2003 - Backpacking to Laos

Backpacking Adventure
18 days Thailand & Laos
15 Nov to 02 Dec 2003

(L-R) Yeap Guan Leng & Ching Neng Bin @ Hua Lampong Train Station, Bangkok.  Sawatdee-krap greetings in Thai and Sabaidee greetings in Lao.









2 types of traveler Both are bag packers. The 1st type; pack the bag, pay in advance and everything will be well taken care by the tour leader. The 2nd type, like me, is also packing the bag, bring enough money and pay as I travel. However, I have to decide where to go, where to eat, where to sleep and when to come back.

Things to bring Money, Passport, Photos for Visa, Medicine, Backpack, Toiletries, Camera, Food (coffee & biscuits), Clothing, Shoes & socks, pen & notebook, plastic bag, slipper, sun glass & cap

Currency The Kip is the official currency of Laos.
Notes of 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 & 10,000
1 RM = 10.25 B 1 RM = 2,500 kip
1 US = 10,000 kip 1 B = 250 kip

The Route
Day 01 (15/11) 1400 km > Sitiawan > Butterworth > Bangkok
Day 02 (16/11) 624 km > Bangkok > Nong Khai
Day 03 (17/11) Nong Khai
Day 04 (18/11) 200 km > Nong Khai > Vientiane > Vang Vieng
Day 05 (19/11) 260 km > Vang Vieng > Luang Prabang
Day 06 (20/11) Luang Prabang
Day 07 (21/11) 260 km > Luang Prabang > Vang Vieng
Day 08 (22/11) 160 km > Vang Vieng > Vientiane
Day 09 (23/11) 654 km > Vientiane > Udon Thani > Bangkok
Day 10 (24/11) 190 km > Bangkok > Pattaya
Day 11 (25/11) Pattaya
Day 12 (26/11) Pattaya
Day 13 (27/11) 1035 km > Pattaya > Bangkok > Trang
Day 14 (28/11) 45 km > Trang > Koh Mook Island Resort
Day 15 (29/11) Koh Mook Island Resort
Day 16 (30/11) 180 km > Koh Mook Island Resort > Trang > Hadyai
Day 17 (01/12) Hadyai
Day 18 (02/12) 300 km > Hadyai > Taiping > Sitiawan
--------------
5,308 km of road/rail traveled and total expenses was RM850.00 per person




Day 01 (15.11.2003) Sitiawan > Butterworth > Bangkok (1400km)

09.30am - by air-con express bus to Butterworth (RM10.50)
12.30pm - arrived at Butterworth and met Mr Yeap Guan Leng for lunch beside bus station 02.20pm - 2nd class overnight train with berth to Bangkok (RM95-00)
05.30pm - arrived at Padang Besar for both Malaysian and Thai immigration checking
There is a small duty free shop at the train station. We had our dinner in the train canting.
Padang Besar to Bangkok is 990 km.


I felt very comfortable and was my second time on this train.

Yeap Guan Leng was happy with the cleanliness.


Day 02 (16.11.2003) Bangkok > Nong Khai
 

By 11.10am we arrived at Bangkok Hua Lampong Train Station. We then went straight to get our next train ticket to Nong Khai.

Kept our back-pack at station locker for 25B. Walked to China Town and had lunch - very good chicken rice & beer Chang for 120B for two of us. (Had this the last time I went to Northern Thailand in 2001 with Lau Youn Chong.)

03.00pm Tuk2 dropped us at JJ Market (Chatuchak Market) near Mo Chit.

07.00pm - After 4 hours at JJ we took the Mo Chit sky train at BTS Building to Sala Daeng station to see the famous Patpong gay pups and sexy shows. There are two sky train operators; we have to change from the Sukhumvit Line to Silom Line to get to Sala Daeng changing at the Siam interchange.

We took the sky train from Sala Daeng station to National Stadium station which is nearest to the train station. From there we walked all the way back to the Hua Lampong train station. After taking a bath for a fee of 10B at the station, we walked to a nearby shop for supper. It was the 9.45pm non air-con with berth train to Nong Khai (418B).

Overnight train to Nong Khai is 624km – B418pp


The train approaching Bangkok City.


At Hua Lampong Train Station, Bangkok.

China Town - is in front of the train main entrance. While walking around China Town, we met a tuktuk driver and he proposed a special package arrangement for us. For 2 hours, he would drive us round the city; visited 2 big temples, 4 specialized shops and then drop us at Mo Chit Central Market - all for 20B each about RM2. Guess what? We don't have much money but we have the time, so why not! Furthermore, the next train to Nong Khai was at 9.45pm., so we took it without reservation. The fact was that he could collect petrol vouchers (amount not disclosed) from the shops and spend at least 10 minutes in order for him to qualify. It does not matter whether we buy or not.

The four shops visited were: carpet, gem stone, garment and handicraft shops. If you say that you are from Singapore, the sale-girls would follow you all the way and talk to you, but, if you say you are from Malaysia, they won't even walk & talk to you. Well! We pretended that we are from Singapore to get the girls to follow us.

Walked up to the top of Temple Mount for a 360 degrees view of the city skyline.

The first temple visited was Temple Mount situated in the heart of the city on a hill top.

 The beautiful compound of Happy Buddha temple.

Here, we witnessed devotees performing Dana followed by prayers (offering of food to monks). Inside this temple there are beautiful paintings on the wall.

JJ Market (Chatuchak Market) near Mo Chit. This JJ Market has more that 1,000 stores and sells everything you can think of. Had very good beef noodle in one of the eating stores. Of course we didn't miss the juicy pineapple. For us, it was a very good window shopping experience. I am sure the ladies would love it.

Free tramp transport is provided inside the market.

 Many musicians entertaining the public by the road-side.

We took the Mo Chit sky train at BTS Building to Sala Daeng station to see the famous Patpong gay pups and sexy shows. There are two sky train operators; we have to change from the Sukhumvit Line to Silom Line to get to Sala Daeng changing at the Siam interchange.

We were very fortunate to witness a Gay Parade on the main street organized by the gay clubs. Both sides of the road were so crowded that we could hardly get near to the dancers. I managed to get some shots with my digital camera. There were more European spectators than the local. We later went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.

Day 03 (17.11.2003) Nong Khai

10.00am arrived at Nong Khai train station. Had good lunch at a shop by the train station and bought a bottle of Thai whisky - Nam Song. (Suddenly thought came to my mind - how nice if Val Allan is here.) Took a tuk2 to town and check-in at Mae Khong Guest House for 100B (single room with fan).

11.00am Went to the border check-point for a visit to the Friendship Bridge and also to collect some information regarding visa application at the tourist information centre. From here we paid a tuk2 man to take us round the town and visited some famous temples and sculpture.

Afternoon was spent walking around the town and along the Mekong River. Visited the Tha Sadet Market an Indo-Chinese market which open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. Had very good Thai dinner at Nong's place in the evening and drank 2 bottles of Beer Chang - very cheap at 50B (RM5) per big bottle. The waitress was very pleasant and helpful.

Mae Khong Guest House for 100B (single room with fan).

The morning view of the country side was superb. Along the way to Nong Khai, the country side was flat, clean and beautiful. The air was fresh and cool. One can see miles after miles of sticky rice field and nothing else. Farmers were busy attending to their fields and children going to school.

Sticky rice field

Sugar cane plantations

Nongkhai is a province in the upper North Eastern part of Thailand. It was established in 1868 on the Mekong River bank. It thus uses the Mekong River for more than 350km as its borderline with Laos. Nongkhai is 624 km from Bangkok and just only 25 km from Vientiane.

Check-in at Mae Khong Guest House, This GH at 519 Rimkhong Road is just by the Mekong River. Excellent accommodation with Thai style house, hot shower, internet cafe with good food and drinks.

First visit was the Wat Luang Pho Phra Sai. The Buddha image here is not big but said to be one of the most beautiful statues in Thailand. It is reckoned to be carved in Lan Chang period, the former kingdom of Laos.

Visited the Wat Kaek or Sala Kaew Koo. A unique place with numerous sculptures according to the local belief and applied Buddhism. This big spectacular open-art gallery is about 4km from Nongkhai. Built by the mystic Luang Po Boun Leua Sourirat who passed away in 1996 and his body now lies under a glass hemisphere in the upper gallery of his weird complex. There is a lily pond in the compound with giant fishes.





Many huge sculptures some more than 7 storey high




River view at Mae Khong Guest House

Visited the Tha Sadet Market an Indo-Chinese market. Most of the goods and souvenirs are from China. For the first time I tasted the first cup of Lao coffee and some BBQ banana and potato here.


At a Buddhist monastery


We met a crazy German gipsy in his big bike at Nong's place
Day 04 (18.11.2003) Nong Khai > Vientiane > Vang Vieng (200km)

After breakfast, we took a tuk2 to the border checkpoint and crossed the Thai immigration checkpoint by paying 10B as overtime fee. Crossed the friendship bridge by bus for 20B. Did our Laos visa for USD30 at the Laos immigration office within 15 minutes - very efficient. After passing through the Laos immigration, we took a van to Vientiane for 100B each.

In Vientiane we walked around the town towards the Mekong River looking for guest houses. We were fortunate to see the doll exhibition organized by the Japan Foundation on the World of Kokeshi dolls at the Vientiane Town Hall in conjunction with the Japan Week in Laos. Visited the Vientiane Revolutionary Museum - admission fee is 1000 kip. Visited the Public Bank Branch in Vientiane. Visited the Patusay (Victory Gate) built in the late sixties to resemble the Paris Arc. Walked to Talat Sao (Morning Market) a shopper's paradise and had lunch there.

04.00pm The driver took us back to Public Bank to collect our back-pack, took some pictures of the staff and say goodbye to them who had given us much information. We were driven to the bus station to catch a local bus to Vang Vieng. The bus fare was 10,000 kip per person (RM4). Very cheap for a 160 km journey.

Vieng Villa Guest House for USD2-00 pp per room

Walking towards the Thai immigration checkpoint

The Friendship Bridge is the first international bridge spanning the Mekong River. It was jointly built by the governments of Australia and Thailand to link Nongkhai and Vientiane of Laos. The bridge was officially opened in April 8, 1994.

Laos immigration checkpoint

The Vientiane Town Hall

The doll exhibition organized by the Japan Foundation on the World of Kokeshi dolls at the Vientiane Town Hall in conjunction with the Japan Week in Laos. Unique folk toys are found in every part of Japan and among the most typical are KOKESHI, or wooden dolls. Kokeshi are made throughout the country today, but only in the TOHOKU region (the northern end of the Honshu Island). They are made according to traditional local techniques passed down through generations of craftsmen.

Vientiane Revolutionary Museum housed in a French colonial structure, the Museum displays memorabilia from the period of struggle for freedom and independence. A section features the achievements of the Lao PDR since 1975. Admission fee is 1000 kip.


Public Bank Branch in Vientiane. The Manager was on leave, however, we met and talked to the Assistant Branch Manager, En Zullkifly who was very helpful. We sat in his room and received much information of the country we needed. We left our back-pack in his office and walked around the city centre.

Patusay is situated at the end of Lan Xang Avenue, which starts at the Presidential Palace and is the gateway to the Wat That Luang Stupa. A place for people who like to sit in the garden around it and enjoy the evening air. Open daily from 8 to 6 pm and admission fee 1000 kip.

The ceiling decoration features is mainly Kinari - half woman half bird creatures

View of the city from the top of the monument. There are shops selling T-shirt and textile on the 4th floor. We bought our Beer Lao T-shirt for 7000 kip.


This Talat Sao market has everything one needs, from clothes to electronic goods. Most noteworthy is the traditional textile section on the ground floor of the building towards the left. Hand woven silk and cotton textiles show the richness and variety of patterns and colors of clothes worn by Lao women in their daily lives. Gold and silver jewelry as well as antiques are to be found in the pavilion on the right, located on the first floor. The central pavilion houses a large department store.


Walking around town we came across a big monitor lizard in front of a shop house


Walked back to Public Bank the ABM was kind enough to arrange for his driver to drive us for a city tour and visited the best three temples in town.

1st temple was the Wat That Dam the black stupa, another landmark of Vientiane. It is surrounded by legends. It is believed to be the shrine of mighty Nagas-mythical dragons - who are the protectors of the capital city.

2nd temple was the Ho Prakeo Museum, built in 1565 by order of King Sayasetthathirath when he transferred the capital of the Kingdom of Lan Xang from Luang Prabang to Vientiane; this shrine once housed Pra Keo, the Emerald Buddha. As a King's private worshipping place, the sanctuary never had monks in residence and therefore cannot be called a true wat, or monastery. Ho Prakeo was destroyed by Siamese invaders in 1828 and was rebuilt in1936 as a museum of religious art. Does not allow taking picture inside. Admission is 1000 kip.

3rd temple was the That Luang the Grand Stupa.


That Luang was built by King Sayasetthathirath in 1566. The monument, built on the location of an older stupa, is believed to contain a relic of the Buddha. The 45 meter high structure was damaged several times by foreign invaders but each time was restored with caring love of the Lao people. That Luang has become the symbol of the Lao nation and is depicted in the country's coat of arms. A statue of King Setthathirath stands in front of the stupa, which used to be surrounded by four monasteries of which only two still exist. A three-day festival is celebrated each year in November, attracting huge crowds of worshipers. Admission fee is 1000 kip.

At the bus station to catch a local bus to Vang Vieng

The 160km journey to Vang Vieng by bus was interesting. This local bus carried anything from software to hardware. Crates of Beer Lao were loaded on the roof-top of the bus and other goods were in the bus.

After 5 hours of long and winding road, we finally reached Vang Vieng at 9.00 pm. It was dark and the bus just dropped us by the road side and went off. We were actually lost as we were not able to locate the town proper. We then decided to walk towards some lights at a distance and the sound of music. We walked across a sandy field and met a backpacker. We quickly asked for directions and information and were told of the guess houses on the other side of the field near the river.

We found this Vieng Villa Guest House for USD2-00 (fan single room with hot shower and attached bathroom). Had very good & cheap dinner at Nam Bot Restaurant. Beer Lao is only 6000 kip per big bottle - RM2.40. We then booked VIP air-con bus ticket for Luang Prabang the next day. Vientiane to Vang Vieng is 160 km.

Day 05 (19.11.2003) Vang Vieng > Luang Prabang (260km)

11.00am - VIP bus to Luang Prabang. Fantastic view of the villages along the road and the sight of the mountains.

5.30pm - Arrived at Luang Prabang bus station. Took a tuk2 to town and walked around the Nam Khan River towards Mekong River.

6.00pm Sunset view at Mekong River was superb. Stayed at Mekong Guesthouse by the river for USD3-00 (fan twin sharing).

Mekong Guesthouse by the river for USD3-00 per room (fan twin sharing).


6.30am sun-rise from a temple compound


7.30am at the temple, a young monk was seen hitting a big bell with a wooden hammer to inform the people of the time for prayers.

Old folks from the village later came to the temple to offer food to the monks


The monks would recite prayers before eating the food offered

Visited the beautiful River Side Bungalows


The river banks with the limestone hills as backdrop

Another riverside guesthouse chalet

A typical Laos house


Morning make-shift market


Exotic animals were sold in the market - worms, dogs, cats, bats, water snails



Python snake


Water frogs

Water bugs


The beautiful river scene


Backpackers sleeping in an open wooden platform along the river


Children going to school

The bridge across to the other side of the river


A lady collecting water-weed


This is the 'Other Side Guesthouse'



Sticky rice and water-weed for lunch







This is the post office


Fantastic view of the mountains. All the way up, cress crossing through right and left side of the mountain-top before stopping for lunch at a small town known as Lao Soung (hilltop dwellers).

Fantastic view of the villages doting the road


We noticed this hilltop dwellers carrying guns for hunting

Pictures of homes of the hilltop dwellers known as Lao Soung




A Lao Soung mother and children

5.30pm - Arrived at Luang Prabang bus station. Took a tuk2 to town and walked around the Nam Khan River towards Mekong River.

Along Nam Khan River which runs through the town

Sunset as we walked along Mekong River looking for guesthouse

We had some BBQ fish, banana, potato and beer lao for dinner by the river


We walked to night market and a monument on the main road

Day 06 (20.11.2003) Luang Prabang

After breakfast at 9am, we walked along the Mekong River banks and later took a 2hr boat rides up the Mekong River to visit the Pak Ou or Tham Ting Caves for USD3pp.

After lunch at 2pm we walked to the town centre and visited the central market. At 6pm we walked up the Phousi Stupa (also known as Wat That Chomsi). It is the most prominent Wat in Luang Prabang. It is located on top of Phousi Mountain, in the heart of the city. Admission fee is 8000 kips (RM3.20).

Mekong Guesthouse by the river for USD3-00 per room (fan twin sharing).

Mekong Guesthouse by the river for USD3-00 per room

Luang Prabang situated at the centre of northern Laos was the ancient royal capital of Laos, once isolated and forbidden, the 600-year-old city on the banks of the Mekong river is a visual feast of Buddhist temples.

In the misty early morning hours, local women and tribal peoples in traditional dress crowd the market to buy tropical fruits, while lines of saffron-robed Buddhist monks walked the narrow lanes to receive alms from the faithful. Luang Prabang has been described as Southeast Asia's best preserved ancient city and it was recently awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1998, a move that will ensure that Luang Prabang remains pristine for generations to come. The city is easily explored on foot or bicycle and has an exotic array of sights. In Luang Prabang town there are 52 temples and over a 100 historical buildings. This gives the town its special attraction and relaxed atmosphere. The province has a total population of about 400 thousand divided into 3 main groups; Lao Loum (lowland dwellers, 39%) Lao Theung (Slope dwellers, 45%) and Lao Soung (hilltop dwellers, 16%).








Pak Ou Cave is a popular river excursion located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou River. It is located about 25km by boat north of Luang Prabang. Two caves; in the lower part of a limestone cliff facing the river are crammed with Buddha images of all styles and sizes known as Tham Ting, is entered from the river by a series of steps and can easily be seen in daylight.



Over 5,000 ancient wooden and metal Buddha statues placed there by worshipers



Every year, during the Lao New Year celebrations in April, boatloads of townsfolk make the pilgrimage up river to gain merit by ritually bathing the Buddha.


Stairs to the left of Tham Ting lead around to the upper cave, Tham Phum, which is deeper and requires artificial light for viewing – be sure to bring a torch if you want to see both caves.






Bottles of snake wine




A monument on the main road


A good panoramic view of the town at the on top of Phousi Mountain

The airport runway can be seen from here


At 6pm we walked up the Phousi Stupa (also known as Wat That Chomsi). It is the most prominent Wat in Luang Prabang. It is located on top of Phousi Mountain, in the heart of the city. This Wat was built in 1804 during the reign of the King Anourath (1792-1817). There were about 100 people at the top to watch the sun-set. Admission fee is 8000 kips (RM3.20).




Day 07 (21.11.2003) Luang Prabang > Vang Vieng (260km)
After breakfast at 8am, we walked around the morning market and explore the villages along the river. We left Luang Prabang at 10am by mini bus to Vang Vieng for US8 per pax.

We arrived at Vang Vieng at 3.30pm and checked in at Phoubane GH by the river side. After a short rest at the GH we walked along the river-bridges and had a good swim with the local children. In the evening we walked the night market and later send email to friends.

We then booked ticket for the Kayaking trip to Vientiane for USD8 per person which includes lunch. We were also lucky that the next day fee for kayaking to Vientiane be increased to USD20 due to government tax.

Stayed at Phoubane guest house by the river in Vang Vieng - a very Laotian atmosphere. Very good and cheap. (USD3-00 twin sharing).
Mini bus to Vang Vieng for USD 8 per pax
Phoubane guest house by the river – US3 per room (fan twin sharing)






At Vang Vieng market - birds and squirrels

I am not sure what animal is this

Bats

Civet cat

The way to relax by the river side




Day 08 (22.11.2003) Vang Vieng > Vientiane (Kayaking)

10.30 am After breakfast, we were taken by pick-up with the kayaks on the roof-top and driven for 1 hour to a village by the Nam Lik River. Kayaking trip to Vientiane is USD8 per person.

11.40 am We started kayaking down the river for about 1 hour and shot 4 rapids before we stopped for lunch.

05.00 pm Arrived at Vientiane. The whole trip cost USD8-00 but the next day fee be increased to USD20. Lucky wasn’t it. In Vientiane we stayed at Xayo Guest House by the Mekong river for USD5-00 (non air-con twin sharing)
 




Visited morning market again









A backpacker from England at the Phoubane guesthouse by the river

A free car-wash by the Nam Lik River

Here we were briefed on kayaking and how to tackle the rapids. We were also briefed on the safety measures to be taken.


A few kayaks were capsized while crossing the rapids. Mr. Yeap was the first kayak to capsize as he hit against a rock. It was a fantastic kayaking experienced in the crystal clear cold water.


During lunch time at the river bank, while 2 guides were preparing BBQ the other guide took us for a dive. We started with the 5 meter dive followed by the 10 meter dive. I could only manage the 5 meter jump. It was nice swimming in the river.





The scenery was superb just like in New Zealand said Mr. Yeap



For lunch we were given a plate of fried rice, bread, fruits and 2 BBQ sticks. We then continued kayaking for another 45 minutes after lunch before we arrived at a river bank where another pick-up was ready to pick us up for the road journey to Vientiane.




The road journey to Vientiane














Day 09 (23.11.2003) Vientiane > Udon Thani > Bangkok (654km)


Breakfast at Talat Sao Market

Took local bus no.14 to boarder

At custom check-point we took a taxi to Udon Thani for 120B each


Lunch at Udon Thani and then explore the town. Visited Robinson Shoping Centre. Udon Thani was well lighted and lively with a big night market in the evening. Had beef porage & BBQ octopus for dinner in the market.



09.00 pm - left Udon Thani by non air-con train to Bangkok (399B)
Day 10 (24.11.2003) Bangkok > Pattaya

9.00 am - Arrived at Bangkok Hua Lampong train station. Breakfast at side stall and met a Thai who speaks Chinese. He taught us how to take a bus to Pattaya. First take bus number 25 or 40 to the Eastern Bus Station at Ekkamai. From there take the express bus to Pattaya.

We stayed at B.R.Inn at 224/26 Soi 12, Pattaya Beach Road - 400B (twin sharing & air-con). The whole afternoon was spent exploring the water-front area. By evening we were so tired that for once we slept early at 9.00 pm.


11.00 am - At Ekkamai, we book the VIP bus to Pattaya for 90B. pp.01.15 pm - Arrived at Pattaya bus station. Took tuk2 for 20B to town.

Pattaya lies about 150 km to the southeast of Bangkok, about two hours by road, and stretches for some 15 km along the Eastern Seaboard. Pattaya beach is a palm-fringed, sandy bay with a view of coral islands on the horizon. Nearby are other cliffs and other bays, while inland, the region is rich in agricultural products including sugar cane, tapioca, rubber, and fruit trees.




Hard Rock cafe Pattaya

Pattaya in the 1960s was just a little fishing village, until a few Bangkok residents began to take their weekends here and generated a modest local tourist industry. Even so, the only hotel of any size was the Nipa Lodge; other accommodation tended towards holiday bungalows and beach huts. The Vietnam War saw the start of Pattaya's international reputation, for the fledgling resort was used as an official R & R centre for the US forces.

After dark, options include open-air bars, nightclubs, cabaret shows and discos. The nightlife centre is South Pattaya, popularly known as "The Strip".

"Walking Street"


Day 11 (25.11.2003) Pattaya

After breakfast, it was time to say farewell to Mr. Yeap who had to go back to Penang as he has to work on 27 Nov. I changed to P.S.Guest House at 219/5M. 10 Soi Yamato for 250B (single room air-con). In the afternoon, I explored the Southern part of Pattaya. Visited the Big Buddha on a hill top at the southern section. Evening was spent walking along the beach front area and the "Walking Street".





























Day 12 (26.11.2003) Pattaya

The day was exploring the Northern and Central part of Pattaya.
Evening was spent walking along the beach front area and the "Walking Street".



Pattaya city is divided into 3 sections: Northern, Central & Southern



























Hi there, I am relaxing here in Pattaya like the rest of them.



















Day 13 (27.11.2003) Pattaya > Bangkok >Trang (1035 km)

08.00 am - After breakfast I took a tuk2 to the bus station for 20B.
09.00 am - Took the bus to Ekamai, Bangkok for 90B.
11.00 am - Arrived at Ekkamai bus station. Walked 2 hours towards Siam interchange by following the sky train route just to explore the City. I continued walking to Phloen Chit station where I took the sky train to National Stadium station which is nearest to Hua Lampong Train Station. Lunch at China town - chicken rice & beer chang.
Train leaves for Trang at 6.00 pm. (Non air-con with berth is 510B).


At Nana interchange junction there is the famous Four Face Buddha shrine. Hundreds of people come to pray here everyday. I was told that there are many Malaysians who would fly to Bangkok just to pray here yearly for health and wealth. I too prayed for good health and safe traveling always.


There was this traditional Thai dancers performing in the compound and also accompanied by traditional Thai musician.





A golf course in the center of Bangkok



Day 14 (28.11.2003) Trang > Koh Mook Island Resort

08.35 am - Arrived at Trang town.



Had breakfast at the backpacker’s coffee shop on the main road and later booked two night stay at Koh Mook Resort for 200B a night.


Walked around town and the fresh market






12.30 pm - Resort's van took me to Kuantungku jetty - 40 km from Trang and the 30 minutes boat ride to the island cost 170B.






02.00 pm checked-in at the resort. Went swimming at the beautiful beach.

Day 15 (29.11.2003) Koh Mook Island Resort

Relaxed at the resort - free and easy. Explored the fishing village nearby. Explored other beaches and resorts on the island. Swimming at the beautiful beach.



The fishing village







Day 16 (30.11.2003) 180km Koh Mook Island Resort - Trang - Hadyai

12.30 pm - Checked-out and pay 170B for boat and car to Trang
02.30 pm - Traveled by the local bus to Hadyai (70B)
05.30 pm - Arrived at Hadyai
Stayed at Hock Chin Hin Hotel for 150B (fan single room)

Day 17 (01.12.2003) Hadyai

Time to relax and be easy.
Walking around town and window shopping.

Day 18 (02.12.2003) 300 km Hadyai - Butterworth - Taiping - Sitiawan

07.15 am - Express Train to Butterworth (322B). Lunch at Padang Besar station cafeteria after customs and immigration check.
01.30 pm - Arrived at Butterworth.
02.00 pm - Bus to Taiping (RM5).
03.00 pm - Arrived at Taiping.



Sunset at the Mekong River, Vientiane
Ching Neng Bin 012-5053199 email: ching2662@yahoo.co.uk 
Yeap Guan Leng 016-4704856 email: guan-leng_yeap@agilent.com

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