Published: August 23rd 2009June 26th 2009
First Hour in Bangkok!
Catching the BTS Metro!
So, as soon as the amazing safari with Dad and Nina came to an end, I hopped on a plane and ended up in Bangkok, where Lesley was interning for the UN for the summer! Jackie had arrived a few days earlier from the USA, and together with Lesley, had planned out our time in Thailand for the next week and a half!
My plane landed at 7:30am, and I gathered my luggage, hopped in a taxi and by 9am I arrived at Lesley's apartment in Bangkok! Lesley was already at work but Jackie was there waiting for me! I cleaned up, repacked my backpack for our impending trip, and then we went out to explore some of Bangkok! We took a metro around to go and find some tailors for dresses, work-wear, etc. After successful find with Moon River tailors, we celebrated by heading to Cabbages and Condoms for some delicious Thai food in hilarious surroundings. Everything is decorated with condoms and birth control, in order to encourage safe sex and make talking about protection more of an everyday thing. Lesley finished work early and met us there, before we headed back to her place to grab our bags and
Cabbages and Condoms!
First lunch in Thailand!
go back to the airport. Off to Railay Beach! We took a flight, landed, took a taxi to the pier, negotiated our way onto a wooden motor boat in the dark of the night, and found ourselves being dropped off in what seemed to be the middle of the water and having to walk the rest of the way to our hotel! It worked out fine, as the water was at most knee high, and then I finally collapsed into bed while Jackie and Lesley went out to dinner! The next few days we relaxed beachside, did some bargain shopping, and even met up with some of Lesley's other intern friends that came to the beach for some nights after us.
When it was time to go, we were led to the other side of the island and then onto a tractor (awesome!) which drove us out to our boat to get back to land, a taxi, and finally the airport. We got back to Bangkok in the evening and tried to get to bed fairly early because the next day at 6am we were picked up by our chartered van to drive out to Chanthaburi- or the River Kwai.
One of these things is not like the others!
Jackie poses with the statues that are dressed in nothing but condoms!
We passed the time singing to the driver's one English music cd- circa 1990. We then made our first stop at the River Kwai War Museum and memorial. We walked across the famous bridge and looked at all of the old War memorabilia and then headed to our next stop, the railway. Here we boarded a train and replicated the train ride that the POWs had in WWII. After all of this, we got back into our van and headed to our hotel - a bamboo raft floating on the River! We had a delicious Thai lunch and then went to ride elephants and do some bamboo rafting. Both were very fun! When we got back to our hotel, we watched as some locals jumped off a nearby bridge into the fast moving river, quickly popping up to the surface, and swimming to the bamboo rafts attached to our hotel rooms, so that they could get out of the water before it pulled them quickly further downstream!
Well, it looked like some good adrenaline pumping fun, so Jackie and I climbed up to the bridge and jumped with them! It was great! That night we hung out at our hotel
restaurant, sang along to an old Celine Deon dvd and had a good time enjoying each others' company. We had another early start the next day, but for good reason- we were going to bathe some elephants in the River! So off we went and right around the corner from our hotel, we met up with the 2 elephants waiting for us to bathe them, and ride them bareback! It was soooo much fun! Jackie and Lesley shared one elephant while I went on the other alone, because I was freakishly excited about this activity in our trip. Their elephant was super fun and kept spouting them with water and moving around. Mine, however, just wanted to get her head below water and take a nap. So she kept on trying.
After the elephants were good and bathed, we went back to the hotel and showered off the elephant and river smells, before heading out to hike the famous waterfalls. We stopped to admire the beautiful clear water at each tier, and at tier 4, Jackie and Lesley even went swimming and sliding down the rocks!
When we got down from the waterfalls, we went to the hotel, had some
lunch and then embarked on our drive back to Bangkok.
Once again, the next day, Jackie and I were off on another trip! Lesley had to stay and do work this time, sadly. So Jackie and I took the BTS Metro to the bus station and bought ourselves some Thai bus tickets to Koh Samet. We were on the bus for about 5 hours and then got dropped off at another station, where we had to buy ferry boat tickets to be taken across to Koh Samet. When we got across, we had to hop on the back of a pickup truck taxi to be brought to our hotel. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the beautiful beach (and I got a Thai Beach Massage)! That night we went out and explored the restaurants and clubs that the island had to offer. It was really fun to see the breakdancing, carnival games, and musical selection! We kept trying to find a fire show to watch but they kept happening at another section of the beach, and by the time we got there, it was over! Finally as we walked home at the end of the night, we found one!
Pitch Black Boat Ride
We put on our brave faces!
next day we relaxed on the beach again before packing up and catching our truck taxi back to the ferry, and across to the bus.
We spent our last few days in Bangkok, meeting Lesley's friends, getting our dresses from the tailor, and seeing the temples and Buddhas around the city. We also went to see Lesley at work in the UN building. On our final full day, we went out to the floating market and bartered with all the waterside vendors, and Jackie even got to have her final fill of Mango Sticky Rice (her favorite). We went out for dinner and drinks before Jackie left for the airport, and then it was down to Lesley and I. We spent my final day in the Bangkok weekend market, being overwhelmed by the sheer size and quantity of it! You could spend days there and still not see all it had to offer!
It was such a fun, jam-packed trip, and such a great way to reunite with some of my best friends!
There are more photos below