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 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.
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 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.
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. 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.
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.
Floating market tour. Some people live on houses build on stakes. The freshwater pipeline runs on the side.
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.
The bangkok sightseeing was over. Now it goes to the south.
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.
In the night market you can get cheap good 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!
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 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.
Ko Lipe finally reached. Clear water, quiet and peaceful lies the island in front of me. I really liked to go diving here.
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.
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. The sunsets were beautiful and the wheather comfortable. During the day I enjoyed diving in the cool water. The air was too hot.
One day I was snorcheling. It was good. But I was spoiled by diving I did'nt want 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 diving is now finished. I move to the main land again and travel around. Watching waterfalls, jungle, caves and more.
First Trip goes to the mountain. A beautiful waterfall with pool and a fascinating jungle. My guide is walking in front.
Being alone, I took the chance to change my clothes and take a wonderful bath in the 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.
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.
And it was getting even more shallow. I even have turned my feets to the side, because 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
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Beside this Bhuddha lies the thousand year old tree park. 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.
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.
Between Krabi and Phang Nga are so many beautiful rocks. Covered by green plants. Tremendous sightseeing.
You come very close to the water and rock. I couldn't stop and drive my boat through this tunnel. Everybody is following me.
Paddling through the canyon. On both sides high rocks with trees. On the sides you see sometimes monkeys begging for food.
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.
On the way back I take this picture of the tunnel. Driving along the rock. The long tail boat 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?
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. There are hundreds of western tourists here. Mostly sun bathing and eating. Expensive restaurants and resorts.
Climbing down to the lagoon. This was difficult to climb and disappointed for the lagoon. Completely surrounded by rocks and muddy beach around.
Cars parking. Pickup, pickup, closed pickup, pickup... There are other cars too. But you have to show you are bigger than your neighbour.
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.
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.
Sometimes you see big new build houses. Pretty sure, a fence will come soon too. Often the houses are smaller and not so expensive.
Interesting not all the houses look the same. 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. 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 old style house has a lot of place around. Build of wood and uses wood poles too. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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