Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Northern Laos

Pictures! Ya, sorry it's been months, I really wish I'd uploaded some before now that my camera was stolen. Oh well, here are a few from the last 2 weeks: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and a few from the past few days in Loas.

Things are going really well, I'm getting pretty scared about coming home but I guess it all has to end sometime... I received some rather disturbing news the other day that might keep me on the road a little longer. But I guess I'll see how I feel at the end of August.

Northern Laos is very beautiful unfortunately, from what I have seen so far anyway, it is completely over run with tourists. I don't think Southern Loas will be like this which is next on my itinerary.

Email me, all of you, it's great to hear from people at home!

Koa San Road, Bangkok

Elephant Safari, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

Jungle Trekking.

More jungle!

Our Canadian/Austrian Team.

Rice fields in Chiang Mai.

Chilling at the jungle hut.

Harassing the cute local children.

Drinking with our guides.

Enjoying some street side pancakes.

Mekong River, Laos.

Two days we spent on this boat floating from Northern Thailand into Laos.

Some villagers on the banks of the Mekong River.

Buddhist Temple, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Luang Prabang, Laos.

The Reclining Buddha, Luang Prabang.

Night Market in Luang Prabang.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Koh Tao

So two weeks ago when I made my visa run to Burma I thought 15 days would be more than enough time to make my way into the North and cross into Laos. But two weeks later, I found myself back at the same border crossing renewing my stay for another two weeks.

The plan was to spend 4-5 days on Koh Tao where the diving is cheap, but the Lonely Planet didn't say anything about how freaking beautiful and amazing and relaxed and fun Koh Tao was. So I stayed for two weeks. Amazing!

The diving was...good. Nothing compared to Koh Phi Phi or the Andaman Islands but it was alright. I finished my advanced course and have now logged over 20 dives and I'm still craving more. There's something so surreal about being underwater I just love it.

The other great thing about Koh Tao were the beach bars. They would get pretty lively at night (nothing like Koh Phi Phi) but were still alot of fun. The island is small so most people gathered at one of two bars. There were hoards of holidaying Brits there drinking their faces off, as usual, but I always seem to find the backpackers making the experience alot more enjoyable. On July 1st, Canada Day, all the Canadians were out having a great time, I think we ended up in a group of about 20-25 of us. This really made my night.

On the 9th, the night of the full moon, I took a party boat over to Koh Pha-Ngan to check out the infamous Full Moon Party. Man that was crazy. Over ten thousand people on the beach drinking and dancing until the sun comes up and then some. And this is low season, I can't imagine what it's like in the winter when there are 30,000 people! I had a great time, met a ton of wicked people and managed to make my way back to the ferry at 6am the next morning.

In other news, I finally lost my camera. When it comes to my camera I'm usually really really good at keeping it with me. I take it out to all the bars and never have problems. But it finally got stolen one night on Koh Tao, or maybe I lost it, it's a long story. Either way it's gone, I just wish they would have left me the memory card. Two and a half months of pictures and videos. Damn.

I'm in Bangkok now, going camera shopping in a bit and preparing to head north to Chiang Mai. I'm looking forward to seeing some culture again. I got into an argument with this dumbass British girl telling her there was no culture on the islands and that all the Thais that live there are solely there because of us, the tourists. And it's true. It will be nice to see the real Thailand, maybe learn a few more words than Hello and Thank you.