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Published: March 24th 2009
On Georgia Tech's spring break, my gorgeous girlfriend, Emily came to see me. She got in at about 12:00AM Sunday morning. It was great to be able to see her for the first time in over 10 weeks. After sleeping in and trying to shake some jet lag, we headed off to explore the city. I showed Emily my bare-bones, humble abode and got her some of the local "hawker center" food. We went to Vivo City, Singapore's largest mall and later to Orchard, where there's a lot of shopping. We tried to catch a movie, but I got us lost and we definitely missed the last show. OUPS!
The next day, Monday, we went to Singapore's National Botanical Gardens. It was pretty nasty outside, but we decided to risk it. We spent about an hour in the park taking pictures and walking around. It wasn't a pretty day, but the garden was nice none the less. Chinatown was next! We walked around a bit and Emily got a nice piece of jade at one of the jewelery stores. Mom and Dad, I am willing to bet this is the same place you went because I saw the same ring
and bracelets that you guys bought. Don't worry Emily got "special price" too.
I had school all day Tuesday and Emily relaxed while I was gone. We met up back at my dorm and got ready to leave for our early flight to Bangkok the next morning! She was beginning to feel a little sick...uh oh. I got packed and we headed back to her hotel. It was a light beach getaway so we didn't need to pack much. Its safe to say Emily and I disagree on what "a lot" was. Conveniently feeling too queasy to pack, Emily got to shut her eyes while I figured out how to get the 10 outfits and 7 pairs of sandals of hers into a small backpack with her gallons of hair supplies. It really wasn't that bad, I'm exaggerating a bit (just a little bit) but I like to give her a hard time about it. Truth be told, we didn't have much luggage at all which would help us out a great deal the next day...
We woke up at 4AM to get ready and get to the airport early for our 7AM flight. After a little breakfast
and some cheap budget terminal shopping, we were en route to Bangkok! After we landed and went through the necessary immigration and customs, we began the hard part. I knew we needed to get to the Transportation Terminal to catch a mini-bus to Koh Chang (our final destination) but none of the employees seemed to know where it was. Time for the backup plan...we took a cab to the bus terminal in the city. It was 9:00 and we absolutely had to be on the 11:00 bus or we'd be stuck on the mainland for the first night. Problem? No way it was only a 40 minutes cab ride. We had plenty of time. Until we stopped moving for about 45 minutes. I was getting pretty anxious to get to the bus terminal (its location was unknown to me and I suspected the cab driver was taking the long way to run up the meter). We made it by about 10:45, just in time. We payed 190 baht each for the bus ride which at ($1= 35 Baht) was just over $5 each.
5 hours and 10 naps later, we arrived in the town of Trat. I knew we
needed to get to the ferry to Koh Chang. As I expected there were many "taxis" (called "songatows" - pick up trucks with covered benches in the back which seat about 8-10 passengers) waiting for us. We got to another bus station type place and bought our ferry tickets. We also got a ride to our resort arranged, return ferry tickets, and bus tickets back to Bangkok for a total of about $10 each. We luckily got on the last ferry to Koh Chang and made it to our "resort" just after dark.
The bungalow was an interesting living arrangement but it was going to have to do. It was no 5-start hotel, but we were probably at one of the nicer places on the island. You can see the mosquito nets over the beds in the pictures. We did get air conditioning so it could definitely have been worse. Emily got bitten up quite a bit, much for than I did for sure. I jokingly told her we eat got bit once for every shoe we brought. The score was pretty one sided 😉
The next day, we headed right to the beach after breakfast. After soaking
up some sun and enjoying the great ocean view, we rinsed off in the pool and set off for an afternoon adventure. We got some tasty lunch nearby and headed over to the bike rental store. For about $10 we got a motor bike and gasoline for the day. Emily reluctantly joined me on the back of the bike and we took off for the southern part of the island. We stopped and looked around a few local shops before arriving at our destination -- the pier. We were advised to watch the sunset at the pier, but arrived a bit too early. We took some pictures at the end of the dock and did a little shopping at the surrounding shops. Our treasure hunting only yielded a booty of fake Ray-Ban sunglasses and a wooden box with elephants on it, but we had a lot of fun. We headed back and went to a nice elevated look-out point to watch the sunset. After posing for a few pictures we headed back to Kai Bae beach (that's where our bungalow was) for a little dinner.
Little probably wasn't the best word to use to desribe the feast that followed
the sunset. We ate like royalty. We had salad, pizza (oddly common on the island), a burger, and some pad thai noodles. We bought so much food the gave us 2 vouchers for a free sauna experience "and a good time." Ya I'm pretty sure it means what you're thinking it means. Don't worry, we didn't try to find out. We drug ourselves back to the bungalow, stuffed and exhausted from a long day of exploring.
Unfortunately, the next morning we had to leave again to get back to Bangkok. We got up and took an early morning walk before we had to leave. We got on the 9AM ferry off the island and headed toward the mainland. Our bus left at 11:00AM for Bangkok and it took all day to get there. We arrived and took a cab to our hotel just as it was getting dark.
I really would have like more time to spend in Bangkok, but we couldn't stay long. We check in to the Lub D Bangkok (rated #7 hostel in the world!). We went off to find some food and wound up eating pizza again. It wasn't the thai food I was
hoping for, but it sure was good.
We got up early in the morning to head to BKK airport to go back to Singapore. In the 5 seconds it took me to get out of the cab, I left my wallet behind and didn't notice. By the time I realized I was without it, the cab was long gone. I was soooo mad at myself. I couldn't believe I managed to get us on and off a plane, on a bus, on a songatow, on a ferry, into our resort, back in a taxi, on a ferry again, then another 5 hour bus ride, another taxi, and into our hostel without a hitch, but then I left my wallet in the back seat of a cab at the very last point of the trip!!! GGRRRRER! The good news was, by the time I got back to Singapore, I had received an email saying the cab driver had returned the wallet to the hostel and they're gonna ship it to me. He was a pretty nice cab driver. He even put his American mix CD in the player when he saw we were his customers haha. I owe him one!
All in all, it was a great trip and I really hope I can make it back to Thailand for a much longer stay sometime. It was great to be able to spend time with Emily and relax by the shore for a while.
Don't worry the adventures will continue! I am off to Pulau Tioman and Pulau Rawa this weekend! Wish me luck!!!
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