A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

Now on Ko Samui

(another Island near by)

sunny 30 °C

Written on March 22...
Alright, it's been a while since the last post. I went from my cousin's to a place called "The Sanctuary" which is a resort on a secluded beach - you have to take a boaty to get there) where people go to do healty stuff (yoga, fasting, colonics - this is a cleaning of your colong through the insertion of a tube with a mixed liquid that apparently dislodges shit...hehehe no pun intended, but litterally!)
Once there, I went to 1 yoga session (at 250B a session, it's a bit out of my reach) and I realized that, although still enjoyable, yoga is better for me when I actually feel stressed. I must say that I haven't really experienced stress since the beginning of this trip, so the benefits weren't as important + I can do yoga with a bunch of westeners at home anytime, so F that.
So anyway, this place was a bit too much for me and/or not enough Thai so I left after a couple of days. On a good note, I was living in the dormitory and got to hang out with some cool travellers (none of us were into any of the "spa/healthy" shit, so we connected there). I ended-up coming back to the actual party central of Ko Pagnan (a town called Haad Rin) with a Canadian girl I had met at the Sanctuary and we booked at the same hotel and hung out, drank to much and met guys (well I did, she wasn't into guys really, but she did meet a girl!) for a couple of days. Nothing really interesting though. I should be careful because my cousin is dating a Israeli guy, but all you (I) met in Haad Rin are Israeli guys wanting to get laid...hehehe, it's not as much fun when it's too easy and/or interesting when the guy is barely taller than 5'7" and bald! hehehe! So I dind't go through with any of it yet (I realize that I have a blockage against meaningless sex with guys that I wouldn't even reccognize in a crowd the following day - so no XXXrated events for me (I wouldn't really tell you about them anyway! hehehe), well maybe 1X...hehehe
Moving on!
A bit on Haad Rin:
It's THE MOST Western place possible. All that you have are bars (with western food, barely any Thai food at all) and shops - all of the above way overpriced. I kinda made a point of not having any Thai food while there because it was more than double what it is anywhere else in Thailand (i.e fried rice with veggies: anywhere 30 to 50B, there 100-120B!!!!). I had pizza, schnitzels (they do the trick at 3am after several "buckets" -more on those in a minute), fries, Indian food, falafels, "continental breakfast"..you name it!

Anyway, enough about the food. The buckets I refer to are actual buckets that kids would used to play in the sand (not here, but you know what I mean), and for 180B (for Thai wisky, more for vodka and whatever), you get the plastic bucket, a 10once of booze, a can of pop, a redbull & ice) We looked at the bottle and it said 80 proof on it, but that's really impossible because we ended up having 3 buckets (between the two of us) and, although quite hammered, at 80% we would have been completely dead... I took a few pics but this computer doesn't reccognize my memory stick, so I'll post them another time.
So anyway! Good times... the concept is that there are bars on then beach and they each play their kind of music (top 40 and techno mostly) and they have chairs and stuff on the beach to hang out on and people that do juggling with fire and stuff. Quite a good time - for a day or two. I couldn't have gone though this for an extended period of time + I have a fundamental problem with going to another country and not trying to live like them and learn about the culture and stuff. Haad Rin is not the place for that at all!
So, with a few days to kill before and "intro to meditation" followed by a "Tantra" workshop back at the yoga school my cousin is so into, I decided to go to Ko Samui, a neighbour island. I just got here a couple of hours ago and it feels good. This island is also super touristic, but I'm on a beach that's not too bad + it's only for 3-4 days).
I expect to write a bit more over the next few days, now that I'm back in the land of "1B a minute" Internet (as opposed to 3B at the Sanctuary and 2B anywhere in Haad Rin - rip off!!!)
Cheers!

Posted by Mistrale 03:49 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Still on Ko Paghan

Enjoying peace and quiet..for now...

sunny 30 °C

Written on March 10…
Days and nights are pretty quiet these days… I only went to the first day of the yoga school and wasn’t hooked at all for several reasons. Although I believe in the concept of energy, and that through yoga and meditation one can channel this energy in ways that are almost unbelievable, this school and it’s “swami” (aka guru) didn’t attract me at all. The schedule was another very strong deterrent (every morning at 8:30am!!!). I’m like: Hey! I’m on vacation here, getting up early is soooo far off the plan it’s not even funny!!! And we can’t even eat before going to class (which I understand, eating before doing yoga isn’t good) but getting up at 7:30-8 and not being able to eat until 11am is totally against my religion. So it didn’t work out! Rafale would like me to give it a fair chance (it’s true that I’ve only been that 1st day) by going at least 3 days in a row. I might do that next Monday-Wed…we’ll see.
She is still pretty big into the whole thing (but she’s more advanced and has a different – better – schedule, yet she is at the school for different things most of the time) so my days consist of getting up whenever I want, hanging out in the hammock on the balcony and going to the beach and/or exploring this tiny island we’re on. Not too shabby indeed!
I haven’t taken any new pics yet, but will go tomorrow with Rafale on a little visit of the island (which she hasn’t had time to visit yet) and I’ll make sure to take some pics. My tan is getting pretty nice, although I’m careful not to go to the beach before 2pm and I put on 45 UV protection sunscreen.
My best purchase so far? Snorkeling mask and scuba!!!! It’s soooooo fun!! First of all, the water temperature is just sooo perfect! The water is quite shallow here, yet by swimming only a few feet away from the beach, we get to nice coral and a super abundance of all kinds of fish!! I’ve seen fish in all shapes, forms and colours, some completely white, others with vivid colours (bright blue/green that changes when the light changes), others striped, dotted, purple, orange, yellow, with a kind of mask, others that blend so well with the bottom that you see them at the last second. There are also many many sea cucumbers (I think that’s what they are) which kind of creep me out because they are sometimes up to 2 feet long and are quite big and, although hey seem completely passive, I don’t know if they can strike and bite me or something and I’m so close that they totally could! All of this life is in water no deeper than 3-4 feet. I often have to be careful not to kick coral.
On that note, I’ve seen many shapes of coral too, some that look like a brain, others that move with the water, other red one that are like a big rock formation. Fish hide in those quite a bit.
No pics of any of this as it’ll require a waterproof camera, which I’ll get only if I decide to take the scuba diving course (a lot of $$$, unbudgeted $$$, so I’m debating…)
So that’s that, not much else to report, as Rafale’s place is pretty far from everything, in “remote jungle” (ok, it’s only 10-20 minutes from anything on the motorbike – but still!) so I haven’t been going out and partying at all, and I probably won’t until I move on with my journey in approx 1 week).
Tomorrow we’ll visit a Chinese temple (as if I haven’t seen enough! Hehehe – but it’s the only one around) and an elephant “safari” place.
The story with elephants is as follow: For the past several hundred years, they were used here for work on many things (construction, farming, and I don’t know what else) but a law was passed a few years back that banned using elephants for work. Great for the environmentalists and “anti-cruelty” organizations, but all of a sudden, there were all these elephants and their handlers out of work (and I only assume, but I think elephants eat quite a bit! hehehe) and no way to make a living. At some point, people realized that, us foreigners were quite impressed with these big animals and that we would pay good money to go on rides and learn more about them. And thus came the business of elephant riding. Since it’s for a good cause (preventing elephants and their handlers from starving) I will do my part by going on a ride or two. The bulk of the industry is in the north of Thailand, but this island has a few elephants, so I might go on a ride tomorrow, if not at some point during my stay for sure! It’s a tough life, but gotta do my part! Hehehe
On that note, cheers!

Written on March 12…
Well, finally gotta a few pics from yesterday, and I went to the yoga class this morning. I was already kind of awake, so I figured “might as well!”. It was better today than on the first day (we actually did almost a full hour of yoga) but it’s still, and will always be very slow. It’s not exercise (not cardio at least, or even strength, it’s mostly flexibility and meditation). I paid for the day, so I’ll go back for the afternoon session and see, one day at the time…
Alright, pics time!
Let's start with a pic of Rafale and I. Now, to be honest, this pic of her is not so great. We took 2 pics back to back and in the 1st one she looked good, but I looked way too bad, so we took this second one where I at least look like myself (or the image I have of myself! hehehe), but she doesn't look as good as she does in real life... Fortunately for me, since this is my blog, I can post whichever I want! hehehe
Rafale_and_I__good_me.jpg
And here's another quick one of myself - to please the family!
Me_taken_by_Rafale.jpg
These wried pants I'm wearing are called fishermen's pants and are quite common here (on the islands and remote places, not in Bangkok at all!). They are a kind of "one size fits all" pant, and you simply flod the excess fabric in the front and tie the whole thing with stings that are attached to the pants.... Sounds weird, doesn't look particularly good, but quite comfy!
Here's a pic we took at the chinese temple...
Buddist_st.._Temple.jpg
Here's a pic of fish on display at a market here, I don't know if youc an see, byt there are severla black dots on teh fish, yes yes, these are flies just hanging out (or eating or I don't know what!) hmmm yummy! No need otmention that I've stayed away from meat since I started travelling. Veggies don't attract flies nearly as much!
Fish_at_th.._market.jpg
To conclude for today, here are a couple of pics we took at the elephant safari place. They have 5-10 elephants on which we can go ride. Rafale wanted ot get more info on how they are treated here before paying for a ride, but yesterday I saw a poster for this place at her yoga place, so I asume that this will be good enough for. We might go on a ride at some point soon, we'll see. Elephant_2.jpg
Elephant_head2.jpg

So that's that for now. This morning I woke up to find the MOTHER OF ALL SPIDERS on the wall of the kitchen. I didn't kill yet and left asap, came back a couple of hours and it was still there, I still didn't kill it (I'm normally not scared of spiders, but this one is quite intimidating). Anyway, I took a pic and will load it on here next time. You'll see what I mean!!! I figured it'd also be a good occasion to discuss the animals and things I've seen around here so far. Next entry!

Written on March 13...
I just found out that I got accepted at Concordia for a BA in Management with a minor in Economic. No news from McGill yet (also for Management). I have to answer them by May 1st, but I also want to live in residence, so I'll have to make a decision fairly soon ot make sure I get into residence. I figured I can wait a couple of weeks to see what McGill says...In any case, I need to check, but many universities guarantee a place in residence to 1st year students, so I should be fine. Yeah, about that, they would only transfer 6 credits (of the 18 I've done over the past 2 years), of this 90 credits degree... bit of a bummer... Anyway, I have time to think this over.

Cheers!

Posted by Mistrale 00:41 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Part 2 of Finally here on the island

hehehe, I guess it's a "not so subtle" message that my entries are too long!

sunny 31 °C

Alright, one thing that is everywhere ehre in Thailand, is picture and reverence to the King (I think his name is Rama IV). His pic is in every shop, they sell shirts with a Thai embrodery that I was told was to celebrate the King, he has statues and displays throughout the city. Display_for_the_King.jpg
This display blocks the main entry of a large commercial centre!! Thais sure love their King!!!
Another thing that's everywhere are temples.
Temple.jpg
Temple_in_Surat_Thani.jpg
Unfortunately, the explanation written on the signs are only in Thai, I therefore have no idea what/who/why it's for.
I'll really look into meeting/staying with a Thai family sooner than later, as it will make the world of a difference in understanding life and the people here. Actually, for India, I met a couple of girls from Denmark who stayed with 2 families while in India. They loved the experience and gave me the coordinates to contact these families and do the same thing! I think it's sooooo cool!
Well that's pretty much that for now. Hope everythign is going good onyour side as well, and keep in touch!!!!
Cheers,
Mistrale

Posted by Mistrale 04:27 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Ko Pha Ngan

Here I come!

sunny 31 °C

Written on March 2...
Ok, I only have a couple of minutes left of internet time so this will be short. I haven't taken a single pic yet of Bangkok because i have been waiting for something pretty or nice, but haven't really seen anythign yet.
My cousin Rafale is on Ko Pha Ngan island (way down south) and she invite dme to go visit. She happens to be on a very nice beach island, and I'm in dire need of some serious beach time, so I'm heading down there tomorrow for 2-3weeks!!! Yay!!! I'm sure Ill have better pics options, and will come back to BKK at some point for sure (as they say here, all roads lead to BKK!)...
Other than that it's really really hot here (I'm sweating from places I didn't even knwo could sweat! - like ankles!!) and the city is really big and spread out and noisy and dirty and and and...
More news from "paradise island" hehehe
Cheers,

Posted by Mistrale 00:51 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

In Bangkok!

well almost...

sunny 30 °C

Written on Wed Feb 28 at 18:30.
I "lost" another hour by coming to Thailand, so whatever time difference we had before, add 1 hour.
I'm actually in a little...I guess suburb, the name I couldn't even start to pronounce... for the first 2 nights. This place, although very "rustic" is quite nice, with my own private room and spring mattress (a luxury that I haven't enjoyed since I started this trip) which I get for the same price that I'll pay to stay in a 12 bed dorm with hard beds (shitty little hard foam) downtown for the following nights. It's not too bad (a 12 bed dorm) as this is what I have lived so far and it's a great way to meet people. In any case, laundry is free here (yay!) and 1 hour internet per day. So many little luxuries!!! I guess it doesn't take mucht o get me excited anymore!

It's getting dark so I'll wait until tomorrow to go explore the surroundings. The hosts are a family who live here and have 10 rooms as a hostel. They are soo nice and gave me a very comprehensive map, suggestions or things to do, how to get there, useful words in Thai, etc. Anyway, happy so far!
Cheers,
Mistrale
P.S. I fianlly made it to tropical weather, with a nice 31degrees!! :-)

Posted by Mistrale 03:18 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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