12 hours layover in Amsterdam

What can you do on a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam?

We have arrived to Amsterdam airport after 12 hours of flight from Bangkok and we still head a lot ahead of us till our next flight back to Birmingham, United Kingdom. The city is alive all day and all night long, so there is a lot to do on a layover. We arrived around 7pm, so most of the museums and that sort of places were closed, but on the other hand the nightlife just started.

We took a train from the Airport to Amsterdam city center from where we walked next to the canals and got something to eat.

20785915_653727101501565_4482555370374849676_o The city can have quite spicy prices. I believe for a burgher and a coffee I payed around  25, well it is expensive when you are coming from Thailand. However, it was worth it, really really good food, with a nice view just next to the canals.

Right after we had dinner, the sun started to set and slowly became darker, the light turned on and Amsterdam transformed into an even more beautiful place. It also became really crowded as people started gathering for the Red Light District.

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Time flew fast, after walking around the Red Light district, canals, pubs and terraces it was already 2-3 am and we slowly went back to the airport to have some rest.

 

Amsterdam is definitely a place I would love to go back to and explore it more, perhaps some day in the future I will plan something to visit The Netherlands, but for now back to earl gray tea and the rainy weather.

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My last day in Thailand

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Pfuu, I can’t believe it came to an end. Such a great experience, 8 full days spent in Thailand. On our final day we kind of slept half way through, to rest for the long journey ahead of us. It takes 13 hours to fly back to EU and then we will have an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam, but that’s another story.

We decided to go back to China Town to buy some souvenirs and try out some more street food, then end the day with our favorite Thai dish.

27In the markets we discovered a small place that sell deep fried shrimps and crabs. I have no clue what kind of spices they used, but believe me it was really tasty. I stuffed my face with it, probably had a thousand calories, but I could have two of those bags of shrimps anytime, its that good.

Once we have done our shopping ended up at a terrace having our last Thai dish for dinner. I got my self a classic chicken Pad Thai and a Green Curry with quite of a heavy spicy punch. I could have this everyday, any-day, no problem at all.

Ahh, I miss Thailand! I want to travel more!!! This was too short!

Guy’s I hope you enjoyed my little journey to Thailand, places and food I tasted. I have a few more surprises for you from my Thai trip so don’t forget to follow my blog, YouTube channel and stay in touch.

Thank you once again for passing by.

China town, sky bars and a crazy night life in Bangkok

Once you enter into China town in Bangkok, you feel you are in a completely different country. Suddenly everything seems to be more crowded, Chinese writings and signs everywhere you look, mmm the smell, smells good, food, uuh, food stalls everywhere you turn. Roasted ducks hanging every 2 steps, deep fried fish, shrimps, crabs, shrimp flakes in small and big begs…If I would wake up in this place without knowing the fact that I am in Bangkok, I would totally think of Hong Kong or somewhere in China.

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Together with Ciprian walked all of the markets in China town, just roaming around, hoping o find something interesting. From what we could see, you can find what every you wish for here. Food, cloths, ceramics, souvenirs, ingredients from A to Z.

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While roaming around, I spotted a local Chinese lady ordering some roasted duck Wonton noodles from a fast food in the middle of the market. I got a bit closer and prepared myself to take a few pictures of the scene. Once I took the pictures she approached me and recommended the place, a must try she said. It did smell good so we went inside and ordered a few dishes.

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After China town, we went back to our hotel, changed and went into the city, the new town of Bangkok. It looks so much different from the old town, packed with shopping malls and sky trains. We went up to one of these sky bars called Vertigo where we ordered 2 cocktails and enjoyed the jaw-dropping scenery of the night city.

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The drinks costed us £10 – £12 each, but it was worth it. We tried drinking our cocktails as slow as possible, but eventually did ended and left.

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It was still early in the evening, so decided to go back to Kao San road for a little bit of craziness. As promised, I did get a bigger scorpion and eat it. This time it was much more difficult to eat, much more hairy, haha, dry, but still really oily. It wasn’t great, but anyhow, it was fun!

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Kao San at night is crazy, live music everywhere, people dancing on the streets, all sort of crazy promotions, loads of booze and beer with the bucket!

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Loved the fullness of the day, the diversity, from Thai to Chinese, from old to new, from expensive to cheap, yepp! a really good day.

I cant believe it, I am getting to the end of this amazing Thai journey. My next blog will be with our last day in Thailand, after which we will continue our journey to the Netherlands and than fly back to the UK.

If you are enjoying these little vlogs and blogs about my adventures, make sure to follow this blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Thank you.

Thailand’s most beautiful temples

It is our 7th day in Thailand, we are back in Bangkok and it’s time to visit the beautiful temples the city has to offer.

It is 35C outside with an 80% humidity and we have a lot to do today. There is no such a thing as waking up early in the morning to skip the heat. As soon as the sun rises it’s boiling hot and there’s not much you can do about it. On top of the heat, by the time we arrive to the Grand Palace, we realized that we cant go into the palace in shorts. It was too much of a journey to go back and change so we had to buy some pants at the entrance. It looked hideous  and cost us about £8, so hear is a lesson for you, when visiting the grand palace, don’t go in shorts.

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The palace is amazing, it is spread across an area of 218,400 square metres. This means you can spend easily a couple of hours roaming around and admiring the architecture, art, history, temples and finding your way among thousand of tourists walking in and out from the palace.

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Wat Arun – another beautiful place, unfortunately under construction and we were unable to climb the stairs, but surely it was worth a visit.

Despite the heat, we kept going and visited the reclining Buddha which is a 46m golden plated Buddha in a temple. That’s all it’s there to see, but the size is mind blowing.

The entrance was £2 which included a small bottle of cold water.

Once we visited the temples, we took a break to cool down and to grab something too eat. We went into the market next to the temple and had some banana pancake, mangosteens and other snacks, aaah I really miss those threats.

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It was a really long day, so I divided my vlog into 2 parts. This one is about the temples and the grand palace. The 2nd part will be about China Town, eating some crazy snacks and then in the evening looking down the city from one of the sky-bars in Bangkok.

Good stuff coming up, so stay tuned and enjoy the video.

From fries to flys, bugs and scorpions

It is our last day in Phuket and we are trying to get the most out of this place. The waves are way to big to have a swim so we are sitting on log and watch the waves and people passing by on the beach.

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Ahead of us is a couple wanting to try out parasailing and we are curiously following the entire process. We realize quick enough that this sport or what ever it is, it’s quite dangerous and I admire their courage for doing it. What shocked both of us was the pilot of the parachute was simply hanging on the ropes without any strings attached, not that’s crazy!

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After spending enough time on the beach we went into a fast food just next to us and had some chicken fingers and fries, because we did miss a bit of a western food.

Later on in the evening we flew back to Bangkok and spent the rest of the evening on Khao San road.

The streets are always crazy in the evening, people dancing all over the place, loads of street food, loads of music bands and booze.

Not much of a dancer myself, so though of trying out some of these weird foods on the street. Got myself a scorpion, grasshopper and a fat cricket. All cost’s around 120 THB which is not more than £3.

Now, what can I say about the taste? Well, they spice the bugs up quite nicely. Salt, pepper, soy sauce and some other spices, so the taste is not bad at all. The texture, well this is another story. It is deep fried and they fry the hell out of them, so when you put it in your mouth it is really dry and hard to swallow. There is not much to chew either, because all of these bugs have quite of a shell on their body. When you start chewing, it is really crunchy, you feel the legs, wings, body shell and their head popping in your mouth.

It is a great experience though and I would totally commander it at least once.

We are going to visit the temples and the grand palace in the following day and more crazy street food.

Motorbike Riding Around Phuket

If you want to do something crazy, fun, memorable and not invest too much money in it, here is what you have to do:

Wherever you are in Thailand, rent a bike and go crazy. It will cost you around £6 / day plus gas which is another £2 and you will have loads of fun. We did the same, instead of taking a shuttle or taxi to the Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket we rented a bike and went up and down the mountain with it. High adrenaline for sure, scary as hell driving in the most crowded place on earth but surely loads of fun.

Check out the video, see the places we visited with the bike. You can see on my face that I had several moment when I was really really scared, but maan, these are some great memories.

The video is quit long as it is almost the full length of the journey, if this is your thing, enjoy a goo ride.

My brothers groom preparation

The brotherhood and friendship with my brother was always really close and strong. I can say we lived together our entire life. In our childhood we shared the same room, the same bed, even after going to university we ended up sharing the same dorm and food.

When we relocated from our hometown to Oradea, where we studied, my brother met a wonderful person who became part of our brotherhood and now became his wife.

I believe we formed a strong family rounded friendship, been there for each other in good, bad and always.

Until recently we all lived together in the UK sharing moments of happiness and struggles.

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Now, they are one and a new journey rises ahead of them. Wish you both health, happiness and peace for your marriage.

It was a great pleasure to be at their wedding last weekend and to have the honer to shoot my brothers wedding preparation. The bellow footage is just a short video about the groom preparation and I will follow this up in the coming weeks with the wedding preparation too.

Spending a day with the elephants

Such a privilege to be able to spend half of day with the elephants at the elephant sanctuary in Phuket.

We left our hotel early in the morning around 7am, went directly to one of these places from where you can rent a motorbike and hit the road to the sanctuary.

It was a 45 minutes or maybe a 1 hour journey from our hotel up to the mountain (Monkeypod Coffee House). From there a truck picked us up and took us to the sanctuary.

Once we arrived we were introduced the elephants and how they are being treated in Thailand. There are around 3000 elephants in Thailand used in the logging and tourism industry. They elephants go through a cruel process in order to domesticate them. They  are tight into chains to brake their spirit or will and this can take several weeks or even months to complete. Some of the elephants die during the process and who ever makes it through they will eventually have a hard time serving in the logging industry ending up injured or die. When the elephants become old and injured, they no longer can be used in the logging industry, therefore they are sold to the tourism industry where they give rides to the tourists. There are around 23-28 trekking camps alone in Phuket.

I have to admit before going to Thailand, I was imagining myself riding an elephant, but now I am glad that I made a research before going and I didn’t end up doing that.

I think the only way we can stop mistreating elephants is buy making people aware of it.

Do a simple google search about how the elephants end up doing elephant riding, it is heartbreaking.

When the presentation ended we met 4 of the elephants from the sanctuary and spent half of they with them. We gave them food and walk with them through the jungle.

IMG_1933Kannika is the youngest elephant from the 4, she is in her mid 30s, the most energetic of all and the leader of the group.

Dok Gaew – everyone calls her grandma, because she is in her late 60s and she is really really slow. She likes doing things step buy step, but without missing out from the rest of the group.

Madee is in her mid 60s and just like everyone else she was rescued from the logging industry. She is a really good friend with Kannika, but recently accepted Grandma in the group too.

Gae Taw is the 4th elephant and unfortunately she didn’t spent time with us because she got blind during her time in the trekking camps. Being blind is really scary for her and new people can make her really anxious.

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary was open since 2016 and they saved 5 elephants since then, unfortunately once of them passed away due to several injurious from the trekking camp.

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It was fun to see how the elephants enjoy having fun in the jungle, crushing the bamboo trees, covering themselves with mud and than taking a bath.

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It was an unforgettable experience for me, something I would do again if I go back to Thailand. I believe it cost us around £60 / person for the sanctuary and just £6 for renting the bike.

I definitely recommend visiting the sanctuary in Phuket if you are there, or visit the one in Chang Mai where they have around 50 elephants.

I made a vlog about my experience, is a bit longer then my other videos, but I just couldn’t decide which shot should I live out in order to make it shorter as I enjoy every single part of it.

Here is a link to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in case you want to step by: http://www.phuketelephantsanctuary.org/

 

 

Pre-Wedding Interview – Dani & Oana

Our very first wedding at Emmaus Church and my first wedding interview. I had the privilege to take a pre wedding interview from Dani and Oana about who they are and how they met.

They have such a great story to tell, in the interview they try to highlight the fact that they have such different personalities and yet they form a great couple.

Dani, who in his childhood was such a naughty little dude that he managed to set the house on fire, dislocate his jaw and on the other hand Oana was an excellent student and an awarded ballerina.

So different from each-other yet God brought them together. They form a great couple, they complete each-other and now getting married.

I had such a great time taking this interview, they both have such a great sense of humor, so it was good fun.

The video is in Romanian, but one of their best friends helped me translating the interview. In case you need translation, enable the English subtitles on YouTube.

Durian, the world stinkiest fruit

Happy 1st July everyone. Here is another piece from my Thai adventure.

Woke up early in the morning, packed our stuff and went to take our ferry from Ao Nang to Phuket.

It was a pleasant 3 hour journey  on the board of the ferry, with a short stop at Ko Phi Phi Island. We were able to see some really cool cliffs and islands on the way.

Once we arrived to Phuket, a shuttle took us directly to our hotel, this was another 1 hour journey.

We arrived safely to our hotel, looked really luxurious with a nice swimming pool, actually several of them. You know what, it surely looked really nice, but I think it is a wast of money. Why? Here’s the thing, when you are having a trip like us, visiting Thailand and planning loads of activities to do during the day, you wont really have the chance to stay and enjoy the pool. Believe it or not, within what? 2-3 days I didn’t even touch the water in that pool.

Anyhow, although it started raining we took our rain coats and went out to grab something to eat. What else can you do when ever it’s raining?

We found this place just next to our hotel, it was quite empty, but hey, let’s give it a chance.

I have ordered a prawn pad Thai and Ciprian a dip fired fish with some sauce. Pad Thai is probably the most popular Thai dish you can get and it is really tasty. You will have rice noodles with peanuts, prawns or chicken, bean sprouts and some soy based sauce, delicious! The deep fried fish is also something you need to try out, i would advise the deep fried fish with garlic, oooh man it is amazing. Be careful, the fish might have bones, I almost chocked with a bone from this fish. I had to quickly run to the bathroom and pull it out from my throat and it wasn’t pleasant, could have been really dangerous.

It was quite cheap, £2 the Pad Thai, £1 fresh fruits, around 50 – 80p coconut water and about £6 the fish.

After we finished having dinner the rain stopped and we went out to explore more the city. You will find food everywhere, had a really nice nutella pancake with banana..wow, delicious, cant remember how much it was, but for sure under £1.

So many cool places to see and things to do. Sometime you just wanna walk around and enjoy the pace and breath, but this is not possible as everyone try to pull you into a pub or restaurant or tuk tuk or sell you something, it can be really aggressive sometimes and definitely really annoying.

Right! After 4 full days in Thailand the time finally came to try out the world stinkiest food, durian. Maaan, that stuff is smells sooo so bad. I cant really describe the smell, well it smells like something rotten. The taste is sweet, really sweet, the taste is not as bad as the smell. It has a weird silky, creamy texture, I would say…like pudding.

I managed to have 2 spoons and we gave the entire thing away to some local Thai people from the street. The durian cost us around £10, but you either love it or hate it. I think even after 2-3 hours I could still feel the horrible taste, smell, cause I was keep burping it back.

Such a great first day in Phuket, but what is ahead of us for the next day is one in a lifetime experience. Spending a day with the elephants in the Elephant Sanctuary was such an emotional and beautiful experience.

Stay with me, follow this blog, follow me on YouTube to see our great adventure further on in Thailand. Thank you so much for passing buy and reading about my experience. I hope I inspired you in some way. Have a great day.