Puff Stuff Travels

Puffstuff

I live to travel.



Travel Blog Posts


Internet is a Luxury

Published: March 23rd 2009Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phayam
Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
March 23rd 2009

The internet has eaten my last two entries and they were good ones. So, this is going to be short and sweet. I'll update this blog and finish up the trip report and all the lovely stories when I arrive back home with fast, reliable internet. For now, I'm on a beach with a bandage on my foot because I stepped on a sea urchin at low tide. It's not exactly the ending that I was looking for. Otherwise that small detail (that hurts like hell), life is grand.... read more



Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
March 8th 2009

Cheow Lan Dam and Lake One of the highlights of Khao Sok park is a visit to this gorgeous lake. The dam was built in 1982 and covers an area of 165 km and as it was filled over 100 islands were formed. Sharp limestone cliffs rise from the water and early morning mist porvides excellent photo ops. Accomodation on the lake is by raft house. We booked our 2 day/overnight trek with Nung House for 2500 B. This is the main reason I'd been hanging around waiting for the rain to end. Kate and I started to come here one year, but it was the (true) rainy season and we'd heard the leeches were horrid, so we just chilled at the beach instead. GL has been here before last year and wanted to come again. ... read more



Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
March 6th 2009

Khao Sok National Park covers an area of over 738 sq. km. Its spectacular limestone range studded with many caves, towers over almost pirstine tropical evergreen mudstone and siltstone terrain which is cut by many streams and rivers making much of the park difficult to access. Together with the adjacent wildlife sanctuaries, Khao Sok forms part of the largest continuous nature preserve in the Thai peninsula and also the major watershed for the region. This area is an invaluable wildlife habitat especially for many large mammals which rely on large areas of undisturbed forest for thier survival. In short--it is a stunning place. It's also raining in the driest of dry seasons. It's winter here in Thailand which (usually) means no rain and dry, dry, dry. Or not. The German Lesbian who has decided to tag ... read more



Silent No More

Published: March 6th 2009Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Chaiya
Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
March 4th 2009

So, here's the deal, I lasted 4 days. Not the first one to leave by any means, but still very shy of the 10 days. They were 17 hour work days which is a little insane and slightly cultish. The rules and regulations: No music No books No phones No talking--ever No passing notes No writing material Smile and make eye contact if you want but also never smile and never make eye contact if you desire. There are no showers or private bathing areas. You bathe with everyone else, in sarongs, never naked, in communal 'mandis' which are big concrete basins that are filled with water and open air. You use a dish--looks like a pet food dish--to scoop out the water and wash/rinse yourself. No makeup No jewelry No luxurious bedding or sitting areas ... read more



Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
February 28th 2009

I begin the silent meditation retreat. Let's see if I make it. Schedules REGISTRATION DAY (The last day of the previous month, e.g. 31st of March for the April retreat, 30th of June for the July retreat) 07.00 - 16.00 Registration 08.00 *** Breakfast at Dining Hall *** = Monastery bell 12.30 *** Lunch 15.50 *** 16.00 Welcome to Suan Mokkh International Dhamma Hermitage (talk by the abbot) 17.00 Boundary tour 18.00 Tea, video about Ajahn Buddhadasa (Founder of Wat Suan Mokkh) 19.00 *** 19.15 Orientation talk and Question and Answers BEGINNING OF THE SILENCE (after the Q & A) 21.30 LIGHTS OUT We ask you to follow the DAILY SCHEDULE completely. All scheduled activities (except Yoga / Exercise are compul sory, i.e. you must attend them. Please be sure to look at the sched ule ... read more



Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
February 26th 2009

I was going to book a day tour through the kayaking place, Sarafine (sp?), but they only do private tours. I asked the owner, a Frenchman, to make a recommendation, but instead he offered to find me a driver for the same price. Hmmm....I'm not found a big tours "get off here, be back now" so I thought 'why not?' The catch? My driver speaks no English! None! He made it very clear that he was only a driver, not a guide. Fair enough. I don't need a guide... I thought maybe he would want to practice English in the car...I have alot of experience teaching ESL...but no. He not only did not want to try to practice any English, he also wasn't up to teaching me Thai. The guy, Vee, is young and a bit ... read more



Moto in Kanchanaburi

Published: February 28th 2009Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi
Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
February 25th 2009

The fan room isn't too bad....84 F in the middle of the night:) I must shower 3xday, it's so freaking hot. I started my day by renting a motorbike (250 B for 24 hours), heading to the train station and sorting out my train ticket from Nakon Pathom down to Chaiya for the retreat. If you want a good sleeper seat on an overnight A/C car, you must do it a few days in advance or else you'll end up with upper berth (too cold and bright) or worse, fan only. After the train here, I will never opt again for a fan car! I'll have to takea local bus from here to Nakon, but it's the easiest way to go south without doubling back to Bangkok. I rather like the overnight trains and don't want ... read more



Furnace or Train?

Published: February 25th 2009Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi
Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
February 24th 2009

Leaving Khao Yai I needed to get the 9:30am bus back to BKK in order to make it across town to Bangkok Noi/Thonburi train station. Unfortunately, the American girls were not ready at the 9am ride to the bus station and I, along with the Dutch people missed the bus. To make matters worse, the 10am bus was late. Finally, we were on the road, but I was tense and nervous that I wouldn't make the train connection to Kanchanaburi. Furthermore, I was worried I wouldn't find a taxi to take me there as it's on the other side of town. In hindsight...I wish I'd have missed that train...which would've forced me to take a bus. Ah well. The taxi driver found me--immediately--and spoke English and said he'd take me for 300B. I stayed firm at ... read more



Khao Yai All Day Trek

Published: February 25th 2009Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Khao Yai NP
Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
February 23rd 2009

The jet lag is actually coming in really handy as so many things start in the early morning. Departure time at 8am? No problem! I've been up since 5:30! Today we spent the entire day in the park. Our guide, Puma, is an excellent birder and found us so many great hornbills and a few others. The hornbills are beautiful and when they take off in flight it sounds like a helicopter the wingspan is so large. We were also fortunate enough to spot a family of white gibbons far up in the trees. They never come down to the ground and spotting them is stroke of luck. I am certain that if I had gone trekking by myself I would see NOTHING. I don't know how these guys spot them. We had lunch at a ... read more



Puffstuff icon
Puffstuff
February 22nd 2009

I left BKK after less than 48 hours. I really didn't do anything exciting there as I have been there so many times now. But, I had a really good time with my friends there before heading out. Sorry I don't have more exciting BKK stories to tell! I met some very nice ladies at breakfast, an English woman traveling solo for one year (she's 4 months in) and a Belgium woman who was just here for a 2 week holiday. I would've liked to have spent more time with them...but had other plans. I took a train Sunday morning to Pak Chong which is the stop for Khao Yai National Park--Thailand's oldest national park, modeled after the national park system of the USA! Nice to know we pass on some good things to other countries. ... read more






Tot: 0.316s; Tpl: 0.008s; cc: 11; qc: 76; dbt: 0.1185s; 76; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 3; ; mem: 6.8mb