Best beach party

Trip Start Jul 13, 1988
1
33
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Trip End Jul 03, 2010


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, June 30, 2010


28 July Krabi Thailand
 
When we arrived at the hotel in Bangkok from the rough trip from Koh Samet, there was a message from the tour leader to
meet up at 6pm in the lobby. We were excited to meet the group we would be
travelling with over the next two weeks. Before the meeting we went to take out
some money for an unpaid tour fee. I was unable to get any money out, and we
went to an internet place to check online banking. It turned out that some idiot
in Arizona had gotten a hold of my check book and was writing checks all over
town, so my account was depleted and minus. I was so angry and on top of that it
was raining and we were lost and late for our meeting with the group. A phone
call to New York saved me...My
generous friends in NY got me out of the situation at least temporarily. Thank
you John!!
 
It was finally time to meet with the group in the hotel lobby and when we
were pointed to a bunch of people at a table, I was praying it was a mistake.
These group of people looked like some 40-year olds from Wisconsin at a
parent-teacher conference. Probably one of the most unattractive bunch I've seen
gathered at once. On top of that they turned out to be very dry, and not so
outgoing. That evening we all went out for a group dinner, and although Cyndi
and I had planned to go and check out some of the upscale clubs in Bangkok, I
was too tired and unhapppy about my financial situation to go anywhere, so to
her disappointment we hit the sack early.
 
We had a night train down to Kho Sok national park in southern Thailand this afternoon, but
went and did some necessary sightseeing in Bangkok first. Saw the Grand Palace, City
Shrine and Wat Po, which has a huge reclining golden buddha inside. After that we hit one of the huge
shopping malls and Cyndi spent 3 hours browsing and shopping at just one floor.
One would need a week just to go through one of them. Shopping is great
here!!
 
At 5.30 pm we met the group and headed to the train station for our 14 hour
over night train to Kho Sok national park.
 
25 Jul Kho Sok National
park in my jungle bungalow @ 9pm
 
Wow!! You should see me now. I am sitting in our jungle bungalow on my bed
which is completely sealed in by a mosquito net haning from the ceiling. I have
a small light on and am completely surrounded by the dark, the sounds of the
jungle and the flowing river below the bungalow. Most of you know that I'm not
much of a camping person, but this is quite an amazing experience!!
 
Our overnight train ride was ok, but definitely not the same standards as
the European sleeper trains. The train was packed, old and rundown, but our
seats folded out like beds. I was on the top bunk and Cyndi on the bottom. It
turned out favorable for me since she had the window down by her and tons of
bugs and mosquitoes came in to visit her during the night. Her bed sheet had
tons of smashed bugs on them in the morning. Needless to say none of us really
slept much.
 
We arrived in Surat Thani at 7 am. From here we
were actually close to Phuket and Koh Samui and other popular tourist spots. Our
group had breakfast and got in two small trucks for a 2 hour ride to the jungle.
As we drove further the scenery changed to more mountainous, rugged, green and
lush. Very beautiful!! Our bungalow resort was situated by a clearwater stream
at the edge of a tropical jungle older than the Amazon basin. There was a main
restaurant/bar to eat and then the small bungalows scattered around. We had two
huge German Shepards and one rottweiler/doberman on the grounds to scare off the
monkeys who came at night to try to steal the food from the restaurant. The
dogs, however, were so sweet and the dogs in Thailand in general are extremely friendly and nothing
to be afraid of.
 
Our bungalow was made of straw and some wood with dark rustic furniture. We
had a bathroom that's part of the bungalow, almost like a balcony in the back
but it's was open-air with a shower, flushing toilet (we don't take that for
granted anymore) and a sink. This was the most relaxing place. As soon as we
arrived and laid down in our beds we fell asleep listening to the sounds of the
jungle and the river.
 
In the afternoon, we met up with the group for a jungle trekk. We were to
hike deeper in the jungle to a cave with a natural spring, buddha statues, old
carvings and monks living in nearby huts. A local guide led our group along with
one of the German shepards which ran in the front and behind us to make sure we
all stayed on track. We encountered rubber trees, tropical insects and a few odd
fruits on the way. Views were spectacular and Cyndi and I stayed behind to take
pictures. I had been told that tigers live in this jungle but much further away.
At some point I heard an animal coming towards us in the long grass and it was
yellowish and black....Cyndi and I freaked out and started running, but it
turned out to be our German Shepard that emerged from the grass. I've never been
so happy to see a big German Shepard coming running towards me!!
 
We had to trekk through knee high muddy waters at some point which we
weren't equipped for. Cyndi, especially, wasn't happy about it, but proceeded
with some fuss, scared that her 80 dollar sneakers were going to get ruined.
When we reached the cave however, it was totally worth getting the shoes muddy.
The cave had lots of history, Buddha images and some natural formations and
carvings. It was deep but lit up, and the group rushed in while me and Cyndi
stayed behind. That turned out to be in our favor since we got to chat with an
old monk who spoke good English and told us some interesting facts about the
cave's history. The cave also had a beautiful natural spring inside with deep
clear water.
 
The next day was my favorite in the jungle because we had all signed up for
an Elephant ride to a waterfall. Elephant riding sounds a bit cliche and
something you have to do if you're in Thailand. But I have to admit I was very
excited about it, and it turned out to be quite an evocative experience and
totally exceeded my expectations. 10 of us were driven behind a couple of
pick-up trucks for 20 minutes. When we arrived 3 elephants were standing by a
stream and another one came walking down a dirt road and went in the water to
take a bath. We were 2 people on each elephant sitting on a seat strapped on the
elephant. A couple of guys were sitting on the elephants neck.
 
Mine and Cyndi's elephant was a 3000 kg (almost 6000 Ibs) 40 year old male
elephant named Bly. The trekk to the waterfall was about an hour each way. The
elephants seemed to know their way amd did not have to be led by the local guys
who walked behind them to make sure they didn't make a wrong turn. Seeing the
elephants in their natural surroundings trekking through mudd and rivers is
quite a different experience than seeing them in the zoo. I was amazed sitting
in my seat with my feet on his huge neck with his big ears flapping on the side of my feet every once in a
while. It was sunny when we left with beautiful mist hovering over the lush
mountains, but all the sudden the rain started pouring and our rain ponchos came
in handy. When we returned we all got to feed the elephants bananas and sugar
canes.
 
We had a relaxing afternoon with an hour massage and great food, and packed
up to leave the jungle for the beach resort Krabi.
 
It took a few hours to Krabi by bus. Krabi is close to the Phi Phi islands, Phuket and other beautiful beach destinations. That
night we had a group dinner and all of us went to a bar and started drinking.
Cyndi and I challenged our Austrailan tour leader Callham to keep up with our
drinking (we were happy to see the buckets again...probably standard for Thailand beach resorts). Poor
Callham got so wasted that and made a total fool out of himself...other than
hitting on every girl in the club he went in the water and came back to the club
in his underwear, insulted several of the Thais, spilled drinks and dropped
glasses. But for us it was a great night with lots of great music and
energy.
 
We had to get up early the following morning for a day trip to the famous
Phi Phi islands where the movie "The Beach" was filmed.  Aside from the fact that I got
sea sick, it was a day very difficult to describe in words. A speed boat took us
out to the islands, and at our first stop we snorkeled huge coral reef with
colorful fishes in clear blue water. On our way to the other stop we saw a group
of dolphins swimming by, and we also stopped on an island inhabited by monkeys.
The monkeys were supercute and crowded the beach where people went up to feed
them. Some of the monkeys were swimming around in the water. These were the most
beautiful beaches and water I've ever seen and all of us agreed comparing to the
caribbean and mediterranean Europe. We did also make a stop at the very same
beach where the movie "The beach" was filmed. See it if you haven't... It really
is hard to desribe the beauty of these islands. Google them or watch the movie...and of course see my
pictures when I get home.
 
The last night in Krabi was a lot of fun. We had a buffet dinner with the
group and some of us continued on to a bar. Cyndi and I ditched the group after
a couple of drinks and started walking to the beach club we had been to the
first night. Walking in the dark, a moped zoomed by, but quickly stopped and the
guy on it called: "Cyndi!!" It turned out to be the bartender from this club
that she had talked to the first night. She always seems to know the Thai
bartenders....
He gave us a ride to the club, which was packed with people. The energy was
great, the moon was up and the ocean's waves rolling up on the beach below as
tons of sunburnt tourists crowded the dance floor clasping their colorful
drinks. Great night!! And Cyndi was very happy since she landed her first
European guy, a trendy 20-year old from my neighboring country Finland.
 
We loved Thailand so much and really wished we could stay longer, but it
was time to go on to Malaysia. Thailand really has
everything and I now understand why it is the most popular tourist destination
in Asia. It has big city cosmopolitan Bangkok with nightlife and shopping, amazing beaches,
jungle and mountains as well as friendly people, delicious food and it is very
cheap.
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