Where Is Woodzy? travel blog

Koa San road, Bangkok, the gateway to South East Asia

Grand Palace - I was to see many temples across Thailand &...

Thai Boxing in Bangkok - the National champion is in this fight

Bangkok at night from the Sky Bar at the top of the...

Classic Thailand, hammocks, Ko pha Ngan late one afternoon

followed by great sunsets every night

NYE I think, dont know what the handbands are all about! with...

Ring of fire - a typical scene on the beach at night...

Full Moon Party Ko Pha Ngan, with Si, Rudi, Scott, Dale &...

The party still going strong into the morning

Gandalf makes an appearence at the party

The highest point in Thailand during 3 days trek around Chang Mai

Me, Si & Rudi join in a football match (the main event...

Theres a 7 Eleven everywhere in Thailand!

Laos - fishing at sunset - the Mekong delta where the river...

Laos - Pha That Luang in Vientiane, the most important of Laos...

Bus wash - well they damn need it, it's a dusty place...

Luang Prabang - they like a bit of gold & glitter at...

Monk studying in the tranquil grounds of a temple

Lao transport - the half tractor convert, it's not fast but they...

Me & Dale have a go (me badly) at a local festival,...

One of the villages we stayed at trekking near Luang Nam Tha,...

The friendly and curious kids of the Khum ethnic village

Didn't realise I had such a crowd - the kids love looking...

Big knife! But there's no concern from the parents, we saw kids...

The village water supply and for everyone and everything, including us whilst...

The dense forest which we walked through between villages

The joys of travel? Me, Dale & Nikki on plastic stalls in...

Watching the sunset across the Mekong river and hills in northern Lao


When arriving in Bangkok I headed to the Koa San Road (madness), taking in the atmosphere and making a plan of where to go for Xmas. I meet up with friends from back home and some I meet traveling who had made there way around to Thailand the same time, the general idea was to hit the backpacker island Ko Pha Ngan, which should be a good base over the festive period with it's beaches and parties. It was quality spending Christmas in a tropical climate, still had a full roast dinner of course. Obviously the Tsunami hit the west coastline of Thailand at this time, KPN being the other side it had no effect, and in some ways it seemed to pass KPN by with little coverage it seemed a world away. It wasn't until going back to the mainland after New Year that I first understood the full extent of the disaster. Over the next few weeks I went far north, doing some trekking around Chang Mai, then going Kanchanaburi and back to KPN.

This was my 2nd time in South East Asia, I had been to Cambodia & Vietnam before, so I wanted to see Laos this time, which promised 'old Asia', unspoiled or influenced by western ways (it cut itself off from the rest of the world for 20 years up until recently). What you first notice is how quiet and slow it is compared to Thailand, which can be both good and bad, the streets are deserted with just a few Monks walking around, the people are very calm & tranquil , but then again you can wait around a long time for your food that's if they even remember you ordered of course!

Its very rural with most people living outside the towns and probably the highlight of Laos was doing a 3 day trek through ethnic hill tribe villages in the far northern mountains near Luang Nam Tha. Visiting villages which had never seen western tourist we were made to feel very welcome and got a real insight into how they live (a very good way of life at that). The project is run by a Government ecotourism group who work with the hill tribes to make sure it doesn't damage or ruin their communities etc.

Traveling around Laos was not easy with poor buses and bad roads all twisting and turning up and down the mountains, they were always overbooked so first come first serve for seats (we had plastic stools for one 7 hour journey), and the locals who mustn't travel much all seemed prone to motion sickness, vomiting into plastic bags if we were lucky, if not on the floor! There were always the slow boats down the river Mekong, but even they were far from comfortable after a few hours. But Laos was great, hard to describe why, it's just about experiencing it, the way of life how different it is.

Also just been down near Krabi (Railay Bay) on the west coast of Thailand for a few days whilst waiting for my India Visa to process, and pleased to say most of Thailand is back to normal after the tsunami (only Ko Phi Phi & Lak off limits), the damage here always exaggerated by the media, and tourist numbers getting back up so that was good to see, and it is a beautiful coastline.



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