Tag Archives: bike

Charming Chiang Mai Pics

1 May

Massage literally on every corner of the street...

Not sure how to summarise Chiang Mai, the charming relaxed city of the North of Thailand: full of temples, nice hotels, yummy food, biking around town, smiley people, superb China town and night market, massage on every street corner (literally sometimes), street food a go-go, quaint old town, enjoying yourself for no money, just a night train away from Bangkok!

  • All of this and much more in 101 pictures (well, a few less…).
  • Also have a look at the Funny Thailand pics

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Making my Home at Home

23 Jul
It's in the little things you notice that someone else is living in your appartment

It's in the little things you notice that someone else is living in your appartment (indeed, the pink shoes are NOT mine ;-)

When I arrived back to Brussels after a month in laid-back Portugal, I got a city-shock. I had forgotten there were so many people, traffic, pollution, noise, etc. I think I’m ready to move out of the city – but where to? As a test I’m setting up camp at my mum’s place in the countryside, because I rented out my apartment in Brussels for the duration of my sabbatical year. And then we’ll have a look in which quaint village there’ houses for sale.

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Venturing out into Bali Countryside

21 Apr
Typical Ubud street - with those Balinese sticks everywhere

Typical Ubud street - with those Balinese sticks everywhere

Even though our Villa was very comfortable, and we even found the beach once we figured out that it is actually a garden next to the beach, we did go and explore the countryside of Bali. We rented a motorbike (with all its complications – and being stopped by the police), and set off on our explorations.

The inner island is if possible even more quaint and beautiful than the areas along the beaches, where we were staying. We visited Ubud, which has probably just as many tourists as the sea-side but it was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of the busy beach roads.

  • The best way to share with you the look and feel of Balinese countryside culture, is to upload the pictures – many below.

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Busted by the police in Ubud

21 Apr
Bali MotoBike Blues

Bali MotoBike Blues

Bali is a beautiful island . We could tell from only roaming around in the area that we were living. The streets are donned with hanging bamboo lanterns, there’s traditional houses, temples and gates everywhere. So we decided to go and explore the island, going to the insides of Balinese culture, visiting the heartland.

Easier said than done. How do you get there? We were too proud to go on a mass-tourist tour, so we rented a motorbike instead, not without complications. But we saw some of the countryside, and had some dealings with the police – enjoying the wonders of corruption and negotiation. 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

Crashing a motorbike in Kampot

5 Apr
Me and my motorbike crash...

Me and my motorbike crash...

As I grew to know the ‘Kep Ville’, I set out to explore a bit the wider surroundings and rented a motorbike (for a futile 6$) to roam around the national park and to visit Kampot – the city nearby. I had to dodge a rain storm and seek refuge in the shack road-side restaurant of an old lady, but water doesn’t do much damage. It was later when I was in a picture mood, that I turned around the motorbike a bit too sharply to take the perfect picture, that the damage happened. The road was slippery, the bike turned in a wider circle than I thought, and of course there was a concrete pole just there to mark the road side. My front mud guard banged onto the pole and burst into pieces… Shiiiiit.

  • Some pics below…

I heard of all the horror stories Continue reading

A day or a year in Kep

1 Apr

Beautiful French villas - in ruins

Beautiful French villas - in ruins

Kep is the place where everybody would want to extend his stay to a year. It must be a mix of laid-back-ness, the history that breathes through the ruins of former French colonial villas and the up-and-coming tourism revival. I was here before, and just had to come back to enjoy it to the full – with some surprises thrown in for the same price.

Life is too short to be floating around haphazardly: if you know some places (or people) that are nice, the only clever thing to do is to enjoy them. I adored Kep (South Cambodia), with its lovely sunsets, the relaxed atmosphere and the historic ruins of houses.

Moreover I had found last time a couple of good places to eat, sleep and swim, so I decided to go to the places that I actually liked, rather than adding more and more to the cultural geographical confusion in my head. There’s only so many new places, languages, people and impressions that fit in one’s mind, so I guess I wanted to protect me from overkill. But still I bumped into some lovely new people, drove around the area and crashed a motorbike inthe process… Continue reading

Pailin Picture Post

20 Mar
Cooking for my 'temporary husband'

Cooking for my 'temporary husband'

Pictures tell more than a thousand words – so have a look at the visual impression of the week away from it all in the Pailin countryside – north-west Cambodia, sharing house with a good friend. And some pit-stop in Battambang on the long way there and back…

And what does one do in the countryside? Simple:

  • read my books – and finally finishing one
  • cook, wash, clean, arrange the house (being housewife)
  • go food shopping at the market (the only place to get food)
  • smile to the neighbours (no english)
  • drive around with my friend’s scooter (nothing to see)
  • visit the local temple, bar/restaurant,…
  • get a haircut (wanted to get a pedicure, but ‘no have’)
  • Pictures below 

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Hijacked in Vientiane & Blessed by the Monks

7 Mar
Monsters and Monks in Vientiane

Monsters and Monks in Vientiane

This title already indicates contrast – just as Vientiane was for me. On the one hand the gay life went a bit wrong – and on the other side I got a religious overdose. I indulged in lovely luxury and western food – in a lovely laid back Loas setting.

Dates via the internet don’t always go as expected and can lead to tricky situations, nearly getting abducted. But to make up for all my sins I visited about a dozen temples, a magnificent mix between Disneyland and temple at the Buddha Park – and I even got the monks blessing (and a wet head because of the blessing water…) Continue reading

Ha Noi hustle and bustle

11 Feb
Ha Noi old town

Ha Noi old town

(more pics later) Even though Ha Noi is the capital of Viet Nam, it is and feels smaller than Sai Gon. It was clear from talking to some people that the two cities (as well as the North and South of the country) compete with each other: which is the biggest, who has the best food, etc. The north has pink cherry blossoms for the Vietnamese New Year, the south swears by yellow peach blossoms.

We were lodging in a nice hotel in the Old town, with small winding streets and alley ways and thousands of shops and restaurants spilling out on the side-walks (see pictures below). This means that the motorbikes are half parked on the street, so the pedestrians walk on the street, together with lots of cyclos (taxi bikes) hunting down tourists. This then doesn’t leave lots of space for the zillions of motorbikes and the cars moving around. Having said this, Continue reading

Imperial Impressions of Hue

9 Feb
hue-113

The imperial tombs of Tu Duc

Not sure if I was convinced I should visit Hue on my trip, but it was a stop on the ‘Open Tour’ ticket, and it was the old imperial town and intellectual capital of Vietnam. So why not – for a night on my way to Ha Noi. (Lots of pictures below)

There were a few interesting sites dotted around the city, and as I was not really into walking too much or haggling for a motorbike every time, I decided to rent a bike for the 1,5 day I was there. And this allowed me to go at my own pace and visit whatever I wanted (see pictures) and move on whenever I felt like it. So far biking has been my favourite way of locomotion.

On the other river bank of the Perfume River, there was the Citadel: an enormous park with the ‘purple city’ inside – the Vietnamese version of the Beijing ‘Forbidden City’. Continue reading

Chilling in Hoi An

5 Feb

A typical Hoi An street

A typical Hoi An street

Hoi An is a quaint little village in the centre of Viet Nam. It has a gorgeous old town centre – part of the Unesco World Heritage (see pictures below). Besides that and the sea a few miles down the raod, there is not much to see or do. And that’s exactly what I did there: nothing much – just lingering around in town and chilling at the pool of my hotel.

The fabulous sleeper buses... Good night...

The fabulous sleeper buses... Good night...

I arrived there with one of the wonders of tourism – the sleeper bus. Since distances are relatively big (Vietnam stretches over 1700 km from North to South), and the trains are relatively slow (they go on averate 45km/hour, whihch would make the trip from Saigon to Hanoi a painstaking 36hour journey…), and the plane is relatively expensive (although for 100 USD you have a return ticket between Hanoi and Saigon) and you can’t get off where you want –  so they invented the overnight Open Tour in sleeper buses. Continue reading

Angor What? Temples a go-go

8 Jan
Welcome to the Ancient Kingdom of Angkor

Welcome to the Ancient Kingdom of Angkor

So after almost 3 days of relaxing at the pool, I thought it would be time for doing the deed – seeing what one should see: the world famous temples of Angkor Wat. (actually Angkor Wat is only one of the many Angkor temples around that area). I didn’t really feel like it, but missing this part of world heritage would be unforgivable. But instead of doing what thousands others do (getting a tuk-tuk driver for the day to buzz you around the place, and pay far too much for it = 15 US$ – too much in Cambodia is pretty relative, probably a bargain for us wild westerners),

I did it in an alternative way and rented a bike to go around the place. It did not only allow me to go around the sites at my own pace, but it was good exercise at the same time – after one and a half weeks without sports (I start missing it-so I went jogging around Siem Reap one of the mornings – but jogging at 35° and sun, that was not such a clever idea – and getting up at 6am is not yet part of my repertoire). And only 1,5 US$ – a bargain. It was such a feeling of freedom to be able to go where and when you want… without being confined to tuk-tuks or moto-dubs – and actually knowing where you want to go…

Riding my bike around history...

Riding my bike around history...

Just the same as jogging, it would probably not be a clever idea to be cycling in the heat of the day, so doing the Angkor temples did involve (unfortunately) at the crack of dawn = 5 am, having breakfast at 6am and I was on the road by 6h30 and arrived at my first temple in the sun rise at 7am (how’s that for holidays!). Continue reading

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