Skip to content

THAILAND: FROM “TRAVEL” TO “VACATION”

Fishing Village, Prachuap Khiri Khan

 

Travel: Sit in the back seat of a minivan and twist around the mountains of Laos. Constant bumps bounce our heads off the roof, and that somehow eases my nausea. After this eight-hour ride, an international bus rolls us across the border back into Thailand, where we catch a twelve-hour overnight train to Bangkok.

IMG_3902 (2)

Then, hop onto a third-class train…standing room only with no bathroom for six hours. Mare has a terrible cold. The train stops frequently to load more passengers, as our sweaty bodies squeeze together. Finally, we disembark in the city of Hua Hin, where we take a quick piss and grab a chicken leg, before climbing into a two-hour minivan to our final destination, Prachuap Khiri Khan. We walk the road looking for our hotel, in heat so humid that even our backpacks sweat. An elderly German man, with a hot Thai wife, puts us into the back of his pick-up truck, and rides us to our hotel. Thanks, stranger.

Vacation: Now, let’s relax…nothing in our budget hotel room can keep us inside, except for air conditioning and a shower. On the street of this “off the tourist circuit” town we stop for food and drink. Who knew that restaurants do not serve alcohol on this important Buddhist Holliday, Magha Puja Day? We manage to find a small, German owned place that serves it up, and it only takes a couple of beers to put us down for the night.

Prachuap Khiri Khan

Prachuap Khiri Khan

We devour breakfast on a terrace overlooking mangroves spiked with oyster beds, and then walk along the seawall into the center of this small town. I rent a scooter, which provides the only way to explore the area. The perils of scooter riding appear in the form of monkeys, rather than dogs.

Look out!

Look out!

Let’s climb into sleeping Buddha cave (Tham Phara Nawn) and pay respects to “Reclining Buddha,” who hides near a Teak Temple, (Wat Ao Noi).

Into the Reclining Buddha Cave

Into the Reclining Buddha Cave

In a fishing village, workers harvest hoards of small fish, while others repair nets.

IMG_3975 (2)

With evening comes a tolerable coolness. Back at our German bar, I meet a man who is an attorney, a realtor, and also the sheriff of this town of 15,000 people. “Most people are in prison for drugs,” he says. “You get 48 days for smoking marijuana, 2 years for selling it.”

Wat Ao Noi

Wat Ao Noi

“That explains why I don’t smell it anywhere,” I respond.
He holds my gaze. “If a tourist gets caught, an additional fine is added. For opium, the penalties almost triple, and they take urinalysis for proof.” (I am now convinced that I shall not retire in Thailand) When I ask him why so harsh, he explains that the government needs farmers to grow rice, not cash crop.

IMG_4000 (3)

Our final meal in Prachuap Khiri Khan consists of spicy seafood salad, and Tom Yum Koong (shrimp soup). Whoa! Fire burns our throat and chest to the verge of breathlessness. This meal may have cured Mare’s cold.

Imperial Boat House Resort

Imperial Boat House Beach Resort

We decide to move on, and spend our final week in Thailand on the island of Ko Samui…full of tourist resorts.

Street Food for dinner on our balcony

“Street Food” for dinner on our balcony – why go out when you have this view?

Jump back into a minivan for a four-hour ride, followed by a one-hour bus, and a four-hour catamaran ferry ride that stops three times, before arriving in Ko Samui. On the bus ride to the Imperial Boat House Beach Resort, we desperately hope that they have a room available.

Beach Food

“Beach Food”

Decadence, baby! Seafood pizza and beer tonight, not to mention probably the best shower in Southeast Asia. Our final days consist of burning the sinful breakfast buffet off with walks along a white sand beach, reading, and taking coconut oil massages.

Thank you Abundant Universe!

Thank you Abundant Universe!

We eat street and beach food to help offset costs, and it is delicious. What a perfect way to end our Thailand adventure! Ron Mitchell

www.gonomad.com

 

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love it, love it, love it..
    Thanks for the fantastic journey!

    February 23, 2014
  2. Carla #

    Love your blog!!! Few but well selected words written with humor and wonderful photos makes me feel like I am right there with you. Thanks for sharing!!!

    February 23, 2014
    • Thanks, Carla. It is our pleasure to share with you! We can only hope to do many more!

      February 24, 2014
  3. Bliss. I hope to follow in your footsteps one day. And wow Marilyn rocks a bikini at our age! (young!!). Sa Wat Dee, or namaste, or something like that. Today I was skiing in a foot of new snow and it was coming down all day. A world of contrasts. Never boring.

    February 23, 2014
    • Sawsasdee, Jill. Yes, that gal can still groove. We are looking at 19 hours of flight time tomorrow, so a foot of snow sounds like bliss!

      February 24, 2014
  4. Ann #

    Always on the move. The world is a beautiful place. No one enjoys a shower like you do ;) our snow is melting.

    February 24, 2014
    • Yes, this world is amazing around every turn. You don’t know how much you enjoy a shower, until you don’t have one!

      February 24, 2014
  5. Well, it’s good to hear from you and see your journey laid out…hours of travel…engaging destinations…You guys are our world travelers.

    February 24, 2014
    • We’re glad to do it for you, Larrydogger! It’s that ol’ only go around once thing.

      February 24, 2014
  6. Mary Anne Legarski #

    I finally caught up on reading your posts and viewing the photos. I am so taken by the beauty of the country and your walk with humanity. Walk on my friends….. Look forward to a rendezvous.

    February 26, 2014
  7. Your ‘budget accommodation’ seems rather shady :P Why don’t you opt for hostels? Bangkok supposedly has really good ones.
    ‘I am now convinced that I shall not retire in Thailand’ made me giggle :’D

    May 31, 2014
    • We were happy to pay about $15 to $20 for a room with private bath. Other travelers were very happy with the many hostels, though. We often use hostels, but not much on this trip.

      June 1, 2014
  8. Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you
    provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Wonderful read!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    September 26, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 352 other followers

%d bloggers like this: