Canal in Bangkok, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Bangkok, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure!

Saturday, December 2, 2023

First day in Bangkok

We figured we'd take it easy on our first day, but of course in true Kevin and Ruth style, we still walked our feet off! 

First on the agenda was to find a local SIM card for the phone. There are three major cellular networks in Thailand, but the AIS network is supposed to be the best. I did some research, and they have a corporate outlet in the big Fashion Island Shopping Mall which isn't far from our apartment. 

November Expenses... right on target!

When we make up our budget for the following month, it's obviously just a guess. And we are usually above budget because 1), there are so many variables, and 2), we always purposely guess a bit low to give ourselves a goal to keep expenses in line. 

So at the end of October, I posted that "we have a budget of about $2,900 CAD ($2,088 USD) for the month of November"... and we ended up spending exactly $2,922 CAD (2,165 USD) in total. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Welcome to Thailand, country #66

Last you heard from us, we were in New Delhi airport waiting for our flight to Bangkok.

That flight went much better than the one from Almaty to New Delhi. We both managed to snooze on and off, and we arrived right on time at 4:10pm despite departing almost a half an hour late from New Delhi. Got through immigration quickly, and then waited for our bags.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

That was a LONG day...

Writing this at 8:30am Friday morning local time at New Delhi airport. Yes, it was a LONG day and we're only half way there!

Our flight from Almaty wasn't scheduled to leave until 2:40am.... stupid o'clock. But, that's what you get when you only spend $222 USD ($301 CAD) for the IndiGo Airlines one way flight each from Almaty to Bangkok, connecting in New Delhi.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

And, we're off to Bangkok!

Our original plan was to go up to the big Shymbulak Ski Resort yesterday. Not to go skiing, although we would have liked to but it's still too early in the season. We just figured we'd go up and do some more hiking, and just enjoy the views. Apparently the lifts are open, even though there is no skiing yet. 

But we were both feeling a little bit stiff and tired!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A nice day up in the mountains of Kazakhstan

Yesterday morning, we took a taxi up into the mountains. Our goal was to get to Big Almaty Lake, but there was a lot of conflicting information online about whether or not the road was open, and we didn't know how much snow was going to be up there.

When you use the Yandex taxi app, it's very similar to Uber... when a driver is assigned to you, you can see the rating of the driver. This one was fairly low, but I didn't think anything of it at the time.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Not often we splurge on a meal out

There is a big indoor market here in Almaty that is supposed to be quite something. So we walked over there yesterday morning to check it out, and were disappointed to find it was closed. Not sure whether this was a one time thing, or perhaps it's closed every Monday which is entirely possible. Maybe we'll try again on Thursday before we leave.

However, there were some food stalls open, so we decided to take advantage of that. One place was serving the popular local dish plov, and it looked really good.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Too bad about the smog!

Almaty would be a really nice city except for one thing... the smog is horrible. You don't really notice it when you're just out wandering around the city itself, but when you get to a higher viewpoint you can really see how bad it is.

Yesterday we hiked up to Kok Tobe, which is the top of the closest hill overlooking the city. There is a cable car that goes up there as well, but we thought it was too much money, plus we wanted some exercise.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

It was good enough, but we wouldn't return

It took us until noon to get it together yesterday! That's what happens when we stay out late. But it was worth it, and we had fun! Besides which, it's fairly chilly overnight and the sun doesn't really come up until after 8:00am and then it takes a few hours to warm up a bit. 

Of course we'll be warming up soon enough!

Well, that was a fun day!

We relaxed in the apartment for the morning, then set off around noon and headed for the central area of Almaty to see some of the sights. And to get a local Kazakhstan SIM card for the phone.

Almaty is a fairly big, modern city, with a population of about two million.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Welcome to Kazakhstan... Country #65 for us!

We were up at 6:00am Thursday morning. I had read that the bus to Almaty left at 8:00am, and every two hours after that. So the plan was to arrive at the bus station around 7:00, and hope to able to get on the 8:00am bus. And if not, we would have to hang around the bus station for the 10:00am bus.

We ordered a Yandex taxi at 6:30am. It was pouring rain outside.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Out for a hike in beautiful Ala-Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan

We are so lucky that November has been warmer than normal here in Kyrgyzstan. Apparently last year at this time the trails were already snowed in. 

So we took advantage of the opportunity and went for a hike in the mountains. Originally, we were going to get dropped off at the first entrance gate to the park, but our taxi driver talked us into going further.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Great day with beautiful views of the mountains!

The reason we chose this hostel located on the southern outskirts of the city of Bishkek is because the mountainous Ala-Archa National Park is also located south of the city. And there are some nice walks you can do right from the hostel itself.

So yesterday, we packed some snacks and took off into the foothills...

A little bit of Bishkek

We've only got three days here in Bishkek. And while we're not here for the city itself, we figured we had better use one of those days to see some of it.

Our hostel is located about 8 kms (5 miles) south of the city center. We purposely chose this location so that we could be closer to the mountains, which are also south of the city.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Flight to the big city of Bishkek

Yes, another city. We aren't really doing Kyrgyzstan the justice that it deserves, however we're hoping to make up for that somewhat here in Bishkek. 

Yesterday evening, we flew from Osh to Bishkek. We would have preferred to do the drive, while stopping at several places along the way for a day or two here and there, but it's a 12 hour drive through the mountains and many accommodation places are closed up there for the season. We're simply not here at the right time of year to explore the scenery the way we want to.