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Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey – a review:

Rick Stein did us a massive favour by doing a programme that focused, almost exclusively, on the area that we specialise in. Apart from Laos, all our bases were covered – Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and of course, Thailand. A big ‘thank you’ to Rick then, as we saw a definite increase in inquiries from the sort of people keen to do something a little different and sample the true flavours of the region – something which we can deliver!

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Northern Thailand – Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai

Our visit to northern Thailand was rather short and fleeting. We arrived in Chiang Rai from Laos and were pretty knackered after the Gibbon Experience and so did not do anything too energetic. Chiang Rai is a fairly sizeable Thai city and although a fair amount of tourists pass through, it retains its ‘Thainess’ more than Chiang Mai. We spent a couple of hours at the White Temple just outside town and this is well worth a look. Ben, who is a little on the temple averse side, really enjoyed it. Strangely enough, it is white and in the sun the mirrors that have all been painstakingly hand cut and stuck on shine brilliantly.

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Bangkok sights and sounds

We have enjoyed our second time in Bangkok perhaps a little more than when we first arrived. We had only spent a day here when we first arrived and I think it takes a little time to become adjusted. We have used the river boat a lot to get around this time as we are staying in the Banglumphu area and it is convenient. As with the skytrain, it is a great way to see the city. Yesterday we went down to the Oriental Hotel, which was impressive and seemed like it would be a great place to have a pleasant evening drink.

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Diving with Whale Sharks!!

Well, after all the anticipation and concern that we would somehow be the only ones on Koh Tao who did not manage it, on our final dive we saw a whale shark. It was an awesome experience to be under water with such an impressive and elegant creature. The area is known as the adolescent playground for whale sharks as it appears that the adolescents are allowed to play in that area for some time without the adults present. This one was between 3 and 4 metres, so small by their standards, but magnificent nonetheless!