Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thailand, Round 2

14 May 2009 - 26 May 2009
Arriving in Thailand for the second time in six months really made me appreciate my life. To get to land in the tropical paradise and look forward to sun-baking, green curries and Thai hospitality is really a treat. It was particularly refreshing after having come from India and Nepal. Don't get me wrong, the subcontinent is a wonderful place to visit and I was lucky to spend the time there that I did. That said, five months on the subcontinent is just too much for this little monkey's first time. I couldn't believe how clean everywhere looked in Thailand; no rubbish lying around, no cows or their pats littering the road or footpath and there are footpaths (some anyway)!

We flew into Bangkok and stepping out of the airport is similar to stepping into warm bath; the humidity must've been above 90 percent. Still, it's nice to breath clean air and after having spent the last five years in Australia, I don't mind the humidity so much. Our goal was to make it to Ko Chang from Bangkok, but the last bus left an hour before we arrived, so we settled on a trip to Trat for the night. The bus ride to Trat was amazing; the roads in Thailand are so smooth, so paved and the drivers so sane and so quiet!

We arrived in Trat rather late, after 8:00. In India or Nepal this would mean that dinner a
nd drinks were out of the question, but we're not in the subcontinent anymore! In Thailand the world is just warming up at 8:00! So, after a shower we wandered out and got a delicious, spicy fish red curry and pork green curry. Next door to the curry stand was a general store where we got a Chang Draft (not the standard Chang and in my opinion, much nicer). How civilized to be able to eat and drink at the same time without feeling like we're committing a sin! A few more beers saw us to bed rather early.

The next morning we took a taxi to the ferry terminal and from there we headed to Ko Chang. The first beach we headed for was Lonely Beach, but don't let the name fool you. Even in low season the beach is crawling with teenage backpackers on their 'gap year', not exactly our scene. The beach there is amazing, but the bar is hopping until the wee hours of the morning and we generally are not, so we decided quieter beaches were in our future. We rented a motor scooter and scoped out the other beaches on the island. The most appealing with cheap huts right on the beach was Kai Bae, so we made the big move. Our hut on Kai Bae was cheap, isolated and mere seconds from the water. No backpackers or noisy bars here, just an American guy and his Thai wife as neighbors.

I can't say that we did much during those days in Thailand. What does one really need to do when food is so close and the beach even closer?! We did explore the island a bit on a motor scooter and paddled in a kayak over to a close by deserted island. Other than that we did a lot of reading, eating and lying on the beach. Ahh, the lovely last days of holidays.

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