Sawadee Kha (Hello)!!
I am sad that today was my last day in Thailand, but tomorrow I start my journey to Cambodia. I haven't even got a guide book yet, so I hope I stay awake during the flight to read up on what lies ahead of me!
Since the rainforest, I've been to a couple of islands on the east side of Thailand, safely escaping the monsoons of the west. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of Koh Pha-ngan's party atmostphere, the beach there was beautiful. The sand is powder soft and the water is crystal clear. I intended on taking a tour of the island, but sadly I took my own advice from my last blog and ate a burger, got really really sick, and just laid on the beach the whole time I was there. It was a treacherous couple of days between the rolling black outs and the intense pain in my stomach, but it was bound to happen sooner or later, and I've learned my lesson of staying away from western food for a while. As for the black outs, they sucked because the island would be pitch black for hours, but the amount of stars in the sky was amazing.
I headed to Koh Tao afterward which is known as the diving island of Thailand. Still too sick/weak to walk, I let some hotel hawker usher me to the first diving resort on the island called Crystal Dive, and I meekly agreed to dive only to receive the discount on the room. This island was ridiculous- if you didn't dive, you had to pay 4 times the amount for the same shitty room. Needless to say, the whole thing was so sketchy and in the end me and the girl I was rooming with got ripped off. I exchanged a few heated words with the guy, who got extremely flustered, and I couldn't wait to get off the island.
On a better note, I successfully survived my first dive in the ocean! Gosh, it was amazing. I was extremely apprehensive in the begginning, but Koh Tao was the perfect place to have the first dive- the South China Sea is eerily calm to the point where the surface looks glazed over. Visibility is 15-20 meters (as opposed to 0 meters in Lake Monona) and the water temperature was like 80 something degrees! I saw Nemos, angel fish, a sting ray, sea cucumbers, etc. Everywhere I looked fish surrounded me and I felt like I was in the middle of those Discovery Channel shows. I loved it and I can't wait to dive again.
Yesterday I had to kill the whole day until I took a night boat to Krabi (I'll explain later). I hitched a ride to a remote part of the island and basically had the beach all to myself. It was quite an uneventful day except when this bird attacked me- literally! I was standing on some rocks taking a picture and all of a sudden I hear "SQUUUUUUUUUACK" and then something soft but solid slammed into my head. I stood there in confusion until I heard "SQUAAAACK" again and the bird dove really close to my head. It continued to do so as I scrambled off the rocks- which I assume is where its nest is located. Geez, I was so alarmed that I moved to another beach- which was even more empty than the first. The thing about Koh Tao is that the dive sites are beautiful, but apart from diving the island doesn't offer much. During the day NO ONE is on the island because they're out diving- and all businesses have at least one westerner as the owner. Basically, Koh Tao is such a western community that if you arrived blindfolded you wouldn't have guessed that you were in Asia.
When 9 PM finally arrived, I hopped on a night boat- basically it is a boat with a giant mattress in it where everyone is designated a sliver of space to sleep on. There was no room for personal space whatsover, so between the guy kneeing me in the back on one side and having the other guy shoving his feet onto my space the whole time, I didn't sleep too soundly. I arrrived to Krabi this morning and since there is nothing to do in the town itself, I headed to a nearby beach and hey! why the heck not- got my first Thai massage. It cost me under 5 bucks and 3 mosquito bites and it was well worth it!
Tomorrow I am heading to the airport, and sadly it is only 7:30 PM and I can't stop yawning. Surprisingly, the hostel I am staying at tonight is my favorite hostel so far. It is painted and decorated as if it was Santorini, Greece. Not to get ahead of myself or anything, but it got me excited for a future trip to Greece...
Now do me a favor and drink a Shandy for me. I'm halfway into my trip already and it won't be long til I will join you for one!