Thailand - In pursuit of the perfect beach

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

  • Dawn

    Early morning arrival at the train station. I have always loved train stations with the constant buzz of people on the move.

    Hualamphong train station, 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.

    Wat Pho, Bangkok

  • Entering roach territory

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

    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 Khao San road, Bangkok

  • A green spot

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

    Lumpini Park, 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

  • Reaching for the stars

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

    Wat Arun, Bangkok

  • Rush Hour

    I admit the photo quality is quite underwhelming, 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

  • 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

  • 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 nitrogen, we stopped by at this beach and got ashore using a small rubber boat.

    Diving at the Similan Islands, Andaman Sea

  • At the beach

    Not your average morning shower. A great way to start the day.

    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

  • 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.

    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 for scale.

    Phi Phi Don

  • Fancy a roadkill?

    Impeccable street market in Suratthani

  • Sea of sin

    Even though the 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 for the night to fall

    Perhaps one of the most boring places in the world. Unfortunately we had 10 hours to spend there before boarding the train.

    Suratthani

  • Shiny happy people

    A normal day in Chiang Mai, the biggest city of northern Thailand. 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 ornate.

    Chiang Mai

  • By the slope

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

    Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai

  • Go with the flow

    Reine at Chang Phuak road, 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

  • Rolling thunder

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

    Going by Tuk tuk