varieties here

 

These are the "eating grape" alleys

 

Our guide explains how they grow and harvest

Ummm...elicit tasting?

O.K "O", what's that in your mouth????

Visiting the winery

They use oak barrels from France

Corks from Portugal

The Brand

How it's stored

The tasting

Of course I chose the most expensive!

Our "indulgent" purchase for the beach holiday

This was may favourite one

Our lovely dinner at the vineyard dining room

 

Lopburi! City of monkey mayhem!!

Here they are

Like an ape version of Hitchcocks "The Birds"

Windows grilled against the menace!

Yes!!! Exactly!

 

 

 

Masses of them live in the ruins

Seems irreverant somehow?

This one has someones T shirt!

 

May look cute, but quite scary!

A boy being "paraded" as he enters the monastry and begins his...

Great museum in Lopburi

 

 

 

Wonderful topiary everywhere in Thailand

Me and D after surviving the monkeys

Bus home to Pak Chong

At pier on way to Koh Samet

Sun is rising

 

 

Koh Samet from the boat

Arriving. Koh Samet is a National Park. This is the "gate"

Bad hotel! Horrid room Two beds here singles side by side!!!

Oh... a TV!

Room at Samed Villa Resort. Spot the difference!

Stand away from the mini bar snacks!!!!!

Lunch from beach vendor

A tequila sunrise at sunset

 

 

Dinner on the beach

and now we are happy!

Relaxing!

On the boat back! Us and the gas bottles ...eeekkk!!!

Was worried this guy was the Captain...he wasn't luckily

Bhan Phe Pier

 


Travelled to Pak Chong which is 60 kms from Khao Yai National Park. The hotel was a bit on the outskirts of the city and we had to negotiate a dark alley of threatening dogs and cross 4 sets of railway tracks to get into it ...but we only did it once!!! That was enough!

Went to the night market and and saw all sorts of wierd and wonderful foods, fried insects and grasshoppers amongst other things. Avoiding these delicacies we went for chicken and rice for 25 baht (53 pence!).

Various activities:

This next two weeks was a rather odd assortment of visits with Osha, our guide (O' for short.) We visited some randon water fall area called Namtok Chet Saonoi National Park,in which local scouts squealed as they dipped in fully clothed, A mock Italian Village (Disneyfied resorts are what the Thai's seem to be into)...but we are from Europe and so a mock Italian village, not surprisingly is no great attraction. Best thing in it was an expensive Duck salad! Some hot springs that were not hot! but finally a bat cave visited to witness the thousands of bats exiting at dusk...that WAS amazing!

Khoa Yai National Park:

At last we got to the National Park which despite having a very poor visitor centre, was beautiful. We visited two waterfalls and one was Haew Suwat Waterfall made famous by the film "The Beach". We got kitted out with Leech Socks here, a pair of cotton leggings to wear over your trousers...I needed these in Chitwan but here we just walked on concrete visitor centre type paths so not needed really...just given to us for effect I think!

On leaving the park we visited an elephant temple...very cute.

Vineyard:

Next good visit was to one of Thailands only vineyards. Amazing tour to see how the vines were grown and harvested and of course a wine tasting. Beautiful area but managed by a New Zealander and other Thai owners. Wine is hugely expensive in Thailand as it has 60% govt tax on it. After the wine tasting I decided my favourite was, of course, the most expensive!But we treated ourselves to a bottle for our beach holiday.

Lopburi:

We were to take a night bus to Rayong and then Koh Samet for our beach part of this trip, so we decided to visit nearby Lopburi during the day.This ancient capital is famous for it's monkey's that cause general mayhem in the city. We were warned not to wear bright jewellery and dangly earings as the monkey's snatch anything they can! Indeed when we were there we saw a monkey snatch the charm off a girls mobile phone. The town is FULL of monkeys and windows have grills over them to stop the monkey's going into buildings....it was like an Ape version of Hitchcocks "The Birds". Great museum there though.

Koh Samet:

That night we took a midnight bus to Rayong down South and headed to Koh Samet for our beach week.The bus was a bit cramped and so many stops to let people on and off (not like those in S. America) meant we didn't get much sleep. Arrive Rayong 5.30am and got a Songthaew to the pier (40 windy minutes!) and then a fishing boat across to Koh Samet as the sun was rising....very picturesque and peaceful after our harrowing night.

We had to wait ages for5 our room as we were so early and were told we couldn't go to our original hotel because it was full...this one looked very basic and was in a very busy part....so we spent our waiting time checking out the original hotel which had looked great on the web! It was loveley, so we booked ourselves in there for the remainder of the stay...Had to stay one night at the basic place though, but the difference was chalk and cheese, Samed Villa resort was a collection of bugalows on the beach and very lovely. See pics and spot the difference!The place was on a quieter beach and we had a very lovely time there.

Fire shows on the beach at night and dinner in the open air listening to the water lap....Bliss.



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