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Bernie Schmieding - Home Travel Kitesurfing Gallery Personal
Elephant riding - Pai river



From April to June '05 I visited Thailand and stayed in Bangkok several times, were in Pai & Chiang Mai, headed to Ko Chang, Phang-Nga, Phuket and Ko Phi-Phi afterwards.

After saying goodbye to my friends in Fremantle, Sagy drove me to Perth International Airport where I was getting my Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. Wow, I cant believe it. I am on the road and traveling the world again. The last 19 months in Australia have been full of life, traveling and working. I feel a bit like a nomad now. It was great that we had the last supper (ok, it was actually breakfast) at Harvest in North Freo. I really enjoyed this. Thanks guys.

I arrived in Bangkok at midnight 18 of April 2005. After waiting around one hour for my luggage I had to queue in for a taxi like the locals do. The queue was about 300m long, no joke, but that was cool. The humidity and still thirty degrees was much worse than waiting half an hour. And anyway, I have time enough. The taxi dude brought me to Banglamphu which is the old part of the city close to the Mae Nam Chao Phraya river. I stayed at the Wild Orchid Lodge which is in a quiet side road close to Khao San road.

Bangkok is very cool. I love it. Many different people and a very relaxed vibe, vibrant colors, great food, friendly people, smiling faces. Every minute of the day you can feel it. Not that I would stay here long term, but it is always nice to come back to this city. Within my first three days i did a bit of sightseeing, including the 46m tall What Pho buddha and Wat Phra Kaew, the emerald buddha. I think that's enough for the coming two months in Thailand. The river cruise up to Nonthamburi was very interesting, especially when a sudden thunderstorm started and we where in the middle of the river. It can get pretty wet in Bangkok.

After a couple of days I was flying to Chiang Mai, the hub of Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai was very very hot and surrounded by hills. I attended a Thai cooking course and learned how to do papaya salad, sticky rice with mango, red curry and pad thai. We were seven people and the course was held outside of Chiang Mai in the countryside. I enjoyed it a lot. Make sure you are visiting Bo Chang when you are here. This little village is famous for its umbrella making and you can watch how the umbrellas are produced.

I went up north to Pai which is a relaxed place 3 hours north of Chiang Mai. You have to take the bus to get here and its worth it. Pai means "go" in english but it doesn't look like anybody in Pai is going anywhere. Relaxing, yoga by the river, elephant riding, a lot of socialising, stroll along the local markets, get some dreads, there are a lot of laid back activities and great locations like the shisha bar and bamboo where you can chill out. Time does not matter in Pai and it has a similar vibe as Byron Bay in Oz or Takaka in New Zealand.

Back in Chiang Mai I flew to Bangkok stayed in the Wild Orchid Villa for one night and took the bus to Hua Hin next day. Here I am at the moment and it is very different from the North and Bangkok. The sea breezes are very light and I had to take my 20m Rhino5 to get going. Today I was on my 12m but the wind was gusty. There is horse riding on the beach and the beach is very long and wide. The water has almost thirty degrees and everything is cool down here (if you have air-con), it is a bit touristy though. Good for kiteboarding but not the place to stay long term. I will be here until middle of May then go back to Bangkok and go to Ko Chang afterwards. Then I will fly down to Phuket. This will be the place where I start exploring the Andaman coast. I will spent around four weeks in south Thailand to get a picture of what's going on but will backpack of the beaten track as well.

One thing is for sure so far: Thailand rocks but is too humid.
. View Thailand pictures.

  My girl