A Travellerspoint blog

Paradise Island

Day 6 Ko Samui

sunny

It was an early morning today as we flew from Chaing Mai back to Bangkok and then to Ko Samui (an island in the south). Tyler was looking a little green and puked right after we got off the first plane (see yesterday's post re: bad food at fancy restaurant).  Good thing was that the airline we took (Bangkok airways) has a spectacular lounge at the airport where you can chill on couches and enjoy free food as you wait for your connecting flight.  A few hours later we landed in Ko Samui and checked into our hotel.   It is basically a paradise. The sand is white, water is clear blue, cool infinity pool and the weather is hot.  We bought a backgammon board in the street and we're trying to learn how to play (Tyler won the first game but I'm not sure we are playing it right).  Our hotel is probably the nicest place we've ever stayed in.  We have our own little patio, there is a "pillow menu" and when we came back from the beach there was a candle lit in our room to fend off mosquitoes, slippers laid out, bed untucked and a note saying "goodnight" with some mango and sweet rice.  We ended the night with a seafood BBQ platter (lobster, prawns, tilapia, calamari, and crab) and called it a night.  It's going to be tough to get us out of this little sanctuary and explore the island, but we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Posted by tanyatyler 09:22 Archived in Thailand Comments (3)

Monkeying around

Day 5 Chaing Mai

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Today we continued on with the adventure theme and got our hearts racing again (Tyler because of excitement, me because of terror). We again went into the jungle for a morning of rock climbing.  The instructor forgot to pick us up in the morning and so that was a bad start since this is the guy we're trusting with our safety.  He gave us a crash course in tying knots and a little lesson on how to rock climb and then we rock climbed!  This was no small indoor rock climbing wall, this was a real rock mountain...I soon wondered why I decided to do this.  Obviously Tyler was spectacular at it, but I on the other hand was not the greatest.  We actually saw a monkey in the trees which was cool to see, not sure he was as happy to see us though.  Rockclimbing is hard! We both agree we've never sweat so much in our lives.  I sweat off all the insect repellent I had put on my face only to swallow it all, and have a disgusting taste of DEET in my mouth all day.  My knees are all bruised up, my nails full of grime and my clothes absolutely filthy.   Lunch time could not have come any sooner!  After lunch we trekked up a mountain (I was already so sore, whereas Tyler still had a bounce in his step) and got set up for rapelling.  Again I'm not sure what made me decide to do this but we  rapelled (basically slowly slid down a rope) 55metres into a cave.  I'm not sure if 55 meters sounds like a lot but holy cow it was a huge drop. We made it down safely! and headed back into town.  Until today, we've had dinner at small cheap places on the street but tonight we decided to go to a fancier restaurant that was recommended.  (Ironically, this is the restaurant we got sick from, culminating with Tyler vomiting the next morning) After dinner but before our stomach upset set in, we went to see some Thai boxing.  Tyler loved it but I was a bit more disturbed when the first fight was between two 70lb ten year olds (talk about treating tigers badly!).  The last few days have been crazy and we set off in the morning for the islands down south!

Posted by tanyatyler 09:02 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

You won't believe what we just dung...

Day 4 Chaing Mai

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Today we went to an elephant farm that we had researched ahead of time to make sure they were good to the elephants, we  didnt want another tiger fiasco on our hands.  They rescue elephants from various situations and have a breeding program as the elephant population is significantly declining.  Basically we were "elephant owners for a day" which meant we had to be involved in every part of caring for elephants.  We started off by meeting our elephants to make sure they liked us and tried to win them over by feeding them bananas.  My elephant was a ten year old female named Bo Jen and Tyler had a 14 year old female named Ma Jong.  I was pretty much terrified the whole time as we stuck our hands in elephants mouths.  We then had to make sure our elephants were healthy and there are a few ways to do this and one is to check the elephant dung..seriously.  Without gloves, we had to pick up the dung and inspect, smell it, break it about and squeeze it to make sure there is enough water in it.  It was gross but it was not as smelly as you would imagine because they are vegetarians..lol.  Once we made sure our elephants were healthy we had to take them into the river to bath them.  No surprise, Tylers elephant pooped in the river and I was downstream from it.  We then learned how to mount the elephants by using their legs as a step and jumped onto their neck.  We rode the elephants up a steep mountain (took about an hour) with no harness,seat or seatbelt..just you and the elephant...I was holding on for dear life!  We made it to a waterfall where the elephants literally rolled around in the water and we were right there with them..they would lift us up on their trunk, all the while again terrified and hoping we didnt get trampled.  There was then a lunch set us for up which was really cool.  We sat on the floor of a hut and the various foods were all laid out on banana leaves..the pictures are pretty cool.  When we were all full the elephants were like vacuum cleaners and sucked up all the leftovers.  We then trekked back down the mountain (like a serious mountain, no paths or anything) and said our goodbyes to our elephant. We are very grateful to have been able to do this, it really was a once in a lifetime experience!  At night we were pretty pooped (get it? Pooped? Lol) but went to the Chiang Mai night market where we tried lychee fruit, roasted banana skewers, Thai sausages and bamboo worms!  Tyler said they tasted like popcorn but i stopped at trying just one and cant say I appreciated the taste much.  We ended the night by going  around in a tuk tuk to see the temples lit up at night and a quick walk through a night bazaar.  It was definitely a crazy day in Chaing Mai!

Posted by tanyatyler 08:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

We in the jungle, the mighty jungle

Day 3 Chiang Mai

semi-overcast 40 °C

We landed in Chiang Mai after what I feel was a sketchy airplane ride (Tyler disagrees). Why? Well the flight attendants were pushing carts that said "Ukraine airways international", really weird.  We had a map that said there was a Tiger kingdom within walking distance from our hotel. We searched, got lost, and finally found it, it turned out to be a Tiger Kingdom RESTAURANT..boo, let down again! Tigers are beginning to be like Pokaroo on this trip!  There is apparently a real tiger kingdom here so we may try to go there another day if we have time.  We grieved and then headed to an evening Thai cooking class.  Nancy, the instructor, first took us to a market to buy the ingredients and then to her house.  There was a group of 10 of us and we each got to choose 4 different dishes that we wanted to learn how to make. The class was outside on her patio and we each all had little cooking station, stove tops and all, it was really cute but soooo hot outside in combination with the hot stoves.  I learned how to make spicy sweet basil soup, spring rolls, green Thai curry, and chicken basil stirfry.  Tyler cooked up Tom Yum soup, cashew chicken, pad Thai and massiman curry.  We obviously got to eat it all and it was delicious except for one issue.  Nancy's concept of spicy is a little different than ours.  She said if you want your soup to medium hotness add 5 chilis and 10 if you want hot.  Well I put in 4 and Tyler added seven to his.  Holy crap they were hot!!! My ears burned, our noses were running, we were sweating and Tyler's mouth was numb.  I think it would have even made my moms eyes water.  Obviously, we couldn't quite eat all our soup.  When she next old me to put in 10 chilis into my green curry, I didn't make the same mistake again that's for sure!  She made us warm mangos on coconut cream rice for dessert, yummyyyyy.  At the end of the night she gave us all recipes of all the dishes we made and so maybe I'll give it a try at home.  Chiang Mai is surrounded my jungle and so I've already been bit 5 times by mosquitoes and thats with 30% DEET..there is no malaria here but here's hoping I dont get Dengue Fever..eek.  Tyler of course has none. That's it for today, wait till you see what we got planned for tomorrow!

Posted by tanyatyler 03:14 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Way to blow it Mr. George... So much for the happy ending!

Day 2

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 Mr George picked us up bright and early, and brought along a massive van and driver with him to take us to the outskirts of Bangkok ( a little car would have done).  Our first stop was the "train market" about an hour away from Bangkok.  The market is set up over and around the train tracks and every time the train passes (3 times per day) they
 have to quickly move everything out the way.  We got stuck in traffic so when we got there the train had already passed!, we were pretty disappointed.  But we walked around the market and Mr George bought us lots of different types of fruits to try which was kinda cool.  We also tried roadted sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves which was surprisingly super tasty and disgusting dried squid.  The market itself was huge but smelled so bad that I felt a little sick to my stomach, especially when I saw all the raw meat and fish hanging out in the sun with flies hovering over the pig intestines.   Mr George then took us to the local school to see the kindergarten students, sooo cute!! They were so excited to see "farangs" (white people) and the teacher got them to say "good morning farangs", very funny.  We knew we were doing this so we brought a little ball for the kids.  I think we were picturing a little African village school but this school     looked like it could have been in Canada with tonnes of toys, art and books  so we felt pretty silly giving them a little ball.  We then headed off to the floating market.  Basically canals of boats selling tourist souvenirs but cool to see (they probably hate us because we both hate souvenirs).  But again we tried new fruits like a "jack fruit", a Chinese bun and Tyler tried some Thai coffee which he said was sweet and quite liked it.  My nose bled here,  woohoo.  We then headed to a workshop to see "teak" wood furniture be built.  I almost bought a wooden bowl but didn't.  So for the afternoon we had initially planned to go to the Tiger Temple which let's you get close and cuddle with tigers at a monastery.  We had done some research though and heard that the tigers were potentially being mistreated so we decided to be good
people and not go :(.  Instead Mr George said he had a better idea, and this is when Mr George led us astray.  He took us to a tourist buffet (like picture the Mandarin, I think they had fries and pasta and to a "cultural Thai show" which was thai people dressed up dancing around.  Tyler wondered if these people were treated worse than the tigers were and we wished we had gone to the tigers.  We were not impressed Mr George.  We headed home, and survived the scary driving.   At night, we headed to "Ko San Road" which is the famous street for "backpackers". It was crazy with lots of people and vendors trying to get us to buy suits, "very strong cocktails" and grasshopper treats to name a few.  We had dinner and then each had a streetside 1/2 hour foot massage for $3.00.  No Tyler did not get a "happy ending."  That wraps up our Bangkok leg of the trip, and we're off to the north, Chiang Mai!

Posted by tanyatyler 00:59 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

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