Audrey, at the airport in Nirita Japan (just outside of Tokyo). We are on our way to Bangkok. We spent the night here and had a wonderful dinner in town. Audrey flies here all the time and knew where to go.
Lots of food in Japan
More food displays
It is a very modern airport in Nirita
Our hotel room window in Bangkok
Now you can see it better
Temple touring in Bangkok. This is part of Wat Chana (Wat means Temple)
Beautiful gardens everywhere
Very intricate details on these temples
We had excellent weather - very warm, sunny skies on this day. There would be periods of thunderstorms in the afternoons. But, they would pass by quickly and drop lots of water.
Interesting artwork in the restaurants and souvenier shops
A lot of taxi boats along the many waterways in Bangkok
Bangkok's newest bridge, a suspension bridge. Bangkok is much more Westernized than we had expected.
More people going places by the water taxis.
And, the FOOD! Unbelievable. The street vendors had the best, and very inexpensive, dishes. They would make your meal from scratch and you would sit on the curb and enjoy the atmosphere while having lunch, etc.
Look at the food here! Everything was very clean.
We also moved around by Tuk-tuk's
Can you read this?
Buddhas everywhere you turned. This photo was taken at one of the two Buddhist Universities in Bangkok, founded in the 1700's
More of the same Buddhist University
There were many signs that showed you the way to various temples
I think this is a government building in Bangkok.
We stayed at the Buddy Hotel on Pub Street. A very famous area of Bangkok.
The bar at the Buddy...
The Buddy lobby
Lots of street vendors. You would not believe how good everything smelled as you walked around. These are some night shots during our stay there.
Chicken and Pork
Can you smell that?
Look at those noodles! They made the best Pad Thai I have EVER eaten in my life.
Look at all the neon signs!
This one was our favorite for Pad Thai!
Select your noodle and tell her you want shrimp in there - cost was slightly over a $1
Sit on the curb and have at it... large portions too!
Everyone does this!
A Thai license plate
A wider shot of our favorite street vendor
Audrey opened her own shop there
Want something to drink? Also located on the street. The sign said "The Best Cocktails (Very Strong)"
Do you have any idea what these girls are waiting for?
People just hanging out
Even MORE food!!
We are on a side trip to Ayuthaya, these are images of Wat Phra Si Sanphet (Remember, Wat means Temple). The buildings in this area were all constructed in the 14th Century.
We travled up there in a van and came back by boat
These types of spires are of the Cambodia style.
This was a fantastic place.
Everywhere you go you will see Buddhas
Very interesting buildings everywhere you go
More Buddhas, dressed up
One would have to take their shoes off here. Also, any time you enter a Wat (Temple) you must remove your shoes
Nice horse cart
This is a reclining Buddha
Elephants are all over Thailand. They were originally used to move construction supplies around
Elephants like girls
Look at those tusks
These roots have taken over, but the Buddha is not having a problem with it.
Still in Ayuthaya on this great day tour. Ayuthaya was the former Royal Capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767
Still in Ayuthaya, this area is called Thatsana. The Royal Residence "Heaveanly Light" is within this compound.
This is the "Inner Palace"
More of the elegant grounds there
Lots of colorful flowers all around you
This is the "Divine Seat of Personal Freedom"
Built in 1876
See Audrey up there? This tower was built by King Chulalongkorn in 1881 and was used to view the surroundings
Assembly Hall for Royal Relatives 1879.
Look at the carved plants by the water, made to look like rabbits.
This is the bridge leading to the Royal Residence, Heavenly Light 1889. This is where our President would stay in Thailand
Absolutely Stunning! We peaked through the windows. Very nice stuff in there.
Proof that we were there!
Our voyage back to Bangkok. We had lunch on an air conditioned boat. It is hot here.
Views along the way back to Bangkok
A very nice residence
Sitting on the front of the boat, enjoying the scenery
More homes along the waterway
Colorful Tug Boat
They move lots of cargo along the waterways. Here are some large logs being transported.
More images from walking around Bangkok
All of these colorful ribbons are wrapped around an old tree in respect of former kings
Even the trees are shaped like spires.
At some Wats, you not only have to take your shoes off, but you cannot show your knees or shoulders. Audrey and I had to rent these coverups before we could enter
Just look at all the intricate work
Look at these bad boys
Lots of gold on these buildings
All of these spikes mean something, but I can't remember what it is
There are more than one of these little guys appearing to be holding this up
Audrey, don't get too close. You may hurt yourself.
They had these guys going all the way around this thing.
This building houses the Emerald Budda. You are not allowed to take photos of this, but I got one through the door from the outside. That's him up there glowing!
I like this image.
Spire number 1,217 - hahaha
Taking shoes off, covering knees up, going into another Wat.
Back on the street. Time for Lunch.
Fruit anyone? Water?
More noodles! I think by this time we were ready for a BURGER!
You will not starve here! And, everything is very inexpensive.
This is the largest reclining Buddha in the world.
Look how long he is. See his feet down there?
This is something special, but I can't read Thai.
Reclining Buddha from the other end.
Something else special. What? All I know is that this is made from abalone shells.
A tiny Buddha
Back outside again.
Man, they like their spires...
Imagine this being your front door?
These water taxis are called "long tails". These motors are from cars and they have long shafts with the prop at the end to navagate shallow waterways.
Some of Bangkok from the water way.
Some of the houses are not very nice.
Still looking for lunch! Restaurants everywhere.
This is a nice restaurant
Yes, we are in Thailand!
This is "Mr. Thailand"
This is famous beer in Thailand, prounced Sing-HA!
Time to check our e-mails.
You can't go wrong here. The food was great.
Walking around during the day!
Lots of places to eat outside. They close these streets off from traffic at night, and people fill it all in, totally.
More Tuk-tuk's waiting to take you somewhere. They will hawk at you to please let them take you somewhere, anywhere.
I see a Burger King sign in there! A burger is calling...
Another famous road to walk around, Khaosan Road, two blocks from our hotel.
Yep, Ronald MacDonald in Thailand. This is a typical formal way to greet someone in Thailand. Pressing your hands together and slightly bowing.
Audrey is leading the way to more food!
Sausage on a stick!
Sushi, ready to go! Each one is individually wrapped.
Are you hungry yet? Smell that?
This is a view of the Bang Pa-In Palace from our water taxi. And, there is a 'long tail' taxi passing by.
Still in Bangkok, this is Wat Arun, taken from our water taxi.
Day tour to visit Bangkok's 'Floating Market'. This is a bamboo ladder used to pick coconuts.
Our tour guide explains the process of boiling down coconut milk to a sugar. They handed out samples and I must admit it was very good.
And, here it is. In a big wok type cooker, they are making sugar from coconut milk. Check out the fire pit made from a clay flower pot!
They had lots of beautiful orchids all around here.
Look at those colors
And HUGE tall palm trees...
And, now we are actually walking around the floating market.
Please buy something from us...
More stuff for sale from small boats
We spent hours here. It was fantastic.
You can find whatever you want. Many of them were cooking right on their little boat - propane tanks an all. Again, no rules!
Very colorful setup here
You could rent a taxi-boat, but you can see everything by just walking around and not get caught in a boat-jam.
Look at this... unreal. Another 'boat-jam'
Beautiful palm trees line the river. They are HUGE. And, the coconuts are bigger than your head!
We stopped at another market on the way back. Audrey poses on this rustic bridge.
There were also rooms you could rent there.
Fruit stands are found everywhere.
Back in Bangkok - getting ready for the evening crowds.
Now, we are at the airport waiting for our flight to Phuket (Poo-KETT), heading South of Bangkok. They have a wonderful waiting area for Bangkok Airways passengers. With internet access...
Snacks and drinks...
You must show your ticket/boarding pass to enter this area
And, private lounge area.
We stepped up to the plate and stayed for three nights at a five-star hotel in Phuket. This is the living room and bar area. This is the Andaman Seaview Hotel!
Our dining table in the background
Dining area, with marble tabletop and fresh fruit bowl...
Bath room... Wow!
King size bed... overlooking the pool from outside patio...
Outside patio area
View of the pool area from the patio... You can also see the hotel restaruant with tables along the pool at the top of this image.
Look at this place... fountain flowing was humming... very nice.
Back at the room... absolutely LOVED this place.
A little writing table and closet
A nice welcome note with plumeria flower.
Welcome fruit snack
They don't hold anything back!
Ice cubes... a rareity over there.
The pool area at night. You can see the restaurant lit up.
Next day... Time for breakfast by the pool. We are in paradise!
Our view from the breakfast table...
Now we are strolling the beach in Phuket.
A very nice day, indeed
This day was a day to slow down and relax!
The sound of that water lapping the shoreline was soothing
Where do you want to sit?
We rented a car in Phuket, which we will have for 12 days. We will drive from Phuket to Koh Samui (via ferry) before we fly back to Bangkok for out flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Note: Steering wheel is on the right and you drive on the other side of the road! Testing my nerves!!!
See... backasswards... huh?
We are driving to a waterfall area, just outside of Phuket. We got lost, but everyone was eager to help us along the way.
It's very thick in there. Lots of climbing. Hot and sweaty!
Long-tail boats along the beach will take you anywhere...
Here's one in action
He's turning it around
Back at our hotel... now they have the bubble jets on!
Seating around the pool area. Look at the size of the Plumaria trees!
Pool lounges with water-jets!
All of the jets come on in the afternoon! This is the bridge we would walk over to get back to our room.
More water-jets in action! The sound of this was just fantastic and soothing.
The water fountain in action!
Looking down from our room patio...
Ofcourse, they just had to have a Buddha near the entrance to the hotel.
A very nice place to stay!
The beach in Phuket
Look at this pool bar! See the seats in the water? Incredible.
We just stopped in here to look around. Wonderful place.
Closeup of the pool bar
Falling water into the pool there....
We were hot and sweaty. Time for a break at the Corner Bar - somewhere in Phuket.
They brought us an ICE COLD pineapple - no charge!
Here's a delivery guy for the Corner Bar.
Transportation... step aboard!
Enjoying our pineapple! And, the fan!!!
They took very good care of us here.
More of the Corner Bar. I think they were hoping we would lure the customers in as we were sitting right along the sidewalk.
A really cute place.
These are home made brooms. You will see these everywhere.
Audrey is having dinner. Some type of chicken meal. All around the main course is mashed potatos, arranged in a very special way all around it.
I am having pork ribs! Look at the size of this slab. I could not finish this...
Another elephant - hawking people in to this bar across the street from where we were eating.
This is Karon Beach in Phuket.
A very nice beach
Cooling down on Karon Beach.
Taking a road trip - this is Small View Point Restaurant, just outside of Phuket.
The view, high above the shores, was fantastic. We watched a thunder storm roll in. It rained hard for a bit and then passed on.
A little sitting area just outside the overhang
Waiting for the storm, we ordered lunch.
I had a visitor!
Kicking back is just great, huh?
Some of the decor...
Majestic view of the beaches below
Orchids planted in coconut shells and husks! Great idea.
Another license plate image. Wanted to steal one for our collection, but we didn't. This was on our rental car.
More of Karon Beach.
We are now stopping to see "The big Buddha of Phuket" located high on a hill.
This Buddha has been under construction for years. He is now collecting donations for his eyes. We hope to return to see the finished Buddha.
The view from big buddha site
This gives you an idea how big he is! See Audrey?
Big Buddha is covered with 135 tons of Burmese white marble!
The big buddha will take place of this one. This buddha is covered with 22 tons of brass!
Here is one of Big Buddha's 'eyes' on display. Look how ornate it is. I donated some money for the left eye! You could actually choose what part of this Buddha to donate your money for this project.
Driving to some place, don't know where. Audrey took this shot from the passenger seat on the left side. See how the traffic flows?
Here I am consentrating on driving on the other side of the road. What an experience! It was fantastic.
We left Phuket and headed to Khao Sok National Park. It is located in a rain forest! We stayed in a very nice hut there for two nights. ($27/night)
Our front porch! Nice.
Our bedroom. Didn't need the mosquito cloth - there were no bugs around.
Bathroom - shower area
Facing the river!
Pathways all around
Lots of plants all around
Looking toward the front porch from the bedroom.
Looking from the front porch into the bedroom area.
Kicking back on the porch. Oh, this place is called "Art's Riverview Lodge"
Looking across the river
Since there were not any bugs, we opened it all up! No one was upstairs.
This is across the river. Later, we would see monkeys crawling all over this area.
Can you say "Audrey is happy"?
People would flow down the river on tubes...
These lights would illuminate the pathways at night.
Mountains in the background
We found a path to this place on the other side of the river and we spent some time there, relaxing. Freedom Camp.
More views of the area
Our rental car in front of the registration place.
We found a great place to have lunch! Thaiherb.
Lots of tropical plants.
Audrey is really happy. Me too!
Cute place in the middle of nowhere
Our table is the one at the top
Curling vine wood all around the place
Getting ready for lunch. We were told that we had to try the Thai Whiskey with Soda. They serve it in an entire bottle and a bucket of ice. About $6
This place was very relaxing. We spent a couple of hours here.
Our cook in the kitchen!
Can you tell how good this is?
This is the place we found on the other side of the river. "Freedom Camp" This place is elevated and you sit on the floor.
Very comfortable and rustic!
Limited drink selection...
You had to climb up these steps and take your shoes off
There were images of Bob Marley all over this place.
I guess he was born in 1945
We continue to relax here in the rain forest.
In the early morning hours, the monkeys walk around across the river under a cave. Look closely.
Morning tea that the Freedom Camp place across the river.
You had to cross this hanging bridge to get to the Freedom Camp
Here is a good shot of the elevated Freedom Camp. You can see the owner underneath.
This is the sign of where we stayed in the rain forest.
We road trip to visit Khao Sok National Park.
After walking through the jungle, Audrey is attacked by a leach. Lots of blood found in her shoe. We just wash it off and rest a while.
Having lunch and this cat was hungry!
Just outside of freedom camp.
Along the river...
This guy came to visit us on our front porch. He wanted a handout. I had to swat him away with a towel.
We find Italian food!
This spagetti was very good!
Now we have checked in to our hotel in Krabi. The Somkiet Buri Resort and Spa. Very nice.
This is the pool area there.
View from a restaurant along Krabi's Ao Nang Beach.
Ao Nang Breach, in Krabi. We will be here four days.
This row of bars, along Ao Nang Beach, has bar girls that can be hired for whatever...
The terrazo floors in our room were very ornate!
The boat on the right with three outboard motors took us to Phi Phi Island. The most beautiful island that we have ever seen.
Getting ready to board the Beluga boat to Phi Phi Island. We would also visit other islands on this day long tour. Needless to say, this boat was FAST!
Views along the way.
We stopped for a dip and snorkleing in the warm waters. Very CLEAR water! Lots of fish and coral rocks!!
Look at the color of the water in Maya Bay!
This is the lagoon of Maya Bay!
The entrance to Maya Bay. This place is where the movie "The Beach" was filmed.
I think Audrey had to pee...
National Park in Maya Bay
There are smaller longtail boats to take you there, but it wastes too much time. Cool boats though...
Yes, this is exactly what it looks like - can you say BLUE?
Moving on... we pass by cave dwellers... there are bats in there. This is known as Viking Cave.
We came up close to the Viking Cave and the monkeys jumped on the boat to fetch bannanas! This is Audrey feeding one of them. Then, as we pulled away, they would jump in the water and swim back to shore. I have never seen a monkey swim before.
Walking around Phi Phi Island - more very white sand!
People relaxing at Phi Phi Island
The lagoon on the North side of Phi Phi Island. It was hot, see me sweat!
A beautiful, relaxing scene at Phi Phi Island. This is paradise! If we would have known, we would have liked to stay here for a few days. Lots of little shops and restaurants all around this little island. We will be back!
Places to relax on the beach here - just pick your spot
Very clear water, huh? You can see some of the little fish here.
We stop at yet another beautiful beach island
We stop to visit Koh Mai Pai National Park on this almost unpopulated island
I thought I'd include a blurry image here.
A new day... This is on a road trip to visit the Crystal Lagoon, near Krabi. After we parked the car we had to walk about 1000 meters to get there. Not too bad.
The water was crystal clear, no?
Very nice area
After Crystal Lagoon, you walk along a boardwalk on stilts all through the jungle.
Walking through some hot springs on another stop
Audrey is testing the naturally hot water...
Back to our room to rest up... still in Krabi
OK, more BBQ chicken and pork going on
Mango sticky rice
This Boat Noodle place was outstanding, and very inexpensive
Here is the seating at Boat Noodle. Dinners ran about $3 each
There's meatballs in this one... mine!
Audrey had some fried chicken
I couldn't identify the parts, but it was tasty! Audrey shared.
A sidewalk bar in Krabi. The vendor parked his truck a little away from the curb to make room for the little plastic stools. Your seatback was the side of his truck! The guy next to Audrey was from Germany. These large beers were only 75-cents each.
Here's the vendor and his setup on the sidewalk. We called this place "The Gutter Bar"
A closer look of the Gutter Bar
Walking along the pathway back to our hotel.
Audrey goes on a kayak tour among the mangroves and cliffs - Krabi and Ao Nang beach. I didn't want to go, as I have seen mangroves growing up in S. Florida.
But, after seeing her photos, I wish I would have gone with her.
This is NOT Florida!
I've never seen mangroves with stems this long, reaching for the water.
Stop for a rest
Back on the water - looking for monkeys
Where are the monkeys?
More views of the mangroves - looks like Southern Florida, here huh?
And, caves! Not, Florida.
In Florida again... hahahha
Ah, there's a monkey - NOT Florida
They come on the kayaks for some handouts
Waiting for handouts - see the baby monkey?
And, they get bannanas
They want MORE...
Another day... Now we are on a ferry boat, taking the rental car, headed to Koh Samui for three nights
On the ferry to Koh Samui we saw these pigs being transported there. Yes, they are still alive!
Our waterfront room in Koh Samui. We are only a few feet from the shoreline from the tip of our bed! This place is called Maenamburi Resort and Restaurant located on Mae Nam Beach.
This is view when we wake up...
Walking along Mae Nam beach in Koh Samui
We stop for lunch and watch a storm brewing.
We see a bull being walked along the beach from our front porch.
Just relaxing! This is fantastic...
We went for a drive around Koh Samui and stopped at Plai Laem Temple
More of the temple grounds.
Plai Laem Temple
Audrey, taking a dip in the water in front of our room in Koh Samui!
She is really enjoying this place. Me too! See her head floating out there?
On another boat tour around 42 small islands that surround Koh Samui
This young Thai girl took over the wheel for a few minutes. She was so excited to get the chance to steer the boat. I guess there are no rules here....
Enjoying the breeze as the boat moves among the many islands there
One of our island stops along the way, Mae Koh Island. A most breathtaking beach lies ahead.
This sand is sooo white, it disappears in the photo.
Lots of huge beautiful coconut trees all around.
Audrey is enjoying these shells
It was just so relaxing to stroll around this beach.
We hiked over this ridge to see a small lagoon. It was very steep and I was sweating again!
It was tight in some areas
Here's the lagoon inside this island.
I stopped here while Audrey went the rest of the way down to the lagoon. I enjoyed this resting spot.
Oh yes, it's called "Talay Nai" (Lagoon Inside the Mountain)
The steps at the beginning of this trek
Time for a snack!
Cute little airport in Koh Samui. We dropped off the rental car and we are flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia for a final week over here
More of this open air - Airport
This small airport was very tropical. Very friendly ticket agents! See photo album "Cambodia 2008" for the remainder of the photos. Happy Happy Happy!