A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Thailand

Same Post, But Different

Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

As promised I am back tonight to finish telling the story of my experience in Thailand.  (November 2005 – February 2006)

Let’s see – where was I?

Upon fleeing what I fondly refer to now as Monkey Mountain, we packed up, checked out and headed to the train station.  We had purchased tickets for a 4pm train to take us further south.  We were riding 3rd class and about to travel the distance from Calgary to Edmonton for a whopping $3.  We were the only tourists aboard and had to find a seat alongside the locals that found the two of us very fascinating to watch.  Which was funny, because we found them very fascinating to watch.  Coming aboard hauling their chickens and giant baskets of vegetables.  Selling their purple peanuts, plastic bags full of juice and dried plantain chips…I assure you, we were entertained.  A very nice man came over to chat with us.  He spoke very broken English, but he had been sent over to ask us some questions by the rest of his group.  (I guess we looked pretty out of place) He asked where we were from…and that was the only question we could understand.   There was a lot of smiling and nodding.  I definitely recommend the 3rd class train though for situations where you are trying to get somewhere 2-4 hours away.  It is comfortable enough (like being on a city metro), clean enough and you can’t beat the price.

(more…)

Advertisements

Same Same, But Different

Khaosan Road, Bangkok

I promised to do a travel post monthly and people have been reminding me all month that it is December and time for another country.  So here we go!

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

~St. Augustine

For those of you that are familiar with the term “same same but different” you don’t need me to tell you the name of my featured country for the month of December, you’ve already experienced this madness…for those of you that have no idea what I am talking about, you will understand soon enough.

I had hardly been back from Costa Rica for a month before the travel itch struck and even if I wasn’t booking flights, at the very least I needed to start thinking about the next destination.  It didn’t take much thinking at all.  For a couple of years already, I had a place in mind, one I actually longed after much earlier than Costa Rica. So let me rewind a bit to a few months before my Costa Rica trip to help make sense of all this.  In the fall of 2004 I was planning my very first backpacking trip, I just had to work up enough courage.  I had my destination selected, I’d applied for my leave of absence at work, I had even started training my replacement.  But on December 26th, 2004 all of that changed.  My dream destination was one of the 15 countries that had been hit with one of the worst natural disasters my generation has ever seen.  227,898 people were killed, another 1.69 million people displaced.

(more…)