Visiting Phitsanulok again

We were invited to make a small tour in the city of Phitsanulok, to see a bit more of the old history of the city. With all the rain some temple complexes were a bit flooded, like here at the ruins of "Wat Chula Manee". It is supposed to be the oldest temple in Phitsanulok build in the Sukhothai era.

A Chedi where stairs are leading to the top where originally was a huge sitting Buddha image (now moved to Bangkok).

Along the mighty Mekhong river at Chiang Khan

A bit late sunrise about 5 km east of Chiang Khan at "Kaeng Kood Koo", where the mighty Mae Nam Khong (Mekong river) makes a sharp turn. And in the water are many big rock, that according to a local legend are put in the water by an angry giant. From here you can make small boat trips over the river. And of course there is a market, restaurants and even a nice looking resort "Chiang Khan Hill Resort". Traveling along the Mekong River in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia is like time-traveling. Nearby is also accommodation.

Sunset along the Mae Nam Khong at Chiang Khan

The mighty Mekong River is one the most intriguing rivers of Asia. I followed the Mekong in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. Someday I will go to China and Vietnam. But this sunset was at Chiang Khan, a small town along the Mekong River as border between Thailand and Laos. A great place to relax and make an sunset river cruise.

Visiting the Wat Rung Khun in Chiang Rai

Or better know as the White Temple. It is located about 13km south of Chiang Rai city. Although it is a beautiful piece of art, personally I would not call it a temple. I did not see any monks, besides the fact that the main building is housing an beautiful Buddha image. To quote the Wikipedia "It is a contemporary, unconventional, privately owned, art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. It is owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and opened it to visitors in 1997. " Personally I think it is a bit in Gaudi style and I had the idea to see also some similarities to the "Sanctuary of Truth" in Pattaya. But well it is beautiful and a great opportunity for making photos and selfies.

A day-trip to Hong Islands at Krabi

We did stay 4 nights / 5 days at Tub Kaek beach and we made a half-day boat trip to the Hong Islands. This are limestone islands in the Andaman sea. We took a wooden long-tail boat straight from the beach in front of our hotel and we were provided with a picknick box and towels of the hotel. It takes a 30min boat-ride to the first island ... Hong Island or actually Koh Lao Bi Le.

The name of the island (Hong) means room, because at the back-side of the island is a lagoon that is like a room almost closed of from the sea. The island group consists of about 10 islands, some of the islands have beaches. Be aware that this islands are part of a National Park so non-Thai have the privilege to pay 5 times as much as any Thai. For Thai it is 60 Thai baht entrance fee (yes also for the Thai guy driving a BMW) and for non-Thai it is 300 Thai baht. Some tours include this at the tour price.

On the road in Bangkok

I have been on the road for about 2 weeks and I was in Bangkok for a few days. I did first stay in de modern part of Bangkok along Sukhumvit Road. But although there are many hyper modern Shopping Malls, restaurants and hotels the locals still prefer to eat in small food-stalls along the road. For me this is one of the characters of Bangkok, although they many times block the side-walks.

The Little Elephant at the World Wide Web

What once started as a message to my friends & family back home did become this travel-blog "Walking in The Footsteps of Chang Noi" that was rebranded to what this travel-blog has become .....The Little Elephant in Chang Noi.

And as being a modern elephant you can find him also on Facebook at The Little Elephant In Thailand. And well what is all this information without a map? So I also created a Google Maps at Map of The Little Elephant in Thailand

And what once started as a reminder for myself of what hotels & restaurant I did go a new travel-blog was born "Hotel & Restaurants in South East Asia" that was later split and dedicated as Reviews of Hotels & Resorts in Thailand and Reviews of Restaurants & Coffee Shops in Thailand. And together they can be found on Facebook at Hotel.Restaurant.Reviews.Thailand

As I am a motorbike rider I needed information about motorbike shops and that lead to the website Big Motorbike Shops in Thailand. And of c…

Visiting the beautiful old city of Phrae

On the way to Nan I did visit Phrae, a provincial city in the north of Thailand. Famous for the best quality wood from Thailand, although nowadays I assume the wood is coming from somewhere else. It is a small city with an old historic centre with temples and some colonial buildings. The nearby area are mostly rice fields with in a short distance beautiful lime stone karst mountains. In the evening there is a food market in the old centre. A lovely small city to go around on your bicycle in the early morning or late afternoon. In and around Phrae are some hotels and in the city are many restaurants and pubs. A nice place for 1 or 2 nights stop-over to go more north along the beautiful mountains, rivers and valley's.

Train stations in Thailand, next station Khun Tan

My favourite train station in North Thailand, Khun Than train station. It is Thailand's highest train station at 578m above MSL with Thailand's longest train tunnel of 1352m long. It was under German supervisory that they started building this tunnel in 1907. And with a hick-up during World War 1 when then Germans were arrested it took 11 years to complete the tunnel. And it is still in daily use. When you take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai you will be passing this train station.

The train stations and tunnel can be reached by car. Just take the road that goes to Khun Than National Park, but at the moment (June 2016) the last steep 800m is in bad condition (especially for a car). The leading German engineer is buried at Khun Tan train station. This train tunnel is not the only one in Thailand, officially there are 7 train tunnels in Thailand.

Behind that sweet Thai smile

It is 12 o'clock in the night and I'm eating Phad Thai at Sukhumvit road. My girlfriend is working and I return to her apartment to go to sleep. Her apartment is one 16-sqm room (and a bathroom) that she shares with her "young sister" (who is not her sister of course) and Joy. She told me that tonight the mother of her girlfriend Joy would come to Bangkok with the 2-years old baby of Joy (who is now 18), that is raised by her mother in Buriram. Calculation figures out that she had a baby when she was 16 and became pregnant when she was 15. A great start of life, isn't it? Well, that happens at the rural rice fields of the Isaan.

Phi Ta Kon Festival 2017 in Dan Sai

What   : Phi Ta Khon Festival
When  : 24 June 2015 till 26 June 2017
Where : Dan Sai (Loei province)

Phi Ta Khon Festival (Boon Luang Festival) is the famous Ghost festival of Dan Sai in the province Loei and is to honor the incarnation of Lord Buddha leaving the forrest monastery. And not only is the festival a colorful and joyful event to watch, Dan Sai is also located in one of the most beautiful mountain area's of north-east Thailand.

And the ghost mask have become a famous trade mark of Dan Sai as you can see along the road going to Dan Sai. Dan Sai is located about 10 km  of route 203 between Lom Sak and Loei along the beautiful mountain area of Nam Nao and Phu Hin Rong Khla. If you want to go there be aware that it is a popular festival to visit by Thai and that hotels might be fully booked.

See Spirit-of-Dan-Sai and Ghost

The famous Kad Tung Kwian Jungle Market near Lampang

We were traveling from Chiang Mai to Nan via route 11, and just before Lampang is right along the highway what was originally truly a jungle market where people from the mountains would sell herbs, mushrooms and weird animals. But that was about 15 years ago,  in the years passing the market has slowly be adapted to the more and more other kind of visitor of the market. Of course it is still a lot of food, but also souvenirs, wood and cloths. All the way in the back a little bit of the real jungle market is still there with the fresh meat counters (not for for animal lovers so no photos!).

The Green Season

It is a great time to be traveling in North Thailand, like yesterday from Lampang to Den Chai via route 11. We stopped along the way at a restaurant where we besides good food also had a stunning view over the rice-fields and mountains. Near Lampang we did stop at the famous "Jungle Market", photos from the market will follow tomorrow.

The new rice season is starting in Nan

View over a small valley nearby the Tat Leang Waterfall in Nan province, North Thailand. While some paddies still have to cleared from the previous rice season, some other paddies are already made ready for planting the next rice.

Goodmorning Bangkok

Bangkok ... Oriental city that never sleeps .... some people love it, other people hate it. I love & hate it. I love to walk in the small streets of China Town, I love the Chao Phraya River. But I hate the noise, I hate the traffic. So after 2 or 3 days I am just as happy to leave as I was to arrive.