Tag-Archive for » Thailand «

More temples!

I know we’ve already filled this blog with a lot of temple pictures but you got to see those: The temples in Thailand are totaly different than the ones in Bali (and compared to German churches they seem to be out of this world). If I just had one word to describe them, I’d say: Amazing! They are bursting with gold and silver roof top mosaics, shiny pads of coloured glas and everthing is just “bling-bling”. Not to forget the numerous statues of Buddha showing him in all his characteristics!

The biggest Buddha collection is displayed in  Wat Pho, the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok, with it’s really big attraction: A stunning reclining Buddha, 46 m long and 15 m high (the one that’s been sung about in the song “One night in Bangkok”).

One of the other temples we visited is Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan – also known as the Golden Mount. It’s an artifical hill with a large golden bell-shaped tower on top. A lot of  Buddhist people come here to pray and donate money – lots of money…

Okay guys, enjoy the pictures! It`s our last blog entry from hot and busy Bangkok. Tomorrow we’ll be on our way back to Germany…

- Isabell -

Pompous gate in Wat Pho temple (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Pompous gate in Wat Pho temple (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell playing with a stone ball in the sculpture`s mouth: “How did they get it in there?” (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell playing with a stone ball in the sculpture`s mouth: “How did they get it in there?” (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Buddha statues (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Buddha statues (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Wat Pho (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Wat Pho (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Huge golden altar in Wat Pho temple (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Huge golden altar in Wat Pho temple (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
A very kind Buddhistic monk we met outside the temple (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
A very kind Buddhistic monk we met outside the temple (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
The Reclining Buddha – you just can`t believe that it fits in a temple! (© 2010 Isabell Gernert)
The Reclining Buddha – you just can`t believe that it fits in a temple! (© 2010 Isabell Gernert)
Isabell with golden Buddha statues (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell with golden Buddha statues (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Wat Pho (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Wat Pho (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Chedi on top of Wat Saket, the “Golden Mount” (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Chedi on top of Wat Saket, the “Golden Mount” (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Praying Buddhist (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Praying Buddhist (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Lion sculpture (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Lion sculpture (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell ringing the bells on top of the Golden Mount (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell ringing the bells on top of the Golden Mount (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Donations before tax… (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Donations before tax… (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
…and after tax ;) (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
…and after tax ;) (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Guess who`s that…BUDDHA! (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Guess who`s that…BUDDHA! (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Dinner is ready! ;) (© 2010 Isabell Gernert)
Dinner is ready! ;) (© 2010 Isabell Gernert)
   


Muay Thai

Whenever throughout our journey we said we are from Germany the immediate response was that we must like soccer. Well, that’s only partly true but we can’t deny that soccer is the favourite sport of most Germans, whether they play it themselves or watch it with beer and chips.
In Thailand they also have a national sport which may not be performed from as many people as soccer but watched by far more, as it is the sport called Muay Thai aka. Thai Boxing. For outsiders it looks like a mixture of western boxing and martial arts whereas it is an independent sport. The fight takes places in a ring and last 5 rounds of 3 minutes each.

Now guess who really wanted to see a Muay Thai fight and guess who was kind enough to come along?! :-)

But since it was recommended by our LP we jumped into a Tuk-Tuk on thursday evening and drove to the Rajadamnern Stadion, the oldest Muay Thai Stadion in Bangkok, where we had dinner with the locals and then bought two tickets for 1000 Bht each ( which are 25 €). There we were sitting in 3rd category with a great view and lots of  Thais next to us. It was kind of fun as people would get more and more excited until at some point they started to complain that we were sitting amongst them – so we switched to the other side of the arena where there was nearly noone – except other foreigners! (We found out afterwards that we were sitting in the middle of all the gamblers and therefore heavily disturbed their “business” – ooops ;-) ) As we were now sitting on the empty side of the stadion we weren’t part of the cheering crowd anymore but we could see the details of the Muay Thai: the entry of the fighters, their warmup, their traditional prayings and the last words of the trainer before the fight starts. During the fight the atmosphere was tense, rising with every round until the gamblers would know if they lost or won the money. By the way it’s very interessting to see that it’s a matter of skills, quickness and persitence to succeed and not so much the bare muscels a fighter has!

For all of you who ever come to Thailand, and especially Bangkok, make your way up to Rajadamnern Stadion (it’s maybe a 15 minute walk from Khao San Road) and watch a fight. Not only boys will enjoy but also (or especially?!) girls will, too! ;-)

- Isabell -

Hello from Bangkok!

Dear readers, the end of the journey is getting closer and closer… a few days ago we arrived at our last destination: Bangkok!

At the airport we already realized that the city (and probably the rest of the country as well)  is different from the Balinese Asia we`ve seen before. It`s much more modern and very busy, you don`t have that feeling to be miles away from civilization. On the other hand you still have many traditional elements like the Tuk-Tuks, the cookshops, the colorful temples and all kind of markets with everything you can imagine. When we walked down the Khaosan Road the first evening I felt like on ecstasy because there were so many things to see!

Bangkok is also cheap, even cheaper than Kuta. We usually have lunch or dinner for 30 Baht (approx. 1 US Dollar) a foot massage is 100 Baht and for 150 Baht more you get a massage where ever you want it…ok, I`m just kidding, but if anyone knows the price feel free to write a comment ;-)

- Bernd -

P.S. The missing San Francisco pictures are finally online! Scroll down to the previous entries to look at them or just click here

Tuk-Tuk on famous Khaosan Road (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Tuk-Tuk on famous Khaosan Road (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Noodles – waiting to be fried (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Noodles – waiting to be fried (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
A cookshop selling Phat Thai, fried noodles with egg or chicken (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
A cookshop selling Phat Thai, fried noodles with egg or chicken (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell putting chillies on top (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell putting chillies on top (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…

… or in our case: with a single click!

After the decision was made thoughts were going crazy: HOW are we travelling? WHERE do we want to go?  WHEN are we going? HOW LONG are we going to travell? WHAT about the costs? …

So, one thing at the time:

HOW to travel: Okay, let’s face it – anything else than plane didn’t come to our mind. But instead of booking every single flight there is a great way to get around the world: Round-the-world tickets ! ;-) There are several united airlines like Star Alliance, OneWorld Alliance and SkyTeam that provide different around-the-world programs: Whereas SkyTeam only offers booking via telephone, OneWorld does have difficulties with crossing the Pacific. Star Alliance seemed to have it all:  Great deals, easy booking, friendly support – need I say more?!

WHERE to go: The world, of course! Ahw well, some countries have been on our list for a long time: Australia, USA (continent), USA (Hawaii), Thailand and the Fiji Islands – we have to visit these countries! And then one thing led to another: hey, if we’re on the Fiji Islands we could also go to New Zealand. And before we go to the States we could make a stop in Mexico. And why not go to Bali right before Thailand?! Can we do this within 29.000 miles – YES, we can!

So this is the actual route:  Frankfurt/Germany – Mexico City/Mexico – Los Angeles/USA – San Francisco/USA – Honolulu/USA -  Nadi/Fiji – Auckland/New Zealand – Sydney/Australia – Denpasar/Bali - Bangkok/Thailand – Frankfurt/Germany

WHEN to go: Due to a little trip with friends end of August we set the date of departure on September 10, 2010.

Travel planning with Poker chips (© 2010 Bernd Neeser)

HOW LONG are we travelling: According to the novel of Jules Verne our trip will take 80 days. (There is no bet going on, we know that it’s possible!). As easy as it was to set the 80 days the harder it was to choose how many days to spend in each country: First put a minimum of days on each destination, then spread the remaining ones and finally flipping one or two. (Hint: Poker chips are perfect for that!)

WHAT about the costs: Well, nothing’s for free. There are two aspects: The ticket and the trip itself.  As I said before, the ticket price depends on the miles, the stops and the countries you travel to – 29.000 miles are cheaper than 35.000 miles, the entrance fee for one country is more expensive than for another country…. I think we’ll have an extra post for this topic!

Okay, these were the first steps we took on our journey around the world… but be sure, there’ll be A LOT more! ;-)

- Isabell -