Bangkok and South Thailand November 2004

After trekking in Nepal begins the vacation in Thailand. The main point was diving on Ko Lipe. First comes 2 days sightseeing in Bangkok. One day transfer to Hat Yai. Another day transfer to Ko Lipe. Seven days diving and going back to Pakbara. Organize the round trip with a car and guide. The tour goes to Trang, Krabi, Phang Nga and back to Pakbara. Again another day stay in Pakbara, before going to Hat Yai. Next day visit Songkhla and the rest shopping. On the last day was Loy Krathong festival.

King's palace was the first goal. Even before you arrive a palace huge crowd of tourist from every part of the world awaits you. I booked the hotel at the airport. They give me a free sightseeing tour. Although I asked if there is no shopping, they said yes "no shopping", there have been three shops jewelry, leather and tailor.

europe and asia influence

The architecture is a mixture from europe and asia. The king welcome sometimes guests in this palace. A lot of gold and statues too.

Jim Thompson house

Jim Thompson House in Bangkok offers a small island of peace, quietness in a lot of green flowers. Some valuable goods remains here. Jim Thompson itself vanished one day on a afternoon trip.

original Thai house

The buildings are original Thai buildings moved from other location to this place. He alse collects ancient bhudda, many colored vase, paintings, handicrafts. It is a beautiful refuge in the bustling crowded Bangkok city.

And you see a lot of people walking in the streets. Also there are a lot of animals. sky train Solving the rush hour problem the sky train drives on top of the road. Comfortable to use. The street itself is noisy and a lot of concrete everywhere.

monitor lizard

In Lumpini park I met a small monitor lizard. The big ones are high on the tree or mostly diving. The park itself is nice.

Next day on the way to the floating market. A small market for the tourist small market with eating and shopping. Beautiful orchids, wonderful flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables. And cheap compare to europe.

floating market

Floating market tour. Some people live on houses build on stakes. The freshwater pipeline runs on the side.

Here orchids you can buy banana, coconut and orchids. The wheather in BKK is warm and humid. Perfect for orchids. Here they sell orchids to the (thai) tourist boats.

orchid farm

Of course even if paid for the tour you stop over on a orchid farm for shopping. You just need a little bit shadow and watering the orchid. No earth.

Another sightseeing stop was the feeding of the fishes. You can buy food feeding fish and feed the fish. There are so many of them. They eat shells, bread, worms, everything.

Lunch in a fish restaurant. lunch After sitting uncomfortable in the boat, it was very comfortable to eat good thai food. Making a pleasant conversation with my guide.


Using the express boats we crossed the river and had a beautiful look on the bridge.

The bangkok sightseeing was over. Now it goes to the south.

Downtown Hatyai street shops a lot of shops for the malaysian tourist. I like the fresh fruits and vegetable very much. It was only to hot for me and this in the coldest month!

hat yai

Hat Yai has a lot of advertisement, some tuk tuk, minivans for traveling to another cities and a lot of pickups. The buildings are sometimes small.

Shops in the whole block. A lot of very small rooms shop and selling often the same things. Here you can choose any CD or DVD. Software or movies everything has the same price.


Some fruits i never have seen before. The salesman decorate the fruits in a beautiful way.

In the night market you can get cheap good food food and you even don't need a menu. Finger is enough and you see what you will eat. The dinner included drinking and a cucumber salad main dish with rice for 25 Baht. That's a half Euro!

This was the waiting hall waiting hall for the minivan for Pakbara. You have to wait until the bus is full and then bus starts. It is quite cheap and fast.


The bus was washed before starting. There are other destinations too. Luckily they spoke english at the station.

Arriving at Pakbara, buying a ticket to Ko Lipe ferry and boarding this ship. This was not the standard ferry. Not enough tourists for the big ferry. So we had to take this boat. It took about 5 hours to go to Ko Lipe.

longtail boat

Everywhere you see longtail boats. Behind the first limestone rocks can be seen.

Ko Lipe

Ko Lipe finally reached. Clear water, quiet and peaceful lies the island in front of me. I really liked to go diving here.

In the middle you see my house. Here I lived during my house my time on the island. One week after my departure they finished a mobile phone tower. Only in the evening electricity. Sometimes in the morning.


Morning sun lighting the beach in front of my resort. The blue building is the restaurant. The prices are more expensive than on the mainland. On the island you only have coconut banana and fish.

lunch beach

From the diving there are no pictures. I had two dives a day. Between the dives we go to a beach and eat our lunch. The beaches were beautiful and quiet. The water is clear. A lot of corals and small fish.

Sunrise over Langkawi Malaysia. After dinner I go to bed early and got up early too. sunrise The sunsets were beautiful and the wheather comfortable. During the day I enjoyed diving in the cool water. The air was too hot.


Big termites on the way from my resort to the diving school.

One day I was snorcheling. It was good. But I was spoiled by diving I did'nt want snorcheling to look on a TV. I want to be in the TV. The next day I was diving again. If I ever come back, I will go diving for sure!

The boy cuts the coconut tree. He takes a knife and climbs the mountain. coconut tree cutting By the way the thai massage was comfortable too. Lying on the beach listening to the ocean and relaxing.

The diving is now finished. I move to the main land again and travel around. Watching waterfalls, jungle, caves and more.

jungle path

First Trip goes to the mountain. A beautiful waterfall with pool and a fascinating jungle. My guide is walking in front.

My guide rested before. waterfall I climb a few meters to the waterfall. Some rubbish is lying around. It seems to be visited by a lot of people. Just now I am alone.

Being alone, I took the chance to change my clothes and take a wonderful bath in the pool. pool The water was comfortable cool. The sound of the waterfall relaxing. Going back, I saw three young girls splashing in the water. Asking my guide, he assumes Karaoke children. It was an official school day.

way to cave

On it goes to north of Trang to Tam Le. An interesting cave. The tour goes with boat. One person before and one person behind paddling.


Inside the cave, we walking some ways. The stalagmites and stalactites are beautiful. Our local guide shows how some of them sound very good. A lot of different shapes.

Why it was so interesting? shallow The guide asks if I am afraid of taking the shallow way out. About 300m. I said "No Problem". And we go on. It was getting shallow.

And it was getting even more shallow. I even have turned my feets to the side, because very shallow I am afraid it is to shallow. Sometime the boat sticks on the top. But the guides push the boat forward. The guide says, we are to light. Being heavier will be easier. Nothing for someone which is afraid of darkness and narrowness

hot spring

Astonishing there are hot springs too. I thought only in areas with volcano there are hot springs. The water forms beautiful pools.

The wheather was hot. hot spring Taking a bath in the mineral water is considered to be healthy. I changed my clothes and took a bath. By the way, for the hired car, I have to pay 20 Baht for parking and ten times the price as my thai guide.


Often I see very big bamboo. Even in Nepal they have a lot of them.


Mostly you see rubber tree plants. Miles after miles a lot of rubber trees. Sometimes you think it will never end.

This is the only deepland jungle in southern thailand. One of the best places I saw. deepland jungle The water was perfectly clear. But on the border they are building new rubber tree plantations. The water gets less and less.


Only one path through the forest. It is good maintained and often you see english written information about the jungle.


Many pictures, because I like the environment so much.

emerald pond

Strong colors and very clear water. My guide pushing me I can swim. Hearing this, I changed again my clothes and swim in the pool. This time some thai tourists watch me.

fresh ananas

Another thing I cannot resist is good fresh fruits. I stop the car and buy one fresh ananas. It was delicious. And I meet one thai couple from the emeral pond again.

ananas plantation

Ananas plantation together with rubber trees.

1200 steps up to the bhudda. 1200 steps This was the steepest place. Trained in Nepal, no big problem, but the wheather was so hot. I sweat a lot.

vista point

On top you have a beautiful sight of Krabi and environment. Everywhere are limestone peaks.


But it is not a vista point, but a holy place with a lot of bhuddas.

Beside this Bhuddha lies the thousand year old tree park. big tree The tree inside are really old and big. The valley is a dead valley enclosed by rock. The entrance is a 30 m high staircase. Inside still life monks. Here I met the highest strongest forest in South Thailand.

fallen tree

Watching the picture the tree doesn't look as big as in nature. The sign reads: fallen by storm. It is a really big tree. I have the problem, in the other areas it was too dark for my camera. I enjoy the quiet place very much.

tree on rock

Looking up, I see a tall tree living on the rock. The roots coming down. The top is high up.


Between Krabi and Phang Nga are so many beautiful rocks. Covered by green plants. Tremendous sightseeing.

The rocks are everywhere. rock on water On the main land and on the sea too. In front is a beautiful resort for tourist. The disadvantage: there is no beach but mud.


Another impressive adventure is kayaking. You do some sports in a fascinating environment.

limestone formation

You come very close to the water and rock. I couldn't stop and drive my boat through this tunnel. Everybody is following me.

First stopping point is the crabs muddy beach with thousands of crabs. In every direction there are so many of them. I think at least one million crabs on this beach.


Mangrooves at the entry of the canyon. They have so many roots for not falling down.


Paddling through the canyon. On both sides high rocks with trees. On the sides you see sometimes monkeys begging for food.

Beside this Bhuddha lies the thousand year old tree park. road A typical road in southern thailand.

boat tour

Arriving in Phang Nga the wheather was a little bit rainy with a lot of clouds. We got a good price for driving to the James Bond rock.

This is not the impressive rocks James Bond rock. They even look better. But there are so many of them. We didn't have time to get out and watch it closely.

On the way back I take this picture of the tunnel. Driving along the rock. The long tail boat tunnel turn suddenly to the left and steers directly to a dark spot. Then you see nothing it is dark. A small light and bright sunshine again.


Engine, a big engine with pride maintained and cleaned. Twelve cylinder gives power to the big boats for the tourists. Normal long tail boats have smaller engines but are more noisy.


New harbour in Krabi. The best building including toilet with toilet paper! At that time I was alone. The building looks expensive. It looks like Krabi city doesn't need this big building. Which company got the contracts?


It was not time to have lunch. The restaurant looks so inviting to go there and eat.

Waiting for the tourists are many long tail boats. Ao nang The beach itself once must be beautiful. Now you shop and eat beside the road or go to the railey beach with boat.


One beach before railey beach. Sure you relax here. But what else?


Climbing for stupid tourists only. My travel guide speaks of good vista points, I take the way up. And seats a lot.

Vista point with tremendous view over the resorts. This part can only be reached by boat. vista point There are hundreds of western tourists here. Mostly sun bathing and eating. Expensive restaurants and resorts.

way to lagoon

Climbing down to the lagoon. This was difficult to climb and disappointed for the lagoon. Completely surrounded by rocks and muddy beach around.

The beach is charming. Another rock just in front. railey beach Bright color beach. Blue colored clear water. Looks impressive. A lot of small coral pieces makes the walking in the water dangerous.

Next time I will go learning climbing with rope too. rock climbing I am not the type to which can lay down for one week and relax. I have to do something.


Cars parking. Pickup, pickup, closed pickup, pickup... There are other cars too. But you have to show you are bigger than your neighbour.

Moslem food and best food the best curry I have eaten in southern thailand. A lot of choices and cheap food too. I drink no beer, no problem with no alcohol for muslim shop.


Already full I cannot withstand the best sticky rice with mango slices. So sweet it is melting on your tongue, absolutely delicious. Next evening I eat the same again.

Walking around the night market. fruits I enjoyed the colors and shapes of the different fruits. I buy three pieces of the prickly one. It tastes similiar to lychee.


Sunrise in Krabi. About 6 o'clock in the morning.


Woman already practicing aerobic in the early fresh morning. The music was noisy. On this side you see the road with houses. On the other side lies the river.

Indeed there are still monks asking for food. vista point


Another beautiful sunrise in Krabi.

Typical school on the country side. Everytime there is a wall around. school Sometimes expensive constructed, sometimes only with concrete. Seldom no wall.

Second to rubber plantation are "oil" palm trees. Now I can decide quickly between palm and coconut trees. palm trees


Sometimes you see big new build houses. Pretty sure, a fence will come soon too. Often the houses are smaller and not so expensive.

Another house. house This type always the same front size can often be seen. Like they have a strip of land stretching away from the road.

Interesting not all the houses look the same. old style house This looks more traditional with a lot of wood and standing on poles. If the floor lets the air through. You will get fresh cold air from the bottom. The concrete saves the daylight sun energy and warms in the night.

Finishing round trip in Pakbara, I had breakfeast at this restaurant. Each piece 2 Baht. I took five pieces making 10 Baht. breakfeast I don't know the names, but with my fingers and giving money I got my breakfeast.


A last conversation with an employee of the diving school on Ko Lipe. Sitting near the beach and making conversation.

The rest is shopping in Hat Yai and visits to Songh Khla.


This school is in Songh Khla. The entrance must impress.

This old style house has a lot of place around. Build of wood and uses wood poles too. house In front you see a small puppy building for the gods. There should be never falling the shadow from the house to this place.


Surprising this town has a very big market. From vegetable, fruits to meat and fish, even to normal warehouse, this was in fact a big supermarket.

Walking around coming to the fish section. fish market

Next station was meat. Having no purpose to shop something, I leave this supermarket. meat market


Combining togehter. Newly painted and european styled big house, beside old style wood houses and modern concrete buildings. And thanks to globalization, coca cola everywhere.

Outstanding from the content is this Taksin folklore museum on the island Ko Yor. museum It was difficult to go there. Walking around I was pretty alone. Inside everything how people live 200 years ago, with no modern technology. How to make beads, pottery, fishing, weapon making, living, boats, clothing... The best museum of this kind.

Not to forget how they collect rubber. rubber tree Cutting the tree and collect the white liquid.

A temple with a lot of elephants. Thousands of elephants. temple And globalization again, the german company Langnese, name walls here.


Having no guide, I don't know why they write numbers on the lotus.

In the municipal park there are some temples. big bhudda Here the big bhudda. Just outside it is a rubber tree plantation.

More impressive are the jade bhudda. jade bhudda This is one of three smaller jade bhudda. The art is fantastically.

super market

Europe style super market in Hat Yai. The goods and prices are equivalent to europe. There were so many people shopping. I am wondering how with the normal income the can afford this prices.

water lilies

Enjoying flowers, I like the different colors of this water lilies. And orchids everywhere too.

metal shop

My father learned metal working. This shop looks almost like art. It is located still on the edge of downtown.

Kind of transportation. Motocycle, anybody with this colored jacket you can stop and he will drive you to your location, you must speak thai or it must be a famous point. transportation Tuk tuk in the background. In the city the bigger songthaew are not allowed. But the songthaew are cheaper and more comfortable. Minibus polished shining and sure with air conditioning. Car for the reach persons.

tuk tuk

Good bye in front of my hotel in Hat Yai. On the same day back in Germany. Switching to another world again.

© 2005 by Jürgen Zink

Last modified 10.01.2005