I don’t have many pictures from today. We went to a medical museum where we saw real deformed babies conserved in jars, all kinds of limbs, organs, bodies cut in half, etc. We were not allowed to take photos but I’m not sure I would have wanted them anyway. We all felt light-headed afterwards but the deep fried wontons we had for lunch made us feel better. Haket ordered a soup with liver in it and having seen a real human liver with a tumour shortly before, he left the meat in the bowl and just had the broth... In the afternoon, we did a Muay Thai class. It’s a great workout! We went back to the hostel take a much needed shower and headed off to the jatujak weekend night market. Again, I do not have pictures on my phone because there were simply too many people and I had to focus on where I was going. After that, we ended our vacation in Bangkok with a trip to the famous Sky Bar. The drinks were outrageously expensive (although they were phenomenal) but the view was well worth it.
15 June 2018
We took it easy this morning because last night’s ladyboy experience took a lot out of us. We had breakfast at the hostel and I wrote my journal in the garden. After a certain point, my phone needed to cool down and so did I. We had some of the best street food ever for lunch. In the afternoon we visited a railway market where shops move all their merchandise out of the way when the train passes and set back up immediately afterwards. We got to see and taste some crazy food neither of us could identify. Also, when they say fresh fish here, they mean it’s alive seconds before you buy it. We went to a floating market afterwards where there were even more funky shops. At night, the minivan dropped us off at Khao San road, the most insane party street I have ever seen in my life. We had a wild Friday night in Bangkok and arrived safely back to the hostel in the wee hours of the morning.
14 June 2018
This morning we started off with a huge american breakfast on the train. The banana muffins were so fresh and tasted just like mom’s banana bread. We rode around Bangkok in a tuk-tuk (Thai taxi) all day, stopping for some sightseeing. We forgot our long pants and conservative t-shirts so we had to buy some off a lady on the street. We are all dressed in elephant pants now and Emilie and I have matching shirts. The temples and religious buildings here are so different from the ones we saw in Myanmar. They are up-kept much better for one, most likely due to the high volume of tourists paying for admission fees. From the top of golden mount, we had an amazing view of the Bangkok skyline. It’s incredible how the marriage between the colourful, intricate temples and the modern grey skyscrapers is so seamless. We are now having a drink at our hostel and we plan on going to see a Muay Thai fight later as well as a Ladyboy show. Stay tuned!
We woke up early today for a safari where we heard the gibbons calling in the morning mist. Apparently when they call it is because they are alone so they tear up and cry aloud to gather with the other monkeys. After breakfast, we explored a cave with snakes and spiders that look like they are straight out of Harry Potter. We then went to see the famous rocks of the lake which are an iconic photo opportunity. The boys crashed in the minivan after the tour. We made our way to Surat Thani where we enjoyed some amazing street food and waited for our sleeper train. It was delayed so we had time to go buy some weird snacks at 7-eleven. To be continued...
12 June 2018
Today was our first day on Cheow Lan lake. We saw the most amazing and gigantic rocks from our boat. The pictures we took don’t even translate half of the landscape’s majesty. We arrived to our raft houses where we had a swim in the emerald waters. In the afternoon, we explored the jungle and a flooded cave that required both my hands as it was quite the quest. I was able to get some footage on my GoPro however. It is crazy though how we are sleeping in the middle of this huge lake!
11 June 2018
Today we travelled from Koh Tao to Khao Sok by ferry, taxi, bus and minivan. There were baby cats along the way. We had to wake up very early so we were decently tired when we arrived. The boys set up their hammocks on the balcony and we played card games all afternoon. I beat everyone at cochon (of course). We are going to be in the national park tomorrow so let’s hope for some sun!
10 June 2018
Loïc and I are now certified PADI Open water divers! We had two amazing dives this morning and got to see incredible fish, eels, sea snakes, and all kinds of crazy marine life. Then, we went to a viewpoint to see the twin islands and walked along the beach. Haket did a challenge last night where he had to drink 1200 baht worth of alcohol to get a free tattoo so he claimed his prize today. He got a traditional ancient Thai prayer motif. We are at the hostel now taking it easy and playing some board games. We are sad to have to say bye to Koh Tao tomorrow morning but are also excited to see what the other destinations have in store for us.
9 June 2018
This morning we took our scooters to a high point on the island where we had a magnificent view while drinking our fresh juices and having Thai food for breakfast. Loïc and I passed our diving exams with a 94% and we had our two first open water dives. Going down into the water and seeing huge colourful fish and corals swimming all around you is truly an indescribable feeling. I will remember my first scuba dive forever that’s for sure. We could see other dive boats and groups of divers from our boat. All the diving boats are multicoloured and adorable. It was Emilie’s turn to get a bad sunburn. As she is not doing the scuba course, she went on a full day snorkelling trip and nicely charred her entire backside. We are at this present moment on an aloe body reconditioning treatment. We wake up early tomorrow to dive with the best visibility possible. Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, the GoPro can come with me on our next dives. Fingers crossed for whale sharks!
8 June 2018
Today, Loïc and I had our first diving lessons inside the pool. We learned how to use the gear, lots of diving skills and even some tricks we can do with bubbles underwater. Our dive master and his assistant find the water unbearably cold but us Canadians are more than comfortable. The water in the ocean here is hot like bath water! We rented scooters for the day so we were able to do a lot of exploring during the afternoon and we got some great recommendations for restaurants and bars to check out. We had an amazing supper by the beach and went to a rooftop bar after. We are taking it easy tonight because we have our final diving exam tomorrow morning! Also, we plan on getting to our long list of places to go to tomorrow night so we are going to need a good night’s sleep...
6 June 2018
The half moon party last night was a blast. There is body paint on my shorts and my phone case but it’s a souvenir at this point. My flip flops did not survive the dancing so I had to throw them out but every second shop on the island sells some so I will be just fine. We woke up late this morning to take a ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao. It rained a bit and it felt really nice and refreshing. Loïc and I started our diving theory courses this afternoon and we will be getting up early tomorrow morning once again for some training. Our plans with the Airbnb we were supposed to stay at fell through so we are staying at a hostel called Bed and Ink that does tattoos as well. They have gorgeous traditional Thai designs that I am absolutely in love with but I know my Dad would disown me if I got one so i’ll never mind.
We have arrived on Koh Phangan by ferry this afternoon and have spent the day sipping drinks and relaxing by the pool. When we decided to go to the beach, Loïc and I got attacked by sea urchins and ended up at the hospital. No big deal though! We have been prescribed pain killers and antibiotics and we will be partying at the half moon party tonight! Stay tuned...
5 June 2018
We retrieved Loïc’s bag today at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. He did a little happy dance for us and we took off for the train station. We had some time to spare waiting for the train so we played some cards. On the train, we had the most amazing Thai meal before they turned the tables and seats into beds and we hit the sack. We could all use a great night of sleep!