Damn SunBurm(a)

Hey, so I finally got off my ass and left Chiang Mai. It was hard as that place is great, but well.. there is so much more to this country that I need to check out.

I’ve got tonnes of pictures, but cannot seem to find a power outlet, so… they’ll have to stay stuck on my camera for now!

Sadly I didn’t get to say goodbye to half the people I really wanted to. So, Naomi and Ooh, sorry I didn’t see you guys before I left. Nong, I am a big jerk for stiffing you that day and for sure we’ll grab a movie (my treat, to make amends) the next time I’m in Chiang Mai! Did manage to say farewell to Du, which was good, because there is a chance I might meet up with her later in the month – possibly to go to Koh Taratao in the south. She is heading down to Phuket to be a guide.. and so that might be neat.

Monday I went to a Thai cooking school for an article I am writing. It was great and I can’t wait to practice on all you folks back home!

I left Tuesday night and headed on an overnight VIP bus to Bangkok. I was a bit nervous about the VIP bus thing, because I have heard sorta mixed things about them. They are privately run and I’ve heard reports of drivers trying to squeeze in an extra shift with the help of amphetamines and also heard of people on the busses getting gassed and robbed. But, nope. All went fine. I’ve actually been really luckly lately with people I’ve been seated with. Seemed like the first half of my trip I’d get stuck beside these crazy old people that smelled… but in recent times I’ve really scored with good fellow passengers.

Seated with me on the bus was a girl named Jin, an aspiring tattoo artist from Korea. I assured her that most people won’t get a tattoo from someone without any themselves, but she’s determined – despite Korean law that makes it illegal to do tattoos! We arrived in Bangkok at about 5 in the morning and she got to realize a dream of hers of meeting a lady-boy when a couple of them greeted us on Khao San Rd. (explaining to her that they could teach her how to “please a man”).

We headed to a guesthouse where her friend Ollie was staying and woke him up. It worked out well that I met up with her because (a) I stored my stuff in her room all day and managed to even get a free shower out of the deal and (b) will be meeting up with her for the party in Koh Pha Ngan. I mean, I know I’ve not had a hard time meeting people, but the Full Moon Party is a place I’d like to know someone going in… I have to remember to look for the yellow bikini… because with 6 colours in the rainbow and 10,000 people on Hat Rin Nok beach… chances are good she’ll be easy to spot! The cool part is that she’s an artist, so I shouldn’t have a problem getting a cool glow-in-the-dark paint job from her.

I grabbed a train from Bangkok to Chumphon last night, arriving at about 6 a.m. I then grabbed a non-A/C bus (definitely, without question the crappiest bus I’ve ever been on!) to Ranong, on Thailand’s west coast. I had been planning to head to Malaysia to renew my 30-day entry stamp (you just have to exit Thailand and re-enter), but after talking to Ollie yesterday he showed me this crossing onto a little Myanmar (Burmese) island. It was a pretty simple processes and I did the whole thing this afternoon. The trip involved having to take a 40 minute long-tail boat across the water … and well, newly added to my shopping list is sun tan lotion.

I got a room here in Ranong for the night and will be grabbing the bus tomorrow for Surat Thani where I catch the overnight ferry to Koh Pha Ngan. I am going to try and grab some accomm. a bit away from the main beach – figuring a 10-15 minute walk after a night of jumping around like an idiot on a beach is better than trying to sleep while 10,000 people jump around like idiots on a beach that is right outside your door. The party is on the 6th, but arriving early is advisable if I want to secure a guesthouse. After the party I am going to head up to the north end of the island which is the exact opposite of Hat Rin… and is virtually deserted. Jin said she might join me, so that would be cool.

Alright… I need to get some sleep.. the sun wiped me out. And these little bugs keep crawling all over me… so… peace,

Ryan.
PS: Just heard from Cass.. and maybe culture is different in Thailand and these guys think I’m manly for the “leaking”.

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