Mink Machine

Thailand - In pursuit of the perfect beach

Backpacking through Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Similan islands, Khao Lak, Phi Phi islands, Patong, Phun Phin, Suratthani and more.

  • Arrival

    I have always loved train stations.

    [Hualamphong train station, Bangkok]

  • Entering roach territory

    The crowded street where every single backpacker in Asia seems to end up.

    [Khao San road, Bangkok]

  • Dude, where's my car

    There is a 90 percent chance of a 'special prize for you, mista' hanging in the air here.

    [Street vendor, Khao San road, Bangkok]

  • One night in Bangkok

    This was once a rice market, hence the name meaning 'raw rice'.

    [Reine dancing down Khao San road, Bangkok]

  • How fragile we are

    The vendors take pride in having something in store for everybody. Shurikens, butterflies and katanas - the perfect Christmas gift.

    [Streetmarket stand in Bangkok]

  • A green spot

    This is a beautiful park at the heart of the city. In the morning hours, the lawns are brimmed with tai chi exercise.

    [Lumpini Park, Bangkok]

  • Down the river

    The Chao Phraya river divides Bangkok and provides excellent transportation.

    [Reine going down the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok]

  • Kiss my feet

    This statue of Buddha is 46 metres long and surrounded by large pillars, making it impossible to get a good look at it. The gold plating on its body is nice, but the feet are even cooler with 108 Buddha scenes created by 'mother of pearl', a material secreted by tissue from rare species of mollusk. Parasites and foreign objects invading the mollusk will be entombed in successive layers of this composite, resulting in a pearl.

    [Wat Pho, Bangkok]

  • Back to the future

    While being fast and reliable means of transportation, the skytrains also have eased the air pollution a bit.

    [Skytrain rails, Bangkok]

  • Rush Hour

    I admit the photo quality is quite awkward, but the danger of shooting this picture was far outweighted by the danger of this officer's daytime job.

    [Worst job in the world during rush hour in Bangkok]

  • Reaching for the stars

    This is a well-known temple in Bangkok with its spectacular 'prang' (Khmer-style tower), surrounded by four smaller ones. The temple once served as a host of the Emerald Buddha.

    [Wat Arun, Bangkok]

  • Waterways

    The Chao Phraya river divides Bangkok and provides excellent transportation.

    [Chao Phraya river, Bangkok]

  • Living on the edge

    [Chao Phraya river, Bangkok]

  • Show me the money

    'If I should die before I wake, I pray the Manager my money to keep.'

    [Muay Thai at Ratchadamnoen Stadium, Bangkok]

  • The rock

    While spending time above the surface to remove residual nitrogene, we stopped by at this beach and got ashore using a small rubber boat. The beach is made up of coral sand, smooth and blazingly white. The parrotfish eat the calcium corals and the sand is actually made of parrotfish droppings. Anyhow, we walked beyond into the forest and found whale skeletons and monitor lizards (no connection, I hope). We finally climbed up to the big rock for a spectacular view of the Similans.

    [Similan Islands, Andaman Sea]

  • At the beach

    Not your average morning shower. A great way to start the day. This was long before the tsunami disaster arrived at these shores.

    [Khao Lak beach]

  • Life is good

    This was long before the tsunami distaster arrived at these shores.

    [Reine having a cold drink at sunset in Khao Lak]

  • Rubber crops

    [Khao Lak]

  • [Longtail boat at Phi Phi Islands]

  • The beach

    The place where the movie The Beach was shot can be quite crowded, but the water provides fine snorkeling and the surrounding limestone cliffs are nothing short of spectacular. However, Alex Garland's book was actually inspired by the lagoon El Nido at island Palawan in the Philippines, and the book was also written there according to the legend.

    [Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands]

  • The drop

    Phi Phi Don is the largest of the Phi Phi islands and features impressive limestone cliffs. Notice the boat.

    [Phi Phi Don]

  • Fancy a roadkill?

    [Impeccable street market in Phun Phin]

  • Sea of sin

    Even though the main activities for foreigners in this town felt like humanity at its very worst, the beach and surroundings are nothing short of spectacular.

    [Patong beach]

  • Waiting

    The train station of Suratthani. Perhaps one of the most boring places in the world. Unfortunately we had 10 hours to spend there before boarding the night train. Later on the train we met the crazy Malaysian guys, but that is another story.

    [Suratthani]

  • Shiny happy people

    A normal day in Chiang Mai, the biggest city of northern Thailand. Traffic is chaotic as usual, the air hot and polluted. Yet, in the midst of all this, there are two shining beacons on a red motorbike. Happy faces racing towards the bright and unknown future. Life is full of journeys and each one will take you somewhere. Better make sure to enjoy the ride.

    [Morning traffic in Chiang Mai]

  • [Reine on Tha Phae Road in Chiang Mai]

  • Triple Rolex

    Chiang Mai has over 300 wats (Buddhist temples), most of which are very beautifully ornated.

    [Chiang Mai]

  • By the slope

    The mountain of Doi Suthep in the west towers over the city.

    [Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai]

  • Stairway to heaven

    At the top of these stairs with 309 steps lies a temple from the 14th century.

    [Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai]

  • Goldfinger

    The oldest chedi was build on this mountain in 1383. It is said to contain a shoulder bone from Buddha.

    [Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai]

  • The hunchbacks

    Doi Suthep has a very large number of temple bells. Notice the sign that says: 'Don't push the bells.'

    [Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai]

  • Rolling cloud

    These motorcycle versions of rickshaws are very common, very noisy and will choke you in a cloud of blue smoke.

    [Going by Tuk tuk]

  • Frogs

    The traffic in Chiang Mai is crazy as always.

    [Chiang Mai]

  • Black sugar

    Some candy is good, some is not.

    [Buying sweets along the road]

  • Nightcrawler

    Be prepared to meet some of these guys while you try to sleep.

    [Gecko]

Reine

About

Reine is a web developer who enjoys caffeine-fueled urban traveling. More...

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