Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thailand II (Aug. 25 - Sep. 5)

Although Thailand definitely is the most developed country in south-east Asia (as far as the quality of services and general living standards are concerned), our crossing from Cambodia was not as smooth as one would expect. Having been told in Siem Reap that our bus tipped over (wtf?) and therefore needing to take a shared taxi*) to the Aranya Prathet/Poipet border, we successfully entered Thailand. Our bus (actually the fourth from THE ONE that we were told to be definitely reserved for us) came about 5 hours after we have crossed the border. Since the driver has packed several large bags of something into the area reserved for the luggage of the passengers, he (suprisingly) realised that there is no space left and we soon set off to Bangkok with all the bags in the aisle within the passengers' area - resulting into all the people jumping like monkeys from one bag to another while trying to get outside the bus at one of the many stops along the way. With a couple of funny ape-like videos and pictures, we arrived to Bangkok in the afternoon.

First day spent in Bangkok was mostly organizational. We had to fix our flight tickets to India with which we have been having some long-term issues with, get a bus ticket to southern Thailand (where we wanted to spend our relaxing part of the trip), buy a trip to Kanchanaburi (famous safari, but also location of the well-known bridge over the river Kwai) and the floating market of Damnoen Saduak and last but not least - visit a tailor's shop in order to select the fabrics for our custom-made shirts that we have decided to buy. It took us almost the whole day, but it was definitely successful.

On Wednesday (August 27th) we went for the Kanchanaburi/Damnoen Saduak trip for the whole day and visited an interesting tiger temple along the way. Later we came to the conclusion that as we would otherwise not be able to see the bridge over the river Kwai and the floating market, the trip was definitely worth it, but since it was one of those many mass-touristical tours, it was not particularly appealing.

Next day we enjoyed Bangkok once again, focusing on sightseeing - we did not really have time to do it so far. We visited all the major sights in the town and had a really pleasant day. In the afternoon, we got onto a night bus to Krabi in southern Thailand.

We arrived to Krabi in the morning, found a guesthouse, bought a boat-ticket to Ko Phi-Phi, hired a motorbike and set off to the Ao Nang beach to spend the rest of the day on the beach. Our first impression of the Thai beaches was simply amazing - turquoise waters, white silk-like sand, bays formed by awesome carst formations. And one of the best things - almost no people. Simply wonderful. Well, one drawback we did find and it was the fact that the water level tends to go really down during tide, resulting into the sea kind of saying bye-bye to the beach - so where there once was sea, is a rocky landscape in the afternoon that you need to somehow climb over in order to reach water again. Since the whole procedure can take easily 10 minutes, it is sometimes better not to go swimming in the afternoon at all. We have spend one more day in Krabi (Klong Muang beach) and got on a boat to Ko Phi-Phi the other day in the morning.

Having arrived to Ko Phi-Phi on Saturday (31th August) after a quite scenic boat ride, we began our "lets-do-nothing" part of the trip. Having chosen Phi-Phi island, as one of allegedly the most beautiful places on the Earth, we could have hardly picked a better spot. The Phi-Phi beach actually motivates to do nothing, we even found it hard to walk around the island a bit :). Although we both had enough work for the beach bumming (mostly some personal and school stuff), our 3.5-day-long stay there was great.

We came back to Krabi on Thursday (4th September) and changed directly to a night bus to Bangkok. Being in Bangkok for the third time, the last day there we spent both alone, just walking around the town, visiting the shopping malls, food courts etc. - simply enjoying all the secural pleasures town has on offer. The day after we picked up our shirts, went to a Thai massage and left to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi - our last stop before coming back home after 3 months of travelling.

On behalf of the fatal crew :)

*) For which we ended up paying some extra money at the end, although it was not us who tipped the bus over, I believe.

Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok

Floating market, Damnoen Saduak

Klong Muang Beach, near Krabi

One of the amazing sunsets in paradise, Ko Phi-Phi

Original Thai massage

1 comment:

Martin Vodak said...

now if something is supposed to be a summer adventure in every sense of the word, your trip is definitely it. intriguing story with stunning photographs - it must have been unrepeatable experience. c u