Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Thailand

This was the Thai capitol until its destruction by the Burmese in 1767. Built at the junction of three rivers, an artificial channel has converted the town into an island.

Stranded in the middle of the highway, 6 km away from Ayutthaya we found out, that we had left our Lonely Planet in the bus. With all the stress, our backpacks already on the street, we jumped out of the bus, leaving our good traveler guide on the seat.

Here we are now in the middle of nowhere Taxidrivers in the back waiting to bring us into the city for a crazy price. They started with 200 Bahrt and we just paid 320 Bahrt for a 6 hours bus ride. Unbelievable. And we new it only takes about 15 minutes. But a better price than 160 Bahrt wasn’t possible.

Without Lonely Planet but luckily remembering the guesthouse’s name we got a good room. It was a nice and quiet guesthouse good to relax. The wooden terrace was in a lake and perfect chill out area.

We decided to do a little tour immediately. We met two Germans – Christian and Christiane. Because of the small group of the 4 of us it was really relaxed and nice. They drove us to different temples and in one of them we waited for the sunset. In the dark the ruines got illuminated and gave them a mysterious look.

I remembered the Wat Ch... in khmerstyle from 2002. It looks like a small version of Ankor Wat. We decided to go there on the next day to take some nice pictures. After the tour they brought us to the nightmarket. Eating and drinking we planned already our next trip for tomorrow.

It seemed quiet but at 5:30 o’clock we woke up because of some roosters. Luckily we had earplugs and drifted back to sleep. After a little breakfast we went to see some ruins of those impressive old wats. The first we went was Wat Mahatat. This one is famous because of the Buddha-head embedded in a big tree. Natur can be really impressive.

Afterwards we went on a little boattrip around Ayutthaya. Stopping by at the Wat Ch… again we took some fabulous pictures. The people on our way around had been so nice and where waving and smiling all the time. This makes our Thailand-Trip unforgettable.

We met Christian and Christiane for dinner. They where heading up to the north with the nighttrain. Micha and me got stuck at a bar watching a football game between France and Ireland. After the French won unfair with a foul we went over to another bar with good live music. An old Thai was sitting there playing Hendrix, Eric Clapton und The Doors. It was great. We got in contact with so many people this evening. That’s the good thing of backpacking.

We decided to stay longer in Ayutthaya to relax and write some reports, put some pics on our homepage. Maybe getting a good thaimassage. Tomorrow we are heading to noisy sticky Bangkok. On the 24th we are flying to Hanoi/Vietnam.

Accommodation: Baan Lotus Guesthouse

Price: good price value

Comment: great wooden terrace at a lake, nice atmosphere


Sukhothai – Rising Happiness

Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Thailand

Already on the next day we went to the Historical Park in the Old City with the regular little bus on wooden seats for a price of 40 cent. Breakfast had been very small but with all the thaisigns we just gave up finding proper breakfast. So we jumped into a little restaurant where we could at least read “coffee”.

A small sandwich later and we where off to the Historical Park. Happy about the cloudy sky we rent a bike for driving around. As soon as we jumped on our bikes the clouds faded away. Sun we are coming. The park was divided into 5 zones and for all of them you had to pay a fee – for your bike as well ;o) But it was still cheap.

Sukothai was the capital of the first Thai dynasty. Some temple ruines show the influences of the former Khmer empire. First we stayed at the centre. There you can find 21 historical ruines. Wat Mahatat is the biggest one in really good conditions with some Buddha images.

In the area of 5 km around the old city you can find 70 ruines of temples. Because of the sun we decided to head to the western and northern zones where we wanted to see specific ruines. Riding through the rice fields we finally arrived at the Wat Saphaan Hin. This wat is on a hill, 4 km on the west of the old city wall. In the heat walking on big stone plates we went up. A 12.5 m high standing Buddha image was standing on the hill, heading to the city. It was really impressive and we took some pictures.

In the North there had been only a few ruines and the Wat Si Chum was a great one with a hugh buddha image. I remember this one from my first trip to Sukhothai in 2002. After 6 hours and loosing 100 lt. of water we brought back our bikes. Afterwards we drove back to the guesthouse to take a really cold shower. Than we planned our further trip. We decided to drive to Ayutthaya the next day. Another 6 hours bus tour.

The next morning we went to the bus stop and bought a ticket. Already back than in 2002 it was a little rip off. As a tourist they will kick you out on the highway 6 km away from the center. Then you have to take a really expensive taxi. Great but there was no other option. But this will happen more often when you backpack. Let’s get ready for the next chapter: Ayutthaya!

Accommodation: TR Guesthouse

Price: Baht 400 per bungalow

Comment: nice wooden bungalows


Chiang Mai

Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Thailand

We arrived on Friday 13th in Chiang Mai and headed for Julies guesthouse.  We send a mail for reservation, but they could not promise a room. So we had to go there and see if we would be lucky. In Thailand are enough guesthouses next to each other so we just went there to see, if we could get a room. And we were lucky. Even if we say we will not share a bathroom and we will not sleep in a dormitory. For this we just feel to old and with two people its quite cheap to get a room with own bathroom.

Julies guesthouse is a lonely planet tip, so its packed with backpackers, all feel like family. You can just sit in the chill-area for chatting and meeting new people. Our first night ended around 2 in the morning… we meet really nice people.

It happend that we met two very funny bavarian girls – Sandra and Marlene. They had a nice conversation with a „German – monkstraveller“ who wanted to show them the right way. It was so hilarious to sit there hear this guy talking. We had to stand not to ask this guy the question which kind of drugs he takes. We just listened and Nadine told Micha: Look, there you can see the German parental education. The girls were very annoyed, you could tell. But they did not say a word to stop him talking. We had to concentrate not to laugh out loud. We asked us how the girls managed to be so nice without laughing. But they did it. After a while they managed to get rid of him. This was the reason for our conversation and we spend a real good evening together.

Unfortunatly our room was close to the restaurant. So we woke up around 7.30 am. Anyway we went for a jungle trek, so we could not sleep long. We took breakfast to start the day with energy. We had a small group, just another couple joined us. There were from Sweden and travveld already some month. So we had enough to talk on our tour.

We started the tour in a orchid farm, which was worth 10 minutes. Orchids are nice, bt to see a 1000 different ones is not our thing. We wanted to see the elephants. A rid on the back off the elephant was next on our trip. These guys took their time. We made within an hour maybe 800 m. No joke, we laughed our asses off. In the first 10 minutes he ate 1 kg off our bananas. We thought ‘pimp my elephant’ but it did not work. He was a real lazy boy. Do you know that elephants eat 150 kg grass and other stuff? And we just came with 12 bananas. We asked for the price off an elephants. You can get one for around 14.000 Euros…. But the costs to keep him alive are quite high. Elephants are really impressive animals. We felt like a small bird on his back.

Back we went in our bemo to see three different hilltribes. Every hilltribe has an own language, tradition, clothing and religion. Many of those tribes came from Burma, Lao, Tibet and China over the last 200 years.

The most faszinating but sadest were the „karen Longnecks“. Women had to wear a ring of metal around there necks. This ring weights up to 6 kg and makes the neck thin and long. They talk it off just once a year. Sleeping and living cannot be comfortable.

This tradition was on the way to die, but the tourist came to see. Because of tourists like us this tradition is still alive. Girls start with 5 to get used to this.

We don’t know what to think about this tradition. But this is more or less the only possibility to earn money. Thailand doesn’t give them a working permit A small donation for health and education for the kids made our soul feel a little better.

After trekking for an hour to a small waterfall we went waterrafting. It took seconds to get soaked. This was funny some parts were tricky. It ended with 15 minutes bamboorafting. We sunk down quite a bit, but it was not to bad at all.

Over all, it was a funny day.

This evening we ended up at the Sunday market. You could spend as much money as you wanted cause off al the amazing things. We met the Bavarian girls again and spend the evening together. At Julies we had a last bear together. The girls flew the next day to Phuket and we headed for Sukhothai.

Six hours later we arrived after a real crazy bustrip. It seemed that the busdriver never heard the word ‘brakes’. Sukhothai itself is small and not nice. But the next morning we went for the historical park. There are around 90 ruins of temples from the Khmer. We rented bicycles and cycled around to see all the ruins….

Accommodation: Julie Guest House & Travel Agency (

Price: US$ 3

Comment: Clean room with own bathroom, nice and busy backpack heaven