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Published: March 31st 2011
The first rule of SE Asia is that YOU have to adapt to SE Asia, SE Asia does not adapt to YOU. This is why planning anything other than your flight in and your flight out is futile. This is a lesson I seem to learn every time I come out here, only to forget it as soon as my plane touches down on US soil.
After 24 hours of travel, we were sitting on Khao San Rd...it was 1am and we were enjoying our green curry and jug of Singha much more than the bad techno music blasting out of every corner of Bangkok's famous strip. People watching through the reflection of Jamie's amazed eyes, I noticed a guy with a T-Shirt that said 'Losers Plan It'...it was a play on the Lonely Planet logo and I found it amusing that someone on the Khao San Rd. would be making fun of the popular guidebook company. But that t-shirt has come to sum up our trip thus far.
The plan was to fly to Bangkok, spend 2 nights and one rushed day exploring the sites, fly to Koh Samui, boat to Koh Tao for a few days of
diving and then fly to Siem Reap via Bangkok. We would then work our way down through Camobida to Sihanoukville before flying home from Phnom Penh. A good 15 day sampler of SE Asia...a region that has been described as a furnace this time of year. Turns out this furance is on the fritz and even planning for a short 2 week trip is dumb.
The weather is being blamed on the earthquake, the tsunami, the other earthquake, people pissing off the gods...but the four words that really hit home for us are 'this is not normal'. Oh, those four words I heard so often when we moved to Colorado. Those 4 words! But I have to come accept that it's me. I bring the weather with me. Floods in Colorado, hurricanes in Cabo, freak snow storms in St. Louis and 75 degree days in March in SE Asia. Yes, I affect the climate. It's a gift and a curse.
But the overcast skys and cool weather have been a blessing in certain aspects. We were able to explore the Golden Palace, Wat Pho, Chinatown and the Banglamphu without sweating out a percentage of our body weight. Bangkok
was awesome and we were able to do everything we wanted to do in our short time. Jamie got beaten up, I mean massaged, but a student of the famous Wat Pho Massage School. We ate amazing Pad Thai from a street vendor, found a place for nice cocktails away from the awful music and even went and saw my old friends at the BB Boworn Guesthouse. Our hotel was beautiful but still in backpackers ghetto so even though we were pampered inside, we were still in the heart of things outside.
Due to the weather in the South I decided to canceled our flight to Koh Samui at the last minute and book a van to Koh Chang. So,so lucky. Koh Samui airport is underwater, tourists stuck, no boats running, etc, etc. Koh Chang is a huge island I have never been to before and it's been awesome. It actually feels quite a bit like the North here. Very green, lush, elephants roaming around, markets,different villages, etc. The beaches don't quite live up to Phi Phi or Tao from what I've seen, but we've been very happy here. Elephant riding yesterday and diving today...good food. And the best
part of the trip so far, drinking a bottle of Thai wiskey with soda water and ice with some local Thai guys in their 60s. Such great conversation. And even though the first glass went down hard, by the 5th it tasted like candy!
My highlights: Just being back in Bangkok and Thailand in general, Singha, talking to people from around the world and experiencing another side of Thailand by spending a little money for 'nice' accomadations. My disappointments: Not getting to Koh Tao and not being able to show Jamie the actual 'beach life' of Thailand, the laptop I brought to dump photos to crashing the day we got here and cutting my foot open the first night we got here.
Jamie's favorite things: pink cabs, cute little coffee stirers, dark mojitos, large Singha's, the fruit, noodles, curry, salads, seafood and pretty much anything else they will serve her to eat...and skinny Frenchmen in small speedos. I really do think the food will be her highlight though. That and Thai babies...she wants one and I really have to watch her closely as she almost stole one at the bar the other night. Her only disappointment is not
being to lay out in the sun.
Tomorrow we are off again...instead of going to Bangkok, we are heading overland to Cambodia. It'll take us about 12 hours tomorrow (which probaby means 15) to get to the border, cross it and get into PP to meet up with Billy for the night. The weather over there might not be the best and we might run into the path of this rain we've been hearing about...but it's all part of what has been an amazing adventure and we'll see where it takes us. Adapt or cry. Losers plan it!
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