#5 Southern Thailand

February 24, 2016

 

 

 Monday February 8th
I woke up at 7:15am to leave Siam Reap, Cambodia to go to Bangkok. I got my bus ticket for $10.00 USD and was picked up at 7:30am and shuttled to where the bus picked us up. Then we drove about 4 hours till we arrived at the boarder.
In the morning when we loaded the bus, they told us to leave our bags and get on. I had my tripod clipped to my backpack. With two clips to it. When I got off they told us to grab our things and head to the first place to show our passports. They reminded us to make sure we had everything from the bus.
This was by far the busiest boarder I have been to on my travels. There were three major lines that we all had to wait in which took us 4 hours to get through. I think it was so busy because of it being the Chinese New Year. About an hour into our waiting and in our third line (now impossible to go back to the bus) I realize that whoever loaded my bag, unclipped both of my buckles and removed my tripod. It was probably to help with storage, but you never unpack someone's bag without them knowing. I was pissed for a bit because my tripod I brought out here broke from it being handled poorly while traveling on the busses in a Vietnam, so I bought a new one in Hoi An, and now that one was taken off my bag in another bus in Cambodia. It is so unnecessary to have to purchase three tripods. But I will get one in Bangkok, because for the style of photography I do, I use a tripod a lot, and it never fun having to keep paying for same items.
After we crossed the boarder, we were taken on a tuk tuk to a spot to wait for the shuttle to pick us up. We had a bite to eat. By this time it was 4:15 and another shuttle came, but did not have room for all of us, so a few of us had to wait for the next.
By 4:30 we were fully loaded on the next shuttle which we took to Bangkok for another 4 hour drive. It was a fairly uncomfortable ride for me since I shared half of my seat with all the luggage.
I arrived to Bangkok around 9:30 and got to my Hostel around 10:30 to meet with my friend Miles. We went out and had some dinner and then I played some cards with a few people from the hostel until I got tired and went to sleep.

Tuesday February 9th
Miles and I got up and decided to go venture around the city. We walked around through the park and then to the malls to look for a new tripod for me.
We went through 4 malls. The central world, MBK center, Siam center, and Siam paragon.
The central world as my favorite, and on the 7th floor there is an outstanding food court where we had lunch.
The MBK Mall was my favorite for shopping because you could haggle down a bit for the electronics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also stumbled into a Rolex manufacturer store, which was extremely high end and nice to see. We could see the workers working on the watches in lab coats, computer and high end machinery. They Regis giving us a 7 pound hard book catalog for free.
We took the BTS sky rail around the city and ended up at Cloud 47 bar which overlooked the city from 47 flights up. We enjoyed watching the sunset while having a few beers ($6.00 USD each beer, but the view was worth it).

 

Us going up in the elevator, our ears popped several times.

 We gave Miles's Ipad to someone up top to take a few photos of us

 

 

 

 A little time lapse of the sun setting from on top of the Cloud 47.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 On the way back, we had some of the worst beer ever from 711 is was called Siam Sato. it was cheap. DO not get it.


In the evening we went back to the hostel met this cool girl names Jessica from England and did some acro yoga,I was basing Miles and we had a little tumble and my shoulder got a bit injured. I just ended up hanging out afterwards.

 

Jessica took this picture of Miles and me doing acro. He is learning how to base, and feels super solid. We are in thrown and it appears like I have a halo over my head. 

 

 

 


Wednesday February 10th
Today I woke up and decided to have a more chill day, my shoulder was a bit soar from the day before doing acro with Miles.
I spent some time editing images from the day before at the cloud 47 bar. Miles and I met Alice and Jessica the night before and we all decided to get lunch at the central mall in Bangkok. We waked over around 11:45 and got there around 12:30. I had another green curry and some spring rolls. All the food was great.
We then walked back and I hung out at and did some work and got a massage from Jessica who had just finished her Thai massage training. It was a lovely free 90 minute massage.
Afterward Miles was pretty jazzed to learn some acro moves, and Jessica wanted to join, so I taught them. They were both naturals for being beginners and did very well. I even hopped in for a bit for some basic things since my shoulder was still recovering. Miles then hopped on a train to go south to Trang.
I then hung out and did some more research and computer work until dinner time. We met a guy named Landon who just arrived in fro. Burma doing a silent retreat for 12 days and it was his first day talking. He sang and played his guitar. He invited us to join him for some delicious street food, his roomie was a chef in Bangkok and knew the good spots. Alice, Jessica and I joined and we arrived to a pub to meet his friend. As we were waiting to find him, we came across an older Indian fellow with a spot on America accent. He was so friendly and funny. He offered to buy all of us beers to join him. We did and then laughed and chatted for an hour or so until we realized the street food vendors were all closing down. We then left and got some street food close to our hostel. I had some pad Thai and tried eating some bugs.

 

 


I am pretty sure I ate maggots. They tasted not bad, but the thought of eating grubs or maggots was off putting.
After dinner I went back and did research on how to go south, by either train or bus. If I took a train, I would have to go to su Thani. And then take a shuttle to Mrabi beach. It would have costed me around 1300 baht.
I was able to book a night bus for 630 baht for the next night through the 12 go Asia.


Thursday February 11th
Today I woke up at 6:30, Alice and I were going to go see Wat Pho and a few other temples, but her foot was soar from a minor infection, so she decided to rest it up for the day. I took a metered taxi from my hostel to the marine dept port for around 60 baht. Then for 13 baht I took the tier boat to Wat Pho.

 

 

I arrived just as it opened at 8:00am and was one of the first to enter. It was 100 baht for ticket entry. It was so beautiful and amazing, and quite. I enjoyed it so much. I walked around and took photos and enjoyed the temple.

 

 

 

 

 
I saw one of the largest laying buddha's I had seen on my trip measuring a length of 46 meters.

 

 
I asked the woman at the entance if I could return with my ticket and she said that would be fine.
I figured I would try to have a similar experience at he Grad place when it opened at 8:30. I arrived soon after it opened and I almost turned around right away because it was SO PACKED! Hundreds of people hearing through security. The Grand Palace was 5 times the price as Wat Pho at 500 Baht. I decided to just go with it and go in. It was still so packed with so many tourists taking selfies (as usual) just in an uncomfortable quantity of it. I was able to get a few photos here and there, but was not allowed to take any photos in the temples.
Towards the end of my visit, I was looking forward to getting out of there. The crowds were just too thick.
I went back to Wat Pho which at this time had more people as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Royal Thai Army from the 1st Infantry Regiment resting in the main guard house in the outer court of the Grand Palace. Their weapons seemed to be without ammunition, but with a nice sharp bayonet attached to the front of it.

 

 
After visiting the temples I went back to my hostel and met with a friend from Siem Real by the name of Cayla. She wanted to go to the Cloud 47 bar, so we went with another friend Jesica from the night before to watch the sunset. Before we went we did a little bit of acro yoga.

 
We got a little lost on the way but found a very local part of Bangkok with people's homes. It was a cool place to see outside of all the building and high rises.
We went up to the 47th floor, each of us had a 6 dollar beer and enjoyed the sunset.
After I scurried my way to get a meal, and some travel food and to get my things at the hostel and get to my bus across town. I did not plan for there to be rush hour in Bangkok. So I left with no time to spare. The ride was farther and liger than expected and I got there and had to turn into superman. I raced in with just a few minutes to spare. From the panicked look on my face, they knew I was supposed to be somewhere. Everyone was helpful and pointed me to the right direction. I raced to the window and she didn't even check my confirmation number (I as the last person). She just asked my name, gave me the ticket and told me to run downstairs to the bus.
I sprinted with all my belongings periodically getting pointed in the right direction. I found the bus, everyone and everything was loaded and it was 8:40 on the dot (departure time) he loaded my bag and I got on the bus. Before I even got to my seat, the bus was reversing and leaving. Talk about arriving in the nic of time.
I was panting and sweating. I was then greeted with water and a sweet bean bun and a town. This bus was very nice and at half he cost of the train to shuttle.
It was scheduled to arrive in Krabbi at 7:30. I did some editing on my computer and then crashed out till just around sunrise the next day.

Friday February 12th
I arrived in Krabi around 9:30 and made a quick judgement call to go to Koh Phi Phi Island. It cost me 450. Baht from the bus station to the port and for the boat ride to the island.
I arrived and we were loaded by 10:30 am and left.
I arrived around 12:00 and found some accomodation at the Freedom Hostel for 550 baht per night for an 8 person dorm. The facilities were nice and new, and affordable compared to other hostels and resorts on the island. Koh Phi Phi is an expensive island to visit. The food was more than I was used to. I got a curry for 130 baht when you could usually get one for 30-40 baht. Water that usually costs 14 baht would cost between 25-50 baht. I dropped off my things and went on a walk around the island. I went to nice beach and climbed up some rocks to take a look at a little viewpoint.

 Then went over to the other side where all the bars were and ended up at some pool party at he princess pool for a bit to enjoy the music and vibes.

Towards sunset I went to the viewpoints to get good look at the sunset from above the island. It cost 30 baht to go up to all three view points.

 

​I met this cool girl named Larissa Farrell, and we enjoyed walking and talking and the sunset at the viepoints. She gave her Go pro to someone to take a picture of us.

​Larissa got a good photo of me capturing an HDR panoramic from the Viewpoint 2.

This is what I captured.

​In the evening I went out with a few people from my dorm to explore the night life. We ended up at Kiongsam Bar which was like a kareoke bar with live music. It was packed and full of good music and fun vibes. We spent the night there.

Saturday February 13th
I woke up and headed to the beach and splashes around for a bit. Clear waters and white sand beaches. So wonderful.

I asked a very nice girl to take a picture of me for me.

I asked a man working at the scuba shop where the best place to snorkel on the island was and he told me The Long Beach which was about a 45 minute walk / hike. When I arrived I met some people that told me they had just seen some reef sharks out by the shark reef rock. (They don't bite or attack humans) I immediately rented a snorkel for 50 baht and mask and swam out to the reef point which was 500 me