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July 2015 Trip Report - Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Kanchanaburi, and Pattaya

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#1 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 09:49 PM

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Trip Report – July 2015 – Chiang Mai – Sukhothai – Kanchanaburi – Pattaya

 

Friday 3 July fly Thai Airways from Rome to Bangkok.  Flight was good and almost every seat taken – I was in peasant class so it was a somewhat uncomfortable journey.  Watched lots of movies and only manage to sleep very little.  :lazy:

 

Arrive Saturday 4 July at BKK at almost 6am exhausted, went through immigrations which had a line that lasted about 50 minutes as it seemed that many flights arrived at the same time and at that hour not all of the booths were open.  Went to the ATM and withdrew some Bahts, then went to the carousel to retrieve my luggage.  A Thai guy who I did not know who works at BKK comes up to me and asks me my flight number and then volunteers to assist me to find my luggage and introduces himself to me as, Ananda, and then brings me to get an AIS SIM card.  Ananda asked me if we could meet later (we exchanged phone numbers), as I told him that my number 1 priority was to go to sleep. 

 

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I then checked into the Novotel located at the airport, as they have “Freshen up” rates which I took for 5 hours so that I could shower and sleep.   After a 10 hour flight I wanted some pampering. Woke up about 11:15, got ready, checked out, and then took the Novotel back to the Terminal.  The Novotel is physically attached to the Terminal but it is a long walk so the shuttle it was for me. 

 

I checked in for my Bangkok Airways flight to Chiang Mai, got rid of my luggage and then texted Ananda and I offered him lunch.  Nice guy, has worked at BKK for 5 years and uses his job as an opportunity to meet and seduce falangs.  He was disappointed to find out that I was not spending any time in BKK this trip and we left it at that.  However, later on into my trip he did try stalking me with constant text messages which I conveniently ignored as I could tell that he was too pushy for my tastes. :angry:

 

Had a great less than 1 hour flight to Chiang Mai and was disappointed to find out that my guide Woody, and his partner, Non, from the last time were not already waiting for me at the airport.  I texted them and within 15 minutes they were there to pick me up and we were reunited again after 18 long months.  :air_kiss:

 

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You may remember the great time that I had with Woody and Non from my December 2013 trip report:

 

http://www.gaythaila...dec-in-progress

 

that I decided to use their services again, but instead of for just 2 days, this time it would be 7 days, where we planned a big trip to the outskirts of Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, and then Kanchanaburi.

I booked us a nice room at the Qi 68 guest house, http://www.qi68hotel.com/ in Chiang Mai in the Chang Phuak area which was convenient for our eventual night escapades.  I could see immediately that the guys were disappointed with my hotel choice and I did not find out why until we arrived later in the trip at Sukhothai.

 

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Then we went to get a bite to eat,

 

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and then we visited some of the more important Wats (Wat Phra Sing, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Man and Wat Suan Dok) which is always such a pleasure for me as I like to watch the guys do their Buddhist prayer thing, especially the one where they shake a canister that is full of Buddhist Fortune Sticks until 1 falls out which has a corresponding number.  The noise of the shaking fills the Wat full of hope and spiritual energy.  They then leave the prayer area and usually to the side is a “fortune” that is written that corresponds to the number.  They love sharing with me this entire process and I enjoy participating in it.  In addition, each of the Wats are unique in their own way and from an artistic and cultural point of view they never disappoint me.

 

Attached File  Budhist_prayer_and_fortune_sticks.jpg   49.72KB   6 downloads

 

Then off to the Saturday night market where as usual I was overloaded with its immensity of stuff for sale, entertainment, and smells of the various foods that are available.

 

As it was Saturday night, we headed over to the Circle Pub http://www.circlepubchiangmai.com/ to see the show which was of a typical go-go boy style show and then we moved on to Adams Apple,  http://www.adamsappleclub.com/  as I did not get to see it on my last Chiang Mai trip and I had promised Vinapu after my last LOS trip that I would check it out on my next trip.  We walked in and it was pretty busy – not packed but a decent crowd.  The owner/manager immediately welcomed us and there was a gaggle of guys around him as he was definitely being entertained by most of them.  We watched the various Go-Go boy skits, and then Woody talked to a few, as he seems to have contacts with them.  The night we were there most were of the twink type – not my type – and being my first day in LOS I was tired so we called it a night.  Would I go back to Adam’s Apple – most likely yes, as I would want to have more energy for my next visit and maybe arrive a little earlier to see if we missed some of the famous manly Shan types that I heard about but did not see much of that first night, as perhaps they had all already been offed.

 

Back to the Qi 68 guest house where Woody and Non gave me an excellent 4 handed massage.  You may remember from my previous trip report that they both work as masseurs at the Classic House in Chiang Mai, www.classichousemassage.net/  .  We did not meet there as I found Woody on Line when he was advertising his tour guide business, as that is their true passion and massages are their 2nd passion.  So, I got the best of both worlds in this trip. :p

 

The Qi 68 guest house does not have breakfast, they have a large common kitchen if you want to use it.  This is the reason why the guys were disappointed with my lodging choice.  So, I asked them to take us to the "Butter is Better" diner in Chiang Mai (189 Chang Klan Road)  http://www.butterisbetterbakery.com/ which is truly an excellent place for falang breakfast, but the menu is rich enough to even satisfy the Thai guys, so we were all happy.

 

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Today’s agenda (Sunday 5th of July) was to go to see the famous Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, which is 15 kms outside of Chiang Mai up in the beautiful national park of Doi Pui, about 3,500 ft above sea level.  Woody and Non have a car, so transportation is not an issue.  I did not get to see this important historical gem, which was built back in the 1300s on my last trip so it was very important to see it this time.  We also ventured up the 300 steps to see the marvelous golden pagoda which they say contain the relics of the Lord Buddha.  Lastly, the view of Chiang Mai down in the valley is breathtaking.

 

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Then we drove further up the Doi Suthep mountain to see the Bhubing Rajanives Palace and beautiful rose gardens, which is a royal residence built in 1961 to accommodate the royal family during state visits to Chiang Mai.  My guides having been there several times were more taken back by the lack of water in the reservoir and were very worried about the ongoing drought in Thailand and lack of rain. I noted that the reservoir was very low – but it being my first time it did not register to me as alarming as it did to the guys.  Ironically, I chose July for this trip as I wanted to experience Thailand in the hot, sticky, and rainy season (since I am thinking of moving here I want to see our beloved LOS in all of its seasons).  In my 12 days here I only saw brief rain 2 times – so this drought problem is very worrying.  The grounds are immense and there are many botanical gardens and buildings to see.  By the way, if you are in shorts, you will need to rent long pants in respect to the royal family. :excl:

 

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Then off to a great Thai lunch at the Palace’s car park.

 

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Then the guys wanted me to see a real Hill Tribe village, so we visited Doi Pui Mong – it was interesting to see how the hill tribe people live.  Of course, a big market that wound through the narrow street of the mountain village which was conveniently covered, as the hot sun was scorching.  Plus, my first normal Thailand intestinal attack arrived and it was off to a Hill Tribe outhouse – not a pleasant experience but necessary to survive the drive back to downtown Chiang Mai.  Please note to bring sanitary supplies on these kinds of “out of the city” adventures. :nurse:

 

Back to the guest house to freshen up and then off to see where Woody and Non live – they live with Woody’s sister and her husband and their 2 children, peeboy and num.  They showered and packed their bags as we decided to leave Chiang Mai tomorrow.  While they prepared themselves, I tried to entertain the 2 children with their toys and of course communication was impossible but it was still fun.  Then we were off to see the famous Sunday walking street, which I saw last time but I really enjoyed it as it is packed with cultural delights, entertainment, great smells, and the ability to see many variations of people.  While walking around, I saw a travel office offering some zip line adventures, something that I had wanted to try for a long time.  I asked the guys to talk to the staff about it and we left with some exciting brochures for some places that are about an hour outside of Chiang Mai.  The guys were quite surprised that this old falang was up for some adventure in the jungle.  I told them, “I am not dead yet and you only live once!!  :yahoo:

 

We visited more Wats, with their beautiful night lights and then we headed off for some dinner. In this photo I thought that something was wrong with my camera – because when I checked the photo of the same Wat, it had 2 different colors – then the guys told me that it was planned that way with the lighting – a very nice touch.

 

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After dinner we went to visit the New My Way bar  http://www.newmywaybar.com/  for some fun.  As expected, Woody knew one of the go-go guys, Song, who was an ex-Classic House masseur, and so we offed sexy Song and brought him back to the guest house.  He had a perfect body, 6-pack abs, very masculine, and sexy.  Unfortunately, he could not keep an erection,   :shok:  as I think he was a bit put off by the 6 hand massage on me and too shy.  We made the best of it and everyone got to squirt at the end.  This was my first 6 hand massage in my life and I think it will be my last.  Yes, it was nice to have 6 hands moving all over your body, but it was too intense and it was hard to keep from losing control and cumming to a quick end.  Lot’s of requests to stop, slow-down, don’t touch, ecc. – so too much energy focused on trying to not arrive to a quick finish instead of just relaxing and enjoying the sensual massage session.

 

Monday July 6, we check out of the Qi 68 guest house and then head over again to the "Butter is Better" diner to fill up on some good breakfast food before our big adventure to the Mae Taeng river, a little over an hour from Chiang Mai to visit the Zipline Chiangmai adventure park.  On the way you pass the Maetaman Elephant Camp, and the dirt road was full of Elephants and Ox’s carting people around who were having a lot of fun.  I decided on this trip for NO elephant rides, as I already did it last time in Koh Samui, and after 20 minutes I was very bored, as the elephant moves so slow – so once was enough for me.  So this trip is more adrenaline oriented and hence why the choice for the zipline adventure. 

 

We arrive and we meet very sexy Mieng   :give_rose:  (who is from Sukhothai our next destination) who would be our zipline guide during our adventure.

 

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At this wonderful place, you get to admire beautiful wild Thai orchids, catch an awe-inspiring view of the Mae Taeng River, which is way below you while you are soaring from tree-to-tree, almost like a monkey.  We signed up for the 2 hour zipline adventure, which entails 31 different tree-top platforms, which varied in length from 20 meters to a truly amazing 400 meter zipline.  They have plans next year to open an additional 800 meter zipline and I definitely will want to try it.

 

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This place is great – lots of attention to safety details, a training class before starting the adventure, etc.  At first I was very apprehensive and scared at the thought of falling into the jungle and abyss underneath, but after the first 30 minutes I was much more relaxed and found myself having the time of my life.  The highlight is when Mieng convinced each one of us to let go of the zipline break and handle and to just fly across the jungle tree tops upside down like a monkey.  What exhilaration seeing everything from an upside down point of view.  It is truly a full on adrenaline experience and if you have a strong heart, I urge you to do it if you also have the stamina.  I am almost 54 and if I can do it you can also do it. Plus it is a great experience to become absorbed into the Thai tropical forest and jungle.

 

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Ok, that is enough for this portion of my trip report.  I hope that my writing style does not bore you – I’m a details guy, and it is the little details that interest me the most when I read trip reports.  Soon I hope to update this report with our continued adventures to Sukhothai and then Kanchanaburi.  Afterwards I will leave my guides Woody and Non to head off to Pattaya for 4 days of debauchery (as no guides are required ;>)) before heading back home to Italy.



#2 fedssocr

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:38 PM

Nice start. Those guys are certainly very handsome.

 

Look forward to the rest.



#3 abidismaili

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:02 AM

You have an a-typical taste for Thai guys. I have been there now a few times and your taste deviates immensely from the average Farang. Who is into 18-25 year old skinny twinks. But your friends look very good, however they look like tops to me. Not bottom.

Are you the bottom?



#4 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:22 AM

All of us are TOPS - but it is ok - as there are still things that Tops can do together to still enjoy ourselves - which we did immensely. :p



#5 anonone

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 05:59 AM

Great start to your report.  Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventures.

 

I have yet to wander up to Chiang Mai, which is probably long overdue.  I also have a strong desire to check out Chiang Rai as every boy I meet from there in Pattaya is beautiful. 

 

I also chuckled about the "normal Thailand intestinal attack".  Been there...LOL



#6 vinapu

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 08:49 AM

I'm glad bkkmfj  you finally made it to LOS after 18 months hiatus.

 

Can't wait for next installment of your report, your writing style is great and details are all in the right places.

Somebody can use report  as a real guide to CM places.

 

Boys are gorgeus and I'm sure you had a fun with them.

 

Noted 6 hands massage impression, you were one to recommend me 4 hands and I'm glad I took your word for it and if you say 6 hands is too much which confirms my suspicion, I'll skip  trying it.

 

Don't worry about abidismaili comments - by far you are not alone in your taste in Thai guys, rest assured even on this forum they are guys who'd gladly discuss world peace with your guides.



#7 vinapu

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:03 AM

You have an a-typical taste for Thai guys. I have been there now a few times and your taste deviates immensely from the average Farang. Who is into 18-25 year old skinny twinks. 

I wonder of how much truth is in that. My guess would be that this is impression of farangs spending too much time in Sunee Plaza.

 

Since I share the bkkmfj's taste I must say I never  feel somehow singled out when visiting bars or massages.

 

I'm not disputing you may be correct  but I find words "a-typical"  and "immensely" misplaced in the context.

 

What I agree with is that skinny twinks admirers are much more vocal on the forums thus creating an impression of being immense and typical majority.  



#8 abidismaili

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:32 PM

I wonder of how much truth is in that. My guess would be that this is impression of farangs spending too much time in Sunee Plaza.

 

 

Yes I admit I fit that profile. And Soi Twilight.

 

But also in places where you can expect to see gay men who like other types, I notice most prefer twinks. In Amsterdam there is a gay sauna and each time I am there and a young twink enters he is really followed around by older gay men when they notice him. Each trying to get him; to touch him etc. I never see this kind of behaviour when a 25 year old muscled gay enters. He is not followed around by other guests wherever he goes. Maybe 1 or 2 only. And I see it in other places too. I truly think the bulk of gays prefer twinks. The other sub groups: those preferring beers, or chubby people, or elderly people are really minorities.



#9 LoveThailand

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:53 AM

Very handsome companions indeed, bkkmfj

especially the white shirt wearing one



#10 kokopelli

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 04:23 AM

Very handsome companions indeed, bkkmfj

especially the white shirt wearing one

Not me, I prefer this one  :) with the nice smile in the green shirt.



#11 z909

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 04:48 AM

Thanks for the report. Excellent work.

 

The Qi68 hotel looks nice. 

What do their rooms cost ?   [Such information seems elusive on the website, even under the RATES section]

I wonder how they decided on the hotel name ?    Presumably someone started off with Qi69.....

 

As for BKK immigration, well some of the queue can be from your own plane and if there's another plane arriving at the same time, just walk as fast as you can from the plane to immigration.   I frequently find the length of the queue doubles whilst I am already in it, suggesting this strategy works.



#12 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 12:47 AM

Many of you have asked me for my tour guide's contact details.

I have uploaded them - his name is Woody and his partner is Non.

They are a very fun and open minded couple that will take you anywhere you may want to go.

If you don't know what you want to see they can organize something for you if you just

give them a couple of hints.  They have a nice Nissan car with excellent air conditioning.

Any other questions about them just ask.  I have used their tour services on 2 different

trips and their massage services 4 times - both were excellent.  Woody's level of

English is very good.

Enjoy them and treat them well and you will be so happy for doing so.

M.

Attached File  Woody_information_card.jpg   57.75KB   7 downloads



#13 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 01:02 AM

Vinapu wrote:
I'm glad bkkmfj you finally made it to LOS after 18 months hiatus.
--> me too - I could not wait anymore to return to LOS

Can't wait for next installment of your report, your writing style is great
and details are all in the right places.
-->  thanks for the compliment - this coming weekend I will try to write the
     Sukothai and Kanchanaburi installments

Somebody can use report as a real guide to CM places.
--> it would be even better yet if the moderators of these Thailand blogs would
    organize all of the trip reports in their own folders - then that would
    create an invaluable resource for everyone who needs trip information.

Boys are gorgeus and I'm sure you had a fun with them.
-->  oh yes, I had so much fun with them.  When we split up so that I could
     go off to Pattaya by myself - I was actually sad that I did not bring
     them with me - but I did not need tour guides for Pattaya - it is all
     almost self explanatory and something better done alone to maximize the
     fun and to avoid awkward situations...

Noted 6 hands massage impression, you were one to recommend me 4 hands and
I'm glad I took your word for it and if you say 6 hands is too much which
confirms my suspicion, I'll skip  trying it.
--> when we eventually meet - I would like to meet you - you can buy me a
    drink for the money I saved you from not having to pay for a 6 hand
    massage!!!   Just joking about buying me a drink - but I would love
    to go out with you one night since we have almost equal tastes in me
    it would be fun as we fight over the same men  :>)))


LoveThailand wrote:
Very handsome companions indeed, bkkmfj
especially the white shirt wearing one
--> his name is Non and I agree - he is SO sexy

Kokopelli wrote: Not me, I prefer this one  :) with the nice smile in the green shirt.
--> thanks you made me blush

z909 wrote:
The Qi68 hotel looks nice. What do their rooms cost ?
--> they quoted me Rate per night : 2,500.00 THB for a
    room with a double bed for 3 people
I wonder how they decided on the hotel name ?
--> interesting question - I do not know as I did not ask them.
--> good advice - I will walk faster then my fellow passengers
    to beat the BKK immigration queue.



#14 vinapu

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 05:00 AM

Vinapu wrote:

1.Somebody can use report as a real guide to CM places.
--> it would be even better yet if the moderators of these Thailand blogs would
    organize all of the trip reports in their own folders - then that would
    create an invaluable resource for everyone who needs trip information.


2.Noted 6 hands massage impression, you were one to recommend me 4 hands and
I'm glad I took your word for it and if you say 6 hands is too much which
confirms my suspicion, I'll skip  trying it.
--> when we eventually meet - I would like to meet you - you can buy me a
    drink for the money I saved you from not having to pay for a 6 hand
    massage!!!   Just joking about buying me a drink - but I would love
    to go out with you one night since we have almost equal tastes 
    it would be fun as we fight over the same men  :>)))

 

1. preparing for a trip and searching for an information can be as much fun as trip itself so I wouldn't make it too easy for prospective travelers depriving them part of pleasure, search feature works very well here

 

2. no joking , your drink and feast of chicken with cashew nuts is on me when we meet, you have it in writing here.

 

Don't worry about fighting over the same man, I'm not competitive.

I visited quite a few bars  and massage places on couple of occasions with one our of members with the same taste and not even once we liked exactly the same guy, there's always something to make for tiny difference so peace is guaranteed.

 

By the way those tours with other members are highlight of trip for me and always fun to find face behind the posts so we will figure something out to co-ordinate trip timing.



#15 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 01:56 AM

Posted the videos of Woody's and Non's zipline adventures on YouTube

 

Woody’s zipline adventure video  http://youtu.be/S-06Ly7wHAc

 

Non’s zipline adventure video  https://youtu.be/RVcESHU2Z0g

 

enjoy,

m.



#16 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:13 AM

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This is the Sukhothai portion of my trip report.  I will try to post the Kanchanaburi portion tomorrow.

 

So, after the exciting zipline adventure, we head back to Chiang Mai to search for a hotel for the evening, and we find the Chiang Mai Gate Hotel, www.chiangmaigatehotel.com

which is a normal hotel, but Woody and Non were chomping at the bid to have a hotel that offered an all you can eat breakfast, so I conceded in letting us leave the Qi 68 guest house, which did not offer breakfast but was cute and charming to transfer to a mainstream normal generic hotel. 

 

Woody, warns me in his endearing protective way, “No Go-Go bars tonight – we must get up early at 7:00am we have big drive to Sukhothai”.  So, it was an early night – no hanky pank – as we needed to conserve our energy for tomorrow’s journey and eventual sightseeing.

 

Woody and. Non were illuminated as they plowed through the “All You Can Eat” breakfast buffet.  It was good, but I much preferred “Butter is Better”   http://www.butterisbetterbakery.com/

 

It’s now 10:00 am and we are finally off for Sukhothai.  The guys tell me it’s a 4 hour drive but it ended up taking us 5 hours because of time taken to enjoy the rest areas (no – not for cruising hahaha…).  I was quite impressed with Thailand rest areas as they are very different than the ones we have here on the Italian Autostrada.  Here in Italy, they usually consist of 2 buildings – one for eating, usually called CIAO or AutoGrill and the other is for petrol.  Instead here in Thailand it is a rather large complex with the ubiquitous 7-Eleven, Café Amazon, KFC, S&P, etc.  So, the main difference is choice while in Italy there is no choice.  Just an observation.  Consequently our 4 hours became 5 hours because I just had to have my wonderful Café Amazon iced coffee at each service area.  My 2 tour guys are beautiful and very much in shape I just hope that my falang ways do not fatten them up.

 

Attached File  typical_Thai_rest_area_where_choice_is_king.jpg   40.18KB   5 downloads

 

The drive from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai was kind of boring.  I found the transformation of the terrain from greenish to arid is what made it less interesting.  You could definitely see that the current drought is having a negative impact on many parts of Thailand.  In addition, Sukhothai was much more hotter and humid than Chiang Mai.

 

We arrive in Sukhothai and start the search for a hotel.  First we checked out the Pailyn Hotel, a huge hotel which has seen better days and looked tired.  Then we found the gem that we all liked called the Sukhothai Treasure Resort & Spa  http://www.sukhothaitreasure.com/  once we saw the rooms, pools, and breakfast area – we immediately accepted a suite here as it is absolutely a lovely resort.

 

Attached File  Sukhothai_Treasure_resort_and_spa.jpg   31.38KB   2 downloads

 

So checked in and unpacked we then head off to MK for a bite to eat and to wait for Woody’s and Non’s friend, Wit to join us for a late lunch before heading over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Sukhothai Historical Park.  Woody met Wit some years back when he worked at the Classic House in Chiang Mai, www.classichousemassage.net/ as a masseur.  Now he lives in rural Sukhothai to take care of his ailing mother and sorely misses the gay life back in the metropolis of Chiang Mai and he made us understand that he cannot wait to return.  Wit would be our local tour guide during our sojourn here.

 

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Why visit this Sukhothai ?

First of all, Sukhothai translates into the “Dawn of Happiness.” Secondly, if you are a history buff and want to learn about Thai culture it is an interesting place to visit because from 1238 until 1438 Sukhothai was the first capital of Siam (then followed by Ayutthaya, Thonburi and Bangkok). The most famous and influential one of its nine kings was King Ramkhamhaeng, the second son of the founder of the state (reign from 1275-1317). He significantly expanded the Siamese empire through his military victories to a territory even bigger than modern Thailand, developed the first Thai script (Siamese alphabet that we all know and love to decipher), imposed strict observance to the Buddhist religion and founded a military and social organization which was soon copied by the Khmers. The Sukhothai Kingdom, consisted of a long arc of territory that ran through what is today's Laos and western Thailand as far as the Malay states.

 

In addition, since I live in Rome, which is home to the “Fori Imperiali”, Rome’s ancient beginnings, I wanted to see the contrast with Thailand’s ancient past, and I can say that it is quite impressive.

Some pictures – I limited them to just a couple….

 

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http://www.sacred-de...d/old-sukhothai

 

And then my most favorite part of this wonderful UNESCO heritage site is the giant standing Buddha at Wat Si Chum.

 

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Legend has it that this giant Buddha statue was able to ward off its enemies by being able to talk and to scare them away from harming it – as is what unfortunately happened to many of the other monuments in the park.

 

It was hotter than hell in the park and SO humid as it had just finished raining before we arrived.  The famous lotus pond that you see in many tourist pictures near the monuments was all dried up due to the drought.

 

After our visit, Wit took us to his favorite Wat in New Sukhothai, Phra Mae Ya Shrine, which is right across the street from the Yom river in front of City Hall on Thanon Nikhon Kasem street, which cuts through downtown.  I asked Wit, why it was his favorite and he explained the following to me:

The shrine is highly respected by Sukhothai residents. It’s home to the idol of Phra Mae Ya, a stone figure with a long face, tapered chin, long halo, and dressed as an ancient queen. The idol is about 1 meter high and is supposed to have been built during King Ramkhamhaeng the Great’s reign as a dedication to his late mother Nang Sueang. The name provides the connections in the word Phra Mae Ya or grandmother in Thai, which is literally a term of endearment, since the local people regarded King Ramkhamhaeng the Great as their fathers. The statue was formerly housed in a rock shelter of Phra Mae Ya Mountain. The Sukhothai residents later relocated it to its present shrine situated in front of the City Hall. The shrine is also believed to house the spirit of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great. The Phra Mae Ya Fair is held annually in late February.

 

Of course, now it was time for the usual Buddhist prayer and the shaking of the fortune sticks and I could not miss this photo op.

 

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For more info about this interesting place, http://www.bangkoksi.../CityShrine.htm

 

So, what else is there to do in Sukhothai?  Wit exclaims, “cruising!!”  Since we were already at the riverfront and there was no flooding due to the drought (we need to remember that back in September 2014 and also in September 2012 the Yom river overran its river banks and flooded downtown), we were safe to proceed to a little gym and Thai boxing workout center that overlooks the Yom river.  Wit made us understand that many of the hot guys that we saw working out may join you if you sit down along the river bank – there is a steep drop off from the square where they are so you are somewhat secluded.  Wit said, you just sit and wait and perhaps one of the guys will come over and say hello.  We only looked for a little while and then we headed off to dinner.  So, if any of you out there reading this – check it out – here is a little google map…enjoy

 

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Wit then took us to an excellent restaurant, I cannot remember its name – but the food was the highlight of my entire vacation.  Of course it was a Thai restaurant, and my 3 guides ordered for me – so I have no idea what I ate but it was great.  One dish was based on coconut, as I go crazy for coconut.  Another dish was chicken based and another 2 dishes were with vegetables.  I am soliciting the name of this great restaurant and once I get it I will post it here.

After dinner we return to the cruising place on the river and there was definitely more movement, as it was now dark while before I was not yet a complete sunset.  Then we part our ways, as we return Wit to his motorbike at the MK restaurant and then we return to our wonderful hotel to have a well deserved swim in that wonderful swimming pool.  There were many sexy pictures that we took in that pool, but to date I have not yet been successful in getting them off of Non’s phone.  Had they been on Woody’s phone, I would have been able to post them here.  If I ever get my greedy hands on them in the future I will post them here.

 

Back to the room for a well-deserved 4 hand massage with all of the usual final glory fun and then off to la-la land sleeping away until the next morning.

 

Enjoyed the great all you can eat breakfast buffet – the guys were SO happy and then checked out and off for our very long 6 hour drive to Kanchanaburi – which will be the next segment of this trip report.

 

Ciao,

M.

 



#17 anonone

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 08:35 AM

Another great post from your trip, M.  Thank you for the great info.

I am intrigued by the "Cruising Zone", though I doubt I will get up to Sukhothai anytime soon to check it out myself.  

Certainly seems like you had a great time and are seeing much more of the Kingdom then most of us.  Well done.

But there is no way I will be dangling from the zip line in the forest.  Watching the video clip was enough to convince me of that.  

Thanks for continuing to post your adventures.  Looking forward to more...



#18 vinapu

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 09:39 AM

Sukhotai ruins are great but this Non is the hell of handsome guy.

 

another great report from bkkmfj , waiting for more like all us here



#19 fedssocr

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 10:07 AM

I was in Sukhothai for Loy Krathong a few years ago. I'd say that's the time you want to be there. They have this cool parade full of hot guys in period costumes. And they do a laser and "sound and light" show telling the Loy Krathong story with a giant cast of locals. Everyone comes from miles around. There's a contest for the best krathong with some gigantic ones. Many decorated with seeds and other small things that must take an enormous amount of time to put together.

 

There's another old ruined town nearby at Si Sitchanalai national park. It grew up shortly after or contemporaneously with Sukhothai. Lots of ruined old temples and so forth. It's about 15 or 20 minutes away from Sukhothai.

 

Phitsanulok is not far away as well and I liked being there as well at LK. They have the neatest decorations there.

 

When you said "cruising" and then started talking about the river I expected you to say you took a boat ride. 

 

More people should get out and see more of the country. There's so much more to Thailand than Pattaya and Bangkok.



#20 bkkmfj2648

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 02:16 AM

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Big adventure to Kanchanaburi – 6 hours in the car and guess what a little bit grumpy at times – but to be expected.  As reported in the previous Sukhothai trip report section, thank God for the Thai rest areas, which break up the monotony and also provide an immense of choices for eating, drinking, and to kill the boredom.

 

We stopped for lunch in a surreal place in the middle of nowhere in the country-side between Sukhothai and Kanchanaburi – again hotter than hell and they only had outdoor seating – so we took the one with the least mosquitos and most fans.  Food was very good – “mom and pop style”.  Poor Non is always doing all of the driving on this trip while Woody and myself are often dozing off in the car or playing with our smartphones.  Non deserves a metal for excellent driving and for never dozing off.  Here he is at the out in the sticks restaurant, driving again – his t-shirt says it all, “Bide your time”

 

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We arrive at Kanchanaburi city around 15:30 and I am thinking, halleluiah we have made it and we can finally get out of the car.  No, Woody informs me that we still have 1 more hour to go to reach our destination at the lovely and fabulous “River Kwai Village Jungle Resort Hotel”. 

 

http://www.riverkwaivillagehotel.com/

 

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This place is real cool.  Try to imagine a lush resort tucked away in the jungle 1 hour outside of the capital province city, sitting on beautiful land on the banks for the Kwai Noi River.  This resort consists of 191 rooms spread out over an immense estate divided into 4 sections; Mountain Wing, River Wing, Royal Wing, and then the Raftel.  They showed us a room in the River Wing – it was nice – but I insisted with Woody – as they were speaking to the bell boy in Thai to show us one of the rooms that we saw down on the river.  Back to the lobby – at least a 10 minute walk – as the place is truly gigantic – get the keys to a Raftel room and then down the steep embankment and then over a little wooden bridge to a group of 26 barges all tied together – one after the other – with fabulous wooden carved rooms on each barge.  Once we entered I said, “guys – come on – this Raftel is MUCH better than the River Wing rooms…”  Woody and Non replied, “but it costs more” – “who cares”, I replied – these floating rooms are fantastic.  Being off-season – there were hardly any guests – as the resort was like a ghost town – so Woody and Non negotiated a 30% off the already low season price.  I was SO happy!!!  Having Thai guides are truly worth their weight in Gold – hence the reason that I keep trying to fatten them up with my falang breakfasts.  :>))

 

View of our Raftel floating on the Kwai Noi river – behind my left shoulder

 

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Then I find out why we are here in this spectacular resort.  Non’s 2 sisters work here on a temporary construction site which is a little bit down river.  They are painting the new rooms in the to-be new modern wing of this already huge resort.  The receptionist was all excited to tell me all about it and suggested that I  return when it will open next year and I told her that the charm of this place for me was the wooden old-style rooms and that I much prefer the Raftel instead of the nice new concrete facility.  She was quite surprised – just call me old fashioned.

 

So, after checking in, and seeing the immense grounds (which included a big pool with water slide and sprouting decadent fountains) – the guys asked me if I could give the sisters some money to prepare our dinner as we would be eating out on our Raftel balcony.  That was all ok for me as I would be able to have a cultural exchange with Non’s 2 sisters and their male partners.  Later on that same evening they came with some cold iced beers, mosquito spray and candles, and some great spicy food and we just sat around and just chatted away and enjoyed the rapidly flowing river behind our balcony and the subtle movements of being on a barge on the river.  Obviously, I was just a silent observer as I don’t speak Thai – but I did insist on showing all of them our 3 zipline videos and our manly adventure.  They loved it.

 

Non drives the sisters back to the employee area of this resort – it is huge and they employee housing is tucked away in the deep jungle where the guests would not even know they are there.  I felt honored to see and experience “the other side” of this resort – to be with its laborers.

 

Again, a well-deserved 4 hand massage with the ensuing mutual squirting and relaxing.

As usual, the guys could not wait to have their all you can eat breakfast, so up the embankment to the main resort area to eat.

 

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After breakfast, Woody told me bring bathing suit – because we might go into some waterfalls.  Yahoo!! We then drove off towards the Myanmar border to the famous Three Pagodas Pass, about 150 km from where we were.  At first I was confused, because for me, Kanchanaburi brings back memories of World War II studies, the Japanese occupation of this area, the Death Railway, and of course the famous movie, “The Bridge Over the River Kwai”.  Strangely, this had no relevance nor matter of importance to Woody and Non – as they could not understand our falang history and desires.  This was very strange for me – as they must have learned of the importance of this place during the war – but their lack of interest told me otherwise.  So, today it is jungles, waterfalls, and another Myanmar border town and I was happy.  Little did I know that at the Myanmar border crossing that I would be able to show the significance of this place and greater Kanchanaburi to us falangs.

 

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After having understood the historical significance of this place I was disappointed to see the mini – Pagodas, as they had already formed a larger than life mental fantasy in my head from history class.  Anyway, it was worth the couple of hours drive to see this important historical place.

Excerpted from wikipedia  

 

https://en.wikipedia...ee_Pagodas_Pass

 

Three Pagodas Pass - Dan Chedi Sam Ong

Is a pass in the Tenasserim Hills on the border between Thailand and Burma (Myanmar), at an elevation of 282 metres (925 ft).  The pass links the town of Sangkhla Buri in the north of Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand, to the town of Payathonsu in the south of Kayin State, Myanmar. The pass is named after three small, crumbling stupas or chedis which were probably built at the end of Ayutthaya period as a symbol of peace. They are now on the Thai side of the border. Parts of the border are still disputed.  These three chedis appear in the provincial seal of Kanchanaburi Province in stylized form. The pass gives its name to the Three Pagodas Fault. This pass has been the main land route into western Thailand since ancient times, and is believed be the point at which Buddhist teachings reached the country from India in the 3rd century.  During the Ayutthaya period in Thai history (14th-18th centuries), the pass was the main invasion route for the Burmese, but at times was also used against them by Siamese armies. The first was the Burmese invasion in 1548, part of the Burmese–Siamese War of 1548.  During World War II, Japan built the infamous Death Railway (officially Taimen - Rensetsu Tetsudo) through the pass. There is a memorial to commemorate the thousands of Australian prisoners of war who (with other Allied prisoners and Asian civilians) died as forced laborers in the construction of the railway.  The region is home to several hill tribes, including Karens and Mons, who are unable or unwilling to obtain citizenship from either countries. Separatist armies have repeatedly tried to take seize of the pass from Burma, with the Mons in effective control until 1990, when Burmese troops regained it.


 

These 3 photos put together tell a very interesting story.  For the left most photo I had to walk a little behind the Thai border crossing gate into the underbush to find it and this gesture slightly agitated the 2 machine gun toting Thai border guards because I had to enter no-man’s land (that area between 2 nations borders) to take that photo.  Then the center photo, which was taken to the left of the official border crossing where the local Mon market begins, shows the death count by country to build the 415 kmDeath Railway, of which you can see a small section of it passing here at Three Pagodas Pass in the right most photo.  According to the center photo plaque, an estimated 200,000 Asian laborers and 61,000 POWs were forced to build this railway line for the Japanese, of which 80,000 Asian laborers (mainly Burmese and Thai), plus 1,000 Koreans and Japanese, 6,540 British POWs, 2,830 Dutch POWs, 2,710 Australian POWs, and 356 American POWs died building it, hence the name given to it, “The Death Railway”.  Construction started in September 1942 and ended in October 1943.  It remained in service until the Allies bombed it and put it out of final commission in June 1945 – so it had a short life for the number of lives that were sacrificed.  What a waste of humanity.

 

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When I explained all of this to both Woody and Non – they finally understood why Kanchanaburi Province had a very different significance for us falang.  So, we truly had a cultural exchange – my 2 Thai guides showed me the Disneyland side of Kanchanaburi, with its wonderful river, waterfalls, jungle, caves, etc. and I showed them something that was important in history and perhaps the Thai educational system chose to downplay.  We were both more culturally diverse for this trip and I was happy to have enlightened them somewhat.

 

Afterwards we explored the Burmese market and interestingly between the market stalls – I saw some cute guys and walked behind the market to investigate.  Woody came running after me, because I had actually walked into Myanmar without knowing it.  The market was actually on the border line – I thought to myself – wow – how porous this border is.  Anyway, I can now finally unofficially say that I have been to Myanmar even though my passport does not say so.  By the way, it was possible to do a legal crossing into Myanmar for me but not for my guides as they told me that they require visas.  I did not even push the issue, as I was already satisfied with my little 2 minute illegal adventure.

 

Finishing with the Three Pagodas Pass, we then drove back towards Kanchanaburi stopping at the Mon Bridge (Uttamanuson Bridge) which links the Sangkhlaburi market and local Mon village.  It is 850 meters long and crosses the Songkalia river.  There is a very large body of water which I believe is manmade, created by the Vajiralongkorn Dam.  Interestingly, the Mon Bridge is the longest wooden bridge in all of Thailand.  It was washed out in July 2013, but when we were there the redone wooden bridge, organized by the local Mon people was strong and beautiful and very operational.  Ironically, they left the floating temporary bamboo bridge up and you can see it from way up high.  It is truly a great experience.

 

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Another example of evidence that the drought is having on Thailand – note the water level in 2015 – very low.

 

From the Mon bridge you can see the vast waters of the Khao Laem reservoir and also the Wat Wang Wiwekaram.  So we went to check it out and also to find out about getting a long tail boat out to the famous sometimes underwater "Old" Wat Wang Wiwekaram which is now refered to as Muang Badan (Underwater world).  This temple was sunk into the lake when the Vachiralongkorn hydroelectric Dam was constructed in 1979 - 1984.  During our visit it was not submerged due to the drought and the low water levels – consequently we were able to walk into the temple instead of having to try and see it from above the water.  Of course it was very muddy and slimy and we had to be careful about not slipping and falling into the mud like a pig.  Back to the long tail boat to the other side of the lake to visit another abandoned temple (I cannot remember its name) that was covered in tree roots.

 

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Back to town to visit the most important temple, Wat Wang Wiwekaram & Chedi Buddhakhaya, which overlooks the entire area – you can see it peeking out of the tree line in the previous photo.

 

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Now very tired from all day in this very hot and humid area – drive back to our hotel, which is some 150 km away.  Arrive back at the hotel and we eat dinner in the hotel restaurant and then afterwards we went to the fabulous hotel pool and water slide for some fun.  Non went to get his nephew and the 5 of us had a great time.  Since there were no guests in the vacant resort, Non had to call the reception area from the pool, as everything was closed up, and they sent one of the workers to turn on the pool, decadent squirting fountains, and water slide.  We had a blast all taking turns going down the water slide – it was great to be a youngster all over again.  There were no other guests so we had everything to ourselves.

 

Off to bed and no hanky pank as we were all exhausted.  Tomorrow was going to be our last day for sightseeing as the guys promised to drive me back to Bangkok after we finished our Kanchanaburi adventure.

 

Last day at the resort for breakfast and we were literally the only breakfast guests.  Checked out and the hot and sexy bellboy took my luggage to the car – a big feat since the car park is up the hill from the floating river rooms.  Here is a photo with him – he placed his hand on my butt during the photo and I did not know what to do – but we had to leave.  Damn!!!  So, if one of you readers get him – please do report all!!!

 

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The guys had a passion to get their pictures taken with the tigers at the Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno)   www.tigertemple.org .  We got there too early – before noon – so we decided to make a quick visit to the last stop of the River Kwai train, at Nam Tok at the Wampo Viaduct (Wang Po), so that I could finally touch and bond with the railroad and walk on the viaduct.  I was very happy but at the same time moved by the sheer sight of knowing that so many POWs gave their lives to build this.  Some photo ops and then back to the tiger temple for the guys. 

 

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For those of you who might want to ride a train here I leave this web link (one of many), as I plan to return to Kanchanaburi – as 2.5 days here was not enough to do all of the million exciting things that are available.

 

http://www.roughguid...-death-railway/

 

Did some souvenir shopping at the Nam Tok train station market – t-shirts with the River Kwai on them.  Then back to the Tiger Temple for the guys (as I did not fancy my picture with the tigers – it was too controlled  and fake, as the tigers are tied to the trees and they do the foto op from between 12:30 and 13.30 the hottest part of the day as that is when the Tigers are most docile).  Sorry guys, no photos of my guides with the tigers – I did not take any photos – only this kitch photo here at the entrance to the park.

 

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Ok, that ends my trip to Kanchanaburi – and I can say that I had a GREAT time – but my main regret is that I should have allocated more time to see more things (waterfalls, hot springs, caves, bamboo raft floating on the river, etc.)  So, another reason to return and reflecting back on this portion of the tirp – I can say that you should take 5 days to truly enjoy Kanchanaburi.  When I do, I am DEFINITELY returning to the River Kwai Village Jungle Resort – and not only for that cute bellboy – because that resort was fantastic.

 

My next trip report that I will post next week will be about Pattaya – in this segment – my two lovely guides and private masseurs dropped me off in Bangkok at the bus station near the Pinklao bridge where they arranged for me a great taxi to take me to Pattaya.  We did our hugs and goodbyes and I cannot wait to see them again – I love the both of them – they are great guys.

 

To be continued….

 







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