Nan by Liesl Pfeffer


Nan, Thailand
May 2018

Our last stop in Thailand was at Nan, a lovely small town near the border with Laos. My favourite memory from Nan is when we rode bikes at dusk just after a rainstorm and puddles of water reflected the colours and lights of the streets as we flew past.

Chiang Mai by Liesl Pfeffer


Chiang Mai, Thailand
May 2018

We spent five days in sleepy-feeling Chiang Mai, eating, seeing live music, walking around the markets, having a wonderful strong massage and learning how to make some Thai dishes using galangal, lemongrass, sticky rice and ginseng.

Lopburi by Liesl Pfeffer


Lopburi, Thailand
May 2018

We caught the train to Lopburi at dawn, and watched the sun rise out the windows. We walked for a while to find a restaurant open in Lopburi, where we ate soup noodles between other sleepy-eyed people on their way to school or work. At the market we bought sticky coconut rice with corn, tiny crepes filled with shredded durian, bananas and cookies - snacks for the long train ride to Chiang Mai later that day. Then, probably still before 9am, we headed out to look for the monkeys, which is what Lopburi is famous for, because there are so many of them. They sit on cars, climb electrical wires, generally take over the whole town (one came into the restaurant and was given some fruit to eat). They scrunch their wrinkly old man faces and show off their bright pink bums. Baby monkeys cling to the backs of their parent monkeys and generally look adorable. The monkeys could tell Nico had bananas in his bag, and they went pretty nuts over him whenever they had the chance.

Ayutthaya by Liesl Pfeffer


Ayutthaya, Thailand
May 2018

We rented bikes for the day to ride between the temples at Ayutthaya, which was the capital of the kingdom from the 1400s to 1700s. Most of the temple ruins are on an island that is also a thriving city, which makes it a very different experience to other temple sites we visited, such as Angkor Wat. We watched the sun set at the last temple and the temperature finally cooled a little for our long ride back to our hostel.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok by Liesl Pfeffer


The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
May 2018

Where the Kings of Siam have lived until about 100 years ago, and still a working palace (though not the home of the current King). The palace is so incredible, with all the mirrored tiles and painted murals and gold details. The day we visited was about 38 degrees, and I was suffering from a new bout of food poisoning, so I mostly loped around, drenched in sweat with my back aching and no amount of water being enough to make me feel okay.

Chantaburi by Liesl Pfeffer


Chantaburi, Thailand
May 2018

Crossing the border from Cambodia to Thailand was a fun, unplanned journey that worked out perfectly. We got a share taxi from Battambang to the border at Prum, which took about two hours, then (after stopping to eat some fried bananas and rice cakes, and to change our Camdodian riels into Thai baht at a liquor store) we walked across to Thailand and applied for visas. We then jumped on the back of two motorbikes for about five minutes of fast riding, now on the left hand side of the road, and were dropped at a waiting open back minibus with bench seats, which immediately left once we had climbed in back. We were soon joined by a monk and a young man. A storm came and went as we drove through beautiful green mountains. We were then dropped in Chantaburi at the bus station, where we caught a taxi to our hotel overlooking the river.

Chantaburi is peaceful and pretty with a fast river and very old Chinese houses along the riverfront. The shops along the ground level of the houses blend public and private space. Peeking in the open doorways you see people watching tv and eating in their shops, surrounded by shrines, old clocks, incense and pictures of the old King.