Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Land of Smiles...

Has been much too long since I've reflected on my days here in Thailand. So much has happened! I flew into Bangkok on the 20th of June and stayed in Bangkok for a couple days while I waited for my friend Halli to come and meet me here. As soon as she did we set off to view some temples and sights around the city. It is surprisingly easy to get around here, many locals speak a little English, so if you need directions I've just saying where I want to go and they point. All I know in Thai is "kapon ka"-thank you...which I have been pronouncing "apon ka", with no one correcting me for half the time.
In my 2 weeks in Thailand I am amazed how tourist-y it is here. I was expecting it to be much more like the Philippines which isn't very tourist-y, even in the well traveled areas, but Thailand is packed with locals trying to make extra cash off you, and there are many many ways they try to do this.
After Bangkok we headed down to Koh Samui, Koh Phan-ngan and Koh Tao, where we beached it up, rented a jeep and some motorbikes to explore the island and generally just lived the island lifestyle. Oh yeah, and I saw a shark. Coolest. Thing. Ever. It is sooooo rare for people to see sharks in the water without actually going to a feeding and looking for them-let alone be snorkeling a bay and have one swim right past you. I practically chocked on sea water from my excited, and followed it for a second before it whizzed away. I was in total shock and still cannot believe my good luck!! Scuba Divers go years looking for sharks and never see one...and I just happen to run across one snorkeling in a bay. And it wasn't that small...probably about 5 feet across!
On our way to Koh Phan-ngan we ran into a nice Australian and he ended up tagging along with us for a couple days. An overall awesome guy (in spite my last experience with Australians), and we had a really great time together. He is traveling the world for a couple years, and I am pretty sure he will make a stop in Seattle to visit me and Halli.
This blog is pretty lame, but not really in the mood to type too much...going to head to a market to practice my bargaining skills.
Overall have had a great time in Thailand, and am SO happy that I got to have a friend or two to experience it with along the way. Not sure what is next for me...but I'll try and keep this updated ;)