Farewell Thailand

Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
Trip End Feb 23, 2011

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Where I stayed
On Corinne's couch!

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, May 3, 2010

My next stop in Thailand was a small town called Pak Chong, which is right next to Khao Yai National Park. I came here to visit my friend Corinne who is living in Thailand teaching English. She is a cook at the Scripture Union camp I used to go to when I was a kid and went back to as a leader, so she is better known as "Cookie Corinne". So me never one to turn down a free couch stayed with her for a few days. We went out to the National Park to see the big waterfall that Leo jumps off in the film “The Beach” it was pretty cool, although it doesn't look as high in real life. The scooter ride through the park was lots of fun though, we saw a snake and a couple of huge lizards on the road and I almost ran over a chipmunk, but it got away!

Now because Corinne is known to me primarily as a provider of food, I was quite amused when instead of cooking me dinner, she got her friend to come and cook a meal for us; I am not complaining though because the meal was most excellent!

Corinne had to “work” the next day, and by work I mean go to the school and sit on Facebook all day) so I was left to my own devices with free reign on the fridge (except for the Pesto, which was fine by me) and allowed to use her scooter! It was a very nice scooter although compared to a motorbike it does feel like you are sitting on a toilet, but the transport was much appreciated nonetheless :-D

On my penultimate day in Pak Chong, just before Corinne came back from work I decided to wear my Morphsuit just because I could and I though it would be funny… which it was! Corrine was highly amused when she returned from work and then even more amused when I scared the crap out of her friend next door. Thing escalated quickly from there when I decided to drive the scooter around the grounds. Finally to top off the whole affair I decided to go shopping at the 7-11! The stares I got from the locals was fantastic! (for those of you who don’t yet know what a Morphsuit is check out www.mophsuits.com)
All too soon my time in Pak Chong was over and I was on a bus to Bangkok, the kind of local Thai bus that plays stupid pop song videos (which are all the same) on a TV and musical tributes to the king (man do they love that guy!)

I was expecting the worst when I arrived in Bangkok, because news had spread of increased violence and shootings with the Thai Red Shirt protesters, but I arrived at Koh San Road without seeing a single protester. The Koh San Road was nearly empty though when I arrived at about midday – very unusual for this particular road which is normally 24/7 music, street stalls and tourists. However it did get a little busier towards evening time. I was only in Bangkok for 1 night as I was due to fly to Hong Kong the next morning so I used this time to squander the last of my Thai Baht and finally did what I had been planning to do for about a year – I got dreadlocks!! Yep, after talking about it for months, I finally found someone on the Koh San Road able to dread my hair for a reasonable price. It took about 4 hours and didn’t hurt much at all, I also bought a snazzy green 7-11 tank-top to complete the look!

So my Thai experience over I now have to try and summarise it in a few sentences… not easy cause it is a country with such a variety of experiences to offer, and I barely scratched the surface in the short time I was here.

Thailand is one of the most Scenic places you will ever find, with beautiful pristine beaches, crystal clear water, huge national parks and fantastic mountains and hills. It a the perfect place to go to get that sun-bronzed look, and everything is so cheap that to sit in a beach hut eating a meal and drinking beer is affordable to all but the poorest traveller. However the greatness of the country is also its downfall, it is no secret how great the Thai beaches are and as a result many areas have become a tourist trap where everywhere you look swarms of sunburn idiots flock about drinking too much and shouting all the while only locals in the area walk up and down trying to sell rubbish souvenirs.

Many hard-core backpackers now speak ill of Thailand and say how rubbish it has gotten. They hate the party atmosphere and are only interested in the “real country”, however I was quite happy to enjoy a balance between the two. It was awesome to enjoy the madness of a Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan and I think it made it even more special when I was able to escape the crowds to do a trek or to find a hidden cove or village. No matter what you enjoy I think Thailand caters for most needs!

Highlights of Thailand:

-         Trekking in Chiang Mai

         Scuba Diving on Koh Tao

         The Full Moon Party

         The food

Not so good:

         The crowds of stupid tourists

         Bangkok – I find this city gets old very fast

         The lady-boys/whores

         Tuk-tuk drivers taking you to stupid shops instead of your destination

 Thus ends my Thai experience, Next stop Hong Kong & China!


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