29.12.2011 28 °C
left england, no problems, onto more exciting things, THAILAND!! yes, we have arrived (20 days ago), the last stop of the trip!!! crazy crazy times.
anyway, got to bangkok airport and tried to get a taxi but everywhere was saying 4000 baht which is like 120 bucks. eventually we found the government taxis where it only cost 400 got to our accommodation which was amazing!! a fairly big room with 2 single beds and a shared bathroom, but it was about 10 minutes away from the main 'tourist' rd, Khaosan, so it was quiet at night. when we where shown our rooms there was this cat on a pole, just watching us, but it looks so wretched and scared, it was quite funny at the time.
over the next few days went to khaosan rd which has about a gazillion shops come stalls selling pretty much the same as vic night market and also went at night where street vendors sell pad thai and resturants sell over priced food. also went to some temples like Wat Pho that has the biggest reclining Buddha in Thailand (i think) and basically just chilled, tried to get over jet lag and eat yummy thai food!
after bangkok we went up to Chiang Mai which is in the north of thailand basically in the jungle. a lot of people say its more 'real thailand' than bangkok or the south, and its definitely more authentic than the south but its definitely NOT the 'real' thailand. anyway, when there we went to the night market again, similar to khasan, just BIGGER and we also went on a trek! the trek was really good. at first we stopped off at some 'hill tribes' which was bascially thai people in tradtional dress sellling things. i felt so awkward, like we were in a zoo and they were the animals. apparently we were allowed to take pictures but it was super awkward because the vendors werent very forthcoming. in the end i bought something and then took a picture, which i felt was fair. after that we got dropped off at the trek starting point. we stopped at another village which was literally just houses and 2 children, who im pretty sure tried to take things from my bag, but i caught them in time. we walked for a couple of hours and our guide stopped us at one point to tell us a story, only problem was there were like 2 bees who wouldnt leave us alone so i wasnt very interested in the story. the only thing i can remember from it was that there was a snake that wanted to become a monk, became a monk, then everyone was scared and when you become a monk you are now asked the question 'are you human?' to which you have to answer 'yes'. good. im pretty sure there was more to the story but, as i said, i was distracted. we arrived at our stop for the night which was basically 2 sleeping houses, 2 houses for the family that lived there and a 'shop'. the sleeping houses were pretty cool though, definitley different. you lay on the floor on these mats and had a couple of blankets and a pillow that was shaped like, and felt like a brick. we were told by a girl who was doing a longer trek than us that it got super cold at night so we stole blankets from the free beds and were toasty warm, if uncomfotable from the pillows. that night we had this vegetable stew and something else that i cant remember and rice, it was actually pretty good. by 6 it was pretty much dark and i wanted to head to bed, but i knew i wouldnt be able to sleep. anyway, ended up staying up to be one of the last awake (and yet i still went to bed at 8.30) watching these 3 other aussies smoke weed from a bong, both of which were bought at the 'shop'. although i didnt participate, it was pretty funny to watch!
the next day we headed off to so some activities! first we rode an elephant into a river, where (it seemed) to try to drown itself, and us too, then we rode it properly and fed it bananas! it was really nice, but the people controlling the elephants hit them pretty hard and one had blood all over its head. i mean, yes, they are HUGE creatures, but they are still wild and it wasnt very nice to watch the people hit them. then we did a zipline, which was a massive joke. advertised as 19 ziplines 20-something km, it turned out to be one zipline across a river. i was pretty dissapointed about that, but got over it. we also did a bamboo raft and whitewater rafting!! white water riding was my favourite, i cant wait to do it again
we arrived back at our guesthouse pretty exhausted and spent the next day chilling, waiting for the bus to take us back to bangkok. i got a smoothie from a smoothie place in somprethet market which is the best smoothie/muesli, fruit and yoghurt place in thailand i reckon and we said goodbye to the owners of the resturant we went to a couple of times and then we headed for the bus stop. got on the bus and it was FREEZING cold. olivia was in shorts too! until 1am, when the bus stopped to get refreshments and use the toilet. after that they turned the aircon off and we actually got some sleep! when we got to bangkok we headed straight to kanchanaburi, which is home to 'the bride over the river kwai'. here we chilled, the bathroom STUNK (and unfortunately it was a private bathroom, so our room stunk to), we went to the bridge and the museum and it was pretty nice. the river is stunning!
after kanchanburi we headed down to koh phangan. after a sleeper train, a bus ride, a boat ride and a share taxi ride later, we are now here, at 'thai dee garden' in a pretty nice bungalow, in haad rin, the party place on the island, but just outside the main town so its still pretty quiet at night (except when the 2 english boys, one of which is very good looking, decide to argue at 3am every morning). so far, i have got sick, we rode a moped to a near by town, olivia crashed a moped and has a very bad bruise, olivia might be getting sick and we havnt partied. gooooood. the beach in haad rin is pretty awful. the 'nice' beach is full of people playing volleyball and soccer and you basically feel like your on show, and the other beach isnt a beach. i dont know what the lonely planet people were on when they went to the other beach, but when we went there today the sea was full of rubbish and sea weed and dead birds, and that was pretty much what the sand was like too. and the sand was like less than 2 metres deep at its deepest point, so even when there was a clean patch, it was pretty much impossible to like down. needless to say i gave up on that beach pretty quickly. i was hot and coulndt even swim in the water!
that said, we went to a beach by long boat yesterday and it was amazing. there were quite a few people and i did feel like i was being sat on slightly, bu the view of the limestone cliffs and the colour of the water and the general atmosphere was so so so nice. i really really liked it!!! and the water was amazing to swim in too.
so screw the other beach, im going to the nice one