Friday 30 September 2011

Chiang Mai

We spend 3 days in Chaing Mai, playing with the tigers, renting bikes, riding on elephants, eating A LOT of good food, and generally enjoying the laid back vibe. After arriving in Bangkok, from Cambodia (and changing buses about 4 different times) we headed straight to the bus station for our overnight ride to Chaing Mai. The bus we got there was quite nice. After quickly stuffing our faces with KFC (not knowing there was food on the bus), we were then given a rice and vegetable meal, snack box and 2 drinks... The bus was pretty comfy except for it being REALLY cold and the air-con dripping on me in the middle of the night. On the way back from Chaing Mai we got the cheapest bus back, it wasn't comfy, gave us no food and unbeknownst to us the men were in the boot going through our bags. Althought mine and Fontaine had a built in lock they picked it (in the process breaking mine) and my (stupidly) hidden $100 was stolen. Obviously I shouldn't have left the money in there, but I was relying on the lock. You live and learn I suppose...

This is the name of the temple above

Local food market
Local Healthy restaurant
Adaptable Asians
Ronald gets into the spirit of Thailand
When we were in Chaing Mai was booked a day tour to ride on elephants. It also included White water rafting (brilliant!), an orchid and butterfly park (crap), and a walk through the forest to see a waterfall. It should also have had bamboo rafting, but it was too wet for that so they let us have a go on the zip lines, which to be honest was much better than rafting anyway! The only pictures I have of this day were taken on my throwaway camera, and the outcome is far less of a success than the mudfest 'old school' photos. Here are the best of a bad bunch...

rickety bridge
On the rickety bridge over to the elephants
eating some more
That's Fontaine there in the orange.

Fonty on the elephant
Elmer the elephant
Orchids. Do not pick.

Rubbish butterfly farm

Getting all arty with my camera

Our 'hike' though the jungle brought us here
Fancy some chips...?

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Summer camp games.

I promised a video of the things we got up to at summer camp, and finally here it is!

Cards and things

Today I got something from home and something for home...

My first (and only) new home card! :-) Thanks Nic!

I shouldn't be allowed in stationary shops without supervision...

Aren't they cute though?!

Loot my students leave in class

Foreigners only this way please.

There are many things in Korea make me think 'That would never happen in England', Open fire BBQs in restaurants, children cleaning the classrooms, sitting outside a corner shop drinking, being able to take your popcorn into a conveinience store and have them warm it up in the microwave for free, taking your own food into places that sell food, thinking there is room to board the train when the people inside have their noses against the window, and especially discounts or special offers ONLY available to foreigners. I can hear the reaction now 'Foreigners only? YOU WHAT?! Coming over here, stealing our jobs, and now extra offers?!' This weekend in Seoul, Seoul FC held a special football match for foreigners. My friend Carmen and I went along to check it out. It cost 10,000won (tickets from an Itaewon bar) and there were a few stalls outside offering freebies (which we missed out on due to drinking outside the local GS in the sunshine...) and then once inside the stadium we got a free hotdog and beer. Koreans could go but it's more expensive and they don't get any of the freebies... Just imagine the uproar that would cause at home!!!

This is one of my favourite things about Seoul. Going over the han river on the subway. I will miss this when I leave.

Fake tattoos

Yes that's a Nottingham Forest shirt...

Bloody foreigners!

Have you seen these rocks?

Seoul FC Vs Daejeon 4-1

Free beer, which I didn't finish yuk!

Vuvuzela time!

No stretcher for these guys, any player who goes down gets carried off in this little buggy. Another thing you'd never see at home!

Monday 26 September 2011

Who needs a man...?

I was searching for pictures for my powerpoint presentation today, the lesson is 'This is a bedroom'. So a search for pictures of pillows brought up this accessory. Some reviews call it creepy but I think it would do the job pretty much the same as any man, and you don't have to put up with any snoring from this one!

It's yours for $19.99 here!

Tiger Kingdom

Tiger Kingdom is one of THE places to visit in Chiang Mai. There is another place to play with Tigers near Bangkok called Tiger Temple, and I haven't been there so I don't know if this is definitely true but there are a lot of bad reports from there that the tigers are drugged and mistreated. In Tiger Kingdom I didn't see anything like that and there was information around about why it is possible to sit in the cage with the tigers. According to the info in the centre, they are night hunters and in the immense heat of the day they spend their time in slumber. The keepers wake them for the tourists by hanging toys in front of them, seemed to know their stuff and even had a few scars to prove their credibility. This trip was very expensive, but it was completely worth it. We paid for a package to go in with the big, smallest and new-born tigers. The new borns were actually 2 months old but they were so cute. You're not allowed to pick them up, or touch their heads or front paws. With the big ones this isn't a problem but the small ones are so cute and are so much like a normal cat that you can't help but want to! Their fur is rough and the tail of the big one that I picked up was really heavy! Spending an afternoon messing around with tigers = immense fun!

Furry little critter I noticed on the way in!

The big ones are BIG!

It's cool, and you want to do it, but up close it is a massive tiger - scary!

On our way in the tuk-tuk

Smallest ones are about 4-5 months old



Wongers couldn't come to Thailand with us so we recreated the Tigers for her in a Seoul coffee shop.