Monday, January 10, 2011

Thailand so far

If I told you where I was as I was writing this I know you wouldn't believe me.  Well ok maybe you would, but you might be insanely jealous.  I will therefore let the fact go that I am sitting on a beach in Thailand typing this post. 

I will start this post by talking about my last night in Singapore.  My day went fairly well.  I ran out of my hostel as quick as possible that morning due to the craziness that was sleeping mere feet from me.  Luckily she was still asleep while I snuck out.  I don't think anything bad was going to happen, but I didn't want to explain to her that she couldn't tag along with me and then come back to my place and find my stuff shredded.  Well I wandered around town and then met up with my friend Pablo from Korea.  Pablo is a teacher down in Daegu and we both just happened to be in Singapore at the same time.  We met up and met a friend of his that he met through Couch Surfing.  We headed down to Arab street and had an awesome Arab style dinner.  Hummus, couscous, feta cheese, chicken, everything was just succulent.  After that we wandered around town more and I realized that I really do love the buildings in Singapore.  After an hour or so of wandering we sat down at a coffee shop and proceeded to order desserts.  The conversation was excellent and we closed the place out.  After that we said our goodbyes as I was leaving in the morning.

I awoke the next day to take my journey to Bangkok.  The flight went without a hitch and I arrived in Bangkok around 2.  After terrorizing some Koreans who were in the Immigration line next to me (they were quite surprised when I spoke Korean to them), I walked and grabbed a taxi to my Guesthouse.  Now, taxis in Thailand are an adventure.  The government recently stipulated that all taxis must use meters, however, this is not the case.  I knew that there was an official taxi stand where the drivers were supposed to use the meter and they were given your destination by someone who spoke English and Thai.  Yet, even though I went through this, my taxi driver still didn't use the meter.  We agreed on a price that I knew to be fair.  He may have made an extra dollar on me but it was a fair price and he didn't try to screw me.  However, the way the system is enforced when you use this method is that you are given a ticket.  This ticket is a complaint form that you can send in.  You do not give this ticket to the driver ever.  However, my driver asked me for the ticket at least 5 times before I just finally told him no.  Welcome to Thailand.  I haven't even been in the country an hour and someone is trying to screw me out of some money already. 

I unfortunately did not have anytime to explore Bangkok.  I was meeting Brian at our guesthouse whenever he got in, and I was really tired.  When Brian arrived we went and had dinner and then explored Ko San Road.  For those of you that have never been to Thailand or Bangkok, Ko San Road is like being on Spring break.  It is a pulsating, surging mass of people who are primarily foreign.  It's a backpacker hub and drunken adventure.  It's impressive to sit and watch.  Everywhere are tuk tuk drivers asking if you want shows or boom boom.  Needless to say that part was annoying, but it is amazing people watching.  The next day Brian and I headed for Koh Lanta.  We hoped a plane a bus and a ferry to get to our destination.  The ferry ride, while loud was exceptionally beautiful.  The pictures don't quite do it justice.  We arrived at Koh Lanta and began our haggling with a taxi driver to take us to our hotel.  Upon arrival we realized that we really don't belong at this place.  This place is designed for rich families and richer people.  I feel like we declass the joint a bit, but besides the room rates this place is excellent.  We have our own beach, and while it's not great, it's also not bad.  Located up and down our strip of sand are numerous places with cheap food and cheap drink.  In fact, I think as soon as I finish this post I'm going to go put my suit on and take my morning swim.

We met Brian's cousin and her husband yesterday at our hotel.  We hung out all day drinking on the beach and had dinner together.  Today around noon they are going to come and we're all going to go snorkeling together somewhere.  In fact we're going to get there by renting scooters.  Luckily I know how to ride one but it should be a great time to go cruise this island.

This will probably be my last posting until Laos so I wish you all life and love. 

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