Page 5 of rrruss Travel Blog Posts

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

Asia » Brunei » Belait » Seria February 26th 2017

Brunei is certainly not top of everyone's list when it comes to travelling around South East Asia. The town of Seria is probably even further down anyone's list of priorities. The only people who visit are probably involved in the oil industry or the British military. Alternatively, like us, they may have friends connected with either of those industries. It's a curious place though, and really shouldn't be so easily dismissed. Like many visitors, we were surprised at how "un-rich" Brunei seemed to be. Seria is a nice enough town but it could do with a little sprucing up. There is a lingering subtle smell of oil in the air, but that's hardly surprising when you see the nodding donkeys and the storage tanks all over the place. Most of the town is in the streets ... read more
Billionth Barrel Monument
Nodding Donkey

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur February 24th 2017

We've been to KL a few times before so a couple of nights stop over on our way to Brunei left us looking for something a little bit different to do. It began with a busy arrivals hall at KLIA2, the second terminal at the International Airport which is dominated by the operations of Air Asia. Of course the terminal had been in the news very recently after the assassination of the half-brother of the leader of North Korea. We hadn't even considered the possibility of any lingering nerve agent and so we passed happily through. It was nearly two weeks later that the authorities conformed the terminal was toxin free! KLIA Express is a high speed train connecting the airport to the city centre in just 28 minutes. Add on 5 minutes for terminal 2 ... read more
Elevated walkway
One of few birds which came into sight
Long tailed butterfly

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta February 20th 2017

Whoever would have thought that island life would suit us?! We decided to take a minibus from Krabi to Koh Lanta and return by boat a few days later. That was probably the right decision as it meant we got there a couple of hours earlier. The trip involved a transporter ferry which was fun, and a brand new bridge, only a year old. Taking the minibus also meant that we were taken door-to-door which saved a lot of hassle. Our first thoughts of Golden Bay Cottages were good. The cottages themselves were comfortable enough but they were a little expensive. We loved swimming in the pool and adored lying on the beach and splashing about in the Andaman Sea. The sunsets were to die for. We were having a very relaxing time. Two things tarnished ... read more
Magnificent sunsets
Sunset over the pool
A lovely beach

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Krabi February 19th 2017

Arriving just after darkness fell, we found the bus station in Krabi in darkness. It seemed that our bus was the last one of the day to arrive. It was a little disconcerting but we were able to find transport to our guest house. It seems that the bus station is usually a lively place with places to grab a snack and plenty of tuk tuks and taxis to help you move on. Rooms@Krabi Guesthouse turned out to be an excellent choice. It's not luxury accommodation but it has everything you need and the staff are super friendly. They were always willing to help and if their English wasn't good enough to answer your query, they could always find someone else. It was such a refreshing change. We enjoyed it so much that we stayed one ... read more
On the river
A kingfisher
Tiger Temple

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Prachuap Khiri Khan February 14th 2017

Five years ago we fell in love with PKK and the Sun Beach Hotel. Back then we stayed for five nights but this time we only had two. None of our friends had ever heard of the place but last year, to our surprise, we worked with acouple who had visited the town and loved it as much as we did. Our aim this time was to relax and we certainly did that. The very high tide meant that once again the beach was unusable so we'll have to check the tide times and levels carefully before our next visit! Lounging by the pool or wandering through the sleepy streets was good enough for us. The town had changed a bit. There are quite a few more hotels and restaurants but there didn't seem to be ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Hua Hin February 14th 2017

It was a public holiday long weekend in Thailand and it seemed that half of Bangkok had taken to the roads leading to the south of the country. Our private taxi proved to be great value as the driver used tricks and tactics, which would make a driving examiner blow his top, to jump to the front of the numerous tailbacks. We didn't really want to go to Hua Hin again but we were unable to get a room where we wanted further down the coast so we bit the bullet. Our cheap guest house was within easy walking distance of the night market and we weren't sure just how lovely and noisy the area would be. There was no need to worry though, as the Buddhist holiday meant that no alcohol could be served and ... read more

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