Beginning our Downhill Descend to Malaysia - Pai & Koh Phangan, Thailand
Rolling down the hill or skiing down the slopes is (generally) fun. Thailand's little landslide was...not really a landslide, but it wasn't so fun. In Pai, there was a guy (rhymes) that literally promised to take us hiking but had his friend lead us while he kept commenting that we don't look like a family who is good at hiking. And he drank liquor whenever he could. Not a good guide...yeah, definetely not.
In Koh Phangan, i had a yeast infection and a lip infection. Even if the island looked like paradise, prices were expensive and people were all for the tourism industry. Which means more overprices items. But we spent the 28th of January here and the beaches were nice.
So let's get started with 3.14 and i'm NOT going to explain the dilemma with Mr.Drink-too-much because he sends me too many bad vibes. And memories. Alright i know we dislike math but Pai must be given a shot.
Before going on the hike, he brought us to a canyon hike the day before it was really amazing and fun. He told us that he could drive us back. Did he come? No. He was drinking with his friends on a bridge then continued drinking as he was driving. Something wrong? OF COURSE.
Canyon Hike Above
Jungle Hike Below
So here we are hiking while he...is absent. Probably hanging with some friends. By a bridge. Drinking? Sure. It was a fairly short (45min) hike to a waterfall. Some points were a little difficult for Eli & Lucy but they managed.
This is the waterfall that we hiked to. I might have taken an extra detour up above the falls. A little to the right, wearing white (rhymes.) Myka's in pink. Then we took the real hike after lunch for a few kilometers, we couldn't tell because our guide could not speak English. Why? Well because Mr.drink-too-much wasn't present to guide us. And he took our food.
At the end of the hike we reached another waterfall. Spent a while there before Mr.Drink-too-much appeared through the steep ridges on either side of the falls, breathing hard. Apparently we took the "long" route and he still wasn't feeling sorry for believing that we were soft hikers. The ridge was almost vertical.
That was basically my Pai experience. Not the worst but i'll put it on my wouldn't-experience-again-list. And the hiking trip was beautiful. Total time was around 8-9 hours. I was happy to return to our place and sleep. OK LET'S MOVE ON THE THE ISLANDS NOW.
Few of my shots of our overnight train ride. After the train we then took a bus ride, then a ferry, before it broke down, then a 2nd ferry, before arriving in the heat of the afternoon. Completely exhausted and in need of some Banff mountain air.
In Koh Phangan we stayed for 2 long weeks. In three different houses. The first one was very far from the real city. Which is where you could buy groceries and stuff. On the way to our house coming from the dock, we barely got anything in our stomachs save a few of Myka's skittles. So walking in the heat after arriving tired was a terrible idea. Especially if the walk would be around 6.2km away. Every foreigner rode a motorbike around the island. That's how you would get around. Family of six, no taxis, no motorbike? Umm...good plan...
A beautiful grace of the Lord God saved my existence and i survived! This family took pity of our half-dead state and and threw us in the back of their truck. Not only that, they lent us one of their manual motorbikes to DRIVE AROUND THE ISLAND. How lovely is that family? Dad drove an automatic motorbike in Vietnam so a manual one took more time to adjust to.
A few times we walked 3km over to a beautiful waterfall hike. We could never hike up the whole 6 stops to view all waterfalls but we made it to all 4! Thankfully for the motorbike, we could make several trips with a 15min wait in between before hiking up the slopes. The hikes were all beautiful. I lost a shirt while trying to throw it down to mom and dad from atop a waterfall. One time, in the middle of jumping between vertical rocks over dropping chasms of water, it began to pour. So the hikes were pretty adventurous.
One of the last photo of me wearing this shirt haha.
This is the moment when i lost my shirt under the water.
Next, we stayed at an extremely expensive 200$CND stay with a bitter, rude and disrespectful french man as a host. Don't forget the mosquitoes and spider company outdoors. It looked very modern and nice but sort of "out of place." There was a pool next to us and an outdoor kitchen. But behind our house was people living in cool local huts.
The father of the family who were so kind to offer us their motorbike, was an expert on scuba diving. He asked if Myka and i were interested in some deep water diving, which seemed really awesome. It was my time of the month and had a sort of cold, while Myka had a fever. I don't really regret my decision because we would have went 30m below the sea. It doesn't seem like much, but imagine looking up at the surface, then down below you with fathoms of water beneath you. Dramatic right? But i would panic a bit to be honest.
Lucy enjoyed to make stuff in the kitchen, which is adorable.
Myka tried to throw a ball at me while my phototography was successful.
This was the place we were staying for Eli and Lucy's birthday (yay!) Unfortunately it was also the place of great discomfort. The sun is always strong in Koh Phangan and mixed with the occasional visit to the ocean leaves your lips dehydrated and reacting to the sun. Removing the dead skin without an exfoliating sugar scrub (too expensive in Thailand) seemed like a perfectly good idea.
And my lips reacted and...i don't even want to describe it. But they looked like i got lip injections and i was extremely allergic to it. Veryyy disgusting so let's skip over the description. So while everyone went to the beach, i lazied about indoors for around 4 days. Not really complaining because i get to read, draw, watch YouTube and write ALOT. Mostly rinsing my mouth and lips with warm salt water for a disinfectant. But then, I also got a yeast infection from staying indoors all the time. AND THAT WAS THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE PART.
So restless sleep and itchy parts...terrible. BUT! My lips got slowly better. Maybe not appearance but more the feel. So i hesitantly stepped outdoors for the first time in like...a long while. Almost a week? And did not regret it.
People brought lots of snorkeling equipment because in this area in particular, there were lots of fish to see through the clear water. There was also a stretch of more shallow water where you could walk from one stretch of land to another. The currents to the left were moving quickly towards you as you walked. But to the right they were also moving against you, making it kinda hard to walk and to maintain your balance.
We saw some small schools of fish. I was thrilled to be outside finally. For what reasons? #1, the ocean's SALTY water helped. #2, seeing fish. #3, swimming easily with the levels of salty water supporting my weight. And #4 was that i could hide my face while getting lots out of it! Since i was "snorkeling" (swimming with goggles) so much, i saw some beautiful silvery fish. But with the water penetrating through the clear water it caused colour decorated on the fish's scales to stand out. So every move the fish issued, it was a perfect and settle image of silver and...rainbow.
Sometimes, since the currents were so powerful, all i had to do was float and allow the water to carry me. Once, i saw this tiny bright yellow fish around the size of half your eyeball (sorry this is a weird measurement but it was right next to my eye.) Trying so very hard to swim away from this ginormous creature always outpacing him. It was hilarious.
The last beach i'm going to talk about it is the one nearest to our stay. One day when we arrived, there were some suspicious looking grey clouds. It cast a beautiful dull look in contrast to the waves. To heighten my delight, i had a subject to photograph. Two actually, so i shot a few. Just a few. Well maybe not shot but posted. Yes i only put a few on my blog.
The photo above my blog titles was also one of them.
But then judging from the clouds and wind, i could tell that the nimbostratus clouds were ready to spill. And i was right. Before it let loose, i captured some of the brewing.
The clouds eventually opened up, letting down loads and loads of steady dumping.
So that is all for the Thailand blogs! It might have seemed short but in reality we had to renew our visa for a longer visit than a month. Yes we were there for 5 weeks! For me, Thailand wasn't such a good experience as i had hoped. It is like a beginning, like a small taste of the country. I really enjoyed saying SAWADEEKAAAAA (hello pronounced in Thai) and HAPUNKAAAA (thanks pronounced in Thai.) You really got to add a nasal tone to it and people thought i was local!
But Thailand just need to be better planned and i got to control my immune system as i was most of the time under some sort of cold. So next time will be an unbelieveable experience.