M.V. Explorer

M.V. Explorer

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ooooh Thailand


So Thailand….ahhhh what a port! Let’s start from the beginning….

So we had big plans for Thailand. I organized a group of us together to head down to Phuket. In case you don’t know what Phuket is, it’s the beach town in Thailand famous for its beautiful beaches, also famous because it was hit dead on in the Tsunami. It’s mostly rebuilt now and everyone was looking forward to relaxing on a beach and sipping on some pina coladas. Unfortunately, Thai customs needed to go through everyone’s passport individually. When this happens it takes literally hours to get off the ship. Once we found out, we started getting nervous since we had a 4:00 p.m. flight to catch and we were 2 hours away from the airport. I was down in my cabin freaking out so I started to clean up a bit, to ease my nerves. I went to move our coffee table over and some how I managed to swing it over the top of my foot, successfully slicing my big toe open. Blood everywhere, I started to cry. Kimmy called the doctor and I hobbled downstairs to the hospital wing. Five stitches later, I gimped my way upstairs and met the rest of the group. The trip was off to a great start à no saltwater, no chlorine water, no sand, just what I needed for a beach vacation! I was disappointed, but nevertheless eager to still not miss our flight!

We positioned ourselves right outside the faculty lounge so that as soon as the ship cleared we could grab our passports and run. The way this usually works is that they call you up by trip or sea (‘sea’ is the hallway you live in, me and Kimmy are the Yellow Sea). Of course the Student Life team didn’t call our sea first, so Ryan tore into the lounge, grabbed his passport and sprinted out to the Taxi desk in the port terminal to secure us a van. Conor ran out next with everyone else, leaving me, Kimmy, and Cole to gimp as fast as possible. Luckily we got one of the only 2 vans that were out front and our driver drove like a mad man to get us to the airport on time. We made it to the airport with ONE minute left to check in. We actually made it! I’m still amazed that we made it; I thought for sure our drive was going to flip the van over. The Thai highway we traveled down was under construction and far from safe. There were just random holes in the middle of the road that our driver navigated like a pro. It was a small miracle that we actually made it to the airport in once piece.

Our flight went well and we got to Phuket safe and sound. We went to check into the resort that we’d booked on Expedia and found that it had no electricity. We then proceeded to fight with the front desk for a good three hours. We demanded our money back, they refused. We had to call Expedia and beg for help and finally they gave us full refunds AND $25 dollar Expedia coupons. To further aid in our rescue were Mom and Dad who booked us at the Sheraton Resort. Thanks Mom and Dad!

The resort was very nice and just what I needed. They even had their own official resort elephants named Lilly and Yum Yum. Lilly was a baby and Yum Yum was full grown. Ryan and Yum Yum developed a special relationship and he rode her around the beach everyday. It was hilarious. Ryan looks like Tarzan to begin with, so it was so funny to seem him riding around on an elephant.

An interesting Thailand factoid: It is the transvestite capital of the world. All around the bars are prostitutes, go-go girls and of course the transvestites. Amazingly enough, once you make it clear that you’re not interested in what they’re selling, they’re very nice. At the one bar we went to, the Thai girl dancing on the bar in front of us talked to us for awhile. She, like most of the others, spoke very good English and was very interested in travels. She got a kick out of me and Kimmy. For some reason she liked me better and would come and pull on my sweatshirt strings every 5 minutes to try and get me to dance with her. Bloody foot aside, there was no way I was climbing up there. Alec and Ryan got up and danced instead. As soon as I have unrestricted internet use I will get those pictures up! It was an experience I definitely won’t forget any time soon! Another one for the books!

Of course things were going to well for our own good at this point, thus it rained the entire next day. Me and Kimmy wandered around the resort and got some reading for school done. It slowed down later in the afternoon and Conor came and met us. We watched some T.V., ordered some room service and just hung out. We wandered over to the hotel’s shopping village and found a little Italian restaurant for dinner. We were all in our bathing suits so we went back to the room to change where we found Lauren on the floor of the bathroom. She had developed some sort of bacterial parasite in the last port we were in and I guess it never went away. She wanted to go to the hospital and so we took her there. This successfully ruined another full night in Thailand. They ran a bunch of tests and we stayed there until the early hours of morning before heading back to the resort. She stayed overnight though she was able to leave the next day.

Our last day in Thailand thankfully ended up being beautiful. We hung out on the beach some more, I went in the pool for the first time, and we played with the elephants some more. We grabbed some dinner at the resort before heading back to the airport for our return flight to Bangkok. Conor and Ryan both came down with ear infections as we waited in the airport and by the time we landed in Bangkok, Ryan was pretty sick. We were all just happy to get back to the ship and sleep off Thailand. It’s a beautiful country with great beaches and I’d like to come back one day.

All in all it was a memorable trip to say the least. I had a great time traveling with Alec and Ryan for the first time and hopefully our future travels will be uneventful!

Until next time….


P.S. I know I never put up Japan or China, hopefully I’ll get to do that soon. I have a million tests this week…stay tuned

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