The main thing that hit me about being in Thailand again was the smell…yes Thailand has a specific smell and if you’ve been there you’ll understand what I’m talking about. To try and describe it; it’s a mix of heat, damp, sweat, food, fumes and a tinge of sewage and stale water all blended together. Haha mmmmmm Thailand!
After some smoothing talking or should I say hilarious mime and broken English at Krabi airport I managed to get the donations of bandaging materials through customs without having to open it and inevitably lose it or pay a hefty ‘tax’ to the two Thai gentleman that manned the xray machine. My adventure continued to getting a taxi and arriving at my gorgeous hotel. Splurging out on the Dee Andaman hotel for 2 nights proved to be an excellent idea and the free upgrade was a really nice surprise.
I spent the next two days relaxing by the pool, eating delicious Thai food, shopping and adjusting to the 37C heat and 88% humidity. I indulged in air conditioning in my room and had to laugh when it was set to 26C to cool the room down and it was working, shows
you how hot it was outside. Also had a pack of rather vocal dogs outside which I’m sure would prepare me for what was to come, living onsite in an animal welfare clinic.
My transfer to Koh Lanta was classic Thai style. A mini van packed to the roof with luggage and people, was pretty glad that I was the last to be picked up and so therefore had a seat by the window and door so I could get out at ferry stops and take some pics. The trip was 3 hours and in that time I enjoyed taking in my surroundings and the Thai way of doing things. Passing by a small field with some cattle grazing in it I had to smile, for they don’t have fences to keep the cattle in, they have someone watching them to make sure they don’t wander onto the road, that’s their job all day, to sit under a tree and watch cattle. Tho I guess this can be justified by the old ways and that this was the way but when we passed a nursery growing small trees and other interesting plants, these too are watched over by a
large number of locals sitting idly in the noon day heat…
The approach to driving in Thailand is unique or otherwise described as a guaranteed loss of license and most of your sanity in New Zealand. Each individual has the road as their own and their destination is their mission, should there be anyone in front of them, then it becomes the target to pass whether it be by gently encouraging them off the road by a barrage of horn abuse or busting the crap out of their engine to crawl past, as long as you get past it doesn’t matter. And the fact that they may have been travelling at a completely acceptable speed doesn’t matter, they were infront of you, that’s all. There is no speed limit, or the signs are just totally invisible to the entire population and I swear traffic lights are just an annoying suggestion. Indicators are magic tools as having one on means that you intend to pass regardless of oncoming traffic. You simply make room, I would too. I reckon it’s a lesson you learn really fast around here!
One of the highlights of the trip was when we passed a
sign saying, ‘hunting area’, wonder what they are hunting….glad we passed through at a hasty pace.
The ferry crossings worked in our favour and we only had to wait 10 mins at each (this can take up to 2 hours if you run into queues). It was nice to get out of the van and look out over the water, the mangroves, the islands popping up randomly here and there and have anticipation building. We convinced the bus driver to drop us all off at our respective hotels and so I got a rather nice scenic tour of the island before he had to stop for directions twice to figure out where I had to go. Finally turning off the main road and feeling rather lost we pulled up next to a complex with a large sign saying Lanta Animal Welfare, encompassed by a bright red heart…this is it, my home for the next 2 months. It busy with people and volunteers, there are cats laying sprawled out in the shade everywhere and dogs being taken out on walks by tourists. I walk up to the door and a slim blonde woman looks up from the dog she is
handling and says ‘you must be the new vet nurse, welcome, come on in’. Its chaotic but its welcoming and it’s a new exciting adventure waiting for me…
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