Tom's Trip to South East Asia

Out of the 'Boat for a few months of tropical travel. No lease, No Dog, No work, No snow, might be the best time of my life to do something extreme. Watch from your office as I soak in sun and culture in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam this mud season.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Finally found a computer that had my software so here are photos. The first is from Wat Pho in Bangkok. At this temple we had our fortunes told by shaking a canister of sticks until one came to the top with a number on it that corresponded to a fortune. Perhaps a bit more accurate than cracking a cookie but similar in message. But I have kept mine to see how it corresponds to my trip. The second photo is from the grounds of the grand palace and temple of the reclining Buddha. Featuring yours truly with a copy of "The Local" our independent rag in Steamboat.

The next two are from Ko Pangan. The first is my bungalow which was rustic but comfy and relaxing. I think after staying here a hammock will be a quintessential possession wherever I go. The fourth photo is with the crew I spent most of my time on Ko Pangan with, Oosii our bartender and my Finnish friends Jonathon and Inaa. The Finns are here on Ko Tao at the same dive school with me.

The last photo is from about an hour ago as we wrapped up our second day of diving. It is the reef and shore that we have been exploring from below for the last two days.

I arrived on Ko Tao Monday afternoon and checked in to our school with my Austin Tx friend Brett, who was at the same guesthouse in Ko Pangan. We got books to study and came back on Tuesday fro a morning instructional video session with three Kiwis who comprise the rest of our class. Our instructor is a French Swiss guy named Lieber, with a training instructor from the states, Channel. Wednesday got us into the water after some classroom time in the morning. They keep things moving fast enough to keep you from getting too nervous, although I did get a bit panicked a few times as breathing underwater is quiet unnatural. After an hour of getting acquainted with our gear in shallow water we went for a dive along the edge of the reef getting to a depth of 6.5 meters. It was an amazing experience, but a bit scary. Today we returned to the same reef for some further exercises in the shallows and again along the same reef. Today I was substantially more comfortable and had a great time.

This town has a dive community that reminds me a lot of steamboat. Lots of international expats teaching and working in the dive industry. Everyone is pretty cool and the Thai locals are quiet westernized and speak great English. If diving gets under my skin I could see living here long enough to get trained as a dive master. So yet another place that I really want to return to, this one perhaps for an extended period. Tomorrow is an early morning dive then I move onto Ko Samui for a few nights on Saturday. Samui doesn't appeal to me much from what other travelers have told me but it is part of the package I am booked on so I will check out the tourist mecca of the gulf of thailand. I will be staying on Lamai beach there. Here I am in the bay of Kao Baan (so mom can look down on me from google maps). I'll write again from Samui.


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