Thailand 2016 : Ayutthaya

The Ayutthaya City was founded in the 13th Century until it was destroyed in the 18th Century by the Burmese. You can still explore the remains and be reminded of it’s past splendor.

Day trip to Ayutthaya The sleeping Buddha. Day trip to Ayutthaya

Day trip to Ayutthaya The tree and the head of the Buddha. Day trip to Ayutthaya
The bird and the Buddha.

Day trip to Ayutthaya
Lines of Buddha.

You can easily reached Ayutthaya from Bangkok by train, buses, taxes or minivans. We decided to take the minivans from Victory Monuments. It cost around 70 baht or was it 100 baht (I think).  It is faster and more comfortable than train since it is cooler but not as expensive as taxis.

From the minivan station, you can rent tuk-tuk to take you around the site or rent a bicycle if you are up for it. It gets really hot so make sure to bring lots of liquid to hydrate yourself.  The Tuk-Tuk was a nicer option and there were two other tourist who shared with it with us, so it was cheaper.

Like any temple around Thailand, shoulders and knees are not allowed to enter so bring a shawl or sarong for cover.

Have a good trip to Ayutthaya !

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Thailand 2016 : Koh Samui

Koh Samui or Samui Island is the 2nd largest island of Thailand.

We met a nice gentleman that most local go to Koh Samui during the school break , which is around July and December so going there in May would be a nice a relaxing since it will not be so crowded.

Most tourist will go and visit the East side of the island since that is where most of the party is going on. Local mostly go the west side. Luckily, we were booked around the West side. It was a relaxing , quiet atmosphere.

Relaxing in Koh Samui All alone in the beach. Relaxing in Koh Samui
Enjoying a beautiful sunset and all ours.

The west side of the island is where most of the expensive resorts are but we did found Lipa Lovely Resort which fits our budget. They were also very kind to upgrade our room so we were very happy about that.

From Koh Samui, you can join a tour to Ang Thong National Marine Park. You can opt for a normal tour or Kayak around the island which is so much fun. I had body pains afterwards and sunburn but it was a great day.

Day trip to Ang Thong National Park Getting ready to make a tour around the island in a Kayak. Day trip to Ang Thong National Park
Beautiful, but since it is protected no swimming allowed.

If you want to get away from the bustling city of Bangkok, Koh Samui is the place to be.

Best way to get there is by plane, a bit expensive but faster and less troublesome. Although the way to get there can also be an adventure but if you are press of time, airplane will be the best.

ENJOY !

Thailand 2016 : Bangkok

I have been to Thailand twice already, 2016 and 2018, but have not posted any blogs about it, so this will be a series of post from those trip, starting of course with Bangkok.

Bangkok, is the Capital of The Kingdom of Thailand.

I was told that it would be crazy with all the Tuk-Tuk running around the city, but what I saw was a very well established train line and clean.  Tuk-Tuk still run around the city but only specific areas.

Sky rise building are popping around the business districts, road construction were every where, improving mode of transportation.

Although it has become a very bustling city, the people are still warm and kind. A few times in the train, I have been offered a seat , which will never happen in Japan. It was a nice gesture, I was happy to know that being a gentleman has not left the Thai men.

Anyways, let’s check a few places which I visited.

First order of the day, is to tour the city by the river.

Touring Bangkok

Pick a boat. Boats are less than 20 baht to ride, but we decided to take a tour around and paid 1000 baht for two people.  The tour lasted for about an hour that took us different part of the river where people are living and making a living. It gave us a perspective on how the locals are living here. We got off at a nearby market/pier (Tha Chang) near the Royal Place.

You cannot stop at every temple but you can see and admire it from afar.

Touring Bangkok
Admiring the top of the temples.

Next stop is The Grand Palace of Bangkok.

Touring Bangkok

It was very grand indeed.

Touring Bangkok

Touring Bangkok
The murals depicts history or myth or legend?
Touring Bangkok Every buildings has very intricate designs and I think you can appreciate it more by taking a closer look at it Touring Bangkok

 

There are several temples (Wat) all around the city of Bangkok and believe me by the end of the day you will be templed-out 🙂

Entering temples requires that you take off your shoes before getting in, so wear something that is easy to remove and put back on.

Though the Bangkok is not only about Temples, it is a very vibrant city. Shopping , Night Life , Food and everything in between.

Enjoy and have fun in Bangkok.

 

Eats in Nagasaki

When one mention food in Nagasaki, Champon and Castella comes to mind.

Champon

After walking around the Peace Park, I found 山東省 (Santosho) and small place specializing in Champon. There might be other more delicious place but this place was the closest I could find in my hungry state :D. It was not bad at all and cheap as well.

Another one is the Castella and of course since Nagasaki is home of the famous Bunmeido, I could not skip the chance of trying it where it started. Free tasting is available as well and it was simply delicious. I bought some for gifts which never made it to the intended people since I was not able to resist it and ate all of it.

Bunmeido Nagasaki
Free tasting. A small slice and some cold tea to go with it.

Bunmeido Nagasaki
The original Bunmeido place. Where it all started.

It was a short trip to Nagasaki but very interesting. I’m sure there might be some other hidden gems there that I have yet to discover but let’s leave it till my next adventure there.

Happy Tummy.

Hello Nagasaki

2017 was the year I found myself traveling more locally in Japan and visited some of the places on my list, one of those is Nagasaki City.

If you are familiar with history, Nagasaki is one of the places where the Atomic bomb was dropped during the WWII.  The other one is of course, Hiroshima City which I visited years ago.

One of the first places I visited after arrving is the  Peace & Atomic Bomb Museum. Compared to my experience in Hiroshima, where I ran outside after a few minutes, I have prepared myself to see the effect of this terrible event in the city.

Let’s take a short tour,shall we?

One the first item that will caught your eye is the clock showing the time the blast happened.

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Remembering August 9, 1945 11:02 AM.

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb MuseumYou can also see some of the old photograph taken a few days after the bomb was dropped.
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
An aerial view of the actual location where the city was hit.

There are different part of history and actual experiences recorded in the museum but I think the main point of having this place is to be reminded how horrible war is.

As you get out of the main museum , you can see thousand of paper cranes, the symbol of peace made by both local and foreign visitors.

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

You can see more pictures here.

A few minutes walk from the museum, you can find the epicenter of the blast.
Atomic Bomb Hypocenter , Nagasaki

It was an eye opening experience. I did not ran this time. I took my time reading and watching the short films inside the museum. It helps us remember that technology is a great thing but it can also be a terrible weapon.

On the lighter note, you can also find the man-made island where the Dutch settlers live during the years they started trading with Japan, Dejima.

Dutch, were the very first foreigners allowed to trade in Japan but even still they were not allowed to enter the main city so this man-made island in Nagasaki was made for them.

Dejima , the Dutch settlement area in Nagasaki
Welcome to Dejima.

Let’s take a short tour
Dejima , the Dutch settlement area in Nagasaki
They retained an area to show how the Dutch have their meal.

Dejima , the Dutch settlement area in Nagasaki
A pole table for some fun.

It was short but fun trip. Thankfully LLC is getting famous, the  cheaper and faster way to travel around Japan.

If you ever visit Japan, make sure to include Nagasaki in your list.

More pictures here.