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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

6D Khao Yai and Bangkok - Day 2


Day 1 click HERE


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Destination: Khao Yai and Bangkok, Thailand

Duration: 6D5N 13 to 18 Dec 2018

Time zone: 1hr behind Singapore

Mood of travel: Free & Easy with chartered car in Khao Yai

Chartered transport:  Thai National Parks Taxi
Damage THB10,150 for 2 days including transfer from airport and back to Bangkok hotel on the 3rd day.

Travel Buddies: Husband and teenage son

Flight: Jetstar, total damage around $870 (for 3pax)

Accommodation:
In Khao Yai - Casa De Montana:
Caravan 1 night THB3,800
Luxury Container 1 night THB5,300
In Bangkok -  Glur Central Pratunam (3 nights) THB8,835

Currency: Thai baht, THB1 = SGD0.04

Weather:
Khao Yai - around 16 to 30°C
Bangkok - same as Singapore

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13.12.2018


We stayed in Khao Yai for 2 nights, both nights with:
Casa De Montana
168 Moo.3 Ban Thamaprang Village, Thanarat road, Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
https://reservation.roomscope.com/1170/en

1st night Caravan (red circle), 2nd night Container (red rectangle).  As you can see from the map, there's only 5 caravans and 5 containers, accommodation is very limited.  The location is quite centralize, only less than 5mins drive to attractions like Chocolate Factory and Palio Village.

We checked into Casa De Montana around 8pm.  It's dark and there's nobody.  Our driver helped us and managed to fish out somebody to lead us to our caravan.


Caravan compound was very Christmasy.  We were like awwwww...... but the happiness didn't last long....

 Yup, not hotel, not hostel, not airbnb but a caravan!  Sounded cool but when we stepped in, sigh.......

7m2  wasn't as cute as we thought. With one king bed, one miserable temporary bed, mini fridge and a useless stove, walking space was less than 1m2 .   3 of us went in stood in single file and there's no more room for our luggage.
I never like to place luggage on beds cos rollers are dirty.  So we had to open our luggage on the garden's sofa, took out whatever we needed and clothes to change for the night and next day.  Then zipped up and pushed them under the king bed.

This was the king bed.  That aircon up there blew onto my face whenever I stood up, so I stayed in bed.  And nope, I didn't want to fidget with the remote to change the fan -__-|||

The temporary bed was the width of a usual pillow, smaller than standard single bed.  So my poor son was like sleeping in a coffin, couldn't move.
We only made use of one of the cabinets above to keep my bag and our jackets.

Being confined and constrained wasn't comfortable but I asked for it since I knew the size during booking of it.

The bathroom was as small as the airplane's and the flooring was wobbling and giving way.

The temperamental shower was either extremely cold or extremely hot.  The water spray was picky and hurts a little, bad enough, none of us had a thorough shower.

Look at the moldy tapes on the shower tray.

The ceiling was yellowed with mold too.

It was miserable and we couldn't wait to check out.....



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14.12.2018


Itinerary outline with links:
9.30am Rai Maneesorn Sunflower Field
(no website but here's the address: Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand)

10.45am Unknown monk temple


1.30pm  My Ozone


4.00pm Wat Thep Phithak Punnaram (White Buddha Temple)
(no website, address: Klang Dong, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30320, Thailand)

5.00pm Ban Mai Chay Nam


6.00pm Pak Chong Night Market
(no website, address: 2422 Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand)



It's cold in the morning.

We woke up, stayed in bed to wait for time, cos there's no room to move and outside was too cold.  Breakfast only start from 8am.


While the surrounding was really beautiful and the caravan looked so cool from outside, accommodation for here not recommended.  Just drop by, take photos, close case.
Maybe would be slightly better for 2pax, 3pax wasn't comfortable for us.  They really need to do something about the bathroom for the rate of the caravan.






Buffet breakfast was located at the cafe just a stone throw away.

We presented the key for breakfast.

The dinning area looked like a green house, it's gorgeous.

The little buffet corner was woody and nice, the only complain would be the single flight of stair which could be a little inconvenient.

Boiled our own eggs.

Made own pan cake but failed.

Fruit juices.

Fruits.  Those pineapples tasted like mango!  Incredibly sweet!

DIY bee hoon.

This corner for pan fried eggs and sausages, BBQ pork and sticky rice.

Very tasty, ate quite a few skewers.




The sea food porridge was very good.

So we had breakfast with a nice green view.

We finally checked out of the caravan.
Though not pleasant but still quite an experience.

We put our luggage in their "office" (or utility room or storeroom, inside was messy like hell).

Our driver arrived punctually, we arrived at our first stop:

Rai Maneesorn Sunflower Field
There are a few sunflower fields in Khao Yai.  We told him to drive us to which ever is convenient, so this was it.  Entrance fee was THB80/pax.

There were about 10 over 20 stalls selling sunflower souvenirs and sunflower seeds.

Many stalls were roasting sunflower seeds on a big wok like this granny here.

The Thais probably know tourists love animals feeding, so here's another pen.

Swans....

Colored chickens freaked me out a little.

Piglets so cute that I felt guilty eating pork.

Here's short clip where you will see a goat and a kangaroo.

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Moving on the main attraction - SUNFLOWERS!
It was a sea of sunflowers, not sure how many football fields.  The sight was very very beautiful.

Photos with me inside just CMI, please enjoy those without me lolxx....






This monster sunflower not pinched by us, we happened to spot it so took a photo.  Who so itchy hand huh?

Short and fat, me not a good model.  But I hope you are inspired and get a much better version than these.


We bought some sunflower seeds before leaving.

Should had bought more.

Beside the sunflower field was a smaller field of petite yellow flowers which was a romantic sight too.

We spend almost an hour admiring the flowers before moving to another destination which was just about 5 or 10 mins drive.

This was an unknown new temple of a monk, we made a brief stay of 5 or 10 mins.


My boys found this elephant to be a male and were happy for this lame reason.

Next was a long journey about 45mins, it was worth the time and travel:

Entry tix was THB100/adult, THB50/child.

Rainbow brollies free.

The sun was torching, the best was done by sheltering with black mash at the walk way as far as possible.

This was like a cartoon land, every where was good for photo taking.
I love it here, so must children lolxx...

There's a kiddy shooting range.  It's FOC but you had to collect back the "bullets" and place back the targets yourself.

Near the entrance, there's costume rental.  Didn't try but business seemed good.
I saw a over age Snow White with wrong hair and sneakers walking around, it's eh...... how to say..... lolxx... (sorry to be wicked >.<)

Under the roof got a thousand props for visitors even if you didn't rent costume.




There's a small area of Santorini.

Pretending to be in Greece.

Rapunzel's Tower, heehee.... long wig needed.


No place to hide from the sun.

Sibei cute hobbit house.

Very fun taking photos on roof top, but have to be careful and don't fall off.

Imagining myself as a dragon trainer (though wearing Survey Corp cape).

There were some house keeping going on so we kaypo peeped inside.

Very simple accommodation.  But the main thing is, is it disturbing with so much outside visitors walking around?

A few more pics with hobbit houses.



Big big pigs, pink = female, black = male, and they slept like me lolxx....



More hobbit houses in front of a man made pond, too cartoon and cute to be real.

No filter, nice color hues for backdrop.



We spend around an hour in Baan Suan Noi and were famished.

We told the driver to drive us anywhere near to have lunch.  No fanciful cafe this time (more gentle on pockets), but authentic local food at a non-tourist eatery:

I don't have the address or name, I only know it's located along the main road.
The driver said it was his first time to bring his tourists here, he was worried we might not like it but we assured him it was great!

Clean and nice environment, we were the only non-locals.


   We had a lot with 3 plates rice for less than THB300:

Braised duck and duck blood jelly.

Roasted duck with thick savory sweet gravy.

Very happy to see green veg beneath.

Crispy pork belly.  So crunchy that the earth shake when you bite lolxx...
Ate until very full.

After lunch was another 45mins long journey to:

This pretty modern castle is a hotel.  Made a quick browse online, I think the hotel rate is very reasonable, the only setback will be the location is a bit remote.
The sun was so scorching that we didn't have the mood to admire the architecture at that time. I only get to wow when I start loading and editing the photos back home.

 Hubby said this is a perfect place for wedding photo shot, totally agree.
Taiwan too mainstream and common already, come Khao Yai for fairy tale pics!


We didn't have any swim wear with us else we would just dive in, no matter it's legit or not lolxx...


We had to leave after 15mins.  While driving off, I spotted this view and asked the driver to stop in the middle of road.  Still within the hotel's compound, there wasn't any other vehicle.
Hubby scold scold scold as I kept cool and held my camera..... This was the only pic I took under scolding and stress.  Fortunately it turned out perfect.  This looked like some part of Europe, nothing Thailand.  This is the beauty of Khao Yai.

As I had mentioned that this place is a bit remote, you will have to decide if it's worth the travelling time or not to visit just for it's pretty facade.

Yet another 45mins drive to:


Entrance fee THB100/pax.  They close on every Wed, opening hours from 9am to 5pm.

I have mixed feelings about this place......
It's like jungle with traces of human here and there.  It's a nice place yet eerie in a weird way.  We saw no more than 5 visitors throughout.  There were little tiny flies around, my body was itchy all over when I left.

Doll painting studio was opened with nobody tending the shop.  In fact, all shops here were left open without anybody looking after.  It was like an abandon village.



Water was kinda stagnant...


We walked into this empty cafe....

Wanting to try this Bu Lan Dun Mek, it's a butterfly pea custard dessert for the King.
But nobody's home..... when we were about to leave, someone finally appeared!

We shared this tasty sweet dessert over a pot of hot mint tea for THB150 or so, couldn't remember.


After tea break we continued to walked around...

In this jungle I found something cute....

Cute right!  For those who like gardening, this may be an idea.

More random photos.


Another "abandon" shop.

A mannequin in the middle of the garden... I didn't know how to feel about this...


Abandon riverside restaurant.

The old slightly rusty gates were like half opened, a bit spooky, we entered into another section of the garden.

Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse.






This was another nice art work of elephant assembled with blocks of tree barks.

Me standing there to show the size of the elephant.

A small snake wriggled it's way across my son's path -__-|||  I saw it went into the grass and disappeared.  We were stunned but continued walking.




Abandon weaving room covered with dust and cobwebs.

Sexiest looking witch ever and it's larger than human size.




Someone hadn't gone for a haircut for a long long time.

This got a better "hair style" than the one above, heehee...



Playground with no children.

Nothing looked stable or strong enough to take my weight.




Last photo of Secret Art Garden and we left feeling a bit uneasy... I couldn't explain it.

Drove about 15mins, we reached:

Wat Thep Phitak Punnaram
The white buddha is 45m high, 27m wide, located in the middle of the mountain and can be seen from far.  However, I can't find much information about this temple online.


We were too lazy to go up the flight of stairs, just zoom lens, then went chasing after peacocks at the foot of the mountain.

I saw about 20 peacocks both male and female roaming around.


There were also roosters and they were damn pretty with shiny feathers lolxx....




This white squirrel was the highlight of this temple visit lolxx...  Hubby spotted it from a distant, quite high up on a tree.  My heavy bulky camera was useful during such encounter.

The squirrel was busy munching on some fruit, we stayed as quiet as possible to observe it from far.

Basically the temple visit was about running after peacocks, roosters and white squirrel (very little of white buddha).

Next, we arrived at another popular restaurant around 5pm before the crowd:

This is a very interesting restaurant cum toy museum.
 Eyes and camera became extremely busy right from the entrance.

We saw a big group of tourists boarding down from this bus.


Numerous collectible toys.

Even KFC Colonel is here, waahaahaa....

Got cable cars also.

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Lovely vintage.

Thousand and one teng kat.



I found ET, about 60cm tall.

Many many Betty Boops around.


So many things around, but yet they were displayed quite nicely and neatly.


Mr Bean, so real.


Fat tummy dolls.  I remembered during the 80s, people like to knit dresses for them, those were the good old days.

Heroes available:
Superman.

Spiderman.

And Batman at the rear end.



Antique spit bowls.
(I don't know why they are called spit bowls when they are actually for pee pee and poo poo, maybe it sounds better, heehee...)

This type of weighing machine was around when I was in primary school, that's between late 70s and early 80s.   Have to pay 10 to 20 cents coins to weigh yourself.  After dropping in a coin, we always try to cheat by 2 persons getting up on the scale, once it's stable, 1 person come down.  This way we calculate 2 persons' weight.
Times had changed, now weighing scales are very affordable.

Everything was very fun looking, it's a pity that we didn't take much photos with these.

Some tibits on sale.


We sat by the river for dinner.

Didn't order much cos need to make stomach space for the night market.  Receipt was missing, only remembered it's not exactly cheap.

Fried kampong mid wings, came pipping hot with home cooked taste.

Seafood tom yum with a lot of river cat fish slices which tasted a bit too "muddy".

Fish floss salad had cat fish in it, so we finished the salad and left most of the floss.

From where we sat, we could see a bridge which don't know where it leads to.

A monitor lizard swam by, we thought it was a crocodile initially.

Most toys and wares were for display,  this small section was for sales.

Left the restaurant, our car made a turn, in less than 5mins, around 6pm, we were at Pak Chong Night Market.  It's not big, I estimate it to be about 400m stretch with 4 rows of stalls and sells mainly food.

Everything was fascinating to me.
This was a noodle stall I think.

Lottery tickets.


THB20 strawberry omg.....

BBQ!

Thai rojak I think.

Sushi.

Surprised to see salad.

Some stalls were in a mobile, they were small and squeezed themselves in-between "official" stalls.


Deep fried chicken and pork of all kinds, all shapes and sizes.

Flowers for praying.

I ta bao a couple of this, it's very cheap, cheaper than Bangkok.

Aesthetically neat rice rolls.

I bought 2 sticks of these back also.

I love braised trotters!

Thai zhi char stall.

Since when hainanese chicken rice arrived here?


So much food I wished to try but no stomach space already.

Beancurd with toppings, THB20 only!


Mixed veg rice stall.  Some looked delicious, some looked alien.

Soupy desserts.




Even cakes!



THB5 for a deep fried fish, oh gosh....

After the eye feast at Pak Chong Night Market, we were back to Casa De Montana around 8pm.  Crossed our fingers while checking into Luxury Container.  Thank god, everything was good.  At last we all had a thorough shower.  Review and nice photos of it on the next post.

Times have changed, now nobody reads small personal blog like this already.  I am still blogging cos I do read back my own posts (and still spot grammar mistakes *face palm*) and also for those who still pops by after all these years.  Thank you!