Friday, April 16, 2010


Busy first week, this is kinda what happened...

7th April,
Arrived, took bus and then walked to hotel with bags, not too far but very hot. Explored a little bit, walked to Koh San Road. Met other guy Kevin from tour and had a couple of drinks on Koh San Road.

8th April
In the morning went to floating markets, went on delicate little boat that was (over)powered by an old car engine then took slow paddle boat around the markets themselves. Then went to crazy snake show, was ok, not very nice to snake/animals though.
In the evening went to the station to get the overnight train to Change Mai. Nice Thai food on train.

9th April
Train was a little early arriving into Chang Mai so Went straight off to Elephant show and then Tiger Kingdom to to stroke and get photos with Tigers :-) In afternoon, guide took us on tour around Chang Mai and went on peddle powered tuk tuk.

10th April
Took open taxi (pickup type thing with roof) further north (about 40k from Burma) to start hill trek. Songkran (Thai New Year water festival type thingy) had not officially started but had tons of water thrown on us from the side of the road, was fun. Bough super soaker type water gun to fire back :-).
Started trek in the afternoon, was nice and shady in jungle so not too difficult and in the eve stayed next to Hill Tribe village in our own little huts looking over a small stream.

Did Tarzan swing.

Was given tons of toast and eggs for breakfast so obviously ate too much but it was nice. Then headed off on another days walking in the hills but was much hotter and mainly bamboo so not much shade. Stopped to rest and made our own chopsticks out of bamboo which later used to eat noodle lunch with spicy fish. Stayed right in hilltribe village next to big river that evening. Took elephant ride up river which although a good experience was not particularly comfy. Made springs rolls for tea :-)

Feeding elephant

Had option to float down river on a bamboo raft or trek for 4 hours...

Rafting was fun but due to water be low took quite a long time but was ok just jumped off for swim when it got too hot.

Thai New Year had officially started so got soaked on drive back to Change Mai, good fun.

Just wandered around Chang Mai, were parades and markets to celebrate the new year. Everyone was enjoying water festival, every couple of metres you get a bucket of water tipped over your head or ice cold water fired at you from a water gun or hose.
In evening again took overnight train back to Bangkok, had reaLLY nice Thai food on train again.
On train made plans to only stay in Bangkok for a day and take overnight bus and ferry to Koh Tao as goverment protestors (Red shirts) had resulted in much of the city and attractions being shut and not entirely safe.

Arrived in Bangkok around 6:30am and took taxi to Kevins hotel where I was going to leave my bags for today. Took Sky Train to shopping centres and just wandered around, nothing too exciting. Saw edge of protest areas and road closures, seemed like half the city was shut.
Had to check in for overnight bus before 7:30 for train at 9. Due to road closures I took taxi early at 5:30 and arrived at bus station at 6, however it was the wrong one. So took another taxi only for the driver to pull over in the middle of nowhere and hail another taxi as he did not know where to take me!? Anyway, other driver despite not speaking much english called my previous tour guide (who helped me book bus) and ended up in the right place.
Bus was ok, bit warm, drove until 6am when I changed to nice a/c ferry.

Arrive in Koh Tao and took first taxi to hotel I wanted to stay at as is peak season here and was told probably full. Mnaged to get fan room and booked onto Open Water dive course starting in a couple of days.
Had a bit of a wander, swam in the sea and pool then slept most of the day, 2 over night journeys in a rown was quite tiring.

Upgraded to A/C today, spending more than wanted to but was way too hot in the other one. Just relaxed again today, beach and pool and now internet! Koh Tao very scenic, will try and upload some pictures soon.

Not the best picture, just took quickly from balcony