Page 3 of ArielP Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phi Phi Don December 8th 2014

Relax! Ko Phi Phi Don So I had a few reservations about going to Ko Phi Phi (koh pee pee) island. It's very popular with tourists, particularly young backpackers, and there are reports that the island has become over commercialized and is now just resorts and people partying all night. However, it's also one of the most beautiful islands, with a lot of hiking and outdoors options. So we booked a place which was highly recommended on a secluded beach out of the main action, to try to get the best of both worlds. It's more expensive (about $40/night) but the reviews sure make it seem worth it. We catch a ferry from Krabi, and it's more of a proper ferry than the long boat from the day before. It takes 2 hours or so. We ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta December 8th 2014

We wanta Ko Lanta Can we just talk about the motorbike situation, please? I'm tired of appearing well traveled and laissez faire and pretending that observing impending death daily doesn't wear at my soul. Anyone who has been to Asia or Indonesia or Central/South America knows what I mean, and can picture the rogue motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic, helmetless, obeying no lanes or lights or traffic signals or sheer common sense. And to be fair, it's like the drivers are all participating in some grand symphony that my ears are not attuned to. The horns and motors and swerves to the left and right are like music, with a grand conductor in the clouds that white people aren't able to see. And it's not like there is just one person riding on these ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai December 8th 2014

Oh My Chiang Mai Oh, Bangkok Airways, how do I love thee. We flew Bangkok Airways our whole Thailand trip, and each flight was about $50 a person. Busses and trains would have been $10-30, but the extra time afforded was really worth it. We had free checked luggage, an a/c lounge with free wifi and snacks. I engorged on these sweet sticky rice logs rolled around black beans and stuffed in banana leaves at every stop. Do it. Do it. So all was easy to Chiang Mai. We arrive and we instantly love it. There's something to be said about the visceral reaction you have to a new place - often indescribably you like or dislike a place in your gut just at disembarkment. The city has a quaint charm about it, and is about ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Krabi December 8th 2014

Krabi town So we grab another awesome Bangkok Airways flight to Krabi town. It's raining when we arrive but we jump on a shuttle bus for cheap. The town isn't much, there are really just two streets which have restaurants and pubs. We arrive at a nondescript building and the driver signals at Cameron and me to get off. We are on a bus full of people, but only we are told to get off. We ask a few times if they are sure we get off there, and the other passengers look confused as well, but they seem insistent so we get off. Now we have no idea where we are. We ask a lady sitting on the corner of the building if she knows where our hotel is, and lo and behold, we are ... read more
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Asia » Thailand December 7th 2014

End of Bangkok - Part I, that is (There's a reason there's The Hangover Part I, II and III) I figure I should probably mention more about the Bangkok culinary scene. I tended to eat the street food because it was delicious and cheap, but there are some really high end, innovative, "cheffy" things happening there. Lots of eclectic fusion tasting menus, chefs from other countries forming collaborations, and mixology is hugely en trend. My broke ass didn't see any of this, but it's there. Also, it's quite easy to eat veggie. I went to Bonita social club which is a vegan restaurant, to have lunch with the Brazilian woman I met on the bus, but it was closed, so we went to a yoga retreat nearby which also had a vegetarian restaurant. The food was ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 30th 2014

Smile Society Bangkok Style So a positive of the horrible road to Bangkok is my landing space, Smile Society hotel and hostel in Silom. A diminutive Thai woman checks me in, but I soon find the only thing meek about her is her stature. She is a business woman to the core, has me pay up front with multiple deposits, and insists on reading me the details of her policy of no tourist sex "No Thai Boys, no Thai Girls" which makes me chuckle. She turns out to be extremely helpful and accommodating, so I can live with the schoolmaster strictness. And would never mess with this broad. The hostel is designed well. 4 floors, and on the second floor is a common room of hard dark wood floors, a flat screen TV, sofas, and a ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 30th 2014

Bangkok's Got Ariel I depart Siem Reap and am picked up from Samatika after breakfast. I had arranged a private bus ticket to Bangkok which seemed like a smart idea. It was cheap, the vehicles had AC, and there were no direct flights. So I have a sad goodbye with the staff, and get into an airconditioned car. This turns out to be the only good part about my ensuing trip to Bangkok. The ball had to drop somewhere. I get dropped off on the side of some road after a wordless 15 minute drive, and sit on the curb with a lot of other people with luggage, so I assume I'm in the right place, though am given no instruction. After about 30-45 minutes of waiting in the heat, a bus pulls up and our ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 30th 2014

I'm writing a side note about a must do in Siem Reap. I feel it's important because I would have skipped it if I hadn't been dragged to do it. And I'm so happy I was. And it has 5 stars on Trip Advisor so I'm not the only one feeling this way. Our last night we headed to the Phare "circus show", or the youth Cambodian version of cirque du soleil. The show profits benefit the Cambodian youth, and allows them to enroll in a school which teaches both academia and the arts, including music, performance, and acrobatics. The kids have to train for 8 years before they are allowed to perform. I knew not what to expect, as I was pretty disappointed with the previous show we saw, and honestly didn't want to cough ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 30th 2014

I'm writing a side note about a must do in Siem Reap. I feel it's important because I would have skipped it if I hadn't been dragged to do it. And I'm so happy I was. And it has 5 stars on Trip Advisor so I'm not the only one feeling this way. Our last night we headed to the Phare "circus show", or the youth Cambodian version of cirque du soleil. The show profits benefit the Cambodian youth, and allows them to enroll in a school which teaches both academia and the arts, including music, performance, and acrobatics. The kids have to train for 8 years before they are allowed to perform. I knew not what to expect, as I was pretty disappointed with the previous show we saw, and honestly didn't want to cough ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North November 26th 2014

We spend the next 2 days in Cambodia exploring the temples and ancient civilization of Angkor. "Angkor Wat" is often used to denote the entire complex of multiple temples, but it is actually just one site in Angkor, an ancient city and temple, and all of the other temples have specific names and played different roles throughout history. The first mention of civilization in Angkor is from Chinese literature in the 7th century, from merchants who likely came there for trade. It was an ideal center of commerce as it allowed for control of the isthmus of Kra at the neck of the Malay peninsula. There seemed to be a lot of political turnover and unrest until 790 when King jayavarnan II came into power. The wars against the Vietnamese then ceased for a period of ... read more
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