We're back in Thailand and loving it... except for one tiny thing... the RAIN! aaargh its supposed to be dry season now!!
So a quick catch up...
The last night we were in Saigon it was CHUCKING it down, so after a day wandering around the city we headed back to the hotel, had a hot shower and settled down to watch US Total Wipeout on TV .. then there was a massive explosion and everything went dark, Mart was downstairs in the hotel lobby so I started shouting for him "quick Mart, come up, something bad has happened", I thought it was a bomb! Turns out I was wrong, thank god!
In Saigon there's these massive poles on each street corner with a million wires coming to one pole from each tiny shop on the block, the water from the rain blew some out and we were without power on our street from 8pm until 6am the next morning. So we headed downstairs and the hotel owner made us all a warm bowl of noodles (using gas obviously!) and we read our books with our headlamps for a few hours, then it was 11pm and Mart dragged me to a bar that had power so that he could watch Chelsea v Liverpool - he wasn't in the best mood when Liverpool won 2-0! :-(
We got up about 6ish and caught our flight from Saigon to Bangkok and then another one from Bangkok to Surat Thani in Southern Thailand. Actually, when we were waiting for our flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani we treated ourselves... to a Whopper from Burger King..! I think we'd eaten Vietnamese and Laos food for so long, we didn't realise how much we'd enjoy our burgers!!! They were sooo good! I swear we were 'mmm-ing' with pleasure when we were tucking in!! Haha I felt like such a 'Westerner' going straight to Burger King!
We spent the night in a lovely hotel in Surat Thani which was right opposite 'Tesco Lotus', so we wandered over and grabbed a few bits for a bedroom picnic... rolls and cheese, fruit etc and the supermarket was just like being back home, it even had the 'Florence & Fred' clothes section! There were a few subtle differences .... such as a donout with crabsticks inside!!!! blurgh
We had a lovely little bedroom picnic and Season 7 of Entourage was on Thai HBO - result!
The next day we did a 2 hour minibus journey to Khao Sok National Park... the journey was pretty uneventful (the usual Thai pop videos being played full volume for 2 hours) apart from our minibus was taken off the road for 45 mins so that the Police could completely clear the road for the Thai King! We sat and sat and sat until a convoy of about 15 cars (and an ambulance) went by with flags on - imagine driving in your country and every time you do, you never ever see another piece of traffic on the road apart from your own convoy! crazy. OH and I really wanted to wave but our minibus driver got a bit annoyed and said definitely NO waving! hmpf. spoilsport.
So we arrived at Arts Riverview Lodge on the edge of Khao Sok National Park with the rain teaming down on us! hmpf. But, the surroundings soon made up for it! Arts is set in the jungle, right next to the river, with little treehouses and full of monkeys!! They took us down to our little treehouse and it was gorgeous, with a view of the river and we even woke up with about 8 monkeys on our roof and balcony and it was so nice to wake up to all the sounds of the jungle and strange bird sounds...
|hot chocolate to warm me up after the rain|
|view from 'Arts Place' restaurant|
|oh boy, did you need a mozzie net there!! we're covered in bites still!|
|Art's Place from the river|
The next day we headed off on a 2 day tour of the park including a stay on the lake that's situated right in the middle of it.
|rubbish weather, but stunning scenery|
We were grouped up with a really wicked Danish couple who we had a really good laugh with, a German guy who was really funny and a German couple ... oh my god, this couple drove me insane.. they were completely all over each other (tongues, the lot) the WHOLE time... it made me feel sooo uncomfortable, especially as Thai people never show affection in public - we were even on a trek through the jungle and he was slapping her bum all the way and every time we stopped for a breather in the forest they both went in for a juicy snog and he was cupping her face and looking into her eyes.. !!! and we were the ones meant to be on our honeymoon! haha.
So once we got to the lake we took an hours boat journey over to our raft houses that we'd be staying on - soo amazing - very basic (don't ask about the toilet situation), but just stunning location!
|view from our hut|
|right at home|
|our home for the night|
|a beer and a great view...mmm|
|inside our little home|
We had a lovely Thai lunch of chicken in coconut milk and sweet and sour chicken, both with rice then took out the kayaks for a couple of hours and spotted some monkeys playing on the grassy banks. When we returned, we headed off with the guide and the rest of the group for a 3 hour hike through the jungle - it was WICKED! We loved every second of it (well, apart from the gross German couple!), going past waterfalls, wading through the river upto our chests, over rocks, under vines.. was brilliant! The only downside, as it'd been so rainy there were hardly any wildlife popping their heads out :-( but we definitely got a good workout, which is something I've reallllly missed since we've been away - haven't been running or anything for a month! and drinking beer and eating noodles all the time ... shorts are definitely tighter!
|ooh the German couple are just in front of me.. gross!|
After we got back from the trek we both dived into the lake for a quick swim, changed for dinner and then at 8pm we headed out on a night safari on the boat with the rest of the group... which sounds great in theory, but in reality it was just 7 people in a boat in the dark with our guide holding a massive lamp trying to spot wildlife that didn't want to come out of their cosy homes! We saw... a deer! that's it! oh well.
We slept really well with our little mozzie net over us, and every so often we kept hearing the frogs plopping into the lake beneath us! Oh and thankfully didn't have to venture up to that dodgy toilet in the middle of the night! pheew
The next morning we were meant to do a morning safari on the boat but it was chucking it down, so Mart and I stayed in bed and gazed at the lake whilst slowly waking up... heaven!
After brekky we took out the kayaks again, but no monkeys - think they were still asleep :-( Then we all hopped in the boat and headed over to another part of the lake for another 3 trek, this time it was all up hill... woah it was hard... but it was good.. legs are looking v.toned after all that!
oh and in the 'bird watch section' Mart saw 2 Ospreys, a Black Capped Kingfisher, a white throated Kingfisher and a White Bellied Sea Eagle! Bill Oddie eat your heart out!
We had a quick lunch in the boat and then back to civilisation of Arts Place for one more night!
On Friday 12th we caught a boat from Surat Thani to Koh Phagnan for a 3 day stay... the weather really hasn't been great since we've been in Thailand but since we arrived on Koh Phagnan it's been beauuuutiful! We're staying in a lovely little hut by the beach for 8pounds a night...can't get better than that eh!! Will update more on our beach time next time I update the blog. After Koh Phagnan we're heading to Ko Lanta and then to Ko Phi Phi :-)
Still no baby news from my sister!!! Hopefully a spicy chicken biryani will do the trick?!?!
Lots of Love
Ems & Mart