Days 13 - 16 Koh Phayam

Comment

Days 13 - 16 Koh Phayam

Took a speedboat at 11:30 from Ranong to Koh Phayam. The journey takes about 40 minutes. 

upload.jpg

Hired two motorbikes from Nan shop for 1200 a piece for  week. Then rode with our bags to Bamboo Bungalows on Ao Yai beach otherwise known as long beach  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Bamboo bungalows in in the middle of the beach

upload.jpg

Bamboo bungalows restaurant from the beach  

 Our bungalow  

Our bungalow  

 Ao yai beach

Ao yai beach

upload.jpg

We seem to have settled into a routine. Up at 07:00 for an early morning constitutional along the beach and breakfast at 08:00 at Bamboo. Then on the motorbikes to a different beach. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Then lunch at Kruq khun kao in the middle village

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Then back to Ao Yai for a few beers, swimming and sun. Evenings spent watching the sunset and relaxing over dinner at Bamboo bungalows 

 Sunset at Ao yai

Sunset at Ao yai

upload.jpg

With a few long Island iced teas of course  

upload.jpg

Comment

Days 11 - 12 Udon Thani and transit to Ranong

Comment

Days 11 - 12 Udon Thani and transit to Ranong

Up early for the four hour drive to Udon Thani. Had a good breakfast at Sisters. Very good Khao Tom Moo

We stopped at Chuanthanapanya Resort for a quick Pad Krapow Moo and arrived in Udon Thani about 14.00

A big city and can't say it was our favourite. Seemed to be full of older expats looking for love or sex.  

The Prajaktra City Hotel was however good and away from the madness. 

Had an excellent dinner at Mae Ya restaurant 

 

upload.jpg

Our flight to Ranong wasn't until twelve noon so we decided to take a 45 minute drive to the Red Lotus Sea.  It was a good idea. The boat ride for an hour was about 4. 50 gbp and was a memory we will never forget. Simply stunning 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

A short one hour drive back to the airport to drop off the car then two flights via Bangkok to Ranong on the Andaman coast. About half way through our trip at this point and we loved Issan. In twelve days we only saw one backpacker. Just goes to prove you can get away from the hordes of tourists in Thailand if you put your mind to it. 

Comment

Day 9 and 10 - That Phanom

Comment

Day 9 and 10 - That Phanom

After one of the best rice soup breakfasts of the trip with spare ribs and river fish we drove the 58 km from Nakhon Phanom to That Phanom. Checked into Da That Phanom place then  took a leisurely stroll to a restaurant on the bank of the Mekong 

upload.jpg

That Phnom is renowned for its Wat which is regarded among the top four in Thailand for its religious significance.  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

That Phanom is a pleasant town on the Mekong. On the second day we had lunch with Chick and Paige who live in town and I have been following their U Tube channel for a while.  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

All in all a laid back town just as I like.

We haven't seen one backpacker since Bangkok and are still somewhat a novelty out here. Locals even stop us to take our photos it's quite weird.  

upload.jpg

On the second day we also visited Mukdahan another Mekong Riverside town 60 clicks to the south  

upload.jpg

Comment

Day 8 - Nakhon Phanom

Comment

Day 8 - Nakhon Phanom

A short two hour drive from Saweng Dan Din to Nakhon Phanom. A beautiful town on the Mekong with a good river walkway overlooking the karsts in Laos. 

upload.jpg

We walked the 1.7 km to Chelsea riverside restaurant owned by a couple who used to have a restaurant opposite Stamford Bridge, hence the name. A leisurely lunch of fish and Som Tam. 

 Were staying at chic-chidkong boutique hotel. A rather nice place by the Naga fountain 

upload.jpg

Had dinner at a cafe/bar on the riverfront.  

 Barbecue ribs wun sen  

Barbecue ribs wun sen  

The Christmas tree is up.  

upload.jpg

A very relaxing day  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment

Day 7 - Chiang Khan to Saweng Dan Din

Comment

Day 7 - Chiang Khan to Saweng Dan Din

A long 5 hour drive to Saweng Dan Din today through the Issan countryside. It's fairly flat and not much traffic. Stopped by the police twice at roadblocks for licence checks. 

Arrived at Chuanthanapanya Resort at about 13:30 and downed some much needed beer and food  

Went into town in the afternoon to a local bar and met some expats who were chatty  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Eat in the on site restaurant which was excellent

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment

Day 6 - Chiang Khan

Comment

Day 6 - Chiang Khan

A lazy day in Chiang Khan, but that what holidays are about. Breakfast soon after sunrise (06:30) at Luk Pochana

upload.jpg

Lunch at no name restaurant 

 Sweet and sour chicken  

Sweet and sour chicken  

upload.jpg

Pad krapow moo

Fish delivery 

upload.jpg

A beer at Joe bar

upload.jpg

Sunset on the Mekong  

upload.jpg

Comment

Day 5 - Chiang Khan

Comment

Day 5 - Chiang Khan

We left Sangkhom for the two hour drive along the Mekong at about 10:00. It's an easy drive along the bank of the Mekong separating Thailand from Laos. 

Thailand now has the worst road fatality record in the world having just taken the unenviable record from Libya. We only saw two accidents today.  

upload.jpg

We arrived at Poonsawasdi guesthouse around 12:00 but couldn't check in until 14:00. 

 Our room is just on the right of the Thai flag  

Our room is just on the right of the Thai flag  

Had a few Leo beers at Slinks and a couple of dishes at the restaurant at the top of our soi for 40 baht (about 90p). 

After checking in we took a walk along the boardwalk by the side of the river.  

 Boardwalk

Boardwalk

 Mekong

Mekong

In the evening we wandered around town an walking street and eat some good food at Mask

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment

Days 3 - 4 Nong Khai and Sangkhom

Comment

Days 3 - 4 Nong Khai and Sangkhom

Sunday was spent doing very little in Nong Khai bar earing and drinking. We are starting to feel human again after the long haul flights and the internal one to Udon Thani.

The Rim Riverside is great.  

  View from the balcony  

 View from the balcony  

The  coffee is good too

upload.jpg

Eat lunch at Daeng the sugar cane prawns were great

upload.jpg

Of on the Monday morning about 10:00am to Sangkhom. It took about one and a half hours to get to Buoy Guesthouse.  

 View from Buoy Guesthouse restaurant  

View from Buoy Guesthouse restaurant  

Once checked in we drove the 45 minutes to Wat Pha Phukon

 Wat Pha Phukon

Wat Pha Phukon

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Back to Sangkhom for a quick visit to the night market and a relaxing evening eating and drinking in the restaurant overlooking the Mekong

upload.jpg

Comment

Days 1 and 2 - Bangkok to Nong Khai

Comment

Days 1 and 2 - Bangkok to Nong Khai

We arrived in Bangkok at about 13:30, changed some money at Superrich at the airport rail link in the airport and purchased one month 10gb data package at True move for 800 baht. 

Went onto town via meter taxi,  for 500 baht, including tolls to the Chatrium Riverside Hotel on the 33rd floor. 

Stepped out and went to a local seafood restaurant

upload.jpg

Had an excellent night's sleep after 16 hours of travelling. 

Woke up early and eat some Khao Moo dang

upload.jpg

Off to Don Muang Airport to catch the 14:05 flight to Nong Khai which was delayed by an hour.  


upload.jpg

Picked up the car at Avis which was very quick  

Arrived at the Rim Riverside Hotel at about 17:15 and immediately went out for some drinks at Brenda's and Nois and to Mackys riverside restaurant for some food  

upload.jpg

Early to bed with a quick Leo on the balcony overlooking the Mekong  

upload.jpg

Comment

A 26 day journey from the Mekong to the Andaman Coast

Comment

A 26 day journey from the Mekong to the Andaman Coast

Just a week to go and we are off to Thailand.

The plan is  to fly to Bangkok on the 7th December and arrive on Cathy's birthday the next day.  We are staying at Chatrium Riverside on the Chao Phraya river which looks good

 Bangkok

Bangkok

Then its off for a driving tour of Issan in the North East for ten days following the Mekong River and visiting Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Sangkhom, Chiang Khan, Nakhom Phanon, That Phanom and back to Udon 

 Nakhon Phanom

Nakhon Phanom

After the road trip we are off to the island of Koh Phayam for 9  days for christmas and some relaxation

 Koh Phayam

Koh Phayam

Comment

Day 21 - Bangkok to Manchester

Comment

Day 21 - Bangkok to Manchester

My last day before the 18:55 China Southern flight back home. Took a river boat over to the Thonburi side of the river and wandered around the markets. 

upload.jpg

20 baht con men in tuk tuks 

upload.jpg

Fed some fish

upload.jpg

Had the best meal. If the holiday at Steve's on the banks of the Chao Phraya

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

It really has been a great trip. 

Took a taxi to the airport. 270 baht and waited for my flight back home. Just looked at the forecast 1 degree centigrade.  That's just nasty.  

Comment

Day 20 - Ayutthaya

Comment

Day 20 - Ayutthaya

Another place I've never made it to in previous visits. I took a train from Hualamphong railway station at a cost of fifteen baht,  about 30p. It took one hour and forty five minutes to get to Ayutthaya the former capital of Thailand. 

I hired a mountain bike and rode around the ruins in the historical park for about three hours. 

upload.jpg
 Tree 

Tree 

It was a nice place

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment

Day 19 -  Luang Prabang to Bangkok

Comment

Day 19 - Luang Prabang to Bangkok

The flight with Air Asia was at 15:50 so I had till just after lunchtime to wander around Luang Ptabang 

upload.jpg

The bamboo bridge I walked across yesterday was no more today, washed away by  the volume of water, I guess they opened a dam upstream 

upload.jpg

Visited a few of Luang Prabang s many wats

upload.jpg

More wandering 

upload.jpg

Bill very kindly gave me a lift to the airport. It was sad to be leaving Laos.  I fall in love with this country each time I visit. I'll be back. 

upload.jpg

Arrived in Bangkok and got a taxi to Tara Place. Atesome Pad Krapow Moo drank a couple of Leo beer and early to bed. 

upload.jpg

Comment

Day 18 - Luang Prabang

Comment

Day 18 - Luang Prabang

Cycling around Luang Prabang today and was kindly offered a bicycle free of charge by Bill at Golden Lotus Place. 

upload.jpg

Luang Prabang is on a peninsula at the confluence of two rivers. It's pretty flat so riding is easy even in the 32 degrees heat. 

I crossed the bamboo bridge and had a Beer Lao.  

upload.jpg

Here are some of the things I saw. 

upload.jpg

An old Citroën Travant Avant 

upload.jpg

The bamboo bridge

upload.jpg

The river from the bamboo bridge

upload.jpg

Mount Phousi 

Went to L'Elephant which I has wanted to for years. It was great. Wonderful French food in a land of rice. 

upload.jpg

A good day. 

upload.jpg

Comment

Day 17 - Nong Khai to Luang Prabang

Comment

Day 17 - Nong Khai to Luang Prabang

Back on the bus today. I decided to walk to the bus station it's a half hour stroll from my guesthouse. This time it's a big bus rather than a minivan and it's an old clapped out Chinese thing. It did the trip in three hours without a stop which is unusual. 

upload.jpg

After checking in at Golden Lotus Place I wandered round town all afternoon decided to have a couple of cocktails and dinner at Tangor. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

 

 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

A final Beer Laos on the banks of the river and early to bed. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment

Day 16 - Muang Ngoi Nuea back to Nong Khiaw

1 Comment

Day 16 - Muang Ngoi Nuea back to Nong Khiaw

After a relaxing afternoon in the hammock it was hard to leave Muang Ngoi as it's such a beautiful place. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

I had lunch at Alex Restaurant when I arrived back at Nong Khiaw and and later in the hammock at Sunset bungalows until it was time for happy hour at Q Bar. The Passion Khiaw here are great, a mix of Lao Lao and passion fruit. Dinner was Chilli chicken, roti and a Mango Lassi 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

1 Comment

Day 15 - Muang Khua back to Muang Ngoi Nuea

Comment

Day 15 - Muang Khua back to Muang Ngoi Nuea

Really dull Laos town is Muang Khua. Poor choice of guesthouses and to be perfectly honest I couldn't wait to get back to Muang Ngoi. The boat was at 09:30 and cost 100,000 kip to my dismay no seats on this one just a plank 5 inches of the floor 

 Muang Khua boat dock

Muang Khua boat dock

The scenery is worth it though and we passed some Vietnamese Heath Robinson boats dredging for gold

upload.jpg

Arrived back in Muang Ngoi at 12:45 and went back to Nicksa's Place for Beer Laos and cocktails to watch the sunset from my hammock 

upload.jpg

Comment

Up the Nam Ou to Muang Khua

Comment

Up the Nam Ou to Muang Khua

It's a four hour boat journey. This boat has car seats attached and I get one.  This makes the journey much less back breaking than the ones with planks. 

The views of the mountains for the first hour are amazing

 Leaving Muang Ngoi 

Leaving Muang Ngoi 

upload.jpg

We stopped on the way several times to drop off things and buy some fish

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Muang Khua is nothing to rate about, I think I'll only stay one night and start making my way back to Luang Prabang slowly. 

 Muang Khua

Muang Khua

Comment

Day 13 - Muang Ngoi Nuea

Comment

Day 13 - Muang Ngoi Nuea

Today I did absolutely nothing. 

 

upload.jpg

I swung around in the hammock looking at the scenery and reading. I took a stroll to a nearby Hong village, ate Papaya salad and Khao Soy a d that was about it.

A very relaxing day in beautiful countryside  

 Gecko Bar

Gecko Bar

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment

Day 12 - Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoi Neua

Comment

Day 12 - Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoi Neua

Rose early again and had a wander around town in order to find some breakfast. Had a very good egg baguette by the boat dock. 

upload.jpg

I caught the 11:00 boat to Muang Ngoi Nuea which was 25,000 kip and took about an hour up the Nam Ou. 

 

upload.jpg

Muang Ngoi is in a fantastic location on the banks of the Nam Ou surrounded by towering line stone karsts. It's only got one road about 400 metres long.  That's it

upload.jpg

Spent the afternoon in the hammock reading and taking in the views. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Comment