The yoga retreat officially ended Wednesday at noon. Our flight to Bangkok wasn’t until 10pm so we had a whole day to lounge on the beaches of Koh Samui and begin the business of re-toxing as Jason coined it.
He and I strolled down the beach about 300 meters from Yoga Thailand to the Solar Bar, an establishment consisting of basically a lemonade stand with a refrigerator run off a lone solar panel. The proprietor swiftly served us two Singha beers in koozies and announced that he was leaving, but that we could help ourselves, keep a tab and settle up later. So this is how we found ourselves alone on one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, with an unending supply of solar-chilled beers. It was a great day.
Another woman from the yoga retreat was headed the same way as us so we became a party of three as we left for the Koh Samui airport. Somewhere we read that Koh Samui’s airport is “the most beautiful airport in Asia” so we had high expectations. While it is lovely in its own way, perhaps a better tag line would be the most surreal airport in Asia. After checking in, you walk down a long street to get to the departure gates. This street looks straight out of any suburban US strip mall, complete with chain stores, cheesy glitter snowflakes, reindeer and Santas. Christmas Carols blared over loudspeakers and we were again the only people around.
Our flight was late and we landed in Bangkok around midnight. Between the three of us we had slightly less than a metric ton of luggage and squeezing everything into one cab was no small feat. Piled in clown-car style our driver headed off for the city. We asked him to turn on the meter a request he actually laughed at. All three of us started yelling… meter, meter, METER!!! He laughed. Finally we made him take us back to the airport and we repeated the clown-car exercise. In fact we went through three taxis before we found an honest one willing to turn on the meter.
We all stayed at what has become my Bangkok home The Heritage Silom. Our first night in Bangkok the three of us met up with Meaghan and enjoyed a rooftop sunset and a wonderful dinner out. The next day Jason and I planned and purchased tickets for our trip the next week.
Since the visa regulations have changed I had to leave the country by December 22. After a solid week of hemming and hawing over where to cross a boarder, where to spend Christmas, beach or mountains, Loas, Myanmar, Malaysia we settled on a trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
Our last night in Bangkok Jason and I hit the night market which also serves as the go-go bar district. We had a hilarious night - this area, which was frightening when I was traveling solo, is actually quite entertaining when you are not alone. The evening culminated in Jason getting and offer from a lady boy to “screw tonight, pay tomorrow”. An interesting business plan for sure and one that left poor Jason scarred for life I fear.
I did not escaped unscarred myself, firstly I got what might really be the worst haircut of my life. Secondly and more damaging... on multiple occasions while in Bangkok I was mistaken for Jason’s mother (once by the same woman who propositioned him). After a few failed attempts to explain the math – that while I did in fact grow up very close to Kentucky, it is still not really mathematically possible for me to have mothered him – I gave up and decided it must be a compliment in Thailand.
The next morning we headed off early for the bus ride to Cambodia. We had failed to provision anything for the trip and were at the station before we had a chance to find a suitable breakfast. The only option in the terminal was Dunkin’ Donuts. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a doughnut but I was in no position to be picky. Jason and I got onto the bus, sipped our DD lattes, popped doughnut holes by the fistful and started watching a movie on my laptop. The man in the seat next to us took one look and said “you’re American huh?” To which Jason, my Australian traveling companion, unflinchingly answered “yes”.
Begin at the Beginning
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