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Travelers in Thailand

  • Ruby van der Peijl
    Last stop Bangkok 11h
    Traveled in 6 countries
  • Di Ana
    bangkok 15h
    Traveled in 2 countries
  • Kitty
    Tag Zweiundzwanzig 1d
    Joined August 2016
  • DorisAlex
    Abendessen auf der Konferenz 20h
    Traveled in 3 countries

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  • Yesterday morning we woke up at 5:30 to prepare for a 6am pickup. A 3 hour bus 1 hour ferry ride to Koh Samui which was relatively pleasant. Our tummies grew more nauseous though and we both had some really wicked Gravol induced naps half watching the scorching sun rise in the sky over the lush scenery of banana and rubber trees. The sun was in full effect and the thin atmosphere here burns my opaque Caucasian skin very very easily. Typically for this time of year my body goes into fall winter mode which means it sheds any ounce of melanin leaving me ghostly white. Dad would be shaking his finger at me to reapply sunscreen more times than none. Beth's really good about reminding me and even she has to re apply frequently. We negotiated a 25 min taxi ride across the island for about 500$ baht (expensive). But the driver couldn't find our hostel so we tipped him because we felt bad. Our spot is on the outskirts of a dense bar/commercial couple of streets leading up to Lamai beach access. We found a great coffee shop in which we later came back and got a banana split for dessert and during that time ordered a scooter by delivery online to our hostel. 20 minutes later they delivered a beaten up "new" Honda PCX 150 cc with 2 helmets for maximum safety.

    This morning was nice and slow as we hopped on the scooter for a 30min ride to Namuang waterfall 2. It's supposed to be the biggest waterfall in the area (80m) and quite a sight. Unfortunately it was not so special. They have fully capitalized the natural attraction by adding ATVing, elephant riding, shooting range and some other things that we have no interest in. It was a nice hike up to the waterfall and I feel like I am getting accustomed to the humidity. The trick is to learn how to live in the "swamp" called your clothes. Profusely sweating, even Beth, who rarely sweats a bead, was soured like a wet cat in a bath. I made fun of her as such. After stopping for a refreshing fruit smoothie and some spring rolls we headed to the local cultural and fine arts centre on the island. It's a pretty amazing story of a local who's building a collection of historical statues and figures and arranged them accordingly on his property in a vast array of temples and other structures. All gods/religions were represented as the message behind them all are very similar. All are tools to generate compassion, love and good will towards others wishing long healthy prosperous lives. Truly it was a calming experience that reassured me that regardless of the vicissitudes of life that everything will be okay as nothing is permanent. The impermanence of life flows like a river and it is only the grasping of things/ideas/beliefs that determine the island of "stuff" we surround ourselves with and create. In this one particular inspiring statue of Buddha(last pic) he had his neck recemented as it was chopped off. Had lost an arm on one side and a full hand on the other. He had a scar on his face over his eyebrow too, and yet he too could smile through it all in a relentlessly undisturbed manner. Such a deep lesson in life to really smile through it all and seek laughter. Except of course for being a creature of comfort because Beth and I always have gone back to the same restaurant and coffee shops along the way as we go. Even in the massive sea of options while travelling we fall into our "routines."
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  • We just arrived a few hours ago. The hotel is pretty nice. Things definitely have more of a "tourist" price tag here. We are planning on heading to koh nang yuan island tomorrow for the day. Google it. It looks super beautiful! So we will spend the day there. Our last few beach days we are going to splurge on a more deluxe resort. There are some truly beautiful ones here. Diving looks like it may not be great. It's super windy today and looks like the same for tomorrow. We learned that wind doesn't make for good visibility. So snorkelling it will be.Read more

  • We've arrived at the beach! Man it takes all day to get anywhere around here. We left our hotel in Chiang Mai at 8am and arrived at this hotel (Lamai Wanta) at 830pm. Makes sense when you consider we took a taxi, a plane to Bangkok where we had to get and recheck our luggage, plane to Surat Thani, bus to the dock, ferry to koh samui and then mini bus to the hotel. Sheesh! We grabbed some dinner and are chilling on our deck having a Chang beer. This hotel seems lovely in the dark. We will see what the beach looks like tomorrow. We splurged a bit on this hotel as we figure we won't really be spending money lying on the beach reading.

    Oh and that blue sign means "no durians" not "no Grenades". We've seen similar signs everywhere due to their offensive smell. We have tried them. It's weird but not terrible. Xoxo
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  • 4 days ago we left Koh Samui via ferry,bus,flight,taxi and arrived in Ayutthaya, 1 hour drive north of Bangkok. In the 15th century, King U-Thong fled Lopburi following a smallpox epidemic, and built Ayutthaya, a new capital which then extended into most of the modern day Thailand. For many centuries it served as an international centre of commencement, art, and politics with a population of about one million people by the end of the 16th century. By mid 17 century the Burmese invaded the kingdom and devastated the city. It was only today we have ventured outside to see any of the various temples and ruins as we have been run down with colds. Runny nose, light headed, grumpy(me), one ear plugged, headachy and sleep deprived. All of the intense travelling and constant moving has left us energetically depleted and left us wiping snot on everything we can touch. We took 3 days of doing as little as possible to embark on this sabbatical and recover in our nice little hotel room with the AC jacked up high. Fortunately the wifi here is solid and we have watched at least 7 movies on Netflix so it hasn't been a complete waste of time. Feeling better today: not having my nose act like a constant runny tap is nice, so we went to visit some of the wats. Flocks of other tourists everywhere and scorching sun made it a quick mission as we putted along on our scooter to about 4 or 5 places. Hundreds of dragonflies swarmed the fields of these old ruins and I like to think they were the old souls that used to live here. Being around these sacred structures build hundreds of years ago, torn by war and a flood that hit in 2011 brings me into a state of gratitude, peace....and completely drenched in sweat!Read more

  • We had a great scooter ride to Mae Chaeng which is a long 160km from Chaing Mai. We got caught in some crazy rains and got soaked and cold. There is a summit here which is the highest point in Thailand. We didnt go today because the clouds likely meant no view. However, 5-10 minutes after making that decision blue skies appeared! Oh well, we went to see some magnificent waterfalls in some very dense jungle. The drive to Mae chaem rivalled that of Sapa. It was absolutely stunning! So we are looking forward to driving it twice tomorrow - once to the peak then back to where we are to go another way back along the loop to Chiang mai. Fortunately we can see the peak from our jungle resort so if it's crappy tomorrow we won't waste the time.Read more

  • Yesterday our 1 hour boat ride from koh mak was assaulted by wind and heavy rain that shredded through the small vents in the top of our boat which resulted in us getting absolutely soaked to the bone. Luckily our bags were nicely tucked away and remained dry. Once in Bangkok massive thunder and lighting shook the terminal with a torrential down pour that I've never seen before in my life. Boarding for our flight was delayed at least 2 hours and we sat on the apron in a huge line all waiting to take off into thick fog filled with lightning and turbulence. Upon takeoff the captain quickly climbed through the madness to 30 something thousand feet only to quickly descend as our flight was only about an hour long to Krabi. We tried to budget a little cheaper this next place we stayed in Krabi but we went too far off the deep end. A rather dismal, large tiled floor room with art from 1970s with a terribly loud squeaking queen bed, a not so friendly owner, shared bathroom with mystery light switches everywhere. This morning Beth was quick to rise as her neck and shoulders were so sore that it was less comfortable to just get up and out of bed. We spent the morning in a nice coffee shop around the corner plotting our time here and decided to go to the Tiger Cave Temple. We set off shortly after riding on individual taxi scooters manned by friendly locals for 100 baht each. 4$ cad. Traffic here is organized chaos for sure but nobody excessively speeds and only use the horn to let people know that they are getting close to you for awareness. Rather than back home I honk at people for being idiots all the time. Not because I get road rage but because people are idiots and don't know how to drive there.
    It was a basic (wat)temple at the entrance with lots of shops selling fruit shakes and souvenirs etc. Monkeys running around everywhere and of course lots of dogs with the occasional cat sprawled out in a unimpressed apathetic manner. The slog to the real temple involves 1237 steps straight up a small mountain. Now that doesn't sound like a lot but doing in 30 degrees Celsius and 80% humidity might make you sweat and suffer tremendously or in my case, a lot! Needless to say there weren't many local Thais doing the hike, rather they took pictures of the sign at the bottom and probably made fun of us. Mostly foreigners with an agenda for bragging rights and a drive for the next epic picture thrusted themselves along with us up this cruel endeavour. There were painted numbers along the staircases indicating how many steps you have accomplished and served as a constant reminder that you are terribly out of shape. As we broached the top it was all made worthwhile as there was a beautiful mezzanine encompassing 360 degree panoramics with free wifi! A massive 5 story golden Buddha and some other small shrines all symbolizing different aspects of Buddhism. The temple sat on a larger size mountain in the area and gave an inspiring view of the landscape. We befriended some Irish sods, gave a donation, paid respects and carried on down. Legs shaking and wobbling reached the bottom and quickly swallowed some mango/dragon fruit shakes. Made our way back to the shitty hostel where all of our stuff was for a regroup session involving long periods of standing/lying in front of our air conditioner. Once recovered set out for some food, coffee and a Thai massage. We got a 90 min Thai massage for 400$ baht each. Wow! That's like 15$ Cad and knowing what I know about biomechanics these poor women need a massage after they treated us. So we tipped well....We then headed over to the Krabi Town night market which was epic. All delicious street vendor food and trinkets of all kinds. I got some chicken and Beth got some coconut ice cream for dinner. Our next plan is to head over to Ao Nang which is not too far away and go check out the beach.
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  • Yesterday we departed Krabi Town via 20 min taxi ride into our next place of residence in Ao Nang. The quickest way to hail a taxi is walk around with giant backpacks on your front and backside, that paints a giant target labelled "potential sucker." The locals understand how much it sucks to lug around 70 pounds of dead weight so when they see it they come running or in this case driving. We have been booking our hostel/hotels online the night or two before and then rocking up to them the following day only going on reviews and photos so it's been a rainbow of truth depending on the establishment as far as what is promised. That extra 1 or 200 (4-8$ cad)baht can really go the extra mile. Once checking in we took the free shuttle down to the strip at Ao Nang Beach. A Mecca of tourist services. Vendors were standing outside their stores and hailing you to come for a Thai massage or eat at their restaurant, some quite aggressive as you walk down the street. The haphazard order entailed 7/11, Thai massage, restaurant, bank, restaurant, tour shop, bank, Thai get the point. Banks truly do run the world is the point here. Part of me feels guilty when seeing such a disparity and inequality of wealth. I mean some of these locals are poor as shit but they are selling you a tour package for 100$ cad each. Most tourists here show up and make little effort to assimilate the language and culture. And because they have money and are "rich" they treat locals with an entitlement and can come across as quite ignorant. They leave a bad review online or sneer at them because they don't know English. Anyways, sorry I digress. As I was saying we walked into a Starbucks as we have been missing our soy milk lattes. So we order 2 of them, a cookie and a brownie. Somehow it cost more than the taxi ride(500 baht = 20$ cad) we had taken hours earlier! Well, it's those things we do for love that are priceless, I guess, right? We went for a nice stroll down the beach and just like every other day enjoyed a deep life talk fuelled by caffeine and sugar. We bought a couple of shirts each and found a cozy nature filled restaurant to eat. Literally the walls were alive in this place, open air concept with plants and ferns everywhere. 4 Chinese girls sitting beside us all had selfie sticks out and were taking turns photographing each other for a good 10 minutes. We had a chuckle with the server about it and carried on.
    Today we endeavoured in the tourist trap know as Ko Phi Phi. Neck jerking, disc compressing, back snapping boat ride filled with 30 or so Hong Kongers all wearing elaborate funny weird outfits. I try to practice non judgement in life but I couldn't help but chuckle a little and shake my head. We went snorkelling and bonded with some monkeys along the way, then checked out a couple of beaches. Bethany did quite well snorkelling for her first time and quickly gained confidence as it is really just flopping around face down in water. My GoPro paid for itself already with the footage I got...see for yourself :).
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  • We arrived at our new digs for the next 2 nights. The full moon party is cancelled due to the Kings death. We think this is a good thing because apparently this party is really insane with literally thousands of people coming from other islands and other parts of koh pangnan. Were thinking it will be much more toned down without the loud sound stages and presumably less people.
    We had a great time diving. What a feeling! We loved our five instructor. His name was "Nischi" (I think) and he had the best hair I've ever seen. Also he was just a nice guy who has a passion for nature and lives a simple life. He was an excellent instructor and really wanted us to understand what we were doing and why so that we could be relaxed and confident under the water. We didn't have the best luck with the conditions. The visibility wasnt great at all. We went to sail rock for our last day of diving which usually has good visibility but of course the currents changed direction of the day that we went. It was still amazing and I really want to go again at some point. It was a great feeling to feel weightless and to be surrounded by animals! Swimming through schools of fish etc.
    Yesterday we just spent relaxing and did a bit of snorkelling. The bay where we were staying was famous for snorkelling. Tons of fish around he corals.
    Hope you are all well :)
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  • 2 days ago We sprung for a luxurious bus trip to Chiang Mai from Ayutthaya, equipped with our own attendant fussing over us giving us a myriad of endless sugar engulfed snacks and drinks (included). Well worth it too as it took over 9 begrudging hours. So that day was a complete write off. We checked into a nice hotel outside the old city gate and the next day pampered ourselves by going to a spa then renting a scooter. Beth got a better therapist than me as mine was quite apathetic which was unfortunate. Everyone assumes she is Thai here and speaks to her directly in their native tongue. The city here is quite buzzing and has a great vibe, although the traffic is mad! Cars relatively maintain car rules for the most part but if you're on a scooter, anything goes. People are lane splitting and zig zagging everywhere like crazy and they aren't shoulder checking at all so we decided to limit our riding to some degree. We found an epic open air gym to drop in at for 2.50$ each and have settled in for the week at our place as our week long Thai Massage School starts on Monday. Today we ventured into the jungle and visited an elephant family and group of mahouts that take care of them. These elephants and mahouts have been living together for 3 generations so there are only verbal commands given with no harsh pick axe used as disciplinary measures. We fed them, went for a ride on them, took a bath with them in a river and gave them a little scrub too with a brush. Massive animals with such kind eyes and snouts. Had an amazing experience holding space with such a creature standing over you. And there you are holding a banana like an idiot with a smile.Read more

  • Well mom, have to say our faces were NOT smiling the day after my previous post (Thursday...2 days ago). We both got SO sick oh so sick. Definitely from the last meal that we had in Vietnam which was super sketchy and we really shouldn't have eaten. But we were brought to the place by our new Vietnamese friend. And being true Canadians - we opted to poison ourselves rather than be impolite. So Thursday we had to switch hotels as our first place was loud with a really uncomfortable bed. Switching was difficult as we needed to be close to a bathroom at all times. Mikk had to vomit outside once during transfer. We watching movies all day with the blinds closed. But we saved some money!!! Didnt eat or do anything for 48 hours! Yesterday we spent at a pool chilling out recovering then went to see some Thai boxing - which was really cool. And today we are feeling pretty much normal. We rented scooters for the week and went on a loop around Chiang Mai through some beautiful jungles (sorry-pics on the camera not the phone). But we did stop at a monkey circus thing so there are some pics of Mikk and I with cute little monkeys! Now we are in an "Irish pub" watching soccer.Read more