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Archive for May, 2012

My travels to Thailand 2010 – part 4

Today I was going to the eastward coastline for some scuba diving. This was to be done as a day trip from Bangkok. Around Bangkok is only a few dive sites. Today I was heading by boat to Koh Krak. It is not in the league of the dive sites in Southern Thailand such as the Similan Islands but it is convenient as a day trip from Bangkok.

The bow of the boat.

As is typical in Thailand, the sea was rough.

It was a bumpy ride to the dive site.

I planned on two dives at the island. Each diving down to approximately 12 metres.

I was glad that I was able to stay in the shade on this boat.

Getting ready for the dive.

Getting ready for the dive.

Anchoring at the dive site.

The sea was rough for diving.

After the dives, I had a wee look around the beach for the sunset before heading back to Bangkok via minibus.

My last night in Thailand before flying to Nepal.

It was a beautiful night.

Back in Bangkok I was going to enjoy my last night in town.

It is hard to escape McDonalds regardless what country one travel to.

I really like the street food in Thailand and despite what the guide books say, I never had to run for the toilet afterwards.

A typical street food stall.

Bangkok is famous for it street food.

Having a beer on my last night.

I was due to fly to Kathmandu the next day.

The Thaiair plane for Kathmandu.

I was able to get a upgrade to business class on this flight. I guess the Thaiair Stewardess like cuddly toy travellers.

Leaving Bangkok on route to Kathmandu.

I arrived in Kathmandu ready for my adventure to Mt. Everest.

For more information on my travels to Nepal please visit:

https://britisharmysgtmonkey.wordpress.com/category/travel/nepal/

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My travels to Thailand 2010 – part 3

After the riots, I was going to spend a day visiting the old capital Ayutthaya which is 85 km north of Bangkok.

I caught a tour minibus from Khao San Road and was joined by ten other travellers for the day. They were mostly kiwis and aussies. I was the only cuddly toy on the tour bus and as such became the focus of the group because I was different. One of the aussies almost sat on me on the tour bus, he was massive compared to me.

Our first temple was Wat Phu Khao Thong just outside Ayutthaya.

The first temple on the tour was Wat Phu Khao Thong.

I was to visit this temple again in October 2011 during the floods. This temple was mostly flooded then.

This temple was just outside Ayutthaya.

This temple was our first stop and we spent some twenty minutes here.

This temple got flooded in the floods last year.

The top of the temple.

After another ten minutes on the bus, we made it to Ayutthaya Historical Park.

This reclining buddha was very clean and had newly golden cloth on it.

The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

A young Thai girl prints gold stickers onto the buddha.

Ayutthaya was founded by King Ramathibodi I in 1350 and was the capital of the country until its destruction by the Burmese army in 1767.

The city has ten of thousands of Buddha statues.

Student monks on their way to school.

Buddhas were everywhere on show.

Hundreds of buddhas just in this one temple.

With so many temples it is easy to see why this is a World Heritage Site.

I was enjoying the day tour trip.

About midday the tour bus took us to a restaurant for dinner.

I was hungry after the day sightseeing.

The other travellers helped me out of the minibus and the big muscles aussie man cut up my dinner for me.

The 20 metre reclining buddha.

The reclining buddha in Ayutthaya Historic Park.

The feet of the reclining buddha.

After see the reclining buddha, we went to Wat Mahathat.

Here is the famous detached buddha head entangled in roots.

The head of Buddha in Wat Mahathat.

It rises a few centimeters each year due to growth of the roots.

The city of Ayutthaya lays in ruins after the Burmese destruction in 1767.

The old royal palace in Ayutthaya.

I was out of breath climbing these stairs.

I wanted to get to the top of this staircase.

I was praying for strength and guidence.

I prayed for good karma and luck.

These statues had their heads stolen by thieves.

Admiring this statue.

I was praying at this Buddha statue.

Getting myself blessed at a temple shrine.

The next day I was going to do some scuba diving.

To be continued….

For more information on Ayutthaya Historical Park please visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayutthaya_Historical_Park

Details of my trip to Ayutthaya in 2011 is here: https://britisharmysgtmonkey.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/my-travels-in-thailand-2011/


My travels to Thailand 2010 – part 2

Having survived my encounter with the Siamese Crocodile, I was eager to see the rest of Bangkok had to offer.

I was staying at the Suk 11 hotel which is one of my favourite hotel/appartments in downtown Bangkok.

The entrance to the Suk 11 hotel.

The gardens to this hotel are stunning and has the old traditional Bangkok feel about it.

A traditional Bangkok pedicycle.

Both the roof top gardens and the outdoor gardens have old traditional pedicycles on show. These are no longer see on Bangkok street as motorised tuks-tuks are used now.

The sun canopy over the hotel gardens.

This hotel has it showers outdoors, on the balconys!

I was not keen on having a shower on the balcony exposing myself to all of Bangkok population.

I must say exposing my naked furry body on the balcony is an experience.

I was keen to explore the floating markets of Bangkok and the surrounding area.

Taking the longtail boat to the floating market.

The most famous of the floating markets is Damnoen Saduak, about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok.

I had to take an early morning longtail boat to get there.

This market is the most famous floating market in Thailand.

This buzzing market is at its best in the early morning before the crowds arrive and the heat of the day builds up.

I was looking down onto the market from the bridge.

This seller was cooking and selling BBQ from her wee boat.

All sort of food and vegetables can be sought here.

It was very touristy here.

The floating market is very touristy and somehow the market doesn’t feel genuine anymore. I did not see any Thai buyers in any of the stalls.

I was enjoying my green tea.

I then took the boat back to Bangkok.

Taking in the scenery of the cruise.

Those crocodiles sniffed me out again for lunch.

GULP!

Apparently crocodiles like eating monkeys!

I made it back to Bangkok and I was getting ready for a night out in the famous redlight district of Bangkok. Apparently the monkeys here are sooooo sexy. Not sure what my foster Auntie L. would make of that if she knew what her adopted wee cuddly toy was doing!

Getting ready for a night out on the town.

That night I met a Thai prostitute monkey name “Pom”. For more stories about my time with the monkey name “Pom” please visit: https://britisharmysgtmonkey.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/sex-scandal-monkeys-secret-love-child/

The next morning I decided to visit the Bridge on the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi. This day trip was already mentioned in a previous travel blog of mine here: https://britisharmysgtmonkey.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/great-railway-journeys/

After the tour I wanted to visit the shopping malls in modern Bangkok central but huff you know how politics goes here. Corruption in elections, people protest then riots. Whilst I was in Bangkok central a riot broke out, protestors were killed and the Thai army moved in! A curfew was declared.

The rioters trashed this bank in Silom Square.

This shopping mall got torched.

This shopping mall got torched.

This cinema got torched also.

This road is usually packed with traffic, but was quiet due to the riots.

With a curfew in place, I was confined to my hotel for the night and wasn’t able to go out to the bars.

Did our wee monkey manage to see anything else in Bangkok, found out in “My travels to Thailand 2010 – part 3”.

To be continued….

For more information on the Bangkok political crisis please visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932010_Thai_political_crisis#Bangkok_unrest


My travels to Thailand 2010 – part 1

For my next blog about my adventures and travels I am going to talk about my visits to Thailand and in particular about my 2010 visit. The trip to Bangkok in 2010 was a week stopover whilst on my way to Kathmandu for my Mount Everest trek. See here for my blog of my Mount Everest trek: https://britisharmysgtmonkey.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/my-trip-to-mount-everest-nepal-in-2010-part-1/

I have been to Bangkok some forty times over the last decade or two as I enjoy the company of other monkeys to chat and party with. I get lonely in Scotland as there is no monkeys here in the highlands, just rain.

On my first day in Bangkok, I was going to see the temples starting with Wat Arun first.

Me about to cross the river by river taxi to Wat Arun.

Wat Arun is on the west side of the Chao Phraya River and therefore not many tourists visit this temple as it is away from the east bank where most tourists hang about.

Wat Arun means Temple of the Dawn.

Wat Arun means the Temple of the Dawn named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn.

The temple was quiet and not so touristy.

Whilst I was there, the temple was having restoration work done on it.

Workmen were restoring the temple at the time of my visit.

From top of Wat Arun I was able to see all of Bangkok.

From the top of Wat Arun, I could see all of Bangkok.

I decided to have a wee walk around the temple grounds.

The park around Wat Arun was nice.

This temple is used by studying Buddhist monks.

This monk was in the park grounds.

I then decided to visit Wat Pho, the most popular temple for tourists in Bangkok.

Wat Pho is known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

This temple is famous for it 43 metre long reclining buddha.

Wat Pho is the most famous temple in Bangkok.

This temple is very very touristy.

I was having a look around Wat Pho.

The grounds of the temple has many smaller buddhas on show.

This temple is large with many smaller buddhas on show.

The famous school of Thai traditional massage is within the grounds of the temple. However, this should not be confused with the infamous body massages of Soi Cowboy! *blushs*

This is the most touristy Wat in Bangkok.

This wee cat was following me around the temple.

This temple is popular with tourists.

The temple was restored in 1982.

Many buddhas are in this temple.

After visiting Wat Pho, I decided to visit the Golden Mount temple.

Wat Saket is also known as the Golden Mount.

The temple is on top of a small hill and therefore is a prominent feature of Bangkok.

This temple is on the top of a small hill.

It is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, dating back to Rama 1 era.

I could see all of Bangkok from this temple.

After seeing the temples, I went to the local park to watch the football.

It was the Elephant Football World Cup. I think Argentina was winning.

They play football with elephants here!

After a day of sightseeing, I took the skytrain back to my rented appartment. But, when I came to my front door, I found that a Siamese Crocodile was blocking my entrance!

This Siamese Crocodile was about two metres long.

I s**t myself!

I thought I was going to be eaten!!!

Did our wee monkey get eaten!!! Find out in “My travels to Thailand 2010 – part 2”.

To be continued….

For more information on Bangkok please visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Saket


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My trip to Iceland 2012 – part 4

After my freezing walk to the icy glaciers, I needed a rest. I had also been horse riding and scuba diving. So today being the last day of my trip, I was going to soak my wee cotton furry feet in the Blue Lagoon Spa.

Me at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

The spa is located approximately 13 km (8 miles) from the Keflavík International Airport and 39 km (24 miles) from Reykjavík.

This geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.

The spa had several bars and cafes for dining.

The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant.

The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every 2 days.

I was chilling out in the spa and getting back massages by lovely Icelandic chicks.

Full massage services were available and I could not resist getting my feet tickled by the chicks.

Afterwards, I went outside to have a walk around the lava field.

The Blue Laggon Spa was in the middle of a lava field.

Iceland is a very young island and evidence of this is seen throughout the land. There is also no trees around!

The land in Iceland is new and evidence of this is seen with the lava fields.

The geothermal plant is situated in the lava field.

This power plant produces 76.5 MW of energy.

The water produced by the power plant is full of minerals turning it milky colour.

The water from the geothermal plant was full of silica and sulphur.

After spending the day at the Blue Lagoon Spa, I wanted to hit the town and pull some Icelandic monkeys chicks er…. um…. there are no monkeys in Iceland! So I got plastered instead.

Beer was prohibited in Iceland until 1989.

After enjoying my last night out, I was up early in the morning my for return flight back to Scotland.

On my way to the airport. I was the only cuddly toy travelling on the bus.

Well for me it was my return back to Scotland.

A quick spin in the washing machine on a 30 °C wash and I was ready for work on the Monday morning. I was eager to carry on training my new recruits for combat on the front line.

For more information on the Blue Lagoon spa please visit:

www.bluelagoon.com


My trip to Iceland 2012 – part 3

Today I was going to see Southern Iceland on the South tour trip. Unfortunately the weather was bad but you all know me – nothing stops me getting out and doing things.

My first stop of the day was to see an icy glacier. I headed over to Sólheimajökull glacier on the Southern coast of Iceland.

The glacier shadows active volcanos in the far distance.

The glacier views was stunning.

The Sólheimajökull glacier with the black lava sand in the foreground.

The ground all around me was blackened due to the nearby volcanoes.

I forgot my scarf and wooly hat!

It was cold here, so I did not stay long.

I headed to the beach to see the Puffins that are located here, but the weather was soooooo cold that even the Puffins migrated to Fiji for the summer. I saw none.

The beaches were made up of black lava sand.

The beach was very blackened too.

It was chilly on this beach, not sexy bikini outfit weather at all!

Somehow, I didn’t feel like stripping off and doing a wee bit of sunbathing on this beach.

The sand was black all around my wee feet.

The rock formations of the coastline was weird.

Impressive rock formations on the coastline.

It eventually stopped raining and I headed to the Skógar museum to learn about Icelandic culture and heritage.

The museum had a number of traditional Icelandic houses on show.

Old traditional Icelandic houses had grass growing on it roof tops! Not sure how one is suppose to get an electric lawnmower up onto the roof top without causing injury.

It was so windy that my arms got into a twist!

Althrough the rain has stopped, it was very windy. At times I thought I was going to be blown away but luckly for me, my stitches held fine.

I went to see Skógafoss waterfall which is on the old southern coastline but now the coastline had receded about 5 kms seawards due to volcanic activity.

The waterfall is the old sea cliffs of the South coast.

The waterfall is 60 metres high and I went to the top of it for a view from the top.

A rainbow is seen in the waterfall.

It is said that on a clear day, two rainbows can be seen at this waterfall.

This waterfall was 60 metres in height.

I headed along the Route 1 highway following the coastline until I came across the Eyjafjallajökull volcano which is pronounced er… um… err-jaff-go-skull volcano. Something like that!

This volcano erupted in 2010 causing massive ash clouds all over Europe thus disrupting air travel to and from Europe. I almost had to cancel my 2010 Mount Everest trip because of this eruption as I was flying to Nepal via Bangkok from London . But as you all know, I made it to Nepal and set the record to become the first cuddly toy to conquer Mount Everest. Read about it here: https://britisharmysgtmonkey.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/my-trip-to-mount-everest-nepal-in-2010-part-1/

A photo of Eyjafjallajökull volcano taken from Route 1 highway.

After seeing the volcano that is now silent, I went to see another 60 metre high waterfall.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a nice one to visit as it is possible to walk behind it.

It is possible to walk behind this waterfall.

I headed back to Reykjavík to warm up my wet damp cotton fur and a hot tub sauna with naked Icelandic chicks was going to warm me up quickly.

To be continued….

For more information about Iceland please visit:

www.visiticeland.com