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Student Reports: Charlton Pence, Hong Kong, 2010, Part Four

Relaxation, Not Rebellion on Thailand!!!!

April 24, 2010

Charlton Pence in a taxi

So as many of you know today’s news headlines contain the most frequent viewings on the political/civil unrest in Thailand, but travel advisory or not there is me in Thailand for a week straight!!! The trip was actually just before all the chaos in Bangkok, but was still ever so chaotic! First things first when entering a new city, and it was the humidity that came like a sun shinny shower, but did NOT leave. This immediate realization of climate change was the our first great discovery of the trip, proving that we were no longer in school, in freezing Hong Kong, but instead on our way to the beach with nothing but summer clothes, amazing views, and THAI FOOD in mind. New countries also bring new cultures and knowledge that is not formally well-known to most new international travelers such as taxi fares with a new currency equating out to a $700 (Thai Bahts) or $21.75 USD fee for the same distance a metered taxi took us for $150 (THB) or $4.66 (USD). Our first taxi ride was good in the fact that it got us to our hostel eventually, but was no where near as interesting as the “tuk-tuk” taxis we took around Bangkok!

Golden Temple in ThailandThese “tuk-tuks” are fun, at first… The reason internationals take them is for the experience and/or because it is the cheapest ride in town costing only $20 THB per person per ride to all of the sites, Grand Palace, Wat Pho Temple, and the Golden Mount. The people in Thailand are a very friendly people, but it seemed that day they were being extra friendly to their nearest shop owning friends. The tuk taxis had a ‘promotion’ going on where all these suit and jewelry shops paid for the tuk’s gas if they took internationals to look at their products. As you can imagine this soon became a nuisance making us by the end of the day never wanting to see another tuk-tuk again.

Despite how much of our time they wasted at shops or maneuvering around NYC-esk bumper to bumper traffic, they took us to some great sites and it was a great experience!

ThailandOur first touristy trip in Thailand brought the colorful nature of Thailand to the forefront, but as we went around Bangkok the temples started to look more and more similar. Not only was the Wat Pho Temple our first stop, its also home to the world’s largest reclining buddha, so cool!!!

After a long hard day of being successively touristy, it was time to head to the train station for the much anticipated 9 hour sleep on the night train on a hard seat…MISTAKE!!! For a cheap train ride always, always go for the sleeper. Its worth every penny, therefore we did not make the same mistake twice and were much happier people for it. Once arrived at our beach resort its was nothing but the most beautiful sunsets and experiences (motor bikes, feeding elephants, Thai food & Thai food). So far this has been my most unforgettable adventure, yet…

Beach in Thailand