On my way back to India (after a 6 month stay in Beijing), i decided to have a stopover in Thailand and have a 15 day break. I would've preferred to have stayed longer, but the only visa i could get to Thailand on a short notice was a transit visa and it was limited to 15 days only. Never much of a beach person i went to Thailand with mixed expectations and came out refreshing and raring to be back.
A vacation in Thailand was all that we hoped for and more. But a few things took us by surprise
A trip to the tiger temple can normally arranged from the hotel or guesthouse that you are staying at. But if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then you can rent a bike and drive down to the tiger temple. The temple is located about 40km from the Kanchanaburi town, so the drive would take about an hour or so. The directions are pretty easy to follow..
Tigers always fascinated me and its been a long dream of mine to see them in the wild. However i never ever dreamed that i could get close to one and touch it. Ever since i saw the documentary on the Tiger temple in the Discovery channel i've wanted to go there. And it should be no surprise that when i decided to go to Thailand the tiger temple was on the top of my list of places to visit.
Kanchanaburi was to be my first stop on my first trip to Thailand. And there was only one place i had in mind.. to visit the tiger temple at the Wat Pa LungtaHua monastery on the outskirts of the Kanchanaburi town. So eager was i that i did not even plan on staying in Bangkok, just get off the plane (from Beijing) and catch a bus to Kanchanaburi. Read on to find out how my Kanchanaburi trip went..
[Krabi Province, Thailand. 4'th - 9'th Mar 2006] Railay was going to be my first taste of beach life in Thailand. I was never a beach person, guess you can say that i'll feel like a fish out of water on the beaches :). With all its rock climbing options, Railay was an obvious choice for me. I'll go sign up for one of the climbing classes and slowly get acclimatised to the beach. This time, for once, surprisingly everything worked out exactly as i had hoped for.
[Krabi Province, Thailand. 9'th - 11'th Mar 2006] After Railay, Ko Phi Phi was next on my island hopping list. Its is also located in the Krabi province and is famous for its coral reefs and limestone cliffs. The Phi Phi archipelago has two rather prominent islands, Ko Phi Phi Don the bigger sibling with the accommodation and other niceties. Ko Phi Phi Leh, the smaller sibling is technically uninhabited and can be done as a day trip from the larger island. If you guys remember the movie "Beach", it was shot at Maya Bay which is located on Ko Phi Phi Leh and is a major tourist attraction.
The floating markets of Bangkok are a photographers delight. As well as being colorful, they offer a wonderful glimpse into the traditional market practices of the river dwelling Thai. Yes, the markets are commercialized for the benefit of the tourists. But in doing so, they have not lost their original charm, they remain quintessentially Thai, as the below photos will show.