Monday, October 17, 2016

Biking in Bangkok

Bang Krachao, Bangkoks green lung biking tour

If you love to be active but have seen all of the tourist highlights of Bangkok a biking tour at Bang Krachao might be something for you. And the best thing is you can arrange it all by your self.




Bang Krachao is the green lung of Bangkok. It's like an peninsula in the south of Bangkok across the Chao Praya river. There are no high rises or traffic jams but quiet roads and local communities set in a lush green environment. The best way to explore this part of Bangkok is by bike. Check out this blog on how to get there and what to do.

How to get there

Get to the nearest MRT station and go to queen sirikit station. From there walk to the South to Rama IV road. There are stairs to cross the big road. On the opposite side Klong Toei market starts, which also makes for a very nice day trip. On the roadside take a motorbike taxi and say you want to go to the pier at Klong Toei temple (wat Kloeng Toei). I paid 30 bht for the ride which takes about 5 minutes. The motorbike taxi will drop you off at the pier. 



At het pier there is a sign of M-bikes. Just point at it and say you want to go there. They will either drop you of at Bang Krachao pier or the pier where M-bikes is located. Don't worry, both places rent out bikes so you will be fine. I did not have to pay for the boat ride as I rented a bike, the fare normally is 10 bht.



Renting a bike


As said at both piers there are bikes for rent. Renting for a whole day sets you back 80 bht. It's also possible to rent is for a few hours or half a day. Make sure you have a copy of your ID at hand or 1000 bht deposit. The lady I rented my bike gave me a free small bottle of water, make sure to bring a bigger one also as you will sweat a lot. Money in small notes is also recommended as not everyones has change from 1000 bht.





Explore the green lung of Bangkok


There are signs which you can follow but I'm not sure if its a route. I did try to follow the signs and it took me on an elevated small path through some lush jungle and swamp like environment. It's really fun to explore and see the skyline of Bangkok from a different angle. I also came across a big park which is named Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park And Botanical Garden. You are free to bike around the park.

As I had no map I just followed the road and had lunch at some local place. I turned back after a few hours as it started to rain but otherwise it makes up for a great half day or full day cycling trip. 



Monday, September 19, 2016

Evergreen resort on Chaweng beach

Location

Evergreen resort Chaweng beach, Koh Samui is a medium sized resort. There are rooms in the main building and bungalows near the swimming pool available. The resort is located at a soi just back from the main road in the centre of Chaweng. Because of the location it's just 2 minutes walking to central plaza shopping centre but very quiet.



Rooms

The rooms are clean and have a large balcony. The bed is a bid on the hard side but enough space for 2 persons. In the corner of the room is a big closet to store your clothes and suitcase. Opposite the bed is a small desk with facilities to make your own cup of coffee or tea and a fridge. A bottle of free drinking water is provided each day. There is also a small TV in the room. 

The bathroom is good with enough space to get around and have a nice shower. To get to the beach you'll have to follow a narrow path via a connecting resort. It's about 200 meters through a beautiful garden.



Price

I paid about 30 euros for the room. Given the location it's a decent price but for better facilities and luxury you'll have pay more in Chaweng.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Simple life resort Koh Tao

Location

Almost opposite the 7-11 at the heart of Sairee beach you will find Simple life resort. It's a fairly large resort with good facilities. All rooms are located a bit from the main street so you will not be disturbed at night by the party people. But still the beach is just a few minutes away!


Facilities

The hotel has a large restaurant and bar located at the main street. From here you can enjoy your meal or drink while watching the business of the small island. A bit tucked away from the road is the reception area. I was welcomed with a big smile and checking only took a few minutes.


Just behind the reception a lush garden hides the swimming pool and the building with rooms. Even though it's a rather big hotel it is quiet. 


Rooms

The rooms are large and nicely decorated. There is a large double bed, a desk with fridge and a large closet to tuck away your backpack and clothes. The closet had a safe to store valuables. My room even had a small sitting area inside the room and a big balcony which also had a small table and 2 chairs.



The hotel is very close to the beach. It's just a few minutes to catch some great sunsets while sipping on a drink and listening to some tunes. The beach is packed with restaurants and bars and every night there is a great fire show. Just behind the beach and close to the hotel there is a small area with lots of shops, bars and restaurants. This makes Sairee beach a great place to relax and party.




Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Furama exclusive Asoke hotel


Location

The hotel is located within a two-minute walk to the two train stations - Asoke and Sukhumvit - that connect the BTS (aboveground) and MRT (underground) train systems. Being in the business district makes it easily accessible for guests to get around the hotel. 

Shopping centres such as Robinsons, Terminal 21 and the Emporium are within walking distance, placing shopping, food and entertainment at close vicinity. Venturing further out is made simple by using the BTS skytrain – Siam Central station, which is only four stops away, is linked by skybridges to the Siam Paragon, Siam Centre shopping malls and Siam Square.

Just left to the hotel is a great place for food. It's a local restaurant which sells street food but offer seating under a roof. 




The rooms

The 102 stylishly furbished guest rooms are spacious and equipped with comfortabel bed, tv and stereo set, minibar with coffee and tea and other amenities.

The bed was perfect. It's large and the mattress soft so sleeping is no problem at all. The bathroom is a bit on the small side with a shower in the bathtub.

The room also comes with a large balcony but unfortunately there is no view as it's blocked by another building. 

On top of the building there are 2 whirlpools and a fitness area. It's nicely decorated with some plants.



Price

I was lucky to book the room with the credits I had earned via Agoda. Therefore I did not have to pay the full price. As the hotel is located in the heart of the business district prices are on the higher end around 2000 to 3000 baht.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Crocodile farm Bangkok Samut Prakarn

Crocs, crocs and crocs...

Spending a few days in Bangkok is fun. The city has a lot to offer to tourist or frequent visitors. Beautiful temples, the royal palace, river cruise or biking around town, you have much choice how to spend your day. But one thing is sure you will be accompanied by a lot of other tourist. So if you want to avoid the mainstream spots and all the crowds try to make a trip over to the crocodile farm in Samut Prakarn.



How to get there

Samut Prakarn is on the outskirts of Bangkok, a bit below Suvarnabhumi airport. To reach the crocodile farm you can take a taxi anywhere in Bangkok. I guess a metered taxi will cost around 300 to 500 bht. A more convenient way is to take the BTS to Bearing station and from there take a taxi which will cost an additional 120 bht depending on traffic. Currently the BTS line is being extended so in the future the last part by taxi will be much shorter causing the trip to get there to be more easy.


What to expect

The entrance to the crocodile farm is 300 bht. It's not cheap but the crocodile show is without admission. And this show is one of the highlights of the visit!!


Besides the show you can walk around the cages that hold the crocs and walk over some kind of bridge to see a huge amount of crocodiles in a big artificial lake. And these animals are really huge and impressive. Beside crocs they als keep other animals like parrots and tigers but it's not that impressive and a bit sad to see.

All in all this place is great to visit. You can easily spend a few hours watching and feeding these monsters so it will be a great half day or full day trip.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Diving at White rock Koh Tao


If you say "diving" and "Thailand" Koh Tao is one of the places in Thailand to visit. Koh Tao is a small island in the gulf of Thailand and famous for its dive spots. Most of these spots are close to the island and in shallow waters so it's the perfect place to get you PADI and explore the ocean.


The main beach of Koh Tao is Sairee beach. The place is packed with hostels and guesthouses and lots of places to eat and drink. Every accommodation can hook you up with a dive school so you can get an introduction to diving or enlist in a 4 day course to get your PADI. 





Getting your PADI is cheap in Koh Tao. For around 8k to 10k bht you can join a 4 day course which teaches you the basics in diving. And you will explore the underwater world directly.



Boats will bring you to diving spots around the island. Lots of coral and fish can be spotted and the water is clear so visibility is great. The below video shows white rock.From the surface you can see the bottom of the ocean which is 10 meters below. Slowly swimming to white rock of which the top is just below the surface. Lots of divers at the bottom practicing for their PADI and having fun.



One of the places providing quality PADI courses in different languages is coral grand. It's a nice resort at the beach but also has a large diving school with good facilities. One of their dive masters is a Dutchmen called Perry, he is the nicest person ever. Just check out their website for more information.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hooters bar Bangkok

Bangkok is famous for its nightlife. From high end clubs, sky bars for smaller or bigger wallets, to backpacker cafes and the infamous agogo bars, you can all find it in the city. Not so long ago the American branch of Hooters also opened in Bangkok and they now have two locations in the city.


You can find one branch on Sukhumvit soi 4 just opposite of Nana Plaza. The other branch is on Sukhumvit soi 15 near Asoke. Each location has some pretty girls serving drinks and food and at certain times also perform a small group dance to entertain the clients. 

The menu mainly list burgers and wings in different sizes and flavors but in general the food is of good quality. Several draft beers can be ordered and another number of bottled beers are available. Also liquor and shots are sold.


Patong beach also has a Hooters branch. Last time I visited they had a charity event for homeless children. For a donation the Hooter girls will wash your bike which attracted lots of people during the day. Some really nice bikes were present.