Friends and Fireworks

Nothing too new to report, as we have been living out our Thailand days as beach bums. However, the highlight for us this month has been the visit we received from our friends back home. Since we found out that three of our friends had booked flights to Thailand we had been counting down the days. Aside from family, and a few friends we were able to meet up with along the way, this has been the first time that anyone has taken up the challenge, saved up their vacation time, and left home to come and see us.

Not everything went according to plan. After all, this is Thailand. There are bugs and bats, beggars and ladyboys, and scams and sales pitches abound. The cleanliness of food stalls and other such facilities are not always on par with Western standards. You don’t always get what you pay for (and unfortunately, sometimes you do). The climate is stifling. The mosquitos relentless. In addition, Jeff and I have been in “travel mode” for so long now that we have become accustomed and desensitized to so many of these travel woes and elements of culture shock. Things that would have caused some grief, from bugs in my food and dirty bathrooms to not knowing what tomorrow has in store, are now just a part of life. There are stark contrasts between being tourists on vacation and travelers on a budget. And yet, we were able to find a sort of balance, share our experiences, and best of all spend lots of time together. So for all these reasons and more, we are equally touched, impressed, and grateful that our friends took the leap across the ocean.

Dinner on Koh Phi Phi

Dinner on Koh Phi Phi

We explored the Andaman Coast, spending some time eating and kayaking around Ao Nang, with a side trip to the beautiful Rai Leh Bay in Krabi. We took a ferry to Ko Phi Phi for a few days where we got in some beach time, went rock climbing up limestone karsts, did some snorkeling and swimming around the island, and partook in one night of beach partying with free buckets of alcohol. Good food, good friends, free drinks = best time.

After Peterson and Jenny headed back to Bangkok for their flight home, Eugene, Jeff and I hopped on yet another ferry to check out Koh Lanta. Laid-back hardly begins to describe it. Compared to Koh Phi Phi, Lanta is like a very shy, distant cousin. To liven things up for the Lunar New Year, the guys decided that fireworks were in order. While I was busy contemplating the fascination that males have with fireworks and worrying about burning faces, appendages, and buildings, Jeff returned with a large bag and a huge smile announcing that he had blown the day’s budget on the contents of the bag (which I am sure would not be legal in most states). Suffice it to say, after stuffing ourselves at a $3 all-you-can-eat hot pot buffet, we welcomed the Year of the Tiger with a literal bang.

Posted: February 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »