Asia

Tiger Time!

Early morning this morning, too early by far: our travel alarm (very useful thanks Dayna) exploded in an electronic tintinbulation at 6:02am precisely, shattering our slumber into little shards of activity. We showered (well, Dee showered — I had one last night instead, always be prepared. And prepared to be smelly), dressed and rushed down for a quick hotel breakfast by 6:30am (eggs, toast, apple juice and, why not, a spicy lasagne!). By 7am we were in the foyer, and soon enough a minivan arrived to take us on the second-ever “organised tour” we’ve ever been on. The bus took us on a short tour of the hotels and hostels in Bangkok, picking up people, dropping them off and at […]

Big hopes for Bangkok

We arrived in Bangkok with big hopes: our hotel, The White Orchid, looked great in the photos, with a jacuzzi, spa and massage room and a roof-top restaurant overlooking the city from the 12th floor. We were tired, smelly (nowhere to wash on an overnight train) and ready to just melt into a pampered, self-indulgent lifestyle for a couple of days. But as the quote goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.” For us, the “straying” began with the room — upgraded, but still plain, old and under-maintained — and continued as we explored the hotel, ignoring “keep out” and “staff only” signs as, well, there were no staff-members above the second floor. We were […]

But yeah, now she sleeps

So we’ve made it to Bangkok: we got a tuk-tuk to the train station, just past the Laos-Thai Friendship Bridge, and were happy to find there were first-class tickets left — not too expensive, and after the “hard sleeper” in China and “chicken bus” in Laos we weren’t in the mood to find out what second-class bunks were like in Thailand. We were, of course, ridiculously early — 2pm when the train left at 5pm — but we figured it was better early than late. We sat on the platform, read our newly-swapped (in Vientiane) books and sorted out the Laos exit stamp once the office opened. It was thankfully nice and cool, as there’d been a bit of rain […]

Goodbye Vientiane; Bangkok, here we come!

We’ve been a bit quiet on the journal since we got to Laos, but it is because we’ve been doing a whole lot o’ nothing: days relaxing/lazing at the hotel, reading book after book or watching (often bad) movies on HBO. In the afternoon or early evening, as the temperature dropped, we headed into town on foot or by tuk-tuk to look at shops, swap our books; invariably we would find a place to eat — it is a strange fusion of asian and european, with French restaurants selling Italian food alongside fried crickets — then a place for a quiet beer, if only to wash the cricket taste out of our mouths. (Actually, that’s poetic license — I ordered […]

Scheißen!

Scheißen! To renew my Aussie license I have to visit a VicRoads office! No online renewal. Wonder if bike hire co in Thailand will realise?