Translate (Traductor)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More on Asian Transportation

So I just wanted to go into more detail on Asian transportation. As I said before I guess there is driving laws but, if there is any I cant figure it out. In Thailand they are supposed to drive on the left hand side of the road but just drive all over it. In Laos they are supposed to drive on the right hand side of the road but, again drive all over it. They pass you from both sides without warning, dont signal,drive into oncoming traffic. It really is just controlled madness. Yet somehow I have only seen 1 accident and it was minor.

Honestly I would rate them as better, nicer drivers than Western world drivers. They just know how to work thru all the craziness and somehow I managed to drive a motorbike in all that by letting go of every driving law I have ever learned and just went with my gut and the local flow of traffic. I didn't kill anyone or anything so all in all I really had a great day and saw some amazing things and I would recommend it to anyone who likes self guided tours.

I have been driven on a "long tail" boat, its a large canoe shaped boat with a giant exposed 18 wheeler engine at the back which is attached to a very long drive shaft which is in turn attached to a very large and noisy propeller. The first time I rode one was quite scary as they really dont have life jackets but, now I enjoy them and they get you where you need to go water wise very cheaply and quickly.

Today we had to get from Pakse down further south to the islands so we had to go by local "taxi" I use that word loosely. It sadly was our only option. We paid 3 USD each and boarded a truck with a back cab that was open but had bench seats to fit people. Our luggage was strapped on top. It was meant to fit roughly about 10 or 12 people I would say. We fit 26 people plus we also shared floor space with some produce they were hauling. For 4 very long hours. We made it here in one piece but it was a long hot cramped time. It amazes me how many people they can fit in a truck.

Well for 3 dollars it wasn't to bad I guess. We will be here on this island for a few days it is really nice so far :) talk to yall later -Ty

Friday, February 26, 2010

King of the Roadddddddd

So today Kev and I and our new friend Simon rented motorcycles here in Laos. You could give me all of Bill Gates money and ask me to rent a motor bike in Thailand and I would say no its just insane there. It is pretty wild here in Laos too but I felt like I could handle so we paid 8  USD a piece and got motorbikes for the day. They gave us our helmets and away we went. Well kinda lol.

They said they didn't have any automatic bikes only manual. Now I have never driven a manual anything but I figured it couldn't be hard right? For those of you who have seen Zombieland the movie, remember the part where he crashes the bike into the bushes? Ya that was me. I am seriously not cut out to drive a manual. So I get off feeling defeated and They tell me I can either go double with my friend or nothing at all. Well we really dont wanna do that so we just tell them we want our money back and we willl figure it out from there.

It was at that point (surprise) they tell me they DO have an automatic motorcycle. Now this really doesn't surprise me at all, they are tricky here in Asia and will do anything for a dollar and money talks. So I get my bike and my helmet and off we go. Now the health and safety standards here in Asia, well there isn't really any. I have decided it is not because they dont care about the safety of their people it is just because things are done the way they have always been done and they are just too poor to change anything. Some of the things I have seen would SHOCK yall from the western world but, amazingly I have never been in a situation where I have felt so unsafe I didn't want to proceed with it. Everywhere and everything I have done as dodgy as it seems I have gotten where I need to go in one piece.

So off we go. Now anyone can drive in Asia anywhere but, there is just a few rules you need to remember. 1. There is no rules.  2. Just do what the locals do.  3. Use common sense.   As far as I can tell there is really no driving laws. People blow thru red lights. People pass/overtake you on both sides. People drive on either side of the road. People drive directly into oncoming traffic. It is absolute madness but  honestly there is an order too it and I quickly learned it. The size of your vehicle determines how much of the road you get to use, the bigger you are the more you get. In all honesty even with all this craziness as opposed to American drivers who generally drive like they "own" the road and it is "theirs" Asians might drive all over and drive insane like but they are generally very nice and let you in,let you pass etc. I have only seen 1 road accident in my whole time here and they guy got up and drove away no harm done.

So that being said, we get about half way to the Bolivian Plateau ( an amazing scenic lookout) and we half to turn around because my bike is losing gas like crazy after I just filled it all the way full ( for 3 USD). So we make it back to the shop and try and convince the people there is a problem with the bike. At first they dont believe us but after we again threatened to go elsewhere they magically produce yet another automatic motorcycle after saying they had none. So off we go again.... This time my bike actually holds out even though I had to fill it up THREE times whereas my friends didn't have to fill up more than once. But I spent less than 20 USD for the rental and the gas so not a bad deal.

After driving for over an hour we make it to the view point and stumble upon the most amazing waterfall I have ever seen. I got some pictures but it was super high up and there was not any safety rails so I couldn't get good pictures without risking my life. Again, western world safety standards are out the window. But I just wish yall could see the sights I have seen.... its amazing.

So after a while we leave to go back and I feel like a rock star, there is so many little kids just waving and laughing and smiling at us. The Lao people are so nice and friendly. On the way back I saw all sorts of transport like you would not believe. In Vietnam alone there is 6 million motorbikes and in all of South East Asia I would guess there is about 30 million. I saw motorbikes,trucks,buses,mini buses,cars,tractors,tractor engines with a drive train and a passenger cab, tuk tuks,taxis. Basically anything that has wheels and will even  remotely drive  they will drive it.

As scary as I might make it sound, I survived in one piece not having killed anything or anyone. The biggest danger to us was not people or cars but livestock. My "close calls" were almost hitting a cow,dog and goat. Laos doesn't have great roads, definitely not by Western standards but they were good enough. I survived my day and loved it!  It took a bit of getting used to the bike but I made it. I also saw the most amazing sunset. For those of you who are religious, you know the picture of Heaven up in the clouds with the beams of sun shining down towards earth behind the clouds? you know the classic one..... Well today I saw that only better. It was amazing. I loved my tour of southern Laos by motor bike and would recommend that freedom to anyone. I wouldn't even consider it in Thailand or Vietnam there is just to much craziness there but Laos is more laid back. I loved it all and survived in one piece so that is all I can ask for.

Later that night we had an amazing dinner, a proper steak,all the trimmings,a beer and dessert for under 10 dollar USD! After that we accident gate crashed a Laotian wedding but were welcomed with open arms.... All in all a great day! Pictures to come on Facebook as soon as I get a chance.... Until next time,Tyler

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Here in Pakse

Well we made it to Pakse here in Laos on the southern border to Cambodia. It is really relaxed here and chilled out. It is good so far just relaxing watching a beautiful sunset with some new friends we met on the overnight  sleeper bus. That was really interesting haha. We had "beds" but 2 people shared a bed and it was cramped and bumpy but at least we did get to stretch out. They gave us a blanket and a little meal. The blanket was a God send because the AC was freezing! But after 12 hours we made it here in one piece and got checked into a guest house.

It is really cheap here, my portion of the "rent" at our guest house was 3 USD for 1 night! and food here is not much more expensive. Laos is great just like Thailand but in a different way. I am loving Asia :) Tomorrow I think we will rent motor bikes for 6 USD and go cruising up to this awesome viewing point and just enjoy the day.

That is all for now. I am just loving life and wishing everyone could see the sights I have seen.

Signed, your Traveling Texan,Tyler

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So I made it here safe and sound to Laos after taking the 12 hour overnight train from Bangkok to Vientiane. The border crossing into Laos was the most complicated one I have ever made. First I had to pay 20 baht (less than a dollar) to board a second train to go to the border, once we got there we got off and had to fill out some paperwork and since I didn't have a secondary photo to attach to this application I had to pay 40 extra baht (about a $1.50) there was a very long line and the whole process took quite a while but after paying roughly 35 USD I got my stamp and on we went. 

Kev and I looked and looked for a place to stay and most were booked full but we ran into a large group of Canadians from the train and all of us booked into the same place. It was alright for the night. Just today we have booked an overnight sleeper bus (with beds) down to Pakse in southern Laos close to the Cambodian border because we will be traveling thru to Siem Reap after roughly a week or so. 

Laos is totally different from Thailand and after the hectic-ness of Bangkok it is a nice change of pace. Life is much slower here.  Less people speak English here than in Thailand but it is still fairly easy to get what you want. Here in Laos they accept the Thai Baht but, their money is the Kip. It is pretty wild getting used to this Kip. There is about 30 Baht (roughly figured) in a USD. there is about 40,000 Kip in 10 baht so you will go out and spend 10,000 Kip on a soft drink! It isn't much in reality but it seems like so much!

I miss Thailand (and the Baht lol) but overall I do enjoy Laos is a good change and I am looking forward to seeing what Laos has to offer us. I will keep in touch as much as I can. Oh ya, I wanted to mention one other thing about Bangkok. I got a shave by a little Thai man who spoke no English with a straight razor. I was nervous and I only was charged less than 3 USD but he did an amazing job and didn't even nick me! Best shave of my life it was amazing and I twill totally go for it again and recommend it to any guy.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A lot to catch up on!

Sorry it has been so long since I blogged but I have been busy! lets see, where did I last leave yall? I was on Phi Phi Island right? so while on phi phi I went and had a party for my friend Kevin (his 23rd bday) and I managed to semi limbo under a pole that was on fire! along with jumping thru a ring of fire! along with just some general bumming around and laying on the beach I got to do some amazing snorkeling I wish I had pictures of! Unfortunately my camera isn't water proof :(  I really loved the island life down south although it was a bit more expensive than Northern Thailand.

So after that, our "wolf pack" Kev,Scott,Ash,Tony and myself split up. Kev,Scott and Myself went to Phang Nau Island "the gateway to the James Bond Island" you know the funky looking island from the James Bond movie. It is very famous and I do have some good picture I will load on facebook when I get to a computer that I can do it from.

After Phang Nau we traveled by bus back up to Bangkok where Scott left Kev and I to go to a turtle reserve with his girlfriend. Kev and I stayed about a week in Bangkok and we went to a lot of the temple sites around bangkok and did a really neat river cruise as well.

Dad this part is for you so pay attention haha.: In Bangkok I found out they have a whole range of "voice impersonators" they are 100% Thai people but they do singing etc.... well close to where we stayed there was a Thai guy who covered Eric Clapton songs and did his voice. Dad, you remember we saw Clapton live and it was a really great concert but this guy was pretty spot on! and I got to listen for free :) In Bangkok I also ate some bugs and tried some Thai street food. Both Scott and Kev had bad food poisoning that left them both sick for 24 hours ( at separate times) but luckily knock on wood I haven't had a single stomach issue other than ordering food too hot for my taste buds sometimes lol.

I planned to stay in Thailand just 1 week but stayed actually closer to 3.5 weeks here. I love Thailand it has been one of my best countries ever and I totally want to come back. The people are so nice and friendly, most speak passable English and they are willing to give you anything you need. At first Bangkok is a little hectic with tuk tuk drivers offering to take you to where you want to go for deep discounts but, they get commission and a free gas card when they take you on a "stop" to a suit shop where you are seriously pressured to buy a suit you dont want or need.

But I have become very adapt at haggling and being not rude but firm with the tuk tuk drivers and telling them "no stops" so we get where we are going with no hassle. Overall the Thai life style is great. It is a totally different culture, sometimes a dirty country with crazy driving laws but I just really do enjoy it. A diamond in the rough as they say. I also forgot to mention that in Krabi,Thailand just back to the mainland after being on Phi Phi we stayed at a cheap guest house but it was nice enough, anyway we woke at about 9:30am and there was a guy downstairs drunk as a skunk! he had drank so much beer! and all he kept saying was "I am American" over and over... But he had a really funny accent so I knew he wasn't American. Well my English friends thought it would be funny to tell this drunk guy that I was American so when they did this guy decides its time for him to come sit and talk with us and we had a very amusing interesting conversation to say the least. We found out he was Romanian who married a girl from Seattle and that is as American as he got lol. Anyway nothing bad happened it was just amusing. But I do feel badly that he was so old (66) and still drinking so heavily so early in the morning. He cant be in good health.

Well now I am Laos. We took a 12 hour sleeper train for 30 USD to the border and crossed over into Laos. The train ride was interesting,bumpy and probably not up to American standards as the toilets were just squat toilets where the hole went thru the train and all the body waste just went directly onto the train tracks!  But, we met some interesting people on the train and I actually slept pretty well. A really nice Thai guy paid for Kev and I's dinner which was totally nice and random and we did arrive in Laos with no issues after paying 40 USD for a visa. We will be here a week-ish then move on to Cambodia. Life is good and I am happy and healthy. Thats all for now. Yall take care,Ty

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thai bathrooms

So I really just wanted to devote an entire blog post to Thai bathrooms. They are totally different than anything we have in the western world. If your lucky you will get a "western style" toilet with a bowl and a seat, if your really lucky you will also get western style toilet paper. A lot of toilets are "squat style" toilets that you just squat over and do your thing. Most have no toilet paper and just water to wash down the toilet, some come with a hose to squirt yourself with a squirt the bowl with. It definitely takes some adjusting to get used too haha.

To be fair, I am actually kinda fan of the squirting hose system it helps you use less paper. The showers are a totally different issue. Every Thai shower I have been in has a personal hand wand shower thingy connected to a heating system which if your really really really lucky will actually put out consistent hot water with a strong consistent flow. Usually one or the other not both. I have had a lot of cold weak showers here haha. But, the showers themselves are not enclosed at all. Its a sink,toilet and shower all in one room with nothing separated at all so you end up getting water everywhere. It is quite frustrating.

On a happier note I am here in Phi Phi island and I have done some laying about on the beach and general bumming around along with some amazing snorkeling I wish you could see the beautiful water here. Last night I saw the most amazing sunset of my life I will have to put pictures up on Facebook. Yall take care until next time. -Ty

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just a little more...

I forgot to mention a few things from earlier, I went to a Thai shooting range with my new friends and we shot all sorts of pistols and rifles for about 30 to 40 USD ( every time I say USD I mean US Dollar by the way) it was great fun! The core "Wolf Pack" a la "The hangover movie" is Kevin,Myself,Tony,Ashley and Scott. All of them being from England except me of course. So naturally I have shot a gun a lot more times than they have. But, for being Brits they didn't do too badly. It is amazing what you can do here in Thailand if you have the cash. All we did was shoot at targets but I got to shoot a rifle, a .380 and a .45. It was fun!
I also met a guy random from Plano Texas which isn't far from me at all back home so it was neat to meet him here all the way in Thailand. Its amazing who you run into here and it really is a small world for sure. He seemed like a cool guy to me. I guess I should take some time to explain this "Wolf Pack". We recently re-watched the movie "The Hangover" together and each of us is a character from that movie. "us" being Ashley,Kevin,myself,Tony and Scott. the 5 of us core group is the core group and we have really bonded and done alot together so its great! Right now we are here on Phi Phi island close to the "James Bond Island" from the movie. Yall know the one from the pictures.... Just paradise here....

Next I want to talk about Thai building codes/standards. I really dont think there is any. Before yall start to worry about me, I haven't felt totally unsafe in any building so dont worry but, I see buildings going up everywhere all over the place made from every kind of material and I seriously doubt here in Thailand there is any definite standard or health and safety. I saw a guy get up on a bamboo ladder and climb INTO live power lines with no protection at all! it was madness! You should see their power lines here, there is about 5000 lines strung all at once it is crazy! I will snap some pictures of it. Tuk Tuk's (Thai Taxis) are the best way to get around here in Thailand. I haven't been in a single "metered" taxi since I have been in Asia but basically you go up to a driver and tell him where you want to go and he quotes you a price which you then haggle on (usually half of his first price) then you pay cash and your on your way. Sometimes their will be "stops" where you are forced to get out and look in shops where the tuk tuk drivers get commission if you buy sometime. It is cheaper if you go that way, if you want "no stops" it cost more but, you arent required to buy anything in the shops so if I have the time I do it that way. These tuk tuks are open air trucks or motorcycles that can fit 1-6 people if you really squeeze and they drive like madmen but, I have always got where I wanted to go in 1 piece. It is an interesting experience for sure....

That is all for now. Yall take care,Ty

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A few more things....

So I landed here in Phuket safe and sound. But I had a few things I wanted to blog about in no particular order. First, I wanted to talk about Thai traffic laws or lack thereof. Honestly I have seen drivers driving into oncoming traffic, seen people cut each other off, seen near crashes, I think I have seen it all. I can count on 2 hands the amount of actual proper traffic lights that I have seen. So, if you want to cross the street you just flat out go. Just cross no stopping at all. Don't do it slowly! If you just find a space big enough for you to run across the road the Thai people are really good at swerving to miss you with their buses,motorbikes,trucks,vans,tuk tuks,bikes,cars or whatever else they can drive haha. It was really unnerving at first but now I have the hang of it. I haven't been hit yet :)

I also wanted to blog about a few places we have eaten. In Chang Mai we found a "Chang Mai Saloon" and the owner was from Commerce Texas! I had a wonderful Chicken Fried Steak for dinner right in Thailand. He was super nice and it was great to taste a bit of home. My meal all up cost me 300 baht which might sound like a lot but in reality it is about 9 dollars. I also ate at a Dairy Queen in the airport that was great to find too.

Next I wanted to talk about haggling. Most Thai's dont speak great English but do speak some and I have managed to learn the basic basic Thai to get me by so that is what I use to haggle. If you dont haggle you are totally getting ripped off. I actually really enjoy it a lot though. I was new to it but I caught on quickly. Basically whatever price they quote you, you half it straight away. Now they know this and you should too. They are ripping you off but they are willing to be flexible. The good thing is that all the cards are in your hands. Your next biggest asset is just to walk away. Pretend you dont want it and they will chase after you and lower the price again. Sometimes I find myself haggling over like 50 baht which sounds like a lot but it is actually just over 1 dollar haha. The best part is here in Thailand you can haggle over almost every single thing and it is expected. Food, drinks,hostels,tuk tuks (taxis) clothes,shoes,whatever! I do love it. I have got some pretty good stuff for some cheap prices.

Today we went to Freedom Beach here in Phuket. We paid 300 baht a piece to get there. that is roughly 8 dollars. 4 dollars there and 4 dollars back. The beach was white and perfect and crystal clear. I saw a lot of great fish and I borrowed a pair of goggles and accidentally spooked a sea snake! It was huge and I think I was more scared than it was. They are actually really docile but they are very poisonous so I just left it alone and all was well. I had a great time at the beach with my friends.

Lastly I wanted to talk about Thailand itself. The Thai people for the most part are totally friendly and awesome people and this really is a beautiful country or it can be. In the city parts of it are really really trashy. There is no rubbish/trash bins to speak of so people tourists and locals alike just throw their trash in the street so most of the streets are totally littered with trash. Also their sewer system is terrible. You just randomly smell raw sewage in different parts of wherever you are and it is really gross. At first that smell really bothered me and hit me hard but now I am just used to it. Honestly I think its a 50/50 thing. The tourists for the most part just dont give a flip about where they throw trash etc and neither do the locals. Its really sad because if both parties took more pride in this country it could be totally great and totally beautiful and get alot more money into the local economy.

But dont get me wrong I love Thailand so far and I love hanging out with my friends and so far (knock on wood) I haven't got any food poisoning or any stomach issues at all. I have had some great local food,some odd food, some food I dont even wanna know about haha and some good western food too. So all in all so far a great time!

This is the link to my personal facebook pictures of Thailand so far but, I have been with friends who have taken photos as well so just have a gander at my facebook pictures if you want too. -Tyler!/album.php?aid=2067846&id=194600613

Just copy and paste the link above in your address bar if clicking doesnt work for you.

Monday, February 08, 2010

So much to blog so little time

 I am gonna try and blog all that has happened to me in the past week and I dont have a lot of time so bear with me. So I flew from Sydney and Bangkok with my friend Kevin and we got there and 1 am in the morning (Bangkok is 4 hours behind Sydney) on the plane we met a really cool guy from England named Tony and he didn't have anyone to travel with so we said he could come with us. The more the merrier. So by the time we got situated, ate and all that it was about 3am.

We had planned to stay a few nights in bangkok but, Tony decided it would be better to go directly to Chang Mai 10 hours north of bangkok and we quickly agreed. So we got a taxi ride to the bus station in bangkok. We paid about five American dollars a person for a 45 min taxi ride. That is right when I knew Thailand was going to be amazingly cheap. So we get to the bus station and book a 10 hour bus ride to Chang Mai for 17 USD (US Dollars) this bus had AC,awesome seats and a driver who spoke semi good English. All in all it wasn't a bad trip at all I had a big seat to myself.

So we get to Chang Mai not knowing where we will stay, we get off the bus and a Tuk Tuk driver (Thai taxi driver) tells us he can take us to a good hostel. We haggle with him on the price of the taxi ride ( I love haggling and am quite a pro now) we get the ride for about 60 baht. 24 Baht is 1 USD so for roughly 3 dollars we got all the way across town!

So we get settled into our hostel and we decided to pay for a week's stay there. It cost me 35 dollars for a whole week. That is what I paid for 1 night in Sydney. It wasn't a bad place at all. The hot water in the shower is a little dodgy but other than that it is good. We are quickly persuaded to go on a 3 day 2 night Elephant Jungle Trek by the owner of the hostel. He charged us about 150 USD everything included. I also wanted to add a little note here about the toilets in Thailand. A lot of the toilets here are "squat toilets" basically just a bowl that you squat over and no seat or rim. So, you have to hold yourself up with your legs and it does take some leg strength. Not only that but, they aren't a fan of toilet paper here so you have either a hose with water to squirt your butt with or a bucket of water you use to wash your butt. It is an interesting system for sure haha.

Before our trek started we randomly met 2 people going on the trek with us. Scott and Ashley also from England ( I am so outnumbered by the English now haha) and we quickly become fast friends with them. The 5 of us are now "The Wolf Pack" a la "The Hangover". We ate together and checked out a night market for supplies for our trek the next day. I managed to haggle a shirt for 120 baht down from a starting price of 800 baht so I got a shirt for about 4 dollars. I love haggling! I got some other stuff too but I just really enjoy being able to haggle.

That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life our guide her name was "Is" and she was amazing! She totally made the trip. So the first day we trek 6 hours into the jungle after a 3 hour truck ride and let me tell you they didn't baby you at all. You had to walk and walk hard for sure! My shoes are wrecked. So we walked all day until we got to our elephants and we each rode an elephant 3 people to an elephant. There were 10 total people on our trek. We met 3 other English guys and a Czech couple. We also really bonded with the English guys. They are super cool.

So we ride our elephants for a while after walking all day ( I was super tired) then we finally arrive to a village with no running water or electricity and had dinner that consisted of every food I hate haha. Lettuce, tomatoes,onions the works.... even tofu! But I was so hungry I inhaled that entire bowl of food! You would be proud mom. We also did a 4 hour night hunt from 8pm to midnight after trekking all day previously and I was so dead tired. I at first thought we were night hunting just for the experience but I later found out we were actually hunting for breakfast. Hunting because we HAD too not because we wanted too. But, with 10 people stomping thru the jungle and couple that with the fact we literally had black powder old school rifles we didn't manage to get any meat that night. So we had a veggie and noodle breakfast.

So second day we get up and and trek all day until we stop for lunch and we had to cut and make our own bamboo bowls and cups with the knifes we bought for about 100 baht which is roughly just under 4 dollars. I almost didn't buy a knife but I am so glad I did because I used it ALL the time! I really took my life in my hands climbing down this crazy steep mountain to go cut bamboo and climb back up it. Considering how many times I fell down or almost fell down on this trek. Everyone who knows me knows I dont have the greatest sense of balance in the world and that coupled with the fact that I just had tennis shoes, and a giant pack on really sometimes I just toppled over. I got quite banged up but, nothing bruised or broken just scratched. My new friend Tony really got a laugh out of all my falls but it was all in good fun.

For lunch we ate bugs we had fished for and some rat we trapped. I wanna add that I was the only person in the group to eat a "Bug Sammich" I managed to eat about 8 bugs all mashed together along with some rat as well. Everyone was quite impressed and this American showed the British how it was done haha! We trekked all day once again to another village where we stayed the night this time in the chief's house. They spoke little to no English but they were so kind and helpful really loving people. It was so awesome the chief of the village opened his personal home to us and the kids of the village sang us a song as well. For dinner that night we ate "Jeremy" a chicken we butchered ourselves which was actually quite good. Although, I  did get chicken blood on my shoes. We had BBQ chicken along with veggies and noodles and it was a very filling meal. Honestly we ate more than those villagers get in a week im sure. But we did share our food with them as well.

The 3rd and final day we trekked to a river where we got to go bamboo rafting. This was really an amazing experience. After swinging a tree vine close to the river which was really cool we got on our flat bamboo rafts with 4 people to a raft. plus our captain. We had no instructions whatsoever and our guide didn't even speak English haha. I pretty quickly got the hang of how to guide the raft but managed to fall down some too as you can imagine. We named our guide "El Captain" and had a great enjoyable rafting trip down the river.

After that, our trek was over and we had a 3 hour wild truck ride back to Chang Mai. It was a total blast and totally worth it. It was extremely punishing on my out of shape body in bad footwear ( I left my boots in Australia thinking I wouldn't need them here) but I loved every second of it for sure! and our guide was totally amazing as well she is such a sweetheart.

After we got back to Chang Mai we got proper Thai massages for Thai women prisoners. They have a work release program where the women give massages and some of the money they receive goes to help them when they get released. They didn't speak much English and bent my body into positions I never imagined it could go haha. But they were the sweetest ladies ever! The best part was a full hour only cost me 7 USD! After that I also got my feet done by those "sucker fish" you know you stick your feet in the tank and they suck off all the dirt and dead skin. It felt SO weird but after it was done it was amazing! my feet were so dirty haha that cost me 100 baht for 20 minutes. That is about 4 or 5 USD.

We have just puttered around Chang Mai and done some amazing stuff so far. I am loving every minute of it and price wise it is so much better than Sydney! Today I leave for southern Thailand with my new found friends and will have a blast! I will try and update this as much as possible, im sure I have missed a few little things but I will keep in touch and I think yall are all updated now. I will upload all my pictures to Facebook as soon as I get a chance. Hope you enjoy it. -Ty