Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Brooke!

Toasting to our Thanksgiving Feast!
Three Kings Temple
Hello to all of our avid tan followers,
Brooke and Tina are now in Chiang Mai! After a 15 hour train ride, we finally arrived (half alive) to the northern city train station. Tina decided she would never live on the train tracks in Thailand after watching her pee fall straight through the train car and on to the moving ground below. We originally planned on taking the night train but upon arrival to the Bangkok train station, we were told that the floods had canceled the trip.It was actually a blessing in disguise because we got to stay in the chinatown district for the night.
Getting into Chiang Mai so late, the guesthouse we wanted to stay at was closed, so these two blind bats went on a hunting trip and found one close by. We then met a bunch of crazy travelers, from Capetown/Sydney/London/Poland that took us on our very first big night out. We got a suggestion from the desk man (who ended up joining us later in the night), walked a bit, climbed a wall, and landed in reggaeville! There we found.... Drunk people. lots. After we listened to more reggae than we could stand, we were guided to SPICE, a cigarette hotboxed, multi-leveled, strip-poll dance club where we stayed up way past our Thai bedtime. We got a solid 6 hours of sleep that night, pissed off the wife of the guesthouse owner somehow, and walked around with our crazy dreaded traveling friends to find breakfast before heading off to our originally planned guesthouse. 
We settled in at the quiet, lonely planet recommended guesthouse and immediately headed through the winding Chiang Mai streets. Our first stop was a clean dentist office where we made our first appt for Sunday in over two years, this should be fun! (Keep in mind our destination is the hospital) We then happened upon a dermatologist (yay for Tina who has been SUFFERING from people-staring-at-my-skin-because-it's-bumpy disease) where Tina made an appointment for later that day. Found the Chiang Mai Ram hospital and was guided through the quick process of obtaining a vaccine and more malaria pills. Brooke received everything for the whopping price of 130!
 We got deliciously spicy soup then headed to Tina's appointment where the doctor (who studied at Howard University!) immediately identified what had been bothering Tina for the last 3 weeks as an immunodeficiency condition commonly known as psoriasis, and prescribed 5 different creams all for $50.
The Thanksgiving feast began... with a whole chicken( mostly bone), a papaya salad and banana/chocolate roti deliciousness. After giving thanks, we traditionally passed out early on our wood stiff bed (which has surprisingly alleviated Tina's backpains from her bed at home).
Woke up to a birthday rooster around 6am, took a shower in the combined toilet directly next to a shower head hose room. In these bathrooms, it is physically impossible to not turn the bathroom into a swimming pool. Going to get breakfast, we met the wonderfully talkative British James, informative tour guide, who came to breakfast with us, along with his stories of pregnant ex-girlfriends and possible future Thai wives. After ditching James, we found a nice spa to get a thai massage. The thai massage was a nice semi- relaxing mix into our travels. We got some delicious ice tea and coffee and went to the cultural museum where we learned that Chiang Mai was built according to spiritual beliefs about the city success and it's being the center of the universe and other interesting tidbits about the 700 year old city. Now we are off to find a delicious birthday dinner on the river, hopefully with some interesting birthday spirits. Until next time, probably tomorrow afternoon when we wake up after a birthday night on the town.
hom(kisses) and got(hugs) to all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Koh Chang for 3 days

We missed the early bus in Bangkok, and then the next bus was an hour late. Finally on, it took about 4 hours to get to the southeast coast near Trat, where we caught the last boat to the island of Koh Chang. After a quiet, dark, and very hilly ride on the back of a pickup truck, aka Taxi, we were dropped off in Lonely Beach, the "backpackers hangout." We wanted a scenic bungalow on the beach, but in the dark and with fatigue setting in we chose the bungalows at what we thought was the beach. We got the bungalow we wanted, and not much else. The room fit two beds and enough room to walk sideways between them, and a fan. And that is all. Outside there were shared amenities- the hole in the floor toilet and a water hose shower. Brooke slept through the night, but Tina was woken up by the ever louder shrieking of what is either a bird or a bug, a loud noise that is ubiquitous on the island. Having had the bungalow experience we decided to use our time wisely the next morning and find a better hotel on another beach. We decided on Siam Beach Resort. $30/each/night for picturesque views on the beach, warm showers, air conditioning, and complimentary breakfast! Sounds like a deal to us.
It is unbelievably hot and humid, and sweaty with every 5 minute walk. So today we decided to rent a motorbike, which we rode around the island and visited a waterfall with. The motorbike was convenient, as Brooke sliced up her foot, and Tina her leg, in a wonderfully stupid attempt at climbing some barnacle encrusted rocks along the cliff at the beach. We'll survive.
The island is overrun by tourists, pizza shacks, and annoying techno music despite its peaceful resort town charm. So tomorrow we are headed back to the mainland where we will take a bus back up to Bangkok and from there catch a 10 hour train to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. No barnacles there...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day One

We finally arrived in Bangkok, and after (Brooke) sleeping for 16 hours we woke up early in the morning for a walk. First stop, the drug cartel, aka 7Eleven. We eventually found our right hand man, Chai, with his tuktuk upon which he took us around central Bangkok. We stopped first at a local food spot where apparently a "little" spicy for Thais is a LOT spicy for weak Americans. We were able to see standing Buddha, sitting Buddha, and another temple along with sitting through part of a Buddhist prayer service. All for 70 cents. 

Ok that is all for today. Our time is running out on the internet. 

- tina and brooke