Jo's Thai Adventures

Check out this single gal's Thai adventures in the capital city of Bangkok.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Good-Bye Thailand..Good-bye Asia!

Well, I'm sad to say that today is my last day in Bangkok, Thailand. I just got back to Bangkok from a ten day wonderful trip to Phuket, and Krabi. In spite of the rain, my trip was fantastic. I had beautiful weather the last few days of my trip, which was great for getting a nice tan.

I went to see Railay beach by l ong-tail boat, and laid on Ao-Nang beach all day my second last day. On the beach I met a Thai man who was selling drinks. We ended up talking all day, and he took me for a ride around Krabi on his motorbike. It was the best way to see the area. I got to see a 700thousand year old fossil on the water, and went to see Long beach that has a pier out onto the water.

I will really miss Thailand, and miss Asia in general. This past fourteen months have been the best, and most exciting time in my life so far. I've grown so much in the last year, and will come back to Asia someday either to visit or work. I met so many great people both tourists and locals. I hope to keep in touch with most of them.

I am happy to be going back to Canada to visit family and friends. It'll be nice to eat my mom's homecooked food, and to hang out with my friends and family.

For those who are reading this blog. I will be back with more adventures in the near future. I will talk about reverse culture shock and how I will be able to adjust back in the western world.

Till then, this has been another day in Jo's Thai adventures...Bon Voyage my friends! XoXo

Friday, October 06, 2006

Phuket Paradise!



I've been here for five days. For the most part, the weather has been windy and very rainy. I have managed to do some great things even if it was raining. When I arrived it wasn't raining. I got a taxi to the Bangtao Lagoon Bungalows. The rain started as we made it to Bangtao. The rain came down in the heaviest rain I have ever seen. The taxi driver couldn't find the place where I was staying. Bangtao is in the middle of nowhere, and we stopped four times in the pouring rain to ask for directions. We finally found it and I was happy to see that the bungalows were really nice, and my bungalow was about 1000 feet from the ocean.

That night I went to the bungalow restaurant, which was right on the beach. There were two couples playing cards and having a great time. I started talking to them and found out that they were the Swedish owners of the resort. I ended up partying with them and their coworkers since it was one of the owners birthday. I had a few beers and just had a great time listening to music by the beach. It was a nice introduction back to Phuket.

The next day was rainy and very windy. The rain was off and on all day. I decided to take a walk on the beach. The beach is 8km long. I walked about half the length and found some interesting things along the way. I met a family from Australia and talked with them while walking. It's really amazing how friendly the people are that I met so far. That night I booked a Gold ticket to see the Fantasea Show. The show was really amazing. It has pyrotechnics, and you really see a lot about the Thais culture. The performance had about 15 elephants on the stage doing tricks. It had acrobats in the air, and the costumes and dancing was fabulous. I really enjoyed myself.

The next day I was booked to go white water rafting in Phang-Na, but we had a wicked storm that morning. I ended up cancelling and my sweet travel agent rebooked me for the next day. I ended up being friends with my travel agent and was shown around the area. I ended up going partying with her and others that I had met on my last night in Bangtao beach. We had a great time, but Bangtao was way to quiet for me after awhile. I decided to head to Kata beach on Thursday.

The whitewater rafting adventure was spectacular. I was in the nicest area called Phang-Na. Last December I had went sea kayaking in Phang-Na bay. They made a dvd of our trip and I ended up buying the dvd. I met some nice people on the trip, mainly Australians, and a few English people. It was a rush to go down the rapids. Even though it was only 5 kms, it was still exciting.

In Bangtao I met a girl also travelling solo. She is teaching English in Korea currently and we had lots to talk about. She was going to the airport the day I was going to Kata. It ended up that she had the wrong day and she was leaving on the wrong day as I informed her. She decided to head to Kata with me for a day. Yesterday (thur) was the nicest day here so far. It was great to get unpacked and head to the beach. I sat on the beach from 2pm to 8pm. We went for dinner on the beach and then last night went out partying. There was a live band who was excellent. We drank alot and met some guys. She was buying me drinks cause she said she was leaving the next day and it was her treat. Well, no arguing here, I thought. I was drinking Thailand rhum and coke all night. I never usually drink hard liquor, but the rum here is really good.

Well, I had a sore head this morning, but it was a great time. This evening Cory left back to Korea, and tomorrow I'm heading to Karon beach. I stayed at Karon last December and made friends with the people at the guesthouse I stayed at. I'm going to visit them and stay a night there.

Sunday morning I'm getting picked up and taking a bus to Krabi. I can't wait to see Krabi. I hope the weather keeps up. I want to see Railay beach and do some touring. I'll fly back to Bangkok from Krabi airport which just opened this past year. I'll be going back on Wednesday morning (13th), then I'm stay in Bangkok till Friday when I fly back to Canada. Wow!!

This has been another day in Jo's Thai Adventures...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sitting in the new Suvarnahumbi Airport in Bangkok

The time is finally here to board the plane to Phuket. I am so overly excited to be going to PHuket again. I never thought I would be able to get back so soon. Let's just hope the weather cooperates.

Being in this brand new airport that just opened a few days ago is fascinating. The architectural design of this airport sure is unique. It reminds me a long row of wings of an airplane. People can't stop taking pictures of the view of the bizarre shaped airport. You really don't see an airport designed like this anywhere.

I took a few photos and will post them when I can download my pictures. The internet cafe is very modern and the LCD hp 15 inch screens are nice. The price is a bit steep, but what can I expect being at an airport. It is 100baht for 20minutes. I feel like I'm in some sort of Sci-Fi movie inside this airport. It looks like silver chrome tubes and bars, with so many intricacies. When I look upwards, I see sky windows. Speaking of the sky, the weather here in Bangkok before I head down south is beautiful. It is warm and sunny today. Who knows what the weather will be like in Phuket. At this point, I'm just thinking positive thoughts.

Yesterday was a fabulous day. Not having to worry about the CELTA for the first time in a month, I met up with a guy I met on the course, and we just hung out. We went on the roue de Paris ferris wheel. The views during the day were amazing. I will have to post some pics on here really soon. After the ferris wheel we went on a swan paddle boat in Lumphini Park. We had so much fun and laughs, that it was one of my best days in Bangkok.

He decided to be a bad ass and knock our swan boat into another boat. It was really funny, as he just knicked it, and I couldn't stop laughing. The people in the other swan were sleeping and we woke them up. Then he started rocking the boat and I thought we would fall in. I especially didn't want to because I had my camera. The views as the sunset on the man made lake with the ferris wheel in the background were amazing. Hassan and I really clicked during the course. I'll really miss him, as he is off to teach in China. I hope to get there in the future.

It was a huge stress relief to just laugh about the course and talk about the whole month. It was a well deserved day. But, my plane is going to leave soon, so I better get out there. I'll post pics when I can.

Till then, this has been another day in Jo's Thai Adventures...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Celta complete, now Phuketbound!

Wow!!! I am finished my CELTA course! It's hard to believe that a month has past. I was so caught up in working hard and doing the CELTA that the time just flew by. I'm really happy it is done now. It is one of the most intense courses I have ever took. I went home and slept for three hours after finishing the course. My dull headache had turned into a migraine the last few days.

I spent last evening shopping at the night bazaar with my British friend. Julie left this morning to go back to England. It was hard to say goodbye after spending so much time together this past month. It was really cool to have her in the same building as me. She helped ward off the infamous lizards that kept coming into our apartments. Believe it or not, she found this little lizard souvenir, and gave it to me to remind me of our lizard friends in Thailand..haha!

I'm heading to Phuket tomorrow and I can't wait to lie on the beach. Although, I was just reading the long range forecast and it looks like 100% thunderstorms for the whole next week. Yikes! This is not a good sign. I'll still go, but if the weather is that horrendous, I'll just come back to Bangkok early. I haven't booked my return ticket yet. Cross your fingers for me everyone!! I'm so looking forward to just lying on the beach and swimming. I also want to go to some national parks and do some hiking. If it is nice out, I want to go to Krabi and check oh Phang-Na area too. I really don't have much time over there. I'll have ten days. If the weather is shitty, then I don't know what I'll do.

Well, I'll be heading back to the big Canada on he 13th of October. I can't wait to see everyone again! I have a feeling I'll freeze when I get there. There is a huge difference between 80degrees and 10 above zero. I didn't bring a coat or sweater so it will be funny if I got off the plane in sandals and shorts!! haha. Hopefully my mom brings me a coat or sweater when she picks me up. I'll be doing tons of job searching when I get back to Canada. With my degrees and experience I should have lots of options. I am thinking of heading to the west coast of Canada for awhile. I do want to go overseas again at some point though.

My brother will be getting out of jail on the day I get back to Canada. It'll be really great to see him again. I bought so many souvenirs for everyone that I hardly have enough room in my suitcases. Well, I'll keep you posted from Phuket with pictures.

This has been another day in Jo's Thai adventures....

Friday, September 22, 2006

What a Bizarre Week - Coup D'etait!!!

This week was the craziest week ever since I've been in Thailand. Wednesday morning I got a knock on my door at 7:30am from one of my classmates on the course. She lives in the same building as I. I was barely awake when I opened the door to tell her I wouldn't be joining her on an early start to school. I was just getting out of bed in fact. She told me in hurried terms that the military had taken over the government last night, meaning a military coup. She also told me that there was tanks on the roads overnight. and that the TV stations were cut and all playing the same thing.

I was in a little shock to say the least, because telling me the military has taken over the government, doesn't really register with me, especially since I've never experienced anything like this before - so I was thinking that the city was under siege. Not knowing too much about politics in Thailand, I thought the worst. She said she was still going to school, but she wasn't sure if there would be classes.

I was just picturing the worst. She said it was peaceful so I tried to calm myself as I reluctantly got ready to go to school, to see what the hell was going on.

Nothing looked out of the ordinary on the way to school, except the Thais people looked pretty happy. I heard a few yells of relief, and Thai music was playing loudly when I got on the subway- I really had no idea why at the time. The area where I go to the CELTA, is the business district and it is usually very busy with heavy traffic and street vendors are usually just setting up their stands. This day was unusually quiet, and people looked a little lost, as the military had declared today a public holiday.

Our morning classes went off as normal, but everyone was very curious as to what would happen. I knew I had better get in touch with my mother who had probably seen it all on TV by this time. She probably knew more than me at the time. Since Thai TV was not playing anything all night. I emailed her to tell her I was okay - but still a little confused at the surrealness of the suddenness of the going ons.

None of the students showed up, and it was nice to have that extra day to catch up on some work. Things were back to normal today and one of my Thai students told me that the Thai people are very happy that the military has taken over power because the current prime minister - Thaskin, was overly corrupt, and not very popular with the people. In fact, she said that the Thai people were bringing the military who were on the streets - flowers and food. They haven't had a military coup here since 1991. I hope things turn out better for Thailand because of this.

Today was the end of my third week on the CELTA course. This week was by far my best week considering the Coup happenings. I got an above average rating on one of my lessons on Thursday. I am looking foward to finishing the course in one weeks time. Me and my friend Julie, from the course, went to have a nice dinner and to end a week that couldn't of been more strange.

After dinner we went back up to the seventh floor where we had to pick something up for the weekend. On the way down in the elevator, we realized that the door would not open We were stuck on the first floor. The ironic thing about it all, is that the elevator had picked up a security guard with a radio on our way down to the first floor. So, the guard who spoke no English as I later found out, radioed for help when we couldn't get out of the elevator.

It was so dam funny at first. I couldn't stop laughing because the bizarreness of the whole week, then this happening on a friday night. It couldn't be more ironic. The Thai security guard was standing in the middle between me and Julie. He was holding a white teapot (which looked even funnier) and we were just standing there on the first floor while the door would just not open. After laughing for five minutes, I decided to sit down. It seemed it was only me that thought being stuck in an elevator was funny, as I was the only one laughing, the security guard must of thought I had lost my marbles or something.

I could hear the guards outside trying to get the door open..every once in awhile the elevator would jump down and back up. I thought we may just fall to our deaths on the one floor down, into the basement. I sat on the ground, while the guard smiled at me. I tried asking him what the problem was, and he said, "me speak no English." Well, wasn't that just perfect, I thought. I was about to pull out a paper and start writing when the door opened so nonchalently. Me and Julie just looked at each other, and we couldn't believe it..after twenty minutes of twiddling our thumbs, we weren't expecting it to happen. I told her to run and hold the door before it shuts again. I couldn't get up off the floor. Well, we finally got out of the elevator, and she said, "let's get the hell out of this building," and I couldn't agree more.


I'm looking forward to getting out of Bangkok this weekend. Have a great weekend everyone reading.

Well, this has been another crazy week in Jo's Thai Adventures.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sky Bar and Floods

Another weekend has past. The time has been flying since my arrival in Bangkok. This past Saturday night, I had a chance to go out and just RELAX for awhile. It felt absolutely wonderful. I went out with one of my British friends from the course. I really wanted to go to the skybar which is on the 63rd floor. As the title suggests, there is a bar on the rooftop which has a stunning view of all of Bangkok.

Unfortunately due to monsoon season, it was raining at the time we went into the bar. So, I never got a chance to go onto the rooftop. There is a bar that is inside that is surrounded by glass windows. The view just blew me away. The ambience is really relaxed with couches and tables beside the bar area. The floor above the inside bar is a restaurant called "Sirocco," and they had a band playing. I didn't get to eat at the restaurant, but I could see the band playing.

We didn't stay long because we were hungry, so decided to hop into a taxi and head to the Suan Night Bazaar to eat some western food (I have no idea why). My stomach has been bothering me lately because of eating some western food, and mixing it with Thai food. Thai food is so healthy, whereas western food is not. I can't imagine how my stomach will react once I go back to Canada. I'll miss Thai food so much, besides the fact that it is sooo cheap.

When we arrived at the night market, we walked towards the restaurant area. It was raining pretty hard most of the evening, but I was not expecting to see flooding. The water was at least ankle deep if not deeper. We had to take off our shoes to cross the road. I felt like I was in another city considering I had not seen any flooding in other areas of Bangkok. It was extremely funny to be seeing people walking around with no shoes and no socks, and the cars slushing through the water. Was I really in Bangkok?

Our late dinner at 10pm was not very appetizing. I had a club sandwich and was not impressed when they brought me a sandwich with roast beef, ham, and chicken on it. The menu said a chicken club. So, I had to wait another ten minutes to get my meal..Thais have no concept of time. Everyone is so laid back here, it's funny, although frustrating at times. Oh well, it was quite an adventure to say the least.

After the "flooding fun,"I went back home where there was no flooding. The flooded area was just in the market bizarre area. Yeah, bizarre was right! The drains must not be working in that area, I figured. It was nice to get home to a dry apartment.

I will post some pictures on here of the floods later.

Till then, this has been another day in Jo's Thai adventures.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Homesickness

I was debating about writing tonight. I had a very long day, and am not in a good mood. I've been working about twelve hours a day this week for my course. I had an assignment due today, and I had to teach a one hour lesson on grammar today. I felt really irritable and also homesick. I received a very sad letter from my mom, telling me how much she misses me. It made me really miss home today.

Because I'm feeling extra tired and stressed, it made it even harder to be away from home and loved ones. I kind of feel like I'm on a downer being away from everyone I knew and liked both in Korea, and in Canada. That's the thing with travelling and moving as often as I do. I make a lot of friends, but I also get to miss them. I also really miss the kids that I taught in Korea. They really cheered me up everyday.

I've met a few great people here, especially a few brits on the course with me. Thank god for them really. We are going out this friday, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm learning so much about myself everyday; things I like, and things I don't like. This course, and being in Bangkok away from everyone is giving me a new perspective on life and myself. I guess it's like going through culture shock again because I'm in a different country; and how very different it is compared to Korea on so many levels. I wasn't really thinking about that before I came here.

I've never really felt this homesick before, not just for Canada, but for so many awesome people that I've met in the last few years. I don't know if it's pathetic to live like I've been living, moving around so much. But, I've experienced, and learnt so many things while travelling and living in another country.

I'm in a reflective mood tonight. I look forward to getting back to Canada in the next month to see everyone again. I know that I have really been able to appreciate people and other things that people take advantage of while living overseas. I will appreciate things much more when I get back. Although, there will be some sort of reverse culture shock that I'm worried about too. Canada is in no way like Korea or Thailand either.

Till next time, this has been another day in Jo's Thai Adventures.