2015 - North-Eastern Thailand and Laos - Day 20

North-Eastern (I-San) Thailand and Laos, 16 Nov - 10 Dec 2015 (25days)
Another fantastic buffet breakfast at Saphai Pae Backpackers hostel.

Day 20 (05 Dec) Bangkok – Chao Phraya River boat ride to Khaosan Road

After breakfast in Saphai Pae hostel, we walked to Sathorn Pier to take the Blue Flag (Tourist Boat) to Phra Arthit Pier. From there we walked around Khaosan Road and the surrounding places of interest e.g. Wat Chana Songkhram and Susie Walking Street off Khaosan Road, Wat Bowonniwet Wihan, Democracy Monument, Devasathan Brahmin Shrines, Giant Swing, Wat Suthat Thepwararam Ratchaworamahawiharn, Old Big Gun Museum, City Pillar Temple and Shrine, pink elephant statue and lastly the Grand Palace. We returned by boat to Sathorn Pier and walked back to our hostel for a good rest.

In the evening on 5th Dec.2015, we were invited by Eddie and Adeline Chang for dinner at Taling Pling, 25 Sukhumvit Soi 34. Also present were Adeline’s niece Ms Chang and her friends from KL and Australia on holiday in Bangkok. This restaurant was rated 4.4 out of 5 by Trip Advisor.

Sleeping at Saphai Pae Backpackers hostel, Bangkok with breakfast near to Surasak BTS station. Dormitory room for four with breakfast for 450baht per person.

My breakfast at Saphai Pae Backpackers hostel.

This kind-hearted girl who walked with us and show us the Sathorn Pier.
We took this Blue Flag (Tourist Boat) to Phra Arthit Pier.This Sathorn pier is a popular stop for tour groups and docking point for commuter boats. Remember in August 2015 a bomb reportedly thrown from Sathorn Bridge into the parking lot near Sathorn pier, bounced into the water and exploded. Luckily nobody was hurt.

Chao Phraya River - on the left is the new Supakarn Condominium.

Chao Phraya River.

This Taksin Bridge crossing the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok and was designed with a large gap between opposing traffic directions to accommodate a canceled mass transit system.

What a view of so many high rise buildings dotting the Chao Phraya river side. The 5 star Peninsula Hotel is on the right. 

Chao Phraya River skyline view.

Millennium Hilton Bangkok is a posh, high-rise hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

On the Chao Phraya River cruise we met Malaysian tourist, En. Appendi and family.

The Holy Rosary Church, also known as Kalawar, is a Roman Catholic church in Bangkok. It is located in Samphanthawong District, on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River.

Chao Phraya River - the garden.

Chao Phraya River -  a view of Chinese temple from the river boat.

Saphan Phut, the first bridge over the Chao Phraya river, was opened in 1932 to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the reigning Chakri dynasty.

Wichai Prasit fort was originally built in the time of the previous kingdom of Ayutthaya to prevent ships from sailing up the river to the then Siamese capital. It is closed to the public and is now the Royal Navy headquarters.

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, is a Buddhist temple located along the bank of the Chao Phraya River, in the Thonburi district of Bangkok. Wat Arun is currently undergoing renovation.

Grand Palace as viewed from the Chao Phraya River.

Chao Phraya River - a view of the pier.

Chao Phraya River - a boat full of tourist.

Chao Phraya River - tourist waiting on a pier bridge.

Chao Phraya River - a view of the wooden houses on stilt.

Chao Phraya River view.

Chao Phraya River view.

The Rama VIII Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. Construction of the bridge took place from 1999 to 2002.

Chao Phraya River - The Phra Arthit (also called Banglampo) pier is our access point to the backpacker-set district of Khaosan.

Photo taken on the alley between Phra Arthit pier to Khao San road.

Wat Chana Songkram temple bells.

Wat Chana Songkram - Thai citizens and monks praying for His Majesty the King of Thailand birthday on 5 Dec.

Wat Chana Songkram was built in the 18th century - The altar is quite impressive with its golden Buddha image and ceremonial umbrella. At the side aisle is a small enthroned statue of King Taksin.

Khao San Road is the backpackers heaven in Bangkok and you only have 7 things to do here.

Khao San Road - The street has numerous restaurant, bars, hotels, shops and entertainment, during the night the entire neighborhood comes alive.

Khao San Road - It represents the most concentrated tourist area and has everything to offer from t-shirt, street food, beer and performers.

Susie Walking Street - a place for youngsters to get drunk and act stupid.

Chan Meng Fye bought a backpack here for 1,200 baht.

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan - the temple's current importance comes from the fact that King Rama IV (Mongkut) served as abbot here. Mongkut never expected to become king and spent 27 years in the priesthood before succeeding his brother.

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan - a novice monk and devotees seen praying and walking round the temple.

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan - devotees seen walking round the temple.

Buddha images at Wat Bowonniwet Wihan.

The four novice monks about to be ordained as monks in Wat Bowonniwet Wihan.

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan - The ordination procedure for Buddhist monks begins with the applicant's formal request (Pabbajja) to a senior monk or bhikkhu for the novice (samanera) ordination. On receiving permission, the applicant prepares for the ceremony by acquiring a complete set of robes.

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan - The applicant approaches the senior monk and pays his respects by bowing three times and hands over the robes saying a passage prescribed for the purpose. Then he formally asks the senior monk to give him the robes, and having received them he is helped by the monks to put them on.

The applicant then makes a formal request for the novice ordination. The senior monk acquiescing administers the Three Refuges and the Ten Precepts or training rules.

The Democracy Monument is a public monument in the centre of Bangkok and occupies a traffic circle on the wide east-west Ratchadamnoen Klang Road.
Photo of Ratchadamnoen Klang Road. One of the most socially important public holidays on the Thai calendar is 5th December, which is the birthday of reigning King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His birthday gives rise to a large number of celebrations and festivities across the country annually. 
The beautiful inner walk-path decoration along Ratchadamnoen Klang Road.
Devasathan Brahmin Shrines, Bangkok.

The 69 feet Giant Swing is a religious structure in Phra Nakhon, Bangkok. Located in front of Wat Suthat, formerly used in an old Brahmin ceremony, and is one of Bangkok's tourist attractions.
Wat Suthat Thep Wararam is a royal temple of the first grade, one of ten such temples in Bangkok. Construction begun by King Rama I in 1807,  completed by King Rama II in 1847 and King Rama III gave the temple name "Wat Suthat Thepwararam". 

Wat Suthat Thep Wararam.

Wat Suthat Thep Wararam - surrounded by 156 Buddha images.
Phra Sri Sakyamuni - cast in "Marn Wichai" posture.

Old Big Gun Museum is located in the old building of the Ministry of Defense, opposite the royal palace. The uniqueness of the museum is the 3-storey European building. The building is painted in yellow with white lines while the windows are painted in green.

Old Big Gun Museum - In front of the building are 40 old cannons such as Naraisangharn and Phya Thanee cannons and the old cannon set from France.

City Pillar Temple and Shrine, Bangkok.
The pink elephant statue outside of Grand Palace in Bangkok.

The Grand Palace in Bangkok - no admission fee today in conjunction with the King’s birthday.

The Grand Palace was built in 1782 and was home to the Thai kings for 150 years.

This Taling Pling restaurant was rated 4.4 out of 5 by TripAdvisor and 4.7 by public.

Taling Pling restaurant has an extensive menu that offers Thai cuisine which were well portioned and reasonably priced.

Taling Pling restaurant - the spacious dining interiors and high ceiling provided a very pleasant ambiance. Noticed the incredible large shelves on the right.

Taling Pling restaurant.

Taling Pling restaurant - we loved the ambiance of glass wall up to ceiling and the large glass windows looking out into the gardens.

Taling Pling restaurant - private dining rooms are available upstairs.

Taling Pling restaurant - on the right is Eddie and Adeline our honorable hosts. Three of us, Chew Leng Soon, Chan Meng Fye and myself had our best meal in 20 days on this backpacking trip. We would sincerely like to thank both Eddie and Adeline for inviting us for this sumptuous dinner. We loved the great Thai savory cuisine and as well as the dessert and beer that followed.

Taling Pling restaurant - the first starter was betel leaf wraps with peanuts and sweet molasses. This popular Thai street food can also be found in Laos and designed to be eaten in a single bite, DIY each wrap that contains sweet molasses and crunchy peanuts.

Taling Pling restaurant BBQ pork neck.

Taling Pling restaurant dishes.

Taling Pling restaurant dishes.

Taling Pling restaurant - the dishes were tasty and complemented one another. Thanks to Adeline Chang for the good choices of dishes ordered.

Taling Pling restaurant - Thailand's popular dessert is the sticky rice with mango.

Taling Pling restaurant - Eddie and Adeline Chang on bicycles at the main entrance.

Taling Pling restaurant - after your meal, the restaurant provides free transport for all dinners to the closest BTS station on Sukhumvit road.

Click below to view:
Day 01 (16.11.15) AirAsia AK 856 KUL. 12.45pm to Chiang Mai, (1738km)
Day 02 (17 Nov) Chiang Mai to Loei to Phu Kradueng to Khon Kaen (691km)
Day 03 (18 Nov) Khon Kaen City walk around
Day 04 (19 Nov) Khon Kaen City to Kalasin (80km)
Day 05 (20 Nov) Kalasin to Sakon Nakhon (129km)

Day 06 (21 Nov) Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom (92km)
Day 07 (22 Nov) Nakhon Phanom - day trip to Thakhek, Laos (62km)
Day 08 (23 Nov) Nakhon Phanom to Mukdahan (125km)
Day 09 (24 Nov) Mukdahan - trip to Phu Pha Thoet National Park (108km)
Day 10 (25 Nov) Mukdahan to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (194km)

Day 11 (26 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Pakse to Si Phan Don, Laos (291km)
Day 12 (27 Nov) Si Phan Don - a long walk to Somphamit Waterfall
Day 13 (28 Nov) Si Phan Don to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (291km)
Day 14 (29 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Si Sa Ket by van (67km)
Day 15 (30 Nov) Si Sa Ket to Buri Ram by train (148km)

Day 16 (01 Dec) Buri Ram - day visit to 3 places (219km)
Day 17 (02 Dec) Buri Ram to Nakhon Ratchasima by train (129km)
Day 18 (03 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima - day trip to Phimai (120km)
Day 19 (04 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by train (264km)
Day 20 (05 Dec) Bangkok - Chao Phraya River boat ride to Khaosan Road

Day 21 (06 Dec) Bangkok - rest day and dinner at Royal Bangkok Sports Club
Day 22 (07 Dec) Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan by train (320km)
Day 23 (08 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan
Day 24 (09 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hatyai by night train (660km)
Day 25 (10 Dec) Hatyai to Butterworth by train and to KL by bus (555km)