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Published: November 24th 2012
After not having written in a long time, I have finally found some time on a rainy afternoon in Ao Nang, Thailand to update you on my travels. After having spent 9 months in Sunny Oz, I decided it was time to venture on to a new destination for a much needed break away from Oz, and mainly from ‘work’ if you can call it work! In a nutshell…. a very big nutshell my Australia highlights so far…. Seeing the amazing stars and the Milky way whilst working on the lemon farm, Visiting mainly places including St Kilda, Melbourne, the Great Ocean road, The blue Mountains, Echuca, Mildura and Beautiful Sydney. The ferry trip to Manly definitely stands out as one breathtaking moment too seeing all the nice houses of the rich and famous along the Harbour. Spending 4 months on the farm was definitely one thing which I thought I would never be able to achieve but with some minor moaning on my behalf, I got through it! Seeing Kangaroos in the wild with Baby Joeys really impressed me, far more than those in the zoo, and surfing (or trying to) on Palm Beach and spotting dolphins in Collaroy were also surreal moments. A day out in the Winery drinking all the free wine possible with new friends was also brilliant.
But now my adventure in Thailand is rather more busy and jam-packed than my life in Sydney.. Even though I am still a holiday maker in Australia, I feel very much like a tourist abroad in Thailand! From the moment Chris and I left Oz, we have most certainly been ripped off on more than once occasion! JWe departed Oz on the 5Th
November and took a night flight direct to Bangkok. After a 9 hour flight and a couple of Carlton Draughts later, we arrived in Crazy Bangkok! As soon as we arrived a guy came running over to us asking if we wanted a taxi. At 2am Chris just wanted to say yes and jump in but after having read all the scams in Bangkok I insisted we got one from the proper company! J After a 1 hour drive at quite some speed with no seatbelts, we rocked up at PenPArk place. I was so surprised at this place and the room was far nicer than I was expecting after having driven past some dives. I managed to find our first chang for 50 bhats and fell straight asleep. The next day we woke up very sweaty and having had not much sleep due to jetlag and the heat, we got up and went for an English Classic! Shame on us! Then Headed straight for Kohsan Road. We must have walked around for literally 15 minutes, and stopped at a bar where there were fans! The heat and humidity really is horrid and is far worse than we imagined I think. 5 hours later and 20 Changs later, we peeled ourselves away and got a Tuk Tuk ride back to the Hotel. Again the most ridiculously overpriced Tuk Tuk for 5 minutes but was soo funny. Drunk Chris had to stop half way round to buy the driver a Beer! Somewhere along the way we picked up a police officer called Jack from London and spent the next few days as a threesome. We carried on drinking ‘to cool down’ at the hostel and spoke to Chris’s mum! Very messy 1 st day in Bangkok and in my eyes the Lonely Planet describes it to a T, “This Behemoth Asian metropolis is no shrinking violet. It is overcrowded, polluted, chaotic and never boring!”
Second day in Thailand can in a nutshell be described as just as ridiculous!! Again we woke up so early due to the hot humid air circulating in the room and went to the travel shop in the hotel to book some trips to escape this madness. We booked a one day trip to the Damnoen Saduak floating markets and the River Kwai Bridge. And a 3 day jungle trek in Chang Mai. Both brilliant trips and well worth the combined 4000 Bhats. Chris also booked his trip and Visa to Vietnam. After all this was done, we headed back to crazy Kohsan road to explore a bit more. We made it around some of the markets this time, ate Pad Thai and somehow ended up in a bar next to the fans. Chris tried his first bug… although he took the wrong approach by eating it slowly.. yuk.
The Floating markets day arrived and this was really a highlight of mine. It was incredible to see people living along side here and everything was done in the longtail boats. We paid for a lady to paddle us around the markets, while I bartered for some elephant pants, Chris bartered for beers! It seemed a pattern was forming, every driver we had seemed to want a beer from Chris! After half a day at the floating markets we got back into the cramped mini bus and headed for the River Kwai. The Bridge itself was very impressive and although I didn’t know it at the time, Chris told me it was in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai
, which is a World war 2 film. Sadly it was way too hot for me so I waited for him in the local pub overlooking the bridge in the shade! We were supposed to go to the Tiger temple but after realising it wasn’t included in the price we waited for our group right there and watched the world go by. Our last night in Bangkok soon came around and we definitely went out with a bang. Chris and I went to a nice little bar and while I drank Rum and cokes, Chris was downing the Buckets of Vodka. A few hours later, 5 roses and a lot of fish sauce down his top we headed back to the Hotel. Just when I thought we were safe, the craziness began! We met Boy and Apple and the 2 French guys and Chris left Bangkok the next day leaving another broken heart behind.
To Chang Mai it was.. I really don’t think I was prepared for the tough, sweaty and incredible climbs awaiting us. It was the best thing I have done in a long time but it was also the toughest. And made me realise just how unfit I am! Over the 3 days we trekked through the most humid and lush green jungle I have ever seen, rode elephants, watched the night fall, the stars come out and the fireflies by the open fire. Stayed in Bamboo huts, washed the elephants, visited the Karen hilltribe village, swam in the coldest waterfalls, spent one night living with the tribe, ate maggots, did some white water rafting and Bamboo rafting which was very odd and it was all over in a flash. Our Guide Chan was awesome too and really couldn’t have asked for a better trip with a really fun group! And remember Chris, What happens in the Jungle, stays in the Jungle! Mr Hong Thong!
Back to Bangkok on the overnight sleeper train was an experience too. Dinner and a few beers and the beds came tumbling down for what was a really good night sleep. However when you have a dodgy stomach, and you have to crouch over the hole in the floor for the toilet on a fast moving train, it did get a bit messy!
15 hours later we arrived back in grey Bangkok, Chris and I said a very emotional goodbye (not) as he ran for his taxi! And I waited to catch my second night train in a run to Krabi. Another 15 hours later I arrived dead to the world in Krabi. Krabi Town itself isn’t known for its must-see sights however it does have a certain charm. It has a lot of cute bars, many night markets and quite a relaxed way of life. On my second day in the Pak up hostel, I met the lovely Virginie who I then travelled with for 4-5 days. She is from Bordeaux and we spend many a night wandering the night markets and drinking a lot of pineapple shakes! I finally got my Thai massage which was as good as I imaged. It was so ood that after an hour I asked to get a foot massage as I didn’t want it to end! After a couple of days in Krabi, we decided to move on and we came to AO Nang. This beach again is nothing spectacular, it’s nice but it has a large amount of souvenir shops, tailors and restaurants. We found a really good deal at Jinga guesthouse just off the main strip for 275 bahts per night with a fan. We spent 2 days together on the beach and took a day trip on a longboat to Railay beach where the beaches are NICE. After being there for the day we really wanted to stay but it was way too pricey! I also did a day trip around the 4 islands. We got to zoom around on a longtail boat all day to several green islands including Koh Poda, Koh Chicken. I did some snorkeling and made friends with an older couple from London. We also visited the caves in Tham Phra Nang and swam in the crystal clear waters.
I have just tomorrow left in this paradise then I am headed back to sweaty Bangkok on the bus (which is even worse than the train) for 2 nights before catching my flight back to sunny Sydney for what will I am sure not feel like Christmas at all on the beach!! 😊
I hope you are all having a wonderful November and getting excited for Christmas! Ciao muchos love
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