A couple of hours outside Bangkok lies the sprawling open zoo of Khao Kheow (lit. “green hill”).
Every time I’ve mentioned a weekend trip to Ko Sichang, Rayong or Laem Mae Phim, or even sometimes to Hua Hin or Cha Am, people have looked at me blankly and asked me why on earth I don’t go to Ko Samet instead. For so many expats, and Thais too, it seems like Samet is the only choice for a weekend beach trip.
It was for precisely that reason that I had never bothered going to check it out. Until now.
Having hopped over the Cambodian border at crossings like Ban Laem and Ban Pakkard in Chanthaburi more times than I can remember, and having now visited the capital Phnom Penh on no fewer than ten occasions, it was time to finally make the effort to head up to Siem Reap, and to explore the ruins of Angkor.
If you take the BTS to Victory Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูมิ, or “Anusawari Chai Samoraphum”), then take the skywalk around the monument itself, walking anticlockwise to the very end of the platform, a staircase will deposit you a few steps from a bus stop where you can catch the 166 bus to the Wat Sanam Neua temple, in the Pak Kret district of Nonthaburi.
A free weekend is a rare beast these days – one must take full advantage.
For the first time since I moved here six and a half years ago, I returned to Bangkok’s old airport – Don Mueang International. Local budget carrier Air Asia have moved all their flights there, and it was interesting to be back there after all this time.
Back in August it was time, once again, for my annual pilgrimage to those murky islands in the corner of North-West Europe where fate decreed that I should come into the world.
I’ve been saying for years that I must go over for Christmas one year, but have yet to manage it. This year is no different – same old summer trip, once again. You see, it rains slightly less and is a little warmer in the summer, and I only need to take one coat. Still, it’s worth the trip to see family and friends, and of course the cats.
I also took one or two photographs…
Was that weekend in Phnom Penh really two months ago? I am such a slacker.
Since 2012 is the year of London’s oh-god-not-the-Olympics-shut-up I thought it was time I tracked down Cambodia’s own Olympic Stadium – which has never actually hosted an Olympics, but you try telling them to rename it. It was a long walk, but allowed me to visit the City Mall – Phnom Penh’s 3rd and newest shopping mall. This city is growing up.