Friday, June 13, 2008


Ok, so it's been a while. I apologize. I've had a rough week though. For those who don't know, my Grandfather past away last weekend. After advice from the family I decided to stay in Asia and continue with the Wedding that is on the 15th. All the Grandkids were doing the Eulogy, so I have been spending lots of time writing mine, which at this time has probably already has been read by my sister's. It's tough being away from family when all this is going on, but I have had a lot support from my Korean family here. :)

Excuses aside. Here is the blog on Thailand. It's long. So grab a couple of Singha's right now. I'll wait.

Ok. So anyways, our first stop was Bangkok. One of the first things I noticed was that Thailand is hot. Insanely hot. It's always +30 with lots of humidity. As a white dude from Canada, it was a lot to handle... but was something I'd learn to get used to for the next 10 days. Also, nearly every place had Air Conditioning, so it's cool (pun intended). Bangkok is a mixture between tradition and modern. On one hand, you have an insane amount of temples and Buddha's... on the other hand, you have huge skyscrapers, night clubs, gogo clubs, and markets. Our hotel (which was only 20 bucks a night) was near the market, so we went there first.
There are a ton of deals here. You have to wheel and deal a little, but you can get t-shirts for like 6 dollars, sometimes cheaper. Jeans and stuff are kinda pricier around 15 dollars. It was fun to barter, but it really got annoying after a while. I rant about this later... you'll see.

Korea has this too, but there are also a ton of food stands. They sell everything from western friendly stuff, to weird Thai seafood... like whole fishes, octopus, etc.

You'll never walk more than a block without some Thai guy saying: "Hello Tuk tuk" (pronounced toque tuque, like the warm canadian hat.). These are 3 wheeled taxi's that scoot you around town. They are cheaper than regular taxi's (again, only if you barter), but they are loud as hell, and kinda dangerous. I thought Seoul was bad for traffic and craziness, Bangkok is 10x worse. They also drive on the left side, which is something different you have to adjust to (especially crossing the street. Look RIGHT first.) Everyone drives like it's a nascar event, and I'm sure people are killed hourly. The taxi drivers are the worse offenders, as they drive as fast as they can so they can pick up as many customers as possible. They will try and rip you off, but if you stay firm and ask around, usually one will take you for the price you are asking. We rented this guy for 50 baht for 45 min. That's like less than $1.50!!

We then went to a few clubs. The night life in Bangkok is amazing. There are lot of places to drink, and this is a backpackers hub, so there people from all over the world here. We met people from the UK, all over Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, .. it's pretty crazy. I'd say that most of the people that come here are from the UK or Australia... I say or because I can't tell the difference in their accent. You have to be careful when going into a bar because it might not be what you think it is. It could be a Gogo club, which is basically women dancing, and the female pimps ask you which one you want. YIKES!. Also, when a guy stops you on the street advertising to see a ping pong show, it's not two athletic guys playing a game of ping pong. Yeah, so anyways, we found this awesome club where this dude was spinning insanely rad tunes. It was huge and it also had couches where you could chill out and relax.

After this insanity we decided to check out some of the Temple's and Buddha's n' such... These people really love their religion here. Over 90% of the people here follow the Buddhist religion, and it definitely shows. Here are some of the temples. The temples have a lot of intricate designs on them, and of course have gold plated tips as well. More impressive than the yellow paint I saw in Korea.

There were a million of these various designs outside the temples in the courtyard. I'm not sure what they are called but they were pretty cool.
There are also Buddha's the size of skyscrapers. At first you are led to believe that all these are solid gold, but it's just gold plated, and they keep it maintained. Still impressive though, and it's still a lot of gold.
This is the lying down Buddha. It is insanely large. I can't believe that this thing is inside the temple. I guess it was probably built after the statue was constructed. I need to show you this angle, because I think it's like a city block long. lol!
After seeing so many of these, it's insane how much gold Thailand really has. Even if it's just plated, I can't help to wonder that if they melted this gold, sold it, Thailand would be an insanely rich country.

Next up, we went to Koh Phi Phi. These are islands are located south of Bangkok, and just 45 km east of Phuket. It's even warmer here, but it's worth it. We have blue oceans, white sand, and rocky cliffs. You need to see photo's to appreciate what's going on.

First of all... our hotel (although way more than 20 dollars a night), was off the hook. It was right along the beach and had a sick pool with a fountain:
I took this photo when it was raining, and it still looks beautiful.

Just outside our hotel is this... The beach at Loh Dalam Bay. It's an amazing lagoon with blue water and white sand. The cliffs in the background make a rad photo.

The beach is really long, and there's a lot going on there. You can't really tell from this photo, but it's a lot busier than this. There is usually a couple of boats in the water and many tanned ladies in bikini's (for better and for worse... but mostly for better :D )

We then took a tour to Maya Beach which is on a different island called Koh Phi Phi Leh. It's a short boat ride from Koh Phi Phi Don. This is the first part of the island you see:
Around the corner is Maya Beach. Maya beach is where the movie, "The Beach." was filmed. It's crazy cool, but we were there when the tide was low... I don't know why, but, I still kinda liked Loh Dalam Bay better, just cause there's a lot more going on there.
Before we left, we wrote our name's in the sand. I risked my life getting this photo. I had to climb this big rock to get this photo. As I was climbing this jagged rock in flip flops (which was sketchy by itself), halfway up, I had to deal with this tropical snake that was hissing at me. I kinda freaked and it thankfully never attacked me. Lord knows what kind of venom it had in its arsenal. I had to jump down and climb a different side.
Our boat guy took us to a place with some awesome snorkeling. This is where Koh Phi Phi leh is better. The water is crystal clear blue, there are a ton of reefs and the fishy's are really pretty too.
I took this photo underwater with our camera.

Leaving, there was a rad sunset, so I had to nab a memory of it.

The night life at Koh Phi Phi isn't as great as Bangkok, but it has beach bars... which are super dope. There's always one of the local dudes juggling fire, making everyone not drunk quite nervous... but he didn't screw up, so it's cool.We like this place so much, we decided to stay another night and change our flight plan. Our hotel even gave us the last night for free.

Anyways, our next stop is Phuket. For all of those people laughing at the name before, it's pronounced "poo ket", not that it helps much. lol. Anyways... Phuket is a mixture between Bangkok and Koh Phi Phi... It has the night life, the shopping, and the white sand and beaches.

Unfortunately, by this time, I had enough sun. I was burnt even using SPF 60 sunblock. My whitey skin wasn't made for it.

So our beach time was limited. Here is some of it anyways on a cloudy day:

As you can see, it's not quite as nice as Koh Phi Phi. But they have more water sports and risking your life stuff going on. Like pulling a parachute dude behind a boat!

The bars are awesome. They are out in the open and they always have games to play. The cute waitresses play with you. We played connect 4 and Jenga. Yay!

Jenga was more fun, and got intensely high. I look drunk here, but it was a mid blink... I swear.

They also have Thai Lady boys. Yikes! Look at all of them lined up in the background!
Rant on Shopping:
Shopping really bugged me cause I had high expectations for getting good deals and cool stuff... but the people and items themselves ruin the experience... For one thing, it's the land of smiles. The people are very friendly, but after a while, you see that the smiles are fake. Basically, they just want you to buy a suit, thai massage, ride in a tuk tuk, etc... They just don't shut up. They just keep talking to you, sometimes following you 1/2 a block. You can't walk 5 steps without this happening. They'll tap your shoulder and touch you to get your attention. They'll also talk in your native tongue to get your attention... They try and guess where you are from, but usually fail. eg: so many times I got "Oi! You from Australia, mate?", or "you from England, mate?"... Sohee either got, "Inichewa!" (hi in japanese), or "neehow!" (chinese). They rarely get it right. It was humorous at first, but it quickly got annoying. When you actually do want to shop, they act like your best friend and try think like they are giving you a big deal. It isn't until we went to a real shopping mall in Bangkok that we realized that the real deals are the ones you don't have to barter. The t-shirts in the mall are about 100-150 baht (3-5 bucks)... and on the streets, about 300-500. They jack the price and capitalize on tourist areas. My advice is to only shop in the malls. Unless you want that fake Louis Vuitton handbag, or Versace t-shirt... you'll have to go to the streets... I didn't see any of those in the malls for legality reasons. Also keep in mind that pretty much everything you are buying is crap. Just because it says chanel, on it, it's actually worse quality than if you made it yourself. One laundry machine ride will destroy the clothes and the clothes around it. Ink runs and they shrink. Happened to all the shirts I bought there. SUCKS!!! End of rant.

So what's my overall view of Thailand? It's gorgeous, but the tourist trap is in full effect. You have to be careful and do your research. Hotels are cheap, clothes are cheap, taxi's are fairly cheap, and the food is cheap (and super delicious). My problem is that I hated arguing to get it cheap. lol. Anyways... If you were wondering, the best place was Koh Phi Phi. Everyone should go there at least once in their lives.


Anonymous said...

Place seems awesome man.

hope your having a killer time!!
thanks for the shameless pic for the guys :p
by that i mean the pick of you on the beach.

Dis is Cameron

Anonymous said...

re: "They also have Thai Lady boys"

I'm not in to hermaphrodites but w/e, thanks for the pics anyways :P

i iz jordan