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.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Its my last day on the beach and I don't want to leave. Ko Samui has been more fun than I expected but it is crowded and touristy. I have been staying on Lamai beach at Surat Palm resort bungalows. I'm a few rows back from the beach front but it doesn't really matter as all I'm doing at my bungalow is sleeping. The main strip at this beach is a couple blocks away with endless sunglass and clothing shops, restaurants, bars and massage parlors. I just had my first Thai massage, and it was amazing. The traditional massage involves pulling your muscles loose with the full weight of the massuesse bending and stretching your body. Not so much kneading or deep tissue, and a bit of pain but very relaxing and enjoyable.

Yesterday I toured the island with a moto guide seeing beach views and waterfalls as well as the Big Buddha shrine which is about 12 meters tall and out on a little island just off the north coast. A good day, but hot and tiring. The night before I arrived around 6 for sunset on the beach and then ventured out to explore the strip. As I was headed back to the bungalow after dinner I ran into the three kiwis from my dive class eating in McDonald's and spent the rest of the night carousing with them. We caught a lady muay Thai boxing match at one of the bars on the strip then went to a night club. Everyone is very friendly and the club was great fun with a decent dj spinning American hip hop. My ferry ride over was the most comfortable travel I have had yet with spacious leather seats in an air conditioned cabin. I slept the whole way. I took the last ferry from Ko Tao to maximize my time there, as it has been my favorite destination so far. I spent the morning snorkeling in shark bay where many people had reported seeing small reef sharks. My dive instructor had told me they are very safe to be around and will be scared off if you make a splash on the surface, so I venutured into the water in search of sharks. I didn't see any but snorkeling was still fun. Dad, I can't understand how you fail to float when snorkeling, baffling, but at least its proof your not a witch. The night before was a bit of a celebration after finishing our dive course. Alcohol is very bad for you when scuba diving so we abstained for the length of the course leaving us all a bit thirsty after our last dive. The kiwis are quiet good at partying and got all reilled up with a giant communal cocktail and a rousing game of cards through the afternoon. After card we watched a professionally edited video of our dives that day, maybe something Tim would be interested in. Diving was an awesome experience that I will definitely seek out future opportunities to participate in.

I will miss being on the beach but can't stay here forever if I'm gonna see everything I have planned for. I'm in high spirits and my health has recovered from the cold I got on my flight over. Tomorrow I take boat and taxi to get to the airport in Surat Thani to fly north through Bangkok to Chang Mai. I'm looking forward to experiencing more traditional Thai culture in the north. I have cooking class and a three day trek through the mountains scheduled. Hopefully I will get to a computer before heading into the jungle.

How is everything at home. Playoff baseball? Snow in Steamboat? Anything else of note? I know it hasn't been long for you but news from home, or a hello is always appreciated.


At 6:41 AM, Blogger mom said...

Dad is in London for the week on business. John is home on GU travel. John and Jim are watching some baseball, Tigers are in the series, Mets/St Louis I think are even.
Brilliant fall here in Wellesley, not much other news.
Will pas the blog along to family at large, they are all interested in your trip.

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Dad said...


I am in London taking a week of depositions. I am prepping today, but will be grinding the balance of the week. London is a great city, but pretty hidden inside a windowless conference room for 12 hours.

I really appreciate your blogs and my eyes have been opened to the experience you are enjoying so much in southeast Asia. Not likely to be my next destination, but it is on the list.

I will be kept straight out by this particular case until I escape to New Zealand in mid-November so the prospect of that trip is keeping me sane. My golf game has suffered and the season will end early for me this year unless I get something done in New Zealand.

The Pats division is very weak so they are in great shape even though they have not jelled yet. Cal is doing very well in college football which has us interested through Jack, Jeannie and Laurie's passion for the Bears. Mom and I enjoyed the game out there last month. Baseball play-offs have not really captured much attention once the Tigers knocked out the Yanks and have now swept the A's. The Cards and Mets are both flawed, so the Tigers will be heavily favored whoever comes out of the National League.

Keep having fun and sending messages which are widely read and discussed in family circles even if we generally lack the competence to reply. Indeed, I have no idea whwtehr this will get through, but here is hoping.



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