. I have idea if this is a run down area. I do not care. All i know is that there will be a reception office open and a bed for me to sleep in once I get there. I just have to get there first. I step off the plane and the airport smells like what I pictured Thailand to smell like. A combination of cleaning products, smoke and chili. If only Bangkok actually smelled like this. I was dreaming. The moment I gathered my bags i was approached by three private taxi companies. I just read it in the book. " DON NOT TAKE TAXIS THAT AREN'T MARKED OR METERED." I said no to the first two but then I looked at the line up for the metered taxis and if I were to wait, I might have been there till sunrise. I took my chances with a private company and I had to pay for it! They were really nice though. In the car was the driver, the girl who approached me and her little sister. I was a bit sketched out by the fact that they were all riding with me in the car. I had a few quick negative thoughts like "what if they take me to some warehouse and strip me of my belongings and I'm forced to roam around naked with no money" "Are the girls just using me to get dropped off at home and i have to pay for it?" They played James Blunt and jack johnson in the car, was this just a coy to make me feel comfortable and at home? I can say that I safely made it to Koh San Dr. At this time it is around 4 a.m. I step out of the cab and right there and then I was hit with the odors. Let me try to explain. Well first off, you are all aware of my super sensitive sense of smell
. Here we go, in all honesty. Please try to understand. Human and dog feces meet rotten egg (sulphur) meet coconut milk curry meet fishy raw seafood meet mothballs meet fried onions meet gasoline meet stale urine meet fermaldahyde/ grade 10 fetal pig disection smell. You must factor in all the pollution and the raging humid temperature of 36 degrees. There were people all over, like being on Queen st. in Toronto on a Saturday afternoon. I couldn't believe my eyes or my nose. I walked around for 2 minutes when I came across two Westerners looking at a map with their backpacks on. I found out that they were on my flight and like myself,were looking for a place to stay. We were led to a place called the Thai Cozy house, which was actually a recommendation by my friend Kristen who was just here a month ago. The three of us decided to share a room to make it cheaper. We got up to the room, dropped our bags and decided to go out for ONE drink to calm down a little from all the stress of the flight. At this point it was 5 a.m. It is pretty clear that one drink is never the case. We ended up staying at the bar till 8 a.m. By then we were all stumbling around, dripping wet with sweat and ready to head back and finally sleep. Only this didn't happen either. We were practically attacked by tuk tuk drivers. Tuk tuks are also a big no no for Thailand. They are extremely unsafe. Basically, it is a carriage where you sit with no doors that is run by a motorbike. I vowed I would never get in one. Shows how easily persuaded I am
. I was so tempted to see something in the city and now it was just the break of day. I couldn't go to sleep. We payed the equivalent of 20 cents for a three hour ride. Its hard to believe isn't it. Well let me tell you a little more about how inexpensive it is here. Pad Thai on the street costs about 90 cents. You could go out to a restaurant and have whatever you want and not pay more than 10$ CDN. You might explode if you ate 10$ worth of food. To stay in a private self contained bungalow costs me 5$ To buy a 1.5 litre bottle of water (which I do about every hour) costs 33 cents. Do I need to go on? It is scary cheap and I feel bad spending such little money on something that would be worth so much more in Canada. But is it really worth more that is the question. It is amazing how this economy works. I can't wait to learn more about it. How can a Mars bar here cost 60 cents where at home it is almost double the price? Aren't they bought for the same price wherever they are manufactured? How can we do this. Anyways, so I must admit that it is nice to see my money go so far here rather than be eaten up in Australia. The only thing that seems on par is wine so I am trying to cut back. So on our tuk tuk adventure we stopped at multiple temples and at a massive Budda. At the Budda the boys paid for me to release little birds into the sky to symbolize a lifetime of peace and happiness. We had an incredible morning but crashed pretty hard by 1:30 that afternoon. I didn't wake up until midnight when i got a loud knock on my door and who was it....Lauren! She and her girlfriend Krissy missed their flight in NZ because of the time change and they ended up paying an extra grand just to get here. They were suprised to see that I had shacked up with two blokes but quickly realized how harmless, witty and fun they were. It was really nice having a couple of days with them. It was the closest thing I've had to having my brothers around. I am a pretty easy target so they just picked on me and made so much fun of me, every chance they got
. It was really nice to have formed that relationship with them after such a short period of time. I found it very endearing.
From Bangkok I took an overnight bus to Krabi. I paid 600 Baht (20$) to get to the most beautiful province in Thailand. The bus ride wasn't the most pleasent. I sat next to a very smelly woman and I had to breathe through my mouth the whole way. Buses are extremely dry to begin with so I ended up in Krabi with a sore throat. More painful than the smell though was the eardrum poppingly loud, Thai dubbed version of the new Pirates of the Carribean. It was sooo annoying! The lights weren't working either so its not like we could read or anything. We were being brainwashed. " koh no tonsai meeeko. ASAIHI!" That is real Thai by the way. You might want to look it up...it could take a while to find the translation...We arrived in Krabi town and the first thing we saw was a giant sign that read " Don't Panic". We were slightly off edge because Krabi didn't look like it did in the book. Krabi is a small shit town but the name of this beautiful area is the Krabi province. Ahhhh. So it all made sense then. We hopped on back of a truck/ bus. I don't even know what to call these vehicles. We were dropped off in Ao Nang. Nothing to exciting here to see so we set off early the next morning to Railey beach. We need to take a long boat to get there. Long boats are great fun but they take a lot of work to get in and out of. Especially with a 16 kilo pack and a side bag and a day bag and now a new beach mat. I almost fell over and lost everything. Long boats are the main transportation from island to island unless you are traveling big distances you take a ferry. Railey is perfect and we stay there for 4 nights. Our bungalow is next to a place called the stone bar. Self explanitory. We love this place and we love the people. Thai's have amazing souls
. They are extremely helpful and so kind. From Railey, Lauren and I rent kayaks and head on a 5 hour snokel adventure over to Poda and Chicken islands. We see lots of fish and dun dun dun... a fucking snake. Now, I am not over reacting again. This type of blue and black striped snake is one of the most venomous water snakes in the world. I spotted it first and scared the shit out of Lauren when I started swimming for my life. I am here to tell the story so I survived the horrifying sight. Lauren on the other hand was eaten and sent to hospital. I shouldn't joke about these things. I have actaully seen 4 snakes since I've been in Thailand and I'm sure some o them could eat people. Railey is probably my favorite place in Krabi. Every evening there is a crazy lighting storm, each more exciting than the last. There is not much of a booming night life, just people wanting to relax and have a good time. From Railey we goto Ko Lanta and stay at the most southern point to avoid many tourists. It worked and we basically had a huge private beach and the most incredible suset views I have yet experienced. The restaurant has amazing food but there is no power from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. which means no fan, no cooking, no internet. So we are forced to eat yogurt with mixed fruit, exercise and read our books on the beach. Sounds like a horrible life, doesn't it. We stay here for two nights and then head to Koh Phi Phi where we are now. Every single night so far we have been very lucky with accomodation. Last night was a exception. I have tried to erase it from my memory and Tyler, you may never want to come to Thailand after hearing this. We settle for another remote place, sort of because we are stuck. It is a big bungalow and we would each have our own bed. Very spacious but when we fold down the sheets we find mouse droppings all over the beds. It is to late to bug reception so we sleep on top of the sheets and get attacked by mosquitos, probably contracting malaria. God knows if I have it now
! I already look like I've been living in the bush from all my bites. If that is the worst of our problems than I guess it is pretty good. Today we have changed locations to a busy area but it is so worth it. We are paying 20 big bucks to say in our own room at a resort with a swimming pool. A slight change from a backpackers! It is so amazing. I went scuba diving today on the island where the movie " The Beach" was filmed. I saw all sorts of amazing underwater life- green sea turtles, baracudas, lion fish, trumpet fish, nemos, eels and 100's of other types of fish. My dives were an hour each which is the longest I've ever been under the surface and the dive master was a sexy Israeli which made it all the more beautiful.
I am being yelled at in Thai. I am closing this place down. Please watch the fire show video. It is such an art! From here I will soon be heading to Cambodia and I will return to Thailand on my own in May to travel up north.
Kampunka ( Thank you)
My flight to Bangkok takes a total of 28 hours. The entire time I am wired. I do not sleep for one minute. During my 11 hour stop over in Sydney, I franticaly pace the airport. A million questions race through my mind faster than the rate in which I can even process them. They repeat themselves and I have no answers. I guess I will have to find out when I land in the city of 10 million people. What am I going to do when I arrive? I land at 3:10 a.m. How will I find a place to stay? Will I even find a place or will I be forced to sleep in a dirty ditch and die. I have nothing booked. I figured it would be harder for me to explain to a taxi driver how to get to a certain hotel rather than a general area. My lonely planet book calmed me down A LOT. It told me exactly what I wanted to hear. " If you are scared because you have nothing booked then fear no more. Most international flights arrive in the middle of the night and there are plenty of places on Koh San Dr that cater exactly to that. So now at least i know To Koh San rd i go