Sometimes, someone sends you something at exactly the right time that just has you in hysterics. I’ve had a fairly serious week and it has definitely lacked a steady flow of humour. So when a friend mailed me these, they could not have come at a better time. They’re not even the funniest I’ve seen in my life, but, timing is everything, friends.
I am a fan of random acts of kindness, but random acts of giggles are welcome in my life 🙂
Whilst being stuck in Chiang Mai, hanging around the city, I visited one of the many temples in the city (Wat Pra Singh) to pass the time. Having been to Thailand before and done the whole ‘visit the temples’ thing, I wasn’t too excited about it, but this temple was actually really interesting as you could wander around the temple grounds, discovering random words of wisdom pinned to the trees.
Here are some that I found quite interesting. I hope that you find something here that speaks to you.
I’m currently staying at the Elephant Nature Park (which will receive its’ own dedicated post) and part of the volunteer schedule here was to make a quick visit to the school of the village nearby.
It was a humbling experience and made me really see how Thailand is almost completely dependent on the tourist trade for survival.
The school is at primary level and the kids are eager to learn English and skills that will help them to make money if they don’t make it to high school (the closest high school is in Chiang Mai city and most don’t get the opportunity to get a high school education).
They had prepared activities for us where they can practice their skills, like craft and jewellery making, music, English and Maths knowledge sharing, Thai foot massage and iced coffee bar. Whilst giving foot massages, the young girls have their English books out and practising their phrases with us, like ‘Where are you from’, ‘How long have you been in Thailand’, ‘Have you enjoyed your stay so far’… All the general tourist questions.
In the classroom, the kids were crazy to show us what they knew and show us their books and ask questions. If you pulled out your camera, it was quickly snatched up and photos taken of everyone.
Koh Lanta offers some really good diving and I thought it would be a good place to revive my diving ‘skills’.
An old friend from school is a videographer for a dive centre there (Scuba Fish – I would highly recommend them) and I left him in charge of my dive schedule.
First up was Koh Haa, an easy and beautiful dive site about an hour from Kantiang Bay. A fantastic place for me to get comfortable in the water again and see some pretty fishies.
Being out on the boat is a pure love in my life and the diving comes at a bonus 😉 If you’ve ever taken a nap on a boat, rocking you to sleep with the sound of light waves, you’ll know what I mean….
Next up was Koh Phi Phi on Christmas Day. The most fun I have had on Christmas day, I must say! Being Thailand, Christmas is not a big deal in their lives, but they do make some effort to get a bit of Christmas spirit going on the island.
My dive instructor, Paul, decorated our tanks with tinsel (I was hoping that it would attract some sharks, but alas…) and we had Christmas hats and reindeer antlers to dive with. Shenanigans, diving and sunshine….aaaahhhhh!
Next up – Hin Daeng. Apparently one of the best dive sites in Thailand. Amazing! You should definitely try that dive site if you are on the Western islands…most colourful dives with loads of schools of brightly coloured fish – everywhere. spotted two Manta Rays as well which was a nice surprise!
After a night out with the diving guys, filled with beer and Sang Som sets (ouch), the crazy Canadian I met at a sunset bar woke me up knocking at my door with aspirin and water and the promise of an adventure. Sure. Okay.
We took my little zoot up the windy mountain to the Marine National Park, near Klong Jark in Koh Lanta. Armed with chilled bottles of water from the ladyboy at the shop, we started our little trek through the protected jungle. Two hours later, we emerged on the other side of the hiking trail, slippery with sweat and jungle humidity and jumped straight into the perfect sea an the sandy beach at the park.
On the way back, ‘Easy Bar’ looked appealing. The sign said ‘Drinks, Food’. Sold. A few hours were spent there, mesmerised by the chilled out beach and drinking beer.
Most of the day spent travelling to Koh Lanta from Krabi, I was not quite sure what to expect and just hoping to get away from all the goddamn tourists!
Friendly and welcoming, Kantiang Bay is just what I was hoping for. None of the tourist hype, very laid back and relaxed and just plain simple chilling.
The first thing that I did was strip down into my bikini and swim in the sea. Now you must know that I am not a sea swimmer. Ever. This water is so calm and warm that it would be stupid not to! I’ve also hired a scooter for the next few days and will be exploring the island on my trusty zoot… because why not.
It’s been raining and overcast most of the time since I got here – the Candice curse, but nonethless there are plenty of little coffee shops and restaurants to just sit and take it all in.
Top View restaurant at the top of a steep hill has panoramic views of the bay that are breath-taking, literally! And the best part is that after a few beers, you just need to roll back down with little effort 😉 The evenings boast a band of locals singing all-time old Western favourites (Oasis and Nirvana are a must, of course) and our very own fire poi show…not bad at all…
I think that I will be staying here a while… and have a feeling that my posts are going to stop being named by day number as I am already starting to lose count of the days… Aaahhhhh…. sweet Thailand, how I have missed you!
Follow me on Twitter @PopcornCandi or hashtag #GoThai for snippets along the way.
After a long and tiring trip from deep dark Africa, I finally arrived in Ao Nang, Krabi.
Following warnings that it is somewhat of a shithole, I did not expect much, but having spent 5 hours in Addis Ababa airport, I have a true benchmark for what a shithole really is. Krabi is not that.
Ao Nang is a cute little touristy beach that serves as more of a transit zone to other islands than anything else. Nonetheless, it has its quirks and my day here has been awesome.
I started with a cocktail at a dodgy beach bar when I arrived last night that I paid horrendously too much for. I did have a good giggle though…
Woke up stupid-late this morning and headed to the beach. Towards the end of the beach are rows and rows of massage huts, with sun chairs under the trees. This is a cool place to hang out all day and they feed you loads of fresh fruit as long as you use their services, which is not a terribly bad deal at all. A foot massage is actually a foot, leg, head, neck, face massage in one hour of heavenly madness for a ridiculously cheap price. Only in Thailand!
Steer clear of the monkeys at the bottom of the cliff – they’re everywhere – like cute little furry flies. They steal everything.
Day one = success and I am madly in love with Thailand again.
An insane turnout of kids from the surrounding areas and orphanages proved to provide a very full day of activity.
There was apparently some street performance, cookies and hot dogs, singing and dancing, presents, presents and lots of laughter. I can’t actually give you my account of what was going on in general – I arrived and started painting faces, 4 hours later I was still painting faces.
I saw innocent little happy face after innocent little happy face and spent hours looking into the eyes of kids filled with hope. There is just something about the innocence and complete trust of a child that makes something shift inside of you. It almost makes you soften from the inside out.
Here is my photo account of the day. Don’t judge the artwork…I did my best!