Thailand Part 1
Trip Start Aug 21, 2007
25Trip End Jun 2008
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We started our time in Thailand in Bangkok, the other city (besides NY) that never sleeps. Ever. Shops are open all through the night, both tourists and locals stay up late, and then get up early- there is always something to do, somewhere to eat, no matter what time of day or not.
While in Bangkok, we got a much-needed dose of family, as my Uncle Den, Aunt Nelda, Uncle Neil, and Auntie Val were in Bangkok as part of there 3 week South East Asia adventure. It was great to meet up with them, almost surreal to visit with them half way around the world
Next, we took a 16 hour bus ride to Krabi, which is located in Southern Thailand. Krabi is surrounded by limestone cliffs, and odd lookings karsts that stick out of the water, sometimes as high as 100 feet. The surrounding islands were beautiful- we spent one day on Pranang Cave beach, and one day doing a snorkelling tour of 4 other close islands. IT was while in Krabi that we discovered our two favourite foods here in Thailand- green papaya salad, and coconut shakes! When we weren't at the beach, we just wandered the streets, trying various foods and observing the locals, who are always quite interesting to say the least.
A highlight of KRabi was visiting the Emerald Pool and hot waterfalls, of which we have uploaded some pics. Some of the most beautiful places we have seen so far.....
From Krabi, we boarded the bus once again, and thankfully this time the trip back to Bangkok was only about 12 hours. Unfortunately, we arrived at 5:30 am, and were unable to check in to our hostel until 12. Definitely not good when you don't get more than 10 minutes of sleep on the bus. We were only back in Bankgok for one night, but this time we stayed near the infamous Khao San Road, which more than lives up to its reputation when you experience it in person.
We next went to Kanchanaburi for 3 nights, which is about 2 hours west of Bangkok. For some reason, we decided to walk the 1 km from the bus station to our guesthouse in the plus 30 heat. Sadly, 1 kilometer turned into 4 or 5 kilometers, at which point I began carrying Bonnie's pack as well as my own. Thankfully, God himself, in the form of a Swedish guy named Antoine, who now lives in Thailand, approached us and said: " You guys need a beer. Wait here." He went to get some beer and pizza, and then took us to his home, where we met his girlfriend Nenne, and there adorable daughter Boo Boo (her Thai nickname). We proceeded to spend the next 3 days with them and plan on going back to Kanchanaburi in February to see them again. That is the thing about travelling- people are always so generous and friendly
From Kanchanaburi, we travelled back to Bangkok, waited around all day, and then boarded the night train, a 16 hour ride to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. I'm still qutie traumatized, but to make it a short story, shortly after falling asleep, I felt something move across my forehead, opened my eyes, and found a cochroach right on my eye. I didn't sleep another minute the whole night, which meant that our first day in CM was a complete write off. After sleeping most of the first day, we explored CM by foot and bicycle. Awesome city, the friendliest local people we have met in Thailand, and just an all around laid back vibe, except for the massive, crowded night market. The night market had so many amazing things to buy, but was so crowded that you could only walk about 1 meter every minute- this is the Asia that I always pictured, crowded, loud, exhausting. Thankfully, most of the time it is nothing like that.
After three days in CM eating great food (what else is there in Thailand?), we went to the Elephant Nature Park, which I will write about in a separate blog. Here, we got to spend time with these incredible creatures, as well as meet some great people
After we left the Elephant Nature Park, we joined up with our friends we had met there for dinner in CM, and had a great time just visiting, and enjoying each others company. It was quite a mix to have a few Germans, Americans, Canadians, and a Thai, and it made for one of the most memorable nights so far.
As the holiday season grows near, we would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone we love back home and to those we have met during our travels.