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Crossing Into Cambodia

Adventures with fake officials, scamming tuk tuks and taxi mafias on the Thai-Cambodian border

sunny

"Do you want to go to Cambodia?" I asked Avery as we sped down a highway in Krabi Province, Thailand in a van full of foreigners. "It makes sense." Outside, the limestone karsts rose above the jungle, like sand castles made by giants.

We had planned to head north from the islands to Chiang Mai, looking forward to the cooler temperatures and rugged terrain of the north. Then the girl next to me asked to see our Lonely Planet guide. We exchanged travel routes. "Oh, we're doing that too -- just backwards," she explained. They were heading to Cambodia once they reached Bangkok. By heading to Cambodia first, they'd be missing the sickening March/April heat of the hot season. By then, they'd be in the cooler northern reaches of SE Asia.

Avery and I had a little chat, and it was decided. We'd reverse our travel route, hoping to save me from some massive heat rash and the perpetual 95 degree days of Cambodia in the hot season.

Buses, Trains and Scams

The bus ride from (somewhere around) Krabi to Bangkok wasn't too bad. Except for the overweight French couple (I thought French people didn't get fat?), who kept waking me up with their butts every time they got up from their bus seat. We arrived in Bangkok around 4:30 a.m. and headed for Khao San Road, fabled backpacker ghetto. At this time, we thought everything would be closed up. But, oh right, this is Bangkok. Fueled by booze and Asian strength drugs, the partiers of KSR were going strong into the night. The 24-hour bar was blasting their American Top 40s, and the beer was flowing. We walked over to the 24-hour bar. "I need to stay awake," I said to Avery. There would be no sleeping at this establishment.

We chatted with a French guy who had accompanied us all the way from Railay Beach. He talked about his travels, including his time in northern Vietnam. After having his camera stolen on a bus there, he is a permanent hater. "They treat you like a dog," he said and made the poo-poo motion that only the French can make. (Say that quote in a THICK French accent, much better.)

The server never came over to us, so we never got a drink. Then at 5:20 a.m. we said good bye to ze Frenchman and headed to Samsen Road for a cab. But first we stopped at McDonald's so I could satiate my grease craving. Ah, Micky D hashbrowns.

We went through three cabs before we found one that would turn on the meter. First guy wanted 200 Baht, next one 100 Baht, the last one turned on the meter and we paid 53 Baht. Scammers. I'm sure they were waiting for the drunks, not sober backpackers.

We bought two tickets at the train station to the border, 48 Baht each. That's like $1.60. On the train, we met a couple from Canada who were living in Bangkok and going on an visa run to Cambodia. The guy (didn't get his name) had been in the Philippines doing research for his grad paper about the media there. The Philippines has the second highest rate of murdered journalists. One of my favorite parts about traveling this way is talking to people you meet along the way. It's really opened my mind to the myriad of opportunities that are present in the world. There are so many more ways to live, work and learn than I had imagined.

Our First Border Crossing

We arrived to the Arapaythet/Poipet border after five hours on the train. As soon as we disembarked, there was a bevy of annoying tuk tuk drivers waiting to take weary travelers to the border. "Tuk tuk to the border, miss?" an incredibly persistent driver asked as he followed me around. Annoyed, I shot back, "Okay, how much?" "Eighty baht." "Okay, let's go," I replied.

Off we went, passing buses, scooters and tuk tuks as we cruised down the red, dusty road. He stopped at a unofficial looking building. "Border. You get off here," he said.

Now, this was not the border. It didn't look anything like the border. I've been to Canada. I know what a border crossing was. For anyone attempting this border crossing, listen up. The drivers will take you to this building, where someone in a uniform will ask you to come inside and receive your Cambodian visa. DON'T GO IN THERE. That is not the crossing, and they may give you a visa. But you will pay way too much for it. I think they charge 1,000 Baht. It should only be $20.

"This is not the border crossing," I said. "Please take us to the border."
"Yes, this is the border."
"No, no it is not."
"This does not look like a border," Avery added.

The tuk tuk driver knew we weren't going to be fooled. Again, I demanded, "Where is the border?" He shrugged and pointed down the road. We paid, even though he did not take us the border. Then as we walked by, we were verbally assaulted by several uniformed people telling us to get inside for our visas. Ha, not today suckers! It's a good thing we read up on this crossing.

Then, we spent forever looking for a bank to exchange our Thai Baht into US Dollars (main currency used in Cambodia). All of the banks refused. UGH. We had read the Cambodian side was notorious for ripping people off during exchange. But no one in Thailand would do it.

We then set out for the crossing. My new rule is when in doubt, follow the locals. They all headed for a very poorly marked outdoor hallway that led to the border. We got in the foreigner line, which was long and filled with backpackers. And then, fast forward: stamp out of Thailand, welcome to Cambodia where we don't use signs to tell you which way to go, Cambodian visa ($20 plus 100 Baht that the custom officials pocket), take your picture, stamp your passport, okay now Welcome to Cambodia.

It was a long long process, but we did it without getting (relatively) scammed.

Illegal Taxi or Legal Taxi?

Next step was to find a way to Siem Reap. In Poipet, the taxis are run by the mafia. Once we passed through Immigration, we were accosted by a pushy, albeit friendly, representative of said mafia. With sparkling English, he told us to please take this free (woopdeedoo!) shuttle to the bus station. The tourist bus station, mind you.

I was pretending that I didn't hear him and kept walking. Then a guy came up to me and said, "Here, you can take a legal taxi or you can take an illegal taxi." I'm guessing he was the illegal taxi. I was never able to find out my options because the mafia rep ran up to me and pretty much verbally hauled us on the "free" shuttle.

At the station, we were presented with an overpriced taxi. Okay, it was only $12 each for a two hour ride. But that's a lot of dollas for this area of the world. And there are no negotiations. So we paid our fare and waited for the next taxi.

We waited in the cab for the two other occupants, who turned out to be two very disgruntled Canadians. "We paid for a private taxi," said the wife, obviously annoyed. Avery and I shrugged.

Turns out, the Canadians were actually very nice people. They had been to Cambodia in 2001 and were back again for more exploring. They pointed out all the things that had changed since their visit. Hospitals had been built, roads had been paved. "It looks like they're doing very well," she kept saying.

We talked about the US and the financial crisis. A lot of the older people meet always ask us about our political views and how we feel about Obama and the way the country is moving. It's interesting to hear foreigners' opinions. But they definitely love to hear what Americans think. The conversation is never a happy one.

Then, the car suddenly stopped at a food stall on the side of the road. A Khmer woman opened my door, "Hello, the car driver alway stop here to wash car. Please come in and buy something."

We watched a guy briefly spray off the hood with a pressure hose, while the shopkeeper kept trying to sell her overpriced wares. Here, drivers get commission for bringing unwilling travelers to their shops. I think this is the fourth time this has happened to us.

Two hours after Poipet, we reached Siem Reap. The taxi was supposed to drive us to our hotels. But instead, he delivered us to the hands of some ravenous tuk tuk drivers. We said good bye to the Canadians, who were whisked off in a tuk tuk to their posh Siem Reap resort.

Our tuk tuk driver said he did not know where our hotel was, despite us having the address. Siem Reap is not that big of a town. Another told us the address was too far out. He wouldn't take us. We did not have a phone or internet access. It was so incredibly frustrating. Stuck outside Siem Reap with a bunch of uncooperative tuk tuk drivers.

It was so frustrating because they did know where it was. They just refused to take us there, hoping we'd cave and be driven to one of their "suggested guesthouses," where they would then collect a nice commission. If a driver says he knows a nice place, don't listen. Usually it will be crap and not like it is in the photos.

Eventually we got to Hak's House, which is a very lovely guesthouse. I'd definitely recommend the place if you're ever visiting Siem Reap.

Then, we had some dinner and fell asleep. After all, we had just traveled from the south of Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia in 26 straight hours. Plus, we were getting up at 4:30 a.m. to visit Angkor Wat!

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 02:03 Archived in Cambodia Tagged taxi cambodia thailand border_crossing border tuk_tuk poipet scams paks_house Comments (1)

Railay's Redeeming Features

Rock-climbing and Snorkeling in a Paradise gone Posh.

sunny 85 °F

Like I mentioned in the last post, Sam and I had been really excited about spending some time in Railay. We'd read about it and watched a few YouTube videos that made it sound pretty low key and relaxed. I had envisioned a beach lined with rustic bungalows and hippies, backpackers and rock-climbers lounging around. It's our own fault for being misinformed and for coming in peak tourist season, but we were surprisingly disappointed by what we found in Railay instead. And we weren't the only ones taken by surprise, over the few days we spent there we saw plenty of backpackers running around wide-eyed, soaked in sweat and asking where the cheap bungalows could be found. (Sorry, man they're all full! I know! Bummer!)

Apparently, the whole area has become a choice destination for Europeans on holiday. And with that status comes over-development, inflated room rates and hordes of tourists with wailing children in tow. They have just as much right to enjoy those stunning beaches as anyone, but this wasn't the Railay we had been looking forward to. However, if you can manage to look past the crowds and get over the fact that you're spending half of your daily budget on accommodation, Railay really is a beautiful place with a lot to offer.

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Rock Climbing

Our first night in Railay was a write-off. Both Sam and I were nursing headaches from not eating or drinking enough water during the bus trip and after a little nap we had the energy to search out some fried rice and that was about it for the night. The next day, feeling recharged and happy about having been able to move to a larger, better lit room (with windows and everything!) we were off to a much better start. I set out to find someone to teach me rock-climbing -- Railay is said to have some of the best climbing in the world, one of the major reasons I wanted to visit -- and by that afternoon I was headed to "1, 2, 3 Wall" with some laid back local guys from a shop called Real Rock.

At the wall I was introduced to my instructor, Len, who was busy belaying for one of two brothers from Pittsburgh who I was climbing with for the day. There really wasn't much instruction before I got started but I'm more of a learn-by-doing type of guy anyway so it suited me just fine. Len showed me how to tie in my harness properly and told me to have at it. I took a deep breath and scanned the rock in front of me while I chalked my hands up for the first time. This was supposed to be an easy climb and for not having done any real rock-climbing before I thought I pulled it off pretty gracefully. I found myself rushing through the first part, my adrenaline started pumping and I had a little bit of tunnel vision where all I was thinking about what getting up and getting back down as quickly as possible. It's an interesting feeling to be clinging to a rock with nothing keeping you off the ground except your own skills and a rope tied to a stranger on the ground below you. I slipped a couple of times but Len was always quick to stop my fall and shout suggestions on what my next move should be. As I became more confident in him and myself I was able to slow down, enjoy the feeling of raw physical activity and even turn around and take in the view a couple of times, which even from only 30-40 feet up was spectacular.

Our group spent the afternoon completing increasingly difficult climbs around that same rock. I was able to finish all of them but the last one. It was the longest and hardest climb of the day. I was exhausted just looking at it.

"Just go straight up!" Len offered. Soooo much easier said than done, but I gave it a go. I made it about 30-35 feet up, around 3/4 of the way to the top. At that point I was hanging on by two footholds deep enough for the tips of my shoes and a sliver of rock large enough to grip with three fingertips. From there with was a long stretch to the next decent hand hold. I gave it my best in four or five tries and then just hung there looking up at the last 10ft of the climb. My knees marked with the bruises and scrapes of an inexperienced climber and aching from neck to toe, I called it a day. Maybe on a new day I could make that last ten feet, but it definitely wasn't happening that afternoon.
I yelled to Len, "I'm dead."

Snorkeling

I would love to do some more rock climbing and there is plenty of it to be done in Railay, but we had limited time there and I was so sore the next day I didn't think it would have been worth my time to even attempt it. Instead, Sam and I had a lazy breakfast and strolled up to Diamond Cave -- a shallow limestone cave just a short walk from the beaches -- where we poked around for awhile before meeting up with a snorkeling tour that afternoon.

We hopped on a large longtail with about 15 other people and spent the rest of the day being carted to a handful of snorkeling spots around some of the smaller islands about an hour boat-ride from the mainland of Railay. The snorkeling was enjoyable everywhere we went despite poor visibility. We spotted quite a bit of wildlife including a lot of clown fish, banner fish, butterfly fish, grouper, barracuda, box fish and a bunch of other stuff I can't put a name to. There was also one moment when the schools of fish around us exploded in what I thought might be panic. They shot past us in a blur and I turned the direction they had come from hoping to see a shark. I kicked a few times in that direction and saw a large tail fin flash into my range of visibility and then disappear. I grabbed Sam, hoping to share a sighting with her since it's a goal of ours to see a shark, but whatever I saw was probably long gone by the time I looked back and we didn't have anymore close encounters :( .

That evening we headed to an island beach where we watched between two rock formations as the sun set on the horizon. In the waning light the sky and water were matching swirls of blues, purples and pinks. Overhead, a steady stream of massive fruit bats dotted the sky between the cliffs and the mainland. It was a surreal moment neither Sam or I could capture properly on film and could only stand and watch in awe. Pictures just can't do a scene like that justice.

Here are a couple anyway:
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We ate a quick meal of spicy green curry on the beach and boarded the boat for our last stop. We approached a rock cliff that looked a lot like the others we'd coasted past throughout the day, but as the boat sliced nearer to the formation our wake began to roll out in shimmering blues and greens as it peeled away from the boat. The water there was full of a bioluminescent algae that lights up when the water is disturbed. When everyone was prepped and in the water, the boatman killed the lone light on the longtail and we were left in the shadow of the cliff. Here, shielded from the moonlight, the algae danced brilliantly with each kick or swing of an arm. We were suspended there in what our guide described as "stars above and stars below". I couldn't have said it better myself. We treaded water for about ten minutes there. Each of us thrashing around in the water, shrouded in our individual clouds of neon specks and enjoying the natural light show before climbing into the boat for the chilly ride back to shore.

Sam and I both enjoy they outdoors and the more nature-y things in SEA never seem to disappoint. In this case, Railay may not have been the laid-back retreat we had imagined, but it is undeniably beautiful. A couple of days spent clinging to a rock and snorkeling out among the many islands and cliffs away from the crowds was enough for Railay to redeem itself and leave us with a favorable opinion.

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 01:26 Archived in Thailand Tagged cliffs sunset accommodation nature beach hotel thailand krabi sun west rock tour climbing tourists set east limestone snorkeling expensive railay longtail peak bungalows prices overpriced real_rock diamond_cave fruit_bats Comments (0)

SCUBA Diving in Thailand, Take 2

In hunt of the elusive Whale Shark

sunny

After a few days at Bottle Beach, my head/chest cold was almost gone. And I felt confident enough to go diving within the next couple of days. (Can't dive with sinus issues.)

Along with 14 other tourists, we headed over to Chaloklum Bay -- a small and, at times, beautiful fishing village on the north side of Koh Phangan. We booked two dives with Chaloklum Diving at the famous site Sail Rock.

We didn't bring our cameras, so here's someone else's photo. Thanks Brianlegg.

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Sail Rock is an intimidating (to the novice diver) pinnacle that rises out of the Gulf of Thailand between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. It's often hailed as some of the best diving in the Gulf of Thailand as the sides of the rock are coated in all kinds of coral, soft sponges and clams and lots of fish hang out there. A divemaster at Chaloklum called it "fish soup out there." Most divers come to Sail Rock in hopes of seeing the elusive whale sharks that often hang out near the rock. According to our divemaster, the whale shark enjoys "scratching his back" on one of the pinnacles. There's also a chimney, or hole within the rock, that divers can swim up from 18 m and exit at 10 m.

After about an hour on the boat, we reached Sail Rock. It was pretty intense, seeing this giant rock just looming in the middle of the ocean. But our instructor, Kris, a French girl with a heavy accent, was a no nonsense kind of instructor. Into our suits and equipment and into the water we went, leaving me little time to change my mind about going under.

We snorkelled over to the rock and prepared to descend. But as I looked down into the water, checking my mask's seal, I could see incredibly far down. I could see the bubbles from the other divers below floating up. "That looks awesome," Avery said. I did not feel the same way. I fiddled with my mask for what seemed like forever until I had built the courage to deflate my BC vest. I gave Kris the okay symbol, pressed the deflate button and down we sunk.

This is the worst part of the dive for me. First, I'm trying to control my breathing. Secondly, I'm trying to control my body's urge to swim for the surface. It's amazing how loud those primitive survival instincts can be. And thirdly, I get all anxious about letting too much or not enough air out of my BC, causing a nasty crash into the coral below.

But then, I stop sinking. I get my breathing under control. And I have that wonderful sensation one gets from having a dream about flying. I'm suspended in the water, watching the fish swim by. Then I flop over on my stomach and kick in long, slow sweeps. I listen to the air leave my regulator, fill my lungs, then watch the bubbles float up as I exhale. SCUBA diving is truly wonderful once one gets the hang of it.

So anyway, we descend, slowly circling the massive rock that grows even larger under the water. Though the visibility is shit (only 5-7 meters), it's still amazing. Their is life all around us. Sail Rock is covered with the most beautiful coral and sponges. We saw quite a few maroon clown fish families swimming the anemones on the rock as well.

We continued to circle the rock, heading further and further under the surface. I'm not sure how many times I had to equalize my ears. But I remember it was a lot. We eventually got down to 18 meters.

While farther from the surface, we met up with three divers who were intently staring at the coral on the rock. We turned to see what they were staring at. There, on the surface of the coral, a yellow moray eel moved across the coral, sweeping along like a snake in S-shaped movements.

Avery, Kris and I just watched it as it moved, opening and closing its mouth to allow the water to pass over its gills. Despite being so far under the water, the eel's colour was bright like a ripe banana. (FUN FACT: This was actually a green moray eel, but they have a mucous coating that gives them the yellow color!) Moray eels are the only sea creatures that truly creep me out. I'd rather encounter a shark than an eel. I thought that if I ever encountered one while diving, I would surely swim away, thinking about how the bite from a moray eel will fester for weeks because their mouths are absolutely filthy, full of bacteria.

Example given (Thanks Cameron Park Zoo for the photo):

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But, in that moment, all I could do was stare in wonder and amazement at this creature wiggling before me. I wasn't afraid, just in awe. Granted, this was a really small eel. If it had been a full grown adult, I'm sure I would have kicked my ass all the way to Koh Tao. Anyway...

We also saw a lot of beautiful schooling fish around the rock, like banner fish, barracuda, huge batfish, and, oh yes, the triggerfish. Before the dive, Kris warned us about the territorial triggerfish that hang out at Sail Rock. They can get very large and can be very aggressive. If you're diving and see a triggerfish on your right and a reef shark on your left, swim to the left. Triggerfish bite. Hard.

So at least five times while we were diving, Kris would give us the hand signal for triggerfish, which is, you guessed it, like shooting a gun. Then we would flip on our backs and swim backwards with our fins kicking pointing at the triggerfish. This way, he would bite our fins instead of our bodies.

That got annoying real fast. Every time we would see something cool on the reef, it seemed like a stupid triggerfish would swim our way, and we'd have to swim away. Damn triggerfish. But a quick Google search reveals the fish do attack recreational divers quite often. Oof. Terrifying. Those suckers are huge. Here's a picture, compliments of Ze Eduardo:

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And here's a video of a triggerfish attack.

And, alas, no whale shark sightings that day. But it was still an amazing experience. We did two 40-minute dives that day. After that second dive, I decided I really enjoy it. I hear there are some good sites in Vietnam, so I'm really looking forward to being able to do it again!

I also got a wicked wetsuit tan that shows no sign of disappearing...sigh.

Over and out.

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 04:44 Archived in Thailand Tagged fish diving thailand scuba scuba_diving reef phangan coral koh_tao koh_phangan moray_eel whale_shark sail_rock Comments (2)

Better Days in Ban Tai

Motorbikes, Muay Thai, Half Moon and Mold.

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Things keep moving along so fast! We changed out route so we're actually in Cambodia now rather than North Thailand -- SURPRISE! It's been a challenge to stay current with the blog but I'll pickup where Sam left off try to bring this up to speed.

First off, renting a motorbike is DEFINITELY the way to see a place. Or at least it is when you're on an island like Koh Pangan. We had a pretty bad impression of what the island had to offer the first night we were there because of our own ignorance of the best way to get around. In a town like Ban Tai where everything is sort of spread out, walking isn't much of an option and taxis will gouge you on fares because they know that. Anyway, we rented the bike through our resort for the equivalent of $6 for 24hrs, and had a much better second and third day there.

We took a cruise around town -- slowly, since it was the first time I'd driven a scooter like that -- and it went smoothly except for one little incident where I forgot which side of an alleyway I was supposed to be driving on. No accidents though, just a dirty look from a local. After that test run we hit one of the main roads and headed for a park on the interior of the island. There we found a nice hike past a waterfall up to a lookout point where we could see the jungle spread out beneath us and some neighboring islands in the distance. It was our first look at the denser forests the area had to offer and I'm pretty excited to do more trekking in the mountainous areas of North Thailand as well as Cambodia.

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That evening we headed to the night market where we joined the crowd shuffling around between the rows of food carts. Food markets are an awesome way to have a meal here. There's a huge variety of vendors in one place, it's about as authentic as you can get and it's all super cheap. We sampled from a few different carts and almost everything was up to par except for a deep fried snack labeled "Vegetable Ball" that I took a bite into before deciding it was probably made of chicken. Oh, well. I knew it would be a bit of a challenge to find legit vegetarian food on this trip and I'm sure it won't be the last time I'll have a mystery meat surprises. The night market experience came to an abrupt end when the power went out. The vendors were ready for it with their LED lights and candles but most of the crowd started to clear out pretty quickly.

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During the day we'd seen a few billboard trucks driving around blaring announcements about some Muay Thai happening that night and we decided to check it out. Muay Thai is a big sport in Thailand. It's a form of kickboxing and the whole experience was very entertaining. We navigated the muddy walkways around the ring and found a couple of spots to sit on the tiered metal bars they use as bleachers, it's really more like scaffolding. We sat through eight fights -- shrouded in cigarette smoke, surrounded by beer-clenching hooligans and gamblers cheering at every big hit and going wild for a knockout. I would do it again!

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The next day we took advantage of our scooter again, cruising up to the North part of the island for some snorkeling in the early afternoon. Sam was starting to feel a little rough and thought she might be getting a cold so we headed back to the hotel for a little recharge nap before heading to the Half Moon Party that night. I couldn't sleep so I headed to the beach for awhile and ended up meeting a friendly group of people from England who were heading to the party as well. Sam joined us when she woke up and shortly after we all headed into the jungle for the Half Moon. I don't know if I'm getting to old for this that type of thing or what, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. Granted I'm not the biggest fan of House music, but I can usually enjoy it when it's live. This was borderline boring, though. There are waaaay better shows going on back in Minneapolis. I did get a CD of some of the music along with my entry so anyone feeling curious can check it out for themselves when I get back.

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The next morning we had a little scare when we were standing at the desk checking out and we couldn't find our motorbike key. I headed back to our bungalow to search. I didn't find the key there (turns out Sam stashed it in her bag and promptly forgot about it) but I did find some confirmation that the bungalow was what was making Sam sick. The cleaning lady had removed the sheets from the beds when I went back on my search and the mattresses were filthy. It was a new level of dirtiness. The mattresses looked like slabs of dirt-covered mold. No exaggeration. There were huge patches of black mold all over them in addition to general dirt and sand and even a little bit of what looked like blood stains. We will not be writing positive reviews for the Phangan Beach Resort of Ban Tai!

Aside from Sam getting a moldy lung and in spite of a dud of a Half Moon party, we managed to have a decent time in Ban Tai overall. But with so many beaches to choose from I'd hardly say it's the best option on Koh Phangan. Especially after a visit to Bottle Beach...but that's for another post.

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 02:43 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand nightlife muay_thai entertainment half_moon_party koh_phangan motor_bike night_market koh_phangan_beach_resort half_moon getting_around how_to_get_around Comments (0)

Island Style

Remembering to Relax.

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Hello from the Gulf of Thailand! I'm sorry I haven't gotten around to throwing my two cents in before now but Sam's been doing a pretty good job summing up the experience so far. Right now we're hanging out near near Haad Rin Beach on Koh Phangan, the island made famous by the Full Moon Party, a monthly rager that allegedly draws 20,000 people to the island. The palm lined walks of the bungalows display bright neon battle scars from the last of these parties, splashes of blacklight paint that make it easy to visualize what this small town's streets must have looked like packed with party-goers fueled by buckets of redbull and Thai whiskey. That last party was about a week ago now and things seemed to have slowed back down again. I have to say the island pace is definitely what I've been looking for.

When we decided to take this little adventure of ours one of the big things I wanted to do was just hang out. I was really excited to be free from my daily routines in order to be able to think a little clearer. But then between the madness of everything terrific and horrible about Bangkok and then transitioning straight into our SCUBA courses, there wasn't a whole lot of breathing room in our first week and a half in Thailand. Now we've finally made it to a beautiful island and have all the free time in the world, and its just a matter of learning to slow down. In my spare time I find myself thinking: "What should I be doing?! Am I missing out on something amazing right now!? I want to do it all!" I'm learning to ignore those questions, because the answers don't really matter in the context of a vacation. I'm lounging in our bungalow and on the beach, catching up on some reading and enjoying a lot of good food, and that's incredibly enjoyable in and of itself!

I think we're going to be spending another week or so on Koh Pangan. As I type this I'm listening to some of the music that will be going on at the Half Moon Party in a few days. Sam and I agreed it would be crazy to be here during on of the parties and not attend so we're going to check it out. There are also some more chilled out beaches that are only reachable by boat that we want to spend some time on. I have yet to enjoy a coconut or lay in a hammock since we've been here! I'm hoping to check both of those of the list in the next couple of days. Hopefully at the same time. :)

-Avery-

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 04:07 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand koh_phangan haad_rin Comments (1)

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