Thailand 2016 Pt IV: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

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Despite having visited Bangkok three times before this trip I had still never visited any of the floating markets lying within an hour or two of the capital city. These markets have always looked so cool when I’ve seen wonderful pictures of them in magazines or clips on TV and, even though I knew the images of all the boat vendors selling a variety of goods  were probably a bit dated, I was still keen to see the Continue reading

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Thailand 2016 Pt III: The Leicester City Temple!

Ever since it appeared in a number of media outlets in early May, I have wanted to visit Wat Traimit to see if lived up to the hype of being a venerated site for us Leicester City fans. I didn’t really expect to see it so soon but being in Bangkok for Japan’s World Cup qualifier against Thailand gave me the opportunity.

The temple’s chief monk Phra Prommangkalachan, revered by the club’s Thai owners, had blessed the team and as the Foxes closed in on the Premier League crown the world’s media was searching high and low for just about any story connected to the team that were 5000-1 outsiders at the start of the season.

As part of their promotional tour on May 18-19, the squad received a royal seal of approval at the Grand Palace followed by an open-top bus ride through the centre of Bangkok and they also visited this temple in Chinatown which houses the largest golden Buddha image in the world.

A collage of my pics mixed in with the media reports and photos from when the club visited the temple

A collage of my pics mixed in with the media reports and photos from when the club visited the temple

In the wake of Leicester claiming the top prize in English football last season, I Continue reading

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Thailand 2016 Pt II: Dining Out In Bangkok

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My taste for international food has certainly changed a lot since my initial trip to Bangkok in 2001 when I didn’t really eat any local food. The day after we got engaged in Myanmar in 2013, we arrived in Bangkok and loved sampling many of the Thai delights and were keen to do likewise on this trip. Whilst it didn’t have quite the same impact this time (as it wasn’t so new to us) that’s not to say there weren’t some noteworthy meals.

Following our budget airline flight (Scoot Airways) with no meals we were absolutely starving by the time we met up with Mr J-Soccer Magazine that night. We ended up in the Nana district and got the ball rolling with some Continue reading

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Thailand 2016 Pt I: World Cup Qualifying Game For Japan In Bangkok

The road to Russia for World Cup 2018 has begun and Japan kicked off their AFC Qualifying round 3 Group B campaign with a couple of games recently. Following a shock, controversial home defeat to the UAE they then travelled to Bangkok to take on Thailand and Tokyo Fox was lucky to be in attendance too.

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Having originally assumed the match was taking place at the centrally located National Stadium but I was informed a few days prior to the game that it was actually at the far less convenient Rajamangala Stadium which is not easy to get to and from as we would later find out! From Ramkhamhaeng station on the airport rail link, we hopped on the back of a motorbike and sped along the roads weaving in and out of the capital city’s congested traffic for about 15 minutes. It was one of the highlights of this trip and I felt like I was in some kind of movie chase scene!

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For a long time now I have really wanted to Continue reading

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Hiroshima 2016 Pt II: Hijiyama Park & Lazy Days Aplenty!

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In the wake of three very long and busy days in the vicinity of Okayama, most of my time in Hiroshima was just spent chilling at home with the family and watching the Olympics. Rock climbing at Mount Mikura-dake was undoubtedly the main event from my time there but there were a few other fairly notable little excursions from the sofa. One of them was Continue reading

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Hiroshima 2016 Pt I: Rock Climbing At Mount Mikura-dake

Much of Hiroshima prefecture consists of mountains leading towards bordering Shimane prefecture which is welcome news for my father-in-law and I as we both enjoy mountain climbing and so gives us an interest which we can share together. After just one rest day following my sole venture in Okayama, the activities began again as went to do some rock climbing at Mount Mikura-dake.

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This mountain is located in Ōtake city and what I love about it is that it is clearly visible from the bottom and is actually something very beautiful to look at thanks to the sacred mountain of granite protruding from the forested area surrounding it.

At only 702 metres I wasn’t expecting too much Continue reading

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Omishima – The Wolverine Filming Locations

Even before ‘The Wolverine‘ (2013) was released, I was tracking down some of the locations based solely on the trailer. Then, in 2014 I cycled the Wolverine trail of Tokyo and last year I went to Fukuyama and Tomonoura in Hiroshima-ken which filled in for “Nagasaki” as did another island some 65 km further west.

Scenes in Tomonoura are blended in with Omishima island in Ehime prefecture and for a while now I have had my heart set on visiting this Seto Island Sea location to complete my mission of having been to all the locales used in the sixth X-Men film. I hoped to do it last Christmas but it wasn’t to be. No messing this time though, and following a couple of days in Okayama, I took a bus from Fukuyama to Omishima (below) where I rented a bicycle to get round the island.

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Omishima is actually just south of Okunoshima a.k.a. Rabbit Island and first appears Continue reading

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