Travelling with Caz & Loz travel blog

Dec. 22: Bangkok: Arrived at 6:00am, in Bangkok after 13 hours on the train - not a bad trip with dinner and a berth, softer than most beds in Thailand. We are leaving a quite substantial bag in storage at the train station until we return from our island retreat. Booked into Chan Guest House for the day, confirming tickets to Vancouver (January 15th) and picking up train tickets for tonights train to Champhon. Quiet day in Bangkok but the trip to the train station in a tuk-tuk was terrifing. All rides in the streets of Bangkok are scarey but this was UNBELIEVABLE! We had intended to catch a bus but after 1/2hr and no show, we got a little nervous as to whereabouts of Bus 53. We tried to get 6 taxis but none would go to the station during rush hour. Two tuk-tuk drivers also said "NO". Then one positively CRAZY driver agreed for an outrageous sum. We were desperate! BUT we will never be that desperate again. He drove at top tuk-tuk speed up the on coming lanes, most of the time playing chicken. If the traffic didn't move over he either cut into the proper lane (if you can get in perpendicular to a car eventually you can turn in the direction of traffic) the alternative is to do a U turn in front of on coming traffic and find another street with less traffic - less traffic never happened. Another tuk-tuk driver was babbling something in Thai about our driver - My reply to him was "I do not know what you are saying but this driver is F****** CRAZY!" Our driver and the other thought this hilarious. When we got to the station I crawled out and kissed the ground and told Laurie I needed a drink - he obliged and bought a full bottle of Chevas Regal - I did not finish it but the intention was there! The trip to Chumphon went smoothly! A 13 hour train trip, 2 hours in a minivan to Ranong and 1 1/2hrs on the boat and we arrived at OUR LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN - KO CHANG.

Dec. 23 to Dec. 30: KO CHANG: We were welcomed back like old family, to our guest house and our regular eating spots. Hospitality is the greatest assest the Thai people have - they make all their guests feel at home. We do not do a lot of thinking while we are here, little things like: should we go for a walk today? which direction should we walk? which book should I start? where will we eat? when should we eat? what should we eat? We got motivated one day to walk to the opposite side of the island to Sapahin Resort as we heard of an Aussie baker who makes cakes, donuts, muffins and bread. Bread here is generally white and sweet - something we have not adjusted to - so we were on a mission. For 5 days we were hoping to catch him making deliveries on the beach but we always seem to miss him....we missed him at Sapahin but his wife treated us with a toasted baguette with butter....HEAVEN! On our 10km expedition, we walked thru a rubber tree plantation. They are currently in the process of tapping the trees, collecting the juice, allowing it to gell in large trays, flattening with a rolling pin, further flattening thru rollers like the old washing machines, and then drying on cloths lines. An amazing amount of work for 43Baht a kilo. Another couple of days full of vim, vigor and vitality, we rented a kiyak to explore around the island. We did not get all the way around but that might be a project for next week....or it might not. Today is December 30th, Laurie's birthday and we have come to Ranong for a big day in the city (town). We have visited the Spa and enjoyed the Mineral Pools, Sauna, Herbal Steam and Foot Massage. Sounds totally decadent but at these prices we couldn't say NO. The foot massage was great and entertaining. The girls did not speak much English but they knew the universal language of laughter and we had lots of it! We will stay the night and head back to Ko Chang tomorrow for a Spaghetti New Years Eve feast with our hosts at Natures View. WISHING YOU THE VERY BEST FOR 2006!!! HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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