A Travellerspoint blog

My Indian Birthday

Why my friends are so wonderful! :-)

For a very long time I have wanted to come to India, and now that I am here- it all seems so surreal and I still can’t believe that I am here. In India. For realsies!

We flew from Bangkok to Delhi on Saturday night. The flight went ok- except the large number of children onboard. Most of them were well behaved- except one 3 year old. His mother gave him coffee with sugar at 8pm! So of course he was off his head- running up and down the aisle. I feel sorry for the air hostess who had to constantly tell the mother to control her child!
So, fast forward to Delhi- going through passport control was a breeze! It took a while for our luggage to come out, but soon I was giving my friend, Kishan, the biggest hug ever!! I know Kishan from my time in Ostrava, Czech. He was my Wednesday bike- riding- buddy :-), as well as a very good friend!
He had driven, with his friend, to the airport to pick us up. The drive home was an introduction to Indian roads (at a non-busy time)- and it was hectic! There’s unwritten “rules of the road” here, so everyone knows what to do, when to give way, etc. But for us- it looks like complete chaos! The lanes don’t really exist, and motorbikes and small cars squeeze between large trucks and rickshaws. Then there’s the odd horse-drawn cart- on a busy highway!

We stopped under a bridge, which I thought nothing of. But I should have known Kishan had something up his sleeve! It was midnight, so it was my birthday—and being the great guy Kishan is- he had brought me a cake, even candles! So there we were, under a bridge with fast cars zooming past us, singing happy birthday and eating delicious-melting cake! Fantastic way to start my birthday! :-)

That night Angie and I stayed the night at Kishan’s apartment. It was so hot, and I think I suffered from heat exhaustion or heat stroke- because the next morning I was so drained, nauseous and feeling like I was going die! But a short time spent in an air-conditioned restaurant, lifted my energy levels and I felt surprisingly alright. We did some shopping. I am amazed at the high level of customer service here- so many people milling around the shop- willing and waiting to help you with anything! (Vietnam should learn a thing or two about how to treat their customers from India!). Angie and I chilled for a bit in a hotel. Later we took the metro to where Kishan lives.
He picked us up and we went to his apartment. We waited for a while in a friend’s room- I didn’t think much of what was happening…. Kishan then called us down to his room- and wow! What a surprise!!! :-) He had organized a party for me (with cake, food, beer), and not just with his friends here- but with my friends living in all parts of the world! They were on yahoo chat, a video call. We could see each other, but not hear. But it was still so great to see them, and for them to be “here” with me on my birthday. So special! Thanks guys!!!:-). Later we danced a bit, then went out for pizza—amazing choice for vegetarians!

Delhi is very very hot, dusty, dirty and overwhelming. But I sense a good vibe here….We are staying in the backpackers area, so lots of “new age hippies” walking around.
On Wednesday we will go north, to Chandigarh (where Kishan’s parents live) and from there work our way further north to the mountains.

I’ll be back with more of India soon! :-)

Posted by piratejax 05:13 Archived in India Comments (3)

Riding bikes with triangle hats while eating noodle soup

Vietnam

Our first city was Saigon- and man what a city it is! Scooters and cars and buses dodging left and right; scary road crossings; noisy; polluted and oh-so-hot! There was no escape from the stickiness! We stayed in a nice hotel- with free breakfast, tea and coffee and noodle soup for dinner.

We didn’t do a whole lot here, except plan for our departure and next town. We did go to a Czech restaurant, which made both Honza and I extremely pleased. They had no kofola, but the beer made up for it, as well as the smazeny syr :-) Later we had an awesome karaoke session…

One of the weirdest experiences was being massaged by a blind lady. Close to our hotel there was a massage institute where blind people are taught how to massage. We arrived, and were shown to a hospital- smelling- and- looking room. I was indicated to take my top and bra off and lay on the bed. It was the worst massage I have ever had! Sometimes she would be fiddling with some earpiece and have one hand on me- rubbing the same place for 5 minutes!
Angie had worst experience: since she was massaged by a guy- all he did were her legs in the most painful manner! Even though it was no Thai massage- we left with a good feeling that we had helped them somehow.

From Saigon we took a bus to Dalat- up in the cool highlands. What a relief to be away from the heat and humidity! We rented scooters and just rode around going nowhere in particular. It was my first time to drive a scooter in a town, so I was a little nervous (especially with the right-side road rules) - but I got used to it pretty quickly.

On our second day we went canyoning in a beautiful setting. There were 7 of us- 2 really nice Israeli’s (who we would later bump into further north) and a British couple. We had some practice abseiling from an easy height- then we moved to higher ground. The most challenging abseil was the waterfall! We had to abseil (very slowly or you’ll slip) down through a waterfall. At one point I was literally in it- water splashing all over you; I couldn’t see where I was putting my feet. Then the rock ended and below was a 3m drop- and the only way out of this mess was to let go of your rope and fall…. Fun times! :-)
We also had the opportunity to jump off rocks- about 4m high. It might not sound high, but when you’re standing on the edge- it’s pretty scary. The best is not to think- just jump. The more you think, the harder it gets.

Our next destination was Nha Trang (on the coast). The bus to get there would take about 7 hours- so we wondered if there was an alternative way to get there… Riding a bike? 70km? Seriously? Ok, why not? A minivan drove beside us (carrying our luggage and lunch). Our guide, Happy, was true to his name and was great company. The road we took wasn’t a busy one- the odd truck or bus passed every now and again; so we had the road pretty much to ourselves. There were some horrible up hills- but wow was it worth it when we went down and down and down! The pass cuts and winds through the most fantastic scenery- huge hills and mountains covered in lush, green jungle. I felt so free! The sky darkened and the clouds released their load- but we didn’t care or even mind- riding in a torrential downpour is character building ;-)

We stayed the night in Nha Trang and took the train up to Danang the next morning. From Danang we took a taxi to my favourite Vietnam city- Hoi An. This is the cutest, quaintest, quietest, funnest and prettiest little town I’ve seen. We planned to stay 3 days, ended up staying 5. Our hotel was great- an outside swimming pool and free cocktails in the evening. For the 5 days all I did was ride a bike, go to the beach, eat and have clothes made. Hoi An is famous for its cheap tailors- so of course we took advantage. Honza had a few shirts made, while Angie and I got some dresses. It’s an addictive activity- once I had one dress made and I see how well it fits- I wanted more and more!

Within Hoi An there is an “ancient town”, which is pretty much European looking- little streets here and there, tiny alleyways, cute café’s, people walking and riding everywhere. It was so much fun just riding around, maybe stopping from cheesecake or tiramisu.
We spent some time on the beach- getting hassled by the ladies selling crap and no matter how many times I say “no thank you I don’t want anything”- they wouldn’t go away! I was really impressed by the beach- could be compared to South African beaches. It was big and wide with white soft sand. The water was clear and warm and just perfect- there were even waves! Go Vietnam!
We bumped into our Israeli friends and had a great night out with them and the friends they had met along the way.

We continued on, by train, north, to Hanoi. This was my first sleeper train and it was actually not bad! Relatively comfortable beds allowed for a good night’s rest. We had booked a 2 night 3 day tour on Ha Long Bay so when we reached Hanoi at 5am we immediately took a taxi to a hotel from where we would be picked up. It was 4 hour journey in the worst minivan I have ever been on! I don’t think the manufacturer has ever heard of a thing called “suspension”
The boat we would stay on was just like a pirate boat! It was awesome! :-) There were 15 of us- from the UK, Italy, Israel, New Zealand and Taiwan. We all sat down and enjoyed a nice lunch (vegetarians catered for! :-)) and got to know each other a little bit. In the afternoon we visited a cave, and then did some kayaking and swimming and jumping off the boat (5m). Ha Long bay is such a weird place—all these giant rocks randomly jutting up out of the sea!

We were supposed to stay the second night on Ca Ba Island, but the tour guide messed it up. So instead we spent the day kayaking (which was just amazing!) This is when trouble started and we discovered that the Vietnamese in the north are very different to the south. Honza and I were 10 minutes (just 10!) to get back to the boat after kayaking- but as we got there the boat started to speed away. We had no idea what was going on so we just paddled faster, thinking it was some game… Well, while we were gone (being late) our guide started to shout at the rest of the people on the boat (Angie and 3 other UK girls) about where were we and that he was going to leave us behind… As soon as he saw us coming he told the driver to speed up! Angie and the other girls started shouting at him to stop but he wouldn’t hear it. When we eventually pulled near to the boat he sneered at us “you stay in the water, not on the boat”. Eventually we got on… But it was so weird- who shouts at their customers?!?(Vietnam is known for not receiving “repeat tourism”- and I can see why!)

Then another incident- we were taken to another boat where we would stay the night. Everything seemed honky dory…until the lady in charge told me that our group would split up in the morning- 2 of us would go to another boat and one would stay on this one. I simply refused this and kept on insisting that we were not going to split up!(Especially since they had messed up our itinerary) She stormed off in a huff- only to come back 10 minutes later with the same proposal- this time basically shouting at me! I raised my voice quite a bit (never knew I had it in me to shout at someone--It was fun! ;-)) And then she did this a third time! A while later she came back saying that we would all stay on this boat. Hahaha I won b%$ch!!! ;-)

We have met several people with similar experiences in Ha Long Bay—being treated so badly by the tour guides on the boat. Someone needs to tell them that shouting at a customer is the single worst thing they can do! So if anyone is heading to Ha Long Bay- I advise you to not take a tour. Rather just get to Ca Ba Island on your own (there are ferries to take you there) and figure out the rest on your own.

Some other friends were in Sapa (in the north) and they had to stop a fight between backpackers and the owners of the hotel (hotel owners can get angry if you don’t want to stay there or for some other lame reason). This is not uncommon and we were warned that the people in the north are more uptight, angry, short tempered compared to the south. I can definitely tell the difference between north and south Vietnamese, and if I ever go back to Vietnam I am definitely staying in the south!

From Ha Long Bay we went back to Hanoi for just one night- and here is when our trio split up. Honza took a train all the way down to Saigon (30 hours) and from there he flew to Kuala Lumpur and then to Paris. So now it’s just us girls.

Angie and I took a train to Ninh Binh (2 hours south from Hanoi). It’s a small town with beautiful surroundings- they call it “Ha Long Bay on rice paddies”. On the first day we met up with Cary and his friend, Ian. I know Cary from South Korea (also was an English teacher) and for the past 3 weeks we had been trying to find a meeting point. We were always 2 days ahead of them, but in Ninh Binh our paths finally crossed! We rented bicycles and rode around in the most intense heat I’ve had in a long time! We got a bit lost trying to find this one place to take a boat- I find that maps in Vietnam are absolutely shockingly bad!
The next day Angie and I rode a bit, but went back to our aircon room quite quickly… In the evening we had some great laughs with a really funny British couple- man I love their humour!

The next day would change our trip somewhat…. We rented a scooter and tried to find Cuc Phuong National Park. I had checked google maps for the directions, so we had a mild idea of how to get there. So together with the shitty map the hotel gave us and my hand drawn google-map we set out on a mission! It was a bit scary in the beginning- real weekday traffic with buses, trucks and scooter dodging here and there! But I did alright and soon we were on a quite country road. Wow! It is so beautiful here- in the distance there is the mountains (which look like “Ha Long Bay on rice paddies”) and all around us are green rice paddies (reminded me a little of South Korea). We got a bit lost- due to the locals all telling us different directions, but it’s all part of the journey! The National Park is amazing! Huge hills covered with jungles, tons of butterflies and so peaceful.

We didn’t have much time (since our train was leaving at 6pm) so we ate some vegetable noodle soup and started to ride back. We had ridden for about 20 minutes when in the distance we saw what looked like “dooms day clouds”-low, black and thick clouds moving towards us. We kept on going—gotta make the train! The rain fell down and it stung our faces; the wind picked up and I had to steer the scooter extra carefully- so as to avoid being swept away. I was following a dude on a motorbike and everything was going well- when all of a sudden he stupidly braked hard. I had to follow suit so as to avoid hitting him. In all the confusion and rain and wind I hadn’t noticed that we were on loose gravel, so obviously when you brake hard on gravel the inevitable occurs… The bike skidded on its side for about 5 seconds, taking us along with it. We were wet and in shock. My right arm felt like it was broken and my upper right thigh had been badly eaten by the road (in this moment I could hear my dad’s voice saying “always wear jeans when you’re on a bike”. I can now see why his advice is a pretty good idea….).

There were some boys standing near us and it took some while before they ran to help us (North Vietnamese…) This is when I should say how proud I am of Angie! There I was confused, in pain and a bit lightheaded and she took complete control of this shit situation. She had also received her fair share of roasties, but this didn’t cloud her thoughts. We managed to get the bike back up and since my right arm was useless- she had to drive. We got about 2km when we had to stop or run the risk of another accident. We found some shelter and waited out the storm with 8 other Vietnamese- who all seemed to think our accident was funny! WTH?!?

After about 20 minutes we could leave and brave the scooter again. Angie was nervous about having to drive on the main road, at peak traffic hour- but with some backseat driving from me- she did wonderfully! We arrived at our hotel hoping to be received with care and love and help- but no, we are in North Vietnam-so I can’t expect them to give a damn about us! Honestly- they cared more about their scooter then us! I was disgusted at the way they dealt with us! We had to ask for some antiseptics etc, and then hobble to the pharmacy for more supplies (and deal with the language barrier). We had to do all of this in a jiffy- since our train left at 6pm (it was 5pm now) and to miss it meant we would lose $80, and then have to take a bus. Somehow, I don’t know how- but we managed to clean ourselves up and get to the train station on time. I really didn’t think we would make it. To get through the 26 hours we stocked up with oreo’s and yoghurt and painkillers. I surprisingly got some sleep and the next day flew past.

Finally we reached Nha Trang- in the south (so back to friendly people! Yahh!! :-) ) A pharmacist helped us out (again I can feel the huge difference in friendliness and helpfulness between north and south) and applied some iodine and some antibiotic cream to my damaged leg. We bought some supplies and then headed back to the hotel to sort ourselves out. Angie has a scraped knee and a roastie on her elbow- but no serious damage. My right arm isn’t broken, just sprained. But it’s no surprise that its so weak- since it has gotten the most damage in the recent past…

I write this from our hotel in Nha Trang, where we will just chill out and heal and feel sorry for ourselves that we can’t go snorkeling :-(.
Tomorrow night we take our last Vietnamese train and fly out from Saigon to Bangkok on Friday morning. On Saturday evening we leave Southeast Asia and begin another journey…. INDIA! :-)

So this will be my last blog entry for a little while- I will probably start another one for India. If you have read this far- well done and thank you for taking the time to read- I appreciate it a lot!!! :-)
Until next time. Peace and love

Posted by piratejax 19:30 Archived in Vietnam Comments (4)

Smiling Happy Pizza's

Cambodia

Our entry into Cambodia was a bit of a hassle. I had read in the Lonely Planet that the Poipet-Border crossings is one of the most notorious borders. I knew what to expect- so when the minivan stopped 3 minutes from the border and a Thai dude (looking all professional in his fancy shirt and pants) presented us with Cambodian visa-on-arrival application forms- I was ready to shoot him down. He told us that all we had to do was fill in the forms and pay him 1300 Baht ($40) and he would sort it all out for us. He said that at the border it’s difficult to and more of a bother to get the visa. I knew that the visa should only cost $20- which I told him (whilst looking so confused…) He realized we weren’t going to fall for his scam, so the minivan took just us (as everyone else had fallen into the trap) to the border post. Was it difficult? Was it a hassle? Absolutely not! It was straight forward and simple- no queues, no problems. And it only cost $20. We passed through to the other side quickly, and then waited in the middle of the roundabout. It’s common to pay a price, and then all transport is sorted out for you- whether it’s a minivan or bus or taxi. Since we had no onward bus tickets- we were hoping that the dude in charge wouldn’t just ditch us because we didn’t fall for his scam. Luckily he didn’t and we were able to carry on with our journey.

We did have to wait about 30 minutes for the others to arrive, and from where we were sitting we got a small perspective of what Cambodia is like. I felt like I was back in Indonesia- hard working dark skinned people on fully loaded motorbikes; loads of trucks carrying pigs and agricultural equipment; entire families on one scooter and just plain dirty!

For our first dinner in Siem Reap we had “happy pizzas”. We had heard about them and were intrigued to test them out. We were a little worried about how “legal” they were, but when we ordered our pizzas and the waiter casually asked “do you want marijuana on them?” we felt ok. Interesting… ;-)

In Cambodia I got the feeling that everyone tried to be a bit too optimistic, almost superficial. Most of the names of restaurants, guesthouses or shopping malls had some optimistic adjective before it. For example: Lucky Mall; Happy Pizza; No Problem Guesthouse. I have heard that Cambodians do tend to put on a “happy face”- to disguise the sadness they feel in their hearts. I find this totally understandably- as this country’s history is one of pain, torture, loss and death. (I would like to come back to Cambodia- to get a better feel for the country, the culture and the people)

The next day we visited Angkor Wat. Wow! Spectacular! This place is huge, and the temples are all spread out with big green forests separating them. So walking around I could really feel that “lost , ancient city” vibe. The engravings on all the walls were exquisite- painfully detailed work of art. Since the place is so gigantic we had a tuk-tuk to drive us from temple to temple. Honestly now-as great as Angkor Wat is- between the heat and hunger we all got bored within a few hours. It must sound rather strange to be bored at such a site! But after seeing temple after temple- the novelty kind of wears off. I had many guilty thoughts to these feelings of boredom and “blah another temple”- how can I feel this way here? How terrible! It was comforting that we all felt like this and we reassured each other that it’s totally ok to not want to explore each temple to the max. Afterwards we took a scenic tuk-tuk ride through small villages- and got a taste of the kind of life they live: naked kids running around; old men sitting on a stoep; bamboo huts; hammocks; poor sanitization; dirty, dirty and poor!

We only stayed for 3 nights in Siem Reap- then took a bus to Phnom Penh. It broke down, so we missed our connecting bus to Saigon (in Vietnam). We had to stay the night and take another one the following day. This bus was pretty sweet! Big, comfy seats and a TV (they played some alright English movies). The border crossing into Vietnam was such a breeze- no scams, no hassles. This was a good first impression of Vietnam, which would only get better! :-)

Posted by piratejax 09:58 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Flushing toilets and other delights

Bangkok

After a long night on the train we arrived in Bangkok and within minutes we were in a taxi on the way to our hostel- Lub D. Lub D was recommended to us by a friend we met in Penang- and man was it a great place! We were in an 8-person dorm, but this didn’t matter since we each had our own big locker to store our things as well as places to hang up clothes, towels etc. For the first time in over 2 months I used a washing machine and a tumble dryer- amazing! ;-) Downstairs there is a large area with tables, chairs and sofas and free wifi. The breakfast was inexpensive and tasty. But the best thing about this place was the bathroom- never before have I been so excited to see a flushing toilet with an ultra clean toilet seat and I could throw the toilet paper into the toilet! Woohooo! (This was a treat coming from Koh Tao and the damn scoop-water mechanism and you can’t throw paper in the toilet). There was also nicest and biggest shower- including hot water!! :-) I could’ve hung out in there for days…
Since we arrived at 7am we couldn’t check in yet, so we just chilled downstairs until our room was ready. Later on we had lunch at a fancy restaurant, famous for its pizza’s (recommended by the hostel). The food was good, but maybe the price forced me to think it was so fantastic… I’m not a fan of the waiter- placing- the- napkin- on- my- lap-kinda-vibe. But we got good service, so I’m not complaining.

That evening we took a taxi to Khaosan Road- famous for bars, clubs, and a night market and of course the infamous “Thai girls (?)”… The streets are packed with foreigners from all corners of the earth. We walked around, taking in all the strange sights and smells. Later on we experienced some real Thai nightlife- I had read about a place called Brick Bar, where live bands play nightly. In the beginning the place was kinda empty but as the night went on- man did it get packed! The bands were absolutely spectacular- playing some extremely professional ska. We jumped, skipped, hopped and danced for hours to the sounds of these guys. And the best thing- no foreigners, but us! :-)

The “lady boys” are really interesting. In Koh Tao we actually watched a “Queen” cabaret show and it was so fascinating to watch these lady boys in action. They look like girls and act like girls, but their big feet and hands give them away. We couldn’t help but wonder where their man-parts disappeared to. During the show many of the lady boys wore tight leotards- and there was nothing down there! So either it’s been surgically removed or they know of a good brand of cello tape.

The next day we had a super cheap meal at a vegetarian restaurant, and then Angie and I watched a movie at the hostel- lazy days again :-) That night we walked to the night market- crazy, busy, noisy and scenes that make you want to cry! Dozens and dozens of bars with their doors open just enough for you to get a peek inside to see young girls degradingly prancing around in bras and panties to the sick delight of men (mainly Westerners). And we can’t forget about the infamous “ping pong shows”... google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
A very common sight to see is a (very) old white man with an 18 year old Thai girl on his arm- she needs him for financial support, and he needs her for obvious reasons. So I guess it’s a win- win situation, but some of these girls don’t want to live this kind of lifestyle- but they have no other choice.

What I find so bizarre about Thailand is how out in the open the sex-industry is- there’s no hiding it. If you want it, you don’t have to travel very far to get it. There are prostitutes, lady boys and strip clubs all over Bangkok. I have heard many stories about Thai girls flirting with men (playing with their ego), buying them drinks, getting them drunk- then robs the guy of everything. Or there’s the case of the Thai “girl” turning out to be boy… For once it’s safer to be a girl!

The next day we went to noraebang! :-) I found out that there was a karaoke place at this one mall, so we missioned there. Since I have grown up on Korean karaoke- I was disappointed with the Thai quality and the choice of songs and there wasn’t even a tambourine!:-( But it was still fun and Angie and Honza enjoyed their first singing experience.
Later we went to Khaosan and got a Thai massage. Wow! This was amazing! This was a bone-clicking, muscle-stretching experience. She used all her power to dig into me, to tug me, to stretch me. It was like a workout! :-)

Then a funny thing happened- we were in 7/11 buying beers (to smuggle into Brick Bar later) when we ran into Uccio and Bibbiana- an Italian/Slovak couple we met in Pangkalan Bun (Indonesia). Yes it was a coincidence to see them again, but the weird thing was I had just written them an email that very morning- having not thought of them at all until then! And Uccio is going to be in India- so we may just run into him again! The traveling world is really small and in the past we have run into people again in another country/city weeks later. So it’s best to be nice to everyone you meet…cos you never know…
We hit up Brick Bar again, and got another dose of highly energized impressive Thai ska :-)

We were leaving the following morning, so we had to pack before we slept- lucky none of us were too intoxicated for the really boring task (every time I pack I want to burn everything I have and just leave with the clothes on my back). The next morning a minivan picked us up and drove us to the Thai-Cambodia border. But this is a country for another day…
Peace out

Posted by piratejax 03:01 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Psychedelic fish in Turquoise water

Swings on the beach. Walking bare feet. No escape from sand and salt. Bob Marley overplayed. Lazy days, lively nights. Daily stress: where and what to eat. Rum buckets. Water as clear and blue as a pool with a pool boy with a good knowledge of chemistry. Going absolutely nowhere, but never getting bored…

Koh Tao is an island situated on the east of the Southern part of Thailand- about 3 hours ferry ride from Chumpon. It means “Turtle Island”, but sadly there aren’t that many turtles left.
We stayed at a place called Blue Wind. It was in a good location- close enough to the shops and nightlife, yet far enough for it to be quiet. For $13 a night Angie and I stayed in a small bungalow (a hut up on sticks). There was a big double bed and a bathroom with a cold shower and semi-normal toilet. Again we experienced the typical Asian toilet- no normal flushing, but rather a bucket with water with you scoop with a scoop and use it to flush your business down.

We stayed on the island for 6 days, and this was enough time for us to completely forget about the outside world and all its stress and mindless worries. We spent our days swimming, snorkeling and partying. The main beach (Sairee Beach) was an alright beach- good to tan on, but swimming was a bit of a mission. As you walked out into the water; immediately you came across a coral reef, which was lethal to bare feet. We dodged squishy sea cucumbers and sharp coral until we reached deep waters and were safe from the sea-rocks below us. The warm was incredible warm; I sometimes felt I would get second degree burns!

The best day was our trip around the island on a boat -where I experienced the best snorkeling of my life! We stopped off at about 5 spots and had about one hour to explore the area. We were lucky to see three small sharks! Even though they are harmless, it’s still rather alarming to look down (about 6m), and see a shark creeping about the sea floor!
The water was so clear and turquoise- magical! And once my head is under water- everything else gets blocked out and the psychedelic fish mesmerize me into their world. Sometimes brave fish would swim literally in my face- as close as 10cm! It was fun to drop bread crumbs in the water, and suddenly get swept up in a cloud of fish trying their best to get even just a nibble!

Every night we went out- we had lots of options of where to go- live music, quiet bar, party and dance vibe etc. Drinking: in Thailand you can buy “buckets”- which is literally a bucket of alcohol with a mixer (equivalence of about 5 drinks) and it’ll set you back about $7. You can choose a rum, gin or vodka bucket. They are lethal…
On one of the nights I ran into a group of 4 South African guys! It was so cool to hear their Afrikaans- English accent. They made fun of my Afrikaans- I was not amused! ;-) But being able to speak Afrikaans has been so useful- if Angie and I are buying something we can talk about it and make a decision without the seller understanding, Or when we are around people- we can talk about them ;-)… It’s our secret language.

We also hired a scooter. It was my first time on one, and it took a while to get confident. But once the nerves disappeared- I was unstoppable!;-P We rode south, to another part of the island, and chilled on a beach there. Once on a scooter- walking seems dreadful- even if it’s just a 5 minute walk… lazy days I tell you… ;-)

Honza joined us for one night, and then we all left and went north to Bangkok. We were lucky that our train wasn’t delayed, as we met many travelers stranded at the train station- having to wait 4 or 5 hours for their train. I guess we were placed on the right train!
Bangkok is an interesting city…. But that’s for another day :-)

(I have put photos from Koh Tao up on Facebook)

Posted by piratejax 05:38 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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