$0 airfares, puredbred labradors, and fried aborigine made our 5 day trip to Ko Samet and Bangkok another mindblowing holiday.
26.03.2009 - 30.03.2009
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So my memories of Thailand consist of staying in a 5 star resort in Hua Hin, followed by 2 or possibly 3 days in Bangkok. A city which I remember being incredibly polluted, too busy, too hot, and generally "too everything".
But that was back in, 2000? Plus, I was only 12, maybe my small size contributed to thinking everything was "too busy", "too big" etc.
I came to Thailand with an excitement for Ko Samet, our chosen island, but that same excitement didn't wear for Bangkok. I already had pre-judged the city with my opinion from 9 years prior.
My 2 friends and I, Jon and Zaria, hopped on an Air Asia flight (yes, with a $0 airfare), over the landlocked country of Laos, and flew into Bangkok 2 hours later. We had decided earlier to go to Ko Samet first, then Bangkok second.
So after arranging a taxi to Ban Phe, a ferry to Ko Samet island, and a jeep taxi to our hotel, we had arrived at our villa.
Our 2 and a bit days at Ko Samet consisted of lazing on the beach, swimming in the high content salt water, and playing with the beautiful puppies.
Night times consisted of eating/drinking at one of the many bars sprawled on the beach, playing soccer on the sand, and just having fun.
And of course, typically Asian, Jon experienced some foods that weren't exactly to his liking!
Aborigine vs. Aubergine.
On Friday we went on a snorkelling expedition. At first I was really scared when we got in the water, because it was so deep and swimming in deep water in the ocean frazzled me a little. But, a lifejacket fixed that and I was ok after I got used to it. That's as far as my "extreme" water sporting goes. Don't force me into a scuba diving outfit and oxygen tank!!
The sunset on the west side of the island was magnificent, and got to spend more time in the warm water.
Leaving the sun, the surfie dogs that frequented the beach, and the opportunity to tan was dissapointing, but it was still an adventure getting from one place to another.
Leaving the island, we caught a boat back to the mainland, and a bus into Bangkok.
So with my "too busy, too big, too polluted" mentality in mind, we drove into a city that appeared cleaner, with wider roads, not much pollution, busy yes, but not crazy traffic and electronic billboards and large modern buildings. My memories started to fade away into what had become this international city booming with tourism, with good infrastructure and road rules that were followed. The city was just bliss. The three of us "New Hanoians" were all keenly impressed on this modern city quite quite different to the communist, highly conservative and sometimes frustrating country of Vietnam. Teenagers paved the streets wearing Converse shoes, and sporting purple hair, while homosexuals could be openly gay. What a free country! It was just so............ COOL!!!!
A tuk tuk into the city
A vegetarian Thai cooking class at May Kaidee's - http://www.maykaidee.com/
General order on the roads
And of course shopping
Made Roadtrip 2009 (via modes of boat, bus, taxi and plane) awesoooooooooooooooooooooooome.
P.S. Please read this article in the Vietnam News about Son Tra Peninsula. It is a big mountain peninsula which we occassionally drive up as it brings in beautiful views of Danang and it's beaches. It is now untouched by tourists (Danang is boring to tourists), but somehow I think that in 5ish years, there will be tourists swarming this mountain.
Let's pray that this won't happen.