Tagged: thailand

Chiang Rai, Thailand

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I stayed at Fun-D guesthouse, which was recommended to me by my guesthouse worker in Pai. It’s the nicest place I’ve stayed so far. I’m staying in a 8-bed girls dorm. The rooms and are spacious, and the whole place is clean and modern. It’s a 5 minute walk from the night market and pretty much anywhere else I’d want to go. The hostel also has free high-speed computers and a common TV, first place I’ve had either of those things. And breakfast is included. I thought it was a bit pricey ($9 a day) but now I know why and it is definitely worth it for a few nights.

The first day I had lunch at Ti Amo Cafe on Jetyad road. It was the worst meal I’ve had since I started my trip. Definitely made me even more excited for the night market food later that night. The rest of the day I just relaxed at the hostel, mostly on the internet catching up on errands. I definitely wanted to take full advantage of the hostel amenities while I’m paying for them.

The night market was better than I expected. A huge area designated to food- stalls lined the 2 long sides and tables and chairs filled the interior. On one end was a stage that had performers non-stop- everything from lady boys doing cabaret to regular musicians to Thai female dancers. On the opposite end was the start of the shopping bazaar which continued for a while but wasn’t overwhelming. In the center of the shopping bazaar is another stage with performers. Christmas lights line the streets and for the most part everything is clean and well maintained.

I had a spicy hot pot soup with beef. Think fondue Thai style. I was served raw beef with a basket of cabbage, greens, rice noodles, mint and an egg. The hot pot comes (a clay pot over hot coal filled with broth) and first you crack the egg into the pot. Mix up the egg for about a minute and then add a bit of the meat. Let that sit for a few minutes then add the veggies and noodles, but in parts. The egg mixture will remain in the broth but the rest of the ingredients will last at least 4 rounds. Once a batch is cooked you add it to your little bowl and add mint and hot sauce, then cook again. The meal was delicious! Local Thai’s were indulging on hot pots all around me so I know I made the right decision. The majority of the other expats (and there aren’t many) were eating the fried foods and pad Thai.

After the bazaar I got a Thai massage, and it was the best one I’ve had so far. Then I just went home to watch TV. First time in a month and wanted to take full advantage of paying for the expensive guest house.

The next day I did a full-day all intensive sight-seeing tour. First stop was the White Temple. I had read online that the white represented the Buddha’s purity so I was completely shocked when I saw nothing but skeletons and death all around. The temple is spectacular made of only white materials including glass. There’s nothing in the backdrop so the temple looks surreal against the white clouds. The trees leading up to the temple have deformed eaten heads hanging from them. The facade of the temple is incredibly intricate but it’s the entrance that really stood out. Hundreds of hands are reaching from the ground upwards and lining the pathway are skeleton heads from both humans and animals. But because it’s white it’s less scary and sort of reminds me of A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Next we went to The Black House, which holds dark art. Also not what I expected as I was picturing there to be painted artwork inside. Instead there were alligator skins and skeletons, massive chairs (throne like) with horns, and long wooden tables. Seemed like it was once used for meetings but I doubt that. The grounds to the house are quite large and there are other smaller houses and building around with similar art. In the middle are 3 cages- one with an owl, one with 2 massive snakes, and one with some birds.

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Next we went to Long Neck Karen, the village of long neck women. The women have coils around there neck which doesn’t actually lengthen their neck but rather pushes down their clavicle bone to make the neck appear longer. They do this for looks, to appear more beautiful. They start to get the coils around age 5 and randomly get new ones as they get older. The coils are incredibly heavy (I tried one on) and the women never remove them, unless they must for a medical exam. A few modern girls are starting to take theirs off because they want to attend university and because they want to end the culture of doing it in general.

I didn’t want to see the village at all but since it was part of the tour I did. The whole thing was sad. We saw two different tribes in the same area. The area of the villages we saw was just for tourists, a shopping area. We are forced to walk along a pathway of non-stop stands all selling the exact same thing- scarves, metal bracelets and bells. Each stand has a local woman in traditional garb. As we walked into the first village all the women began placing their traditional hats on (beaded with bells.) These women did not have long necks. They were forced to perform for us in the middle of their square once all the tourists arrived. The woman banged bamboo pipes on the ground while frowning, and an old man played a flute type instrument and hoped from foot to foot. The second it was over they all left with their heads down.

We then continued the path and ended up in Long Neck village. Again just women in their stands in traditional garb, but these women had long necks. They were wearing bright colored leg warmers, shorts, shirts, shoes and head pieces. They too looked sad. I tried to take more candid photos of them but they’re literally there to be taken photos of. Tourism is how they make money. I could see the bruises from the coils on some women- blackness below the neck. I also saw a group of young kids playing, with the younger girls having their first few coils.
I didn’t stay long. I waited for the group outside.

Then we went to Monkey Cave, which was definitely the highlight of my trip. The cave itself isn’t much of a cave, or at least we can’t get in. But all over the ground next to the entrance of the cave are monkeys crawling around. There were a few mama’s and babies. One tiny one wrapped around his moms stomach, and a few older ones following their moms around. One mom was picking something out of her baby’s hair and he was trying to escape but couldn’t. Then there was a monkey with huge balls and another with huge breasts, those two liked to just sit. But the little humans are aggressive. They are running around grabbing purses, skirts, and one tried to grab my camera right out of my hand. I bought a bowl of peanuts to feed them and the second I walked over to buy the peanuts about 10 monkeys followed me. They were all reaching for me and fighting each other to be fed. One of the larger monkeys actually came over and smacked the bowl right out of my hands, the bastard. But nonetheless the monkeys were amazing and adorable. I probably fed all of them. I tried to get a little one to jump on my should but the big guys scared him away.

Under the Monkey Cave is Fish Cave, a body of water under the cave full of large fish. The type you see in tropical resort ponds but much larger.

Last we went to the Golden Triangle. This is where the Mekong River and Ruak River meet, a center point for Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos. We drove up a cliff to be able to see the view, and to see the old decaying temple that resides there.

The Opium fields, and heroin fields, are in this area. I didn’t pay for the Opium museum but saw most of it when they let me go to the bathroom inside. An old sad museum. I wanted to see the real fields but that’s not possibly. Some people say they no longer exist but that’s not true, they’re just too many cops regulating the area that it’s not safe to go nearby. Too bad.

Back to the night bazaar. Mushroom spicy hot pot this time. There was a drunk homeless Thai man sitting next to me. He fell backwards in his seat once, begged another Thai guy for money, and raided a vacated table for leftover beer. A security guard came over and dragged him out of the area, whipping him on the neck while walking. Seemed brutal but I don’t actually think it was.

It’s been a good month Thailand, now off to Laos.

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Pai, Thailand

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I just spent 8 nights in Pai, known as the village of hippies, vegans, hot springs and drugs. The village is north-west of Chiang Mai, approx. 3 hours on a windy road through the mountains in a minivan. It’s mainly 2 roads (3 traffic lights), lined with shops, bars, restaurants and street food vendors. Everyone is hippied out and looks incredibly relaxed. Like a beach town minus the beach.

Most hostels and hotels are located just outside of the village. I’m currently traveling with a friend from Calgary. The hostel I stayed at my first and last two nights is called Common Grounds. It has an outdoor common area with pillows on the ground, tapestry draping from the ceiling, white Christmas lights and plants all around. In the middle of our week there we stayed at SpicyPai Backpackers, which is bungalow style. Multiple dorm bungalows and a few lounge bungalows, with a fire pit outside. The hot springs are located just up the road.

My first night I got a hair wrap (red, taupe and aqua.) Our second night we ate dinner at Mama Falafel, an Israeli restaurant that was recommended by Lonely Planet. The hummus wasn’t real hummus and the service was slow. I definitely won’t be going back there. That night the bar street was packed with people and late night everyone shifted just over the bridge to Don’t Cry- an outdoor bar with 2 fire pits. The next morning we actually found lox and bagels, which was delicious.

The foreign works at out hostel don’t wake up until around noon and then they lounge around the common area all day and night, just like the guests. One worker said that if he writes two emails in one day that he’s done a lot and takes a nap. If he told me that while I was home I would think that’s ridiculous, but here it makes complete since. Our first day we woke up at noon, went out to breakfast, inquired about trekking, had a papaya shake, got a thai massage, had a banana passion fruit shake, and shopped around a bit. The whole day was exhausting. It definitely has to do with the heat but in general the culture in Pai really is hippie.

Even the dogs are hippies. Dressed up in crazy outfits, lounging in guesthouse common areas, bar seats, on top of motorbikes, etc. They’re all adorable.

We moved out of town to SpicyPai on our third day. The hostel is in the middle of mountains and has amazing views. Directly behind our dorms sits the white marble Buddah in the middle of a mountain. It’s about a 20min walk from town but too hot to walk. I hired a motorbike taxi to take me to the hospital one day and up pulled a motorbike with a cage attached to the side. The cage had one bench on the side and a few bars around to hold onto. It was more terrifying than a tuk tuk. I kept feeling like he was going to smash me into something, but luckily I survived.

I made the decision not to rent a motorbike. I’m not comfortable driving one and I know I’ll wind up hurting myself and possibly whoever I hit. Unfortunately having a motorbike is the only good mode of transportation, and apparently in Vietnam and Cambodia too. To get to the hot springs from downtown Pai it costs around 600 baht, versus a motorbike which is 100 baht for the whole day. However, literally every single person I’ve met who rides one has crashed at least once, and many people walking around the town have bandages on their arms and legs. At the hospital I saw about 30 people come in post-crash. One guy broke his arm, another girl scratched up half of her body badly, including her face. This one guy was in a wheel chair and couldn’t stop heavily breathing and crying. And yet even with all these crashes everyone continues to ride, most without helmets.

On our fourth day we rented a taxi for the day with some girls from our hostel- a girl from Queens, an Aussie, and a Brit. We went to the Mae Paeng Waterfall first. I went swimming in the middle part of the fall and had the hardest time getting out because the rocks were too slippery. My other friend from Queens had to drag me out, funniest thing ever. Next we went to the Chinese Village where we ate Chinese food (I had my favorite wonton soup from Guangzhou that I used to eat at the trade show everyday) and we rode a 4 seat wooden Ferris wheel pushed around by two guys. Then we went to the WWII wooden bridge and headed to the Canon for sunset. The canon had a bunch of small pathways which led to farther points to walk on. Beautiful scene although the sunset was pretty unimpressive. The sun disappeared but there was no coloring.

The next day we went to Fluid pool. 60 baht to get into the Western haven. A large pool with a long patch grass down one side. Colorful tweed plastic mats are provided and are spread throughout the grass, everyone overlapping. We went for our friends Bday and seriously enjoyed the decision to go there. Everyone is good looking, the drinks and food are delish and the music is like a quite DJ. We went back again the second day. We closed the pool down on both nights after sunset, and I saw the most amazing sky at the pool on the first night- thick blue and white vertical streaks.

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The next day I left for a white water rafting/ stay overnight at a village/ trekking trip. Our tour guide for all the activities was Jako from Pai Adventures. Jako spoke English almost fluently, which he taught himself from speaking with tourists. He’s 33, has a girlfriend and 2 kids, a boy and a girl. His origin is Tibet, from the Lahu tribe.

The white water rafting was really fun. 6 hours long with about 20 patches of white water. Nothing too crazy but well worth it. Jako kept steering us into rocks to make it more fun. At one point we all jumped out and floated down the river on our backs for about 20 minutes with the current. There was one patch where we got stuck on a rock with a strong current. Three people initially fell and got tumbled along. I fell trying to get us off the rock, and then I fell again when we got stuck on another rock. But my first fall was epic. My Canadian friend tumbled into me and we both fell backwards. My camera panel snapped off when Jake was dragging me back onto the boat but luckily the camera is still working. Along the river we stopped at a waterfall and then at a hot spring. The hot spring was just a small stream of water but it was cool to touch and see- it was at least 110 degrees. The highlight of my day was when we spotted a black monkey swinging from a white bridge. He then jumped onto the bridge and quickly walked off, like a little human.

After rafting we went with Jako back to his village, called Lookaulam. The village has 600 people, 150 families. There’s a general store, a school with a volleyball net, and a rice sifter machine in a shack. That’s it besides the homes. There were 6 of us who stayed that night. Me, my Canadian, 2 boys from Madrid, and 2 girls from Holland. We slept in an empty house that Jako built. Thin mattresses, sleeping bags and mosquito nets. We ate dinner that night on Jako’s porch. Yellow curry chicken with potatoes, and mixed vegetables and wild mountain rice (from his village.) After dinner we bought some of the village local whiskey, which tasted like tequila, and drank and talked with Jako and his male friends all night. Thai girls don’t drink and socialize, they can’t be hungover at work.

It was impossible to sleep. There were a million roosters crowing all through the night, and a few dog fights. Jako says he can’t sleep in the city because of the noise. The village is far worse.

We woke up at 7am to take a walk through the village and then headed to Jako’s house for breakfast. He made us an American breakfast, scrambled eggs with toast, tomatoes, onions and chopped pineapple. It started to downpour while we were eating but luckily the rain stopped just in time for our trek. Unfortunately all the mud was wet when we started so it made the beginning of the trek twice as hard. The first 45 minutes was straight up hill. It was definitely a struggle. Halfway up Jako’s fat sister passes us with a huge basket of water, food and working tools on her back. She was going to work in the rice fields for 4 days. If she can do the climb so can I. We trekked for 5 hours through the jungle. We saw a canon/cave, the tallest corn stalks I’ve ever seen (I’d guess 20 feet,) the rice fields with the locals working, bamboo, a massive spider in it’s web, 2 new puppies who tried to follow us, and much more. I gave myself a war paint face but by the end of the hike I was completely covered in mud, bug spray, sunscreen and sweat.

That night back in Pai Canada and I went back to Almost Famous, our regular spot. Here I met two guys from Bordeaux and had the chance to practice my French a little. From there I went to a reggae bar called Roots, which is located along the river behind town. There was a gymnast and fire performer who performed solo and together. He’s from Cali and she’s from Switzerland and they’re living together in Pai now.

On our last night Canada and I met up with some girls from SpicyPai for drinks at Spirit bar and we finally got to sit in the tree house and drink. From there we met up with the guys that work at our hostel. We drank with them for the rest of the night and listened to live music at a Jamaican bar called Irie.

Had a dragon fruit/ passion fruit shake, and our last breakfast at Om Garden- 5th breakfast there. This time I got a BLT with bacon and a friend egg on top. Yum.

Off to Chiang Rai today.

Bars:
Almost Famous (laid back and only 50 baht for a cocktail, 150 for a bucket). 20 baht deposit to take bucket out of bar
Roots- Jamaican bar along river

Late night bars:
Don’t Cry (just out of town, has fire pits)
Sunset- fire show, Jimmy

Restaurants:
Om Garden – breakfast and lunch
Hemp Healed the World- nighttime veggie lady outside

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Chiang Mai Lantern Festival, Thailand

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After a week of hanging out on the beach it was time to start my real journey. I wanted to be in Chiang Mai for the Lantern Festival so it was time to head up there. At 9:30pm I was picked up by a pick-up truck and taken to the sleeper ferry. The ferry looked like a massive car cargo boat. I was directed into a massive room that had hundreds of bunk-beds and taken to my bed. At 11pm we departed and got to mainland at 5am. A cargo van picked me up and took me to a restaurant where I met more backpackers. We waited here for an hour and were then taken to our bus. The journey was almost 12 hours back to Bangkok. I split a cab from the bus terminal to the train terminal with a girl from Amsterdam and a guy from London. At arrival we found out that every sleeper bed seat was sold out due to the holiday. The only way to get north was to take another bus so we booked tickets for a VIP sleeper bus that night. It was another neon LED light bus. The seats almost completely reclined and it was set-up like an airplane. Blankets over the seats and a hostess wearing a baby blue flight attendant outfit tended to us. We arrived in Chiang Mai at 5am and took a van into the Old City. I then split from the group and wandered towards my guesthouse. I still had 2 hours before it opened but I found an amazing breakfast spot to chill at- eggs, bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes, potatoes with mushrooms, toast, coffee, OJ and a plate of fresh fruits. 120 baht, approx. $4. Expensive for breakfast but completely worth it.

I wasn’t sure how long I was planning to stay in Chiang Mai for but I ended up staying 5 nights. The first day I wandered around the city checking out random temples and going to the US Consulate for more passport pages. The city was already being decorated with lanterns. People on the street were selling the traditional white lanterns and flower candle boats, but the city was decorated with colorful animal lanterns and lights. Early evening I went to Zoe in Yellow to meet people and ended up meeting an American girl at the VW Bus bar next door. A friend from Koh Tao met us there and we all went to the Cabaret show later on. The show was amazing. The ladyboys were beautiful and they somehow magically managed to hide everything. They did traditional cabaret and non-traditional, like Lady Gaga and Brittany Spears. For the final act the main ladyboy stripped down everything- clothing, hair, make-up.

We then walked through the night bazaar. Thousands of stands selling all types of souvenirs, but it’s too early for me to buy anything other than cheap clothes to wear.

The Lantern Festival began the next night. For 3 nights in row there were Beauty Contests, a massive parade through downtown and flower candle boats being released in the river. The lanterns being released were the second and third night. I did one each night. The first night we released them in a park and the second night we went to the big river, the main area for releasing them. Both nights I released them with a huge crowd of Americans, we all randomly found each other. Another girl from the East Village, DC, Miami, San Diego, Colorado, and one Canadian. There were thousands of lanterns in the sky from 7pm-12am. People were constantly releasing them. The final night there was a huge carnival and the streets were packed with people. We walked through the crowds constantly stopped to eat more street food. We all split a bag of bugs and they surprisingly just tasted like sunflower seeds.

Both nights we ended up at the square where Zoe in Yellow is. It’s a square lined with bars and take-out food. Full of backpackers.

One day during the day I did a cooking class. We went to a local market then farm just outside the city and learned to cook 6 dishes. I chose papaya salad, Tom Yum soup, spring rolls, basil chicken, red curry tofu and mango sticky rice. The class was touristy but the food came out delicious. I like Thai Spicy so I was finally able to make all my food exactly how I like it. However, now I know exactly how much oil, sugar and fish sauce the Thai’s cook with which I sort of wish I didn’t know. I tried to make the papaya salad and curry without fish sauce (I used salt instead) and it doesn’t taste nearly as good.

My second to last day a few of us decided to go to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the tallest temple in Chiang Mai. We took a red van up there then walked up to the temple. The stairs were lined with dragons. The temple is plated in gold and sits on top of the peak. Besides the mass crowds the temple is beautiful, plus is felt fantastic to be in nature and out of the city. There was also a great view of the city. The Old City, which is square shaped and surrounded by a moat, is visible from the peak. After walking around we stopped and pick-up street food. I had quail eggs that were delicious and my usual grilled corn. I should have had the corn in a cup though- grilled corn with salt and condensed milk. Delicious.

Lunch spots: Dada Kafe (healthy), Juicy4u (amazing make your own veggie sandwiches)
Dinner: always street food
Bars: Zoe in Yellow, THC (rooftop bar decorated for stoners- Persian rugs, pillows, coffee tables, neon glow-in-the-dark painted walls)

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Finally found non-fried veggies at Juicy4u. Miss my healthy eating

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Koh Tao Diving, Thailand

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After a 3 hour ferry (where one of my sneakers flew off the boat) I was finally on the beach. I stayed at Big Blue Diving, which is in Lonely Planet but also highly recommended. The hostel is right on the beach in the center of everything, and the dorm beds are free every night you dive. Koh Tao is a small island with a few major beaches. I only stayed on and saw Sairee beach. The town was about 5 blocks by 2 blocks, lined with restaurants, bars and dive shops. The scene is all about diving, and then partying. However I found it hard to do both. My favorite day I did 5 dives, 2 tanks at 7am, 2 tanks at 1pm and 1 tank at 7pm. I didn’t think I’d enjoy diving that much but I absolutely loved it. Everyone at the hostel is there to dive and I almost felt like I was missing out if I didn’t do a dive. Everyone (including instructors) is in their 20s and 30s. Our hostel had a beach bar and restaurant, which was a scene everyday post the night dive. I met many people from all over the world but I found that it’s predominately German and British tourists.

My first day I relaxed but then it was time for diving. I started my Advanced Course my second day with Luke. The course was 2 days, 5 dives. Navigation dive (I learned how to use a compass and dive computer), Buoyancy dive (we practiced going through hoops in an underwater playground), Night dive, Deep dive (we cracked and played handball with egg yolks), and Wreck dive (a US ship donated from the war.) The night dive was really fun. I’ve always had a fear of night diving but it wasn’t bad at all. We each had our own flashlight, which allowed me to really see the colors of all the coral. Fish were sleeping everywhere and all the sealife seemed calm. We saw a massive turtle sleeping in a cave and after some banging we managed to wake it up. It came out and swam all around us and above us before returning to the cave.

It’s dirt cheap compared to the Caribbean. My Advanced course cost $250 total (5 dives, equipment, lodging.) I ususally pay almost that much for 1 dive back home. After finishing my Advanced course I decided to do my Rescue course for the hell of it. The course took 3 days- 1 day of First Aid (I’m now certified to do CPR), 1 day of practice and learning to rescue, and 1 day of real life sceniaros. I was the only one in my course and it was really hard but fun. The second we got on the boat each afternoon it was game time. I had an instructor (Scotty from Australia) and two volunteer dive masters who were all pretending to be in trouble. Drowning, dead, jelly fish sting, etc. I was constantly jumping off the boat and running around looking for floating devices. For my final dive I had to find my volunteers who were lost in the sea (my divemaster lost his buddy.) Asking him a million questions about their dive plan, and using my compass, I found the lost divers.

As entertaining as the course was I hope I never have to use any skills I learned. But the great thing is that I now feel a lot more comfortable to dive alone with one other diver, without a leader.

I took a yoga class in a large hut one morning. Serene. Before I went out on my last dive there were 4 tornados over the ocean. I had never seen a tornado before and it was incredible. All the locals even came out to watch.

Watermelon shake (watermelon blended with ice) Best Thing Ever

I am not doing well with Mosquitos over here. I am completely bitten alive all over my entire body. I have about 20 bites on my feet that got infected and I am now on antibiotics. All of my bites are blistering and don’t seem to want to go away. I’ve purchased the heavy duty bug spray, non-fragrant soap and eat garlic cloves everyday but nothing is working. I’ve never had this reaction before and I now know it’s a different type of mosquito here. Honestly I’m at a loss as to what else to do but I’m going nuts like this. I can’t even get massages because I can’t be touched.

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Bangkok, Thailand

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After a second long flight I finally made it to Bangkok. Upon arrival I discovered that my Thai Visa took the last page of my passport, guess I need to make a trip to the US Consulate. I took the Sky train downtown and met a local Thai woman who directed me to the cab area that isn’t for tourists with the hope I wouldn’t get cheated. I did. I made him turn on the meter and somehow I still got tricked. I paid 636 baht for a 10min ride that would have cost 20 baht or less. As much as I wanted to fight it it was 7am and after 36 hours of travel I didn’t have the energy. I went to the ATM, paid the cabbie and headed to Khao San Road. I stayed at Rest Inn Dormitory which my brother recommended, and ate breakfast everyday at Nap Park. Mixed Asian fruits with yogurt and musilli. I was in Bangkok for 4 days. I saw the Reclining Buddah (Wat Pho) with some Swedish guys from my hostel, and on my second night met 2 German’s who I then hung out with for the next 2 days. We went to the Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), ate lunch in Chinatown, went to the fancy district, drank in a beer garden, wandered through a residential neighborhood, ate scorpians, ate lots of street food, drank multiple beer towers, took many tuk tuks, rode the subway and frequently enjoyed our friend Leo (a local Thai beer.)

I wasn’t a huge fan of Bangkok but it might have been the fact that I went there directly from New York. The streets are crowded, the traffic is nuts and most people don’t know a word of English. It reminded me a lot of Guanzhou, China. I know I’ll have to go back eventually to catch a flight and maybe i’ll like it more coming from the countryside.

I booked my transportation to Koh Tao with my hostel. A few other people from my hostel were heading that way too, and so were my new German friends. We were waiting for the bus at the hostel when a Thai man on a motorcycle came. Apparently my transportation to the bus was different and I had to get on the back of the motorcycle with all my stuff. After about 2 minutes of resisting I climbed on board and took the craziest ride of my life. I was dropped off in the middle of the street next to the bus but no one was there. After about 10 minutes 2 backpackers showed up, then a few more, then a fruit stand at the bus driver. I bought a bag of mangoes and boarded the neon purple bus. Next stop we picked up my German friends and then we were off. The ride was 8 hours with a 1 hour stop around 2am. At 6am we were all dropped off in the middle of the street again in the middle of no where. We were in front of a strip mall but everything was closed. After about
45 minutes a cargo van picked us up (about 10 of us now) and drove us to the ferry dock. We had 2 hours until the ferry so we all bought beers at the store and drank on picnic benches while we watched the sunrise.

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