Google Translate at a new level :)

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Near our local Nai Harn beach there’s an old but still relatively usable outdoor gym. For a couple of times we have went there before swimming to do some exercises you otherwise couldn’t. But I had never read the instructions on how to use these machines before today. And now I’m glad I did :). I don’t want to make fun on anybody but it’s actually quite hilarious how translating these instructions from whatever language they were originally at to English has turned out. Here are some of the outtakes:

  • Stand on the footplates with your two hands enclasp the retaining bar. And your leg make pendulum movement emphatically (!). This appliance is suit for middle-aged and old. And just for two persons to use at the same time. You can’t get off the appliance until the rocker stop.
  • Function – to enhance the belly musdle stength and develop the flexibility and flexility (whatever that is πŸ™‚ ) of the waist. By the way all typos are from the original writings πŸ™‚
  • Stand on the circle plate balancedly with your two hands enclasp the armrests. And twist your waist and lower limbs πŸ˜€ left and right. This appliance is suit for all ages. And each for three persons.
  • Function – it can strengthen livers (if you happen to have more than one πŸ™‚ ) and spleen, accommodate body’s incretion and spread meridian
  • Stand on the plate with your two hands enclasp the bars and sway your legs fore and daft as walking. Don’t sway your legs for and daft at the same time.
  • Function – it can enhance the strength of coxa and waist muscles
  • Sit on the seat with your hands enclasp the handles while your feet are on the plate. Then step the plates down with your hands pull the handles flatly. Must repeat this action.
  • Sit on the appliance and put your feet on the bar. And then step out headlong. And cycle to do like that. This appliance is suit for all age ranges (young people can use it too πŸ™‚ ). And just for two persons to use it at the same time.
  • It act on four-part extensor muscle and channel of foot Taiyang. And enhance the alimentary canal and lower warmer function ( I even didn’t know I had this function πŸ™‚ )
  • Face the double-disc, do horse stance (!) with two legs separate on the ground. Stretch your palm, cling to edge of the round disc with palms downward and then turn the round disc left and right with both arms.
  • Your two hands enclasp the bars and toggle when you do the movements. Dont the bars breaswise. And this appliance suit for the young and middle aged (sorry elderly people 😦 )

But ok, this is getting pretty far from English by now :). But I got a really good laugh and hopefully did all the exercises correctly according to the instructions :). And thumbs up for the people who can guess to what machinery these instructions belong to πŸ™‚

All the best!

Lauri

First week in Phuket

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So we’ve been in Phuket for a week already. Time flies fast :). But we really really enjoy it and although we will be here for 4 more weeks approximately I can already say that we will definitely want to come back! Our usual day here looks like something like this. We will wake up around 9, have a light breakfast, then do about 20 minutes of stretching/pilates and after that about an hour at the pool swimming, reading a book or just relaxing. Then it’s either going for a lunch (we already have a a few of our favorite places, I will talk about them in one of the later posts) or getting on a scooter to discover some new part of this beautiful island. Driving a scooter has by now become a norm and a part of everyday life :). During our stay we have visited The Big Buddha (which is really big also in real life, height about 34m), Chalong temple, Phuket town and the night market, Rawai and many other great places.

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We haven’t yet went to Kata, Karon and Patong – the 3 main tourist areas but we will do that soon. No hurry :).

At about 3-4 in the afternoon we usually go to the beach since by then the sun is lower, it’s not so hot anymore and you can really enjoy the seaside. If you plan to go during the midday for example then without a shade you can last max only about an hour or you just have to be in the water constantly. Otherwise you’ll just get a sunstroke. Our favorite beaches here are Yanui and Nai Harn, both about 10 minutes drive from here. And in the evenings we will go and have a dinner (naturally), on some days go to enjoy a steam sauna (located nearby, a great place to end a day) and then back home either we will watch a movie, invest time in the world wide web or read a book. Nearing the nighttime I’ll usually spend a few hours behind my laptop working with pictures, videos, gaining knowledge in Youtube or dealing with on one of my different projects.

Quite often we are spending time with our friends who are currently also living here in Phuket. We have already had a card playing + rum and coke night :), traveled around the island together and tomorrow we plan to go kayaking for example.

And actually we’ve seen quite many Estonians around here, basically you meet some new people every day. It’s a small world πŸ™‚

Here are some additional thoughts:

  • In Thailand there are small reddish ants everywhere where there’s food lying around. If you forget something edible to the balcony for example it wont take long before these little guys are there to have a lunch on your behalf πŸ™‚
  • Sometimes when swimming in the sea you will feel a small burn on your skin. It will go away quickly and it’s nothing bad but still an interesting sensation. No-one knows exactly by whom these are caused but I’ve read that it’s either very small jellyfish or sea lice. Don’t worry, nothing harmful. Just don’t be surprised getting that feeling if you end up swimming around here πŸ™‚

 

All the best and sunshine,

Lauri

So how is Thailand? Volume 2

Here’s the second volume of our ideas and thoughts about Thailand:

  • Thai people love to smile πŸ™‚
  • When you are driving a scooter and NOT zig-zaging between the cars in a traffic jam or behind a traffic light you will be looked at weirdly. It’s totally normal to go through even the narrowest places between carsΒ  πŸ™‚
  • During the day all the garbage will be left at the roadside in big bags and every night garbage trucks (where people are sitting on the roof sometimes) will pick them up. There are quite few trash bins around (except in tourist areas)
  • It’s totally normal to drive in the back of an opened pick-up truck. I counted 16 people today, a record so far πŸ™‚
  • Most of the cars have really tinted windows (even the windshield) so you really can’t see into them. I don’t know is it because of the sun and the temperatures or is there some other reason behind it…
  • You can get a decent and very tasty lunch/dinner for 50-60 baht (1,3-1,55€) in a lot of places. And water is mostly free.
  • Beer costs about the same as back home (about 50 baht bigger can or a bottle) and it’s pretty good. Only thing is although there are several brands to choose from they taste rather the same
  • There are natural coconut, banana etc. trees growing everywhere in here
  • Fuel prices are considerably cheaper compared to Estonia. 91 (that is used in case of scooters) costs about 27 baht (0,7€) per litre.
  • Thailand is (understandably considering the weather around here) very tourism oriented. There are hundreds of massage salons, guesthouses, hotels, tour offices and other similar facilities everywhere!
  • As the weather, water is also warm all year round. No need to be afraid to get the chills
  • Thai people hold family very dear. Very often you can see the whole family sitting around in a circle having a meal, laughing and talking to each other. I would say we have a lot to learn from them in that sense πŸ™‚
  • After the sun sets hundreds of small lizards come out, find the nearest light source and start to catch mosquitoes and other small bugs. They’re really cute πŸ™‚
  • Soy milk based drinks are extremely tasty here. You can find a lot of different flavors to try
  • A small bag of buckwheat around here costs 18€!
  • Thailand is blessed with one of the most beautiful nature I’ve ever seen πŸ™‚

 

To be continued… πŸ™‚

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Loi Krathong festival and first video of Phuket

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Yesterday beautiful Loi Krathong festival was held all over Thailand (and also some other countries). You can read more about it from here. We went to see and enjoy it at nearby Nai Harn lake. Unfortunately our experience was not as picturesque as seen above but it was still beautiful. Hundreds and thousands of people bought different krathongs (little baskets from banana tree trunk and banana leaves decorated with different flowers, ornaments, a candle and 3 incense sticks), lit them up and placed on the lake surface. Unfortunately it was a bit windy so most of the candles blew out quite fast (as did ours πŸ™‚ ) but it was still pretty. Sadly (but with a good reason, potential hazard to the nature) flying lanterns were forbidden but there were still some (supposedly) official sellers from who you could buy one and send it towards the stars. I also went for a swim at the beach in the darkness with lanterns flying above my head, it was quite a sight :). Only maybe a bit negative part of whole this was that the main festival area where all the market stalls were located got properly crowded and the place was really touristy. I read that there are also other areas near Phuket city where locals gather to celebrate. Nevertheless it’s a must visit when you’re visiting Thailand in November :).

I’ve also finished the first video of Phuket where you can see views of Rawai and other southern parts of the island. Have a look for yourself :)!

 

Bangkok budget + what to definitely do and see

A few days back I wrote about our budget and what to see in Chiang Mai. As promised here’s also a brief overview about Bangkok. First I have to say that if you plan to stay in Chiang Mai, Phuket or other similar areas for a longer time it’s totally ok but for Bangkok 5-6 days is maximum, at least in my opinion. Yes, it’s a huge crazy city with a lot to offer but you get tired of it quite fast. Of course it is totally depending on a person but at least most of the people I’ve met and who have been there are agreeing on this one.

But to the subject. Here are the things we recommend you should see and do in Bangkok:

  • The Golden Mountain – from there you can see a great view over the city and the temple with its green lush hillside is also definitely worth a visit
  • Khaosan road – the main backpackers and tourist street in Bangkok. As written in one of the older posts – go and have a bucket πŸ™‚ + enjoy everything the street has to offer
  • Wat Pho, the reclining Buddha
  • Lumpini park – a beautiful greenness in the middle of surrounding skyscrapers
  • Visit at least one of the skybars to enjoy the view. Yes, the drinks are expensive but to be honest how often do you end up in Bangkok πŸ™‚
  • Chatuchak market – one of the biggest markets in the world. You don’t have to buy anything but the market itself is worth seeing
  • Bangkok National museum – although it’s a bit tired it’s a great place to get an overview of Thai and Buddhism history
  • The Grand Palace – unfortunately it was closed while we visited Bangkok but as I’ve heard and read it’s a must go place

As in case of Chiang Mai all expenses are daily averages for 2 people. We stayed in Bangkok for a period of 6 days.

  • Groceries – 56 baht
  • Transport – 129 baht (mostly we used public transport – MRT and Metro lines + a few times taxis)
  • Eating out – 495 baht (including the 800 baht cocktails in skybar)
  • Entrance fees – 106 baht
  • Shopping – 26 baht
  • Other (Buying a local SIM-card, unlocking the phone) – 136 baht

Our hostel was 4100 baht so in total our living cost for 6 days was 10700 baht (277€). SoΒ  in case of our trip our daily costs were roughly the same as in case of Chiang Mai but the latter is definitely a cheaper place to live.

 

Sending positive vibes from Phuket… πŸ™‚

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First impressions of Phuket

Phuket is Thailands biggest island and there’s always a lot going on in here. We are staying in the quieter and calmer southern part of the island near Rawai. Phuket is divided into different kind of areas and towns. Everyone who wants to party and see a “circus” on the streets every night should could to Patong, the main tourist place here. Slightly calmer are nearby Kata and Karong. And then there are still relatively relaxed areas like Rawai. Plus of course the old town where there are mainly locals living – Phuket city.

First of all it’s great to be by the sea again! We definitely missed this! And it’s really really beautiful – so many gorgeous beaches, mountains, cliffs, nearby islands and much more. I’m gonna take a lot of photos here πŸ™‚

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We have within 2 days only looked around in the southern part of the island and already we have gazed our eyes to so many beautiful places

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Thanks to my friends who are living here we got a great accommodation for a very reasonable price! The place is spot on with very good condition rooms, even wider bed (over 2meters! I don’t know why they have so large beds in here), private pool, parking and so on. Couldn’t want for anything else!

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Thanks to these same friends we also got ourselves a companion for the next 5 weeks.

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I would say that owning a scooter is rather necessary in Phuket since there is basically no public transport and taxis around here are really expensive. Since my scooter driving experience was close to zero it will take some time to get used to this but we will take it slowly and carefully :). And of course the second day driving around we got fined by the police :). Since legally you should have A-category license to drive a scooter (since in here they are much more powerful compared to Estonia for example) they sometimes fine you if you don’t have them. The fine was 500 baht but we hope that this won’t happen again soon or we will just go and make ourselves Thai scooter licenses :). And just to add a comment it usually doesn’t happen very often. My friends have been living here alltogether for 2 years and they had been fined only once or twice before. There are certain areas (mostly near Patong) where they usually do their checks. At least that I’ve been told :).

Today when the sun was setting we went for a swim in nearby Yanui beach and that is definitely the most beautiful beach we have ever swimmed on.Β The beach is slightly seen in the first picture in this post. Β In there it really seemed like a paradise… πŸ™‚

Chiang Mai budget + what to definitely do and see in this beautiful city

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At the time of writing this post we are already at Rawai, Phuket but don’t worry. There will be a lot of posts about this wonderful place since we will be staying here or 5 weeks :).

But I wanted to write about (for everyone who perhaps plans to visit Chiang Mai in near future) what were our everyday costs in Chiang Mai and what you definitely shouldn’t miss (based on our opinion) if you get there! Most if not all of them have already been mentioned in the posts before but here’s a quick summary:

Our recommendations.

  • Visiting at least one of the many elephant sanctuaries near the city, If you don’t have time for anything else at least do this.
  • Grand Canyon water park – you will have fun there :)!
  • Doi Suthep temple and Doi Pui viewpoint
  • The zoo
  • Huay Kaew waterfall
  • Saturday and Sunday night markets
  • Beautiful temples in the old city and around
  • Definitely go and have a massage. They are very affordable and just really really good!
  • Nong Buak park and feeding the fishes

Of course there are many other things to do but these are the ones we did ourselves and can highly recommend!

Now, the budget. As said in some posts back we are keeping a track of our everyday expenses in order to get a better overview ourselves and also share it with you. Of course there are many ways to travel. Basically you could live with 300€ per month in Thailand and if you want also with 30,000€. It’s all up to you. Either way, here’s the overview of how much money we invested in our memories in Chiang Mai :). All the expenses are for 2 people and daily average. Naturally we didn’t visit a museum every day but in order to get a better overview I have divided everything to the 14 days we spent there.

  • Groceries (everything bought from 7/11 and other similar stores – food, drink, shampoo etc.) – daily average 128 baht
  • Transport (buses, tuk-tuks, songthaews, taxis etc.) – daily average 109 bahtΒ (as said before we like to walk quite a lot, so consider a bit higher costs in this area if you plan to use motorized transport more often; you can also get a scooter for 150-200 THB per day)
  • Eating out (including lunches, dinners, different snacks etc. ; breakfast was included in our Hostel price) – daily average 278 baht
  • Entrance fees (museums, temples, water park etc.) – daily average 316 baht (this number is rather high because of the Elephant Family Care visit fee)
  • Shopping (clothes, accessories etc.) – daily average 36 bahtΒ (this is a slippery slope, if you plan to shop then there will be at least one zero behind this number πŸ™‚ )
  • Other (massages, cash withdrawal fees etc.) – 105 bahtΒ (If you take cash out of the ATM there’s a 220 baht fee + some percentage that your local bank will happily take away)

Our accommodation for the 2 week period was 7000 baht. So all in all our living cost for 2 weeks in Chiang Mai was about 20,000 baht (517€) and roughly we spent whenever we wanted to spend :). Of course Chiang Mai is one the cheapest places to live in Thailand but for such amount of money you can definitely do very well for 2 people :).

I hope you find this post useful and I will also do the same for Bangkok, Phuket and other places we’ll stay.

All the best!

Lauri

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