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A Znack Abroad

BCs and Sunshine

THAILAND | Tuesday, 26 March 2013 | Views [427]

Hey all!

So, I am sorry for the delay in the update, I have been surprisingly busy for having been on "vacation". The day after my last post I made my way to the Grand Palace, with the intention of making my way to Wat Arat and the canals. All fine and good. I had packed up my stuff and move out of my room (so they could clean it) and had eaten breakfast by ten. I decided I would adventure my way to the Palace as it really wasn't that far from where I was staying. Leaving at around ten, I discovered that a half an hour walk in 40 degrees was probably a decision I should have thought through a little more. Upon arrival to the palace entrance I was greeted by a friendly old lady who handed me a bag of corn, and in my tourist naiveté, I proceeded to feed the pigeons that were flitting around with absolute glee and a stupid smile on my face. After finishing being bombarded by the birds, the lovely old lady demanded I pay her 200 B, which was absolutely ridiculous and I proceeded to get bullied out of 50 B. Well, lesson learned. Walking through the front gates of the giant area, I was absolutely taken back by the number of tourists (it was a Saturday after all) and stood in line with the rest of the foreigners (Thais have their own line) to enter the infamous facility. Camera in hand, I perused the magnificent sculptures and awesome shrines, wandered my way through the immaculate murals, and sat down and meditated before the Emerald Buddha. I stared gawkingly in the museums full of jewels and swords, of textiles and writings, and the many different statues of the Buddha held in the Royal treasury. I become enamored with the Thai Queen and her decision to help the Thai women through SUPPORT textiles and her hand in aiding Thai women's lives; she really is a true role model. After finishing my wonderings and wanderings, with sore eyes and mind, I decided it was time to leave. Little did I know that I had managed to spend an astonishing 6.5 hours at the Palace (which is really only supposed to take 2-3 hours according to a guide book). Exhausted from heat and lack of food and water, I went back to my room for a nap. I met up with Devo and his mom to grab some dinner and drinks, then at around 2200 made my way to the airport to greet Sarah. After celebrating her arrival, we caught some much needed sleep.

The next day we made our way back to Wat Pho, but thankfully this time we had a tour guide so I learned a little bit more about the temple from an awesome guide named James Bond. Tour finished, and everyone still pretty jet lagged we made plans for some shopping and dinner, followed by a few drinks (as it was after all St. Paddy's day).

The next day we checked out of our rooms, and made a trip by tuk tuk to MBK (West Ed eat your heart out). Feeling overwhelmed, we tuk tuked our way back to Khoa San for some food and to catch a night train to Koh Tao (well really a train to Champun (forgive the spelling), followed by a bus, followed by a 3 hr ferry). Upon arrival to one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen, albeit stupidly tired and exhausted, I decided to sign up for a bit of an intro into scuba diving. Within the first five minutes of the discussion I decided that I was indeed going to get my certification (thank you Pam and Darren for being that voice in the back of my head!!) Immediately after I found myself regretting the decision as I was to spend the entire day in a classroom, while the rest of our group flocked about in the lovely ocean. Homework completed, we had dinner and a few drinks, and called it a night (as the next three days were to be spent in the water - the course was an intensive four day, and we were unfortunately only there for five days).

The next morning brought more class room work, followed by about 6 hours in a pool getting used to regulators, mask removal, BC buoyancy, emergency rescue breathing and the like. Class finished, Sarah and I had a very relaxing evening shopping and getting Thai massages. I could barely sleep as the next day we would be doing a bit more class work (ie final exam!) and my very first dive in an ocean!

Morning came and I was abounding with energy. The exam seemed to drag on forever, but once I got in to the water, it was like stepping into space. It was the extreme of cool! Schools of fish swimming around you, the sun's rays beaming down and highlighting corals here and there. It was absolutely magnificent and absolutely addicting!! Dives complete we had dinner, and another early night, as we were to be up at 6 am for morning dives.

I found myself rather saddened by the fact that this was to be the last diving day and pretty much last day on Koh Tao. I felt like I barely had any time to go out and see the island, but luckily that was short lived once I was back underwater. We dove down to about 18 m for our last dive, and we had a two guys along with us filming, so it was an incredible amount of fun. We were done around noon, and I decided to grab lunch with a fellow diver, followed by a trip out to go snorkeling around Shark Bay (don't worry mom, I didn't see any sharks). 5 pm came very fast and I had spent the entire day around or in the water, and I felt very blissful. The videographers that had recorded us had put together a little show for us to see, so we gathered at the scuba bar to watch and celebrate the fact that we were all now open water certified! A morning changover was sure to ensue.

Changover averted, we checked out of our rooms to make a sad departure from Koh Tao Koh Phagnan (full moon party central). I was exhausted, and by the time we got there I found myself missing Tao like crazy. We were situated in Haad Rin Nok, and that was where Full Moon was to happen in three days’ time (neon overload anyone?). I had a relaxing night, and figured I would feel more comfortable about it Phagnan in the morning after a solid nights rest.

The next day I still greatly disliked Phagnan. I decided I would make contact with some of the people I met on my scuba diving adventure and booked a ferry back for the next day until the day after the full moon party (yes, I have discovered I am not a wild party person). I spent the day wandering around town and on the beach, followed by a night of epic Muay Thai boxing (yes, I definitely snuck down into the front row). Epic fight concluded, I decided bed was the best option, as I was to be up at 6 to catch the cab to the ferry that left at 0830.

Yesterday morning came early, and I was extremely excited to be going back to Koh Tao (don’t worry, I am going back to my group tomorrow). I spent the day cruising around town looking for pictures to take, swimming in the gorgeous uncrowded ocean, and sipping mojitos. Today I am still enjoying a bit of relaxation, and may have a drink or two on the beach later while gazing at the full moon, but luckily in a much more peaceful manner.Tomorrow I take the 3 pm ferry back to Phagnan, and the next morning, bright and early, we will take the next trip to Railay (rock climbing haven!).

Wish you were here!

Love,

Jen

(p.s. I don’t have any more money on me at the moment to pay for more time to reply to emails so I will the moment I have more money! Sorry everyone!)

 

Tags: beaches, diving, peaceful, sunshine

 

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