blogging because.

Monday, January 31, 2011

busan > shanghai > bangkok > phi phi > phangan

Well we have returned to the not so welcoming sub zero temperatures in Busan from what was truly an incredible two week getaway in Thailand. For the bulk of the trip I travelled with Kym, together we met up with friends from Toronto and SoKo at various Thai destinations.

We arrived in Bangkok at 4am, after a 8hour layover in FREEZING Shanghai airport. To be entirely honest I was not sure I was going to be able to cope with the colourful people lining the streets. Fortunately after checking into the beloved NapPark hostel and having a solid night sleep I woke up with a better attitude ready to overcome the sensory overload that intimidated me the night before. We spent 3 days/nights in Bangkok - I would say the perfect amount. Highlights include: the weekend markets on the canal, the palaces and people watching curbside. For those looking for some back alley fun, look into the Pat Pong district....
Mr. Thailand came out to play

long tail boat trip on Bangkok canals
From Bangkok we took an internal flight to the island of Krabi then a ferry to the island paradise of Koh Phi Phi, where we spent the bulk of our time. We arrived without a place to stay and fell, like so many do, for the 'good price good price' dock peddlers promised. We spent our first night on the island in a complete disgusting that we convinced ourselves that we could keep the roaches etc. at bay if we slept with the light on? Quite hilarious in retrospect. We spent the next morning scoping out other accommodations and settled on a fabulous middle of the road bungalow community (what I imagined Thai island living to be) just off the beach. Despite no electricity or hot water our spirits were high and we met some awesome other backpackers and so our travelling brood grew. Phi Phi has two predominate beaches, one that serves a younger crowd travelling on a budget, the other the 5 star creme de la creme. On Phi Phi we tanned, danced, ate the most delicious pad thai ever, snoozed, read, snorkeled, kayaked - really relaxed.
day trip to Maya Beach - set of'The Beach'
the view from Phi Phi beach

For the last leg of our trip we took another ferry to the island of Koh Phangan. Here we met up with a bunch of our fellow EPIK teachers to celebrate the lunar new year. The island is known for its moon parties... quite a scene. A massive beach party as far as the eye could see. We ventured deep into the jungle, danced to electro and redefined what it means to be bright like neon love.
half moon jungle ceiling

As with all good things, our Thailand adventure came to an end and so began our journey back. 3 airports/countries and 12 hours later we made it back safely, bags, bug bites and memories in tow. Just one more thing I found especially interesting - the number of English speakers all over Thailand far surpasses that of Busan/South Korea (in my experience). We kind of decided this was to the heavy emphasis on tourism in the nation.

In sum: go to Thailand.

Monday, January 10, 2011

going the distance

It has been very easy to get comfortable and rather oblivious to life outside my Busan bubble. Change can be
womanlove to the power of 8
planned or can arrive uninvited. Last week I was handed a reality check and it shook me to the core. Receiving news of this nature highlighted just how many worlds apart I am from my family. Fortunately I was able to return home during this difficult time and lend the human support Skype cannot. Those five days were quite surreal but gave me the opportunity to make my peace with this new truth. I landed in Busan and (all to quickly) turned on my cell phone and was welcomed back with messages from friends. A simple gesture, I know, but entirely effective in making me feel safe in this world of uncertainty. So cheers to the friends and family I have had forever and the new pillars in my support system
that keep in real in Busan.

Lots of love always. Miss you.
KMS 1924-2010