Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Last Full Day in Thailand

hey there all...here i am in koh phi phi and i am realizing its my last full day in this country...tomorrow my long travels start for egypt....and i am soooooo far behind....sorry about that...plus, i am still working on pictures...check back at the blog in the next day or so, and hopefully some will be here...finally....

anyway....this has been a terrific last day....oct 26th is important for a few reasons for me....its my brother tony's birthday...happy birthday bro....its the day i got my braces off my senior year in high school and as of this oct 26th....i am now a fully certified open water padi scuba diver....pretty awesome...doncha think...

but i am waaaaaaaaay ahead of myself....last time you checked in here i was still in bangkok....my last day there i wasn't in the city...i was in the old capitol... the really old capitol...ayutthya (although my spelling is wrong)....this place reminded me of angkor wat in cambodia...but the temples here were on a smaller scale and most of them were refurbished or in good condition...they were beautiful :) and it was a pleasure getting to see them with one of my past students....salila....after spending the day at the temples and the stunning summer palace of king rama V...we went and saw madagascar....love those penguins....

the next day i hopped a plane to the northern section of thailand....chaing mai...this part of the country had flooded two weeks before i was there...and rumor had it another storm was on the way and it was going to be a mess....but luckily, that storm never came...i stayed in a swanky guest house with a pool...and met this great couple and their 2 year old son from alaska...we hung out the whole time i was
in chaing mai...which ended up being longer than my four alotted days....while i was there i took two cooking classes...one on a farm and one in town....i went to the night bazaar...and the amazing sunday market...i rode on a elephant for an hour through the rainforest, i dislocated my elbow, i went on a bamboo raft, i visited a thai hospital, and i saw a hill tribe community....ummmm....yep, you read that correctly...i dislocated my elbow...luckily it popped back in....but i had to go to the hospital for it....all for a picture at a slippery waterfall....ugh....but i have to say my experience at the hospital was quick, painless and cheap...it only cost me $25 for 2 xrays, three forms of medication and a trip to the emergency room...amazing....and the doctor was a great guy....it blew my mind that hospital care could be so painless and cheap....but i have come to find that most folks when they travel to thailand, get their teeth cleaned...as it usually only costs around $10...i am going to try and have this done tomorrow while i am waiting for my planes in two different thai cities....wish me luck....

i really liked chaing mai and hanging with crista, rusty and tyler....but it was time for me to hit the beach again after a week....where i was hoping i wouldn't hit rain....so much for that though....as i think it has rained everyday i have been here...as a matter of fact...it has just started another downpour as i have been typing....hahahahaha....but as everyone says...its the rainy season....so its expected...ugh...from ten months with no rain....to a trip filled with storms....its been amazing....and so to phuket i came....that's pronounced poo-ket....i stayed at the greatest guesthouse yet....the shanti lodge...their phuket location put the bangkok one to shame...it was amazing...it had a beautiful pool...with a huge waterfall....and was not located on the beach....which i was a bit bummed about until i got there...it was secluded and beautiful....a wonderful place to just chill and relax....but it was a bit far from things....so i rented a motorbike....and got to tool around the island on the wrong side of the road for three days.....this was a greatest thing i did in phuket...i met some cool folks from the shanti lodge and one of them went riding with me...jolynn from colorado...nice woman...who's brother is living here in thailand and she is visiting....we went to a waterfall...no slippage this time...we ate overlooking the water...which was stunning....we visited all the different beaches...and i realized that most of them with places to stay were GROSS!!!! they were crowded and full of tourist traps and toursits....which i am happy about on one hand...this is the area of thailand that was pummeled by the tsunami...so its a great thing that people are coming back here....its also very interesting to see how much has been replaced in the past year...there are still remenants from the big wave everywhere you go....but tourism is their number one down here and people are working very hard to get things back in order....and always working and having fun....that is the motto of thai people...whatever you are doing...work, play, sleep, whatever...be sure to be having fun while you are doing it....and i believe they truly live by this....its wonderful to watch....

from phuket i caught a ferry with some cool ozzies...and we headed to koh phi phi, where i am writing this from....this island was ripped apart by the tsunami....but they have been working really hard to get things back up and running....its wild...there are no school aged kids here...because the school isn't back in working order...although folks are working on it....all the kids who are school age are on the mainland for school...most folks who are here, who are thai, were here the day the wave hit...and most do not want to talk about it....but there are some who did...i have been told that most thai people here lost a member or more of their families...and that after the wave came ashore...they were running to help save foreigners and anyone that was left behind from the water....my dive instructor was on the water that day....so him and his boat had no idea what had happened...other than they felt a weird current...but when they came ashore....they were blown away from the destruction that had occurred...and rushed to help people...i guess it took two days for helicopters to start getting here to help people...and this is why some folks died after the wave had come and gone....just crazy....but overall, it is a peaceful place and they are rebuilding and eager for tourists....i have had a great five days and nights here, except for the rain...but you can't win them all....i did get certified and as of today i can do open water dives...what fun i have had diving the past three days...and it does not matter if it is raining or not for that sport :)

so now i leave thailand...after just under a month...crazy to think so much time has flown....i have enjoyed my time here...and have many more stories to tell....but you'll have to ask me for them in person :) this trip so far has been full of rain, but also of dragonflies...they have been everywhere i have been....and i mean everywhere...also...due to the rain...today i saw a stupendous rainbow....i would recommend thailand to anyone....i really liked the north...and i am sure the south would have been better with less rain....but bangkok...i don't know how much time i would stay there....its a metropolis...with lots of traffic and people and pollution and noise...i am sure you get the picture....but of course there are beautiful aspects to it...

so there you have it...thailand in a nutshell....feel free to ask any questions about here and what i did while i was here....i'll try and get back to you soon...
as for pictures...again...i'll try tomorrow....hope all of you are well and here we head into november...more from egypt....peace out....

7 comments:

Karen & Landon said...

Yay, Dani! I want to get my dive certificate too! I'll have to email you questions about that separately, I guess. I'm going to make my reservations at the Shanti Phuket shortly. After your great review, how could I not???
I did tell you that Thailand was a helluva lot better than Taiwan, right? :) Have a great trip to Egypt!
Karen

Mel Bowman said...

I'm glad you got your PADI Open Water! Isnt SCUBA awesome? I love reading your blog and hope you continue with it. If you're ever passing through Western Wisconsin/Twin Cities do give me a call!

KLK said...

Hey Dani:

Love your travel updates -- I'm learning a lot. BTW - did I tell you I had a HUGE pass-along rate for your emails. I'll have to send them your blog link.
Thanks for the postcard -- it will go into my shadow box of postcards.
Barnes and I will be traveling in Morocco 2/7 - 2/21! You'll have to give me some tips on riding camels! ;-)

KLK

joey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
joey said...

hi dani!!! remember me? we met at shanti lodge ;) i'm so glad u did ur PADI! congrats! so we both now a 4-dives diver! hahaha! i'm back in sg n working n i miss phuket so much... n diving... :( n yes! i check ur blog every now n then to see where abt u r :D take care n hv fun!

Twitch said...

Guin, you rock. Was thinking about you lately as I went to ....are you sitting down? I probably shouldn't tell you as it will make you sad, But I'll take you as soon as you want, yup you guessed It MACK n MANCOs. But you did get to ride an elaphant in a rainforest so we're about even. Miss you can't wait to see you in the States.

ps Loved the penguins in Mad at that car

cousin rosemary said...

Hey, Dani. I hear you're in Egypt -- someplace I've always wanted to visit. Hope the trip is going as well as you hoped (minus the rain, of course). I'm enjoying your travels vicariously--keep up the good work!
Rosemary