Posts Tagged With: Hat Yai

Pak Bara and the Authentic Thai Experience

Our luxurious air-con minibus took us on the two and a half hour ride from Hat Yai to the Pak Bara pier…we got there and quickly realized the only ferry to Ko Lipe was gone for the day, and we were stranded in PB for the night…lucky us.

Our driver took us to the best (only) guesthouse in PB, where we paid a whopping 600 Baht to stay in an interesting (gross) hut. We settled in and tried to figure out what the heck to do with ourselves until 11 the next morning.  We went exploring and quickly learned that since Pak Bara is so far south in Thailand, Muslim is the majority religion and shoulders and knees are a bit of a novelty…we had some teenage fans. We started to walk around, found a Seven Eleven, waited for the power to come on (!) at 5, and bought some snacks. We would get to know that 711 very well by the end of our time there, as NOTHING WAS OPEN! Turns out our luck was not with us that day, it was Ramadan and we were stuck in a very muslim town in the middle of Thailand. Nobody spoke a lick of english, or even really seemed as if they had seen a tourist before, which was so strange as it was a port town with major connections to all of the islands in the area. I guess since it was low season they hadn’t really had much tourist action in a while.

I’m actually glad that our travel plans turned out the way they did that night,  as the three of us had such funny memories of being stuck in Pak Bara and will forever remember our brush with Southern Thai culture. Also: Camille gave an amazing bug report that night (like the evening news but strictly concerning the location and size of each bug in our room) and I lost one shoe to a dog or the hotel staff, who knows. We went out (to the sev, where else) then came back and one of the shoes I had placed outside had mysteriously disappeared!!

After our delicious (disgusting) meal and staring at each other for a while, we decided to bed it up and get ready for our adventure the next day!

Glad we rested up cause it turned out to be what will go down in history as three of the most fun and hilarious days of. My. Life.

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Jungles and Flights

On our second day in Chiang Mai, we all decided we wanted to try ziplining in the rainforest, and we booked a tour with a company called Jungle Flights. They picked us up from our hotel in the morning and drove us up the mountain. I was sure our driver was out to kill us or someone else. Just sayin! It was a wild ride.

Our guides Johnny and Robin were so nice, spoke great English, and laughed and joked with us the whole day. They made our ride fun + the highlight for me was being lowered straight down 40m to the end of the course, it was so thrilling! I hate heights!!

We also got a free t-shirt, a yummy lunch and a (bumpy) ride back to our hotel. We loved the whole experience. The night brought us to the market, a surreal maze of stalls all selling a variation of the same souvenirs and trinkets. We shopped. Of course. I bought a sweet pair of sandals that I am still wearing, a birthday present for my sis, and a few shirts for my guy friends 🙂 prezzies!

One thing we learned about Chiang Mai is that the bars are packed with “bar girls” and the massage girls wear a lot of makeup and less clothing, basically the sex industry is very visible there, and we saw a lot of older white men alone on their vacations…we actually were so turned off by this, we didn’t go out our second night in Chiang Mai, either.

We took a shiny tuk tuk (with a female driver and a pink roof!) To the airport, and departed rainy Chiang Mai, flying all the way down the country to Hat Yai, one of the southernmost points of Thailand. Total flight time? A whopping 2 hours. Both domestic flights I took in Thailand were quick, efficient, clean and so pleasant, much more pleasant than the average Canadian airport experience!!

Hat Yai was a pit stop on the longer road to Ko Li Pe, we still had to rent a minibus to take us to Pak Bara….the strangest place I went in Thailand.

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