A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

Slice of paradise

Well, mostly...

sunny 32 °C

Written on March 31...
Well, I moved to the best, or what seemed the best until last night (more info soon), place ever. A picture being worth a thousand words, here we go:

The view of the resort, there are only 8-9 bungalows, I'm the very first to the left (partially cut from the pic)
14-Jungle_..ngalows.jpg

Then, the best part:
View from my hammock, from the left to the right;
3-View_from_right.jpg
2-View_centre.jpg1-View_from_left.jpg
4-funny_me.jpg

A bit of explanation. I don't know why, but this bungalow was not renovated when they re-did the whole resort a few years ago. As a result, it's the cheapest (200B/night = approx $6), and for some reason it's right on the beach...I'm not complaining.
Just so you can fell a bit better, here is the inside
6-Inside1.jpg
and the bathroom
8-Bathroom1.jpg
Fairly dingy indeed, but my standards are very low these days.
The toilet is at the very bottom left (you can't really see it, and the shower head is hooked at the ceiling right beside it. It's a western toilet (I wouldn't have taken it otherwise!!) Random info: Even western toilets don't generally have a flushing system here (in fact, I've only seen it once or twice). Instead, each bathroom has a water bucket with a bowl and you take some of that water and dump it in the toilet to flush...It works well enough and certainly saves a TON of water. In fact, I wonder why we don't have that and the water heating system, in Canada/US. It'd be so much more economical (probably why we don't have it!!). My bathroom only has 1 temperature water (warm during the day (heated by the sun), cooler at night), but more fancy bathrooms (aka my cousin's and anywhere you pay a decent price for a bungalow) have a water heating system, similar to the ones found in Europe (I'm told). Essentially, it's a unit mounted on the wall, that heats the water at the source, right before it's dumped throught he shower head. In other words, no big tank of water to keep warm. Downside: kitchen and bathroom sinks don't have it, only the shower. On a different note: Toilet paper wasn't provided, I had to buy my own! hehehe
End of random info.

So, I've been at this resort for 3 days now, and leaving tomorrow for a house (yay, a fridge!!) that I'll be subletting for a week (during the tantra workshop), then I'm heading back up north to Bangkok and...well the plan isn't exactly fully defined yet.
Even though my bungalow had no screens on the windows (it does have a moskito net over the bed though, but somehow moskitos find their way in!!) (probably from the 1001 cracks and "ventilation" spaces), I was quite happy with this set up. Here are a couple of pics of the sunset, taken from the hammock:
10-Sunset_..hammock.jpg

This one is a father and his son going fishing at sunset (once again taken from the hammock, but the following night):
16-Father_and_son.jpg

I totally was in love with the place and my place in particular until last night. Because there are no bars on my windows, I sleep with the whole place locked down, except for one of the 2 panels of the window that looks on the beach (for some air) (I lock the one panel that locks and leave the other one wide open, the opening is no winder than 30cm). Life was good as usual until I woke up at 3am with something that went under my bungalow. I though it was a dog, but then I heard a girl shout (not like "help", more like "what the F!?") and then I saw a man leaving from under my bungalow (I saw him from my window) and take off!!!!! I didn't really sleep well for a while after that.
This morning, I heard a girl talking with the neighboors. She had got her bag with camera, IPod, etc (not passport though) stolen last night around 3am. It's probably her I heard. However, it si important to note that she was sleeping with the main door of her (more luxurious) bungalow open (why the heack would one do that!!?!?) and that her bag was nice and available on the floor. So I'm certain to sleep with 1 eye open tonight, will probably not even leave that 1 little panel open tonight, and am kinda glad to be leaving tomorrow morning! It's sooo too bad!

Well, other than that, all is good and I'll give you more news once I start the tantra yoga class on Monday.
Cheers!
5-good_me.jpg

13-Sunset_.._better.jpg

Posted by Mistrale 01:42 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Final installement of the "You've got pics" trilogy

Hang in there! We're almost done!

sunny

alright, where was I...

This man is selling salted eggs. These are sold quite commonly here, but I haven't tried them yet..for one, I'm not a super big fan of eggs, and they don't sell them in just 1, they are 3-4 eggs on a stick...It's seems to me that they are bard boiled, but on a stick on the BBQ... not too sure how that works. I'll make sure to try them on a day where I feel adventurous and let you know.
Egg_marchant.jpg
I was aiming to take a pic from him from behind, but he turned to cross the street as I was taking it...he didn't seem too too happy about me taking a pic of him...unfortunately, because i think it's a good one...

Alright, 3 random pics on this last strech:

A picture of the buckets I was referring to in a previous (recent) entry.
Buckets.jpg
These are not the exact kind we drank (the label was yellow on ours). I was told "way back when" by an american guy I hung out with in Bangkok that the Thais have 2 kinds of wisky, the cheap - which gives you the worst hangover - and the good -which doesn't.
On that night, they were selling buckets for 120B (white label) and 180B (yellow label). Based on my conversaiton with the American, we chose to splurge and spend 2$ more on each bucket. I must admit it worked, as I was only very midly hung over on both following mornings.
The concert with the band was at a bar, so I was somewhat obliged to drink a little (twist my arm!), so I had Sang Som (I think it's the right spelling) (aka "the cheap one") and coke at the bar. I only had 3 drinks (not buckets, far from!) and wasn't even drunk, but felt hung over the following day. Lesson of the story, I think the American was right!

This is a pic of a water buffalo, taken on Ko Samui. They are pretty much everywhere there (once you get away from the tourist centres, and into a bit more of the farming areas -generally 1 per farm). Anyway, every night, farmers bring them to the beach for a little swim/rinse. It was cool too see, but also a bit sad, as they have a big wooden ring through their nose and that's how the farmers pull/turn/stop them... ouch! They also have water buffalo fights, where far from the Spanish buffalo fights, the Thais decorate their animal and the fight consists of 2 animals butting heads. One loses when he turns to it's side or runs away. No blod is generally involved but Thais really get into it!
Water_buffalo.jpg

To conclude, here is a pic of the toilets I was talking about. Not too inviting isn't it? Guess which way you are supposed to crouch on there? It took my a few tries, hehehe... Fortunately, I haven't had to poo in one of these yet (and I honestly hope I never have to!!!)
Toilet.jpg
Toilet paper is a rarity here (except in tourist resorts), and I make a point of always having some, or kleenexes, in my purse!!! hehehe
Cheers!

Posted by Mistrale 00:36 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Part 2 of You've got pics

Continuing with things that we see by the thousand here: Temples. You've already seen a few pics of statues and things around the temple (from previous blogs), but I never posted an actual temple, so here it is:
Temple_near_Rafale_s3.jpg
This specific temple is near Rafale's house and we drive by it everytime we go to "the big town". We finally stopped one day and took a few pics.

Notice the detail (if possible) in the door. This level of detail is everywhere, in every ornament.
Temple_nea.._s_door.jpg

Each temple also has a serie of tombs. Each of these structure contains urn(s) with the ashes of 1 or several family members.
Tombs3.jpg

Big_Buddha_2-all.jpg
This "Big Buddha" is on Ko Samui. It's 15 meters high, and the temple site is over 500yrs old (this buddha is "only" 25 yrs old I think)

From this pic (taken at the Big Buddha temple), it seems that Buddism has a god of, or for, sleeping...I may have found "my" religion! hehehe
Statue_laying_down.jpg

Still on the topic of things we see everywhere (I guess there was kind of an order in these pics after all!)

Geikos! They are a small lizard (I think the longest they can be is around 30cm, but they are generally around 10cm). THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!! This pic was taken in Rafale's kitchen:
Geiko.jpg

We try not to have them inside the house as much as possible beacuse they poo (wuite a bit actually!) and they make these calling sounds that can be quite loud. AT the bungalow on Ko Samui, there were 4 residing around the light and at night I would justw atch them go after they bugs...they're really truly very cute little creatures.

arrgghhh, the site is getting very slow again... I only have 2 or 3 morwe pics, but I guess I'll have to do a 3rd entry...

Posted by Mistrale 00:21 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

You've got pics!!

In no particular order

sunny 30 °C

Written on March 26....
Alright, I promised pics so here we go:
Band.jpg
This is the band I went to see in Ko Samui. They only sang in english, but they were quite good. I should have taken a pic of the white guy who sang in Thai... oh well

A few pics of the view, just to give you an idea (although brief and innacurate because I mostly take pics of nice places) of what the area looks like. Beach_from_Sanctuary.jpg

Clear_water_and_rocks.jpg

Ko_Paghan.jpg

Now a couple of sunset pics, they really give the best pics!:
Sunset_with_boat.jpg

Sunset_wit.._-_good.jpg

How do dogs play fetch in Thailand?
Dog_play_fetch1.jpg
hehehe, he was really into it too, he wouldn't stop!

This dog was domesticated (had a collar), but there are litterally thousands of stray dogs running around everywhere around here. Same with cats. It's quite common to hear them fight - I guess they have territories. I haven't had any problems with them, but some people get bit (however, when you ask, 99% of the time they were trying to pet them...can I say : Deh!!!!)

I'll start a 2nd entry as the site is getting very slow to lead pics.

Posted by Mistrale 00:06 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Faced with prostitution and "ladyboys"

It's weird!

30 °C

Alright, as most of you know, Thailand has a thriving industry of prostitution. I knew that coming in, and so far had only scarcely seen obvious cases (i.e. old fat discusting white guy with young Thai girl). I must make something clear: I haven't seen any child prostitution so far and I kinda hope I never see it. It's unfortunately also a very thriving industry (although illegal) here.
What I've seen is more like an escort service...but it's still discusting, old, repulsive men with more or less young girls...I was talking about it with a few people at the Sanctuary and, someone made a point that it was a job like any other, and that if there was a market for it, why not...Well, my opinion is, it may be ok if it's between consenting people, but as long as it doesn't involve organized networks that "enslave" women in the "trade" (which we don't know if there is or not, but I wouldn't exactly be surprised).

So anyway, being on the island of Ko Samui (the most touristic area of Thailand after Phuket) I'm surrounded by these "couples", and I must admit that I have a bit of a hard time with it. I'm staying in one of the cheapest resorts around (there are only 10 bungalows), but 3 to my left are occupied with old (and really gross) German men (at least in their 60ies) with Thai women. These women are a bit older (probably late 30ies), so there is a slight chance that these are legitimate relationships (they do exist!! -I have a friend who's mother is Thai and father English - and were together for a long time - anyway!), but...I doubt it. The other 2-3 bungalows to my right are occupied by Thai people, mostly girls - who definitely work around here, but I don't know what they do.

While walking around yesterday, I stopped at a bakery run by an english guy and we talked a bit. He told me that the bars (there a little strip on the road going to my, and others, resort) were run by ladyboys. Ladyboys are guys that dress up as women. It's actually quite accepted here. A lot more than in Canada. Some of them are really good (I went to a restaurant last week where all the waitresses where men - I didn't notice until one talked to me - man voice, girl body/outfit!hehehe).

Alright, whatever! There was a live concert at one of these bars and I felt the need for some socialising, so I decided to go. The band was made of Thai guys who sang Nirvana, Red Hot Chlli pepper, Bob Marley. Just when I started to wonder if we'd get Thai music (I'm curious to hear some), this white guy made a request to go on stage and he started talking in Thai and sang a song in THAI!!! hehehe He ended-up signing 5 songs, all in Thai!!! It was so funny to have Thais sing in english (the words were not alwways right, sometimes...often it was more a sound that kinda sounded like the word! hehehe, so funny! It reminded me of people in Qc who don't speak english and sing along english songs. They don't always know or understand the words, but fill in with sounds that kinda sound right! HAHAHA! I'm guilty of it too when I was a kid! hehehe) It's funny that it took a white guy to sing Thai pop music! The girls at the bar, all Thais, loved it!

Anyway, this brings me back to the fact that this place was a clear pick up place for "a girl" (I don't know if they were actual girls or ladyboys, but they looked convincing to me). I was the only white women (almost, aside for 2 other tourists who stayed 1 song), amongst Thai girls and white guys...

I just read in a newspaper (Samui is sooo touristy that their newspaper is in both languages) and there was a news that they had arrested a gang of ladyboys...I wonder if they are the equivalent of our pimps/biker gangs in Canada...

Well, on this "not so cheery" note, I leave you for now. I'm going back to Ko Pagan tomorrow until approx April 7-8 then leaving the south to Bangkok, then Laos and Cambodia. I'll post pics while in Ko Paghan.
Cheers!

Posted by Mistrale 00:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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