Sticky Rice, Sticky Me
Trip Start Jan 26, 2010
47Trip End Jun 08, 2011
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We wanted to take a water taxi and enjoy the cool breeze on the water, which turned into an hour long trek in search of the river. Once we found the river we wandered from pier to pier trying to find where the water taxi would land, but most Thia's we talked to only wanted to convince us to charter a long tail boat, which looked exceptionally rickety to had exceptionally large engine's
The next morning we parted. she headed north, and I headed to the eastern bus terminal. I am to be back to Bangkok to meet my friend Aniek in a few days so I decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city to go to the rarely visited island Koh Si Chang. I found the right bus and caught it just in time. It was a pleasant enough ride but I found myself past my destination and caught in a rainstorm, so I put my rain jacket on, strapped on my packs rain fly and caught the bus back, took a tuk-tuk to the pier(after going down the wrong pier) and took a old ferry filled with lawn chairs. I got off on the wrong island and quickly jumped back on after pointing to the other island saying Koh Si Chang with inflection. lucky me since the first island was basically a place to camp
So the last paragraph are the trials of walking the path less traveled(in a country you don't speak the language) and these are the rewards: I walked to the local monastery, all the way being reminded why the call Thailand the land of smiles. the Wat had a giant gold Buddha that you could see easily from the water, it was slightly run down and had a bunch of kids that greeted you with smiles and hello's, and giggled when you greeted them in their dialect. One boy spoke some English, after a basic conversation he gave me the grand tour. it was pretty run down, but very beautiful. he led me down into a deep cave with many Buddha relics, it was gorgeous. then he led me into another cave with relics. I asked him to show me how to pray to Buddha and he showed me the ritual. holding 3 pieces of incense, bowing three times and banging a bell 3 times, every time we walked past another bell he had me ring it. and when we walked past one a Thai lady urged me to ring it 9 times, then 12! 19!! she was a very lively person. we eventually ended up at the top of the island hanging out with a couple of monkeys
After I left the Wat I started working my way towards the Chinese temple. On the way I stopped from some fresh squid(with optional guts), which I picked out. When I arrived at the temple I found them setting up for the Chinese New Year. A wonderful surprise. So after exploring the gorgeous grounds I went a found a chair. The festival was amazing! It was a very authentic experience, I was probably the only westerner their. I even drank my soda out of a plastic bag like the Thais. Their were fire works, amazing aerobatics. One which consisted of two people in a dragon suit synchronizing their movements on small platforms, 8 to 15 feet off the ground, jumping on another's shoulders to give the dragon a standing appearances and the butt even took the head man and swung him in circles almost giving the dragon a flying appearance. then they took out the traditional long dragon a lit fireworks all around with little reserve. After that they erected a 25 foot bamboo poll. a small boy climbed the poll, then a man with an even smaller child on his shoulders. the smallest climbed up top the next smallest shoulders and then he on the mans shoulders, then they all stood up! The boy climbed down and the man tied one foot the poll and stood on the side of it holding the little girl in a death defying position. then he dropped her! only saving her by one leg! and as he was pulling her up he completely lost her, my heart was racing but right before she landed on the ground it became apparent she was tethered to his arm
The next morning was particularly pleasant, I went for breakfast and ordered a traditional Thai breakfast rice soup with pork, out of kindness she gave me the more expensive seafood rice soup. it was much more but a great gesture of kindness, I even ate the squid guts this time, it wasn't so band and when it Rome. People are so kind here. I walked around and found a nice park. swinging from a wooden swing, Thia's smiled at the silly farang as they sped by on the mopeds. after leaving the park I met a British Man(I don't emphasize peoples nationality because I think it defines their person but because it is a great example of the international side of Thailand) and his Thai wife. They were very kind and invited me in for coffee. He confided his troubles with me, he was a very open person who like many had troubles amplified by the global recession. After I left he pointed me to a cleaner guest house and had his friend give me a ride their. This island is truly a gem, filled with fresh food, beautiful scenery and smiling faces.