Posted in English, Europe, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul – Day 1

РУССКОЯЗЫЧНАЯ ВЕРСИЯ ПО ЭТОЙ ССЫЛКЕ. CLICK HERE FOR RUSSIAN VERSION.

03 February 2019

Surprising, but fact – I am a person who has seen quite a few countries, including far ones, but has never been to the neighbouring Turkey. Yet, every self-respecting Azerbaijani, who has the opportunity to travel abroad, has definitely been there. So I finally decided to fill this unforgivable gap, and here we are, flying to Istanbul!

The flight begins with mixed feelings: there is no online check-in, which is bad, but we end up without a seat neighbour, which is good; our seats are at the very rear of the aircraft, which is bad, but breakfast starts being served from the tail of the cabin, which is good. First we are flying over mountains – underneath us there is the majestic Caucasus, with its dazzling snowy peaks! – and then mostly over the Black Sea.

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The Istanbul Ataturk Airport is definitely worth a mention – the speed and the quality, which we observed while going through all the necessary stages of arrival, really impressed us. Such a contrast with, say, Heathrow, where you hang around for a good hour in an extremely slow queue at the passport control. The queue here isn’t any shorter, if not longer, but it’s moving speedily and cheerfully all the time.

At first glance, Istanbul didn’t strike us with anything extraordinary. We are going in a taxi, on our right side we see the Marmara Sea, and on our left side there are some buildings, not very expressive ones.

Our hotel is located in the Pera district in the European part of the city, and is literally a stone’s throw away from the central pedestrian street Istiklal Caddesi. In general, we were advised – and we also advise this in our turn – to choose a hotel in this particular part of the city, and definitely not in the Old Town, where most of the tourist attractions are. In fact the Old Town area is only lively during the daytime, while Istiklal Avenue and its surroundings provide the tourist with everything they need – food, drink, shopping, entertainment – at all times of the day and night. View from our hotel window:

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So Istiklal Avenue is where we start exploring Istanbul today. Our hotel’s location is such that if you walk a kilometre to the left, you will get to Taksim, and if you walk one (plus a bit more) to the right, you will reach the Galata Tower.

We first turned left. A historic tram line passes through Istiklal Caddesi, and this is the street’s only transport, apart from cleaning vehicles and police cars, which, by the way, also try to drive along the tramway track so as not to disturb pedestrians very much. For people from Baku, the best description of Istiklal Avenue is that it’s Istanbul’s “Torgovaya”, only a very long one.

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We are surprisingly lucky with the weather today: despite it being February, it is so warm during the daytime that we have to take off our outerwear every now and then. When we sit down on a bench on Taksim Square, the sun is literally scorching. The square itself does not seem very cozy. We sat there for a bit and looked at a mosque under construction, at the “Republic” monument with sculptures of Ataturk and other marshals, including the Soviet marshal Voroshilov, and then turned back to Istiklal Caddesi, more interested in the tram, with roller skater boys clinging to it, than in the square itself.

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Walking Istiklal Street is very pleasant. We are eating wonderful roasted chestnuts, which are sold at every corner, and dondurma – the special stretchy Turkish ice cream, which the seller scoops onto cones, using a long-handled paddle, and turning the whole thing into a real show.

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A separate paragraph should be devoted to the cats of Istanbul. There are lots of them, and this is the only place I have seen where cats are as beautiful as in Baku, but here they are loved and cherished much more. Almost every store or restaurant has food and drink bowls for cats, and often even a special little cat house. However, the most audacious cats prefer to settle in a chair right inside. There are quite ordinary-looking cats, and there are also simply outstanding examples of fluffiness and fatness. Dogs can also be found, though less often; all of them are microchipped and seemingly contented.

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What’s also interesting on Istiklal Caddesi is that there are quite a few Christian churches. We walked into one – the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, and, as it seemed to me, there were quite a few Turks praying in it, although I could be wrong.

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We reached the Galata Tower quite unexpectedly – for some reason I had the impression that it was in the opposite direction, and then suddenly we saw a signpost. It was about 5pm, and at first we decided to wait for the evening to take pictures of the tower in the evening light, and then thought that instead of idly waiting around we might as well go up to the observation deck (previously we were planning to do it tomorrow). The queue (maybe it’s a property of all the queues in Istanbul!), despite its impressive length, was moving rather quickly. We wondered if there was a lift inside the tower, or if we would have to climb a spiral staircase. There was a lift, yet we still had to climb the last two floors.

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I must say that a moderate wait in the queue and a dizzy climb up the eerie stairs were totally worth it. The view of Istanbul from all sides is magnificent! A special feature are the large seagulls, which land on stone balls from time to time, right at arm’s length, and observe the city, looking very smart and important. Obviously, just like the tourists here, they are admiring the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn Bay, the famous mosques in the Old City. The only slightly annoying bit is that there are too many people on such a narrow rim of the tower, especially when not everyone is following the instructions to move only clockwise, which leads to chaotic cramming.

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The tower also offers another entertainment – a simulation of a helicopter flight, which we didn’t find tempting though. However, we were taken a ton of pictures of, wearing historical costumes of harem dwellers. The poster advertising this attraction beckons you with a price of 30 liras (about 6 USD) per photo, but the ingenious photographer takes so many beautiful photos, with a variety of props, that you almost unwittingly end up forking out a lot more. But we still liked it!

To make sure we do get to see the Galata Tower in the evening light, we decided to have dinner in a restaurant directly opposite it. The weather and the heaters allowed us to sit comfortably outside (in February!) As for the restaurant, what can I say? Delicious kebabs, excellent service.

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Posted in Asia, English, Phi Phi, Phuket, Thailand

Thailand – Day 9

РУССКОЯЗЫЧНАЯ ВЕРСИЯ ПО ЭТОЙ ССЫЛКЕ. CLICK HERE FOR RUSSIAN VERSION.

26 March 2018

Since we are now all on our own and we need to entertain ourselves somehow, we decided to go on a day tour of the nearby islands. The are two famous directions here: the Phi Phi islands and the islands of Phang Nga Bay (which include the famous James Bond Island).

We took a while to pick one – both seemed to be very good, but the first route included snorkeling and the second one included kayaking. As we had already tried kayaking in Vietnam, we decided to try snorkeling this time and finally chose Phi Phi.

So, at about 6.15am (!) we were picked up from our hotel by a minibus and taken to the pier with seven other passengers. The painfully early hour is a special feature of this company, intended to arrive to places before crowds of other tourists.

At the pier, we got a light breakfast (special kudos for the hot sandwiches!) and then headed to our boat with the guide – a very friendly guy called Wai. The speedboat was equipped with safety vests, which we were told to wear, as well as with snorkeling masks.

It took us about an hour to get to our first stop – the Phi Phi Lei island. We arrived around 9am, and there were already a lot of tourists, mostly Russians. On the Maya beach, known for The Beach movie with DiCaprio, no one was swimming, everyone was just taking photos.

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We took a few as well and then took a stroll among a crowd of Russian tourists to look at the picturesque Loh Samah Bay.

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Once back on the boat, we rounded the island and anchored in the Pi Leh bay, where we could swim, jumping (or descending the stairs) into the sea directly from the boat. Right next to us was a boat carrying lots and lots of Chinese tourists, who were swimming around us, wearing bright orange lifejackets.

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Our next stop was for snorkeling, again straight from the boat. Wai handed us the snorkeling masks, we pulled on our fins and got out into the water. It felt bizzarre at first, so I had to get my head above water every few seconds. But then I got used to it. The sensations are very interesting, as if you are right inside the Singapore aquarium – there are lots of colourful tropical fish swarming around and it seems like you can reach out and catch one. Except that when you do try to reach out, they dodge and very easily avoid being caught.

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Another attraction of the island is the so-called Viking Cave, containing some rock paintings. Previously, the cave used to be open to visitors, but now swallow nests are being harvested here (for food purposes), so tourists cannot get inside. So we just floated by. Quite a pity, as on the outside it didn’t look like anything special.

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We didn’y stop at the Monkey Island either, just came very close to it. Not that anyone minded though – the prospect of being attacked and robbed by long-tailed macaques was hardly tempting! It was much better to observe our distant relatives from the boat. And then, when one monkey, apparently a male, separated from the group, jumped on a rock closer to us and stared at us, it even started feeling a bit uncomfortable, so I preferred to go inside the boat.

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We stopped on the second major island, Phi Phi Don, for lunch at a local restaurant, with a big table already waiting for us with various dishes: curries, coconut soup, french fries, and some spicy vegetables.

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It already got very hot to the extent that walking on the sand became painful. We didn’t get to swim here, but our last stop on the Bamboo Island turned out very pleasant. We stopped at the back of the island, and Wai said that there were much fewer people here than at the front. Indeed, there was only one other boat anchored at beach, and then it left too.

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The sea bottom here was more suitable for snorkeling than for normal swimming, as there were lost of coral reefs. And again it was very interesting – there were colourful fish all around you in the crystal-clear water, there were sea sponges, contracting their bodies, there were some ugly creatures looking like sea cucumbers at the bottom.

Overall, we had a very good trip, with the cherry on the top being such an interesting activity as snorkeling.

We still have two and a half days to spend in Phuket, but I am not going to write any more posts, since all we are planning to do is lie on the beach.

Posted in Азия, Пхи Пхи, Пхукет, Русский, Таиланд

Таиланд – День 9

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26 марта 2018

Поскольку теперь мы предоставлены сами себе и нам надо себя как-то развлекать, то мы решили поехать в дневной тур по островам. Известных направления тут два: острова Пхи Пхи и острова залива Пхангнга (среди которых остров Джеймса Бонда.

Мы долго выбирали – вроде и там, и там должно быть очень здорово, но первый маршрут включал сноркелинг, а второй – каякинг. Поскольку каякинг мы уже пробовали во Вьетнаме, решили попробовать сноркелинг и выбрали Пхи Пхи.

Итак, в начале седьмого утра (!) нас забрал из отеля микроавтобус и повез на пирс с еще семью другими пассажирами. Такая рань – это вроде как фишка этой компании, для того чтобы успевать раньше толп других туристов.

На пирсе нас накормили легким завтраком (особый зачет – за горячие бутерброды) и отправили на лодку с гидом – улыбчивым длинноволосым парнем по имени Уай. Лодка-спидбот была оснащена жилетами безопасности, которые нам велели надеть, а также масками для сноркелинга.

До первого острова Пхи Пхи Лей мы ехали около часа. Прибыли около 9 утра, и там уже было очень много туристов, преимущественно русских. На пляже Майа, известный по фильму “Пляж” никто не плавал, а все только фотографировались.

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Сфотографировались и мы, прогулялись среди толпы русских туристов посмотреть на живописный залив Лох Самах.

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Потом, на лодке же, обогнули остров и стали на якорь в бухте Пи Лей, где можно было поплавать, прыгая (или спускаясь по ступенькам) в море прямо с лодки. Прямо рядом с нами стояла лодка, перевозившая ну очень много китайцев, и все они, шумною толпою (это не эпитет ради красного словца, они и правда очень шумели!) плавали тут же в одинаковых оранжевых спасательных жилетах.

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Следующая остановка – для сноркелинга, опять же прямо с лодке. Уай выдает нам маски, мы натягиваем ласты и вылезаем в воду. Мне поначалу очень непривычно, я выныриваю каждые несколько секунд. А потом привыкаю. Ощущения очень интересные, как будто ты в сингапурском аквариуме – вокруг снуют пестрые тропические рыбы, вот, казалось бы, протяни руку и лови. Правда, когда ее все же протягиваешь, им очень ловко удается увернуться.

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Еще одна достопримечательность острова – так называемая Пещера Викинга, в которой имеются какие-то наскальные изображения. Раньше пещера была открыта для посещения, но теперь в ней “разводят” ласточкины гнезда для употребления в пищу, и попасть внутрь туристы не могут. Поэтому мы просто проплыли мимо. Снаружи в принципе ничего особенного – пещера как пещера.

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Не остановились мы также и на Острове Обезьян, а проплыли мимо. Оно и к лучшему – перспектива быть атакованными и обворованными длиннохвостыми макаками едва ли была заманчивой. Гораздо лучше было посмотреть на дальних родичей из лодки. И то, когда одна обезьяна, по-видимому самец, отделилась от группы, прыгнула на скалу поближе к нам и уставилась на нас, стало как-то не по себе и я предпочла уйти внутрь лодки.

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На втором крупном острове, Пхи Пхи Дон мы остановились на обед – тут в местном ресторане нас уже ждал накрытый стол с различными яствами: и карри, и кокосовым супом, и жареное картошкой, и какими-то острыми овощами.

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Стало уже очень жарко, аж по песку идти больно. Здесь поплавать не удалось, зато последняя наша остановка – на Бамбуковом острове оказалась очень приятной. Мы остановились у задней части острова, и Уай сказал, что здесь гораздо менее людно, чем на передней. И правда, у пляжа стояла всего одна лодка, а потом уплыла и она.

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Дно на этом пляже больше подходило для сноркелинга, чем для обычного плавания, так как там были коралловые рифы. И снова очень интересно – вокруг тебя в кристально-чистой воде плавают разноцветные рыбы, открываются и закрываются губки, на дне лежат какие-то уродцы, вроде морских огурцов.

В результате, весьма неплохая поездка, украшенная таким интересным занятием как сноркелинг.

Нам предстоит провести в Пхукете еще два с половиной дня, но больше я записей делать не буду, так как мы предполагаем растительный отдых.

Posted in Азия, Пхукет, Русский, Таиланд

Таиланд – День 8

CLICK HERE FOR ENGLISH VERSION. АНГЛОЯЗЫЧНАЯ ВЕРСИЯ ПО ЭТОЙ ССЫЛКЕ.

25 марта 2018

На свой последний кулинарный класс мы, несмотря на вчерашние волнения, благополучно попали. Как и было обозначено, в 8 утра за нами заехал миниавтобус, и мы поехали на противоположный берег полуострова, через сам город Пхукет. Сначала мы остановились у базара, где, как и на предыдущих классах, инструктор показала нам продукты, характерные для тайской кухни. Но если ни в Бангкоке, ни в Чианг Мае полномасштабного базара мы не видели, то здесь мы попали именно на такой, со всеми его специфическими запахами.

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Инструктор объяснила, что все продукты, кроме мясных и рыбных для нас были закуплены именно здесь. А мясо и рыба тут лежат целый день без холодильника, и если для тайского желудка это не проблема, то наши могут такого не оценить, поэтому эти продукты купили в супермаркете.

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Потом отсюда мы поехали в саму кулинарную школу, которая расположена прямо на берегу моря.

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Для начала нас угостили местными десертами и экзотических фруктами, из которых новым для меня было только розовое яблоко чомпу, похожее ао форме на грушу, очень сочное, и не очень напоминающее по вкусу яблоко. Что касается десертов, они все мне показались на один вкус – такой же, как у клейкого риса (того, который чаще всего бывает с манго).

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На полудневном курсе нам предстояло готовить все уже знакомое: спринг роллы, суп том ям и клейкий рис с манго. Отличие этого курса от других было в том, что во-первых, инструкторы для разных блюд были разные, а во-вторых, сам процесс происходил так: сначала нас сажали в комнатку наподобие мини-лекционного театра, и инструктор демонстрировал весь процесс приготовления от и до, а потом мы уже готовили сами от и до.

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Десерт нам только показали – а готовить самим опять не дали. Причина в том, что этот десерт индивидуальными порциями не готовится: сначала нужно сварить на пару рис, потом залить его сладким кокосовым соусом. Но зато, в этот раз очень хорошо и подробно объяснили, как варить рис.

Демонстрацию приготовления супа том ям мы смотрели прямо как представление в театре. Инструктор вовсю комиковал, и снабжал каждое действие шуточками и смешными рожицами.

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В общем, теперь мы вполне можем считать себя специалистами по тайской кухне!

После класса нас привезли обратно в отель, и на этом наша турпрограмма окончена. Теперь от турфирмы потребуется только благополучно доставить нас в аэропорт через 4 дня, а пока мы полностью предоставлены самим себе. Так что послеобеденное время лично у меня прошло у “бесконечного” бассейна в нашей гостинице, с видом на море. Дождалась и красивого заката – нам повезло быть на западе полуострова.

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На ужин мы забрели в какой-то ресторан, в надежде поесть морепродуктов. Немного растерялись, что выбрать, и тут официант сказал, что за 2200 бат (около 70 долларов) мы можем получить краба, лобстера, рыбу, мидии, креветки и кальмара, и выбрать, как каждую тварюгу приготовить, и на двоих этого будет более чем достаточно. У нас получилось целое пиршество!

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Posted in Asia, English, Phuket, Thailand

Thailand – Day 8

РУССКОЯЗЫЧНАЯ ВЕРСИЯ ПО ЭТОЙ ССЫЛКЕ. CLICK HERE FOR RUSSIAN VERSION.

25 March 2018

Despite yesterday’s worries, we made it to our last cooking class very smoothly. As it was indicated, we were picked up at 8am by a minibus and taken to the opposide coast of the peninsula, right through the town of Phuket. First we stopped at a market, where, just as during our previous classes, the instructor showed us variuos products, specific for Thai cuisine. But while neither in Bangkok nor in Chiangmai did we get to see a full-scale market, here we found ourselves right in one, with all its peculiar smells.

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The instructor explained that all the products that we were going to use today had been purchased here, except for meat and fish. The meat and fish here stay outside without a refrigerator all day, and, she said, while it is not a problem for a Thai stomach, ours would not necessarily appreciate it, that is why these products had been bought at a supermarket.

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From the market we headed to the cooking school, located right on the beach.

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To start with, we were treated to local desserts and exotic fruits, mostly familiar to us, except for the rose apple or chompoo, looking like a pear, very juicy, and not tasting anything like a proper apple. As for desserts, they all seemed to taste the same – just like the sticky rice that usually goes with mango.

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Our half-day course included cooking everything we were already familiar with: spring rolls, tom yum soup and sticky rice with mango. The difference between this course and the previous ones was that firstly, there were different instructors for different dishes and secondly, the process itself went like this: we sat in a room looking like a mini-lecture theatre, and the instructor demonstrated the whole cooking process from beginning to end, and then we had to repeat it on our own.

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Once again, we didn’t get to cook the sticky rice with mango, but were only shown how to do it. The reason is that this dessert is made in bulk rather than in individual portions: first you have to steam the glutinous rice and then top it with a sweet coconut sauce. But this time, the process of cooking the rice was explained very well and thoroughly.

We watched the instructor prepare the tom yum soup just like a theatre performance. He was totally killing it, supplying every action with jokes and funny faces.

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So now we can quite consider ourselves specialists in Thai cuisine!

After the class we were brought back to the hotel, and our tour programme was over. Now the travel agency would only need to safely take us to the airport in 4 days’ time, and for now we are completely left to ourselves. So I personally spent my afternoon by the infinity pool in our hotel, overlooking the sea. I got to see a gorgeous sunset – we are lucky to be staying in the west of the peninsula.

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Looking for a place to have seafood dinner, we wandered into a restaurant. First we were a bit confused about what to choose, and then the waiter told us that just for 2200 baht (about $70) we could get a crab, a lobster, a fish, mussels, shrimp and squid, and choose how to cook each of the beasts, which would be more than enough for two people. And we got a whole feast!

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Posted in Asia, Chiang Mai, English, Phuket, Thailand

Thailand – Day 7

РУССКОЯЗЫЧНАЯ ВЕРСИЯ ПО ЭТОЙ ССЫЛКЕ. CLICK HERE FOR RUSSIAN VERSION.

24 March 2018

This post is also supposed to turn out short, as well as devoid of any particular enthusiasm. But anyway, the morning started pretty well. We got up, had a slow breakfast at the poolside (by the way, the breakfast in Chiang Mai is leading so far, compared to breakfasts in other cities: there’s more variety, the food is tastier and the place looks more pleasant overall), and went for a walk to the Old Town on our own.

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Basically, just as during our evening walk with the guide, we didn’t discover anything particularly remarkable in the Old Town. Well, there is a medieval city wall, but I’ve seen better walls. Otherwise, there are lots and lots of temples at literally every step – I think, Chiang Mai has around 300 of them, in fact, that is what it’s famous for.

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On the way we noticed an interesting procession. First we saw school-aged boys in identical white clothes. They were followed by girls, in the same type of clothes, only with skirts. Then we saw young monks of the same age in monastic robes of the same white colour. There were also occasional adults, dressed normally, but all carrying beautifully folded orange cloth in their hands – it looked as if they were carrying robes for monks as a gift. Some schoolchildren were carrying some flags or portraits of the king and members of the royal family. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to figure out what kind of event that was and where they were all heading.

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We didn’t get to do a long walk, as it became very hot, so we returned to the hotel, packed and came downstairs to the lobby to wait for our driver for our airport transfer. Kudos to the driver, he arrived exactly on time – it’s not for nothing that we liked him (moreover, in the driver-guide tandem, he was definitely our favourite).

The flight to Phuket itself was on time and went fine. But at the airport there was a surprise waiting for us – or rather, there wasn’t anyone waiting for us at all. Based on our experience working with this travel agency, this came completely unexpected, as neither in Vietnam, nor in Thailand so far had we faced such issues. We tried calling the agency, but no one responded – it was Saturday, after all. To our great luck, though, we had a business card from Vanna, our Bangkok guide. We called her, she followed up, and it turned out that there was someone waiting for us after all, but he didn’t have our names written on the paper, or maybe forgot about us completely. By the way, he wasn’t a personal guide, but merely a representative of the transfer company, and, having made us wait for some more time, finally organised a car with a driver for us. In total, we had to wait for at least 45 minutes. Honestly, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, because while our Vietnam trip had left us with the impression that we were much better off taking a tour than if we’d organised the trip ourselves, in a situation like this we definitely felt that it would have been way easier for us to just get a taxi and not spend ages waiting.

As for tomorrow’s cooking class, no one left us any instructions either. Once again, many thanks to Vanna, who came to our rescue and found out everything: who would pick us up and when.

As a result, we arrived at the hotel already in the dark, and didn’t get to see much. The beach is right across our hotel, and there seem to be many different restaurants around. We wend to one of them straight away to have seafood and really enjoyed sitting on the terrace overlooking the sea (in the dark). The prices in Phuket are significantly higher than elsewhere and apparently, the restaurant itself wasn’t cheap as well. By the way, alcohol is relatively expensive throughout Thailand. A glass of wine or a cocktail here will cost the same as a main dish, if not more.

Posted in Азия, Пхукет, Русский, Таиланд, Чианг Май

Таиланд – День 7

CLICK HERE FOR ENGLISH VERSION. АНГЛОЯЗЫЧНАЯ ВЕРСИЯ ПО ЭТОЙ ССЫЛКЕ.

24 марта 2018

Этот пост тоже должен получиться коротким, а также лишенным особого восторга. Впрочем, с утра все было нормально. Мы встали, неспешно позавтракали у бассейна (кстати, завтрак в Чианг Мае пока лидирует по сравнению с другими городами: выбора больше, еда вкуснее и место приятнее), и пошли своим ходом на прогулку к Старому городу.

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В принципе, как и вечером с гидом, мы ничего особо примечательного в старом городе не обнаружили. Есть средневековая городская стена, но видала я стены и получше. Разве что, очень много храмов на каждом шагу – вообще, в Чианг Мае их около 300, он по сути этим и знаменит.

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По дороге мы заметили какое-то интересное шествие. Шли мальчики школьного возраста в одинаковой белой одежде. Потом шли девочки, в такой же одежде, только с юбками. Шли юные монахи такого же возраста в монашеских одеждах такого же белого цвета. Между ними попадались и взрослые, одетые обычно, но с красиво перевязанной оранжевой тканью в руках – выглядело это как будто они несли одеяния для монахов в подарок. Некоторые школьники несли какие-то флаги, либо портреты короля и членов королевской семьи. Что это было за мероприятие и куда они шли, нам узнать так и не удалось.

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Долго гулять не получилось, так как стало очень жарко, и мы вернулись в отель, собрались и вышли ждать нашего шофера для трансфера в аэропорт. Шофер молодец, приехал тютелька в тютельку, недаром он нам понравился (причем, в связке шофер-гид, однозначно больше).

Сам полет прошел нормально и вовремя. А вот в аэропорту нас ждал сюрприз – вернее, не ждал никто. Мы, по нашему опыту работы с этой турфирмой, такого вообще не ожидали, так как ни во Вьетнаме, ни до сих пор в Таиланде таких накладок не возникало. Попытались было позвонить по номеру агентства, но там никто не брал: суббота все-таки. К большой удаче, у нас была визитка с номером Ванны, нашего гида в Бангкоке. Мы позвонили ей, она стала разбираться и оказалось, что какой-то гид нас все-таки ждет, только он не написал наших имен почему-то, может, забыл вообще про нас. Гид этот, кстати, был не персональный, а представитель трансферной компании, который, заставив нас прождать еще какое-то время, организовал машину с шофером. В общей сложности, нам пришлось прождать не меньше 45 минут. Честно говоря, инцидент не очень приятный, потому что если после Вьетнама у нас было впечатление, что от тура мы получили очень много, гораздо больше, чем если б организовывали поездку сами, то в такой ситуации как эта, нам реально было бы удобнее самим уехать на такси и не ждать так долго.

По поводу завтрашнего кулинарного класса нам тоже никто не сообщил, кто и когда за нами приедет, и спасибо Ванне, она опять пришла на помощь: позвонила и все узнала.

В результате в отель мы приехали уже затемно, и поэтому ничего особо не разглядели. Пляж у нас напротив, вокруг разные ресторанчики. В один из них мы сразу пошли на ужин есть морепродукты, и очень приятно посидели на террасе с видом на море (в темноте). Цены, правда, в Пхукете значительно выше, да и ресторан, судя по всему, не из дешевых. Кстати, алкоголь относительно дорог по всему Таиланду. Бокал вина или коктейль тут обойдется так же, как и основное блюдо, если не больше.