I kept this diary of things we have done in Singapore for 2 years. I have now moved some of it to other travel pages but you can still find links to many of our activities here. I have also created a reading list of books we have read about the region.

Western Japan

Birds in Singapore

Kuala Lumpur stopover

Thai Diving

Singapore Liveaboard

Local Residents

Beijing Summer

Diving with Sharks

Shanghai Heatwave

Taiwan Tourists

An Indian week

Where U bin?

Island hideaway

Steamy running

A Trip to the Zoo

Gardens by the Bay


Singapore walks

Mind the bus

Flower power


Early weeks


Vicky's Blog


on the riverIt's the end of August and friends Fi and Richard are passing through Bangkok on their way back from holiday. I am planning a work trip there and we arrange it so that we overlap. Despite being in Asia for 18 months this is my first trip to the Thai capital. Our plan on Saturday morning is a 15 baht ride up the river to visit the palace and temples. Taxis drop us off in different places and for some reason we end up chartering a rather expensive private river boat! Never mind, the public boats do look very crowded.

getting the hard sellOur next bit of "learning the hard way" is a very friendly chap by the pier who explains that the Grand Palace is closed until lunchtime but he can arrange a tuktuk ride for us to see some of the sights. Gullibly we fall for this and head off to see the big Buddha. Next thing we know we are being dropped at a tailor who wants to sell us suits, dresses and who knows what. Our dear friends play along with this and make a minimal order allowing us to escape gracefully. Next time I will be more sceptical. Be warned readers!

Grand PalaceWe do make it to the Grand Palace and it is suitably spectacular. Huge quantities of gold paint (leaf?) must be applied every year to keep it looking so pristine. It is graduation week in Bangkok and the place is full of students in their gowns having pictures taken. We work our way through the crowds and enjoy a few peaceful moments in the hall of the emerald Buddha before re-emerging into the crowds of Chinese tourists, dressed up to the nines, and taking selfies.

Weekend marketA big feature of our trip is visits to some of the best restaurants in Bangkok but you will have to check out Vicky's blog to read about them. My Sunday starts with a trip to the remarkable weekend market at Chatuchak Park in the north of the city. Here a city of stalls appears every Sunday morning selling everything under the sun. From new outfits for your pet poodle to food, clothing, crafts and general miscellania it is a treasure trove. Our team splits up - junior is hunting for fake Rolexes and RayBans (don't think they will fool anyone) while the rest of the crew is looking for clothes, china, wallets, or just looking. We have to leave at 12 but I would happily have spent several more hours exploring both the stalls and the eccentric locals doing everything from selling coconuts to playing Johnny Cash.

Cycle tourWe are leaving to get to a cycle tour of Bangkok. The trip offers a view of those local areas that you don't usually see as a tourist and it does not disappoint. After starting off along side streets we plunge into a maze of narrow alleys, covered markets and rickety bridges over canals before arriving at a ferry to cross the river.

On the other side we are in a different world. Narrow paths, elevated over the swamp, take us through steamy rainforest with houses on stilts and little villages. Amazing that this is so close to the big city and so different. Falling off the paths would not be fun but our charming guide, Ong, delivers us safely back to Sukhumvit without incident. After this it is off to work for me while Vicky explores more of this fascinating city.

See the slideshow below for more Thai sights...