Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Talad Rod Fai (train car market)

Our flight from Nepal to Thailand left us with a 10 hr layover in Mumbai, we watched a movie, tried to nap, and it went by quickly.


Attempt to snooze. 
We landed in Bangkok on Thursday into incredible heat, topped off by the fact that we were both sick. To make it worse our hotel had no AC! We slept for almost an entire day in order to recuperate in time for the weekend. We really wanted to check out a market we heard of called "Talad Rod Fai" or Train Car Market. It's a pretty new vintage market set in an old train yard, everything from vespas to spring rolls were on sale. It was a hipster paradise. We picked up some sweet new duds including overalls and crop tops, had a couple beers, and a delicious chocolate oreo shake. 
It was really interesting to see a couple thousand Thai kids idolizing 1950's north american pop culture, James Dean, Elvis, Marilyn and all the usual suspects were all proudly on display. Converted VW vans made up the bars and simple yet effective clothing racks and good old tarps on the ground sold the goods. Luc was in a bit of an automotive heaven, American kids souped up vintage American cars, Asian kids do the same with Asian cars. There were 70's corollas everywhere and even a few lifted Samurais, very awesome.

It's been by far the best night market experience we've been through and left us wanting to start a Winnipeg version.

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Drool worthy Moped.

LWB lifted samura! yes!

The captain and crew.

Used shoes, glasses.

Vw van shake bar.

There was some new stuff for sale too, laptop sleeves. We took notes.

Sweating in the heat, enjoying a cold beer.

Vintage stuffed animals and toys, cool Ford van.

Hats galore! 
Sadly this is our last real great experience of Thai culture. We fly out of Bangkok in less than 6 hours! And are expected to arrive home around 2:15 tomorrow. We'll probably post one last rap up when we recover from the jet lag. 
We're very excited to see all our friends & family, return to our dearly missed feline, and get back on our bikes! (and Ginger of course won't stop describing in detail every dress that she misses). Thanks to everyone for all the positive feedback, we miss you all terribly and can't wait to see you.
lot's of love from afar.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quit monkeying around

The only sight-seeing we really wanted to do in Nepal was seeing the monkey temple in Kathmandu. It's called the monkey temple because there's a ton of monkey's there. Duh. 

Now, I'll openly admit we are not good "tourists", we don't really like sight seeing, for many reasons; first off, the sights usually aren't all that interesting. When it is interesting, there are ten billion people there, if it isn't there's still three million. An unfortunate side effect of cramming all these rich foreigners into one place is that it also attracts beggars. I try not to be heartless, I often give to them, which you are explicitly told not to do (giving them money only promotes the act making everything worse, or something). But they do make the whole experience a touch hard to enjoy. The last, and certainly the worst part about it is the "touts" or un-licensed tour guides. They often begin talking to you rather innocently, start throwing in random facts and tidbits, then at the end try to charge an exorbitant amount of money. You often get the same treatment from taxi/rickshaw drivers. We had a fairly unfortunate experience with a rickshaw driver when we visited the monkey temple. We had agreed to pay him 500R for a ride there, back, and maybe a little sight seeing along the way. This was supposed to take an hour. We had no idea of how long this should take, so the hour was thrown in by the driver. He seemed like a very nice guy, smiley and cheerful, and we were quite pleased with him. At the end of the trip, he told us we took three hours, and we would have to pay him 2700R. We refused, said we agreed on 500R, and eventually grabbed a police officer to translate/mediate. The officer didn't really seem to care and sort of just walked away. After a few minutes a small crowd had gathered around us and finally I handed him 550R and said "take this, or nothing", he took it and we got out of the crowd. It's unfortunate but true that ninety percent of the time, someone is trying to rip you off. It makes sight seeing a heck of a lot less fun.

Despite all that, we still had a good time at the monkey temple, there were really monkeys everywhere, including some swimming in a pool, which was very cute. Enjoy the photos.


Just a guy playin' his guitar.

Uhh... yeah...

Its a full time job.

Hiding in the shade.

This guy got himself an apple.

Monkeys in the trees.

Drying out.

Climbing out after a couple laps.

Monkeys dog paddle...or monkey paddle.

Big eyes.

The temple portion.

The view down then hill towards the city.

We love monkeys!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lake side lazing

After relaxing and recovering for a few days after trekking, we decided to leave Pokhara and go to Begnas tal and Rupas tal, two lakes only an hour or so away. The weather had become hot during the days and rainy at nights, which meant it was great for pool hopping and storm watching. We experienced one of the coolest lightning storms I've ever seen, high and dry from a rooftop. We stayed at a really cool guest house called Rupa View, it's a small family run place with a very homey feel. They were doing some pretty good stuff too, growing lots of their own food, including coffee, running a biogas burner for the kitchen, keeping beehives, and composting. We talked to the owner for a few minutes about it and he was really friendly and seemed to enjoy showing off his well deserved eco friendliness. We also spent a day hanging out by the pool belonging to a very pricey lodge nearby. Sometimes you gotta ball hard.

Ginger loungin' by the pool.

Typical no-eyed smile.
The storm brewing over the mountains.

There was a lot of lightning, every few seconds there was a flash in the sky. The storm was so far off on the horizon that there was no thunder. It was like a choreographed light show.
Catching lightning is hard, but check these out!

While taking a walk in Begnas tal we saw a group of wild monkeys. Very cute little guys.

Everything Is Illuminated, anyone? (Gabi I expect you to know this!)

Beehive at The Rupa View guest house.
All that is visible of the biogas plant.

Soon to be ripe coffee beans.

The pool at the swanky lodge.

The cat and us share the same view on relaxing.

More monkeying coming soon!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The way down

I'm sure you're getting sick of mountain pictures, but here's the last from our way down.

Interesting pottery.

The trail was dug down a good 4 feet, crazy.

The "foothills". 

Just because we didn't go there doesn't mean we can't celebrate like we did.

To do list.

Lake Phewa, this is one of my favorite pictures.

Yes, these poor ponies are carrying rocks, up a mountain.

The sun coming through the clouds.

Down filled rain clouds.

I think this rope is a touch short, but cute cow.

We made it! and didn't even break an ankle.

Celebratory Indian food. (note the lipstick, two weeks in the mountains...)

We have a few more posts lined up, when we get a chance we'll put them up.

We are now in Bangkok, it's sweltering hot, but we've checked into a expensive hotel with AC and a pool to live out our last few days of homelessness.  We'll see you soon, we're home on the 26th!