Thailand · 36 Days · 33 Moments · April 2016

Patrick Schwagler

Patrick's voyage in Thailand

10 May 2016

After the islands I took 2 consecutive sleeper trains up to Chiang Mai, stopping in Bangkok to get a custom tailored suit. Chiang Mai: * Traffic stop, 5 cops, 1 trying to grab me. I just took off on my motorbike :) * Hiking up a mountain - always tougher than you imagine it to be, but fun times. Heard booms & thought was controlled fire. Actually huge fire erupted 4 days after we left there. Thank god lol * "Grand Canyon" with Belgian girls, cliff jumping * Food market - tasted one of each fruit * Jazz bars After I traveled to Laos for a visa extension Laos * with Navid and Emma * Navid (55 yr old Persian man) at full moon party, stayed up at party till sunrise * Tubing down the river * Motorbike exploring, caves, cows, goats, blue lagoon - more rope swings/high diving, rickety bridges, tiny farming villages * More partying * Hot air balloon ride. Again can't pass on the price. Keep doing expensive things though, way way way over my planned budget
Alright here's a really quick recap of my past few weeks, I'll write details later. After a week of ridiculous partying for the full moon party on an island, I went to another island (ko Tao) for scuba diving. I got my open water and advanced cert so for the rest of my life I'll be able to dive anywhere. Supposedly the cheapest in the world to do it there so I couldn't help but go. I ended up doing 12 amazing dives including a night dive which was really spooky. Other stuff from ko Tao: * Food poisoning :D * Ladyboy cabaret * More partying * Fire dancers, pristine beaches, resorts Note: not a super backpacker-y experience, but oh well, not too sad about it
Right now I'm in the middle of Laos and I have 5 days to get to Bangkok. If I'm miraculously lucky and my plan goes smoothly I'll be able to book a stay in a treehouse above the jungle where the only way to get around is by zip line. But it's a long shot because the way there would be very tough taking dangerous speedboats and cramped, hot, very long bus rides.
Still really bad at this whole blog thing, all around disaster I think. I'll have to just end up recapping it all, I've been really busy out here so I haven't had the time to update. For now, here's some more pictures. P.s. I might just consolidate everything into a word doc or some other format at the end. Also wish I could post some videos here!

9 May 2016

8 May 2016

2 May 2016

30 April 2016

29 April 2016

Kanchanaburi ---------------- Afterwards I went to Kanchanaburi, which is a national park area/town a little north of Bangkok. I settled into to a floating bungalow on the river Kwai. It was pretty surreal being out there. I spent the first day just sittin on the porch of my bungalow reading and taking in the scenery. The next day I did a tour of the area to cover a lot of ground in a day. All in all it was a fun day in Kanchanaburi 👌🏼We started out by hiking up a string of waterfalls. Even though the water was a little low over there, it was fun to swim around in the waterfall lagoons. There were a ton of fish in each lagoon, and when you stepped in, all these little sucker fish would start sucking on you. It freaked me out at first, but after a few attempts at going in, it felt nice having them nibble all my dead skin off. I just had to make sure none of them swam up my shorts to nibble on something else 😂.
After the waterfalls, we went river rafting and swimming in the river. The rafting guy assured there were no crocs in the water around there, so I naturally felt safe jumping in.. After we hit up the elephant park where I hopped on a massive elephant. It was insane, we rode an elephant down a hill and into the river where it splashed and swam around. After talking to people, I guess I shouldn't have gone bc a lot of times they treat the elephants bad, but they seemed happy enough to me. After that we explored some train tracks where apparently a ton of people died building a stretch of the tracks during wwii. It was around 107 degrees when I was there so I can't imagine the heat these guys had to go through to put up the tracks. After we took
the train back to the town a ways. It was fun sitting in between train cars soaking in the scenery and enjoying some ice cold beer 😉 The next day I took a motorbike to explore the Buddhist temple nearby. After climbing 1000 stairs in 100 degrees I was ready to take an AC minibus back to Bangkok. Side note on the minibus's: they drive like lunatics. There really aren't driving rules there so the minivans drive as fast as possible and as aggressive as humanly possible.

27 April 2016

Ko Samet ------------ (Ko or koh means island in Thai so every place with ko is a tropical island 😄) I planned on going to the full moon party (more on that later) so I had around 5 days to kill going on some 2-3 day trips. The first stop was ko samet, which is a island close to Bangkok where mostly Thai people go to vacation. It was close enough to Bangkok and I wanted to be in the sun as soon as possible. I got a bungalow and a motorbike and basically explored the whole island checking out the different beaches. There were some pretty amazing spots there. At the end of the island there were hundreds of groups of rocks balanced in each other which was pretty cool to see. Not a whole lot happened on ko samet. I got a bad case of sunburn during the day and had a few drinks and watched fire dancers at night.
Sorry I haven't updated the blog in a long time! I'm going to try and give a recap of everything I've done so far in Thailand, buy first I'll write some more general stuff. Time is flying here, I can't even believe it. I know in the states taking a couple months trip is crazy, but I can't describe how many people I've met here who travel for years. I actually have to say "I'm only traveling for a couple months." 😂 In reality you need a lot lot of time to see places around here. It's so different especially for the Europeans where most of them take a year in between high school and college to travel, so they tend to catch the travel bug a bit more often. To be fair they have free or cheap college there so it's a lot easier for them to afford.
It's been really great traveling alone actually. I have so much freedom every day to do what I want and travel where I want to go. It's so easy to meet people if you pick a good hostel. I usually get to a hostel and find some people who I think I'd like and hang out with them for a few days or grab meals with them. A ton of people travel alone, so everyone's looking to make friends. Also, the Thai people are typically super friendly and funny so it's easy to have a good time here. Okay so here's a recap by place of what I've been up to here. I'll try to post a recap of a different place every day or so...

16 April 2016

Another photo dump from the day

15 April 2016

I swear I'll write something soon on here soon about my last week or so... For now just more pictures

13 April 2016

12 April 2016

11 April 2016

10 April 2016

9 April 2016

8 April 2016

7 April 2016

I decided on taking the bus/ferry to the island of ko samet today. These trips are a good chance to update these notes 🤓 Last night I went to kaosarn road in Bangkok with some hostel buddies and had a pretty fun night. It's a pretty absurd place, filled with a crazy assortment of people. Lots of lady boys and packed with drunken idiots. There were guys trying to sell tickets to a "ping pong" show and kept making a popping sound with their mouths.. 😳 oh yeah and I bought a present for dan the man, I'll show a picture later. Not sure why I think it's funny This bus has AC, bathroom, has a movie playing, and I'm streaming some bumpin' tunes, so I'm pretty happy. 4 hours until the ferry if traffic permits

6 April 2016

It's impossible to escape US politics. Every tv I see has either sanders, Cruz , or Trump. The whole world can't get enough of the circus
Finally settled in here at Bangkok! All in all it was pretty smooth sailing all the way in. Aside from my splitting headache, which is expected after 32 hours of traveling, it's been a success so far. I payed for a hotel right next to the airport, but because of my flight delay it doesn't make sense to stay that far from the city. I decided to take the train into the city, where I met a few travelers who I'm gonna hang out with while I'm around Bangkok. It's such a small world, I met a girl that one of my best college buds traveled with for a while while he was teaching out here. She's visiting Bangkok for work, but lives in Chiang Mai. It'll be clutch to have a contact there. After the train I took a scooter taxi to my new hostel. I don't think traffic laws exist here. Might stick with cars for a while. I'll spend a while recovering for now. Who knows what's next. I'm thinking of heading to a beach island to relax on for a while before the Thai new year rolls around.

5 April 2016

So tired... Only one more flight to go before I get to Bangkok and get to sleep off the jet lag. The Tokyo airport is pretty cool though. It has the most high tech toilets I've ever seen and the transport carts taking people around the airport play Pokemon music

4 April 2016

Whelp my flight got delayed, which means I'll be going west instead of east on the long way to Bankok. Hopefully I'll keep updating this blog with new & fun stories so you guys can see what I'm up to.