Travel Notes

Fri May 31 03:07:30 2002 (rr)
Book: N/A
Location: Hong Kong
Arrived in Hong Kong last night, tons of people at the airport in various lines, took the bus into the city past huge docks and an amazing night-time skyline. Ate Indian food (too much, in Nathan's case) and crashed. Today we've had two breakfasts and picked up the Economist on a Friday (1st time this trip). Walking on all the skybridges and avoiding getting grounded on the earth (breathing the rarefied air, etc.) Air is much cleaner here. Plus, we can drink the tap water! Its been a long time.

Wed May 29 06:50:13 2002 (nmcfarl)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Bangkok
So Bangkok has been a weird city , we got here about a week ago and rachel imediatly came down with a really nasty flu. We spent half a week in the guesthouse, shanti lodge, the other half in the Hilton, a slightly nice place for rachel to recoup.

I spent most my time in and out of the room but I still expored a bit. Mainly I saw the food stalls of bangkok. I have had some amazing grilled chicken (spicy!) and corn. Good fresh fruits, interesting sauasages, some very good soups and a couple of amazing chicken in sauces (peanut). Also some wierd yougurt/colas. Not my favorite. Schweppes Manao soda though is excellent. For desert the Manago and sticky rice is still a favorite, but roasted bananas, and cocolate icecream from 7-11 aren't bad.

As for cultural stuff, I've seen some of the city walls, many wats, one of which had dancers and a large number of worshipers. 4 Monks in 1 tuk-tuk, definatly a 2 person conveince. A number of similar bits of street life.

A fun cool place.

Wed May 29 06:16:51 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: bangkok
so i've been sick. Nasty flu that i thought was dengue, could've been for all i know. Spent a week sleeping 24-7 mixed with various fun symptoms that are typical of flu and i shan't bore you with. It sucked. Being sick makes me only want american food (and to be back in usa).
Also, only have seen one day's worth of sightseeing in Bangkok before I was sick. missed Ayuthaya and Kanchanburi, will have to see next time we come...Still feeling weak, but I am starting to feel stronger again as evidenced by this foray to an internet cafe. Leaving tomorrow as our month is up here and Nathan is completely sick of Bangkok.
As far as i can tell, it sucks to walk around here, the city smells from the heat, pollution, and khlongs (canals). Plus the week spent entirely in A/C room seems to have made me unused to the heat again. However, the people are friendly and conversational at restaurants, in taxis, at the doctor, and so forth. Everyone's children seems to be studying at colleges in the U.S. We had a nice lunch at a cafe/antique store across from the swiss embassy yesterday.
Other than that, i've been watching BBC World, ESPN, MTV, and Babewatch and reading the Bangkok post. and now the economist.

Wed May 29 06:06:36 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Bangkok
those of you that follow our itinerary probably think we're on our way to Bali. Due to various factors (a bad plane ticket along with us refusing to fly on China Airlines from Bali to Taipei, and whatever else), we are not going to Bali after all. Instead we're headed for Hong Kong tomorrow.

Sat May 18 12:53:06 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Bangkok
We took a long ferry ride to Chumphon, north of Koh Tao, but on the mainland, and took a smoking fiery bus on the couple km journey to the train station. Seems to A/C caught on fire. Not fun. ANyway, we got the front door open and some fresh air inside. Had a few hours before the train, so we went to the night market for dinner. Great market, lots of stalls with a wide range of food. We started with mango and sticky rice, moved on to skewers of mystery meat we decided not to finish, had fried chicken and spiced rice, a mangosteen apiece, and some jello-like sweets. Then we hopped on the train for a night of people smoking right next to our bunks (we were at the end of the carriage) and bright lights. Well only for those of us in the Upper bunks. However, I had kept British Airways lovely present of eyeshades. Hard to sleep on the train. Also stayed up late finishing Margaret Atwood's book The Blind Assassin. No sense of time with lighting on all the time and no window. Very tired when we got in at 7 this morning. We stowed our stuff, walked forever to a skytrain, hopped it to some other part of town (silom? ) where we found breakfast and the travel agency with our tickets to Bali. Lots of french-style cafes there. Starbucks too, of course. Starbucks doesn't seem to have any weird drhinks designed just for the Thais. We like to check out the menus of Starbucks and McDonalds for this reason. No Durian Frapuccinos. Oh well. McDonalds did offer the Samurai Pork Burger, and some sort of item that looks like a hamburger, but instead of buns you get rice patties. And it may not have been a burger in between, maybe just meat-colored sauce. Who knows. The wording was only in Thai.
after breakfast at a non-starbucks cafe, with some strong coffee coursing through our blood, we wandered around a few malls, looking for sme new clothes. no success. Then taxi to train station, got packs, taxi to part of town we wanted to stay in, drove past the King's Palace and the Horse Racing Tracks. Now installed in shanti lodge, with a fish aquarium in our room. Great lunch there. Roasted Eggplant Yum (spicy salad, really Yam but pronounced Yum) -- should be a raging hit in the US, its kind of like Baba Ganoush but with Thai spices and seasoning.

Sat May 18 12:37:37 2002 (nmcfarl)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Koh Tao
So just to give you a feel for Koh Tao. It is a very small island just a k accross and maybe 5-7 north-south. It is almost completely a town with peirs and one long long beach fringed with coconut palms, resturants and bars. Outside of the stip it is rocky shores or clifs, and hidden very small 20 meter beaches with one or two diving operators. It is almost all divers. Which mean deserted beaches. Everyone young and single. Which means the bars are open late and the beaches are free till one pm even of the non-divers. It is all westerners - mainly brits and germans. They have good taste in music though, and interior design. So we had a few pleasant drinks. in pleasant beach bars, watching what would be the sunset if the clouds didn't always hang on the horiszon The beaches are clean , a big change. And they are the best we have seen since the South Pacific. It was a good place..

Sat May 18 12:27:50 2002 (nmcfarl)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Koh's of southern thailand
So after kayaking around the andamans we took off to Trang, and discovered there was no way north on the train, without at least one, preferably 2 days advance booking. We don't do overnight buses, nor puddle jumpers if we can help it as they are expensive, relatively. So we decided to minibus to suritani, and boat jump from there to Koh Pa Ngan, to Koh Tao, then to Chumphon, where last night we caught the overnight train to bangkok. [Which was disappointing, the same train from Penang to Surithani was quiet, the section of track toward bankok degrades badly. Loudly.]

So we took an nasty minibus-bus-boat to Koh PagNgan, which we grossly overpaid for [not only do I hate tipping , I HATE bargaining] checked in to our second choice bungalow, the first being long closed. The place turned out to be good. Good food, cheap rooms, and CD play we could listen to our CDs on . Plus satellite TV so there was always a movie with dinner. The first day we took a very exhausting 2 km hike straight up and over a peak to the next , much nicer beach. We had lunch and caught a longtail back. We were tired, we didn't even look at the beach. Even 2 K can be really nasty in the tropics.

The next day we lazed, I caught a bit of a cold (which I still have , just a sniffly nose, and lowered voice) and wasn't into high impact days, so we didn't see any waterfalls -- which had been the main draw, 'cause we left the next day.

The Taxi was late and the boat office was a little optimistic about the departure time , but the two hour crossing was pleasant , we sat on the deck in the sun, well SPFd though. We hiked across the main beach, to our hut. A little more expensive here, but every thing was. This place has really only one beach, is very small and well touristed , mainly by divers. Which was as it turned out cool. There was good music, good food and empty beaches. We hung. The second day with me still sick , Rachel decides we should kayak the 22k around the island. It was fun, but 20k would have been better, and at the end, I was both with a cold and a sun burn. Still it was probably the best possible way to see this very little very up and down boulder covered island. We hung for the last day and 1/2 and then up to bangkok.

The islands were fun, much cooler than we expected. Also thailand is very very tall. It takes a while to get north. We should have left more time.

Sat May 18 12:18:57 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Koh Tao
Koh Tao is a happening island these days, as is Koh Phangan, but we didn't stay in the happening areas of K.P. We did in Koh Tao however. The western side of the island is a long stretch of beach. Lots of trees lining the beach, obscuring the bungalows and restaurants crammed in together. We headed to the north end of the beach to a bungalow operation footprint recommended, Blue Wind. We got a bungalow, though not with a beach view, but well shaded by lots of trees. The bungalow was a little nicer than that of Koh Phangan, but also twice as expensive. Thatched walls, ceiling, larger bathroom. More windows, so more breezes. However, electricity only from dusk to dawn. I had started longing for some tortilla chips and salsa, so we went all out and splurged on a Tex-Mex meal at El Gringo. Not bad. The chips were exactly what I wanted -- freshly made, nicely salted. The salsa was a bit sweet, but quite acceptable. The food was ok, but not quite right. The spicy sauce on the enchiladas was not spicy, somewhat surprising considering that we are in Thailand, and something termed "spicy" on a menu usually means it.
The rest of the time we ate lots of Thai food, most of it quite good. Especially at New Way. Great food, especially the green curry that comes with really good squash in it. Yum!! I miss it right now. Our place, Blue Wind, had a bakery which cranks out some great apple pastries, and one with coconut and cinnamon that even Nathan and I, both shredded-coconut despisers, enjoyed. immensely. the chocolate cake was rather dry though.
To work off excess calories, we went on a little kayaking trip.
It started off as a simple innocent trip to a nearby tiny island known for good snorkelling. We paddled into the beach and hung out for a few minutes on the powdery sand. Nice sand. WHen we decided we should kayak out to where the water was actually deeper than a foot to snorkel, I stepped on a piece of sharp dead coral. OWWWWWW. Fortunately kayaking does not involve my feet. The cut seems to be healing up nicely though. We chekced out the snorkelling potential, which was up to me due to snorkel mask prescrption/contact lens complexities for Nathan. I determined the snorkelling was lame for a jaded snorkeller like myself. Only a couple fish, poor visibility, dead coral, etc. We decided to paddle north around the top of the island and find somewhere remote to eat lunch.
The first bay didn't really have anywhere to land, and it was now either all the way back to our beach or to move on farther south. Of course, once we got to the next bay we would be half way round the island and might as well see the whole thing. Unfortunately the headwind was much stronger, and probably took a lot longer to paddle as a result. Choppier water, too.
Probably not the best thing to do to Nathan with a cold. Sorry Nathan. I told him I would paddle us and that he could sit there and take a nap. SUnny too, which of course led to sunburn. We eventually powered our way to a cove with a beach (so many coves without anywhere to land!) and had lunch. ALso exellent food. Ta Note Resort -- try the pad thai and the green curry. (I could, and often do, eat green curry every day. In Seattle, I recommend Noodle Ranch's.)
We set off again, and slowly made our way south around the island. We saw cool rocks that make up the sides of Koh Tao. We saw waves hit these cool rocks and make big splashes. We got splashed by these waves as well. My legs started turning red. The end of the paddle was hard, even though the wind was starting to blow our way. I felt the paddle was a few kilometers too long. The first thing we did when we got home was to pull out the map and measure the distnace we paddled. It was 21 kilometers, or 13 miles. The woman at the kayak rental place was shocked that we went around the island. We were nonchalant, even though our arms and back were about to fall off. Needless to say, we ate and slept well that night. The next day we did nothing.
There is a beach bar, called The Dry Bar, which promoted itself on its sign as having cool drinks and the finest tunes. We walked down to investigate into this matter, and indeed, they were playing Kid Loco's Darling Jesus (whatever its called) album. Sat down on the wooden decklike platforms and leaned against those prism shaped cushions so common around beach resorts here and listened to the fine tunes. The next day, after the kayak trip, would have even finer tunes. Various music I didn't recognize and a good deal of Andrea Parker's DJ kicks album, which I didn't put nearly enough of on my Mini discs.

Sat May 18 12:07:44 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Koh Phangan
Sepnt a number of pleasant sunny days on two islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. We stayed way out of town on Koh Phangan on a bay filled with fishing boats and longtails. The guesthouse was quiet and laidback. We went on a grueling hike one day; did nothing the next. The grueling hike involved occasional thoughts that we might run out of water and still be miles to go uphill at midday, plus the thought that maybe we should've eaten lunch before the hike. Our map of the highland marked the trail as Steep and it didn't lie. Eventually, we hit the top of the hill, were treated to a great view of our now distant bay that we had hiked from, and it started to rain, which cooled things down and didn't rain so much as to make the trail slippery. Eventually we descended down the hilll to Bottle Bay, which was quiet, filled with bungalows, and had great white sand. We sat down, watched the rain suddenly start to pour and drank lots of water. And ate a feast of a lunch. Then we caught a longtail back to our beach.
We also watched some movies during dinners at the guesthouse (which is called Try Thong, by the way. We recommend it.): Charlies Angels, Keeping the Faith, and the second half of Galaxy Quest. We also commandeered the CD player one quiet afternoon, listening to Royskopp and Thievery Corporation while trying Kloster beer. (ok, Nathan tried Kloster, I had Singha). The next day, Nathan caught a cold. (which I amazingly did not least yet.) We hung out on our porch and later watched giant hermit crabs on the beach.
On both days we wandered into the nearby village, which was very tourist driven and somewhat surprising at first. I kind of expected a fishing town. Anyway, we wandered into town to explore, then later for more concrete needs: Chocolate ice cream, water, lunch. We ate lunch at a small place., more in someone's house that became a lunch joint in the daytime. Thai men sat around drinking SongSerm whiskey and Chang beer. We ordered lunch, which was a very complex, and amusing, operation. The men laughed hysterically. We had thought the ordering was giong well. We'll never know what we said or did.

Sun May 12 04:46:38 2002 (nmcfarl)
Book: Moon SE Asia
Location: Tipping
So any where in the South Pacific you don't tip 'cause Kiwis NEver do and Aussies rarely. This is nice since I'm BAD at it.
In Thailand it's supposed to be a low to now tipping situation but ...
There have been 2 times we should have tipped but didn't

1) first night bell boy grabs bags from taxi while we where paying the driver at 1 am. I hate bell boys. You don't tip them in maylasia though. Here he either had a hard time with the AC or you do we concluded 5 minute after he left.

2) Zae probably should have gotten a tip. Ian almost certainly tipped him , but I didn't even think about it till we where zooming away. How much do you tip a tour guide ( for a 4 day trip) ? How do you know this stuff?
Tipping is Annoying

Sun May 12 04:35:36 2002 (nmcfarl)
Book: Moon SE Asia
Location: Kayaking
So on last monday we woke up in Krabi and caught a Long Tail (thin long boats with a car engine monted on the back and a LONG rod with propeller sticking out. Very loud as they are unmufflered , also scary 'cause the drivers are young and nuts by and large) to Railey beach. Railey was scarily overpopulated , every square foot was bungalows and restuarants costs 4x what they cost in Krabi, and the beach was OK but nothing like New Caledonia.

We rented a kayak for a preparatory paddle and paddled around the rust colored lime stone rocks looking all grotto-y with stalactites and mites and little sand coves. We stopped at many beaches, paddled a good bit and got a little tanner. Also did a little swim, which is always fun, swimming from a kayak. A very good day.

The next day we got up early and met dave, our 'tour leader' and our meeting place. He arrived 15 min. early and started pacing instantly. Ian and Sarah, the british couple who went on the trip with us showed up '30 seconds late'. Then we drove till lunch time, ate well as we did very constantly on this trip, met Zae our 'tour guide' and went for a little paddle in the mangroves in the rain. Much of our paddling was in the rain.

The next day was much cooler, starting with a great if difficult 5 mile paddle to an offshore Island, in the wind and rain. Cool though. The lunch and a kayak around to the back side along cliffs and stopping at a beach, where Zae ripped open a cocunut for a snack before moving on to the emerald cave. This was way cool. The cave is pitch black 80 meter of narrow twist cave , before you pop out on a beach with jungle surrounded on all sides by cliffs. On the way out the light was amazing , and then then lightning was amazing, if scary as it was dark and we were kayaking on the ocean.

That night we drank too much and stayed up too late, and set our selves up for a bit of seasickness the next day.

The next day we started with great kayak around the island the other way past villages and through mangrove trees, and finally through very choppy water past black rocky shores to the lunch place. Those wave had us a little under the weather, and it got a bit worse when after beaching we found out we'd left the airline tickets on the far side of the island. Bad. The first time we'd done that this trip too. Anyhow Zae and rachel went across island on a muddy hill track on a bike with out brakes and retrieved it . Then a nice 3 mile crossing to the next island , where we checked into our lodgings and went for an amazingly up and down kayak around the island (rachel sat it out , probably a good Idea) on the back side the wave where huge and often you couldn't see the island. Also cool flying fish and black cliffs with splashing surf.

The final day got sortta called off 'cause our transport didn't show on time. A bit of a bummer -- but we headed off to Trang to eat chinese sausage (which with char sui they are famous for) after a LONG and tippy long tail ride to the shore where we parted ways.

A very good trip.

Sun May 12 04:07:13 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Trang
kayak trip in Trang--
The weather: after days of sunshine, the morning of the trip was grey and cloudy. This would be a strong theme during our kayak trip. Rain, wind. Fortunately it was always warm, and since you get soaking wet while kayaking anyway, the rain wasn't a big deal. Wind however, can be annoying.
The first day was short, so we paddled around a river with mangroves along the banks, real casual paddling, saw hornbills and lots of other birds.
The next day we paddled five miles across the ocean to Koh Mook. (Koh means island)
It was a hard paddle -- the first ten or fifteen minutes was sunny and calm, then a storm whipped up the water and blew a strong wind at us, making the paddling a wee bit tougher. At one point the rain was pouring down and looked very cool on the water all around us. It also made the waves calmer. I was in the front of the kayak, nathan in the stern, and I guess my technique of trying to vary my paddling stroke to not crash into waves was rather difficult to follow. I swear that it worked, though.
We landed at Koh Mook Resort and ate a well-earned lunch. Later that afternoon we paddled halfway around the island to Emerald Cave. The northern part of the island has steep limestone walls covered with trees and brush, very green and beautiful. Some of the trees had completely exposed roots along a nearly vertical rock face. They grow without any real soil at all. There were some macaques in the trees. We pulled up to a beach near the Cave and ate a coconut. A rain storm blew in -- we could literally watch it start raining at one end of the beach and see it blow across the beach to us. At one point, everyone except Dave (the tour leader) was at one end of the beach, where it had stopped raining. Dave was at the other end, where it was pouring. He didn't realize it wasn't raining where we were. Reminded me of Euyore.
The cave is this, well, cave. You enter through the water into darkness, which was hard to do while kayaking. I got to hold the maglite in my teeth and also got to realize that it was completely ineffective. the cave was some sharp turns and low-hanging rocks. You can only go at low tide. After 70 meters or so of holding a flashlight while shouting, to the left!, no! to the right! Ack! Stop!, and feeling rather claustrophobic, we could see some light again, and suddenly we glided out into a tiny little cove surrounded on all sides by very steep walls. It was discovered only recently by helicopters, and was thought to be a pirate lair at one time. Very beautiful spot. The water is an emerald/turquoise color. Jungle just rises straight up the limestone walls. Tour boats dump people overboard with lifevests to swim through the cave. I think I preferred our method.
Leaving the cave was so much more fun than entering the cave. This is due partly to confidence from having made it through the first time, but it was also more well lit going out. I had one of my many moments where I was reminded of Pirates of the Caribbean, the Disneyland ride. A quick analysis follows.
Rachel's Pirates of the Caribbean Memory.
This is one of those deja-vu/memories that is always embarassing to tell anyone else (other than Brooke, since she too understands it.) since it involves comparing real-life to a Disneyland ride. This memory is evoked by a certain smell, first smelled at a young age while entering the ride. It is the smell of the ocean, of the dark, and of heat. An ocean cave in Thailand has all the right ingredients. I also often smell this smell walking around the tropics at night. This cave was even more perfect of course due to the lighting and the pirate history of the cave.

The paddle back was good, until the lightning storm started up. It was a ways away, but still rather alarming. I would count the seconds between purple flashes and ominous crackling and rumbling. We discussed how fast the speed of sound was (700 miles a minute? about two seconds equals a mile? i always used the mile a second rule.). After a while, when it started also getting dark, I paddled faster and harder. At one point Dave pointed out that I was paddling harder than Nathan. The slacker. I just wanted not to get hit, therefore, lots of motivation to paddle. The lightning lit up the ocean in front of us, illuminating rocks, ocean, sky. Occasionally it sounded closer. I avoided watching the lightning because I didn't want to see how close it was. At one point my paddle hit rocks. Fortunately the kayak did not. All in all, one of those experiences best experienced afterwards when one is alive and not burnt to a crisp.
The next day we paddled to Koh Kradan. The southern end of Koh Mook was windier, and after a while I began feeling queasy. I had even taken Dramamine the night before. Fortunately, we weren't going directly to Koh Kradan, but stopping at another resort, Charlie's, on Koh Mook. I sat down on the beach and tried not to close my eyes. I think part of the problem had to do with drinking a lot of beer the night before. We got drunk, something neither Nathan or myself have gotten in a long time. That, combined with big waves, was almost too much. We sat down for some banana shakes (well, everyone except myself), and Dave gave me some more Dramamine. At that point, it came to our attention that Nathan forgot to unhide our money belt at Koh Mook Resort. It was still inside the pillowcase. Charlies had no phone, but they did have a motorbike. It was decided that Zae (pronounced Say, he was our outher guide) and I would motor over and retrive it.
Motorbikes are ubiquitous here. We rode along an incredibly muddy road, through countless muddy potholes, until finally the road (which is only driven on my motorbikes, no cars on this island) turned into a wide cement sidewalk, which is the road through the local village. We twisted and turned through the village, past small shops, people's homes, chickens, roosters, dogs, and cats, and lots of children, over rubbish, unti lthe road turned into beach. Over rocks, sand, shells, till the home stretch where we could see the resort. Fortunately it was low tide. Not much beach to ride on at high tide. The people who run the resort had found the money belt long ago and tried ringing Dave on his cell phone. they were going to take it over to Koh Kradan. This was probably one of the best places on the planet to have forgotten the money belt at. A few minutes later, after lots of thank yous, th emoney belt was safely strapped around me and I was again holding on to the back of the bike.
Curiously enough, riding the bike made me feel less seasick, but when I sat down again I felt those waves bobbing me back and forth. The owner of Charlie's came over and after a bit of Thai discussion between Dave, Zae and the owner, he came over and gave me a head and shoulder massage. The most memorable part was where he would pull my head back, then cover my ears and suddenly pull his hands away, making a loud suction noise (due to suction of covering the ears). Very weird and very cool, also relaxing. It also involved pulling sections of my hair, and some back-slapping. I felt much better afterwards - I thought perhaps the shock of the massage made me forget about being seasick. Who knows. I enjoyed it a lot though!

Sun May 5 13:21:43 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Krabi
Staying in a small guesthouse above a convenience store/travel agency. Stores like these, along with internet cafes and restaurants, make up the main street of this town. On the other side of the road is the Krabi river, lined with long-tail boats and larger ferries, all publicised by various people on the sidewalks, sitting in chairs outside of stores, and while crossing the road. Koh Lanta? No. Raileh West? No. Where you going? Nowhere. And so on.
Sat on balcony of our guesthouse, overlooking the river, watching various backpackers descend or climb into long distance buses headed for Bangkok. (Dinner, Drinks, Insurance included. Book Now!). Some people had chain links over their packs to prevent slashing. I wonder where they have gone where it was actually useful. Watched various backpackers stand and look around confusedly and gloated that I had my own chair on a balcony.
It rained heavily this afternoon, our first rain since arriving in Thailand. Huge bolts of lightning off over the islands. Heavy downpour. I would prefer to avoid such storms while kayaking.

Sun May 5 13:14:21 2002 (nmcfarl)
Book: Moon SE Asia
Location: Krabi
So we are now in Thailand, and it is cheap. Even cheaper than Maylasia. It also feels nicer , perhaps richer, though that goes against the cheaper thing.

We spent the first few days in Khao Sok national park. We Hiked, and hiked. We saw lots of cool insect s, things I'd never seen like roach/grasshoppers in pink with bright red spots. We also saw really cool karst mountains, odd vegetation and a lot of nice waterfalls. The second day's hike was in particular, very pretty. It started with a few miles up and down the red clay through some very nice bamboo forests, and finished wit h 2k either along the side of or up the middle of a rive to a very nice set of falls, very chinese ink drawing. I did a sketch. Not quite the same but still you get the feel.

Today we bused in to krabi, where we'll spend tomorrow on a exploratory kayak before our 4 day kayak trip tuesday morning. That looks to be much much fun.

Sun May 5 13:00:18 2002 (rr)
Book: Footprint Thailand
Location: Khao Sok
This morning, we were up early, ready to meet our minibus at 8:30 am. We even got to brew coffee using one of our more recent aquisitions, the Bodum Travel Press (such Seattlites.) Anyway, we ate breakfast, paid our bill, gathered together our packs, and walked out to the minibus and the driver packed away our bags after approving of our ticket.
8:32 am. We were about to leave. Informed that we were on the wrong minibus.
8:36 am. I am sitting along the main road on my pack, guarding our stuff while Nathan runs down the road to the travel agency we booked from. I drank some coffee, tried not to think about how we probably missed our minibus and were now stuck in Khao Sok for another day, and watched people across the road construct some new bungalows.
8:37 am.The original minibus pulled out of the driveway, packed full of people happily on their way to Krabi. Kicked a rock. Felt better.
8:43 am. I decided Nathan wasn't coming back soon enough, so I decided to go down the road. I put my pack on, then decided to wait and see if the next van/bus approaching me was our bus. Nope, it was a truck, and I must've looked like I was trying to hitch a ride. Nodded no and slung Nathan's pack over my right shoulder, and the day pack over the left. (The coffee went into a pocket of my pack, in case you are paying attention to prop continuity.) Within a few steps, a truck stopped for me and gave me a ride. (The hitching gods were with me today --or perhaps the hitching gods are always watchign over a lone woman with a lot of luggage) The guy worked for the travel agency I was going to so it worked out perfectly.
8:45 am. I get there, and Nathan's hanging out, minibus parked and ready to go. In a few minutes we left, the only passengers in the spacious a-c'ed van. We even passed the other minibus. (and trucks full of durians. )

Sat May 4 10:49:39 2002 (rr)
Book: Moon SE Asia
Location: kayaking
yeah! we are going to go kayaking around Trang soon...

Sat May 4 10:40:50 2002 (rr)
Book: Moon SE Asia
Location: Khao Sok
We're currently beat after our second long day of hiking around Khao Sok National Park. The trails were excellent, lots of waterfalls to swim in, and interesting/weird plants and insects to stare at while tromping up steep clay hills. Staying in elevated huts ("Jungle Huts") with many many backpackers. A bit of culture shock for us -- way more social and way more backpackers than we are used to.

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