Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thailand! Elephants! Party! Yeah!

Okay, I'm going to take a short break from recounting the past to talk about the future. I am all booked on another trip (albeit a very short one) to Thailand over the New Years holiday. It's not so much of a traveling experience as a quick holiday, but I am excited all the same. The basic plan is this:

30th December: Leave Hong Kong arrive in Thailand and hopefully go out in the evening for a good meal and some night market browsing. No doubt padded out with several beers and some quality banter.

31st December: The big day. Plans are vague but the general idea is to hit the streets of Bangkok during the day and in all likeliness buy far too much Thai memorabilia and have to find a post office to ship it back to my new place in Hong Kong. Then comes the evening. My plan: throw myself into a sea of people and see where the tide takes me.

1st December: A Write off.

2nd December: Early rise and a boat/train/taxi to Ayutthaya for a day of temples and elephants. Well, that’s the plan anyway! For those who don't know, Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand and lies slightly north of Bangkok. It is a world heritage site and is famous for is numerous Buddhist temples. Which is the main reason we are going, the other being the opportunity to see those temples on elephant back! After that will be an early night back in Bangkok ready for our AM flight.

3rd December: Back to Hong Kong

That’s right, rushed but crammed full of Thai goodness. I got my flights really cheap on a special VISA card only deal from the mighty Zuji. I am really excited about Ayutthaya, especially if the elephant back tours work out. The elephant camp in Ayutthaya was flooded a few months back and all the elephants evacuated but from my research so far it would seem they are back up and running. It comes highly recommended and they take very good care of their elephants by the sounds of things. This is especially important given the plight of many of the performing elephants in Thailand who are terribly mistreated. As for accommodation I am going a bit up market and staying a proper hotel! It is right on the Khaosan Road (which is, by all accounts, where the NYE party action is at) and seems reasonable in quality and price.

I guess that about sums it up, and I hope some of the above links are useful for anybody planning similar trips any time soon. The only other point of note is that I plan to start my very own one-a-day/project365 photography project on the stroke of midnight '06/'07. The basic idea is that you take a photograph every day for an entire year and keep them blogged/flickr'd. I love the idea of being able to really document what stands to be a very exciting year for me in pictures as well as expand my photographic skills. I just invested in a new digital SLR (a second hand Nikon D70 with plethora of accessories for a total bargain) and I am slowly becoming comfortable with the myriad of settings and features. I figured it is a perfect way to develop my technical skills as well as test my creativity in having to come up with something interesting and attractive every day for a year. Not difficult during the countdown to 2007 in the centre of Bangkok, but probably a bit more so on the average Tuesday at work.

So there you have it, my New Years in a nutshell. Now back to Siberia...

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