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.


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