All the fun of getting around
The renovated railway line in Awakeri near Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand is a delight. Drive yourself (with up to three friends) on a modified golf buggy along about 16Km of track; watch the world go by, feed the fowl, walk in native bush and hear tall stories of wild animal attacks with your friendly Kiwi railway line renovators and tour guides.
Check it out and book here: Awakeri Railway or call 0800 537 4724 if in New Zealand
I was not in the mood for a flashy video but a more chilled overview of the trip can be seen in the video along with photos below:
Thailand has some terrible road accident statistics and add to that the increased danger of riding a motorbike and I have been lucky to survive almost ten years without an incident on my bike (or car). Having got a scooter about a year ago and riding much more in Bangkok I foolishly begin to scale back on wearing riding gear that I religiously wear on my BMW for long trips. More convenience and cooler but at what cost?
Yesterday I discovered the cost of not wearing a jacket and was a wake up call to the dangers of Bangkok city traffic.
At the major intersection between Bang-Na Trad and Sukhumvit road I was going to turn right. Having been at that intersection a lot I have seen many times people running red lights. I never shoot off from lights and always wait for green but this time I was first across the intersection on green. It is large intersection and when almost at the middle a car flashed into view from my left. It was all a blur from then but what I pieced together happened (as I don’t fully remember) is hitting the brakes and losing the front wheel, missing the car but sliding along on my arms.
The driver in an all too familiar Thai tradition did not stop. I could see the car (a red Suzuki Swift I think) down the road and stopped with traffic. I leapt up full of adrenaline picked up the Vespa and headed to the police box. The policeman although initially concerned did not really react so I decided to go off to find the driver. Although by that time I had lost sight of the car. It was probably best I not catch up as this could be a whole different story.
I was then in two minds, do I work my way back to the police box and engage in what would be a difficult Basil Fawlty and Manuel, chicken and duck, Thai/English discussion or just let it be and get mended. With the adrenaline fading and the pain rising getting fixed up won so I headed to the Samitivej clinic on Soi La Salle which is close to my office. The large Samitivej hospitals I find impersonal and money grabbing but this little local clinic is excellent with caring personal staff.
So I live another day, lucky to be alive and a bit wiser. Always wear a jacket when on two wheels and never be the first away from a Bangkok intersection. Second is best!
I still love, like the little kid I am, riding on the top deck of the trams in Hong Kong!
At only HK$2.30 (30 cents) it represents the cheapest and one of the best ways to take in the vibe of Hong Kong life.
I notice there is a growing number of new trams but thankfully they have retained most of the charm of the originals.
Now new and improved with motorbike taxi footage!
Riding the BTS (Skytrain) to my little office down Soi Lasalle @ BTS Bearing. Must do a longer version in downtown.
Music thanks to Caro Emerald and Riviera Life
Shot: PowerShot N and edited in iMovie on iPhone 5
Bangkok by the Chaopraya feels like a different city to my home area. Must come here more often.
Shot: Canon PowerShot N
Just a little iPhone movie of getting around in Hong Kong last week.
Shot: iPhone 5 and iMovie
Canon 5D Mk II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
A couple of interesting taxi trips in last two days. Firstly the knife wielding song taew driver and today on returning from dropping my daughter at school and near the skytrain station my driver asks me a series of questions in Thai. Firstly I am little surprised that I understand what he is asking as my Thai is pretty poor (shame on me after seven years here!)
Exchange goes as follows (translated by me!):
Taxi: You like Ladyboy?