photo by Bill Kyzner

With a lot of excitement and a bit of nerves, given my impulsive decision of spending three and a half weeks in Thailand with nothing but the first few days planed out, I land in Bangkok. After a smooth exit from the airport I made my way to the hostel where I had booked one night. The plan being that on the second day I would go by bus/ferry to the island of Ko Tao where I would meet my friend.

While I was waiting for my room to be available, I receive a message that he had missed his bus and was still in Bangkok. So after a few messages back and forward we managed to meet up and spend the day in the city together. The next morning we made our way down to Ko Tao,  an island with a big party/scuba diving seen, which we managed to escape by dedicating our days to bouldering and swimming in the ocean during sunset (Ok, we had our occasional beer).

Towards the end of our time in Ko Tao I decided to tag along with my friend and join him on his plans for the next couple of weeks. We headed over to Chumporn to meetup with a friend for a couple of days of  hanging out in restaurants and bars. From here we made our way to Tonsai and spent the week rock climbing by the beach, drinking beers, and relaxing. Tonsai has a huge climbing seen, and its a good place to be if you like spending your vacations on the rock.

For my last week, we made the very long journey from Tonsai to Chiang Mai. We grabbed a boat from Tonsai to Krabi, then a couple of buses took us to Bangkok arriving there around 4 am and, after breakfast in a 24 hour McDonald’s, we boarded a train. Thirteen or fourteen hours later, very hungry and a bit grumpy, we went out looking for a place to eat that was still open, but hunger clouded our decision making and 24 hour McDonald’s won again.

The days in Chiang Mai where occupied by checking out some of the temples, walking around the city, climbing in the bouldering gym, a drunken night trapped by heavy rain in a empty bar and a few trips to Starbucks to get my friend his much needed coffee fix.

After this it was a long journey back to Bangkok and a plane ride to Phnom Penh, Cambodia where three weeks of volunteering awaited me. As I boarded the plane my head was already filled with the new idea of accepting an invitation to head to China after my volunteering stint was done.


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