Amaroo VII

Welcome aboard the adventures of Amaroo VII and crew

25 March 2008
25 March 2008 | Rebak Island, Langkawi

Touring Thailand

25 March 2008
Narelle
The most often asked question of yachties:
"What do you do all day?"

Cruising yacht owners need not answer, they know we are all loving devotees of our vessels; after all, they are our homes. We regularly choose to leave our water-bound abodes, and head for the hills or some remote parts of a foreign country to backpack and explore areas; preferably where not many Westerners have been before.

We, along with 5 other friends, have recently returned from a trip to Northern Thailand. Following is a brief account of some of the places we visited. There is so much more that can be written but the brief story will give an overview for any wishing to make a similar trip.........

We travelled 2500klm commencing in Bangkok, then on to Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Mekong River and surrounds. Hiring a van and driver in Bangkok proved to be a better option than driving ourselves. The proprietor of the hire company wanted all the hire money up front. We did not agree as we felt the driver, once he had been paid in full, had no reason to pick us up each day and could indeed take a holiday without us, leaving us stranded. We opted to pay the driver at the end of each day. The responsibility regarding accidents, theft etc was that of the driver.

Paying the car hire daily proved to be the right decision as on the 3rd night the van was stolen whilst parked "somewhere" in Chiang Mai. We made the right call there!!Thailand is the meeting point of three cultures, the other two being Indian & Chinese. All three nationalities blend well and influences from all three are evident as you travel Thailand.
Unlike the Indonesian and Malay languages, Thai language is tonal. As such it is more difficult to learn. There are 5 different tones, which makes it very confusing. For example, the work 'suea' in Thai can mean a tiger, a mat or clothing, depending on the tone used.

The Thai alphabet was established over 700 years ago and is an elaborate form of writing based on ancient Indian alphabets. The script is very artistic in style and impossible for us to read.

BANGKOK - in Thai "Krungthep" - The City of Angels.
Population: 6 million
Fasten your seat belts; you are in for an exhilarating ride. After all, 20,000,000 tourists a year can't be wrong! All your senses will be stimulated when you visit Bangkok.

As capital of Siam, King Rama 1 established Bangkok in 1782. Bangkok is an excellent example of the blending of ancient with modern, poverty with affluence and 120,000 stray dogs! Thailand is 543 years ahead of the west; the year is now 2551. (Buddhist calendar) Thais are fiercely loyal to the monarchy. Monday is yellow shirt day, worn to honour the King. Everywhere you go, there is a sea of yellow shirts on Mondays.

A heaving, thumping metropolis of humanity and vehicles, Bangkok's 'Angels' now breathe a little easier as pollution has been dramatically reduced in the city centre. There has been a vast improvement in air quality compared to a few years ago when the words Bangkok, smog and pollution were inseparable. Tuk-Tuk, 3 wheeled public transport vehicles, now run on LPG, dramatically cutting down pollution - wise move by the authorities as there are thousands of Tuk-Tuk plying the streets of Bangkok.

We usually stay in the centre of the city in the National Stadium area. We prefer Muangphol Mansion and Krit Thai Mansion. Both reasonably priced hotels a few metres from the Skytrain. Amazingly, you can't hear the trains from the hotel rooms. The ever-popular MBK Shopping Centre is just 5 minutes walk from the hotels.

The public transport system in Bangkok is very efficient. BTS Skytrain is the most convenient way to travel in Bangkok. If you take a Tuk-Tuk, establish a price before getting in.

If you are nervous in traffic, take the train. Tuk-Tuk drivers are fast & nippy. The little 3 wheelers dart in and out of some very small spaces. You need nerves of steel to ride in a Bangkok Tuk-Tuk!!

Peak hour is anytime from early morning till 10pm. You can't miss the brightly coloured hot pink taxis; easy to find in a crowd! If they aren't prepared to use the meter, you must be prepared to negotiate hard on the price before you get in.


If you are nervous in traffic, take the train. Tuk-Tuk drivers are fast & nippy. The little 3 wheelers dart in and out of some very small spaces. You need nerves of steel to ride in a Bangkok Tuk-Tuk!!

Peak hour is anytime from early morning till 10pm. You can't miss the brightly coloured hot pink taxis; easy to find in a crowd! If they aren't prepared to use the meter, you must be prepared to negotiate hard on the price before you get in.

A trip by riverboat on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, is a must do. A day pass for an express boat can be purchased giving you unlimited stops between 9.30am and 3.00pm, visiting 9 piers in one day. Cost is 100 Baht ($A3)
Highlights along the river include:
The Oriental Hotel - renowned as the world's best hotel. River City - great shopping for silk clothing and other up-market goods including antiques. There are some excellent tailors in the River City Centre (Pier 3). If you want a perfect fitting garment, this is the place. And the price - very inexpensive!
China Town - a must to visit in any city.
Memorial Bridge and Flower Market - also sells vegetable & fruit.
Tha Tien Location of the oldest and largest Wat in Bangkok - Wat Pho, the home of the famous reclining Buddha 46m long & 15m high.
Marharaj Pier - Around this area you will see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, The Grand Palace, National Museum and other places of interest. An evening river cruise is a memorable experience. Most of the buildings along the river are lit, the colourful lighting making night views spectacular. Many of the riverboats are decorated with an array of colourful lights, adding to the magical atmosphere.

Simon chose an evening river cruise and dinner to celebrate his 60th birthday. During the busy times the river can be a little rough. That did not bother any of the 'yachties' as we know how to chase our food around the table as the boat heaves from side to side

Amaroo VII in Malaysia

25 March 2008 | Rebak Island, Langkawi
Narelle
Whilst waiting for a new chartplotter to arrive from US, we are enjoying the comforts of Rebak Marina Resort. Actually, it is very easy living with 5 star luxury just a few steps away.
Vessel Name: Amaroo VII
Vessel Make/Model: Blueseas Aluminium 50
Hailing Port: Brisbane Australia
Crew: Simon & Narelle Haydok
About: Amaroo VII left Australia in 2006 and is now sailing SE Asia.
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Amaroo VII's Photos -

Amaroo VII

Who: Simon & Narelle Haydok
Port: Brisbane Australia