Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thailand


        After the long awaited trip, I finally met Jd at the airport in Thailand arriving to Bangkok a few hours after him. It is hard to imagine that it had been over a year since I had last seen him, a very rare feat considering I usually see him every couple weeks at the least. We gathered our things and took the newly opened train to the city to our hostel. What seemed like a simple task turned into a long ordeal as we ended up getting lost, a very common occurrence I have found when traveling. Walking around with our big Bags in the middle of the blazing heat, we finally found the guesthouse in a hidden alleyway, of. Staying 3 days and three nights in Bangkok, our days were filled with sightseeing and soaking up the culture and most importantly the food. While I thought China was cheap, Thailand is even cheaper making for a good ole time. The people were very friendly and best of all, they spoke English!! One of best experiences from Bangkok was riding around in a tuk tuk with a guy who showed us all the highlights of the city and some of the offbeat things for free, essentially driving us around the city for 4 or so hours. In return we had to go into different shops around the city and act interested in what they were selling. Business owners and tuk tuk driver’s work together by having the tuk tuk drivers bring their passengers to these stores en route to their destination. For their efforts if the people seem to show some interest, the tuk tuk drivers get vouchers for free gas or food. The next day we hopped on a bus and went to Ayutthaya, a small ancient city on the outside of Bangkok. Known for its famous ruins it was quite the sight to see. Unfortunately for us, there was a heavy rainstorm that ended up flooding the streets with water but we were still able to see the sights.

Our next stop was up north to Chaing Mai. We hired a driver for the day who took us up to the tourist areas in Chiang Mai. Located on this long strip of road about 10 minutes drive from the city, it was a death trap for tourist attractions. you name it and they probably had it. from Water falls to go carts and bungee jumping, they had it all.  Our first stop was to Tiger Kingdom, Yes you heard right, Tiger Kingdom, a refuge for about 30 tigers and other animals. This is Chiang Mai's most popular attraction as you get to go next to tigers and pet, lay, hug, Kiss, the tigers. Of course there is a guy who is there to assist in the process but none the less it was unbelievable.  The tigers were distributed into different caged areas based on their size. From full grown tigers to just born babies, you picked which ones you wanted to see. Jd and I both Went into the full grown Tigers and the baby tigers cages and played with them for about 15 minutes in each cage. Its mind blowing to think that we were this close to such a ferocious animal. Our next stop was to the Snake farm where I saw some of the craziest people ever, who were the snake tamers. There were about four of them playing with deadly snakes of all sizes including pythons and rattle snakes. As they jumped around doing tricks with the snakes they had enough balls to kiss the snakes on the head, even though the snakes still had their fangs. It was  great entertainment but the idea that the snakes still hand their fangs blew me away. After the snake farm we moved on to the monkey school, which had about 10 trained monkeys who did performances in what was like a talent show.  Picture monkeys riding tricycles and shooting hoops and  other various tricks. Although PETA would have a fit, i enjoyed my  day filled with dangerous animals. The next day we went on an Elephant Trek/ Bamboo rafting adventure. We took a bus about an hour and a half outside the city  where rode elephants through the forest, throwing bananas left and right to avoid getting slapped with their wet and slimy trunks. It was the first time I had ever ridden an elephant but I think it is safe to say that there are plenty of more comfortable modes of transportation. After riding elephants, we went down the river on long chutes of bamboo, literally tied together with a few piece of rope.  Like every adventurous thing that I have done in Asia thus far, I'm not sure this would fly in America as it would never pass the safety regulations, which makes it that much more enjoyable. 
            Although Chiang
  Jd and I both rented Gas scooters and rode around the city for a day, going all over the place and visiting the National Park outside the city.   I had a blast  getting to drive around the city and seeing things by scooter Although I was safe driving, my only mistake was that I got a "Motorcycle Kiss" as I parked my biked. Walking next to another motorcycle, I barely touched the hot metal muffler and it left a nice big burn on my right leg, right under the one I got earlier this year. I swear I have gotten more burns this past year than I have in my whole life combined.
   
The next leg of the trip was to Phuket, home of the beautiful beaches. Although it was rain season in Thailand, the weather we had was fantastic. This is probably my most favorite part of the trip as we live like compete kings and laid around on the beach.  On our first night we found this restaurant  literally on the beach that served delicious food  and drinks.Jd and I became such a big fan of the place that we ate there at least 1 a day, which usually was dinner because of the ambiance that it provide. Picture sitting 50 meters away for the waves and stuffing your face with  various flavored crab and pad Thai, washing it down with mango smoothies and then watching the sunset as you eat. Sounds nice right?  Well this was a nightly occurrence for us and I love every single minute of. While I never have been to Hawaii, I imagine this what it would be like but only better as it is only the faction of the price. While in Phucket, I picked up a routine of getting at least an hour full body message each day, I splurged a little and got hour massages for a whopping $6-$9 lol. It was ridiculously cheap and felt amazing. Beside the lounging on the beach. We went one day on a boat tour to the Phi Phi islands and all around sightseeing and snorkeling at various locations.This was the first time I had ever snorkeled before and I really enjoyed  swimming next to all the tropical fishes and marine life. It crazy to think of how many different types of fish and other marine life that there are in this world and when I was snorkeling, I was able to put this in to prospective. The nightlife in Phuket was a bit ridiculous there was a street called Bangla road, which could be my all time favorite place for people watching. the Street consisted of bars on top of bars on top of bars next to bars which are next to bars. There were so many bars next to each other it was a bit mind boggling. While I though Vegas had a bit of flare, this puts it to shame as the street is filled with bright lights, street shows and of Course LADYBoys.
     The last and final stop of the trip with Jd was to Kuela Lumpor, Malayasia where we spent 2 days there and it was 2 days too long. While it was nice to see the Petronas Towers, there wasn't much more to see.  I was not a Big fan of Kuela Lumpor as the people were mean and there was not many activities to do and is up there for least favorite places I've visited.
       I had such an amazing time in Thailand and I loved it there and will for sure want to go back in the near future. The place was beautiful, full of history and culture, the people were friendly and they spoke English and it was cheap and not to mention Jill is from there. Unfortunately for me, as I was moving, I lost the CD that had all my pictures of Thailand and Malaysia on them. While I hope to find it, i feel that there is a very slim chance of this happening.

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