AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Tricky Thai Train Ticket

Posted on Jan 26, 2014

Today we are taking the infamous ‘‘, properly known as the Thailand-Burma Railway from Kanchanaburi to the end of the line at Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi. There are normal trains running, which are 100 baht each way, or there is a special train which only runs once a day on weekends which goes about 1km further (to ) and is 120 baht return. We wanted the special train but when we asked for tickets we were told the train will probably be full and we can’t book it. We argued it won’t be full and we should at least wait and see. There was also some mention about booking the tickets in Bangkok. That was 20 minutes before the train was due. The train was then 35 minutes late, so we spent quite a long time during around waiting. Finally as the train approached the station we grabbed our bags and went to stand on the platform. Our plan was to just get on and if anyone asked for tickets attempt to pay then because it seemed impossible to buy tickets for this train at the station. As we stood there the railway official (the one who wouldn’t sell us the tickets) asked if we had tickets for the train. Of course we don’t, it was him who wouldn’t sell them! He then hurried us to the ticket office to buy the tickets and ignored the other 6 people stood patiently in the queue. The train was only stopped for 3 minutes but luckily we bought the tickets and boarded, but not without a lot of confusion and pointless messing around. A couple of British tourists were also in the queue at the train station trying to buy tickets for the normal train. Imagine our surprise when they boarded the train by the bridge over the river Kwai, about 10 minutes up the line. It transpires that they had also been able to buy the tickets just as the train approached but the train was departing the station by the time they had completed the purchase and were ready to board. They grabbed a taxi up the road to the bridge to board there. A strange way to sell tickets indeed. Another annoyance is the timetables. Every train we have been on in Thailand is late. And they are consistently late by the same time every day. So the timetables should be updated to reflect reality. Today our train arrived 35 minutes late but got to the destination just over an hour late. Posted from Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi,...

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Chiang Mai: Thai Cooking Class

Posted on Jan 10, 2014

In the UK we loved Thai food. We used to make a decent green curry, but we always bought the paste and just added coconut milk, it was simple and tasted pretty good, but we always wanted to be able to do better. So whilst we’re in Thailand what better to do than take a cooking course. There were many cookery classes in Bangkok but they were pricey. Chiang Mai has the same classes but most are about half the price of those in Bangkok. We chose Siam Rice and had a great day. The meat and veg was already quite prepared for us, we only had to chop some of the veg and then cook it. It was good for an introductory lesson to what the main ingredients are in Thai food and how they are prepared. Nothing advanced. First we made soup. I chose a spicy soup with Thai Basil. Annemarie chose the same. I added 5 chillies to give it some kick, but then because I was making the spicy dish I was handed another two large chillies and a tablespoon of chilli jam to add. That pushed it over the edge and gave me a bloody hot soup! Then we made a stir fry. This was followed by a noodle course. My noodles were boring and simple to make. Annemarie chose Drunken Noodles, a dish made in spectacular style with the wok in flames. Followed by a salad. I made a green mango salad which had fish sauce as the base. I didn’t expect to like it but was really surprised that the flavour became sweet and tangy and not a horrible salty taste that I was expecting. Annemarie made a papaya salad to try and compare to a dish she’d eaten a few nights ago. She didn’t really like the version she made… We then has to make our curry paste as the base for the curry we would be making later. The ingredients were added to a mortar and smashed with the pestle until it was a thick paste. This took around 10 minutes of smashing and was tiring work, but the paste at the end was very bright and colourful and the smell was delicious. It’s amazing to think that just the few ingredients we were given, after been chopped into smaller pieces could be ground so easily into the bright paste we were left with. We then made the curry from the paste. Annemarie made a red curry and I went for my favourite the yellow curry. Last up was pudding. Almost everyone went for the sticky rice with mango. The...

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