travel

Back from my travels

So after three weeks in Thailand, I’m back. What a trip! It was amazing.

We started off in Phuket, which was ok. Hotel was good, and we were in a quiet part, next to the the Phuket Aquarium – well worth a visit – on a road with a few places to eat/drink, but which had a wee night market that popped up, and was the best value for eating, although we did find a local place about a ten minute walk from the hotel, that was excellent for food.
The hotel ran a courtesy bus into Phuket town, which we visited a couple of times, and on one occasion, it coincided with a street food festival, which was spectacular.
We also went into Patong beach one night. That was an experience!!

From Phuket, we moved on to Chiang Mai. If I’d known how amazing this town was, we would have spent more time here and less in Phuket!
The hotel was about a hundred yards from the night market, so food and drink (and cheap t-shirts) were minutes away from the hotel.
The town itself has a fantastically laid back hippy vibe to it. We spent ages just wandering round visiting temples, and sitting in little coffee shops, drinking the best coffee I’ve tasted in ages.
We also visited the women’s prison, where there’s a shop selling handicrafts that have been made by the inmates, and if you want a massage, you can get one from inmates who are learning massage, to give them an option when they get released.
We did a couple of trips as well, one to the highest point in Thailand, and also to the King’s Pagoda and Queen’s Pagoda, both of which are spectacular. The Queen’s in particular has a stunning ceiling. Well worth a visit.

From Chiang Mai it was onto Bangkok, where we visited Wat Pho where the reclining Buddha is, Khoa San Road (had to be done), the medical museum (fascinating and a little bit gruesome!) and the Royal Barges Museum.
Out hotel was 100 yards from the Train Night Market, so once again, eating and drinking, we were spoiled for choice.

Finally, we flew to Dubai for 3 nights, to break up the journey home. After the great value that was Thailand, the usually expensive Dubai seemed even more expensive, but you can usually get great deals, so a couple of days at the beach on the way home was just what was needed.

I’ve taken a horrendous amount of photos, so once I’ve have a chance to sort through them, I’ll post a few.

We probably won’t go back to Bangkok for a while, as it’s not a relaxing place, but definitely want to re-visit Chiang Mai.

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M Train

I’m currently reading M Train by Patti Smith. A while back I picked up a second hand copy of Just Kids, and loved it. I loved the story of Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe, I loved the way she wrote. I loved her tales of meeting Warhol, and William Burroughs, so I really wanted to read this book too.
It isn’t disappointing. It makes New York sound like an amazing place to live. The artists, the cafe’s the music scene.
Yes, Glasgow has these too, and I know I’m romanticising NY in my head, but…..

This weekend I’m off travelling for three weeks. Thailand. Phuket, Chang Mai and Bangkok, then a stop off in Dubai on the way home. I can’t wait. There’s changes at work, and I need to switch off from them.
I’ve picked up a travel yoga mat, and I’m going to have some me time. I’m taking Lord of the Flies, and The Godfather to read. I’ve not read LotF since I was at school, so I’m looking forward to that, and I’ve never read The Godfather.

I’m planing of having a digital detox too, so I won’t be posting anything until I get back.

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Imminent trip

In two weeks I’ll be off to Thailand for three weeks, and I can’t wait.
I’ve got a travel yoga mat ready to go. Rolls up really small but is actually heavier than a regular mat, but really grippy. My wife is using one on top of her regular mat which has lost it’s grip, and loves it.

I picked up what was going to be be one of my books to take, M Train by Patti Smith. The other was going to be Dirty Kids: Chasing Freedom with America’s Nomads, BUT I usually take books to read that I don’t mind leaving behind/passing on, and I don’t want to do that with these, so I’ll have a look in a charity shop and see if anything catches my eye.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months. We’ve got 10 days at Phuket, where I’m hoping to take some more surf lessons, after taking some in Bali last year. After Phuket, it’s on to Chang Mai, Bangkok, and finally a couple of days in Dubai on the way back.

I’m hoping to come back a calmer person, and be able to blitz the piles of dvd’s etc that I still need to clear out. I’ve been slacking on the downsizing front lately and need to get back on it.

I also have to get in touch with the tattooist to arrange to get more ink when I get back. I’m planning to go and see him before I leave to talk over the design, and book a date for getting it done.

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Course finished

So the Introduction to Ashtanga course I’ve been doing for the last six weeks has finished, and I loved it. It’s given me a structured practice that I can do at home, but I did miss not going to the class last night, so I might have to find a guided class that I can go to. Despite what the teacher said, I don’t feel that I know the routine well enough to go to a Mysore class, and I don’t want to be constantly asking “Does “X” come next or is it “Y”?”, so yeah, I think a guided class is the way forward for the moment, and as luck would have it, there’s a guided class on a Tuesday evening that would fit in time-wise, with finishing work.

Yoga aside, the weather has finally got reasonable enough that I have started cycling to work again. As well as being healthier for me and the environment, it’s healthier for my wallet to the tune of £57 a month, so that’s a good reason to do it.

Next thing I’ve got to look forward to is our trip to Thailand in a little over a month. We’re away for three weeks, and are taking in Phuket, Chang Mai, and finally Bangkok, with two nights in Dubai to break up the flight home.
I’m hoping I can try surfing again in Phuket. I took some lessons in Bali last year as it’s something I’d always wanted to try (I used to skateboard, and I snowboard intermittently) and I finally got to try it and it was as amazing as I’d hoped. So I really want to do it again.

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Throwback Thursday

Back to last year when we visited a Buddhist temple in Bali (and lots of Hindu ones too).

Bali temple

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Travel plans

So we’ve got the trip for this year booked, and I can’t wait.
We’re off to Thailand. Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Bangkok, with 3 days in Dubai to break up the flight home.
I’ve been to Bangkok before for a couple of days on the way to Bali, and I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I really loved it. It’s a fantastic city. I’m looking forward to a three weeks of superb food and of course, there’s going to be yoga by the pool, and in the case of Phuket, on the beach. Can’t wait.

In the meantime, having done a reasonable dvd cull, I’ve moved onto cd’s. The downsizing continues. We have to avoid stuffication.

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Heading east (not the far east, just the east coast. Unfortunately)

Taking the afternoon off work today. We’re heading through to Edinburgh to soak up the arty atmosphere that is the Fringe.
In all the years we’ve been doing this, we’ve yet to actually take in a show, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

The restaurant we’ve been going to for almost 20 years, changed hands last year and it’s not a patch on what it was. Fortunately, last time we were through, we found a really nice Thai place just off Leith Walk, and we’ve booked in there for tonight.

Should be a good afternoon, and we’re running from the rain. It’s currently coming down in Glasgow, but it’s not due to hit the east coast until later today around 6.00pm, so we should manage to have a decent afternoon and not get soaked.

I’ve got the camera with me, so pics will be taken. The madness of the Royal Mile during festival season is something else.

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Tour of Ayrshire and yoga by the beach

Had a really good weekend. Friday evening after work we headed to Troon. Weather was fantastic. Had a wander along the beach, did some spontaneous yoga on the sea wall (pic below), had a really nice curry, and finished off with a round of mini golf.

Saturday we headed into town to the GFT to see the new Anne Hathaway movie, Colossal. It’s superb. Really enjoyed it.

Sunday, Karen’s friend Mia came over, and we jumped in the car and headed to the beach again, this time Girvan. After a wander round, which included a visit to the community garden (well worth a visit), where Karen and Mia bought tomato plants, we jumped back in the car, and headed along the coast to Ayr, for another beach, some ice cream, and a look in the shops.

All in all a good (if tiring) weekend.
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De-stuffyfing

So I’ve decided. I need to be brutal about clearing out. I need to squirrel away as much spare cash as I can. I don’t need stuff, I need to travel. I’m ultimately preparing for when I can stop work and start to travel, and I don’t need stuff holding me back.

Much as I love cd’s, I can listen to mp3’s. Yes, I’ll miss not being able to hold onto something tangible, but I won’t miss the clutter.

To get the ball rolling I’ve got some dvd’s and cd’s to take to the 2nd hand record store later.

It’ll be good to not be mentally bogged down by physical items.

The holiday to Bali seems like it was years ago, when in reality it was only 2 weeks ago I got back. I need to find the calm I had when I was there. I’m back to work and back to reality, and I don’t particularly like it. So I need to plan for my get away, and make that a priority.
I can’t wait until I’m too old and infirm to get away, I need to do it in the next few years.

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Ganesha

Thought I’d share this photo of a statue of Ganesha that I came across on my holiday to Bali.
Ganesha

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