Page 2 of rrruss Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake January 8th 2018

He Ho was a nice little airport to arrive at and we got some stunning views over Inle Lake as we approached at sunset. We were a bit worried as our bags were last off the plane and there was no information at all about how to get to Nyaungshwe, where we were staying. Luckily there were plenty of taxis around, although the journey from the airport was a little more hair raising than we had expected. The road from the airport has major construction works in progress and that meant driving perilously close to what must be breathtaking views during daylight hours! Once you leave the main road, there is little or no street lighting as you get towards the lake, until you pass a little booth where you have to pay your National Park ... read more

Asia » Burma » Eastern Burma » Kengtung January 6th 2018

We arrived in Keng Tung during a rainstorm of biblical proportions. Luckily a tuk-tuk driver with a handy umbrella and a good covering for his vehicle took us straight to our hotel from the bus company office. Sadly the Golden World Hotel did not meet our expectations. We try so hard not to be negative about places but so many things were wrong here. Luckily we only stayed one night before moving to the Amazing Keng Tung Resortwhich, for an extra $10 a night, gave us an altogether different feeling about the town. Cold dribbles in the shower on a cloudy day (the excuse offered for the lack of hot water at the GW) were replaced by a steaming torrent leaving us feeling clean and relaxed. Friendly, helpful staff replaced the dour reception we received at ... read more

Asia » Burma » Eastern Burma » Tachileik January 3rd 2018

Crossing the border from Thailand into Myanmar (Burma) was always going to feel like something of an adventure. The reality was an easy and generally swift process, with no real problems at all. We got to the Mai Sai bridge in the morning which we highly recommend as in the afternoon the queues can be quite lengthy. Leaving Thailand was just a case of getting our passports stamped. Then we dwelled a little reading the customs notices. Why can't you take more than TWO decks of cards into the country? Anyway, we then worried if our e-visas would be accepted at this entry point to Myanmar as the whole system is still quite new. Getting the e-visas was easy. Just follow the instructions on the government website, pay your money and wait for your application to ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand January 3rd 2018

Getting to Mai Sai from Chiang Mai was easy. The green coloured buses run fairly frequently from Chiang Rai's central bus station, and from Mai Sai's not-so-central bus station it's a quick (depending on traffic!) ride up to the Myanmar border. We decided to stay in this dusty frontier town for two nights at url=;label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggJCAlhYSDNYBGiVAYgBAZgBLsIBCndpbmRvd3MgMTDIAQzYAQHoAQH4AQuSAgF5qAID;sid=2cb51fc303f0cbb837d657c7addf5378Kongkam House.The big problem was finding it! The location given on various map apps was incorrect. We had in fact walked past it but on some maps it is listed as Royal House and there is no sign other than the one in Thai script outside. That is how we managed to walk straight past! We then had to wait half an hour for someone to arrive to check us in as the cleaner wasn't able t... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand January 1st 2018

We loved Chiang Rai when we visited last year. In fact, we loved it so much that we were very keen to return to the city. The plan had been to revisit the white temple and get some glorious photos with blue skies. Guess what? It rained again!! Oh, well, we still enjoyed our stay but we did some other things instead. This time we stayed at the central url=;label=gog235jc-hotel-XX-th-baanNbuaNguestNhouse-unspec-mm-com-L%3Aen-O%3AwindowsS10-B%3Achrome-N%3AXX-S%3Abo-U%3AXX-H%3As;sid=886757ff69da46cdce52e66b578388f5;dist=0&sb_price_type=total&type=total&Baan Bua Guest Housewhich was cheap and cheerful and we had no complaints. The rain held off for us but the skies were cloudy so we had a wander out to see some gardens a few kilometres away. On the way we were ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Ayutthaya December 28th 2017

Ayutthaya was once the capital of the kingdom of Siam. It's hard to believe that when you first arrive, but as you explore outwards from the centre, it soon becomes clear what an extensive site it really is. Sadly the weather was a bit of a let down when we got there and also on our first day which rather curtailed our wanderings. We stayed at the Ban Boonchuguest house which sits somewhere between a B&B and a homestay. It is not the cheapest place around by a long shot but we found the landlady to be friendly and helpful, providing a wonderful breakfast, and there are also two really cute little dogs wandering around. We set out on foot with umbrellas close at hand, and we certainly needed them at times. Our guest house was ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok December 26th 2017

Bangkok for Christmas sounds like a dream, but when you have been to the city a few times, it becomes more of a place to relax and get over the long flight to Asia. Still, it's always fun finding new places to explore so this time we stayed at the Grand Sathorn Hotelin the Silom district. The area was a lot more traditional than the overly westernised Sukhumvit district. That had its advantages and disadvantages for sure, but we had a great time there. We even got our bags fixed for next to no money on the market! A place we had wanted to visit before but never managed to get round to was Jim Thomson House. Without Jim, there may well be no Thai silk industry. It had been a long neglected cottage industry until ... read more

Europe » Germany » Saxony » Dresden December 20th 2017

We didn't know what to expect in Dresden. All we knew was that we missed the opportunity to visit the city some 24 years ago and have thought about going many times since then. Finally we had the chance so we jumped on the train from Berlin and spent a few days exploring what turned out to be a fantastic destination. Staying in the old town (well, the historical part of the city as we all know what happened 70-odd years ago) was out of our budget so we opted for the NH Hotel in Neustadt, the new town. It was very comfortable and, once we had figured out how to get around by tram, very conveniently located. We bought a 3 day pass which enabled us to use public transport,and it also gave us discounted ... read more

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin December 16th 2017

It's 14 years since we were last in Berlin. It's hard to believe that our last visit to this amazing city was before my days on Travelblog, back in an era when we both had "proper" jobs!!! We loved it then, and we still love it today, although the Park Inn on Alexanderplatzhas changed a lot, and not for the better in our opinion. On our last visit it was a very friendly and comfortable place to stay. Now it has been "modernised" and the rooms are about half the size, no doubt to pack in as many visitors as possible. We didn't even have a bathroom! Instead there were glass screens and a "modesty curtain". Principally, we were there for another of Trish's RAF reunions and an opportunity for them all to reminisce about days ... read more
Ice rink in the square
It's Christmas!

Asia » Brunei » Bandar Seri Begawan February 28th 2017

Bandar Seri Begawan may be Brunei's capital city, but it doesn't have a big city feel to it. The bus from Seria took about two hours and our hotel was just round the corner from the dark and dingy surroundings of the bus station. The Brunei Hotelwas very comfortable and, while a bit more expensive than what we normally go for, very good value because of its central location. We have to say, the city exceeded all our expectations. This began with our visit to the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. Yes, it's quite a mouthful. It is breathtakingly beautiful from the outside and non-Muslims are allowed inside. Even though we were appropriately dressed, we still had to borrow a smock each to go in. Once inside we were struck by the simplicity of the design, ... read more
Ceremonial Barge
Kampong Ayer
Floating Market of Yesteryear

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