I began my 3 week vacation in the city known as Krabi. It's a wonderfully beautiful place in southern Thailand surrounded by beaches and enormous vertical cliffs that appear from nowhere. It was here that I visited my friends Stacy and Carlyn, and met Sarah from PA and Ally from Ireland.
Day one I was left to my own devices until the ladies returned home from work. With time to kill I decided to rent a motorbike (seriously, what else did you think I would do?!) and drove for hours around the area. However, these few hours took a toll on my body...for in Krabi, there's this thing called sun. It doesn't always appear in the rest of Thailand, but in Krabi it's at full force. Soon I was redder than a lobster...seriously. After living in Thailand for 4 months at this point, I had never even so much as gotten slightly pink. When I saw sunscreen at the good ol' 7-11 I thought "350 baht! I don't need that". I was wrong. For days I staggered around owing at each move of the shoulders. My face - let's just not mention it. Alas, this did not prevent me from continuing to drive around Krabi for 3 more days in the hot burning sun of doom. Overall I found Krabi to be a pretty cool place. It was strange to find such a high Muslim population after being around nothing but Buddhist temples for months - but it was interesting non-the-less. I give Krabi a 7 out of 10.
Next I was ferry bound to Koh Phi Phi. From rumours I've gathered that this place is gorgeous - a must see - paradise even. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to party - or this place was just more crazy than I am. First things first - I climbed up to the viewpoint to watch the sunset. Here to talked to a Thai man about coconuts. And then I met Nate the Canadian living in India. This will be more relevant later in my story.
That night I met some party individuals who were convinced that they could get me to join them. I did for a bit - and then retired when I realized I was not drunk enough for that scene and I was ill-equipt for the task of making myself as inebriated as they were. One guy was obsessed with my "Texas Accent" and demanded I only speak to him in Texan talk. It was kind of strange. I almost forgot the most important part! There was a giant penis statue on the beach. Yep. A giant penis statue. Eventually I departed as it has started to rain. On my walk back I once again ran into Canadian Nate who was headed to Phuket the next day with friends. I then decided I would join their group and make my way to Phuket the next day.
Over the years I've always thought of Phuket as a tropical paradise of an island. Maybe one day if I come back and go there with money this will be true. However, when the island is run by the mafia you tend to find high prices on every corner. If you want to go somewhere by taxi - minimum 500 baht. If you want to use the chair on the beach - 100 baht. If you want to walk on the cool floating pier that moves with the waves - well, I don't know, but I'm sure it's expensive. All I know is hat I was not allowed on it. Overall Phuket wasn't half-bad, mainly due to my awesome company of 3 Canadians. But sadly, it was time for me to complete week one of travelling and go to the place I truly loved - northern Thailand. After about an hour of attempting to wait for a bus that I am not convinced really exists - I got offered a ride by some beach security guards...and by offered I mean they still charged 200 baht to get me to the bus station. I felt this was safe-ish. They dumped me off on the side of the road by a shop that apparently sold bus tickets. I was told "Bangkok bus - right now". So naturally I waited an hour for the bus. I hopped on a bus from Phuket to Bangkok - 12 ish hours. I arrived in Bangkok at 5:30am. The next bus to Chiang Mai was at 6:00am. I had time to take a pee break and brush my teeth before the next bus took off. Approximately 24 hours in a bus...it's rough. (See next blog).