Tag Archives: Thailand

Our Phuket budget

We stayed at Phuket for 7 awesome weeks. As before I wrote down all our daily expenses to get a better overview ourselves and share it with you. Compared to Chiang Mai for example Phuket is definitely a bit more expensive but the difference isn’t big. It’s still a really affordable place to live. Once again these are our average costs per day for 2 people. Of course there were a lot of days where we didn’t have to pay for any entrance fees for example but to simplify things I averaged everything out. So here goes

  • Groceries (this includes different food items, detergent, shampoo and all other similar things – 205 baht
  • Transport (in case of Phuket it contains only scooter rental, gas and taxis to/from airport) – 200 baht. Our scooter rental for 5 weeks was 4500 baht
  • Eating out (also includes breakfast) – 360 baht
  • Entrance fees (our island hopping trip, massages, saunas and such) – 187 baht. By far the most expensive was our boat trip 1600 baht each. Without it you could save a lot but Phi Phi is still one of the must see places πŸ™‚
  • Shopping (clothes, new backpack, flip-flops and such) – 105 baht
  • Other (mobile internet, cash withdrawal fees, washing clothes, scooter driving fine πŸ™‚ ) – 76 baht

Our accommodation cost in Phuket was 17800 baht. So in total we spent around 57000 baht (about 1485€). In conclusion our monthly cost was slightly under 1200€!Β And for that kind of money you get a very decent living, scooter for the whole time and everything else you could wish for. Well, of course we got some great prices through our friend (he is more than welcome to help so let me know if you plan to travel there and are in need of a scooter for example). I believe that actually for about a 1000€/month you could do pretty well in Phuket.

 

Sending sunshine :)!

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So how is Thailand? Volume 3

Hello everyone! This is the third and final post of the series how is Thailand. Hope you enjoy it :)!

  • There are a lot of pickups driving around on the streets with speakers attached to them. Usually they are (very loudly) advertising some radio station, Muay Thai fight or a shop.
  • Local Thai SangSom rum is pretty darn good :)!
  • Traffic in Phuket is much calmer compared to Bangkok for example but obeying traffic signals is still sometimes a mystery. At one place everyone stops with red light while at the other junction all scooters just drive without a hesitation.
  • It’s extremely difficult to find shoes for my size (45-46 in Europe) but flip-flops you can get in sizes 47-48 also!
  • Turning left is always allowed even with a red light (of course when it’s safe to do so)
  • At volume 2 I wrote about small lizards but there are actually over a meter long varanus lizards found at some places (Seen them a couple of times πŸ™‚ )
  • Although it’s not quite as cheap in Phuket as it is in Chiang Mai you can still get all the clothes, footwear and other similar things for quite an inexpensive bargains. For example short pants for men – 200baht (5€), flip-flops 200baht, a T-shirt 100baht, decent backpack 600baht and so on
  • One of the most delicious things I’ve ever tried here are sweet potatoes. They’re like small deep-fried round balls and just dangerously delicious!
  • In the dark while driving out of the city area there are lots of bats flying around everywhere
  • Since logging is basically prohibited in Thailand (due to the fact that a lot of Thailands forests were cut down in the 70’s and 80’s) most buildings are made of stone
  • There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand. Although at some point they really start to mix together they’re still extremely beautiful!
  • I know that I already wrote about Thai people loving to smile but the more time you spend here the more you understand that Thailand is truly a land of smiles
  • Thailand has about 1400 islands! One more beautiful than the other!
  • Thailand is the only SE Asia country that hasn’t been colonized by the Europeans
  • There’s an obsession with plastic bags here. When you go to the local shop and buy for example 10 items then you most likely get at least 5 plastic bags. It’s really unfortunate since a lot of these bags end up in the nature or in the sea. I wish they could accept some policy banning them or at least reducing their use.
  • Most of the scooters are made by Honda. And there are a lot of different ones moving around. Some are from 1970’s and some are making awful clattering sounds while they drive by.

 

Of course a lot of things could be said more. Feel free to let me know if you have some questions about Thailand πŸ™‚

9th video from Thailand

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in Thailand for already more than 1,5 months and that soon we have to leave. Time really flies fast! By now we have really gotten used to all the people, traditions, sa-wa-de-krap’s (which means hello/goodbye when you’re a man) and khop-kun-krap’s (which is thank you if you’re man). But we’re thankful for each day we can spend here and as said in the previous posts we will definitely come back some day!

But once again, I will make a very brief post. I just wanted to share our latest video of our adventures. Click and see for yourself :)!

BR,

Lauri

Phi Phi, Maya bay and the speedboat adventure

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I believe that most of the people have seen the famous movie “The Beach” with Leonardo Dicaprio starring in it. Well, a lot of time has past since then and the paradise is not quite as it used to be…

Today has been a long day. Since we are already in Phuket and Phi Phi is yet another of the must visits around here we decided to get on a tour to have a look for ourselves. After a long research online we decided to take a one day speedboat excursion. There are also ferries going to Phi Phi from Phuket and different accommodations available on the island but this time we chose not to use these options. Something for the future also :).

But there are a huge numbers of different speedboat cruises available, we chose this one because it had the most to offer compared to the price and at the end of the day we were quite satisfied. But boy was it tiring.Β  It was our first experience with the speedboat and of course we just had to go to the front of the ship at the beginning when the longest 1 hour ride was waiting us. Let just put it this way – you better have strong back muscles and an iron spine because some of the jumps just made you fly off the seat while a moment later you’d be coming down with a huge bang! Luckily my feet touched the ground so I could use my legs as shock absorbers. In addition I was sitting one one place where I constantly got soaked by the waves hitting the boat and splashing to my face. All that besides it was actually pretty fun but nevertheless the rest of the journey we traveled inside at the back of the boat where it was much calmer.

But now coming to the Maya bay – the location where the movie was filmed (partly at least). Since I’ve thoroughly looked it up before it came as no surprise that the whole bay was filled with different boats and tourists. But still, it was really crazy. Every moment one boat left and another one came. And there was tens and tens of these. But the location itself was of course magnificent. Beautiful white sand, crystal clear water and high cliffs surrounding you in almost every direction. If you could shut yourself off from all the crowds and just breath in the nature it felt really great. There’s an option to enjoy the bay in much more secluded way also. For 3500-4000 baht one company arranges special tours where after the tourist hours you can stay on the beach with only 20-25 people, swim with fluorescent plankton and spend the night right there on the boat. You can read more about it from here.

We also went snorkeling near the bay (which was pretty good actually but I suspect that they were feeding the fish in order the’d come there amongst the crowds πŸ™‚ ), visited several sightseeing places like the Viking cave, Monkey beach and so on. On Phi Phi Don (the largest, only inhabited island) we had our lunch and just looked around for some time. And lastly we visited Koh Khai Nok, which is a beautiful but still tourist filled small patch of paradise near Phuket. We woke up at 6.30 on the morning at got back at 6 in the evening so yet another day full of adventures!

By the way after an hour or two coming off the boat the world still went like:

 

Until the next post :)!

Lauri

Monkey hill and Promthep Cape

Visiting monkey hill here in Phuket is quite an experience. At first you are just driving along a rather steep mountain road until one moment there’s just hundreds of monkeys on the road. And they seem really relaxed and just chilling around. It took some time to get used to these small fellas but after a while it’s totally normal to see them walking and climbing around everywhere.Β But they are also very clever :). For example you will find yourself looking at one of them doing some sort of show and just being really cute but at the same time another one is literally sneaking up on you to pickpocket :). And he wasn’t very far from getting my scooter keys. By the way – if you’re going there with a scooter then don’t leave your helmets unattended. You may find them in a totally different place from where you put them or in a bit different condition :). In a matter of fact don’t leave anything unattended and hold strong to your belongings. For several times we saw a monkey stealing a drink, a package of nuts or just a plastic bag with shoes :). You will see more of them when I’ll finish the next video πŸ™‚

By now we have been around the island quite much and at least in my opinion the most beautiful places, beaches and views are in the southern part. For example today we went to Promthep cape.

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To get there you have to walk/climb on a narrow rocky and mountainous road for about 15 minutes but it’s actually really good. Since it’s not so easy to get there a lot of people don’t bother to take the journey. Which in turn means that it just might happen that you can be there (at least for a while) totally alone enjoying the waves, the view and a nice sea breeze against your face. This is one of those “Can’t miss” places.

We also went to Ao Sane beach which is slightly different with it’s small stones and pieces of coral which massage your feet with every step. It’s also a very good place for snorkeling (we will try that soon). All in all 3 of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in Phuket are located all here in the southern part with just a few minutes drive separating them. Each has their own virtues that make you come back again and again…

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One interesting adventure a few days ago was visiting the local Chalong sauna. It’s a very simple place with a 100 baht entrance fee. Basically it’s a very hot steam sauna where local Thais cook up some sort of special herbal mixture and boil it for steam. Afterwards you can dive into a cold water barrel (with ice cubes) or just shower yourself. You can also get a massage, some drinks and food. So in conclusion a great place to get a bit more into Thailand life and just relax. We will definitely go back πŸ™‚

All the best,

Lauri

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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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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So how is Thailand? (Based on the first 12 days spent here)

Here are just some ideas and thoughts that came to my mind in no particular order. Since we will be staying in Thailand for 6 more weeks there are definitely some things that we haven’t noticed yet but I just wanted to share my current thoughts with you πŸ™‚

  • Thailand is like a huge market. Every time you step out of the door there are just hundreds and thousands of little stalls everywhere. I don’t think there’s a street in Thailand without at least one small shop or a stall. Selling whatever you can image from food to soaps and souvenirs. So basically in Thailand you are constantly shopping, even if you don’t buy anything.
  • About 90+% cars are from Japan. Most of them Toyotas and then Hondas, Isuzus, Mazdas, Nissans and so on. Probably they are relatively cheap here + in Thailand is also with left side drive. And if you are doing good you are most likely driving a Mercedes-Benz :). I haven’t seen a single Audi here for example.
  • Scooters are the main way of transport. You can see old and young people moving around on scooters, sometimes even the whole family or there’s a dog or two sitting between the legs or at the back. And scooters can drive everywhere. Doesn’t matter if it’s the highway or 0,5m wide market road. All in all it seems that Thai people don’t like to walk. Even if it’s not a long trip most likely a scooter or some other method of transport is used.
  • In every home, shop, garage or facility there’s at least one small Buddha shrine.
  • In Thailand there are many so to say home/business places. In daytime a small workshop, garage, scooter rental, kitchen or something similar is opened and in the evening the same place is used as a living room and children are running around playing. They are sleeping in the back or on the top floor.
  • The weather is always warm. Even if you’re in the Northern part (Chiang Mai) and in the mountains it’s still very pleasant. T-shirt and short pants is all you need, doesn’t matter if it is day- or nighttime.
  • Seven eleven stores are located almost everywhere. Most of them are small but you can get all the basic things you need from there.
  • It seems that in Thai language there are not many words but there are several ways how to pronounce a word giving it totally different meanings. So for a foreigner at least in so short time it’s very difficult to understand anything :).
  • The nature is just so green and there are hundreds of very beautiful and colorful flowers. It’s like visiting a botanical garden back home every day.
  • Food here is very delicious! At least according to our taste. It’s not very spicy (except for few dishes) and everything is well seasoned. And of course the sweet things. Different cakes, muffins, waffles, pancakes, juices, smoothies, fruits… just superb!
  • In general people are friendly in Thailand. Especially one Thai to another. During time spent here I haven’t even once seen any conflicts or heard someone raising their voice. But sometimes you can still get a feeling that you’re a walking wallet. Luckily it happens rarely :).
  • There are small clay pots everywhere filled with water, different green plants and small fish swimming around. Very beautiful to look at!
  • As said before shopping malls are huge! It just adds to the whole shopping theme described in the first point πŸ™‚
  • There are extremely beautiful temples everywhere! I just like the attention to small details. From far a lot of the temples look similar but if to look closer each has something original to offer.

 

Oh and one more thing. I’m addicted to lemongrass essential oil. It just smells wonderfully! We bought a small bottle to keep our room filled with this awesome fragrance all the time :).

Until the next post! πŸ™‚

Best Wishes,

Lauri