Koh Sumai? Never happened. Our last Koh was Koh Lanta. We made a last minute change of plans and headed to mainland Thailand.
We took a van (on a ferry) to Karabi Town. This is really a hub for people going to the east coast islands or up to Bangkok.
We decided to go to Khao Sok National Park instead.
Two words: Martin’s idea.
- Our bungalow located in the middle of the jungle.
- Having coffee in the open lodge during a tropical rainstorm. Awesome.
- Taking a LONG boat ride on the famous man-made lake. The lake is only 37 years old and it’s located in the midst of misty mountains and the rainforest.
- Trekking through the rainforest, which included walking through creeks, climbing up sharp rocks and hiking up muddy paths, all while avoiding the prickly jungle ropes.
- The trek led to a famous cave. A bat cave. And Martin made me go in the bat cave. This involved complete darkness because my crappy flashlight didn’t work; me stumbling through rocks in the water to keep up with those that did have proper flashlights; a very scared Belgian girl who was afraid to slide down the waterfall and into the water that was too deep to walk in; me sliding down that waterfall and into this narrow pool of water in which you had to swim; a guy cutting his foot so badly there was blood everywhere; me finally realizing that this adventure was coming to an end and thanking god for that; the smile on my face when I saw the cave exit (might I add I am claustrophobic); the annoyance on my face when I saw the tropical monsoon that happened upon us as we were in the cave; the hike back in the pouring rain (though it was pretty, the rain was coming full force so you couldn’t stop to enjoy it); muddy slides, knee high water and worst of all: A LEECH ON ME. The blood-sucking insect was cemented on my leg and I panicked. The only thing I told Martin before heading on this trip was that I better not get attacked by a leech. Of course, the salt was in the waterproof bag that the tour guide was holding, so we had to rip the thing off me. Martin and the tour guide also found one on themselves but their bites were minor to mine. UGH!
- I am not the adventerous type. Enough said.
After getting back to the small bungalow and taking a hot shower, we had dinner and called it a day. The next morning we were up early to catch our 2 hour van ride to Surat Thani. A small Thai town in the middle of nowhere; however, this is where we had to go to catch the night bus to Bangkok.
We killed 7 hours in this town by eating, walking around in the boiling hot weather and enjoying 3 iced coffees just to stay cool indoors.
After nearly 11 hours of taking a freezing bus up to Bangkok, we were rudely awoken by the taxi drivers parading around our bus saying ‘WAKE UP, GOOD MORNING, YOU NEED A TAXI??’. I felt like death. But yes, we did need a taxi. So, we took one up to our hotel (thanks to my aunt again, we are able to stay at a NICE hotel). When you rough it through Asia in small hostels and bungalows, you welcome this change.
We got here at 5 am, so we had to kill time before check in. The only thing open was McDonalds. The Ronald McDonald in Bangkok holds his hands together as though he is praying. We stumbled into the Mackers and ordered ourselves a large breakfast. Scarfed it down and sat outside in the heat with a puzzled Lady Boy prostitute. The 3 of us sat in the outdoor section of McDonalds in complete silence for 2 hours. After which, we went to Starbucks and had another coffee and read. By this time, we had killed enough hours so that we could finally check in.
And the rest of the day consisted of sleeping, eating, shopping, eating a CUPCAKE, shopping, sleeping and now we are about to go to a rooftop bar overlooking the city.
So far I really love Bangkok. Three Asian cities I could easily live in? Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. It’s the best fusion of western and eastern cultures and a place where I could definitely belong.
I leave you with the above while I contemplate if I will ever be able to watch the movie Stand by Me again. The leech scene is now forever ingrained in my head. And, I loathe leeches more than ever now.