Well, it’s been a good bit since I last posted an update. I suppose I’ll start off by saying HAPPY LEAP DAY! I hope you all played a round of Leap Frog in celebration… I myself walked home from school playing the ukelele shouting “HAPPY LEAP DAY!” to unfortunate Thai bystanders.
This past week, I had visitors! My mom and Dave came for a week. We spent the first weekend in Bangkok staying at the Hyatt Grand Erawan. My absolute favorite part of the weekend (besides seeing them!) was the wonderful free food we got to eat on the club floor. Since my mom had loaded me up on homemade loaves of Sundried Tomato and Basil bread, we snuck cheese from the club floor back so I could take it home. I’ve had quite a few delicious grilled cheese sandwiches since. Since we really only had Sunday to spend together, I took them to JJ Market. JJ Market is a weekend market that is simply massive. Anything you’re looking for you are sure to find there. After a full day of shopping, I had to get to the van stop. They were headed to Koh Chang the next morning and I had to get back to the ol’ grindmill to make some baht.
The original plan was only to be seeing them during the weekends because I had to work, but I managed to get Tuesday through Friday off! SURPRISE! So on Tuesday, I hopped on a 5:30am van headed to Bangkok, changed to a 7:00am van to Trat Province, and then caught the one hour ferry to Koh Chang to join up with them. A total price of 430 Baht (about $14). Koh Chang was beautiful. We spent the days lounging on the beach or by the pool confused by the swarm of fat men in Speedos, I indulged in delicacies like hamburgers and pizza, and we did a bit of shopping (what little there was) in the evenings. On Wednesday, we went diving with BB Divers. I’d been diving in Thailand before, a few times, down south in the Andaman Sea. The diving in Koh Chang was great, though if you’re planning on diving in Thailand I’d still recommend going down south if you can make it. The crew was very friendly (as most divers are) and the lunch they gave us was delicious! I’d definitely go diving with them again.
On Friday morning, I left early to take the van back so that I’d be in Bangkok by the time their plane landed. We made plans to take a van to my city, Krathumban, so I could show them around. Unfortunately, traffic was not on our side, so it was a bit too late for a tour. Though, they did get to meet Devon and see the Friday night market. We also ate my favorite meal here, a grilled fish that’s served just downstairs. After our meal and visiting the market, we flagged down a taxi and headed back to Bangkok.
On Saturday, we decided to go visit the Grand Palace, a very famous tourist site in Bangkok. When we arrived outside, about 10am, several (Thai) people kept telling us that it was “Special Buddha Day” and the palace was not open until the afternoon…. Thus ensued Dave’s Death March. We went to the Marble Temple and then proceeded to walk about an hour headed to some destination in the deadly heat. That was not a pleasant experience at all. Finally, exhausted by the trek and near heat stroke, we gave up and hailed a taxi to take us back to the Grand Palace. Turns out, the Grand Palace is open ALL DAY everyday. We had just been misled by tuk-tuk drivers disguised as helpful natives wanting to take us to other sites. Regardless, we finally made it. Here are some pictures:
After touring the Grand Palace, I decided to take my mom and Dave to Khao San Road, the site of many enjoyable experiences and shopping excursions. Turns out, it was one of their favorite markets to go to! I introduced Dave to my favorite (and coincidentally the cheapest) Mango and Sticky Rice cart. We ate two servings. Then we headed back to the hotel for dinner and packing.
On Sunday, we had to say our goodbyes. I’m so happy they were able to visit. It was so much fun to see them and quite a nice surprise to be able to travel to Koh Chang with them. I miss them already, but look forward to the next time they visit!