A Travellerspoint blog

Thoughts and such like...

... and moving on at last!

sunny 30 °C

Hey :)

So after almost 2 weeks in Koh Phangan we suddenly found it within ourselves to lose our island fever and move onwards!!! The remainder of our time in phangan was spent at the animal clinic which was an amazing experience and has heightened my belief that I want to continue working in NFP. One of the most bizarre experiences of thet rip was probably last week when Chris dug a grave for a puppy that died during surgery; it was so sad :(

So... I spent a night in Koh Phangan hospital - fear not I am grand now, but def was a bit touch and go for the night! After getting out I decided it was more sensible to leave SAlad Beach and be closer to the hospital - at the original place we were staying it was a fair old drive. So we moved closer to Thong Sala (the main port) and checked into Sea Scene - a simple but sufficent bungalow resort with stunning views... and millinos of bed g\bugs... it was awful. This probably aided our decision that it was time to move on!!! The bites were painful and the woman that ran the resort could not care less - so much for Thailand the land of smiles. We actually gave her an awful nickname - it rhymes with runt. Now I know thats possibley the worst word in the world but thats why we had to call her it - she was the most awful woman ever. She was so rude to us and acted like she was doing us a massive favour by allowing us the privilege of paying her to stay in her flea ridden resort!!! She shouted at us for not eating in her restaurant (!) and after bringing us umbrellas the night of a storm took them off us ten minutes later when we said we were going down the road to meet friends for dinner!!! She gave us permanent death stares and despite knowing that we were working at the animal clinic (as her mum lives next door to it and her brother was the clinic landlord) she pretended to have no idea what we were talking about whenever we tried to get a taxi! We only needed a taxi cos she refused to rent us bikes beacuse she said we didn't seem suitable... whatever that means. So the combinatuion of leaving Salad Beach, feeling poorly, the fleas and rhymes with runt... we moved on!

We travelled by boat from Phangan to Surat Thani which took approx. 3 hours - it was a pleasant journey - ish... we had bagged two fan side seats and left our bags by them whilst we went upstairs to watch the boat leave the port. After a while we returned to the seating deck to find that despite the entire boat being almost empty a Thai guy had nicked our seats... I was going to approach him but then he turned and his look said 'I am a drug lord who will slice you with my machete if you take a single step closer'. We quickly decided to sit (apart from our bags) in a diff set of seats lol!

After the ferry ride we took a coach into Surat Thani town where we awaited the air conditioned VIP bus we had been sold tickets for... eventually a tiny camper van type mini bus arrived which we crawled into. We were slightly cheesed off at first at having been conned but then realised we were the only 2 passengewrs to the 8 seats and that it had air con and was clean - this could be an ok journey after all! Ha - weren't we the fools for thinking so... after a short ten min trip we were transferred onto another bus of the same size but a million years older and full. We had to squeeze into the front seat (yes one seat between two) and pray we didn't die on the journey ahead. I am convinced that not only was our driver on drugs (as with most drivers here it seems) but also that he had SARS. He coughed in our faces every three seconds and I came close to whacking him several times the dirty git lol!

The drive should have taken three hours but because we had speedy gonzalez the road speed limit brekaer driving us we managed to get there in a mere 1.5 hours (we were doing over 100).

Krabi Town is ok... bit run down and grotty but fine. We stayed there just one night in a brill hotel called the Krabi River Hotel - I thoroughly recommend it if ever in Krabi Town. We had dinner at the night market and two meals plus a beer and a soda water was a nifty one pound sixty!

The next day we headed to immigration to get our visas extended (they had run out) and had to cough up 30 quid for the privilege... humph!

Then we tooka local bus for 75p each to Ao Nang - approx. 45 minutes away. It was a ten seater yet managed to take 5 Thai adults, us 2, 2 Italians, 9 chool children and 4 suitcases!!! It was an interesting drive!!!

We arrived in Ao Nang with nowhere to call home so to speak - so off to an internet cafe we trekked in search of a place to lay our heads. We are now staying at the Paradise resort which is very pretty and most importantly - bug free! The scenery here is entirely different tot eh East Coast - beautiful also but in a hugely f\diff way. There are huge mountains and limestone cliffs... tomorrow we are going to do a boat trip to Maya Bay where 'The Beach' was filmed (I am tragically very excited).

Right now I apologise for the waffling, for the inevitable typos which I am too lazy to go back and redo and also for the abrupt end... I am off to the clinic: there is only a Dr here for an hour an evening and I need to see him. I still have a fever and the shakes so I am being forced to go by Dr Chris heehee! Incidently he just got rate!his acceptance letter to Imperial for his Masters programme so tonight (health permitting) we shall celebrate.

Ooh a few things to add before I forget...

1. Thai people are either very nice or hideously rude: it is def not the land of smiles, whoever came up with that expression is a fibber
2. I have had the most amazing time... this has been a brill experience and I am so grateful to the bank of mum for helping the dream come true
3. I am proud to say I have not been to a single animal camp, nor indulged in any photos with drugged tigers and monkeys - unlike the many thousands of other Brits here who should be ashamed of themselves
4. Thai massage is the best thing ever
5. Phad Thai was my fave Thai dish before coming to Thailand.... unfortunately eating a vegetarain diet here means its pretty much the only thing I have been eating and now I wish to never set eyes on it again. This is a tragedy but sadly its true.

Adios for now.xxx

Posted by Louweazel 04.06.2008 02:42 Archived in Thailand Tagged seniors Comments (0)

The Island of No Escape

... and beautiful beaches/crazy dogs/noodles/no dirty old men

sunny 30 °C

Hola amigos!

Apologies for the lack of blogging but we have been in the land of no communication and thus accessing the net is bleedin impossible!!!

So... basically a brief summary is as follows: we are STILL on Koh Phangan!!! Our original plan to go to the west has been rained down on so we have stayed put! We are in love with this island so may never come home - be warned!

I have lots to blog about but not so much internet time for now so I will keep it brief and bore you further tomo instead.

The 20th was a spooky day... the morning of my dads anniversary we went to breakfast and as we walked in they turned on the music system and the first song they played was the song from dads funeral - genuinely spooky stuff. So the rest of the 20th was spent spooked out on the beach before we hit the full moon party. Met up with my friends from college and was cool to see them. Most people at the party were on drugs so a little not my scene but I compensated with vodka! It was interesting to say the least! We made it home at day break and suffered hugely the next day!

Since then we have generally chilled lots and after several days in a vegetative state on the beach we decided to get off our butts yesterday and hired a kayak - freaky stuff. My arms are in agony today and yesterday was spent freaking out panicking about sharks eating us at sea!!!

Today we went into the town centre for the first time since we landed here 8 days ago... it was cool to leave the isolation of our resort but good to be back too! We went to The Masons Arms a traditional tudor set english pub - we had roast beef dinners lol! After that we took it upon ourselves to visit the local animal sanctuary and volunteer for a day... so Tuesday shall be spent with puppies whoop whoop! I am so excited as I have been missing Tigue loads - and there are 3 teeny 3 week old mini Tigues so I am dead excited!

Tomorrow we are going to the Angthong Marine Park on a boat trip so we have stocked up on factor 30... tragically if we drop to any less we burn - it is majorly hot here.

Things I have forgotten to mention that have sprung to mind:

- all dogs in Thailand want to eat us (y r we volunteering at the home?!?!)
- I have a mouldy arm... my IV wound from CYprus has flared up due to the heat and it makes me grizzly mad cos I have to wear along sleeve like a weirdo
- my favourite drink here is called Spy - its a wine cooler, yum yum
- I have visited a Thai hospital (yup me lil miss illness!) it was suprisingly clean but they wouldn't accept my insurance and I had to pay cash grrrrrrr
- Chris can't kayak, at all
- Chris is grizzly cos he can't kayak
- I hate cockroaches
- The sea is hotter than an average bath and totally transparent - cool to see fish but not so cool when you see millions of jellyfish and sea snozcumbers
- Nobody in Thailand wears seatbelts and they drive like loons - we are lucky to still be alive lol!
- English people are generally embarassing when abroad (us excluded)

Soooo... the above may make me sound drunk or crazed - I am neither; just giddy from the sun heehee!

I will write a more logical entry soon I promise.

Love and kisses as always to mum, J and Tiger puppy. Hello to Aunty B. Orlanda - are you coming to Glasto??? And... Mrs Smith Chris says hi :)

Love to all.xxxx

Posted by Louweazel 25.05.2008 07:46 Archived in Thailand Tagged animal Comments (0)

Paradise at last...

... and the day I swam with a shark!

sunny 35 °C

Haha I didn't really swim with sharks but figured it made for a catchy headline!

So... JKoh Samui uis no more (thank the lord!) - it was full of mcDonal;ds, beer bellied chavs and dirty old men having sex with young Thai giirls - gross. My idea of hell but many seemed to be loving it!!! I have to say though before I write Samui off totally - the beach is lovely and the Penzy Guesthouse was fab. Otherwise it is a hole!

I won't waste too many words other than to say that I got to meet up with my uni friend Luci who is teaching English in Thailand and we had a great night sipping cocktails on the beach. We followed this with a trip to raggae bar so she could witness for herself the dirty old men as I had told her of them... and yes, there they were as with the night befpore and absolutely no shame! I am talking guys who looked to be mid 70s with girls of late teens - it was the most awful thing I have ever witnessed and I don't know who is to blame: the dirty old gits for seeking it or the young girls for offering it...

Moving onto sunnier things - yes folks thats right! WE HAVE SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally! We landed on Koh Phangan yesterday aftenoon after a catamaran ferry over from Samui. The boat trip was a pleasant experience and we landed and found a bus to our town fairly easily. Unfortunately we did not have so much luck with our pre booked room - with a single bed!!! Despite having booked a room for two there was the scrawniest little bed you ever saw and nothing else.... um, thats not what we prebooked I politely explained expecting to be moved to the lovely room we had seen on the website and indeed selected on the booking page. That was all that they had left apparently and nobody seemed to think this was a problem!!! I rang the agent we had used to book who immediately agreed to give us a refund so we could go get proper sleeping facilities elsewhere... then after speaking to the hotel she rang me back and said no she couldn't give us a refund after all because the hotel wouldfn't give her one! I turned into Louise The Lawyer and started quoting the implications of her side of the terms and conditions and attemped to explain that if she could not provide the room we had paid for in good faith she had to refund us and the money issue with the hotel was her concern not mine... this was followed with lots of me no understand and no me no have no manager here for you to speak to. An email of complaint was sent and the cheeky gits dared to repy that nowhere on the booking confirmation did it say the exact room type so if a single bedded room was all they had left we would have to make do!!! So lawbore came out once again and I have sent them a formal email quoting the advertisnig act and sales laws etc... iof they sstill refuse to pay us back I will be taking it further!!!

In the meantime we were left with nowhere to live! I was raging as I am sure you can imagine as we had arrived in the most idyllic paradise resort but ultimately its in the middle of freaking nowhere so it quickly became apparent we were stuffed!!! Fortunately as a stress induced asthma attack crept into the horizon we found a room! Actually its more like a palace and I couldn't be happier with it! Siam Visit can stuff their crappy resort where the sun doesn't shine - and here in Salad Beach Resort it shines lots, yay!

So our room is lush - we have a huge room with a delicious bathroom with a western toilet and hot water shower (hooray to luxuries for Thailand!). Our room is entirely bug free and has lots of pretty Thai art and decorative items. Best bit... we have a big balcony overlooking a beautiful waterfall and as you make youir way down ther path you hit the most beautiful beach I have EVER seen!!! This knocks Miami for six a million times over!

The beach is a tropical haven - surrounded by mountains, palm trees and exotic birds... the sand is snow white and soft and the water hot and entirely clear!!! Today as I swam I saw lots of tropical fish and even a leopard fish which was the coolest thing ever!

I may stay here forever....

So the plan is to chill here for the forseeable future - we have booked into the new place until 24th May and have no definite plans after that. I am intending on finally getting a tan after all the rain in the north - and plan lots of lazt\y beach days and book reading.

Tomorrow night is the infamous day glo Full Moon Party - we shall see we shall see... I am slightly wary but will fill you in after - no doubt if its all too much a bucket of samsong will ease the pain heehee!

I'm heading back to the beach - hope the office etc is fun!!!

Adios for now...

Lou.xxx

ps mum I have no phone signal but will call tomo from a payphone - love you and Johnny n most of all... TIGRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo

Posted by Louweazel 19.05.2008 01:09 Archived in Thailand Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Flying to the island of paradise...

... or of fat brits, maccy d's, starbucks and load music!!!

sunny 33 °C

Bonjour readers!

So here we are in Koh Samui. We left Chiang Mai with tears in the eye as it was such an amazing place and we had had the best time... our hostess gave me a big cuddle and wished us well - we 110% recommend the Green Tulip Guesthouse for fellow visitors!

After checking in at the airport in plenty of time we were told we had a one hour delay... which turned into many hours... 5 hours after arriving at the airport we FINALLY boarded our plane! It was a short flight - 1 hour 20 in total and we got a nice little meal to fill our empty bellies. That same nice little meal then poisoned my belly and I was violently ill for several hours after - although the chemist in Koh Samui prescribed me some charcoal and magnesium tablets which worked a treat!

After landing in Koh Samui we had to take a tourist bus to our resort - the airport is privately owned and so public raxis can't get in to pick anyne up. It was a bit of a pain but we arrived in the end. Koh Samui is a hrad one to sum up - the main drag is horrendous; McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, Boots, etc etc... the island to an extent has been destroyed by tourism and we felt it even more so after our first week being so off the beaten track. I was so upset! But our guesthouse was gorgeous and cool and the owners very friendly; and the owners cousin ownsd a gorgeous beach front resort so we are allowed to use all the facilities there for free! We decided tot ake a wander and get our bearings... the up side of the island is the beach. It is almost empty, lush white sand and warm blue sea. Heaven! So basically our plan is to spend our time here on the beach or in our room - and avoid all the crap littering the streets! It genuyinely feels like we are in Spain so we are looking forward to leaving in that respect!

This mprning we sunbathed and had a lovely swim in the sea - until I discovered there were jelly fish where we were swimming and promptly decided swimming was no longer for me!

Tonight we will prob have dinner and some drinks but nothing mad as tomorrow we are going on a boat trip to Ang Thong Marine PArk - I am so excited! Then sunday lunchtime we are getting the boat to Koh Phangan where we will be spending the next week.

I am delighted to hear the weather is deteriorating in England as I was jealous as hell follwoing our first week of rain! Fortunately, touch wood, we are having sunshine today!

Can someone emasil me some English news? It is hard to get a paper or access English news sites here and I feel lost!!! How is Boris settling in? Any news on Maddie situation? etc etc...

Love to all... especially the puppy who inevitably will be crying himself to sleep without me (mum - you are just not the same!).xxx

Posted by Louweazel 01:16 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Trekking De ja vu

I swore I'd never climb a mountain again but...

rain 31 °C

Hello all!

Day Seven - oh my god I cannot believe how quickly the first week has passed - and not even a hint of a suntan! To be honest we have ben so busy this week sightseeing etc that sunbathing hasn't been an option - and also it has rained for the last 2 days non stop so clearly that doesn't help heehee! So gutted its sunny in London - v. unfair!

So where to start... probably where I left off but I can't actually remember where that was! Well to recap - after arriving in Chiang Mai we went for a wander and explored the local area; we quickly realised we had a bum deal on our accommodation so set about finding somewhere new for the next day. We came across the Green Tulip Guesthouse and it is stunning and so cheap! We qucikly decided to check out of our original place the next morning and move! We finished our first evening with a wander in the night market and then had some dinner at a cool little Thai place in an old countryhouse. We had a massive starter to share and then 2 mains and 2 drinks and it came to 200 baht - about 3 pound twenty! That night was spent grossing out at our horrid little room and wondering why Lonley Planet had rated it so highly - it certainly wasn't for the decor which was grime, mustard brown and minging red!

8 am the next morning we hot footed it to the nbearest tuktuk and flew down the high street to our new home - Green Tulip is so pretty. We have a lovely big room wioth mint6 green walls, teak wood floor and most importantly spotless sheets! The room has three big french patio doors leading onto a huge roof garden with decking and flowers and sunbeds (not that we have any sun right now!). Sadly our bubble of glee burst later that day when we also discovered we were sharing our room with 3 geckos - ugh yuck! I am scared of them but apparentlyu thaey come in through the air con so I have just had toi get used to them (but to be fair I also made Chris catch a couple and dispose of them so hopefully word has spread to avoid our room lol!).

That day we went to cookery school at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School run by Somsong - the Thai equivalent of Jamie Oliver but without the cockney accent! It was a fantastic day: we started by going shopping for our ingredients in a local market which was so cool... apart from selecting the fresh fish who were then beheaded whilst live and deboned. Yuck! I did not cook or eat any fish but Chris did - heartless so and so lol! Following the market we headed to school - a beautiful outdoor place with stunnig views and a relaxed ambience.

During the day we made 7 dishes and ate them all - yum ytum! It felt strange to be saying 'OMG this is amazing' about food you had cooked yourself! My favourite dish was my Thai Yellow Curry - which was complicated to make but divine. We also made Chicken and Cashew Nuts - so mum I can make it for you when we come home! For dessert we made stewed bananas in cocnut soup - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I am goiing to come home a right little fat piglet!

That evening we decided to walk to find somewhere for dinner etc. It was a fairly uneventful evening until the journey home... we came to 'dog crossroads' - a section in Chiang Mai which is strewn with stray dogs who fight each other lots and attack passers by at random. We quickly realised our mistake and decided totake a left turn to avoid crossing their paths. Too late... we realised three were slinking along behind us and snarling very quietly - eeek! Then their pace picked up as ours did until finally in panic we ran - and so did they, after us! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were so scared adn ended up scaling a 6ft wall to escape their snapping mouths! I got stuck half way up and Chris had to pull me - I banged my legs so bad! Once on the wall we were a little uncertain as to what to do next - fortunately eventually a Thai passer by scared them away but we vowed to never go that way again, even as we giggled at our fright all the way home!

Last night we visited the night bazaar and that was an experience - although I actually way prefer the night markets in Beijing, and also the markets in general.

Today was the best adventure EVER!!! We went on a one day trek - yes thats right folks, I louise who vowed to never trek again indulged for a second (albeit tiny) bout!

The day started with a one hour jeep bus ride to the south of Chiang Mai to Muang National Park - it was stunning and really made me realise how close we are up here to Cambodia, Laos and Burma - it was a completely different world of Thailand we saw in the greenery, lakes and vilages.

We arrived at an elephant camp to continue the day and after feeding them many bananas before they would allow us the honour of sitting on their fat asses, we climbed aborad! Getting on was the weirdest sensation ever! I felt a little nervous at first but soon realised that our nelly was such a greedy git he wouldn't be going very fast as he stopped every ten seconds and refused to move on unless we fed him more bananas!!! He was so funny! It was a very bizarre sensation climbing a mountain sitting on an elephant. Their skin was entirely different to what I was expecting - and unlike the mingy camels in Tunisia they had no flies or bugs on them which was great! What wasn't so great was coming back down the mountain - our elephant seemed to pick up on the fear and frequently lunged off on his own crumbly path!

Overall it was the most incredible experience - ooh and did I mention the teeny tiny baby elphant who followed us all the way! His little trunk was constantly tapping your leg or foot for a sly banana when the big ones weren't looking! I have decided I would like an elephant for my next birthday present please...

After the elephants we went trekking by foot (boo!) and it was China revisited. Jungle climbing in pouring rain - although this time in flip flops (they told ius it was a 30 min stroll along pathways!). I slipped. skidded and got dirty as hell but made it to the summit weventually. It was a stunning waterfall and we got some good pics. We then descended into the Muang Hilltribe Village - it was interesting to see how they lived and I bought a lovely hand weaved scarf.

We hadf a stop off for lunch and then the final leg of fun began... bamboo rafting! Wow - what an incredible experience! Terrifying at times but a REAL BUZZ! We got soaked and scared ourselves over thoughts of leeches on our bums lol!!! It was the best fun ever and we made our way back to the hotel having had the most exciting day thus far! What an adventure!

Tonight we will chill and have a little wander - tomorrow we leave here at 8am for our fliught to Koh Samui... we are not as excited as previously though as their is torrential rain there at the min apparently - this upsets me hugely. I went to Florida - it rained. I went to China - it rained. I went to tunisia - it rained. Now I am in Thailand - its bloody raining!!! All I want is a sunny holiday and a tan - huff!

So it is adios amigos for now and check in when we are 1200 miles further south!

Big love to all - as always especially to my puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!xxx

Posted by Louweazel 14.05.2008 02:59 Archived in Thailand Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

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