The last few weeks of the trip

Trip Start Mar 05, 2002
Trip End Jan 2003

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Friday, February 20, 2004

On December 18, I flew from Bangkok to San Francisco. I hadn't originally planned to go home for Christmas, since I had just gone home in November, but Scott wasn't able to find an affordable flight out to Thailand during the holidays. The cheapest thing we could find for December was almost $2,000.00! So it actually ended up being cheaper for me to come home in December and for both of us to go to Thailand in January instead, when tickets were more affordable. I could have just stayed in Thailand, but Lisay was heading home for Christmas and I didn't want to be alone in a foreign country for the holidays, so I decided to go for it.

My parents were in Colorado visiting family for Christmas, and Scott had planned to be in Thailand visiting me, so his family wasn't expecting him at home. So we had a quiet, untraditional Christmas. To ensure that our holidays wouldn't be affected by the constant roomate drama at his house, we treated ourselves and booked a room through Priceline at the Hyatt near Union Square for a couple nights. We admired the big tree in Union Square, checked out the window displays, and basically acted like tourists in our own city. For Christmas dinner we went to Sam Wo's, a Chinese place that allows you to bring your own beer. The place is a real dive, but it has good food and great prices. We also like it because the woman who takes orders is quite enteratining. She is very impatient and can be incredibly surly. ( says it best: "the service is so rude that it verges on comic.")
New Years Eve was also a fairly mellow affair. Lisay and Aaron and came over and Scott's housemates were there with some friends.
Aside from enjoying the holidays, I spent a lot of my time in San Francisco looking at apartments with Scott. The week of the 7th my family came to town on their way back to Arcata and we got to catch up. On January 10, Scott and I returned to Bangkok.

Back in Thailand, Scott and I spent a couple days in Bangkok recuperating from jet lag. Scott got his hair bleached, which was an interesting experience. The people put the dye on in one salon, then had him walk down the street with a towel on his head to another salon to rinse the dye out. We still have no idea why this was necessary, but I found it pretty entertaining. We also went shopping at Siam Square, a huge modern mall with lots of fun stores.
From Bangkok, we took a bus to the coast, and then a ferry to an island called Ko Chang. Once on the island we got in a shared taxi truck that dropped us off at Siam Resort on Lonely Beach. Unfortunately the bungalows there were all full and we had no idea where
to find a room. It was dark and we weren't familiar with the island, so we were starting to get a little worried. Scott went to ask for advice from the bartender at Siam Resort's beach bar, and it just so happened that some of the patrons worked for another resort up the road. So we hopped onto the back of their motorbikes and after a short but scary ride, we arrived at Bailan resort. (note: the word "resort" is used loosely in Thailand.) We settled into our very basic hut and enjoyed a nice meal at the resort's restaurant, which is basically a deck built right over the water. They don't have chairs, you just sit on pillows on the deck. It is very chill. We really like the restaurant, but the resort is not on a sandy beach so we moved to Siam Resort back at beautiful Lonely Beach the following day. We got a basic hut with a mattress on the floor, a fan, and a mosquito net. It was about 10 feet away from the beach, and cost about $8. (Have I mentioned that I love Thailand?) We were happily surprised to discover that it wasn't unbearably hot and we didn't even feel the need to have air conditioning. That was lucky, because none of the huts at Lonely Beach have such frills anyway.

We spent the week relaxing on the beach, exploring the island on motorbikes, beachcombing, drinking beers, eating, and sleeping. We also stumbled upon a full moon party while walking down the beach one night, which turned out to be pretty fun.
The highlight of the trip for me was going on an elephant trek in the jungle.
The elephants were so cute and amazingly gentle. By the time our ride was over I wanted to adopt one.

After getting a good dose of island living, we returned to Bangkok. We visited Pat Pong Road, in the red light district. There, if you are so inclined, you can apparently see women do really bizarre things with their anatomy involving ping pong balls
and other accessories. We did not feel the slightest inclination to check it out, but even hearing about it from the touts was a bit much. We did get a kick out of the VD clinic located right next door to a club called Super Pussy.
We also went to the weekend market, which is a neat experience. You can buy anything from exotic pets to used clothes to Thai antiques. We didn't buy much but we enjoyed the experience.

On January 19, Scott returned to the U.S., and a couple days later I did the same thing. The trip had finally come to an end. I started looking for work on January 27, and was fortunate to find a job quite quickly. I started working on February 6. It was back to reality. Until my next trip...
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