Hola mundo! - We are Nina and Markus. We are from Bern/Switzerland and we are outdoor junkies. Whenever possible we spend our time travelling, climbing, ice-climbing, trekking or snowboarding/skiing. And we love to meet people from all over the world and share our travel adventures. So if you are in Switzerland - contact us!
"The path is made by walking"
And here is an overview of our latest trips:
- 1 year RTW in 2008/2009: around the southern hemisphere. We visited Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tansania.
- 3 month in SE Asia in 2010/2011: Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia (both, the Peninsula and Borneo) and Thailand.
- Short holiday break in 2012 in Thailand and Malaysia and some shorter trips in Europe
- 1 month in Thailand in 2013: Markus alone on the road (Nina was sick)
Currently we are planning a trip to Southern Spain.... be surprised :-).
Visit our website: http://www.holamundo.ch/
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January 30th 2013
I have deeply fallen in love - no, not what you think of. I do not want to miss Nina on my side. It is kind of a different love. I fell in love with Kod, "my" elefant! Although spending some time with the elefants is quite over my budget, I really wanted to do a trekking or a mahout course for some days. I did a lot of reserch where I could do this and I finally decided to do a 3-day homestay programme at the Thai Elefant Conservation Center. By public bus I went from Chiang Mai in the direction to Lampang and told the driver to drop me off at the Conservation Center. That was easy going and I quickly arrived at the center where I was welcomed by some friendly ladies at ... read more
January 29th 2013
It took 1 hour to reach Pai by bus from Soppong. The first impression of Pai was really shocking and I was reminded of Christine's words (she was my travel companion for a day in Soppong). There were hords of tourists - but of the unpleasant kind of. Pai used to be an old hippy enclave in the mountains. But the "real" hippies have nearly disappeared or gone further into the mountains. Nowadays, Pai is full of want to be hippies in dirty clothes and without any behaviour - far away of beeing real hippies. Well, not the place I love to stay and I was glad that I had booked a room outside of Pai. To get to this place I wanted to rent a scooter which turned out to be quite tricky. I went ... read more
January 27th 2013
It was a 2 hour bus trip from Mae Hong Son to Soppong passing wonderful landscapes, green hills and 2 (or 3?) steep mountain passes. Soppong is a small village along one street with only few guesthouses, a couple of shops and NO!Seven-Eleven - this does not happen very often in Thailand. I went to the River-Inn Guesthouse and was greeted like an old friend. I had tried to make a reservation beforehand, but did not get an answer. Anyway, they had a free bungalow and after the first night I could change to an even cheaper bungalow. No problem, it was nice, clean and not too expensive. What did I want more? I went to the wonderful terrasse overlooking the river, listened to the birds singing and just enjoyed this little paradies. The perfect place ... read more
January 25th 2013
Normally, I would have been very happy to reach my destination 1 hour early - especially on these night busses. But this time, I had some mixed feelings about it. Instead of 6.30 am I arrived in Mae Hong Son by 5 am in a bus terminal far away from the center. It was dark, cold, foggy and I felt miserable. The bus had been quite uncomfortable. I could hardly get some minutes of sleep that night. I quickly decided to go to the Panorama Hotel - the biggest of the cheapish hotels in MHS. The chances of getting a room were better at bigger places and may be, there was someone at the reception. I looked around and finally found someone who took me to town on the back of his motorcycle. Wow, that was ... read more
January 24th 2013
It took 2 hours by bus to reach Chiang Mai from Lampang. The bus terminal is out of town, but there are lots of songthaews that can bring you to town for 20 Baht. I got of in the middle of a market and than started to look for a place to stay. My plan was to go to the Kavil 2 as I have heard a lot of people raving about this place, but it was fully booked. In Chiang Mai with its 175´000 inhabitants and more than 300 hotels, guesthouses or hostels it was not too difficult to find a nice hostel. My third hostel was Libra Guesthouse and they finally had a room for 2 nights. I quickly left my backpack there and walked around the area, visited the night market, passed by ... read more
January 21st 2013
Having arrived in Lampang from Si Satchanalai quite late I took a songthaew to reach the Hotel Kim City. It was not my first choice and a bit expensive but had a room for the night (the rest was fully booked). I checked in and had to hurry up. Hans Peter, an old friend of my sister, was waiting for me. He picked me up with his motorbike. And here I was, sitting on the back of the bike with a swiss guy who has been living in Thailand now for quite a lot of years. We went to the restaurant of his wife Anong. She has just opened this restaurant a couple of days ago and invited me for a fab dinner. Hans Peter grew up in Basel/Switzerland, spent some years living in Canada before ... read more
January 16th 2013
I arrived in Sukhothai by minibus coming from Phi-lo - for only 40 THB. It was an easy 1 hour trip. Unfortunately the bus terminal in Sukhothai is far away from town and I had long discussions with different drivers till I finally found the cheapest option to town - the minibus. The driver agreed to trop me in front of the T.R. guesthouse but was angry with me in the end because I had already booked my room beforehand and he could not get any commision. The T.R. guesthouse is a very nice guesthouse in a peaceful location in the new part of Sukhothai near the bridge. The young couple running the guesthouse was extremely nice and helpful. And as I immediately loved the relaxed atmosphere and my nice room I decided to stay a ... read more
January 14th 2013
The main reason I stopped in Phitsanulok, or Phi-lo, how it is called here, was that I needed reliable Internet access to work a bit. That is your destiny when you run your own company - sometimes you cannot avoid to work a bit even while travelling. But the trip has to be paid nonetheless. But after a long evening and a short night I was ready to look around the city a bit. In the morning I got some cheap fresh fruits from a stand near the hotel and started with a visit of the folk museum. I am not so much into museums but this one was quite interesting which lots of information about live and work of the "old" thais. I highly recommended it! I continued with a stop at the Buddha Casting ... read more
January 10th 2013
After a short train journey of a bit more than 3 hours from Ayutthaya I arrived in Nakhon Sawan. The train station is about 6 ks out of town. The minute I stepped out of the train I was surrounded by tuk-tuk drivers selling expensive rides to town. I decided to take a songthaews together with some locals which turned out much cheaper. Well, I did not have a map nor did I know where my hotel was which I had booked the night before. So it was difficult to know where to get of the songthaew. Nakhon Sawan is rarely visited by tourists. And no tourists - no maps - and no english. This city seems to be fun for me ;-). On the songtaew I got to know Sonja, a german traveller. But she ... read more
January 9th 2013
On this trip I, Markus, will write the blog instead of Nina (she is usually the boss of blogging). Unfortunately, due to her operations in 2012 we cannot go together on the trip through Northern Thailand. It still would be to dangerous for her to get an infection in the tropics - she is not fit enough. But anyway, she insisted that I will go and enjoy the trip. And so I did. It was a strange feeling to be on the road on your own for the very first time. Normally, we always share the "dueties" while travelling - this time, it is all just me. There is noone to share some thoughts, noone to treat you when you are sick and noone to keep an eye on the luggage while going on a loo ... read more