Thailand Wrap-up

We’ve been so busy tromping around Bali that we haven’t had the time to do a proper wrap-up of our month in Thailand. So we jotted down a quick list of random things that we want to remember–many that won’t make sense, but things we wanted to remember nonetheless (so feel free to skim!). Some are about Thailand, some are just about things that we’ve learned about travel along the way…

Worst toilet encounter

  • Scott – at the shadow puppet museum in Nakhon
  • Steph- on the train to Surat Thani

(These need no explanations. Scott wins, though–  for the record.)

Incorrect (but commonly used) English phrases that we finally just had to start using, in order to make ourselves understood

  • “Same same” (sort of means “similar”, with a positive spin)
  • “Same same but different”
  • “Have/ No have”

First memories that come to mind

  • motorscooting on Ko Lanta
  • drinking with Mem and Kanng in Khiriwong
  • Chatachak weekend market in Bangkok

Favorite dish

  • Scott- super crispy shrimp shumai at the dim sum restaurant in Trang
  • Steph- Cha Cha’s massaman curry (made with sweet potatoes) on Ko Lanta

Favorite Thai phrase

  • key chang jaap da cha daan (To ride an elephant to catch a grasshopper.)

Transportation taken

  • plane
  • foot
  • skytrain
  • motorbike
  • train
  • tuk tuk
  • minibus
  • big bus
  • songthaew
  • longtail
  • ferry

Things we miss most about home (after family, friends, and kitties, of course)

  • Scott- spiders smaller than my fist, “real f***ing beer”
  • Steph- hot showers, snakes that aren’t king cobras, real f***ing beer

Things we already miss about southern Thailand compared to Bali

  • Scott- fewer scammers and touts; spicy food
  • Steph- hot, spicy noodle soup for breakfast everyday; mouth-scorching papaya salad; ease of cheap transportation

Books read

  • Scott- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; Siddartha; currently, The Satanic Verses
  • Steph- 1/2 of “On the Road” (ditched on Ko Phi Phi); currently, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Biggest travel “milestone”

  • making it to Asia for the first time

Items that we packed that I never thought we would actually use but I am so thankful that we had

  • eye antibiotics (I mean, what are the chances— I threw this in my bag at the last minute thinking I would never, ever use it. Then I go and get an eye infection from all the dirt flying into my eyes while riding the motor scooter on Ko Lanta; the next morning I wake up with my right eye all crusted shut with green goop, and instead of having to travel to the mainland for antibiotics, I have eye ointment right there in my medicine bag! Catastrophe averted.)
  •  headlamp (Used more times than I can count. Used mainly for reading in bed at night or ruffling through my bag in low-light.)
  •  bandaids and neosporin (Scott slipped in his flip flops and sliced up his toe real nice in a muddy/poopy puddle of water, and we had him fixed up in no time. For the record, the bandaids and neo also came in handy later that week as well after Scott sliced his fingerprint off with a shaving razor.)
  •  thermometer (I haven’t had a fever in probably 10 years. Started running a nasty little fever on Ko Lanta, and I was glad I had the reassurance of this to let me know whether or not to head to the doctor– luckily, I didn’t need to.)
  •  duct tape (Used the FIRST night we arrived to Asia– the little indicator light on our air conditioner in Bangkok was so bright that it lit up the whole room. Nothing a little duct tape can’t fix.)
  •  dry bags (For transporting computers on sketchy longtail boats around Thai islands or when moving on to a new hotel in the rain. Also useful for doing laundry in.)
  •  PacSafe (Metal mesh safety system we use to lock up our computers and passports when we’re out of the room. I thought we would be too lazy to use it, but we’ve been using it everywhere we go, and it’s been very comforting to have when we’re in rickety wooden bungalows.)
  •  Dutch-only outlet converter (This item didn’t come in our universal outlet converter pack that we bought, but Scott just happened to have one from his recent travel to Amsterdam. We’ve needed it all over Bali.)
  •  sarong (Read any travel blog, and it will tell you “Bring a sarong when you travel– it’s super light and can be used as a towel, beach blanket, wrap for cold nights, or a wrap for visiting temples.” I brought one, never expecting to use it, but I’ve used it almost every day for at least one of the reasons stated above. Mostly used for covering my shoulders in the very conservative regions of Bali that we’ve been traveling in, since no one shows their knees or shoulders here.)

 Things that are still just dead weight in the backpack

  • anti-malarials (These will finally start pulling their weight in Cambodia and Laos.)
  • anti-diarrheals and oral antibiotics (woohoo for us not needing these— yet)
  • money belt
  • cell phone

Overall we had a fantastic time in Thailand. Before we arrived, we were worried that the overt tourism would taint a lot of our experience there. Luckily, I can now say that Thailand still has so much to offer: we found beautiful beaches, talked to friendly and hilarious people, ate absolutely amazing food at every meal. Unfortunately, we missed out on seeing Northern Thailand (and Scott missed out on getting to order his favorite Northern dish, Khao Soi) like we had hoped (due to the flooding in Bangkok), so we’re planning to return and see some of the northern part of the country later in our trip. Next stop- Bali!

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