Thursday, October 13, 2022

Trip out of bangkok - lomsak and lomkao mountain phu thap boek part 1

With frequent travels to bangkok, ive always wanted to explore the nearby towns. Last i went was my local friend hometown in rayong and it was such a good experience.

So as i did my search, i chanced upon khao kho - strawberry farm, wind farm etc and the mountain phu thap boek which i realise after its nearer to the town of lomkao instead. So i decided that the mountain will be what ill explore: phu thap boek ( with multiple versions of its name: phu thap buek; phu tub berk). 

Upon arrival at the bangkok airport, i made my way to the mochit 2 bus station where it said will have a direct bus to lomsak since there was no direct bus to lomkao but it will be near enough. ( i tried taking a local bus in bkk so it stops directly in front of the mochit 2 from makkasan station but forget abt it, the timing is inaccurate and the bus didnt arrive after 1 hour and so i took the train -note that from the airport if you are changing to another color line you need to exit the airport line and cross the bridge)

The thing about the train : stopping at kampheang phet station, you will need to walk to distance to get to mochit 2. Then once you reach the entrance, walk all the way in pass all the touts and external ticket counters to the aircon counters ( if you follow google find the kfc) and purchase your ticket ( for lomsak there are 2 timings 1 in the morning and 1 at 830pm) it will take around 8 to 9 hours depending on traffic and its in seating position but very very comfortable ( at least for me) 

So since it was a friday and i wanted to rush for the saturday lomsak popular street market, i bought the tickets immediately.

While waiting for my bus to lomsak at 830pm, i went to the nearby famous jj mall to chill relax and eat and charge my phone at its free charging outlets.

I arrived in lomsak at around 4am sat outside my accomodation at rabbit hotel and called the number at the entrance. And boy was i in luck the owner answered the call and helped me check in early and rest. The owner is so welcoming and accomodating. And so i returned to the place to stay again after my adventure. 

Oh yes important to note: do not disembark at lomsak bus station ( this is a long walk away from town) but instead at the next checkpoint which is in front of a 7-11 lomsak town ( a tip: always switch on your google map so you know exactly where you should stop) 

The lomsak street market was awesome and had lots of local delicacies ( my kind of thing)

And in the afternoon i made my way ( 40 min walk) to the lotus supermarket to stock up on snacks and drinks 

and the nearby witch cafe ( which had awesome desserts) though not cheap in local terms. That strawberry tower was around 175 baht but i felt it wld be really worthwhile if you want to sit there enjoy free wifi and just chill in the aircon and its environment and slowly savouring the delicious strawberry milk tower with bread and honey in it -  but advisable to share+the servers were so helpful and friendly) The other cafe patrons were eating the local food and it really looked great too but i was too full from the dessert. 

So now the adventure began.

The owner suggested me to rent a car or a motorbike to the mountains but i didnt have confidence manuevering it so i decided to find alternatives. I tried looking for a bicycle shop but no luck. And so the only way was by foot. To get directly to the mountain would take 8 hours and im not sure if it was doable. So my plan was to trek for around 4 hrs to do the base of the mountain and stay for 1 night and ask the owner of the hotel if there was a way up. 

So thats what I did

Walk walk walk 

Was manageable and quite enjoyable and actually i cld have tried hitch hiking some distance if i dared to and cld speak the language. ( oh yes reminder didnt realise it but google translate audio does not work for thai language so its better to download one usable one before going to the smaller towns) else its only you trying to communicate but not being able to understand their response) 

So i began my trek. Bit by bit. And i finally got to the base of the mountain. Imagine my joy!
But alas it was not meant to be.
There is usually no receptionist for the hostel or hotels as the owners stay elsewhere and we have to call the nunber in front of the hotel before they will arrive. But for this hotel, i called and he didnt understand me. I added his line he didnt reply. And i waited for half an hr and yet no appearance. So i got fed up and decided to see if i cld walk up the mountain

Haha its uphill and so even a short few metres still takes one's breath away. I did that for around half an hour before a nice female motorcyclist asked if i needed help. And she called the number that i think is a motorbike rending assistance grp to send you up the mountains this guy was so nice tel 0952794525 and its cost is around 200 baht ( you need to bargain but i didnt was too tired) 

And when i got to the place i wanted to stay at
phu thap boek suansawan with the beautiful tents and view that was on the top of the hill i was dropped off at. I was told its full. Can you believe it! I was flabbergasted. And so i made my way down and just got whatever accomodation was within reach which was at the foot of its hill. And it was great! GOD SENT. The owner worked in taiwan before so he could communicate fluently with me. Boy was i in need of some communication. Anyway that night the wind howled and rain was heavy and i was glad i was in a nice accomodation and a beautiful one that still overlooked the scenery. If i stayed up the hill, i wld not have bothered to leave the place to explore the remaining areas. So a reminder everything happen for a reason. 

And omg the amazing morning breakfast that was included. Oh yes the price of the accomodation was 900 baht for the one with shared toilet. If you are afraid of the cold thouhh, my advise is to get one with the toilet lol but the shared toilet here is really very clean and i prefer not having the toilet in the room haha

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Harbin. Yanji. Baishan.

16th tues
齐齐哈尔到 扎龙 ( stay 1 day)
 (get to Zhalong Nature Preserve in Qiqihar. Zhalong Nature Reserve is a a wetland reserve that encompasses the 2,100 km2 marshland, a major migratory route for birds from the Arctic migrating to South East Asia. It boasts the endangered red-crown crane. Actually the reserve has nine of the world's fifteen species of crane. 睡一晚
从齐齐哈尔市区到扎龙保护区有306路公共汽车, 如果在火车站附近的话,可以做公交车先到龙沙区大福源超市一店,306路公交车在超市后门。 扎龙景区门口有住宿,美鹤农家院,100多一个房间,空调,浴室都有,非常干净 ,他家的饭菜做的也特别好 ,非常值得一去。
4.20pm last bus
Walk to village 530pm (20min away)
17th wed qiqihar 南 station
7.25am reach 6 hours train
Antu west to 从安图到二道白河。 睡一晚
Bus 2.10pm
长白山关外精品客栈(长白山望松国际青年旅舍)安图县 二道白河镇象新林墅5号楼101象新商厦北侧  (3 hours) can walk from antu west train 22 min turn right straight to baihe
Sit all the way to the end
Alot of accomodation in the town
18th thur 二道白河到北坡 (sleep)
19th fri  morning 到延吉。 睡一晚。

20th sat 延吉
About one hour away by bus / train from Yanji is a smaller city just separated from the DPRK by the Tumen River; Tumen. At KTG we are able to arrange entries in to the DPRK via Tumen where you can cross over the bridge into the Korean city of Namyang and then move from here  Northeastern parts of North Korea such as Mt. Chillbo, Hoeryong, Rason and other areas in the region that are slowly opening up to tourism
Bus 9
铁南夜市 一个是北大夜市
劳顶笨 strawberry ice

21st sun 

22nd mon yanji 9.33am  到 harbin 2pm
Zhongyang dajie 中央大街 (Central Main Street
23rd tues harbin
哈尔滨火车站 - 哈尔滨太平国际机场
930am (630am check in)


晚上再从长白山北坡去延吉?应该是没有直接返回延吉的,只有一班是晚上17点,延吉=长白山往返的,,您只能到二道白河镇客运站坐车回延吉,从早 6点 第一班,下午2点多最后一班,中间有2班。




If it's any help, I travelled by train from Harbin to Dunhua (straight) and a coach from Dunhua to Erdaobaihezhen. The bus station is right next to the highspeed train one in Dunhua.
journey takes 3.5 hours straight on the high speed train and costs approximately RMB 150 for a second class ticket
From Dunhua, take a bus (客车 Ke che) to Erdaobaihezhen, which takes 2.5 hours. The bus station is right next to the Dunhua train station. Costs around RMB 36. The bus stops right in the middle of Erdaobaihezhen.




Harbin to jilin
2 hours

Harbin to changchun
1 hour



Wudalianchi - Heihe
Wudalianchi (Five Great Chain Lakes)

Chennai - yelagiri

5th may
Kotagiri 915pm - 4.15am
By Train: The nearest major railway station is Mettupalayam which is located at a distance of 33 km from here. The station has trains which are well connected to major towns and cities across the state and to a number of them outside as well.
5th 1.13pm to 513pm
Bus stop opp vikram lodge
Punganoor Lake
Swamimalai trek
Shopping in Yelagiri is very special since the place is famous for jackfruit and pure honey taken from natural beehives
7th may
1130noon to 315pm
915pm (7pm at airport)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Ende - maumere city

*Ende :
  early morning trekking Kelimutu lake
  We woke up at 4am and our driver made our way there. Rushing as we woke up late but thankfully the sunrose at a later timing supposedly. Highly recommend this place. Easy trek up and fantastic scenery.
Its cold though. Especially if you want to stay up there for a long time to capture photos. The lake changes colors as the sun light hits it. So...there is really alot of scenery changes to capture. Love this place. Totally worthwhile!

Tanjung kajiwulu Hill
Love this breathtaking scenery too.
Few tourist. Clear skies. Golden hills.
Whats more to say.

Overnight at maumere City 
  Fly to Bali

Furthee up the road to ruteng and bajawa city

 Overnight at denge village

*early morning trekking to waerebo village
  overnight at Ruteng city
Waerebo village is a unesco heritage and deservingly so. Hidden among the hills and lots of ups it took us close to 4 hours of climb up. Reaching there the sight is breathtaking. Supposedly we are suppose to wait at the hut and have the elders come and pick us up as they have to indicate to their ancestors that we are visitors and not intruding - so we are protected and doesnt break the unity. We are then brought to a hut where a local communicates with an elder and does some translation for the above message. And we then wait for lunch which was a simple fare. Its a good thing that it isnt very touristy. Just eco tourism where you can roam around freely and just do what you want. One can choose to sleep in those warebos by reaching earlier and trekking up in noon. I think the sunset scenary there would be fantastic. Not sure if everyone is comfortable with the communal sleeping on mats though.

*Padang savana mausui
Untouched nature. If it wasnt blazing hot we would have took a climb /trek up slowly appreciating the birds and open fields.
It has a sort of serenity and innocence which was great for photo taking.
(Our driver took us up in the car but i believe not all drivers would because ermm lots of dust and uneven rocks -not v good for the tyres and didnt feel v safe either)

  Ogi waterfall
  Overnight at Bajawa city

*Bena traditional village

Mangaredu Hot-spring
Blue stone beach
We had a very good meal there. And price very affordable. Awesome place to chill for the day

  Overnight at Moni Village

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ferry trip around komodo island

Whenever people talked about komodo island i always thought one will stay on an island filled with komodos. Okay
 So it was a misconception
 Its just one of the pit stops of a ferry trip. And ok one of the highlight for some

For us our friend made arrangements through recommendation by prior friends who visited the island.
The more people on the ferry the more worthwhile i would think.
It will set you back around 160usd to 300 usd per person. Depending on the kind of boat and amenities for a 2 day 1 night trip.
Other blogs have also mentioned that one can go to the harbor and ask around and get a good price. So then where is this harbor. Its beside the containers. Entrance is beside komodo cruises. You will see alot of boata parked there. Probably can ask around

 So here was our 2 day 1 night itinery 
Day 1*
- Kelor island ( trekking )
- Rinca island ( trekking and meet Komodo )
- Kalong island (Bats come out of mangroves in the evening )
*Day 2*
- Padar island ( trekking/best view )
- Pink beach (beach n snorkeling )
- Kanawa beach (snorkeling)

What i love most about this other than the serenity out at sea ( i think its a good place to bring someone you want to get close to because other than talk lots of the time spend out at sea is in silence. - oh yes back to the favs - i personally like the pink beach and the simple snorkeling. Few people and less touristy i felt. And for trekking padar island was splendid. However will be quite difficult for elder folks so the climb is quite a bit. But that said i saw many elder folks climb to the first tier scenery lookout which was also beautiful. Oh i also personally like kelor island because its also less touristy and it feels as though you have the whole place to yourself.

For the actual komodo island you see a few lazy komodo when you start the tour but after that none for us. So i was frustrated by that but well.. at least i saw the komodo i guess. ( previously in othet parts of indonesia i went to an animal safari but did not see any animals after driving for 3 hours that was hilarious frankly) and for this tour its max 5 to 1 guide. The guide is a must supposedly.

The highlight of the ferry trip would be the sunset and sunrise and the bats returning home in the evening :) 

Pricing wise. Local and foreigners has a huge price difference which well i guess is common in most places. 
Still manageable i guess. If one can afford the ferry trip....

Friday, September 21, 2018

Reached labuan bajo (land before a boat to komodo island)

From singapore i sat garuda indonesia (which frankly has awesome service) > singapore-jarkarta-labuan bajo.

About jarkarta airport. Pls note that all the yummt food is outside. Nothing much in the transit area. And for this flight you will need to go through customs then go to 2nd floor and go to sector f. Have signs and friendly immigration staff to guide you all the way.

Landing in labuan bajo on a small flight on a land of nowhere, its sums up the smallest of the island. And this place where you land at is a boat ride out to komodo island. Once you reach the exit of airport there will be taxi operators exclaiming taxi. The cost to the city is around 50000rupiah.

For our first 2 days, we decide to just chill on land.

First day
Passing by the roads it totally felt like phuket. Full of diving and tour operators that line the streets. And erm bars? And lots of foreigners? I didnt have a good feeling about the place. But thankfully it was not as bad as i thought it would be.
Checked into our accomodation beta bajo which had very good reviews. Very friendly staff too. Then we made our way to a cafe that had a fantastic atmosphere and view of the place. Love that place. And they had yummy food and drinks too.

For dinner within walking distance but supposedly famous Kampung Ujung - it is a culinary center of Labuan Bajo at night- identify it by the huge fire base they have in front of each store. There are about thirty food stalls that serve a variety of seafood, from grilled fish, squid and crab which you decide whether you have it stirred fried or fried or grilled. Price wise you kinda have to bargain around with the price. 

2nd day 
We hired a driver for one whole day and he brought us to cunca wulang waterfall whose highlight would be the 10m jump into the clear green blue waters below. It was a nice place to chill around and some good exercise but the view not very impressive i would say. Its a good place to have a picnic and chill though. Next we went to a village which was supposedly razed to ground in 2017. There was a friendly uncle explaining to us the story in indonesian. But as mentioned since it was razed to ground we were primarily looking at photos. I suggested him to have an eatery there so at least people can chill there haha. Then we made our way to batu cermin. The cave also abit of a disappointment but the scenery along the way of the leaves and trees were awesome accessories for photo shots. We had a lunch there and had a gigantic plate of batu cermin mee goreng. And gigantic it was. Quality rather than quantity. But i would say the gado gado was quite yummy.

Finally we made our way and dropped by love hill ( bukit cinta) which was the best place i visited for this town. I can stay there all day ( of course if the sun wasnt blazing). Breathtaking :) and its an easy climb.  

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