Snake house, Cambodian and Thai beaches

Trip Start Mar 05, 2002
Trip End Jan 2003

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, December 8, 2002

From Phnom Penh, we travelled by bus to the seaside town of Sihanoukville. Of course our bus broke down on the way, but they managed to replace the broken part, and we made it. That type of thing is starting to feel normal. We spent a few days at Serendipity Beach, which was fantastic. White sand, warm, clean water, and barely any people. We ate lots of pineapple and spent lots of time in the water. While there, we ate at a place called the Snake House. The place is operated by some Russian zoologists who thought it would be a good idea to combine a restaurant with lots of live snakes and even a crocodile on a leash. There are poisonous, Cambodian snakes in glass cases all over the place. Even the tables are barrels with glass tops with live snakes inside. Since it was night when we went, all the snakes were wide awake. Cambodia is a strange place.
We returned to Thailand by taking a large boat, then a small boat, then a taxi to the border. Once we got into Thailand, we took a shuttle to the town of Trat, where we stayed at our cheapest hotel of the entire trip. Our room was only $1.10 each. And it was nice! Returning to Thailand felt like coming back to civilization. Ooh look! Paved roads! Diet Cokes! An ATM machine! These were all things that didn't exist in Cambodia.
From Trat, we returned to Bangkok, where we did lots of shopping and a little sightseeing. Lisay's boyfriend Aaron arrived, and we decided to head south, to the islands. I took an overnight bus from Bangkok, and 16 hours later I arrived in Krabi. From there, I took a boat to Railay Beach, which is on the mainland but only accessible by boat. When we arrived, the tide was out, so the boat couldn't pull up to shore, so they just kicked us out in knee deep water. Attempting to avoid sharp pieces of coral, we trudged to shore with our backpacks on, trying hard not to get too wet. Must have been quite a funny scene to watch.
Railay Beach is truly breathtaking. It looks like paradise, but unfortunately the prices to match. We stayed only two days before taking a boat to the island of Koh Lanta. Koh Lanta is also beautiful, but since it is a fairly large island, there is room for lots of different resorts, so competition is more fierce. We chose a place with private bungalows right on the beach. I am staying in a bamboo hut with nothing but a fan, a bed, and a mosquito net. Oh, and a toilet that flushes by pouring a bucket of water in it. It is basic, but clean, and we spend all day at the beach anyway. It is too hot to be anywhere except in the water. Even in the water it is hot. We bask like hippos, with only our noses sticking out of the water. We've been here for about four days, and I haven't done or seen anything except the beach. At night we watch the glorious sunset over the palm trees. This is the life.

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