Posted by: bodking | December 22, 2010

Thailand – short and sweet

I had barely recovered from my half marathon when I got on a plane and flew southward to Thailand.  My trip was sometimes exciting and sometimes relaxing but the country was always fascinating and beautiful.
I won’t go too far in to details but a brief run-down of the highlights:
Day 1 – Bangkok, I met  up with my friend almost by chance on the street near my hotel.  We took a boat up the river and hit up the backpacker district of Khao San Road.  It’s packed with young foreigners and cheap places to drink and hang out.
Day 2 – Bangkok, sightseeing at the big temples; the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and hitting up some of the different neighborhoods of Bangkok.  In the evening I head to the train station to catch my overnight train to Chumphorn.  The ride’s great.  There was a sign in the bar car claiming that it closes at 10pm.  Not even close.
Day 3 – Koh Tao, Wake up on the train at Chumphorn.   I take the ferry to Koh Tao.  More beautiful than can be believed.  Hang out at the beach and drunk buckets of rum and dance on the beach.
Day 4 – Koh Tao, Rock climbing.  Terrifying and satisfying.  Costing 3,000 baht ($99.32US, 115,500KRW), the full day course and trip up the mountain was by far my biggest single expense in Thailand.  It was well worth it.  In the evening I enjoyed the Geminid meteor shower.
Day 5 –  Koh Tao, Hiking  up the island’s beautiful peak and looking down on the Gulf of Siam.  I hang out the beach one last time.
Day 6 –  travel day/Hua Hin, My least successful day.  travelling was actually quite nice – because I had travelled in the night going to Chumphorn, I didnt get to see the countryside, which is beautiful.  Palm trees, mountains on the horizon and all the hustle of Thai life made great viewing.  My destination, Hua Hin was less than great.  Too many old, fat Europeans.  Until I found the night market, I was worried I’d have to pay 250 baht ($8.27US, 9,625KRW) for the same meal I would have paid 100 baht for on Koh Tao.  But luckily I found a noodle place and had a bowl of 35 baht fish soup and a 25 baht Thai pancake.
Day 7 – Bangkok, I woke up in Hua Hin hoping to hit up the beach one last time, but it was rainy and surprisingly cold.  So I got in a minivan and headed back to Bangkok.  Checked in to a nice hotel near Siam Square and hit up some museums,  great Thai market food and then a show at a g0-go bar.  I am dirtier for having been there.
Day 8 – Bangkok,  the weekend market in Bangkok is a labyrinth of stalls selling almost everything you can imagine.  It’s an experience just browsing.  After doing some shopping I head back downtown for a Thai massage and some decent Mexican food (I don’t get to eat it in Korea) before heading on the train to the airport.

I’d give this trip a 9.5/10 – it would have been a 10/10 if I hadn’t made that stop in Hua Hin – either gone straight to Bangkok or if I had stayed another day in Koh Tao.
The food is amazing.  There are beautiful women everywhere.  The Thais are really friendly.  There are so many cool travellers there.  And the country is fantastically beautiful.  I really didn’t want to leave, actually it felt very strange to be there in the airport checking in to go to Korea.

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