Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thailand/Malaysia-a-Go-Go

July 24-August 1 2010



Day 1:

Saturday. There was a total of 4 girls that went on the trip.. Mikan, Ange, Dana and I. We took two seperate flights, at two different times, out of two different airports! Ange and I had to leave for the airport in Seoul at midnight on Friday night, arrive in Seoul at 3:30, sleep in the bus station for a bit, catch the bus to Incheon Airport at 5AM, sleep on the bus, wait for our flight for a couple hours and sleep in the airport a bit more. You will soon see that sleeping became quite a habit! We arrived in Bangkok at 4:30PM.. went straight to Nakorn Ping Hotel (a friend gave us the business card for it before we left) dropped our stuff off and searched for a travel agent to buy plane tickets.

In Thailand, there are a million travel agents.. much different than in the US. They do everything from scam you (!), to book bus tickets, tours, plane tickets, taxis, shuttles.. anything you desire to do in Thailand.. and that is pretty much the only way to do it. It is unlike central america where you pick up the bus and pay right then! So it was pretty stressful for me trying not to get scammed!!

Anyways, Ange and I bought plane tickets to Koh Samui for Monday early in the morning and also bought 4 Ayutthaya tour tickets for us and the girls. The plane tickets were about $120 US, I think it was well worth it to get an extra day of islands as well as no overnight bus!

Dana and Mikan's flight did not arrive until about 1AM.. so Ange and I went shopping on Khoasan Road (basically the backpacking district) ate some fried grasshoppers and mealworms for a snack :) GROSSE, CRUNCHY, and the legs stuck in my throat for quite a while! I prefer chocolate covered!



Day 2:

Sunday. The four of us woke up super early to venture to Ayutthaya and check out old Buddhist ruins. It was awesome! Definitely worth the visit and the heat! (Which in all honesty, there was never one day in Thailand that was hotter or more humid than Korea!!!)
For more information on Ayutthaya visit,

We stayed there for most of the day, our tour took us to a bunch of different sites around Ayutthaya city and came with our very own tour guide.. who we couldn't understand!! Our meal was included, and it was devine!!! Gotta love me some Thai food!

That night, we ventured back to Bangkok, went to the weekend market and found a bunch of goodies. Took a motorbike taxi home (awesome way to see the city!!), highly recommended. And hung out around Khoasan Road a bit more. There was a bit of Pingpong confusion as well.



Day 3:

Monday. Ange and I woke up wicked early to catch an airport shuttle to Bangkok Airport. We got to hang out in an awesome lounge while waiting for our flight.. I LOVE Bangkok Airways!! We could use the internet plus tons of free snacks!! When we arrived on the island of Koh Samui we picked a random beach out and went to it. I have to say, in case you are reading this to get tips about Thailand. Avoid Koh Samui!!! And if you can't avoid Koh Samui, avoid Lamai Beach (good for families though, who like to stay on resorts)! SOOOOOO touristy!! Hardcore not my style!! I was not impressed a bit! Ange and I found our hotel, The Seabreeze Bungalows, and slept on the beach for most of the afternoon. Our room was very cheap on this beach, thank goodness.. about $6.50US each / 8,000Won / 200Baht each. It was super comfortable and cozy. We ventured off to Chaweng beach that night, which is still super touristy, but has more of a nightlife on the beach scene! We hung out with two Australian guys for the night (Australians were EVERYWHERE) and had a couple of cocktails a couple of feet away from the water! Tons of fireworks went off throughout the night as well, pretty cool!



Day 4:

Tuesday. Ange and I decided to take a trip to Ang Thong Marine Park. It was by far my favorite part of the trip!!! It was just us two, because Mikan and Dana did not arrive on Koh Samui until 10:45AM, they took the night bus down from Bangkok. On our tour to Ang Thong, there were about 10 of us in a speed boat which first took us to Koh Wao to go snorkeling. It was the first time I had ever done this, and I loved absolutely every minute of it!! I can't wait to do it again. Can't say I am ready to try scuba diving again, but I am definitely going to try again.. one day!! I got to swim with schools of awesome striped fish and touch a couple :) After snorkeling we went to Talay Nai, where we climbed up to the top to look out over the Green Lagoon of Emerald Lake. It was awesome, and later we went down into the lagoon to look at it close up. Next, we went to Koh Pualay to eat lunch on the beach.. now this isn't your normal 'lunch comes with the package, paper bag lunch'... this was a mini buffet with Chicken Curry, Sweet and Sour vegetables and friiiiieeed chicken!!! I would have to say I went back for thirds :) So much for a beach body!! After scarfing that down, I laid on the beach and fell asleep until we were ready to go kayaking around a couple islands. I understand why the writer of 'The Beach' (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) got inspired by Ang Thong!!! Kayaking was so fun, I had never done it in the ocean before and I loved it! Ange and I were the super team (we had just gone rafting a couple weekends before and had the 1-2 down pat!). It was a great trip, and sadly after kayaking we went back to Koh Samui! HOWEVER, we got to ride elephants when we got back.. an absolutely random part of our package! And what is even MORE random, is that we RANDOMLY met up with Dana and Mikan at the elephant center.. not planned.. had no idea they were there! So we were REUNITED! I got to play with my new best friend, a litle monkey before and after the elephant ride.. so I was happy all around! See the monkey videos below :)

The girls got us a hotel at Chaweng beach while we were in Ang Thong... while we were waiting for them to finish their Elephant Park tour we went to Chaweng and passed out on the sand to wait for them with the key! Later we met up with two different Australian guys who we had met on the Ang Thong tour and had dinner and hung out when we were all back together. I'm telling you, Australians were everywhere, and they talk A LOT!!



Day 5:

Wednesday. We all woke up super early and took a ferry to Koh Pha Ngan (where the Full Moon Parties are held.. which we were THERE FOR!!) This began my two days of not having shoes on (literally on another island, a.) I didn't want to lose my Rainbows.. you know how much I love them and you can't get them in Korea b.) I had gotten cut by some poisonous coral and two of my toes and part of my foot swelled up so I couldn't get my flipflop even on!!), it really was quite easy since we were mainly on the beaches and the sidewalks and streets were extremely clean! Don't worry I had my tetanus shot before I came :) So we were super relaxed and got two one-hour massages ($4.50US each) while we were there to prepare our bodies for what is called THE Full Moon Party!!

The Full Moon Party takes place on Haad Rin Beach on Koh Pha Ngan.
How it started:
Info:

The Party was insane!!! There were about 8 different DJs along the beach all of which played different types of music, super loud! Many rickity sketchy stages to dance upon. Alcohol being sold all the way down the entire beach, they sell drinks by the bucket.. pretty intense. Fire shows and activities all over, fire jump ropes, fire twirlers, fire slides, fire everything! I only did the fire slide though, don't worry :). It was actually super awesome! The party lasts all night, but I got really bummed when I lost my friends for what felt like HOURS, so I found a lit up area of the beach, put on my poncho (it had been raining the whole time.. didn't dampen the party), and fell asleep on my purse. I woke up the next morning to music still blasting, a few people still dancing (hooked on who knows what drugs) and found my friends literally 50 feet away from me when they ran to me flipping out that they hadn't been able to find me! Just glad they didn't leave me there and go to another island :)



Day 6:

Thursday. We took a ferry to Koh Tao to spend the day (a different island) and slept on the beach all day.. you know how we do :). Then, we took a longtail boat to catch the ferry back to Koh Samui so that we could grab our bags from the ferry office (they SO kindly let us keep them there so we didn't have to waste our money on a hotel we weren't going to use). We found a hotel and booked our tickets for the next leg of our trip.



Day 7:

Friday. Ange and I's flight was out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Dana and Mikan had to head back to Bangkok to catch their flight. Our flights were both at 1AM on Sunday, just different cities. Unfortunately, Ange and I had to take a combo (in this order) of caravan, ferry, VIP Bus, Songtaew, car, minibus, VIP Bus, and taxi to get 22 hours away to Kuala Lumpur! It was a very long day and night! We left at 7AM on Friday and arrived in Kuala at 4AM on Saturday!! We didn't want to pay for a hotel, so we got the cab driver to take us to a McDonalds that was in the heart of the city.. and we slept in booths until 8AM... it was quite a site! We're pretty hardcore, I'm not going to lie!!



Day 8:

Saturday. After we woke up in McDonalds, Ange and I headed out to grab some brunch (Naan and curry) yummyyy! Then, we headed to the Petronas Towers (the twin towers of Malaysia): . Luckily, on our way to find them we ran across a 'Hop-On Hop-Off Bus' and flagged it down to buy tickets! We took a bunch of pictures of the towers, but were unable to go up in them because they only allow a certain amount of people in per day, and they had sold the tickets out in 15 minutes!!! So we hopped on the bus and went to the Central Market (which was awesome! We got plenty of Malaysian goodies there), we TRIED to go to the Butterfly Forest, Orchid Garden and waterfall but they wanted a nice chunk of change for it and we just weren't in the mood... so as we waited for our bus to come by we proceeded to lay down in the middle of the sidewalk (not a busy sidewalk) and fell asleep on our packs until the bus came by and woke us up! Then, it started to rain.. so we fell asleep on the back of the bus for an hour and a half until the rain died down... we are partiers let me tell you! :) We wound up going back to the Central Market, grabbing some yummy dinner, meeting some awesome old Grandpas that are now my Malaysian Grandpas and then left and went to the airport. We really enjoyed Kuala Lumpur.. but it was quite easy to see it in just one day!



Day 9:

Sunday. Had to say good-bye to Malaysia and our summer vacation, slept in both airports, on both planes, on the shuttle to the bus station once we arrived back in Seoul, Korea and on the 4 hour bus back to Jinju! And for some reason I feel exhausted 3 days later!

All-in-all it was an awesome vacation! We got two nights in Bangkok, one day in Kuala Lumpur, one day of cultural sightseeing, three days on islands, and the Full Moon Party.. I think that is more than successful! We ROK.. literally! (Republic of Korea ;) )

Meet My New Best Thai Friend

MONKEY!!!!!

video


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This little guy became my best friend, and I SO didn't want to leave him.. until Ange made me! :( I didn't even want to wash my hair after he rubbed his butt all over it... yeah, we were THAT close!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thailand/Malaysia: 8 Days, Slept 10 Places

It felt like we spent our days and nights sleeping while on vacation. Maybe it was because we had also travelled to:
four different airports
six different beaches
three different cities
6 different islands
.....within 8 days....

We slept:
1.Bus
2.Airport (Incheon, Shanghai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur)


3.Bungalows/Hotels
4.McDonalds, Saturday 4:30AM-8AM

5.Ferry
6.Minibus
7.VIP Bus
8.Hop-on/Hop-off Bus 1.5 hours
9.Beach (Lamai, Chaweng, Koh Pha Ngang, Full Moon Party, Koh Tao, Ang Thong)

10.Sidewalk at the Hop-on/Hop-Off Bus Stop

Thailand/Malaysia: 8 Days, 14 Forms of Transportation

1.Airplane

2.Airplane Shuttle
3.Taxi

4.Songtaew
video
5.Motorbike Taxi
video
6.Tuk-Tuk
video
7.VIP Bus
8.Minibus
9.Caravan
10.Elephant
11.Longtail Boat

12.Speed Boat
13.Car

14.Ferry