All entries for Saturday 12 January 2008

January 12, 2008

Back to Baht

It seems hard to believe I was in England ten days ago, drinking hot tea to fight the British winter away. Now I am taking three showers per day to keep cool. They say there are two seasons in Thailand: hot and very hot. We are only experiencing the ‘hot’ at the moment, but I cannot feel that it is any different from the ‘very hot’ weather. Just like in Finland, my British blood is unable to distinguish between zero and minus ten – it is all just very cold!

Today my body has really struggled in the heat and sunshine. Mark and I are now in Krabi, a province in the south of Thailand renown for its beautiful beaches and scenery. We arrived from KL yesterday having done no preparation and with no idea where to stay. After a good deal of discussion with the locals, and hefty amount of charm, we managed to find the best deal for accommodation in a quite little area not far from the beach at Ao Nang. I had to swear secrecy on how much we are paying per night because the other guests in the lesser rooms next door paid more than us! Everywhere we go I am doing my best to get local prices, but it is not always easy with this white skin! However, I did locate a som tam seller who comes from Ubon and she gave us Thai prices automatically. :)

In the evening we ate at the place that found us our cheap room. They are particularly friendly at Sea World Resort – so if you are in Ao Nang, Krabi the check them out! We were the only ones in for dinner and after the lady took our order, she rushed out on her motorcycle. Ten minutes lates she was back with a bag of vegetables which soon turned into our delicious dinner. Mark fancied some fried bananas for dessert, so I asked first if they had some. The lady assured me they had – but five minutes later she was off on the motorcycle again! We did eventually get deep-fried bananas and they were well worth the wait.

This morning we made our way to the Tiger Cave temple (Wat Tham Seua) by the cheapest possible method, taking two songthaews (a pick-up truck with a bench in the back) it cost 90 baht. I had seen a taxi company offering the same journey for 1200 baht – it really is setup for foreigners here! At the temple we visited the caves and we climbed the 1237 steps (and some of them were big!) to the top of the mountain. It was the hottest period of the day and it almost killed us! It was worth the pain though when we reached the top. A big image of the Buddha and a chedi are perched on top, and there are stunning views of the province of Krabi from the mountains to the sea. The only blip in the near perfect view is a huge Tesco that has been built on the outskirts of the town. I had heard earlier in the day a taxi driver offering trips to Tesco – as though it was a big tourist attraction. And to my horror, when we met two Aussies on the bus later, they were on their way to Tesco! In Asia at least, it seems that Tesco is building huge stores all over the countryside – it is like the second coming of the British Empire!

Back near the beach we went for a swim to cool off, although the sun prohibited us from staying in for long. We were however tempted in for a massage which cooled and relaxed us. It was Mark’s first Thai massage and he said that the girl was very friendly. He was referring to the fact that she spent rather a long time on his buttocks! I think he must have been enjoying it really. However, I am pretty sure that when she was massaging his buttocks that it was with her knees, not her hands! Once our bodies were nicely supple we enjoyed our daily staple of som tam for dinner.

Quote of the day Go to 'Today's Quote'

Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The first wealth is health."


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