Friday, 31 January 2014
When we got to check in they told us we would have to pay 900 Baht each if we wanted to check in luggage. What!? We had checked the small print (well we thought we had) allowing 15KG free but realized we went with a different airline in the end which didn't offer free luggage. After some smooth talking to the lady she told us she would allow us to take all of our stuff on as hand luggage so that we did. It was at that point Dave and I realized how many banned items we were carrying (scissors, liquids more than 100ml, aerosols etc) but we thought we'd 'test' their security and just chance it. Sure enough though we were pulled and they went through all of our stuff, I blagged quite a few bits as I politely argued that the stuff was probably under 100ml but in reality almost certainly wasn't. The main thing I needed to keep though was my medicinal shampoo for my psoriasis as I'm not sure how easy it is to find in Thailand, it was way over 100ml but after a bit of pleading he checked no one was looking and put it back in my bag for me. What a guy! Dave unfortunately though lost his special Thai rice whiskey which we hadn't even had chance to taste.
We had a few hours to wait now before our flight so had a little nap in the departure lounge. It was then time to board, up in the air we then went and one hour later we arrived to Surat Thani. From the airport it was all smooth sailing, we bought a joint bus and boat ticket from the airport to get us to Koh Samui. The bus was ready and waiting and took just over an hour to get to the pier. It was then 1.5 hours on the water until we arrived on Koh Samui. Sweet!
All in all this is the furthest distance travelled in one sitting it took exactly 24 hours on the nose from the train leaving Chiang Mai to us arriving in Samui. I was dreading it before we left but it fact it was all rather quite fun.
Thursday, 30 January 2014
Friday, 24 January 2014
As I open this post im sat on a bus going from Sukothai to Chiang Mai. Since he arrived in Thailand Dave and I have been to Pattaya, Lop Buri and of course Sukhothai. Pattaya was again a crazy time, although I had my first proper run in with the police which was a load of bullshit, I know all about the police here and how corrupt they are and I've been lucky to avoid it up until here. We were riding our motobikes along Jomtein Beach and came accross a make shift pull over spot directly aimed at tourists, they asked us to produce our international driving license which I do own but didnt have on me, Dave didnt have one so basically we were told that if we didnt pay a 500 baht fine *cough* bribe we would have to go to the police station so we just paid up to avoid hassle. Afterwards we figured it wasnt so bad, it wasn't extortionate money but it didnt end there. In the evening we were still riding around and were on our way back to the hotel where we made a wrong turn, we did a quick U-Turn, something that is perfectly standard and perfectly legal as far as I know but just as we were to enter the main road again a policeman on the corner whistled us to stop. I was not up for paying any more money so I just ignored him and drove past but Dave unfortunately got grabbed on the arm and was a 1000 baht lighter before he was on his way. Pattaya really pissed me off this time by its police conduct, im not sure I'll be returning anytime soon.
Following Pattaya we headed to Lop Buri, the infamous monkey city where I had also been once before. We had decided to stop over the night here to break up our journey up north. When we arrived we found a cool looking guesthouse but unfortunately the last room had just been snapped up by the people before us so the helpful young guy at reception gave us a map and directions to another one just down the road. later on we went back to that guesthouse to drink at their bar then headed to a Thai bar filled with lots of friendly locals. On the way home though I managed to trip over the ridiculously uneven pavement and sprained my ankle pretty badly. In the morning the pain was agonising so I went to the drug store to get some cream and pain killers to fix it, the lady couldnt speak English and I ended up walking out of there with bloody Trammodol, 10 pills counted loose from a huge pot put into a small baggie, these were given to me with no instructions so its lucky i knew what they were, these are pretty strong painkillers. Then we went to see the monkeys one of which pee'ed on me from a powerline then we headed further north to Sukhothai taking the train to Pitsanulok to change the last distance by bus.
Upon arrival to Sukhothai we jumped in a tuk tuk and headed straight for the 4T Guesthouse, a place I thoroughly enjoyed staying before. I have considerably more hair on my head now but after showing the staff some pictures they remembered me which was nice. We spent three nights here and during that time we relaxed by the pool, explored the old city on motobikes with another girl we met from Belgium, and on the final day I was able to meet up with one of my students from the English Camp we had in Chantaburi. He and his friend run a small market stall selling t-shirts so I swung by to have a chat and buy one.
So I am still on the bus, its the same bus I took before (which was arduous to say the least) and again im sat on a shelf at the back this time though theres two mattresses instead of one but the bus keeps stopping and adding more people. This time though the air con is not flooding the place so it's not so bad. I kinda need a pee though I hope we stop soon we got a few hours to go yet.
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Thursday, 2 January 2014
I have just one month left in Thailand before I move on to Cambodia for where I will stay roughly a month. From there I'm undecided, I originally planned to go to Vietnam and Laos but I'm thinking to cut out Vietnam this time as it would be very rushed. I have to return to the UK mid April sometime to sort out my Visa for the states as I'm returning to work a second year at Camp Awosting (some readers here will not know but prior to coming to Thailand I worked on a US Summer Camp for 3 months teaching guitar)
I have another English Camp (my final camp) coming up on the 5th which runs until the 17th so this is much much longer than anything previous; it will be in the provence of Surin. I arrive back to my apartment on the 17th when on the 18th I will be eagerly exited to see my friend Barnsey who will be turning up to Ayutthaya. He would have arrived in Bangkok the day before. The tentative plan is to first head back up north visiting some of the places I have already been so I can show him. I am looking forward to this as even though I've already been to these places I'm sure to see new things. After we see the north we will be hitting the Islands down south, a territory that will be completely new to me. It's gonna be sweet!
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone, lets make it one where we all work together to make this world a better place for all! x