Tag Archives: Bangkok

How much luxury do you want?

17 Feb

Annora Bali - Flower petals on arrival

I had the pleasure to travel with a good friend of mine, who for one reason or another finds his way to luxury… I just follow. But during this (and previous) trips I had the chance to stay in some quite special places – unaffordable in Belgium, but quite accessible here (even for a self-employed copywriter who just finished his last contract) – Pics below. Continue reading

Tuptim Fertility Temple

8 Feb
Have your pick, or is it d...

Have your pick, or is it d...

Another one on the list of surreal temples – one dedicated to Fertility: the Mae TupTim shrine. And fertility for the Thais seems to be a quite ‘male affair’ as you will see on the pictures… The shrine is well hidden behind the parking lot of the Nai Lert Park hotel, a 15 minute walk from the nearest Skytrain station, but quite interesting. Well, let’s say, it depends on your ‘interests’ – hehe.

If you are interested in more ‘funny’ temples: have a look at the ‘Million Bottle Temple‘, the disputed Preah Vihaer temple or the forgotten jungle temple – and more temples.

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Bangkok as usual…

6 Feb
Sunset at the pool on the 10th floor

Sunset at the pool on the 10th floor

Oh my Buddha – all this travelling has quite some effect on me – when Bangkok starts becoming ‘usual’ or even a ‘homey feeling’. I speak the basic tourist survival Thai – know the best dishes to comfort my palate – have found the corners of the concrete jungle that are soothing – able to use the public transport eyes closed – no more need to visit the tourist traps, because been there, done that – a few good places to stay, from nice to luxury – and most of all: indulge in shopping: Thai and cheap. (pics below)

So our regular routine goes as follows: Continue reading

Bye bye Bangkok

12 May

My kingdom for a pink BKK taxi

The end: a last torture massage, stuffing myself with Thai favourites, a last dip in the pool (35°), a last walk through the Red Shirt war zone, a few more kg of cheap clothes before jumping in a violently pink taxi to the airport – sniff sniff.
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Funny Thailand Impressions

1 May

The real Thailand tourist

Thailand is a country too crazy for words – that’s why I’ll just post some pictures of my trip here, to share some funny impressions with you ;-)

For example:

  • The Red Shirt protests in Bangkok – going for a drink in the war zone (more here)
  • Thousands of temples – templed out again (like the churches in Europe/Phils)
  • Soooooo yummy food – help – I’m gaining weight… ;-(
  • Pictures of the king everywhere – do not dare to make fun of him!
  • Colours and glitters everywhere – pink taxis, shiney temples, crazy clothes,…
  • Dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of smiles and beautiful people…
  • Hot, hot, hot, hot,… (40°, red shirts, Silom, etc)
  • Also have a look at the Charming Chiang Mai picture post or the post about Thai English (hehe)

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Hi from the Bangkok Barricades

25 Apr

The red shirt camp seen from the overpass

You might have heard, or you might not have, the city of Bangkok was under siege of the Red-Shirts. The fashionistas dressed in red were protesting to get the former corrupt (!) prime minister back in power – or rather – to oust the new PM. They took over the commercial centre of Bangkok – including the gay Silom area.

So, what to do? Despite the closed metro & sky-train, we still managed to cross the barricades and barbed wire. Here’s a look from the Red Shirt camp on our way to a drink in the gay bar. Pics below.

  • Civil war seems to be a relative concept after all.

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A very merry crazy christmas

25 Dec

Bangkok's impression of Rudolf the Reindeer

Christmas in Bangkok is not quite the same as a Belgian one. No white xmas with the 32° here, but I got my teeth whitened instead. I treated myself to lots of presents, by going on a ‘shop-till-u-drop’ excursion in the wholesale mall. I dropped (my baht) big time! (I left with one bag, but will return with 3 suitcases…)

  • Luckily I bumped into some ‘family’ (well, some guys part of the family, as they say) to welcome baby jesus in a very happy & merry mood.

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A little bit of Bangkok luxury

18 Dec

Bathroom with a view - develish design

On my way out from the Philippines I stayed one night in Manila: impossible traffic & pollution, malls & chains of shops everywhere, continuous nagging by touts & salespersons. So it was like arriving in heaven when I checked into a 4-star airport hotel near Bangkok airport… (even though i once said I’d never go to 4 star hotels again…)

And when I hopped into town (before my flight to Phnom Penh the next day) to bring my computer to hospital the service was unequalled by anything I’d experienced before.

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Third world Belgium

1 Oct
You thought Belgium was in Europe?

You thought Belgium was in Europe?

Big sigh,… I have my moments of fighting the system… Sometimes Belgium just looks as if it were a ‘third world’ (developing) country. When travelling through Asia, I saw many things more developed than in Brussels…

Some examples:
Continue reading

Following my own traces

20 May
Fancy room in Bangkok

Fancy room in Bangkok

I am living a big deja vue at the moment, going back the places in Thailand where I was recently (or a few years ago), doing the same things… Some of the things being just as nice as I remembered them, some startlingly different, some nicer and some a nightmare. Memory plays tricks with people.

At the iResidence in BKK I went swimming again in the rooftop swimming pool, despite the rain, mmm, so nice. But then they close the pool for maintenance exactly the days we are there. We had a complimentary minibar when I was there last, but ‘sorry sir, we have changed our policy’ – so why am I paying even more than last time for even less service? ‘But we give you 2 complimentary bottles of water, sir…’ Continue reading

Protected: My first training course in Asia

18 May

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Bangkok Interchange Station

17 May
Bye bye Malaysia - Hello Thailand

Bye bye Malaysia - Hello Thailand

Bangkok seems to be a central point in South East Asia and in my trip around the region: cheap flights, good connections, lovely shopping, exciting nightlife, efficient infrastructure, great people,… It’s like an interchange station between different parts of my trip, between nature and back to civilization, between luxury and back to basics, between shopping mall’s food courts and street food.

This time round, I tried something different and traveled overland, by train, and almost lost my luggage in the process. I took the night train to Bangkok from Butterworth (North Malaysia, in front of Penang island), which set me back 105 Ringit but saved me a night in a hotel. It was also 22 hours of rambling route and forced relaxation, finally having some time to read the brick of a book that I am carrying with me already for a month or two.
Continue reading

Happy Wesak 2052 – Buddha’s birth

9 May
Burning my little lotus candle for Buddha

Burning my little lotus candle for Buddha

Yep – Happy New Year again! (for the 4th time this year, I know) This time the New Year took my by surprise. I was walking around town and on the spur of the moment, I thought to do something cultural, instead of only lying at the beach, reading, blogging and gazing at the beautiful sunset every night.

So I went to visit the lying Buddha in the Thai temple, and the Burmese Buddhist temple (in the same street). There were many many people around, and I only realized what was going on when I saw a little paper on the wall explaining that today is Wesak – Buddhist religious new year 2052. It was 2052 years ago that Buddha was born. So I decided to join in and get my blessing from the monks and light a flower candle for Buddha. Continue reading

Protected: Happy holidays with-out internet?

7 May

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Songkran: getting wet in 3 cities

15 Apr

Even the streets could not handle the tons of water

Even the streets could not handle the tons of water

Happy New Year – (many pics below) the Thai just arrived in 2052 (according to the Buddhist calendar). And they do celebrate this by splashing out – literally. The tradition wants that the houses are cleaned for the new year, the Buddha statues are washed in the temple, and people throw water at each other. This wet affair last for 3 days, except this year, the government decided to extend it for 2 more days because of the unrests that troubled the first 2 days of Songkran.

We had the wet pleasure to experience this Songkran water festival in 3 different cities: we were in Pattaya for the first day. The next day we moved to Bangkok to take the night train to Chiang Mai – but with an hallucinating stop in Silom road – getting more wet than wet. And in Chiang Mai, the streets had turned into rivers because of all the water throwing. Amazing.

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Happy New Year again

13 Apr
Happy Wet New Year

Happy Wet New Year

I know, I sent you New Year greetings from Phnom Penh (the Western New Year), I sent you good luck wishes again for the Vietnamese New Year (end January) and once more it is time to wish you a superb New Year – the Thai New Year this time (and Khmer and Lao new year).

And of course New Year calls for celebration! The Thai start the new year ceremonially washing their buddha statues (from their home shrines) in the home temple. But at the same time, tradition wants that that the people also ‘wash’ each other Continue reading

Protected: Exploring the Bangkok (k)Nights

11 Apr

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I have teeth again!

11 Apr
Proudly presenting my new teeth - the white front molars

Proudly presenting my new teeth - the white front molars

Finally in Bangkok I could go to the dentist – after having lived with half teeth, temporary fillings and toothpicks (to get all the food rests out) for over 3 months.

40000 Baht (1000€) later, 2 appointments and 3 hours with my mouth wide open later – I now have 2 perfect new smooth and slick teeth – and a big hole with stitches where once a wisdom tooth used to be.

Medical tourism is a new concept for me. I had bumped into the occasional guy that had his teeth done in Hungary in the olden days, but it never crossed my mind to leave the comfortable Belgian nest for health care. Continue reading

Been in Bangkok too long

9 Apr
Ever dated a Diva?

Ever dated a Diva?

You know you have been in Bangkok (or Asia) too long, if …

  • If you go to the disco and actually know more than 5 people there…

Maybe the gay world is (too) small (and promiscuous?)… I went out to THE gay place to dance in Bangkok: DJ Station – and bumped into more people than I wanted to… Continue reading

Thailand Indulgence

8 Apr

Thank Buddha for company ;-)

Thank Buddha for company ;-)

Thank Buddha! – I am not alone anymore. My best friend from Brussels came to visit me – Huray – I’ve got myself a partner in crime… (not gonna tell you what kind of crimes – hehe). But our tastes and style of holidays is not quite the same. I would be looking for adventure and experience, he would be looking for a treat and living the good life. I would be moving down the beaten track, he just loves upping the number of stars of the accommodation. I tend to try out the local street food, he gets instant diarrhea just watching the street stalls selling local goodies. I had been roughing it enough for the last few months (e.g. Laos), so I didn’t mind to indulge in a bit of luxury.

Forget about the public bus to the airport – taxi it would be. Anyway, Continue reading

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