A Travellerspoint blog

1 Month in Thailand

Dave and I are back in Bangkok. The big city. It is like an Asian New York City. It is big, loud, rude taxi drivers, and iffy service. I definitely enjoy the smaller towns more, especially the beach towns! Thailand overall has been wonderful and amazing. It is easy to travel in and you can eat almost all of the food without worrying about contracting some kind of bacteria. This is a really enjoyable country if you can get used to some of its quirks. It is very clear here in Thailand that the Asian culture values certain mannerisms and behaviour that are not valued in the west. Keeping your temper is an absolute must here, even in situations where you may feel justified in getting angry. Another one is being indirect. In the states you say what you mean and you are clear about what you want. That makes sense right? Well, the lines are a bit foggy in that regard here. Keeping an open mind is imperative when you travel and that is especially clear to us now that we are in Southeast Asia. We have, however, discovered some keys to successful travellng in Thailand. Maybe THE most important key...SMILE. It doesn't matter what you are doing or saying - just keep smiling. Smiling like a complete lunatic works wonders.

We just spent the last week and a half on the island of Koh Samui (pronounced Kah Sah-moo-ee). It is an island paradise with miles of white sand and clear water. We stayed at a nice little resort in the quieter area of the busy Chaweng Beach. We did a lot of nothing. We sat by the pool, swam, ate, drank, looked at the water, walked to the internet cafe, then sat by the pool some more. The most adventurous thing we did on the island was take a day trip to the nearby marine park - Angthong Marine Park. This was a 2 hour boat trip over rocky seas from Koh Samui. The marine park is a series of small islands and rock formations. We kayaked around the rock formations and through some short caves. There was this really cool area where we kayaked through a small cave and found ourselves enclosed by rocks all around. This marine park is credited for inspiring A. Garland to write the book "The Beach." Leonardo DiCaprio was in the movie version several years ago and several scenes in the movie were filmed at the marine park. The marine park also has an enclosed very large green lake that we hiked up and over rocks to see. You can't swim or even kayak in it but it was really pretty from the high view point. We also did some snorkeling and practiced our fancy jumps and dives off the back of the boat into the water - lots of fun and definitely worth the bahts we paid to experience it. The weather is really unpredictable right now because it is monsoon season so we lucked out that it was a clear day and didn't rain or storm on us.

We have been in Thailand for almost a month and so it is time for us to move on. We fly to Phnom Phen, Cambodia on the May 22nd. At this time we are unsure of how long we will be there - maybe a week, maybe two. I just realized that Dave and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary in Phnom Phen (May 23rd). We will have to go to a nice little Cambodian restaurant to celebrate.

Dave has posted some photos below of our time in Koh Samui.

Hey gang. Dave here. Below are some photos from our last Thailand batch that I thought were cool.

Here are several from our kayaking excursion. They were all taken from the boat or from land, none from an actual kayak. I was too paranoid I'd drop the camera in the ocean. So I have no record to share of the absolutely awe inspiring views that we saw from the water as we paddled the base of these amazing ancient rock formations. But the beauty of the place is still evident from these takes.

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These two shots show the main tourist drag on Koh Samui island near our hotel. There are tons of restaurants, bars, and shops. You can get great cheap brand knock-offs here. I got a fake Giorgio Armani cap, and Ray Ban sunglasses. And if you are in the market for a cheap suit this is the place to go. Every time we walked down here I got at least 4 different guys asking me if I wanted to buy a suit. I always politely just smiled, shook my head and said "no thanks," even though I really wanted to scream, "NO, FOR THE THOUSANDTH TIME, NOOOO." One guy even asked me "Why not?" The gull!! I didn't stop to explain why.
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You've probably seen ice cream or soda hawkers on the beaches back home, but have you ever seen a corn cob vendor? This guy walks around with this mini fire stove slung over his back on a long pole and cooks up nice fresh corn on a stick for the hungry beach-goers.
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The beach is strewn with little shacks offering massage or hair braiding, each with a sign out front similar to this. Its an odd sight to see the long row of decapitated heads on sticks (with beautifully braided hair mind you) fading off into the distance.
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There is various night entertainment on the beach. Launched fireworks, or 3 foot tall candle-fueled paper balloons drifting into the dark sky were a common sight. And at a primitive little beach bar we sat and enjoyed this talented fire performer.
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(shield your eyes from the light)
Back home I take my shirt off in public once a year to scare the children at Halloween. Now I'm scaring lifeguards around the world by baring my lifeless skin tone and floating limp in the pools.
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This makes for a good segway. Street touts are always calling out, "Where you from?" in order to get you to stop and hopefully buy something. Sometimes they guess where you are from, and upon seeing my ghost-like white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes most call out to me, "Where you from, Finland?" And the other day our kayaking guide, who was himself a very Arian looking German dude, asked the same. FINLAND!! Isn't that a hoot? Its happened numerous times. Its a running joke between me and Lynette.

Now for all you geology lovers out there, here's a series of shots with rocks that I thought were cool.

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That's all for now. Take care everyone,

Lynette & Dave

lschimpf@gmail.com
dbuck242@yahoo.com

Posted by schuckley 02:24

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