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Yesterday Amy & I came up with the suggestion to book the Floating Market,  we looked online and found Asia-Discovery.com.   When we was down Koh San Road Tuk Tuk drivers were offering us 1,500 baht each to do the Floating Market yet looking online yesterday we managed to get half a day for 550 Baht each.  Try to avoid the Tuk Tuk scams,  book through a legitimate tour company and you will get yourself a cheaper deal.  

When we arrived at the Floating Market we was shocked by how busy it actually was.  So much stuff to buy and so many boats on the river.

 

Bangkok floating market – such a cool experience ??

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When we got into our boat we thought it was going to tip over.  Ash was trying to reach for his wallet and every time he leant to the right the boat nearly tipped into the water!  Luckily we didn’t fall in but we was very close at one point.  We had a lovely old woman at the back of our boat paddling away,  whenever we wanted to buy something we told her and she would stop.

A woman selling fruit in her boat

The floating market can be quite pricey due to it being a touristy area,  always remember that when bartering the Thais will usually always take 3 times less.  For example if they say 600 baht they will usually take 200 Baht.  Never fall for the expensive sales,  you can always barter them down.

After touring the Floating Market we then hopped onto a Motor Boat which gave us a tour of the village the locals live in.  This was such an eye opener as we was surprised by how many of them just live in wooden shacks above the river.

One of the locals houses on the River.
Amy managed to caption an amazing photo of a Boat going past.

The tour around the local villages was amazing unfortunately I cannot upload any videos to this post although I still managed to get some Go Pro video footage which will be uploaded on our Youtube video of Thailand.

Driving down the River past all the local houses.

Overall for the price we paid we had an amazing day and managed to get some great photos.  We totally recommend doing this trip with a tour company as getting there on a Bike could take a good 3 hours and since the traffic is busy in Bangkok its probably not worth risking it.  If you have any questions on how to book this tour let us know and we can help you 🙂

Have you visited the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market?  Let us know! 

 

Located 10 minutes away from our Hotel is a shopping centre called Terminal 21.  Its an Airport Themed Shopping Mall which takes you to destinations all around the world.  

Entrance to Terminal 21

Each floor represents a different country,  pretty cool I must say.  Our favourite floor was Tokyo,  you actually felt like you was in Tokyo.  

Destinations & Floors

We walked up the stairs at Asok Station and walked across towards Terminal 21.  Before entering they was a security guard with what looked like an airport security entrance which you had to walk through to check for weapons.

The Shopping Centre had 9 Floors – Caribbean,  Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London,  Istanbul,  San Francisco (City) & San Francisco (Pier) which is where all of the food halls are.

View of the 3 Floors

When heading up to the 2nd Floor we couldn’t help but notice the famous London red double decker bus.

Shops inside the bus, what an amazing idea.

As you visit each floor the restaurant’s & shops change,  for example:

London – This is decorated with iconic red telephone boxes, London’s double-decker buses, London Underground, the Tower Bridge and a Union Jack Flag. Its theme is Oxford Street of London, with mini-shops of men’s wear, jeans and sporting goods.

San Francisco City – The theme is Chinatown of San Francisco. It is decorated with sculptures of the San Francisco Trams and Golden Gate Bridge.

Departure gate for Tokyo
San Francisco Bridge in the middle of the floors.

On the top floor is San Francisco Pier which is decorated with seaports and fisherman village’s,  You have to purchase a Pier 21 card which you top up with the amount you want and can then get as much food as you want as longs you have enough on the card.  We were both shocked at how cheap the food was here.  We topped up our card with 220 baht,  which is around £5 GBP.  For that price we got Two rice dishes,  Two smoothies and two Ice creams and still had 70 baht remaining.  

35 Baht? What a bargain!

They is so much food to choose from,  I went for the Green Curry with Rice & Amy went for the Rice with Green Curry,  Red Curry & Pad Thai.  Once you have eaten the mains you can get some dessert.   They do Coconut Ice Cream or a selection of different flavours,  Sticky Rice with Mango and some other things which we didn’t get to check out.

So much choice of flavours.

Have you visited Terminal 21?  Let us know! 

It was our last day in Chiang Mai and we felt as though we had explored everything we wanted to in this wonderful city.  Two backpackers on the bus at the Thai Cooking School told us about the 3D art museum.  We didn’t know about it and didn’t want to waste a day doing nothing so we booked it straight away this morning.  The photos taken are in the album below.

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We decided our first destination for our adventure would be Chiang Mai as we have heard great things.  We wanted to get the real experience by travelling via the sleeper train.  We could have flown but whats the fun in that hey?  A lot of people suggest booking online its slightly more expensive but less hassle, we bought the tickets at the station which was easy enough; english speaking staff, and departure boards with times and platforms in english.

We grabbed a taxi from our hotel ‘Rambuttri Village Plaza‘ (which we booked on Booking.com based near Koh San Road- we would highly recommend this hotel when settling into Bangkok a great place to rest and cure the jet lag)

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT RAMBUTTRI VILLAGE PLAZA

The taxi took us to the station for 200 Baht which took around 20-30 min depending on traffic. The tickets for 2 nd class cost us 900 Baht for a bottom bunker and 800 baht for the top bunk.  The trains run regularly all day from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and take around 12 hours.  We suggest booking bottom bunks as it is more spacious & you get a window view (you can’t beat waking up and looking out to see the sunrise over the rice fields).

When you get on the train there are secure cages for your luggage & plenty of room for hand luggage & valuables. The train also had electrical sockets up the carriage so you can charge your electrical devices.

Luggage Area

We were sat on a seat from about 7-9pm and then the friendly staff worked their way down the carriage making everyone’s beds. The beds were super comfy with a fresh sheet and sealed duvet set and pillow. the bed came equipped with your own curtains for privacy.   You can check that out from the photo below of Amy’s bed:

Photo of the bottom bunk after the bed was made.

There is a restaurant on the train for set meals and other refreshments. The menu was pretty vague not a big variety luckily we brought snacks and ate before hand. We suggest bringing your own snacks to avoid overpriced train food. The staff look after you, regularly offering fresh fruit, crisps and drinks.

The 2nd class carriage was very secure with overnight security guards ensuring passenger safety.

The toilets are what you expect, a tiny hole that follows through to the tracks but you get used to that.

Photo of the toilet.

We slept around 3 hours, it was a bumpy ride and with us being near the door there was a lot of noise keeping us awake. But we didn’t mind as we enjoyed looking out of the window and taking the scenery in. The staff packed the beds away 2 hours before arriving. All in all a safe, and pleasant experience which we would recommend to all travellers going from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

Photo from at the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Gardens by the bay is one hell of an experience.  Seriously,  check it out.

Marina Bay Sands & Gardens By The Bay

Gardens By The Bay is one of the recent addition to Singapore’s tourist attraction. Built on 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central of Singapore, Gardens By The Bay was officially opened to the public in 2012.

The attraction consists of three distinctive waterfront gardens – Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. Bay South Garden is known to be the largest among the three, spanning 54 hectares of land.

 Amy & I visited when it was a bright and sunny day,  we wasn’t sure how to get to the Gardens at first so we went into the hotel to ask.  We jumped into the lift and it asked for a key code,  luckily someone came into the lift with a key code and scanned for us.  The lift took us right to the top of the hotel,  I could feel my ears popping as we was going higher and higher.  As you can see from the image below the view was incredible.
Photo of Amy from the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

 

We wanted to visit the famous Pool on the top of the hotel but unfortunately they was so much security and you needed to scan your room key to enter.  Hopefully one day Amy & I will access the pool area and write an article about it.  Check out the photo of Marina Bay Sands Hotel below.

Gardens of the bay hotel, photograph by Amy

From Marina Bay Sands, proceed to cross the Dragonfly Lake via the Dragonfly Bridge, leading into Gardens By The Bay.

Supertree Grove

One of the biggest attraction at the Gardens By The Bay will be the iconic tall and alien tree-looking structures sprouting out from visible distance. Named as the ‘Supertrees’, these 50m tall tree-like structures have large canopies that function as a temperature moderator, absorbing and dispensing heat, as well as providing shelter for visitors during the day.

As night falls, be enchanted as the Supertrees come alive with a light and music show known as OCBC Garden Rhapsody, which takes place nightly at 7.45pm and 8.45pm.

I treated Amy & I too some tickets at the Indochine which is located at the top of the iconic Supertree,  IndoChine serves a sumptuous blend of Indochinese and Western cuisines, complete with a wide selection of beverages, cocktails, beers and wine.  It was nice to sit back,  relax and enjoy the view.
Amy & Ash at the Sky Bar

Unfortunately we didn’t do the Sky Walk or the two cooled conservatories (The Flower Dome and The Cloud Forest)  We will do them another day & write an article about it.  Overall we had an amazing time in Gardens of the Bay and cant wait to go back to do the Sky Walk & the conservatories.

Have you been to Gardens of the Bay?  What did you like about it the most?  Leave a comment in the comment section below.

Gardens of the Bay light show

 

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Hello?

Who are we you might ask? We are Ash & Amy.  A Yorkshire couple who got the travelling bug after visiting Thailand & Australia last year.

What is InspireTravelExplore?

Just a name really,  nothing special.  We wanted to inspire ordinary people like ourselves to break from your comfort zone and live your dreams.  We want you to follow us on our adventure,  where we are going we do not know.  All we know is we have one way tickets to Thailand for 1 month followed by Australia for a another year.


Our blog will be the home of all of our content,  we will be updating images via our Facebook Page & Instagram but our content and articles will be written on our website.   We will be writing articles about budgeting while travelling,  food expenses and where to eat,  top things to do in certain places & more.


Last year was amazing

Check out this photo of Myself & Amy in Thailand sitting by the pool.  (We had to keep buying Peach Ice teas to be able to use the pool but it was totally worth it!)

We have so many articles to write up about our experiences last year followed by articles which we will be writing about  this year.  It’s going to be crazy,  our website is going to have so much content you will be screaming to come back for more.

As you can see we are both excited about our blog and we hope you follow us throughout the whole adventure.  Leave a comment below and let us know what kind of posts you are wanting to see.

Ash & Amy – inspiretravelexplore