On Friday I arrived home from a week at Falls Creek. We had amazing weather, and there was lots of snow coverage. I carried my Bryton Rider 20+ in my jacket pocket to track my runs, and loaded them up into the BrytonSport website.
Here’s a handy Google Map layering our tracks from each day, and a few photos from on the mountain.
In total we covered 163.93km, reaching a maximum speed of 54.9kph on the last day towards the bottom of Big Dipper. Looking forward to going back next year and trying to beat my speed!
Today was my last day in Thailand. Victoria and I had booked a cooking class at the Helping Hands Thai Cooking school. The lessons are run by a lady called Poo (Poo is actually her nick name, derived from her full name Champoo – Thai for rose apple). Poo lives in the Klong Toey area of Bangkok, where she used to run a small food stall. She was only making just enough money to feed her family, when the Helping Hands organisation approached her and helped to set up a cooking school. With some help from her catchy nickname, her Cooking With Poo classes are now very popular! Other residents of Klong Toey also benefit from the business, supplying aprons, cloth bags and raw materials used in the classes. If you’re interested in the class, I’d highly recommend it! Check out the Cooking with Poo website or Facebook page.
After a full day at Ayutthaya, I was ready for a quiet day on Wednesday. After a sleep in, Victoria and I went to a shopping centre called Terminal 21. Each floor is themed like a different country, and the signs above the escalators are like airport boarding gates. We checked out the theme on each floor, and stopped in at an impressive Rome themed toilet. I bought a tshirt and a funky bow tie, and we had lunch in the food court. It was a nice lazy way to start the day!
I had a big day today, visiting Ayutthaya to check out the temples and ruins there. Ayutthaya is about an hour and a half north of Bangkok, so a pretty good distance for a day trip. Having explored the city for the last few days I was ready to get out of town and see something different.
Today I made my way across the city to visit the Grand Palace, and neighbouring Wat Pho. The Grand Palace used to be the official residence of the king, although now it is only used for official events. It’s a large complex of buildings built on Rattanakosin Island, a man made island created when a canal was built which separated that piece of land from the rest of the city. From Victoria’s apartment, the best way to get there was two trains to Central Pier, then the Chao Phraya Express Boat to the Tha Chang stop which is just across the road from the Palace.
After a busy week, I had a slightly lazier day on Sunday. We’d been pretty not stop in Chiang Mai, and spent a lot of time on our feet yesterday exploring Chatuchak market. Today we slept in, then went for a lazy coffee with Marwan (it was his one day off work for the fortnight). We went to a nice coffee shop, that reminded me of the sort of place you’d find back home. After coffee we wandered a shopping centre for a little while, then Marwan decided to head back home while Victoria and I continued on to Wat Saket on the Golden Mount.
It was our last day in Chiang Mai. We’d covered just about everything on our initial plan, except for the Warorot market, a market located a short distance outside the eastern wall, which sells fresh and cooked food, along with clothing, kitchenware, souvenirs and other miscellaneous items.
This morning after breakfast, we went across the road to a shop which rents bikes for 50 bhat per day (that’s only $2!). We had pulled together a list of temples we wanted to visit and decided that cycling would be faster than walking and better value than constantly jumping in and out of a songthaew. It also turned out to be a great way to explore the city. Continue reading →
Yesterday was our first full day in Chiang Mai. We had spent some time on Tuesday working out the various things we wanted to see while we’re here. Towards the top of our list was Doi Suthep, a temple located on a mountain just a short way out of the city.
We had breakfast at Elliebum at 8am then walked to the north gate of the Old City to catch a songthaew. These are a form of taxi, basically a red ute with a special canopy built on the back providing bench seats and shelter.
Unfortunately my trip to Bangkok wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped for. After the wild thunderstorms in Melbourne on Monday morning, flights out of Melbourne airport were significantly delayed.
My first flight was scheduled to leave Melbourne for Singapore at 12pm, but in the end didn’t take off until just after 2pm. This then meant I was 2 hours late landing in Singapore leaving only 15 minutes to make my connecting flight.