The Top 5 Things to do in Turkey’s Magical Cappadocia

Have you ever wanted to be in a fairy tale? Well here is your chance because Cappadocia is a Have you ever wanted to be in a fairy tale? Well here is your chance because Cappadocia is a whimsical magical place you have never seen before. From admiring unique land formations to exploring valleys to exciting adrenaline pumping activities – Cappadocia will not leave you disappointed. I was there in Nov 2019 for only 3 days (I wished I had at least a week there) and here are the Top 5 things to do!


1) See Amazing Views from Above by riding on a Hot Air Balloon

Going on a Hot Air Balloon Ride is one of the top if not the most sought after activities to do in Cappadocia. Prices are steep and can go up to 200-300€ in the Summer. I went during the low season in November and I paid 170€ through a booking on Viator. However, when I was there, the hotel owner said that he could have gotten a lower price for me if I had liaised directly with him. I booked my ticket online as I will only be there for 3 days and I wanted to secure my seat in advance. If you are going during the winter months, have more than a few days to spend there and would like to save some money, you can try your luck at buying the tickets in person. 

On the day of the balloon ride, I was especially nervous but not because of the ride but because I was afraid that the weather might not be optimal and the ride would be cancelled. And if that would happen, the tour would be rescheduled to the next day. There was a real possibility that the ride would not take place during the time I was there. So if you are planning on going on the ride, please try to do it on the first day you’re day to avoid disappointment.

I thought that I would have to wake up really early at 4 or 5 am but was picked up at 6 am instead and was even the first to get on the minibus to the lift-off point. At the waiting area, some refreshments were provided and were adequate. Everyone huddled around the fire as It was also really really cold in the morning, maybe about -5 degrees Celsius – the fire provided much relief.

It was a magnificent sight to behold watching them heat up the air inside.

Altogether, there were 26 people on board – 4 compartments with 6 people each and two pilots. I can’t complain about the number of people on board because that was what I paid for. If you want something more private, be prepared to fork out quite a large sum of money.

It is vital that you get a good spot either at the outer ring or at the corners to get an interrupted view.

Finally a shot without anyone else in it.

Every minute was well worth the money spent. I definitely do not regret taking the ride. One more item checked off the bucket list!

2) Get your Heart Pumping by Driving an ATV

What better way to cover the vast terrain of Cappadocia than to ride an Atv. I have never driven an ATV before this tour and that made me more excited than ever to do it.

I booked a Sunset Atv tour on Viator with Cappadocia Adventure Atv at about 34€. For 2 hours, this was a really good deal. Moreover, there were only two other people besides me on the tour.

I was geared up with a helmet and face mask and off I went to do a practice ride. The accelerator was just a push of the button with your left thumb and brakes were operated by both hands. I have both a car and motorcycle license but this felt a little strange.

A minute into the start of the tour and I lost control of the Atv for a second. The tour guide was worried and wanted me to sit behind him. But I couldn’t give up and continued trying. If you haven’t ridden an Atv before, there’s just a slight learning curve at the beginning and after that you will be fine.

The highlight of the tour was riding to the sunset viewpoint at Love Valley.

The view of the sun setting was just spectacular and while I was enjoying the view, I savored a cup of warm wine sold by the people in the car.

Combing the valleys on an Atv is one of the fastest and most thrilling ways to explore Cappadocia. The road may be bumpy and sometimes hard to maneuver around but I promise that you will have an awesome time. If you have a Gopro, bring it along to record the journey, they provide helmets with the attachment. 

3) Be Adventurous and Explore the Valleys on your own

Going on tours gives you the utmost convenience in having everything planned out for you. However, there is always that sense of excitement, adventure in exploring on your own.

I met Ahmet who was my tour guide on the Atv tour and because we shared a commonality in speaking broken Thai, we became friends. He offered to bring me around on his Atv on my last day to explore the valleys that are not populated by tourists and I’m so grateful for that.

We walked through what used to be water channels

Climbed into a cave house.

Exploring without a tour has its own advantages. Give it a try if you have the time, you will not regret it.

4) Take the Green Tour

If you do not have a lot of time to spend in Cappadocia, joining a tour would allow you to see the most in the shortest amount of time. The Green Tour costs a reasonable 40€ for a whole day pack with sight-seeing.

One memorable stop was at Derinkuyu Underground City. It is the biggest underground city in Turkey and the deepest in Cappadocia. It was interesting to see how small the rooms and passageways are and interesting to note how people then were much smaller than us right now.

We also visited Selime Monastery. According to our guide, he said that Star Wars was shot here. I can see the resemblance but I don’t know how true this is.

This was the most scenic part of the tour. We did a short hike at Lhara valley The trees were lush and in abundance – a stark contrast to the sandy eroded landscape I’ve been used too.

The last stop of the trip was to Göreme Panorama Viewpoint. From this viewpoint, you’ll get to see clear extensive views of Pigeon Valley. The valley is aptly named because of how people who used to live there used the small holes to attract pigeons and after which they utilized their poop as fertilizers.

This day’s tour was very informative. I got a glimpse into the lives of people who lived there and got a chance to revel in the most amazing landscapes on earth.

5) Visit Göreme Open-Air Museum – A Museum like no other

If you do not want to go on a tour and also do not have means to hike and explore the valleys and it’s structures on your own, Göreme open-air museum is a destination you do not want to miss.

The museum is accessible with just a 20 min walk from the center of Göreme. A complex of monasteries each with its own church is an amazing example of rock hewn architecture.

The only downside to this is that you would have to pay 75TL to enter. But of course the money is well spent considering the convenience and accessibility to this amazing place!


Cappadocia is an amazing place to visit if you are interested in embarking on a thrilling adventure to discover vast landscapes and rich histories. It is definitely a place not to miss on anyone’s itinerary to turkey!


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Tasik Biru, Kangkar Pulai – Johor’s Hidden Beautiful Blue Lake

Tasik Biru is located in a construction/quarry area near Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest. In order to find it, you have to use the satellite view option on Google Maps. But even with that, we still got lost.

Google Maps brought us to the entrance of the site. However, when we reached, there was a warning sign that said “Danger and no trespassing”.

When we saw the sign, we were a little apprehensive about going in even though we knew that other people had gone in before. While we were puzzled and not really sure if we could go in, a construction worker asked us if we were visiting the blue lake and he told us that we just had to drive in and it would be on the right side. Honestly, I thought they would tell us to leave but they didn’t. 

It was a little dangerous riding on the rocky paths but it was really fun.

After getting lost for a while, a guy in a truck pointed out the way for us and we finally made it to the starting point. 

From there, we had to climb up the steep hill. We were thinking of riding the motorcycle up but I thought it was too dangerous especially with 2 people on a bike. We took a few wrong right turns but we finally found our way. If I’m not wrong (I can’t really remember clearly), do not take the first or second right turn but go all the way up and take the third right turn and go all the way to the end.

At the end, we had to climb down a short path to reach the lake. I think it is possible to climb up to the viewpoint from the first right turn but the easier way to get there would be to climb up higher on the wider paths, turn right on the third path and down a short narrow one as shown above. 

While it was really hazy, the view of the lake was really beautiful. It is possible to go down even further if you wanted to but be careful as it is a little steep.

Before we left, we took more photos. It’s not every day we get the chance to ride into a beautiful desert looking area.  


If you are thinking of going, don’t be afraid of the warning signs or getting lost inside. There are many helpful people who will point you in the right direction. And while the short steep climb to get to the lake is tiring, the view of the lake is worth every effort!  

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Visiting Zugspitze – the highest mountain in Germany and Eibsee Lake

Image credit: https://zugspitze.de

The plan for the day was to visit both Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake. The perfect round trip started by taking the cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station to Eibsee station, after which, the cable car up to the peak of Zugspitze. To get down, I took the cable car again but you can also take the cogwheel through the Zugspitze tunnel back to Eibsee station. At Eibsee station, I spent some time trekking around Eibsee Lake and lastly, I took the cogwheel train back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  


ZUGSPITZE

The Zugspitze mountain stands at 2,962m above sea level and it is the highest peak in Germany. It is possible to hike up to the summit but unfortunately I don’t think I am up to the task. Instead, I chose the route that most people would go which is to take the cable car up.

I managed to get the best spot in the crowded cable car which allowed me to film the spectacular ascent to the peak.

It took a total of 9 mins to reach the peak. The views were amazing and awe-inspiring.

It was really cold and what I wore was not enough to keep me warm.

I had some fun exploring the area on top. Even though it was really misty, the sun’s UV rays were very strong, so bringing sunglasses is a must.  

On a clearer day, you would be able to climb up to the highest peak. But unfortunately, it was clearly impossible for me to do so.

What is really unique is that you can actually visit Austria without having to use your passport! I took a little break at the restaurant on the Austria side and had a delicious apple strudel. 


Zugspitze is a mountain you should not miss when visiting Germany. While there may not be many activities you can do at the top, just being there is an unforgettable experience!


EIBSEE LAKE

Before going back to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I visited the beautiful Eibsee lake.

By using the measure distance function on google maps, I’ve estimated that the walk around the lake would be about 6.6 km long. I roughly took around 1 hr. and 15 mins to finish the circumference.

The lake is impressive in size and at whichever point you are at the lake, there will always be an opportunity to capture its beauty.

The path around the lake is mostly flat and easy to walk.

There are smaller lakes at the north-east side of the lake.

Besides walking around the lake, you can experience the lake in a different way through a really fun activity – paddling. I wished I had done this but unfortunately I was really tired from climbing Wank Mountain and I needed to get back to Munich on the same day.  


If you are looking to take great pictures, visit two countries at the same time and be enveloped in picturesque scenery, you have to visit Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake.

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Climbing Wank Mountain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Wank Mountain is a mountain situated at the southern part of Germany in the beautiful region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It stands at 1,780 m with 700 m being below sea level.

Out of all the climbing routes in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I chose this mountain to hike because of these various reasons. First, it was easily accessible being at the the edge of the town, it offers panoramic views of the town from above, it is also not that high thus making it possible to climb within a few hours and lastly it has a cable car station.

It was my first time travelling as a solo female and also my first time climbing a mountain alone. I had intended to find a travelling buddy on either Couchsurfing or the Hiking Buddies Munich Facebook Group. Unfortunately, people were reluctant to join because the period I wanted to climb in which was in late May, had long extended periods of rainfall; and they were not sure if the rain would cease on the day I wanted to climb While I was a little disappointed, I knew I had to do it as I don’t know when i’ll get the chance to do this again.

The constant rainfall made an otherwise relatively easy hike to something which was quite dangerous. Here’s my journey up Wank Mountain.


The foot of Wank Mountain is only a 10-15 min walk from the center of the town.

There were quite a few hiking routes to Wank Mountain and other mountains nearby but I chose to stick with the shortest walking route provided by google maps which was 6.4 km. While it says it only takes 2 hr 7 mins to climb, it took me 4 hours to finish as it was raining and that made the path really muddy and slippery and I also took many little breaks to rest and take pictures. Perhaps on a sunny day 2 hrs would be possible but realistically, 3 hrs would be a safe bet.

The path started off quite easy through concrete roads.

If you listen to the video above, you will be able to hear the bells on the cows. Because of that I knew how near the cows were to me. There was a part of the path where there were cows on the left, on the right and even on the path. I was really scared as I knew they knew I was there and they were staring at me! 

About a third of the way up, the concrete path became more of a trail. While it was getting a little slippery as it had been raining throughout the whole morning, it was still manageable.  

Soon, the path started to get really difficult for me. It was extremely wet, muddy and slippery. Sometimes my shoes would get stuck in the mud which threw my balance way off. I slipped multiple times and had to gasp at tree branches. I didn’t fall down but I was so worried that I would.

I was supposed to reach the summit within 3 hrs. but it seemed like the estimated time now was 4 hrs. and I was getting really tired from having to be so careful with where I stepped. But seeing snow at the top got me really excited and motivated.

I didn’t expect the mountain top to be totally covered with snow as it was the beginning of summer. It was breathtaking!

I’ve never seen so much snow in my whole life!!

Finally!!! Throughout the whole hike, I was alone; the only people I saw were at the foot of the mountain but they went on a different path. I was so glad to make it this far.

Reaching the restaurant aptly named Wank-haus at the top was such a relief. The coffee and the beef broth with cheese dumpling was hearty – a well-deserved reward.

Thank god there’s a cable car station on top because I wouldn’t have been able to climb all the way back down.


This whole experience was amazing. I feel such a great sense of achievement and am so proud that I did this by myself. If you ever visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen and you want a relatively short hike, please visit Wank Mountain. Hopefully, when you’re there it doesn’t rain!

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10 Unique things to do in Bangkok Thailand

1) Visit the Abandoned Airplane Graveyard

When will you ever have a chance to explore an abandoned Boeing airplane ever in your life? Well now you get to have your chance. It is not a place where you have to secretly crawl through a fence or climb over one. It is as simple as giving 200B to the family who lives at the grounds. While 200B may seem like too much for a place that is supposedly abandoned, perhaps you can treat it as a donation to the family.

Address: 13.764812 100.652406, Khwaeng Hua Mak, Khet Bang Kapi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10240, Thailand

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2) Walk around Khlong Toey Market

If you want to get off the tourist path and experience real local life, visit Khlong Toey Market. Immerse yourself in the sights and smells and enjoy every moment of it. Besides selling the usual produce, you can also find eels, turtles, ant eggs, water bugs, silkworms and snails.

Hours: 6 am – 2pm

Address: 1 Kasem Rat Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand

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3) Eat insects at Insects in the Backyard

If you are afraid to eat insects, maybe this restaurant will change your mind. Insects in the Backyard transforms your everyday insects such as ants, silkworms, bamboo worms and crickets into fine dining dishes. Every dish is carefully thought out and incorporates the insects in a tasteful way. Not only did they look creepily nice, they tasted great as well. Do not let the idea of insects scare you away from trying them.

Hours: 2pm-11pm , closed on wednesdays

Address:  Chang Chui Market – 460/8 Sirindhorn Rd, Khwaeng Bang Phlat, Khet Bang Phlat, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700

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4) See animals at the animal section of Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak market is known for being one of the world’s largest weekend markets. It is easy to get lost in rows and rows of stalls. But, if you manage to make your way to the animal section, you will be rewarded with interesting sights. Snakes, rodents, dogs, cats, tortoises, beavers, lizards, rabbits – you can find almost any animal that they think are capable of being pets.

Hours: Weekends 9 am – 6 pm

Address: Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd, Khwaeng Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

5) Try to get in Sathorn Unique Tower

I have always liked going to abandoned places and after watching the show “The Promise”, I really wanted to see the tower. I read online that you could bribe the security guards to go inside but recently however, this practice has stopped. Also, some said that you could try jumping from a nearby building to get in but, I didn’t have the guts to do it. So if you are daring enough to take the plunge, you might be able to get in. If not, you’ll just be like me – admiring from the outside.

Address: 266/14-15, Soi Siam Square 3, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Khet Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330, 10330, Thailand

6) Take a picture at the Abandoned Train Cemetery

Follow the tracks moving north from Bang Sue Station and you will reach the cemetery. To get there, you will have to cross the train tracks and that is an adventure by itself. Make sure to look out for trains coming from either direction and make your way quickly over. Also, climb over the fence if you want to take a closer look but be careful of anyone patrolling the area.

Address:104/35 Soi Liap Thang Rotfai, Bang Sue, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

7) Eat Goong Ten at Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin

Goong Ten literally translates to “dancing shrimps”. The name is aptly given as the shrimps will move in your mouth because you will be eating them alive. You will be scared at first but the shrimps die pretty quickly after they are taken out of the water – so don’t worry too much about them moving around too much.

Hours: 5pm – 1am , closed on mon and tue

Address: ถนน ศรีนครินทร์ Khwaeng Nong Bon, Khet Prawet, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10250, Thailand

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8) Feed the catfishes in the Chao Phraya River

I really don’t know how many catfishes there are in the Chao Phraya River but I think they might have an overpopulation problem. It is easy to purchase fish food at the piers and you should be able to feed them anywhere along the river.

9) Eat Wattana Panich the “oldest” soup in Bangkok

This stall is about 60 years old and they have retained their soup in the wok every single night instead of throwing it away. While this may sound strange and maybe unhygienic, it is believed by the Chinese that the longer a wok has not be washed, the tastier and more flavorful the dish will be. We have tasted their beef soup and it tastes delicious.

Hours: 9 am to 9 pm (Closed on the last Monday of every month)

Address: 336-338 Soi Ekkamai 18, Sukumvith 63 Rd, Khlong Toei Nuea, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

10) Visit the Slums

Khlong Toey Slums

Bang Sue Slums

Khlong Toey is one of the largest slums in the city. On the way to the train cemetery, we also discovered slum-liked settlements near Bang Sue train station,

Many of the people live illegally in these squatter settlements and most don’t own the homes they live in. In the 1950s, cheap labor was in demand and many people relocated to the capital. A rental system was established where the people moving in could settle on land at a low cost. However in the 1970s, landowners favored building condominiums and new developments and ceased to provide low housing costs. They also stopped collecting rent and without a payment system, these illegal squatter settlements continued to grow.

These people live in tin-roofed homes over polluted and stagnant water. The areas have also become more and more populated with houses being crammed right next to each other.

Do visit the slums to experience how some people can still be living in such conditions despite being in a modern and developed city like Bangkok.

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Top 9 things to do in Khao Yai Thailand

Khao Yai is often dubbed as the Switzerland of Thailand. Reasons being the cooler weather and picturesque surroundings. Here are the top 10 things to do in Khao Yai.

1) Khao Yai National Park

Go trekking in the jungles of Khao Yai national park and have an adventure you will never forget. Meet wildlife such as deer, woodlouse, leeches, monkeys and even wild elephants if you are really really lucky. Also, visit Haew Suwat Waterfall, the largest waterfall in the park. This waterfall was used in a scene with Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “The Beach”.

Address: Hin Tung, Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok 26000, Thailand

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2) Ban Mai Chay Nam Restaurant

This is one unique restaurant you will never forget. Besides being a restaurant, it is also a museum that has a collection of antiques, old chinaware, creepy looking dolls, old toys, figurines, statues, arcade machines etc. You can also have a go at playing the pinball machine and air hockey. Besides that, they serve delicious food. So many things to see and so many things to do!

Hours: 10 am – 10 pm

Address: 21, Mittaphap Road, Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30130, Thailand

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3) Mawmuek Cafe

If you love cats, you will absolutely love this place. For a small token such as buying a drink or a souvenir, you are allowed entry into the cafe. Besides playing with them, you can also purchase wet cat food to feed them. You will definitely have a great time here!

Hours: Tues – Fri 10:30am – 6pm, Sat – Sun 9:30am – 7pm, closed on Mon

Address: 146/1 ม .4 Palio Khaoyai ถนน ธนะรัชต์ Tambon Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand

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4) Primo Piazza

Primo Piazza combines stunning elegant Italian architecture with the beautiful backdrop of the mountains of Khao Yai. Get a chance to interact with the sheep and alpacas in this cozy farm by feeding them pandan leaves. While the alpacas are not allowed to roam freely perhaps due to their temperament, the sheep are able to do so. Besides visiting the animals, have a great time using the architecture to take beautiful photos.

Hours: 9 am – 6 pm

Address: 861 Moo 6, Thanarat Road Tambol Nong Nam Daeng Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130

5) GranMonte Vineyard and Winery

We booked a tour with GrandMonte Vineyard and it was really fun and educational. Perhaps we went in the month with the highest rainfall thus we were the only participants for the tour and we were pretty happy about it. Our guide spoke English very well and she went though the different types of wine produced and the processes they have to undertake. While wine making isn’t something that is uncommon, what makes this place so special is that they found a way to make wine in a country that does not have a climate that is thought of as being suitable for making wine. Do visit them to learn how they did it.

Address: 52 MOO 9, Payayen, Pansuk-Kudkla Street, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30320, Thailand

6) Midwinter Green

Midwinter Green is a restaurant that looks like a magical castle. You will definitely feel like a prince or princess your own fairy tale once you step foot into the restaurant. Not only is the decor absolutely stunning, the food served was really scrumptious. Get really to be swept away by this amazing restaurant.

Hours: 10 am – 10 pm

Address: 10 88/88 Soi Ban Sai Thong Mu 24 Soi 2, Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand

7) Wat Bu Pai

We initially did not plan to go here. But, on out way to Mister Mushroom, we passed by this temple and we were so impressed by the statue that we decided to stop and it was a great decision to do so. Coming here gave us a glimpse of local life. It was not a touristy destination and we did not see any other tourists. Besides visiting the beautiful temple, we walked through a local market that was right next to it. They had various amulets and trinkets, food, produce, clothes and even a blown up bouncy castle. If you want to visit a destination that is off the beaten path, make a trip here.

Address: 105 moo 5 Tambon Wang Nam Khiao, Amphoe Wang Nam Khiao, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30370, Thailand

8)Mister Mushroom

Mister Mushroom is a hidden shopping paradise in Khao Yai. There are just so many mushroom related products that you can easily spend an hour deciding what to buy back. They have spreads, snacks, tea, moisturizers and even ice cream – all made from mushrooms. Even though they do not advertise any tours, if you are interested to see how the mushrooms are grown, just ask the staff if they are available to give you a tour of the farm when you are there.

Hours: 8 am – 5 pm

Address: 155 Moo 2, Sukklao, Tambon Tha Samakkee, Wang Nam Khieo, Nakhon Ratchasima 30370

9) The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Not only can you buy chocolate products and eat chocolate cakes, you can even dine in their restaurant which serves an array of western and Thai cuisine.

Hours: Mondays – Thurs 9:30 am – 9 pm, Fri – Sun 9:30 am – 10 pm

Address: Pak Chong, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand

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Complete guide to Khao Yai National park

I’ll be writing about how to get to Khao Yai National Park, getting around in the park, accommodation, food and activities to do there

ACCOMMODATION

There are two types of accommodations in the park. You can either camp in tents or book rooms or whole lodges.

You don’t have to book in advance if you want to camp in the park. You can either bring your own camping gears or rent it.

On the other hand, if you want amenities like a bathroom and bed, it would be advisable to book in advance as it can sometimes get crowded on the weekends or peak periods. However booking a place to stay in the park can be quite difficult especially if you live outside of Thailand. Here is the step by step guide to booking a room or lodge.

1) Go to http://nps.dnp.go.th/reservation.php

You will need to register for an account first. The website can be displayed in either Thai or English

2) Search for Khao Yai National park and input the days you want to stay. Be aware that the booking should not be done more than 60 days in advance and you can’t book for more than 3 nights in a row.

There are a total of 4 zones to choose from. Please refer to the map below for the location of the zones in the park.

You can book a place for 2,4,6 and even up to 36 people.

3) Select the lodging you want and proceed. The website is sometimes very strange and you may get a timed out connection even though you have selected it quickly. When you have managed to get through, they will give you 2 days to make payment. The easiest way is to do a bank transfer.

I found it impossible to input the comp code, ref 1 and ref 2 as the amount of space given for the description didn’t allow me. I suggest just including as many numbers as you can and make sure to take a screenshot.

4) I was a little worried about whether they would receive the money. Do send them the screenshots of the completed transitions through email and they would verify it.

5) Lastly, once they have verified that you have paid, you are supposed to return to the portal to print out something. But unfortunately, when I tried, I couldn’t find the booking anymore and I had to resort to printing out the emails to show that the booking was confirmed. Luckily, they accepted it.

The room

I booked a room for 2 in Zone 4 Thanarat Lodge. There was ample space for parking.

The room was simple with blankets and towels provided. The curtains were not working well and there was a dresser.

The toilet was spacious with a working water heater.

Unfortunately, when we came back to the room at night, there seemed to be a power trip and we lost all electricity to the room. The fan wasn’t working anymore and we couldn’t charge anything. Luckily, the temperature at night was about 24 degrees Celsius and it wasn’t too unbearable. All in all, the room would be able to provide all the basic necessities you would need if a power shortage does not happen.

GETTING IN

There are two entrances into the park, Pakchong entrance gate and Nern Hom entrance gate.

The entrance fee is 400 Baht per person. If you go out of the park, you may need to pay the entrance fee again, thus staying in the park for at least one night is advisable.

The park is pretty big and it is advisable to drive your own car or a motorcycle. If you do not have your own transport, hitchhiking is possible.

FOOD

Getting food in the park is easy. You can find canteens at the visitor centers and at other main attractions.

ACTIVITIES

Trail 6

Behind the map, there is a list of nature trails you can do. Trails 1-5 are listed in front and unfortunately I did not take a picture of the back. You can go to the visitor center for more information. We decided to do the hardest trail which is trail 6 starting from the visitor center to Haew Suwat Waterfall. The trail is 8km, should last about 5 hours(we took about 6 hours) and it requires a guide.

At the visitor center, you can get all the information you need on the trails, night safari (more about this later on), accommodation and where to buy leech socks!

We were required to purchase leech socks. The leech socks were worn over our socks and they were quite comfortable.

Our guide was assigned to us almost immediately and here was us just starting on the trail.

5 mins in and we have spotted a leech. I always thought that leeches were black but our guide told us the leeches in the park were all brown.

Our guide was very friendly and informative. He could speak a little bit of English and we could speak a little bit of Thai. He told us his name was Kai and that in Thai it meant chicken

We saw various types of fungi, big and small.

Kai was very helpful in spotting vegetation and animals we would otherwise not have spotted. Starting from the left, a hanging branch that has water inside, a wasp nest and a woodlouse.

We stopped to hear monkeys and birds. We wanted to spot elephants but the closest we got was just hearing them in the distance.

Sometimes the trail would be relatively flat and easy, other times it was really difficult. Not to mention, we were there during the rainy season and the ground was extremely muddy and slippery.

Holding on to the plants and using my trusty stick to navigate.

Crossing over streams.

Climbing over obstacles.

Steep and muddy terrain.

Along the way, we would stop at markers along route 6 to tell us how far we have already gone.

Towards the end of the trail, we’ve reached Pha Kluai Mai Waterfall, a smaller waterfall compared to Haew Suwat Waterfall. Nonetheless, it was very impressive.

After another 1km of trekking, we reached our destination, Haew Suwat Waterfall. If you find that trekking 8 km is too tough, you can just take about 10 mins to climb down the stairs.

While high rainfall in August made it harder to get through the forest, the waterfalls were at their fullest and it was an impressive sight.

Night Safari

We were really excited to go on the night safari tour. Even though it started to rain heavily, it didn’t dampen our spirits. The guide came ready with ponchos for us to wear. As the tour progressed, the rain got heavier and heavier and soon it was really cold as the winds were really strong and we couldn’t open our eyes. We really wanted to see the elephants but we only saw deer.

Even though we didn’t see much on the trip, it was an enjoyable experience!

VIEWPOINTS

View of Sai Sorn Reservoir.

Viewpoint near the Pakchong Entrance Gate.

ANIMALS

Deer are easily spotted everywhere in the park.

Monkeys on the road.

Again, we were hopeful to see wild elephants in the park after watching so many videos of elephants terrorizing cars.


We had a great time in Khao Yai National Park. Feel free to ask me anything regarding the park and I’ll do my best to answer your questions!

Address: Hin Tung, Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok 26000, Thailand

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Dancing Shrimps “Goong Ten” in Bangkok

I always had a penchant for trying weird foods and on my wish list was Goong ten. Goong ten (กุ้งเต้น) is a Thai dish that literally translates to dancing shrimps.

Although Goong Ten is a street dish that is normally sold by hawkers, it proved to be very difficult to find in Bangkok! And interestingly enough, instead of finding it on the streets, I found it sold at a stall in Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin.

It was interesting to find a group of youngsters selling Goong Ten together, I always had the idea that it would be sold by the older generations.

Look at all the shrimps swimming around. I felt a little bad at that time for the shrimps, they were going to be eaten alive – by me!

If I were a shrimp, I wouldn’t be very happy right now! I’m going to guess from this video what the recipe is and what the ingredients are but if you would like a proper recipe for Goong Ten, please search the internet.

Here it goes!

1) Scoop the shrimp out of the tank and place it into a mixing bowl.

2) Add lime

3) Add fish sauce

4) Add chilli flakes

5) Add peanuts

6) Add salt and pepper

7) Add cilantro, mint leaves and red onions

8) Mix well

Now for the taste test! Eating the shrimps was really hard at first, they kept jumping around and some actually jumped out of the bowl. I was really scared to eat them as I thought their hard shells would poke my mouth. I wanted to get through the first bite fast, so that involved chewing quickly and killing the prawns fast. Surprisingly, the prawns were very soft and easy to chew and they did not jump inside my mouth. The sauce was sour and spicy and eating the prawns with the cilantro and mint leaves was really refreshing. After the first bite, subsequent bites became really easy, the prawns were also losing their vigor and only the strongest were still alive. This was a unique experience and I would definitely try it again. I urge you to try it too!


If you are having a hard time searching for Goong Ten, head over to Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin.

Hours: 5pm – 1am , closed on mon and tue

Address: ถนน ศรีนครินทร์ Khwaeng Nong Bon, Khet Prawet, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10250, Thailand

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Sri Subramaniar Temple and the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur

Walking towards  Sri Subramaniar Temple, we were greeted by the impressive statue of  Lord Murugan.  

As we got closer, we realized how big the statue really is. Lord Murugan is the God of war and a popular Hindu deity among Tamil Hindus  predominantly in areas with Tamil influences such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and southern India.

It takes 272 steps to reach the temple. And while it’s not too many steps, it can be difficult to climb in the sweltering heat.

There are quite a few monkeys around the temple, take extra care of your belongings.

It is unique to see the temple constructed in a cave. When we were there, it seemed like they were doing upgrading or reconstruction work. 

Beautiful view of the top from inside the cave.

The staircase to the right leads to the Batu Caves. We didn’t know that they conducted cave tours till we were there. We were very lucky to catch the last tour before the sun set. 

Preserved bats and snakes were displayed.

While waiting for the tour to start, you could read about the animals who dwell in the cave and about the cave itself.

Everyone was required to wear helmets and we were each given a torchlight.

The guide was very engaging, she made sure to deliver the information in an interesting manner. While the cave was quite dark and totally pitch black at certain points, it was easy to walk as the route was mostly flat with wide steps. However, the ground can be slippery because of moisture, just be careful.

Towards the end of the tour, everyone would get an opportunity to take a picture at the most picturesque part of the cave where the light shines in.


Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. If you are in Kuala lumpur, don’t miss the chance to visit this iconic and unique cave.

Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

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Abandoned Hyatt Hotel in Phuket

I love to explore abandoned places and when I planned a road trip from Singapore to Phuket, I found out about the desolated abandoned Hyatt Hotel.

I tried to search for information on this hotel on the internet but I couldn’t find anything concrete on why it was abandoned. Some claimed that the hotel was abandoned in the mid 2000s and perhaps a tsunami came. Others felt that perhaps the owners ran out of money and thus stopped building it.

The hotel was simply majestic. I would imagine that if it was completed, it would have looked great.

One of the hotel rooms with a Jacuzzi.

Back of the room with a bathtub. 

Besides being accessible from the road, you can enter the hotel through Nai Yang beach. 

The swimming pool.