Tuesday, 5 March 2013


We flew into Bangkok from Siam Reap. It was about an hour flight but we still got a meal (much better than the 13 hour Jetstar flight with nothing to eat and not even any water!). At first glance Bangkok was huge and busy. We arrived in the tourist/backpacker area and tried to find a decently priced hotel. 

Turns out that Thailand is more expensive than Cambodia or Vietnam. The hotel seemed only slightly dodgy. But then 10:30pm rolled around and the horrible eardrum splitting karaoke began and continued n it's off-tune-iness until 4:30am. 

Since Bangkok is kind of in the centre of this long, skinny country, we were there about 4 times.

Everything that you could ever want (and many things that you don't) can be found on Ko San Road. Even backpacks to replace your beloved one that has been with you forever.

And ATM and currency exchanges in the back of a van. 

And tuk-tuks galore that are very colourful, loud and smelly. 

Also massages can be found easily... so we had about 3. (And a manicure/pedicure for me!)

At night the streets are teeming with people. 

The king's (very outdated) portrait was everywhere. 

TJ was very keen to take a photo of the pimped out buses... don't get too excited the bathrooms are still stinky!

I'll never really understand how having a zillion tiny air conditioners that don't really work is more effective than a proper one.

On New Year's Eve, in the taxi on the way to the airport we discovered was you can and cannot do in this taxi. You can be a VIP, gamble and have a sexy lady...

But absolutely no knives, getting it on with the sexy lady, dongs, alcohol, smoking or durian. Absolutely not.

As the clock ticked over to 2013 TJ and I were standing in line in the Bangkok airport. We were sharing a beer with some new in the same line friends and joining in the softly-building cheer that went up at midnight. We flew home for 27 hours... We had many New Years smooches. 

So this is the end of of this journey, this adventure has come to a close. We were definitely ready to come home, because 15 months away is a long time, but it's always sad at the same time. We're saving our pennies (nickels now?) and dreaming about our next adventure.

Thanks for joining us on this trip of a lifetime! 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Koh Phangan 2

Back to Koh Phangan! Only 12-13 hours of travel to get there so what a bargain.

We were so happy to be there and exhausted. Even though the hotel was only about a 15 minute walk away we thought we'd treat ourselves with a songthaw ride (basically a pickup truck with some benches nailed in the back and a dodgy roof). Sadly we couldn't seem to get any of the swarming drivers to take an interest in our money. 

We were even in the back of one with baht out and ready to give away when they told us to get out and  hang off the back (literally) of another one. We thought we'd walk and save the cash. 

Our hotel had some fabulous hammocks. Many right on the beach, which is a perfect place to dry off and read a beach book. 

And even a very soft and comfy one right outside the door of our bungalow. I napped there often. 

We walked along the beach at sunset. 

Island paradise...

We were delighted to discover that there was a Muay Thai match one night. 

It was nice that it was an event for locals more than it was a show put on for tourists. There were a bunch of Thai people there cheering on their favourite fighter, placing bets and eating corn on the cob.

There were also nearly as many tourists doing the same. It was a rowdy and exciting event especially since many of the fights were Thais against Europeans. 

The next day as we were walking to town we saw fish that had been opened up, salted and set out to dry in the sun. Not the best smelling but interesting nonetheless.

It was such a pleasure to spend some lazy days on the island of Koh Phangan.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Christmas in Phuket

Christmas #2 in a hot country. Just as strange as the first. Maybe even more so since it didn't seem like Christmas at all.  

We spent about 12 hours on a tuktuk, songthaw, ferry, minibus, coach, and van crossing the mainland of Thailand in order to get to Phuket for Christmas. 

Our Christmas decorations were minimal. Our Christmas Eve dinner was noodles and treats from the local 7-11. Mmmmm Christmasy Kit-Kats!

On Christmas Day we lazily wandered down to the beach and counted how many Russian tourists were wearing thong bikini's (answer: far too many). 

This is what Christmas day looks like in Thailand. 

I feel very lucky to be safe because at this exact spot on Boxing Day 2004 everything and many people were swept away by a tsunami. 

TJ and I got amazing massages where we were fully groped / kneaded out in ALL our areas. True. 

Then we had Christmas cocktails served by a ladyboy and watched the world go by. I probably won at Crib again... 

Our Christmas dinner was slightly disappointing. It certainly wasn't turkey and mash and perogies and green salad. 

It was a ham and cheese sandwich (in which the ham was forgotten the first time). 

And a giant plate of noodles. Which were delish in their own way.

On Boxing Day we got back on the same buses and made our way, slowly, back to Koh Phangan. It was a lot of travel for 36 hours but it was a lovely non-Christmas. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Koh Phangan

To get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan requires a lot of patience. All of the patience. 

A bus that was meant to leave at 8pm but doesn't leave until 9 and only after we've trekked our bags through a sweaty boxing gym and a back alley full of dogs. 

We walked down this 'road' to find a margarita. It was delicious and my feet were dirty. 

We arrived at the ferry depot at 5am only to wait for 2 hours for the boat to show up. 

I carry a huge bag full of items for every eventuality. Including a extremely wavy ferry journey and Gravol. Smart. But on the up side the journey was beautiful!!

Our hotel served an amazing lime drink upon arrival. The bungalows were brand new and gorgeous. 

The pool and the bar were right on the beach and perfect. There was even an opportunity to have a massage listening to the waves of the sea. 

Walking around the island we discovered a few Muay Thai boxing gyms. I cannot imagine doing an intense work out in that kind of heat. Ever. 

We also decided to forgo the wild half-moon party in favour of Michael Buble's Christmas special and Russian hockey. And although we felt old, we also felt awesome for making responsible choices and enjoying each other's company. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Chiang Mai

Overnight buses are nothing but a good time. That's what I've learned in the last few months. This time we were lucky enough to be sitting above the very smelly toilet. Luckily the dudes beside us had some nice deodorant spray that helped. 

The main purpose of going to Chiang Mai was to take a cooking course. I want to eat Thai food every day! 

 The teachers took us to the market where we finally learned what the veggies were that we had been looking at for a few months. It was so interesting and such a fun time. Many local people were there buying produce for their dinner. 

We were given stylish aprons and deadly sharp knives to make our masterpieces. 

Most of the time cooking time with Thai food is taken up in the preparation. We chopped a lot. 

The ingredients for my favourite Pad Thai!

It was lovely to be in an open air kitchen with our own menu, chopping blocks and stove stations. TJ and I chose to make different things so that between the 2 of us we'd be fantastic at everything!

After we made each dish we sat on cushions on a low table and enjoyed the delicate, layered flavours. Pad Thai and Cashew Chicken, complete! (Completely delicious!)

At the end of the day, with bellies full of everything good, we were given certificates and recipes. 

Aside from the Pad Thai my other favourite is Green Curry. I love the coconut milk base and the spicy green paste that we learned to make from scratch! YUM!

Aside from all that I think it's funny to make TJ act like various statues. Because it is funny. Right?