Entries in thailand (3)

Tuesday
Feb032015

Cambodia and the case of the missing iPad!

So we left Koh Pha Ngan in a big blow out and over night buses to Bangkok for one last day and night on the Koh San Road. Everyone spent the day doing a bit of shopping and we treated ourselves to some excellent cake! It was much deserved after all the travel and it's amazing how much a good bit of cake lifts the spirits.

A unanimous groan erupted as we then got on another bus this time to Cambodia but with the promise of fresh new adventure it wasn't so bad. Our border crossing went smoothly and within no time we were waiting for our connecting bus to Siem Reap.

But wait! Oh no with 13 people it seems nothing is ever simple and the closest thing to real life Cluedo I've ever experienced in my life was about to happen.

As we finally boarded the bus we found ourselves to be missing an iPad! Volunteer Danielle had been a bit silly and left her iPad out on the bench whilst she went elsewhere in the bus terminal. Not the best idea but it was a very quiet terminal.

Thinking to get a police number to claim back on insurance we informed a terminal police officer... organised chaos ensued! It seemed every worked from the terminal practically came out of hiding to help in the case of the missing iPad. CCTV was watched with intensity until... Wait! Was that the cleaner stuffing something into her rubbish bag?! Yes!

It was the cleaning lady! She was called out to return the pad which she did with indifference and then a merry photo shoot of Steph and Danielle with the police offers who were all very happy with themselves as well followed before we all got back on the bus and headed out to Siem Reap!

A strange, amusing and endearing start... Cambodia we already love you!

By Maria Sowter, Trailer Leader

Find out more about the South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail.

Check out what volunteers on the South East Asia Trail are up to right now! 

Friday
Jan302015

We've hit Thailand's islands

This past week has been one of sun, sea and sand... we've hit Thailand's islands! A train, an overnight bus, a ferry and a songteaw later and we arrive in Koh Tao and settle in right on the beach. Checked in and having checked out the beach we all went for a bit of a posh dinner and joined the diver's resort in celebrating with some newly qualified instructors. Que lots of day glo paint and playing with fire. Special mention for Steph and Becky who got quite into fire limbo, fire jump rope and jumping through fire hoops!

The next few days were spent in blissful peace with some of the group getting PADI Open Water qualified and others using the time to explore the island, snorkel, sun bathe and learn to paddle board!

Everyone was sad to leave the chilled out happy vibes of Koh Tao but equally excited to visit the legendary Koh Pha Ngan! Confronted once again by one of the most beautiful beaches you could imagine everyone quickly settled in and made friends at the hostel. Aussie Day saw everyone out for a pool party with our new Aussie friends and down to Haad Rin for a beach party that night.

Koh Pha Ngan is soo much bigger than Koh Tao which means even more of it to explore! Some of the group made the pilgramige up to the north of the island to the sand bar that connects neighbouring island Koh Ma and even kayaked the whole way around the smaller island!

Our last night ended with a big celebration for the half moon festival! Way out in the jungle this party is the little sister of the famous Full Moon Party but still draws a mighty crowd. Laid out like a festival with different stages revelers dance the night away surrounded by strobe lights and palm trees with other travallers from all over the world.

A ferry, and overnight bus, a last night in Bangkok and then on to Cambodia to start our volunteering projects! Thanks Thailand you've been beautiful.  

By Maria Sowter, Trail Leader

Find out more about the South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail.

Check out what volunteers on the South East Asia Trail are up to right now! 

Friday
Jan302015

Getting around in Thailand

Having been in Thailand for 3 weeks now and having spent time in many different places all over the country, we have certainly experienced the Thai transport system! From tuk-tuks on the crazy streets of Bangkok to the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai, some of which can be more comfortable than others!

Be prepared to perfect your night bus sleeping position!

With 13 people on the trail, the prospect of fitting everyone (including their luggage!) into a Songteaw is pretty daunting at first, but somehow the Songteaw drivers always find a way.

I'd definitely recommend making the 762 bend journey from Chiang Mai to Pai, which has amazing views of the surrounding mountains, however only if you have a strong stomach. My favourite journey so far has to be the day train we took to get to Kanchanaburi. Other than passing through the pretty countryside, it also made the classic clickety-clack sound on the rails, which was surprisingly easy to nod off to.

Top tip: Be VERY clear with taxi directions or you might just find yourself at a completely different train station.

By Ren Rees, Trail Volunteer

Find out more about the South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail.

Check out what volunteers on the South East Asia Trail are up to right now!