Airport shuttle buses in Bangkok

First of all; Bangkok has 2 different airports. Suvarnabhumi, the new modern airport for mainly intercontinental flights and Don Muang, the old airport mainly for domestic budget flights. A common mistake by travellers is to order a taxi and just say “airport”. The result is that many people end up on the wrong airport. Same counts for bus station. Bangkok doesn’t have a main bus station but around 4 different major bus stations.

Suvarnabhumi airport – Don Muang airport
If you end up on the wrong airport or you need a connecting flight from another airport there is a free of charge shuttle-bus between Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang. The shuttle bus journey time – dependent on Bangkok’s frequent traffic jams – is about one hour. The distance by road is around 45km.

Shuttle bus Suvarnabhumi - Don Mueang

Departure Don Mueang Airport: Gate 5, first floor of Terminal 1 and Gate 14, first floor of Terminal 2
Departure Suvarnabhumi Airport: Gate 3, second floor of Passenger Terminal.
Drives between:: 5am until midnight
Departs: every 30 minutes, every 12 minutes during rush hours of 8am-11am and 4pm-7pm
Cost: free of charge, flight booking evidence required

S1 Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) – Khao San Road – Sanam Luang
Khao San road and some neighbouring streets such as Soi Rambutri are the first destination of many backpackers. In the area are several stops. The complete route can be found at www.transitbangkok.com A convenient stop for many travellers is Wat (temple) Chana Songkhram on Chakrabongse Road.

Departure: Gate 7 on the first floor.
Stops at: Wat (temple) Chana Songkhram, Democracy Monument and others.
Drives between: 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Departs: every 30 minutes
Cost: 60 baht

A1 Don Mueang Airport (DMK) – BTS Mo Chit – Bangkok Bus Terminal (Mo Chit Terminal)
Mo Chit bus terminal is the bus station for buses going to the north and east of the country. Other parts of Thailand can be reached from other bus stations such as Ekamai and Sai Tai Taling Chan.
Departure: Gate 6 at Terminal 1 on the first floor and Gate 12 at Terminal 2 on the first floor.
Stops at: BTS Mo Chit, Bangkok Bus Terminal (Mo Chit Terminal) Complete route: www.transitbangkok.com
Drives between: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Departs: every 12 minutes
Cost: 30 baht

A2 Don Mueang Airport (DMK) – Victory Monument
Victory monument is a major transport hub in bangkok. Here you can find a skytrain station and many mini vans from across the country will have their last stop here.

Departure: Gate 6 at Terminal 1 on the first floor and Gate 12 at Terminal 2 on the first floor.
Stops at: Bus Stop towards Phahonyothin Road, stops at BTS Saphan Khwai, BTS Ari and BTS Sanam Pao. Complete route: www.transitbangkok.com
Drives between: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Departs: every 30 minutes
Cost: 30 baht

A3 Don Mueang Airport (DMK) – Pratunam – Lumphini Park
Lumpini park is one of the most famous parks in Bangkok. It is close to Silom neighbourhood.
Departure: Gate 6 at Terminal 1 on the first floor and Gate 12 at Terminal 2 on the first floor.
Stops at: Opposite Soi Rangnam, at Big C Ratchadamri, BTS Ratchadamri and Lumphini Park. Complete route: www.transitbangkok.com

Drives between: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Departs: every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., every hour between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Cost: 50 baht

A4 Don Mueang Airport (DMK) – Khao San Road – Sanam Luang
Khao San Road is a mecca for backpackers. Sanam Luang is a large green field close to the famous Royal Palace.
Departure: Gate 6 at Terminal 1 on the first floor and Gate 12 at Terminal 2 on the first floor.
Stops at: Wat Ratchanatdaram, Wat Bowonniwet, Khao San Road on the side of Wat Chana Songkhram, Sanam Luang Complete route: www.transitbangkok.com

Drives between: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Departs: every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., every hour between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Cost: 50 baht

 

 

Luxury alternative: Limo Bus
This option is with 150 bath flat fare more expensive but you have free Wi-Fi onboard.
More info: www.limobus.co.th

Limobus Bangkok airport

Dutch army mess tins

The Dutch army mess tins are almost identical (just a little smaller) as the British army mess tins. It is a two-piece set of a smaller pan nesting in a bigger pan. Both pans have a fold out handle. The design dates back to the days of the 2nd world war. Armies around the world are still using this style of mess tins. Modern outdoor equipment suppliers as Highlander and BCB are still producing this design for the civilian market. That says something about the quality and practical usage of this type of mess tins.

Dutch army mess tins 04

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Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21

The Fjällräven Rucksack No21 looks like a classic canvas backpack from decades ago. However it is a modern pack. The base material is G-1000, a combination of 35 % cotton and 65 % polyester. The water resistance can be improved by waxing it. Fjällräven sells his own wax product for this: Greenland Wax. This is made from a mixture of beeswax and paraffin.

 

 

 

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Suanphung

Suan Phueng (Thai: สวนผึ้ง) is a district in the western part of Ratchaburi Province, western Thailand. It is about 200km west of Bangkok at the border with Myanmar.

It is a popular destination for Thai people living in Bangkok due to its cooler climate. Due to the cooler weather (depending on the season) it is a popular region for recreational bicycling. The climate is also suitable for holding farm animals that are more likely to be seen in Europe, New Zealand or in the hills of South America.

alpaca hill suan phueng
Alpaca Hill is a popular destination to see unusual farm animals. Source: www.facebook.com/AlpacaHillThailand/photos

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Rice terraces in Thailand

Rice terraces are known from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Thailand is lesser known for growing rice in terraces on the slopes of hills.

The most famous place with rice terraces in Thailand is Ban Pa Pong Pian บ้านป่าบงเปียง (sometimes spelt as Pa Pong Pieng or Ban Pabongpiang ), Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai province. It is located in the mountains on the western side of Doi Inthanon national park in the proximity of Chiang Mai city. Rice fields are very beautiful (green) during the rain season. Please be warned that the unpaved roads on the county side may turn in a big muddy and slippery affair. Bringing a vehicle that can handle these though conditions is recommended. Due to it’s remote location it is a great option to experience off-the-beaten path Chiang Mai, and its full natural beauty away from the tourist crowds.

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A guide to Dutch army Backpacks (Bergans)

The Dutch Army used and uses modern backpacks that all have in common that they have detachable side pouches  These pouches (aka rocket pouches) can be zipped together into a improvised small backpack. After years of using the Berghaus Vulcan backpack the the Dutch army switched to several models and sizes of Lowe Alpine backpacks. The sizes are 40 liter, 55 liter and 130 liter. They all come with 10 liter side pouches.  The 40 liter backpack has a minimalistic hip belt and static shoulder straps. The bigger models have a padded hip-belt and shoulder straps that can be adjusted according to the user length.

Initially they were made by renowned backpack manufacturer Lowe Alpine. Later the Dutch army ordered copies of these backpacks at the Belgian company ARWY. Also the Army ordered copies of the backpacks without a brand in countries like Vietnam. A real Lowe Alpine version of these backpacks can be recognized through the label under the cover lid and the Lowe Alpine logo on the metal button clasps that keep the aluminum frame inside its sleeves.

The fast majority of the produced backpacks has Dutch DPM camouflage. Smaller quantities are made in US Woodland camouflage for the Marine Corps and in black for the Military Police. Lowe Alpine itself produced the backpacks also in Olive Green for the civilian market.

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Austrian army backpack system

During the 80’s the Austrian army had a load carrying system that consisted of a large backpack that looked like a US army Alice Pack and a smaller bag that could be carried as a front pack or as a butt pack. Alternately the small bag could also be worn as a shoulder bag or a small backpack on it’s own. The bags are made from Nylon (Polyamide) and usually carried in combination with a pistol belt.

The idea from a front pack was copied in later years by the Dutch army. They had a small duffel generally known as the Rotota bag or soldiers handbag. This was also attached to the shoulder straps of a backpack. However the Dutch used plastic fast release buckles while the Austrian pack system uses metal hooks. Another difference is that the Dutch front-pack is carried on the chest while the Austrian front-pack is carried a little lower, on your belly. Perhaps this was done so the soldier has more space to handle a rifle.

2037-austrian-military-4-pc-backpack-pic2-1200x1200
The Austrian backpack and front-pack. Source: www.swisslink.com

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Quechua Arpenaz backpack series

Travel equipment doesn’t have to be expensive and complex. Quechua, the home brand of Decathlon sports and outdoor shop, makes very simple and therefore lightweight and cheap backpacks. The Arpenaz backpacks don’t have side pockets. They consist of just one large main compartment with a additional 2nd compartment. The bags are padded with a small layer of foam on the back and made out of water repelling fabrics. On top is a small loop for hanging your bag on a hook in a public toilet or so. Unfortunately there is no large grip handle on top to pick up your bag easily. The Arpenaz backpack series has a 10, 20, 30 and 40 liter variants and is available in all kind of colors.

Arpenaz series

For the 10 and 20 liter the 2nd compartment is a front pocket. For the 30 and 40 liter variants the 2nd compartment is located in the cover lid. Al the variants except the 10 liter have mesh pockets on both sides. All backpacks except the 10 liter variant have a minimalistic hip belt. Since the volume of all these backpacks are not that big and there is no option for adjusting the shoulder straps at a different hight you might not using it at all.

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US Army style duffel bag for traveling

Soldiers in the army have usually something like a kit-bag, see sack, weekend bag or duffel bag. This not to use in the combat field but to take all their clothing and gear from army base to army base or from their barracks to home during weekends. These bags are usually very simple. In case of a duffel bag it is usually a one compartment bag with rings and a clip to close it instead of zippers. Most duffel bags have just one strap to throw over your shoulders. The US army duffel bag however is one of the few designs with two straps so that it can be worn as a (improvised) backpack. To improve the possibility of carrying the duffel bag as a backpack the bag has a rectangular shape instead of a cylindrical shape. A round shape will flip sidewards all the time when you have it on your back. A flat shape will be much more stable.

US army (style) duffle bag

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The floating raft resorts of Kanchanaburi

Staying in a hotel that floats on the water can be done at several places in Thailand. The two most popular places to go are Khao Sok National Park and Kanchanaburi Province. Kanchanaburi province is only a few hours from Bangkok and therefore very popular. The floating hotels at the banks of the river Kwai are very well known among tourists. Most likely due to the 1957’s classic war movie ”Bridge over the river Kwai”. In Bangkok you can find many companies offering short trips to Kanchanaburi that include one ore more nights at a floating hotel. Far lesser known is the Srinakarin Lake. This lake was formed after the building Thailands third largest dam;  the Srinagarind Dam (also known as the Srinakarin Dam) on the Kwai Yai River. The dam was built in order to avoid floods and to ensure water and electricity supply to the area’s residents. On this lake you”ll also find a lot of floating hotels. These are mostly visited by Thai people. Some even have only a name in Thai alphabet. Probably due to the larger distance to Bangkok and usually the need of private transport this lake is often overlooked by foreign tourists.

Saiyokview resort 04
One of the floating hotels (Saiyok View Resort) at the river Kwai in Kanchanaburi. Source: Facebook

The following list contains only the hotels, guesthouses and resorts that have a website, Facebook page or other online presence. Many resorts are 100% floating accommodations and hotel facilities. Others have both floating raft houses and bungalows on the river banks. The websites, YouTube movies and Facebook pages behind the links in this article are very often in Thai language only.

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