Life of Pai

So there we found ourselves – stuck on a boat in the Pacific ocean with a tiger. With nothing but turtles to eat and sea water to distil into drinkable water. We would lie on the edge of the boat, trying not to disturb that majestical beast. Whoops, that’s Life of Pi…not Life of Pai – sorry, wrong story!

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Back to the Land of the Thais

After our “adventure” with the Gibbons experience, there was only one thing we wanted to do – chill out. But, the small town which was the jumping-off spot for the Gibbons Experience, Huay Xi, was just a little too chilled out for us (i.e., extremely boring and nowhere and nothing to do to relax), and we really didn’t feel like wasting another day there. So, despite the turmoil in Thailand, we opted to cross the Mekong and head into Thailand.

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Toto, we're not in Thailand anymore...

B-B-B-B-Bangkok!

After spending 12 hours on a boat/bus combination, we were thrilled to arrive in Bangkok at the wee hour of 1:30 a.m. All I can say is THANK GOD I have been to Bangkok before…or I may have had a stress induced heart attack upon arrival.

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Full Mooner

Last time we wrote, we were bidding adieu to our beloved paradise-no-more, and heading to the opposite side of the island, to a beach called Chao Phao. We took an uneventful taxi ride back to the pier where the boats arrive, and then we were to transfer to another taxi to take us on to Chao Phao. At the pier, we arrived to a deserted parking lot (the pier is usually teeming with freshly arrived travellers) and only a few taxis, one of which beckoned us in to head to our destination. He said it would leave in 5 mins and would cost us 150 baht. Well, 20 mins later, nothing had changed, and we hadn’t moved. I got out to ask the guy what was going on, to which he replied “5 mins, we go”. A few minutes later, another few people got on the taxi, but they were heading to the completely opposite side of the island than we were; this wasn’t right. Again I got out and asked the guy what was going on: “two taxis.” What? We were so confused, but then the taxi started to move, and drove about 10 meters, across the parking lot, and told everybody but us to get out and move to another taxi. Progress! But wait. “You now have to pay 200 baht”. What? Because there was only two of us, it was now more expensive, and we hadn’t left half an hour ago like he had promised; we were pissed. Ah, Thailand.

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The Demise of Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi

The pilgrimage of our 2006 trip continues; however, sadly not to the same degree of awesomeness we experienced in Ko Tao.

Ko Samui

We decided to kill a few days in Ko Samui before heading off to Phangnan for the full moon party…mostly to meet up with Nathalie and Emily, our British friends that we met on our surf trip in Australia. They had booked themselves into a hotel on Lamai beach, so we took off in hopes that there would be a room for us there as well.

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The 12 Steps to the Perfect Day

Last time we wrote, we were beginning a long and relaxing boat ride on our way to Ko Tao; and so begins a repeat of our 2006 trip to Thailand. In 2006, we visited Thailand’s western paradise islands (Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao) for almost 10 days, and landing in Ko Tao marked the beginning of the revisit to paradise.

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From Ranong to Burma to Ko Tao

Our bus from Phang-Nga to Ranong was only supposed to be three hours…which somehow morphed into five. Only in Asia does it take five long bumpy hours to travel 215 kilometres. Why, you ask? Well, it’s simple. The bus system here is highly inefficient, and in order to make the best profit possible, the bus continually starts and stops to drop off and pick up people in often highly remote areas of the Country. This also makes it difficult to sleep on a bus – most of us are conditioned to wake up every time a bus stops so as not to miss where we are supposed to get off. This, coupled with really horrible Thai music playing (I don’t think we’ve heard any decent music since we left Australia….what is hot in music now? I truly have no idea), and it all combines to leave me a very grumpy girl.

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Touring Little Phang-Nga

I sell dreams. If people knew that behind me as I photographed this sunset, there were shanty houses, garbage strewn everywhere, toilets dumping into the ocean below, tsunami warning signs and the Muslim prayer blaring on the speakers, I don’t know what they would think. It’s really hard for me to see the way these people live. This is not a dream. It’s a nightmare.”

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Sim Sim Similans...

I’m a little worried that after the big bombshell of the last blog post, people are going to be bored with this slightly less eventful one. :) I suppose movie-scene proposals can’t happen everyday, however…

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A Day to Remember

The day started off innocently enough…

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth (Seriously)

We awoke in the morning to a glorious breakfast served at our restaurant on the hill overlooking the beautiful Ko Phi Phi bay. Scott was toying around with the idea of chartering a private long tail boat to take us to Phi Phi Ley, a small island nearby which is renowned for its beauty and the home of the famous Maya Bay that served as the idyllic paradise in the movie “The Beach.” A 3-hour long-tail boat all to ourselves was a steal at $40 – cheap, yes, but keep in mind we are living on a very small budget here in Asia…and it seemed kind of expensive to us. Haha. We thought we’d find some people to share it with us, since the price didn’t change with more people. After approaching a few folks who declined, we decided to go to the beach for some R&R and go on the boat later. Little did I realize, Scott had a plan and actually didn’t want us to share the boat – so he cringed every time I made a friend on the beach and asked if they wanted to go. Fortunately for him, I didn’t find anyone. :)

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