upon my request, this is now online :)
|This is what I felt like for the first 2 days.|
|Along the town strip, they have seats set up in the shade for all the food stops. Nice place to relax during the mid day heat.|
|This puppy would follow me around everywhere I went, I miss the little guy.|
|Little crabs spend the day balling up the sand.|
|Hundred of these food carts driving up and down the road. Each one with their own unique Squeaky toy to grab your attention.|
|The Hostel Rayong, its a marvelous structure to behold, looks as if extra areas have been added over time.|
|Lots of trash along the beach, but this made me smile, the ultimate Beach-bum Care-bear.|
|To Ko Samet|
|Thunder loomed out over the water, it was perfectly sunny where we were.|
|My random crazy hike looking for buried treasure.|
|The Russian part of town.|
|A fine ship for any Captain!|
|Rusty old ships.|
|Final nights reading in the Hammock.|
Starting this trip I kept telling myself I wasn't going to do "touristy" things. But I'm traveling, as long as I continue to go places that are heavily populated with foreigners then how do I not get clumped into those groups? Especially when The destinations are the same. Well, I think I figured it out… I may be going the same place, but I do not have to get there the same way, and I'll most certainly do it with a particular kind of flair.
When I had been in Bangkok, I had been jostled around a bit by the damn TukTuk drivers and those silly Tourist Police. If your in Thailand for two or three weeks, and came here to blow your money on every tour and tailor shop in sight, then by all means I love the Tourist Police. But I've given myself two and a half months to see Southeast Asia, not do some drive-by and a couple quickies to get the job done. So after being taken to all the "usual" places in the city, all I wanted to do was get out. I had only been there two days, where did I want to go? Home? Already? Confusion, self pity, loneliness, then came the never-ending headache. Wow, wasn't I just a diamond in the ruff.
Trying to leave Bangkok, I didn't know if I was going to make it. But I stuck it out and made it to the bus that was to take me to Rayong, because thats where my next Hostel was, Hostel Rayong, thats what it's called. Luckily I thought of something smart before I left Bangkok, I had the Hostel clerk write down the address in Thai before I left. That way I was bulletproof.
Now something I've been lucky with so far is I arrive just on time and am the last person. The two hour bus ride turned out to be 4 hours, and Hostel Rayong was actually in Ban Phea. This is where the trip starts getting better, really. The bus was one of those giant asian vans that fit 12 people, and along the way people just called out where they wanted to jump out. So I pulled out the address and showed the driver. He didn't speak english and was confused, when really it should have been I who was confused but I hadn't yet learned the difference between Rayong and Ban Phea.
I found that a lot of people say "Everybody speaks english in Thailand!" Thats true to the extent that they know, yes, no, hi, how are you, and all the numbers. So never expect people to be able to help you, really its a gift if there is someone around to help. Luckily I keep finding that help.
The driver drove me the entire way to my doorstep, it wasn't his job to, and he could have even made me get on the city busses that run from Rayong to Ban Phea. But he was super helpful and got me the whole way there, then even carried my bags. I checked into the room, shared, but no one else is here. I found food, then fell asleep in the shade on the beach.
The next day I woke up feeling great. I decided it was time I could stop feeling sorry for myself and could start having fun. I arrived on the 20th, and am leaving the 25th. My four full days here have been delightful. The first, I met a group of Thai's that invited me to their beach party and shared drinks and food with them all day. I guess if there are no other travelers around, I'm just going to be chillin with the locals. The second was filled with reading on the beach, and I even drew a picture of an elephant. Later the day during a long walk I saw my first baby elephant just taking a stroll down the road with his humans. That moment was really uplifting, I cant quite tell why, but maybe for the fact that they are one of the more enlightened creatures on this planet. The third day I spent trying to figure out my next move, having found my path to Cambodia i decided to spend the fourth day going to Ko Samut Island.
From where I am staying I can see the island, its really not very far away and the docks were just on the other side of the hill. I figure like all beach towns, I must be able to just walk along the water and get there. Today was my stubborn day, I was defiant in every way possible. When I got to the hill, the road split. The main road cut inland and a dirt road continued on toward the direction I wanted to go. A woman told me that I "can't walk, it was too far, take taxi." In my head I'm thinking screw that, I'll walk. So I did.
And I walked, and walked, and sweated in the heat, and kept on walking. Even though the road was now going in the other direction and I started think, maybe it is too far. Here I was stubbornly walking down a road I was told to not walk down, and I had another moment where I remembered that there is no room to feel sorry for myself. So however long it is, enjoy it.
Seconds later a car pulls over, a man driving his family in a truck, I draw him a map of where I want to go and he lets me hop in the pick-up and drives me to the ferry docks. Again, I'm there just in time and am the last one on the boat before taking off to the island. I then walk along the beach and through the jungle until i found a beach I liked. For some reason I chose the spot where all the Russians had come. I had left my Hostel at 7, it was now noon. I relaxed on the beach until 2:30 then figured I had a long journey home. Round two of my stubborn walking adventure would continue. Again I would refuse all scooters and taxies and once again be saved by another local who would take me all the way home. By this time it was 6.
Although everything been a little out of the ordinary, I like it here.