A spot of travel plotting and planning, savouring some eclectic live music, and chilled beers in a wooden shack.

Day 158: Bangkok, Thailand. We woke to another cool and cloudy day – perfect for sitting on the balcony to plough through some travel planning.

Yesterday we spotted a t-shirt that said “I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way”. Perhaps we should have bought two.

While we have a very outline plan – largely a list of countries that we’d like to visit at some point, and a rough idea of which months are best weather-wise – our itinerary is pretty fluid. In Thailand, we know we want to head up north and do some trekking around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, but how we get there, where we stay and what we do along the way is totally open.

Travel planning takes up an inordinate amount of time, but thankfully Lil loves doing it and spent many happy hours today, fueled by endless cups of coffee, researching different sights and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and formulating an outline plan for the next couple of weeks.

There’s no shortage of national parks in Thailand – over 100 in total – however not all of them are doable. Some are too difficult to access without a car, some have restricted numbers of visitors and require bookings weeks or sometimes months in advance, and others require camping out which we’re not equipped to do.

While Lil was doing her research and Jim was catching up with news and Reddit and technology blogs, we could hear a band warming up in a nearby art gallery as part of the Bangkok Music City Festival, a music showcase taking place across a number of venues today and tomorrow. We’re feeling a little starved of live music, so it was fun to be able to listen to some eclectic music drifting through the lane ways.

With plans sorted and accommodation booked for the next couple of days, we headed out late afternoon to visit Jack’s Bar, a small laid-back shack by the Chao Phraya river with rickety wooden benches and tables, fabulous views and some great people watching. It’s a perfect place to while away a few hours over a few icy cold beers, which is exactly what we did.

On the way home we had dinner at a small eatery – more noodles, rice porridge and crispy pork with kale (but thankfully no rat) – then stopped to check out another of the Bangkok Music City venues, where a very loud rock band was giving it all they’ve got.

Then a last coffee on the balcony, while listening to the last music set emanating from the nearby art gallery.

Tomorrow we catch a train to Pak Chong, to visit Khao Yai National Park. We’ve booked a day long ‘jungle tour’ on Monday which includes trekking and wildlife spotting. Lil’s hoping for elephants, Jim’s hoping for snakes.

More tomorrow.

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