I have been wanting to write this post for like, the past week, and finally decided to not be lazy about it and document mine and Cori’s rendezvous in the gorgeous country of Thailand. This was kind of a monumental trip for me, as it was my first time venturing out of my new home in South Korea. I was on the phone with my sister before leaving and I kept saying how anxious and nervous I was to leave, and kept thinking I was forgetting something. She was like “it’s so funny how now you’re nervous to leave Korea.” I guess home is where my ish is, right? And yes, I quadruple checked that I had my passport and flight documents and allergy medicine and every last summer clothing item I brought with me to Korea before I scampered off to the bus stop in the frigid cold snowy air to head to ze airport. BRING ON THE STICKY HEAT….but not before I nearly froze to death after waiting for nearly an hour outside the bus stop for the comfy bus to shlep me to Incheon Airport. NOW bring on the sticky heat!
I landed in Bangkok at around 1:30am on Friday morning, and after about 2.5 hours of waiting to get through immigration, I headed to the taxi line to get my tired ass taken to D&D Inn on the dirty Khao San Rd. My first thoughts after exiting the airport were “holy shit it’s hot here, this coat needs to be out of my arms and boots ripped off” and “WTF, why is the cabby putting my suitcase in his seat? OHHH…they drive on the opposite side of the car. Well then.” About 30 minutes later the cabby dropped me off at the entrance to Khao San Rd, which is the main crazy animal party street in Bangkok. He motioned that my hotel was down the street and that he wasn’t allowed to drive me all the way in. I soon found out why. Drunkards everywhere, carts of street food, fresh fruit and fried insects littered the shithole of a street. I just remember walking and laughing to myself and reminiscing on my first thoughts of Bourbon St. in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. HOLY SHIT SHOW. Same thing, minus the beads and the boobs from the balconies above.
I finally checked in at D&D, and was initially planning to meet a friend from high school out somewhere if we could get in touch, since he was leaving early in the morning but planned on being out. That didn’t happen. I checked in, showered and passed out to the sweet sound of party animals outside.
I got in a day before Cori so I spent all of Friday just wandering up and down Khao San Rd. checking out the endless amounts of flourescent tank tops and booze and jewelry and street food. I ended up going to the spa in my hotel and got a 1.5 hour foot and thai massage by the tiniest little asian woman I have ever seen. I swear she was barely up to my boobs. It was on top of my hotel and under this temple like structure but it was all open air, so it was really cool. I still think it was the best massage I got the whole trip. This cost me all of like, $6. After breaking the bank and feeling like I could fall over from relaxation, I decided to wander and get my first pad thai of the day. NOM. Throughout the day I had 2 pad thais, a coconut, a nutella crepe, a thai coffee, mango, pineapple, got hustled for a custom-tailored coat, and ate who knows what else. That night I stopped to get another hour long foot massage and watched some all-too-young Thai girls dance with a ladyboy in the middle of the street.
Saturday morning I wandered some more, checked out and then went to wait for Cori at Buddy Lodge, where we stayed. God bless wireless, because I waited forEVZ for her ass. Maybe like 2 hours. I had to pee so bad but I didn’t wanna get up in case I missed her and she thought she was at the wrong place. I finally decided to go to the McDonald’s right in front of our hotel to get fries to tide me over while I waited for her ass. And literally as I’m ordering I turn my head and see this confused blonde trapsing up the stairs in a daze. I threw my money at the chick and ran to throw my arms around her! I was so excited to see my TRUE sista from another mista! We checked in, went to our room, gave each other our “gifts” and then sauntered out to see what the hell Bangkok is all about. BUT, not before taking a Merry Christmas photo with the wondrous staff of Buddy Lodge (minus the bitch on the right….worst.attitude.of.life). Look out for us on their wall if you’re ever there. 2 Jews and a buncha Thai Santas.
The rest of Saturday we wandered, ate, and took a tuk tuk around Bangkok. For 20 baht (about 60 cents) we got a 3 hour or so tour of Bangkok. Our precious driver, who was probably not a day over 18 took us to I think 3 temples, all of which I forget the names of. But, at the 2nd one we went to, there was the sweetest Thai man sitting in the temple. He directed u where to sit and then talked to us for a bit about Buddha and Buddhism, asked us where we’re from and told us all the places that we must see while in Bangkok. He was super sweet and then took a few photos for us. He clearly has done this before 🙂 We ended up getting stuck in a bunch of traffic that day, after spending far too much time getting hustled (and a bit buzzed) at a couple tailor shops (they have a deal with the tuk tuk drivers, something about bringing tourists to them in exchange for gas money). So we headed back to Khao San Rd. for a disgusting fish foot eating pedicure, hour foot massage and hour head, shoulder and neck massage. Day complete.
Sunday was Christmas and we jam packed our day! Luckily there was a travel agent next to our hotel so we booked an awesome day tour of about 4 temples including Wat Pho and Wat Anan, which was my personal fave, and the HUGE reclining Buddha. We had a wonderful tour guide that we later found out was named Max. At first I thought he looked like Ceelo in his crazy wackadoodle yellow sunglasses and curly moppy hair. He ended up being so funny. He was our personal photographer and chauffer and told us lots of info about where we were and the important ideas of Buddhism. He also told us that the most important things in a Thai man’s life are money (lots of it) and women (lots of them).
Earlier on Sunday I met a precious British lad named Dion who was also staying at our hotel. He was traveling by himself and having debit card/front receptionist troubles/being lonely on Christmas sadness so I invited him along with us on our journey about 1.5 hours outside of Bangkok to the Amphawa Floating Market that night. Max’s brother, who we only know by the name Kung Fu Panda, accompanied us (why, we don’t know) to the floating market and waited for us to shop around and such. The floating market was pretty cool! They have them at sunrise and in the evening, so we went to one in the evening. Basically, people cook and barter from their boats on the river. So you can essentially walk along the river shopping, eating and watching these old Thai people cook for people who are eating boatside. At the floating market I had THE best ice cream I have ever had in my life, saw some of the prettiest sushi, went on a boat ride for about an hour, hugged an elephant named Nampen, and Cori almost walked out of a folk museum with the first gas can in Thailand for her mom. She had a transportation strategy and everything. Then we discovered it was a Folk Museum and not a shop. Oops! It was pretty awesome, except for the 4 hours worth of traffic we hit on the return home, forcing us to miss our ladyboy show 😦 Cori, jetlagged and frustrated by the traffic, hit the hay early that night so Dion and I headed out to carry on the massage-a-day challenge and have a couple of beverages. Twas a divine time with my new friend!
Monday we explored China Town and bought some pretty friendship rings and jade Buddhas and elephants before catching our flight to Phuket. We did absolutely nothing in Phuket aside from sleep in our dump of a guesthouse. Who knew something with the name D’s Cornerhouse could be so sad.
Bright and early Tuesday we caught the ferry over to Koh Phi Phi, which I would go so far as to say was my favorite place on the trip, and the place we stayed at the shortest 😦 The ferry ride over played a random Beyonce concert on board, but as we neared the shore we saw some of the most breathtakingly blue water and lush cliffs I’ve ever seen. It was truly gorgeous! We were escorted to our bungalow at the Twin Palms, right on the beach. After getting checking in by the ladyboy receptionist, “her” sister helped us book our tour for the day to Maya Bay and Monkey Beach. Maya Bay was where The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed, and let me tell you, I tried to find him to no avail 😦 I did pretend I was walking in his footsteps though. Duh! We took a wooden boat out to Maya Bay, and along the way we went to Monkey Beach, which as you would assume, has monkeys just running around on it. They were so cute! And so wild! I don’t know what I did but one of them jumped at me and grabbed my leg, and then a few others jumped after, but I ran away so fast. They did this to a couple other people too who freaked their shit, one girl even started crying. We then headed out to Maya Bay which is where we snorkled, but didn’t really see anything cool which sucked. I think it was because it was a bit overcast. Despite that though, it was so beautiful. While there we talked to a few other girls who were actually also on vacation from teaching in Korea. They all lived in Daegu and came over at the same time I did. We all pretended to search for Leo together.
Wednesday morning we were up at the crack to hike up to the “PeePee Viewpoint” as they so cleverly call it. We did not anticipate such a hike so early in the morning, but it just kept going and we were shvitzing like a coupla Jew ladies. The morning started off a bit snappy (naturally), but as soon as we got to the top we were fine. It was overcast still but really beautiful. We got to climb on rocks to find the perfect photo opp spot. We also met a little Indian (I think) guy up there and a very rude girl and her weird friends.
Thank god our day started out so glorious, because it quickly went to shit after we spent the entire day in the phuking Phuket airport. Long story short, we originally wanted to get on an earlier flight instead of waiting til 4:30 to fly to Bangkok en route to Samui, but we were told we couldn’t. When we checked in after a few beverages, we found out our flights were delayed (buzz kill), Asia Air put us on another flight so we’d make our connections, that flight got delayed, and then we were put back on Asia Air. Between landing in BKK and making my connection, I had all of 15 minutes to check in, yell at the bitch at Bangkok Airways for taking her sweet time, haul ass through security and run through the biggest f’ing airport to catch the tram to take me to the plane. I have never felt more winded and out of shape in my life than I did while running through that airport. I’m surprised I didn’t fall on my face with the speed I was running at and lugging my oversized carry on. Oops. If we hadn’t made our flights to Samui all flights were booked through the 2nd, so we would have been royally screwed. PINK POWER WORKED IN THE END!
Thursday morning we woke up in Koh Samui refreshed from our clusterfuck of a Wednesday and ventured out from our cute little hotel, Rattana Guest House on Chaweng Beach. We booked an all day Safari tour for Friday, so we took all of Thursday to just wander, get massages and do some shopping. We found a cute little cafe that we brunched at every morning after that we were there.
Friday was AWESOME!!! We were picked up in an open jeep with a group of 9 people. From there we were taken off-roading all over the island! We first went to the PC named Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks (the most phallic natural structures ever!) Taking pictures with these was better than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Other highlights of this Safari tour were holding a monkey and unbeknownst to me having him almost bite my head off, going to this wild animal park where we saw an elephant show, which was kind of sad watching them dance and throw hoola hoops to Mama Mia songs, got to RIDE an elephant and sit on its head! This was so cool! I was soo impressed by the guys ability to just sit on the elephants head, with his feet on its ears and not fall. The second I got on the head and he moved I thought I was gonna plummet down. At this same park we also got to get up close and personal with TIGERS and a LEOPARD!!! They were out in the open, but on these platforms that they were chained too. It was sad, but so cool at the same time. I got to feed a 4 month old tiger milk while he sprawled across my body and I hugged him and held his bottle for him. Talk about death in the face! I was so shocked at how soft his paw pads were. OMG I wanted to take him home he was so cute! There was also a huge 1 year old tiger that I got to get right up in his face. It was nuts! The leopard was on edge the whole time and wouldn’t stop pacing back and forth. Freaky!!! The tour concluded with dinner on the tippy top of the mountain we were on and then going to see the Big Buddha which was, well, BIG. That night we went OUT, and finally hit up a ladyboy show with CJ. We sucked back our sugary Mai Tais as we watched some he/shes pretend to be Beyonce, Christina and Cher. EPIC ladyboy success!
Those are dudes.
Our last half day on Samui consisted of some more shopping, some more bickering and some more massaging before we caught a speed boat over to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon/New Years Eve Party. We met CJ on the island and got down to bucket buying and body painting STAT. I think the painting alone would make me come back! The rest of the evening was one giant clusterfuck of people on the beach. It was crazy madness but so much fun! I had planned to try and meet up with Dion who had rerouted his trip down to the islands instead of Chiang Mai, but there was absolutely no luck finding him. You honestly couldn’t move on that beach there were that many people and buckets flying everywhere. I ended up staying til around 2am when I had to hightail out of there and catch the boat back to Samui to take the longest most amazing shower of my life and then peace out to the airport for my 6am flight to Bangkok. I have never been so tired in my life!!! My flight back to Seoul from Bangkok was at 10:30am and I had a random stop over in Hong Kong for 30 minutes which I had no idea about. So weird!
All in all the trip was so great and it was soooo good to see my Diamond, even though we wanted to kill each other every 2 minutes. What are sisters for right? Now I’m just back in Seoul and in my 2nd of 3 weeks of winter camp, and then I’m popping off to Vietnam and Cambodia mid February which I am SOOOO excited about! Talk about conquering Asia like a biatch!
Sorry it was a novel, but that was to be expected from a 10 day whirlwind of a trip! 감사합니다 for reading and hope you are just an eency bit jealous.
PS. Here’s a tip for future Thailand travelers. Pack near nothing because you won’t wear any of the shit you bring. Cori and I both severely overpacked and ended up only really wearing stuff we bought there. Everything is DIRT cheap and there are clothes galore! Not to mention, I found bras that fit me!!!!!!!! HAIL THAILAND!