Post by : Chronopath
Post Date : January 1970
Travel Date : August 2009
Destinations : Bangkok ,Chiang Mai ,Pattaya ,Phuket ,Saraburi
Activities : Beach ,Cruising ,Cultural show ,Elephant riding ,Nature & Wildlife ,Snorkelling
Let us go back to the beginning when I first arrived in Thailand the year before. I had decided to travel to Thailand on my own and I was not sure if it would be a good idea going without any help checking to my hotel in Bangkok. I thus received help and met a group of three university educated Thai individuals at the airport, who showed me the way to a certain hotel located in the midst of Bangkok's famous Khao San Road. With the help of these three friends, one of them which I called Nong Kate, grew interested in knowing me better. I also shared the same feelings without knowing it myself until much later into my vacation. My friends helped me find and check into my hotel. It was then that after I dropped my luggage off, we went to a nice restaurant at the largest mall in Bangkok and also visited a few markets nearby. It was a whole different world. Our main transportation was through pink or yellow taxis and I had never before seen tuk tuks in my life. Once the day ended, we all went back our separate ways after I had been dropped off. I was on my own in this unfamiliar world.
I took a flyer at the hotel and started looking at the things I could do. I also had in my possession a travel guide book about "Bangkok's 25 best: what to see, where to go, and what to do." It helped me a lot because it also had a map of the area. It seems as though I was located in a popular street. I didn't know how to take transportation very well and relied on tuk tuks and just by walking to get me around. These tuk tuk drivers really could speak English to get their customers. I could not miss spending time at the Grand Palace, which was walking distance. The sights were just plain amazing from a distance and inside out. I even took a chance to familiarize myself with the Chao Phraya River and boarded a long tail boat for a one-hour tour around the area for only 1200 Thai Baht. This provided me with a sense of peace. One of my stops was the Royal Barges Museum. The boats there were wonderfully crafted with precision. Being on the Chao Phraya River was simply amazing. I was able to admire the “Wat Arun” temple, which is also called the “temple of Dawn.” On my way back to the hotel, I walked through Sanam Luang. It was a place that had a tremendous amount of pigeons. It was really cool seeing all them flying up and down. Wat Pho was also an interesting temple to see and remained in the area just as much as the temple of the Emerald Buddha called "Wat Phra Kaeo."
As I walked back to my hotel for my stay there, I would watch HBO television at night. Nong Kate would call me every night to talk to me and ask me what I was up to. "Are you with women?" she'd ask me this one time. I would then tell her that I would be watching HBO movies on TV and only come out for fabulous dinner dishes. I guess I was not the typical tourist to go out like the rest of foreigners and drink alcohol at the bars in Khao San Road. The next morning, I took a walk to Duzhit zoo and watched the animals there. This zoo was so beautiful that I spend almost the entire day there. At lunch, I called Nong Kate to ask her if she had been to the zoo before and she told me she did once. On my way back, I simply took the tuk tuk back because I was tired of walking and my feet hurt. The hotel I stayed at had breakfast every morning. I have noticed that rice soup is fairly common in Thailand and that it is especially good with spices. The end of the week had come to an end. I had visited Chinatown thanks to the Phraya Peer boat stop that took me there, and walked to the Suan Lumphini park and so much more. My lunches and dinner were amazing and I ate seafood on a daily basis. Nong Kate arrived on the seventh day to help me with a trip to Pattaya after checking out of my hotel. She works as a lead researcher in Ceramics for a famous company in Thailand. So she’s really busy and only has two weeks of vacation per year. Nong Kate decided to accompany me because Pattaya was the place she was born and raised in. Before we left Bangkok that morning, she had met up with me that night and we went to “Sky Tower” to eat “all you can eat” at the top of the building. It was a beautiful view. Sky Tower is the tallest building in all of BangKok. Nevertheless, I didn’t eat much that night and she had noticed it. She did not know how much it meant to me for her to come back and spend time with me for my remaining days in Thailand. We were only friends back then.
The next day took us on a three to four hour ride on a bus. Nong Kate asked the taxi driver to take us to the bus stop, where we bought tickets to Pattaya. I had plenty of time to talk and sleep on the bus then. When I woke up, we arrived to Pattaya. The beach was so beautiful and the air was a lot fresher than that of Bangkok. I love Pattaya a lot more. In addition, Nong Kate booked a resort hotel that had one of the best services I could ever had and it carried a luxurious atmosphere unlike that of my first hotel from Khao San Road. I don’t quite remember the name of the resort, but it was a plain A grade in my view. We went to the beach and walked the Pattaya’s Central mall. Everything was so nice. I grew a taste in liking coconuts while sitting down at the beach too. It was really nice. I even found myself riding the back of a motorcycle to our resort at one time. It was priceless. After we checked out of the resort two days after, we went back to Nong Kate’s house in Saraburi. Around this province, I hung out with her and her two other friends in Ayutthaya and even saw a huge Buddha about 30 feet high paying my respects at the temple with them. We even went to check out the waterfalls that Nong Kate was talking about. Overall, I could say so much more because I explored a lot in August 2009 last year and had a great time. All of Nong Kate’s friends were friendly meeting me too. I just could not walk away and forget about these precious times with her. When I left Thailand, Nong Kate and I have decided to pursue a long distance relationship. We talked every day on Skype and on our phones until the moment we met again in April of 2010.
Nong Kate initially had short hair when I first met her. This year, she had mid-sized hair, but next year she will have long hair by the time I see her again in April of 2011. Continuing my story from last year’s, 8 months have passed. I missed her every day to the moment my travel day came. This time though, I took a 30-day vacation just to be with her. When I arrived at the airport, she was waiting for me with a bottle of Red Fanta. She remembered what I liked the year before. We spent a day in Bangkok so we could rest at our first night out at “Sky Tower.” This time around, we stayed at the “Sky Tower” Hotel. After our romantic evening, we went back to her home, where I spend most of my online studies there while she would go to work. It was as though we lived like a married couple. Two weeks passed and we met up with a family of friends that consisted of 2 kids, 2 adults, and the 2 parents. These 6 friends of mine had flown in from Manilla Philippines and wanted to spend the last 2 weeks with me and my girlfriend. We thus went on our adventure from this point. From Bangkok, we boarded a train on second class to Chiang Mai. It was a fourteen hour ride by train. It was quite an experience as this was our first time traveling this way. Even Nong Kate had never traveled on second class before. The seats would turn into bunk beds and the train’s tracks could be heard progressively through our entire trip. I liked it a lot. When morning came, we had arrived in Chiang Mai. The tuk tuks and taxis were gone. Instead, we’d see red truck taxis which took us to a really nice resort place. Nong Kate was practically our tour guide and our translator. She would take us everywhere we wanted, including the Chiang Mai Market square. We would eat like kings and food was around 1100 Thai Baht for about 8 of us. It was just amazing. When Songrak Festival came around, which is the New Year for Thailand, shooting water at each other was one of the most enjoyable happy moments I ever had. We also went to the Chiang Mai Zoo and rode elephants on a safari. After our fabulous time in Chiang Mai, our six friends boarded a flight to Phucket. My girlfriend and I had our own flight too and boarded ours a few hours after theirs. Once we arrived in Phucket, another atmosphere presented itself. The taxis always change somehow as they were smaller and cost a bit more. Apparently, any touristic place is more expensive than Saraburi, but it is nonetheless really nice to be in Phucket. My most memorable moments in Phucket was the snorkeling close to our speed boats that we took to Similan Island and Phi Phi Island. The beaches were just paradise and the weather was sensational. Not only did we spend fabulous trips visiting Phucket islands, we also stayed at the oldest resort in Phucket, which was also one of the best we could ever be in. We had our own bungalows too and could swim at night in the swimming pool. Every night, we would catch a taxi to Downtown Phucket and see what we could eat for dinner. I wish I could say a lot more through writing, but feel that I have already written so much. My overall experience again was spectacular. I am so happy to have met Nong Kate and look forward to seeing her again this coming year so that we can spend time together this time around. I only have 7 more months to wait from our 12 months being apart. I’ve fallen in love with her and miss her every day. This is my story. I hope you liked it.