durham bound

20 11 2009

two ferries + one flight down, three flights to go. sampled durian fruit this last day. tastes like a garlic and an artichoke had a baby. mmm. thank you Thailand, see you again.


19 11 2009

pulled up the browser, and this guy’s blog was up. ack! he’s having way more fun than me!

nursing a nice hangover today. they have these drinks called buckets…

i’finally on thai time, and it’s time to go home (where did vacation go?!). swam with plankton last night. it is just like “the beach” movie (who directed that? it’s pretty good). it’s a good picture of the business of bangkok, the dinginess of hostels and the excitement of meeting foreign people in a foreign place. there’s a beach scene (duh) with plankton. and they are just like that. phosphorescent, the more you swirl your arms and legs back and forth, the more they glow. amazing.

today is a beautiful day in lanta. sunny. yesterday was drizzly. lots of swedes here. local population is mostly muslim. it’s a long, thin stretch of an island, so even though there are things to do and markets, tourist spots, you can find a quiet spot of sand to yourself.

kao phrae-ae (long beach)

tried to find lanta old town yesterday, with local sights and caves. the way was a dirt road (you shall not pass). when the dutch guys in front of me turned around and came back (novice motorbikers, dirt road, rain), i followed them out too. which is good. because i might have tried to go there (beck).

so yesterday was an adventure trying to find a place to affix the abused license plate on this motorbike. found a small “car service” shop with a bunch of shirtless guys, couple of women, one with her baby boy. oh! i wish i had a picture of him. little flirt. i’m going back today to take him home. not. these children are so adorable.

the littlest motorbiker

sitting waiting on the plate, one of the women came out with a first aid kit, which is cotton balls, isopropyl and iodine. i don’t speak thai, she didn’t speak english. she just started dabbing. same thing happened the night before at the coffee shop. and later in the day at the motorbike shop, an older woman gave me a piece of aloe. these are just scratches, i’m not looking for sympathy. i just think it’s incredible how kind people are here.

going to ‘time for lime’ cooking school later today, which is run by a norwegian-american who’s lived in thailand 18 years. we are making pad-thai! among other things.

restaurant is a flexible term. dinner was good here last night.

donna rhode says the cure for vacation blues is to plan another vacation.

to save you some enbarassment...

need jewelry? there's a tiffany's outpost in ko lanta


ingenuity. plastic cup chandelier

easy rider

17 11 2009

Ko lanta is a long strip of an island. ideal for circling on a motorbike or for running, which we will see tomorrow if the rain does not return.

it finally stopped around 7:00 pm. the monsoon variety turned into the drizzle variety. looks done for now. see, getting old. can’t stop talking about the weather. i am having a quick coffee/am-i-going-the-right-way check at a shop on a quieter stretch of hwy on the way to the food market.

this motorbike may go back tomorrow. elephants are easier to ride. not that it’s the riding that’s so bad. starting however, that’s a challenge. and an unavoidable obstacle to riding. i’ve laid this thing down twice already.

Rain rain go away

17 11 2009

come again on Saturday.
hiding out at a cooking school, where they have superheated coffee (thank you god) and free wifi.

rode a motorbike through a monsoon to get here. i thought it was the gulf side which got the rain this time of year?! motorbike gas needle registers E. just filled it up. yep, still on E. reminds me of my car in high school.

ko lanta decidedly less busy and cheaper than phi-phi. cheap being relative. e.g., fruit shake in phi-phi 50B. here, 25B.

ko lanta

16 11 2009

Taking the 11:30 ferry to ko lanta FYI.

monkey beach

16 11 2009

the camera battery DIED! gaaaaaaaa. again, i am relying on the kindness of strangers to hopefully email me their pictures.

took a snorkeling trip today. half-day. because who wants to snorkel all day.
it RAINED! halfway through. that’s not as surprising as the fact that it was cold in thailand for a minute.

we rode a wooden longtail boat out to phi-phi le’s maya bay. i’ve never seen that “the beach” movie, but it’s a tourist sell. and it is beautiful. tall limestone cliffs on either side, turquoise blue water. white sand. 100 people swimming. you can imagine what it might be like without all of the boats and tourists. of which i am one. it was pretty still.

the best part was monkey beach. our boat “captain” sliced up fresh pineapple for snacks, and when we jumped off the boat, this little monkey came up and stole it from me. little bastard. there was another monkey off in the distance dragging a watermelon by its stem to a private corner. he was clawing and gnawing to get at the sweetness. when he finally succeeded, the largest monkey came over and ran him off. ha, seniority.

they are greedy little beggars. but smart. they’d go pick up a piece of discarded pineapple, then run over to the water or find a little puddle in the sand and rinse the fruit off, turning it over in their hands to rub off the sand. here are some pics: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.maxgarber.com/albums/thailand/monkey_beach_swimming_and_e.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.maxgarber.com/gallery/thailand/monkey_beach_swimming_and_e&usg=__uENVNqwlhFUNMl8SGtLQf5m3QKA=&h=1000&w=870&sz=546&hl=en&start=3&um=1&tbnid=JTXi2qAbEHt2jM:&tbnh=149&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmonkey%2Bbeach%2Bthailand%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-US%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1 

i asked ilya from russia to email me some pics of the trip. he is 27, his company closed, and this is first time he’s traveled otside of russia. he thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but after seeing laos, china, thailand, he’s been bitten by the travel bug. everybody’s got an interesting story. 

there are a few trails where you can walk to the top of phi-phi to the “viewpoint” where you can see the whole island. there’s a little snackbar there. and there was a middle-aged thai man, shirtless and shaved laid out on a lawnchair. we had the view to ourselves. i heard a noise behind me. a monkey had come out of nowhere and was rolling a canister of cookies down the steps (i guess it’s not just a marketing scheme at monkey beach). the old man didn’t even flinch. before long, a little one came up and grabbed an empty coca-cola can, started shaking it upside down, licking whatever came out. another one jumped out of the bushes and grabbed a quarter-full bottle of gatorade and started gnawing on the bottle. oh, the old man thought that was funny (“he can not open, ha ha”) until he realized a can of cookies had been taken. he went inside and i swear brought out an a-k, walked down the hill, spotted up on a tree trunk and started taking shots. when he started firing, it sounded like a watergun, but gaa, it was a funny picture.

people watching

15 11 2009

from d’s bookshop in phi-phi. watching people watching people go by actually. there are lots of speedos here unfortunately.

there are also lots of mosquitoes. i seem to have ringworm or that poison ivy that keeps getting recycled from that fateful hash run in June. nothing like feeling like a leper on the island of beautiful people.

phi-phi is just beautiful. the water is warm. the tide was out at 3:00, and you can walk on the sand between the fishing and longtail boats that look marooned on shore. over the next few hours, the tide comes back in until the boats are floating again.

rasta is huge here. reading on the beach listening to bob marley transitioned into eric clapton covers of marley into thai renditions of marley. imagine “war” in thai.