Sunday, January 31, 2010

Settling Down Now

Ello Ello!!! Brando here on the blizzle blog! We've been having a blast out here and so much has happened that I don't even know where to start. The last few weeks have been quite a haze as we have become more comfortable on Samui and partying till dawn with our new island friends.

Life is good at Chuchi Mansion. Bam, the bartender/entertainer at the Mansion takes good care of us. She cooks meals for us and even makes runs to the market for us so we dont have to walk. We try to do our part as well, washing dishes and cleaning up around the Mansion grounds. And then there's Jom, better known as "Singha Mingha" who ALWAYS has a beer (Singha brand) in her hand! She's a crazy B*$%# but she's really nice and also takes good care of us. She's responsible for our drunken nights at Chuchi Station (their bar), but also reduces our hangovers as she cooks us breakfast and taxis us around town on her motorbike. Jom introduced us to Eck, a family friend I assume. He's a really cool guy and even scooted me across the island to his buddy's music shop to buy a set of guitar strings. On a regular night, we all play cards and pool, and just hang out and share laughs..they're like our Thai family :)

Looking back on the last few weeks, we've come to the conclusion that we need to settle down a little bit. I can't even count on one hand how many times I've seen the sunrise, and sleeping all day and partying all night is finally wearing on us. It hasn't JUST been a shit show, as we have met a lot of really cool people who have shown us around, and we have learned a sufficient amount of Thai so we can at least fake a basic conversation now. But we've picked up the Samui lifestyle more so than most travelers who come here and it's become somewhat of a home to us.

Before I go, I 'd like to give a shout out to Matt Coudayre, who has been bitching about the fact that I haven't written on this here ya go buddy!!! Peace, I'm out!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So It Goes

Hey Peeps!

First thing's first...Happy Birthday to Me!!! I get two bdays actually because back home it's not till tomorrow, how special haha.

I forget when we got to Samui, but it feels like it's been forever! Let's see, I think I left off at the party and the apartment. We're in tight corners but we're getting the hang of it. 2 days ago we took a hike to try and reach the top of the mountain here on the island. We followed this long path until we saw a little deviation in the road and decided to go up that way. About 5 minutes later we heard some gunshots at the top of the mountain so we got a little sketched out. We slowed down and were deciding whether to keep going or not and I suddenly got massacred by some mosquitoes within seconds. A minute later we heard a loud thump and about 5 feet from where we were standing these coconuts tumbled to the ground. That's when we decided the trees were tall enough and the jungle dense enough that we were most likely gonna get shot by a bullet or killed by flying coconuts, so I headed back down and told the guys I'd meet them back at the apartment. They reached me about 5 minutes later haha. All in all, it was a very good hike, we walked for a solid hour there and another one back. After we got back, they had finally fixed the pool, so the guys took a dip and i relaxed and showered. That night we went out to Chok Dee (good luck), a reggae bar Steve told us about and we watched the Vikings-Saints game...or rather, they watched because I tend to get very rapid ADD when I try and watch footbal :) we had a few beers and then headed to the beach. We spent a good 3 hours on the beach at night just looking at the waves and stars and appreaciating moments like that and our life. was a very hippie moment, but those are needed sometimes. Later, we contemplated making the trek back home, but 3 of us were still pretty awake, so Than went home to get some rest and we went to 7Eleven (our fave) to get some food. Me and Trevor paid for our goodies and walked out to find Brandon, who was having a beer with a strange looking fellow on the steps in front of a restaurant. We went up and the guy offered us some drinks inside.

This was Jonas.

Jonas is a 40 year old man from Sweden who has been enjoying Koh Samui for 2/3 months for the last 10 years. He owns a house out here and owns a demolition company back in Sweden. We found out he likes America, because once when he visited he happened to see a rocket ship launch and never forgot it, and he LOVES Vodka. He loves it so much that while were there he bought us white russians and soon sent a lady from the restaurant to by a bottle of Smirnoff and a bottle of Jack for us, because we told him back home we like whiskey. After a while it turns out he works for the restaurant we were at and the whole staff knew him well...they waited on us hand and foot and kept giving us drinks and food, which Jonas paid for. After the sun rose we had 7 new freinds and knew about 5 more words in Thai. We all headed to the beach, where they kept drinking and eating like there was no tomorrow. Trevor went home, and Brandon went to call Gene about some band stuff, and he never came back. I ended up having a long, but pleasant discussion about life with Jonas, who although was very odd turned out to be a very generous, sweet man. Around 9:30 a.m. I figured Bran was lost so I went off looking for him, but I didn't find him so I caught a ride back to the apt. He eventually made it back and we slept literally the entire day and following night, which leads us to now...

Today I woke up feeling grand. I got breakfast and talked to my parents, and now I am sitting here sharing all this with you fabulous people :) And since we pretty much celebrated my birthday the other night, I think for today we're gonna hang at the neach and have a nice dinner somewhere tonight.



Saturday, January 23, 2010

We Love Samui!

Settled and not sick!

We had a rough start here in Koh Samui, but after a few days of laying low and hanging on the beach we all started recovering. Steve (that we met at the food market one night) told us about these chill apartments up in the mountains/hills/whatever they are so we checked it out and it turns out we'd be saving a lot of money if we just rented a place together for a while, and since the 3 islands we wanna see are only a couple hours away we decided to make Samui our base home for the next month. The place is nice, it's a big room with 2 singles beds and a bathroom, but there's hot water and AC, and we got a little fridge and a tv. Downstairs the owner and his friends hang out all day, there's a murky pool, but it's all good cuz we're 20 minutes from the beach, so who really needs a pool? There's also a community kitchen which we've yet to try out, but today some of the ladies that work/live up there made some amazing fried rice and chicken and a salad and they let us all join them for lunch. The walk down is a little annoying at's about 15 minutes through the jungle (which is what we call it, but it's not as intense as it sounds haha) and then there's about 15 more minutes down this big road/mini hwy which is a little scary sometimes because people FLY on the roads out here. then you're on the main Lamai road where all the shops, bars, etc. are and that's usually where we hang out, eat, meet people. We've become excellent at budgeting for food. We mostly eat at 7Elevens and at night this little food market opens up in the center of Lamai and it's famous out here. It consists of about 11 karts or so of pad thai, chicken cooked all different ways, crepes, skewers, soups, and it's all delicious and cheap! A big plate of pad thai with shrimp or chicken is 50 baht. (I forgot if I mentioned it but 100 baht = $3.00 give or take) Also, thanks to some friends we met, I've been getting these 20 baht fruit shakes every day and they're incredible! They're super fresh and you can pick out of 20 different fruits or so or get them mixed.

So we've been meeting the locals and making some friends! The other night me and Trevor came down to get some food and met group of 4 Canadians and 2 South Africans that were all hanging out around Thailand like us. They were all in their 20's so we started chatting and it turns out they were headed to this big beach party that we had seen advertised all around town for a few days, so we went with them and ended up running into Brandon and Than who had been in the room all day and wanted to get out. It was a really fun time and the guys we met turned out to be really cool so we got their information since we're all gonna be traveling in the same spots for the next month or so. The party went on until 7 am and we all watched the sun rise over the ocean. Than and Trevor met some very nice Thai ladies and hung out with them the rest of the night.

The next day was a little rough but we met up with 2 of the Canadians and walked around all day. We went to go the grandfather and grandmother rocks, which are an attraction here in Samui. They're these big rocks right on the shore that are shaped like genitals, supposedly of two spiritual leaders that lived in Samui in ancient times. We swam in this little lagoon formed by the rocks for a while, then headed back into town and got some food. That night we met up with them again, because they were headed out to Koh Phanang the next morning for the half moon party. Our other friends from the party are also out there now, and the party is tonight, but we're gonna meet up with them in a week or so for the full moon party. Chris and Nick are supposed to be heading down south too, so hopefully we'll run into them too. Last night we met up with Steve again who treated us and a couple of his friends to this big Thai dinner in this little local restaurant. I don't even know what we ate but it was all very good, as most of the food we've had has been.

Overall we're having a really good time! The living arrangements are a little rough at times since there's 4 of us in a room, but it's worth what we're saving and it hasn't been so bad at all.
I always try to tell the guys they should post something too, maybe they'll crack soon lol. Love you all!


Clip from the We <3 Samui Party

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bumpy Ride

So...we made it exactly a week without going to jail or catching anything and we thought we were golden...until we got on a bus ride down to Koh Samui.

So we were in Jomtien for a few days and we took a day trip out to a nearby island, Koalarn. Once we got there it was this gorgeous, little pristine floating rock that you could easily circle in a 20 min car ride. We rented a couple scooters and rode around the 5 public beaches and spent the day soaking up the sun and totally envying our friends and families back home in the 40 degree weather :P (kidding...but really) So after that we decided Pattaya beach and Jomtien were really not our style anymore and we wanted a REAL beach, with real white sand and real people, so we packed our packs and headed back to Bangkok early the next day. In Bangkok we immediately booked a bus and boat combo to Koh Samui island down south. We had a 3 hour stop at the bus stop, so we took that time to mentally prepare for the 12 hour ride we were about to embark on. I also found a decently priced camera and we all got some food. Me and Bran found something resembling an asian fast food joint and just got a basic meal; let's just say it was difficult to call that food. Tre and Than grabbed some rice and chicken outside at a street cart. We got on the Bus and it didn't take long to realize the ride was gonna be rough. No one's food had settled very well and the bus staff must've had some serious body temp issues, because they blasted the ac and everyone was freezing! We spent the next 12 hours wobbling around through potholed roads with the polar temperature, bad snacks, and a soundtrack of "Fast & the Furious 75" in Thai. In the middle of the trip we got stopped to eat at this road stop with tables and some kind of curry or something literally on the side of the highway, which we all passed on because it was 4 am or something and we were miserable. After that it was all kind of a blur. Than spent most of the remaining ride in the bathroom, I got motion sickness and had to focus on not yacking for 4 hours, Trevor wasn't feeling so hot either, and Bran was the only only who somehow managed to sleep most of the ride. We finally got to our stop where we had to get on the ferry to get to the island, and we just pulled it together. Than was getting worse by the minute. I had read up on the whole section of Koh Samui in the "Let's Go Thailand" book (which I highly recommend to anyone traveling anywhere) and I knew where we should look for a place to stay the minute we got off the boat. We finally docked and the minute we got to the area we were looking for Than needed a hospital so I went with him on a search for one which turned out to be very difficult to find for some reason. We were there for an 2 hours or so which gave me time to breathe and mellow out my nausea. They hooked him up to an I.V. to hydrate him, because he couldn't even hold down water and they told us he's be in there till early afternoon. I headed back and we found somewhat cheap bungalows on the beach, which we had to wait 5 hours to get checked into. By the time Than made it back we all passed out and slept through most of the evening.


Haha, alright but there's always a calm after the storm and we're a little bumped and bruised but in much better shape now. Koh Samui is also a little slice of heaven and we've decided to mellow out and chill here for a bit. Yesterday we rented some scooters for the day and toured the whole island. We checked out a pretty sweet waterfall and are planning to go back and see another one that requires a supposedly intensive hike, so we'll do that some time soon. Then at night we got some food and met this guy Steve who's an ex marine from Cali who has found a second home here in Samui and spends his years back and forth. He was a cool dude and gave us a TON of info on the islands and just tips for our trip in general. He also proposed the idea for us to rent a house/apt here on the island since we'll be in this area till Feb or so, just so we can have a spot to come back to while we take small day trips to surrounding islands. Also for the convenience of saving some cash on living arrangements, because so far that's been our biggest expense. So actually today they called Steve up and while I've been here they might've already met up with him so he could show them a few places to consider.

The island's very chill though...definitely a little touristy, but thanks to the book we picked a calmer spot, more backpacker friendly. LOT'S of Europeans, but that's sort of expected most places around here, and a ridiculous amount of suit shops, which seem to be the happening biz here in Thailand. Suit stores and 7Elevens...there's literally one every 5 feet and sometimes 2 even. We've found them to be very convenient for our budget though, because they have ramen and snacks for less than 30 cents total, so in a way our diet hasn't changed much from the college one we have back home lol. On the other hand...some of the freshest, most delicious fruit I've ever tasted can be found for 50 cents on the beach. Thai vendors walk around and slice it up for you right there and it's unreal.

What else, let's see...besides the waterfall trip, there's a few other things we might check out...apparently there's a pretty good water park and zoo out here and there's snorkeling and diving available. we're looking into those...there's elephant trekking available too about 10 mins from our hotel, but I'm not particularly stoked about that. Honestly, I don't know how fair it is to those guys to strap chairs and people on their back all day long. We saw some of them when we checked out that first waterfall, and they had a baby one chained up by a tree, and he did not look like he was digging it. I daydreamed for a sec about sneaking in at night 007 style and freeing him into the wild :)

Alright, I better go find my partners in crime...not to mention this internet cafe visit is probably costing me more than my hotel since I've been here what seems like 5 hours.

Oh yeah! I finally got the Skype thing down I think, so if you have one, definitely look me up! It's GiuGiu115 or I think you can just look up my name. I'm gonna try to see if I can get a video or pic up on this thing. Brandon and Trevor have one too, and I'm not sure if than does, but I think he might.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Second Stop...Jomtien Beach


Greetings from Jomtien! We finally got out of the craziness that was Bangkok. Our last day there we visited a few temples and sites and rode in tuk tuks which are pretty much gangly scooters with some sort of body mounted on with 2 seats to fit passengers. Riding through Bkk traffic was definitely an experience and so was getting ripped off by the tuk tuk driver; They get comissioned from these middle eastern suit stores to bring their passengers there in the hopes that they'll buy stuff. Well, we wasted time going in there and I got my camera stolen :( (or so we think) but that's ok, we still had a good time, the temples we saw were the ones with the lucky buddha and the sitting buddha. Both were super chill and quiet with these elaborate murals on each wall. We also checked out a temple on a little mountain where you climb stairs to the top and you can see all of Bkk. That city's HUGE! It could fit at least 20 Denvers.

So yesterday we left and got on a bus to Pattaya, which is much crazier thank Khaosan Rd. and three times as filled with prosties and lady boys haha, oh yeah you get used to them around here, no matter what city you're in. But Jomtien beach is only 15/20 mins away from Pattaya and it's MUCH more relaxed. The beach isn't the best, but it does the job. We found a little guest house, beach front, with ac which is always nice. The shower and toilet are in the same place so the whole bathroom gets wet when you shower, but we got a pretty good deal! The crowds are a bit different too, it's full of old europeans and barely any young people, but it's still a good spot. Last night we met up with Enzo (my mom's old friend) and his girlfriend and they took us to "Walking Street" which is where all the craziness is in Pattaya. We walked around and saw all the clubs and stores and then headed back because we were pretty beat. Today we laid on the beach till the afternoon and then Enzo took us to a Muay Thai gym and the guys did an hour and a half of Muay Thai lesson, which knocked them out. P.S. Muay Thai is Thai kickboxing. We'll have pictures of that up too sometime soon. Sadly we're at a disadvantage on cameras because I lost mine, and Bran didn't bring a usb cord to upload pics :/ But we'll try to figure it out soon.

For now the plan is to stay in Jomtien for a few more days, then check out 2 of the islands around here, one is a day trip and the other is a bit of a longer stay. After that we'll probably start heading south and island hop until we get to Phuket. On that is like 90 some degrees here and we send you warm thoughts while you're enjoying the winter chill :P j/k 


Friday, January 8, 2010

Vegas wishes it was as crazy as Khaosan Rd!!!

Hey guys!

First post! I'll get right on it and give you a breakdown of our trip so far. Tues morning, fresh and ready to go...little nervous, but extremely excited. We make it to San Fran where we have about an hour till our flight to Seoul and we find out there's a sudden security checkpoint with a line that pretty much extends halfway through the airport. Thankfully we make it JUST in time to our next flight with not a minute to prepare for the 11 and 1/2 hour flight up ahead. With a nice combo of Xanax for Bran and some complimentary Asiana Airline brews we make it through the flight. We meet Faron...CRAZY guy from Wisconsin who's traveled Thailand and back a good 4 times. Having no accomodations for the first night in Bangkok we decide to spend our first night with him on Khaosan Road. When we finally get to BKK we don't even know who we are. We leave the airport with Faron and really quickly figure out that we underestimated the heat out here, and that Faron may be our savior. The guy speaks a rough but very good Thai and get's us into a Taxi and soon to our hotel on Khaosan, where we can leave our bags but have 8 hours before check in time.

Khaosan is like Bourbon St. on crack! crazy signs and people EVERYWHERE! Colors and lights...people of all shapes and ethnicities...little food carts with strange noodles and fruits that look and smell absolutely heavenly. We head to a small restaurant familiar to Faron and the boys grab some beers. A severe case of jet lag keeps up from really soaking things up the first night we are there. The rest of the night is a blur we walked the few blocks surrounding our area and tried to make it till morning. Finally around 7 am they let us go upstairs and chill by the pool. We fall asleep as the sun rises and FINALLY get our room.

Since then we've gotten our rest in and have visited some other areas of BKK like the mall, which is 7 stories high! The food is deliscious and super cheap. The guys also had some tasty grasshoppers, except bran's only made it halfway down his throat :) Yeah...I wimped out because these were more like mutated beasts that were bigger than my face haha. Besides that we're livin' the dream! We found Chris and Nick and have been hanging out with them these past couple nights, along with our new friend Stefanie from Switzerland and a few more colorful characters walking around. Today we're gonna go see some temples and tonight's our last night on Khaosan and we're off tomorrow to Jomtien Beach where we're gonna stop and visit a friend of my mom's and he's hopefully gonna fill us in on some Thai must-see's. Hope you're all doing great back home and we miss you lots!