Thailand: Part I

8.05.2011

Where do I even begin? Last week in Thailand was a smorgasbord of contradictions--relaxation, chaos, confidence, uncertainty, love, hate, joy and anger. One thing is for certain: I went with an amazing travel buddy and I am so thankful I had her at my side through this wild adventure.

We arrived in Bangkok on Saturday night (July 23) at around 11:30 p.m. Unfortunately, it wasn't as simple as that previous sentence lets on. First, we took Air China. BIG mistake. Not only were we slightly delayed departing from Seoul, we were also delayed in Beijing, where our layover was. But what made it worse was that as we sat in our seats ready for take-off, we were told on multiple occasions to take out our ticket stubs to check our seats. As everyone eagerly waited for their tickets to be checked so that we could get this show on the road, flight attendants were running up and down the aisles, looking like chickens with their heads cut off. They didn't stop to look at anyone's tickets and anytime anyone tried to ask a question, they yelled with a very sharp, very unfriendly, "One moment!"

After about 45 minutes of this, Charlotte and I were actually amused at how terrible they were at their job. It was like a magnetic force field disallowed them to get their act together. It was quite impressive.

After another 30 minutes, the issue was magically solved (with no explanation, of course) because next thing we knew, we were taking off.

But the flight didn't get much better after that. There was this terrible movie resembling soft porn about a woman whose boyfriend kept beating her. And yet, she kept going back. Every single scene was some illicit "love" scene, then he'd push her here, shove her there, maybe throw in a punch for good showmanship, and then it was right back to the lovemaking. Now, you may be saying, "Why didn't you just look away?" but the problem was, the 1993-style television was right in front of us and as hard as we tried to look away, we couldn't escape it. It was the most awful, self-destructive thing I've ever seen.

In addition to that, the Chinese flight attendant, who was assigned to our row, spoke to me in Chinese every. single. time. When I'd say, "I'm sorry. I don't understand," she'd reply in Korean. Same lady, every time, for five hours. Even as I left the plane, she said bye to me in Chinese while Charlotte got a proper "Goodbye."

Fortunately for us (and for you!), the story gets better from here. Much better. Once we arrived in Bangkok, we stayed at a hotel near the airport for the night because we had an early bus ride to Koh Chang, the island we were going to stay at for the first half of our week. The hotel proved to be clean and convenient--they picked us up from the airport and dropped us off, all for free! The minibus we took to Koh Chang had 2 couples in it, who were all teaching at a university near Bangkok. Over the next four hours, they provided us with great advice on where to go, where to eat and how to not get ripped off in Bangkok. It was great.

Then, at around lunchtime on Sunday, we arrived in Koh Chang, Thailand's 2nd largest island. Charlotte and I didn't book any hotel reservations, hoping to just find a great one once we got there. And that's exactly what happened. We made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get dropped off at Kai Bae Beach, one of the quieter beaches on Koh Chang. With our giant backpacks and exhausted, over-traveled bodies, we walked along the beach and approached a French couple. We asked what hotel they were staying at and if they liked it. They highly recommended it, so we made our way to the office. Although we didn't want to get our hopes up, the hotel was beautiful: beach bungalows, an infinity pool, a private beach, a lush garden and quite a few families...it was practically screaming our name.

Once we learned it would be $60 total for 3 nights, breakfast included, for each of us, it was a no-brainer. This was going to be our paradise for three days. And that's exactly what it was.

[Our bed]
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[Our shower with a beautiful sun roof]
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[Our garden view]
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[The double infinity pool; this picture was taken from the 2nd floor]
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[Our bungalow!]
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[Where I read and journaled every morning]
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Each day started with a delicious and giant breakfast, then a dip in the ocean followed with laying out by the pool. Somewhere in between switching from pool to beach to pool to beach again, we'd go to the local restaurant for some authentic Thai cuisine. And somewhere in between that, we napped and got Thai massages.

I had not anticipated how beautiful and perfect and cheap everything would be, so you can imagine my joy all three days. It was amazing.

[See? That's the definition of happiness right there.]
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[The History of Love and an empty beach. What more can you ask for?]
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[Charlotte on an open-ended taxi to get lunch]
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[Welcome to Koh Chang]
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[It began to rain, so Charlotte and I picked up these very sexy ponchos,
which were really just colored garbage bags]
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[Seafood Tom Yum...yummmm!]
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[Dessert: mango and sweet sticky rice]
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[We're on vacation!]
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[And it's back to the pool again...]
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There's so much ground to cover, but I'll keep it short for now. Part II will be coming shortly~

Until then, bisous xoxo

3 comments :

calijulz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
calijulz said...

Raya and I really enjoyed the photos of the cool pool, especially now that she is learning to swim in a pool this week!! Have fun, stay safe, and post more pics...its like we r on VaCa wih ya!!

Kaylenr said...

Clearly, I love the pictures of you guys jumping on the beach the most. I can't believe how cheap it was, either. Amazing!!!!

TOTALLY JEALOUS and THRILLED that you guys were able to experience this together. You will never forget it.

Love,

Kay