Posts Tagged With: tuk tuk scam

Beachy Beachy Sihanoukville

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I loved Sihanoukville!! It was such a perfect place to end my journey.  I had been travelling for two months at this point, and was only days away from starting my journey home again…  I knew I needed to make the most of this place and really soak up Cambodian culture while I had the chance.

We stayed on Otres Beach, a sandy stretch about 15 minutes from the main hustle and bustle of town.  It made for one expensive tuk tuk rides back and forth to town, but was totally worth it in the long run because of the secluded feel of the beach and the castaway atmosphere.  The weather was not great – we had a daily afternoon rainstorm, but it made for some fun rainy afternoons with friends so we didn’t mind too much.

Our guesthouse was called Mushroom Point, coined obviously because it was a giant mushroom shaped-structure! We stayed in the mushroom dorm and two friends stayed in the little mushroom huts that dotted the property.  It was all soo cute! The place was  charming, the food was really delicious and the beach was right across the street.  We even had our own “mushroom bar” on the beach that served up food right on the beachfront.  We met some cool Brits, more Canadians and even some Americans (Hi Joshua!) during our stay, and had some wild party nights in the cozy laid back bars on the beachfront.

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There was lots of time to take in the scenery, walk down the shore and see the untouched, unspoiled land that was all around us (although an ominous -looking development seems like it’s going in right down the road.  there goes the neighbourhood). We spent a lot of time reading, hanging out in the sanctuary at Mushroom Point, and searching for the cheapest beers at happy hour (50 cents!) on the beach.  We also make it into town to check out Serendipity Beach, but got seriously rained out and had to while away an afternoon indoors drinking beers and playing pool (poor us!).

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My beautiful Brits and I parted ways after three fun-filled days, I was so sad to see them go and so jealous of their travels to Vietnam, Singapore, Bali, NZ, Aus and China that they had planned.  Keep me posted ladies!  I was so happy to have found some free spirited, like-minded souls to travel with through this excellent country.  It made my trip way more entertaining and they were just about the best travel companions i could have hoped for!

 


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My time in Sihanoukville included one more night where I visited some friends who were working in a local bar – they were staying on Serendipity beach with free food, accommodation and booze for one week, doing promo for a bar called the Dolphin Shack.  I wanted to party until the wee hours again, but was afraid of missing my bus trip back to BKK which would leave at 7am and last 14 disgusting hours.  Euugh.

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Categories: Cambodia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bangkok Madness

Today was my first full day in BK and it’s still going – it feels soo long on account of everything I’ve done!  After a yum breakfast with my new roomie Camille, we headed out to check out the fish spa, a tank full of lil fish that eat all the dead skin off your feet.  I know, it sounds gross, but it’s actually like a luxury spa treatment in Canada so I wanted to check it out.,  It seemed kinda cool but our feet didn’t hurt yet so we decided to get into a Tuk Tuk and see some sights.  A Tuk Tuk is like a motorized open air taxi that runs on gas, makes a ton of noise and is also a super fun way to see the city…..if the city isn’t choked by traffic resulting from a protests from the Red Shirts.. aka Commies.  Bah.

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Pretty much the first hour all we saw was the back of numerous buses and cars spewing out filthy exhaust.  It made me miss my carefully planned bag even more as I had a dust mask in there I really needed!

The whole drive was a bit of a bust – they promised to show us a bunch of touristy sights on our way to MBK (the mega mall where I wanted to buy a Thai cellphone) but instead got dragged to three tailors (the kind that will custom make you a suit in like 24 hours) and a high-priced jewelry store before we realized we had been scammed.  One temple and like 5 crappy stops so this Tuk Tu driver could collect free gas cards from every place we went.  I argued with the driver (Me: “You didn’t show us anything!  Take us to MBK right now!”  Driver: “One more stop” Me: “NO TAKE US TO MBK RIGHT NOW.” Driver: silence.  Starts tuk tuk.  Drives to MBK.)

Overall it was not a bad outing considering we paid less than a dollar CAD (for both of us!!) for the whole trip, I guess if he gets free gas and gets paid by the hour he doesn’t give a damn where he takes us!! It ended up being a funny experience, but the Thais have their tourist scams down to an art, its unfortunate to say but I will be very wary of any overly friendly Thais from now on after that experience.

FINALLY at MBK, we stepped into the air-conditioned madness to find the biggest, scariest, weirdest mega mall I have ever seen.  8 floors. Everyone selling the same crap as their neighbour. What?? so weird! there was a floor for each product and after navigating the very confusing MBK food courts ( you had to exchange $$ for food coupons and then give it to the vendors – not an easy thing to figure out since no one speaks great English and we certainly don’t speak Thai!)  We enjoyed a very yummy Pad Thai and headed to the fourth floor to buy a phone. This was another confusing experience. EVERY store sold the same thing!! I found a lil Nokia  Thai phone that I liked, paid 1600 baht for it (about 55 CAD) and happily headed home, in an air-conditioned taxi 🙂 Yay!

When we got into the hotel, guess what was waiting for me??? MY BAG!  yes!! It made the trip all the way from Toronto with nary a scar or tear to show for it, everything was intact and nothing spilled.  YES!  Although it was very pleasant to wash all my clothes the night before in my underwear with a bar of soap in the bathroom sink, I was so happy to see all of my stuff 😛

My Backpack Finally Arrives!!

Camille and I wandered around our little district near Soi Rambuttri, getting foot massages (3 dollars) and checking out a massage school where we might get certified to do Thai massage later on in our trip!  Another round of Pad Thai later ( I know, I know not very adventurous but let me wade in here, people!!)  from a street vendor (I get props for that don’t I??) we grabbed some drinks and wi-fi at a local bar and waited fort he night to begin.  We met a bunch more people from our trip, and at the meet and greet were introduced to about half of our fellow travellers.  It seems like an amazing group, I cant wait to get started.

Leaving BK tomorrow. onto floating huts, jungle treks, elephant rides, and THE BEACH baby!!

Bye Bangkok I’ll be back twice more before my trip is over.  I’m glad to leave your smelly crowded-ness behind – but since I am a city girl it’s safe to say I am truly intoxicated by your beauty and crazy vibe.  Cant wait to come back and experience more Thai city life.

And Mom, Dad, as soon as I can figure out this damn Thai cellphone I will be giving you a call!!

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Bangkok Nights

My first two days have seemed like a total blur!  So much has happened, I feel like yesterday was ages ago.  I slept like a baby on my arrival at O Bangkok, the beautiful traditional guesthouse I was staying in.  The room is literally two beds, and a bench but hey it does the job.  The hand sprayer in the toilet and lack of TP left me puzzled though (are you supposed to spray your bum with this? I wondered) lol.  and yes. yes you are. no TP in sight.

Bum Gun!

Bum Gun!

I woke up around three pm BK time and asked about my bag…no dice.  So I went on an epic walk around the area we are staying in, the very touristy Khao San Road.  I had a heavenly Thai massage (my first!) which cost me about 8 bucks and caused me to cry inside cause it was so good after sitting in an airplane for the better part of two days. I reveled in my alone-ness, totally cut off from everyone and everything I knew.

Now that I know how to kill someone with my bare hands from taking Jiu Jitsu, the prospect of walking alone through the crowded streets of Bangkok seems pretty safe 😉  People were alternately friendly and pushy towards me ( “You want Thai massage?  Come with me, very good price, hey Lady! LADY!”).  I eventually wandered back to my hotel feeling relaxed from my massage.  I met a cool girl at the massage place and we planned to meet up at the full moon party later on in my trip.

After this I sat in the “lobby” (loose term as it is an open air patio that looks onto the street which is actually a restaurant and soooo beautiful) and befriended two Canadian backpacker girls who were travelling together.  from Markham.  hahahah small world.

I thought the rest of my night might be pretty uneventful so i read a book and went to bed pretty early.

1:30 AM KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Wha? Where am I ?  Who am I?  What side of the world am I on?  And who is knocking on my hotel door?

Turns out it was my new lovely roommate who had arrived, very apologetic for waking me up.  She immediately reminded me of my dear friend and former roomie, (Hi Myriam!!) a French Canadian girl named Camille who was so sweet I knew we would hit it off.  My guide invited me out as it was only 1:30 (lol) and after chatting for a few mins I felt wide awake and decided to join them.  Off we went into the night to drink humongous beers on the street patios, dance till 4am at a crazy club, and stumble home amongst the children selling us roses and the drunk tourists spilling out of the clubs, seven elevens, alleyways and who knows where else.

AH-MAZING.

Categories: Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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