I'm happy to report that we found serenity at Tri Trang Beach this afternoon! Away from the madness of downtown Patong lies a tranquil beach where Kong, the gibbon, resides; water is clear; mangrove trees line...It was beautiful. Since this has become the record for my travels here, I'll backtrack to our last day in Bangkok...
Our flight to Phuket didn't leave until 9p.m., so we left our bags with the hotel concierge and trekked through streets, looking for Chinatown. The oppressive heat lead to our jumping in a taxi, where we landed smack in the middle of the city. It was so dense, so polluted, so loud, so hot. It felt like Asia...everything I'd imagined it to be. It was San Francisco Chinatown times 100. We were away from most touristed sites and immersed in the Chinese-Thai culture. Alleyways full of locals: amidst monks; bootleggers and schoolchildren walking through the narrow streets. Shark fins were the best selling commodity (illegal, I think); signs that read 'brainpower' in several storefronts; massage parlors and industrial goods being sold everywhere. We were out of our comfort zone, but drawn to the vibrancy of the people, the smells, and the chaos. After a couple of hours & another delicious meal (snow pea shoots, crab legs, spring rolls), we found a foot massage shop: 150 baht for an hour. Another of the best $5. I've ever spent!
We continued to a few temples. Some were under construction and not being frequented by the masses. We sat in a hollow temple-ornate on the exterior, but simple inside..took our shoes off and sat for a few minutes. The spiritual energy eminated from the walls and despite the sweater I had thrown over my dress, making my body heat rise to immense proportions, I found a moment of peace. I thought of my Dad as I walked away. I imagined him studying a temple here and spending his time in Bangkok returning to it each day-praying, understanding its' history, finding the present moment...If you could stand the heat & pollution, it would be easy to spend a long time here. But, with that, I walked away and back into the hustle of the Bangkok streets. We only had a few hours left and needed to return to our hotel.
The transfer was seamless. We ate at a food cart across from the hotel-sauteed vegetables and rice, and took a taxi to the airport. We arrived quickly, on account of our driver who exceed expectations of the wildest cabbie in New York City. We landed in at about . and drove through the debaucherous downtown Patong. Later that night we visted the crazy streets, but decided we never needed to head back!
This morning was a late one, being that we woke up at 11a.m. Our 'villa' is fantastic, with a view of the Bay, an infinty pool, and anything else we'd ever need. The only problem is that the tuk tuk & taxi drivers are hesitant to navigate down the steep road to our front door. (Of course, they can be persuaded by a few extra baht.) Today we squared away plans for tomorrow's journey to Phi Phi Island and made our way to Tri Tran Beach. I hung out with Kong, the resident gibbon and relaxed on the beach. We ate dinner oceanside and returned early-ish, so that we'd be ready for our boat ride tomorrow morning. Our car arrives at 7:30 a.m. Elisa & Sam will scuba dive & I'll snorkel. We'll pass limestone formations and cruise through the to the .
Now, it's time for bed on my side of the world.
Love & Miss you,
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Posted by Elisa Kwon at 6:10 PM