Koh Chang to Koh Mak was pretty easy. I got a truck taxi from my resort to the bottom of Koh Chang, then onto a ferry, which is about a 2 hour ride. This ride is where my post will begin.
The pier was really cool. Lots of little floating shops, and some huts for rent. I should have requested the price, because I might go back there in a few more days.
Some pictures as we leave the port.
On the truck bus to the ferry I met a couple from Germany, who are on a 20 day holiday in Thailand. They are really nice, and we have some good laughs together on the ferry as well.
The views from the ferry are pretty amazing.
Our first stop is at Koh Waik. This Island has very little of what we think are luxuries, even the port is cool. This is how they exit and enter the ferry from the island.
We toss a few passengers onto the raft, and leave for Koh Mak. Another hour of beautiful views.
An hour later and we are here.
From the port, I start thinking about where am I going to stay. I did not make any reservations, in hopes that I can find a deal.
The 2 Germans, and I share a free ride over to a resort we heard is cheap.
And it is. It is 350 baht for a hut, with water, and a fan. The huts have only a mattress on the floor with a mosquito net. The huts are extremely hot though. No breeze.
We decide to continue walking down the beach to see what else exist.
We make it to Monkey Island Resort. They have similar huts, but with beds and better fans. They are 600 baht ($19 CAD) per night. I decide to stay here.
My friends walk further down the beach and find a 5 star resort for 900 baht ($31 CAD) a night. I think I might upgrade in a few nights to that place, or maybe I will be cheaper and go to the first place.
Pictures from my first day relaxing at Monkey Island Resort.
The next day I meet my friends and a new friend Kai, who is also German, to rent scooters and explorer the island.
Kia and I share a scooter, he wants me to drive, which I am fine with.
Our first stop is a temple, but I cannot find the name of it.
After the temple, we head over to another pier, where we find lots of fish swimming under it.
Next is a cool little hidden pub, where we stop for a pint. I love this place.
Onto our next stop where we will do some swimming, and then onto many more resorts. We stop at several of them just to explorer but also to find the prices per night. Just in case I find a deal and want to move later. However, we find the best beach is ours, and the best prices are also on our current side.
Here are some pictures from the exploring of Koh Mak.
What an amazing first 2 days on Koh Mak.
Where is Koh Mak? It’s that little 5 KM wide island in Thailand, near Cambodia.
White Sand Beach has been a very fun place, and even better is, I am loving my hotel. I took a chance on this place, as there were several bad reviews, but I thought, who cares for 1 night.
The reviews were very wrong. My room was clean, the bed was decent, and it had hot water, which I was not expecting for the price. Online I paid 600 baht for the night, but after seeing how great it is, I decided to stay an extra few nights, and Freddy the owner, only asks for 500 baht for each additional night. How cool is that, I got a discount without even asking!
My first night here, at around 8 pm I heard some music playing and took a look to see what was going on. On the hillside Freddy setup a TV and cushions for everyone to come relax and watch a movie or listen to music. Very chill and friendly.
I ended up becoming friends with Freddy and his girlfriend, and we had some drinks together that night. Really loving this place.
During the day, I explored the beach and swimming. Nice clean water, but no real fish to see when snorkeling. There is other eye-candy though!
The next day I was sitting eating lunch, when another guest of the hotel asked if he could sit with me, because I had the fan table. I said yes, of coarse.
His name is Ville, and he is from Finland. He has been coming here for years now and everyone knows him. We have a really good conversation, and start having beers together. Eventually he leaves to shower before we head out on the town.
As I am waiting for him, I meet another couple from Germany. Marie and Marco are best friends traveling together. We all hit it off pretty quickly, and when Ville comes back, we all head out on the town.
Our first stop is Little Red Light district. I did not know this even existed on White Sand Beach, but it does. a Mini walking street, with, yes, you guessed it. Ladyboys, hookers, and dancing.
We have one drink, and decide this is not for us, but Ville wants to stay, so this is where we part with him.
Now Marie, Marco and I are off to continue the shit show.
We went all over checking out different bars, drinking and just having a damn good time. So much of a good time that next day, I think we all felt it.
One bar that was pretty cool, was a Rock Bar where we met 2 guys from Austria, who ended up in our gang of drunks that night. I don’t recall their names though.
What a night is all I can say!
The next day I spend just relaxing and catching up on email, etc. However, that night Marie messages and asks what the hell am I doing. So, I head down the to the beach to meet them relaxing, and having a pint. What a great place to enjoy a cold one.
This night was a little slower, but still had some great conversations.
Onto the next day, I wake up early, go for a swim and book a taxi / ferry to Koh Mak. I had not planned on going here, but then I heard it is awesome, quite and a decent price. So, Yeah, I am going there.
Later in the day, I meet up with Marie and Marco. We go swimming, suntan, and enjoy our last day in White Sand Beach. Tomorrow they are also leaving but to go to Cambodia.
That night we eat at the local Night Market. Marie tries some of the local bug snacks. I also tried them, and they are not half bad.
I enjoyed my shell fish!
Our night was awesome, and I will really miss these two crazy Germans who liked to show me pictures of dicks! Long story, but they will know what I mean. lol.
Getting to Koh Chang was really easy. I booked a minibus from Pattaya to Koh Chang Island using https://12go.asia/en . I was a little skeptical using the site, as I was unsure if it was a scam site or not. However, it turned out better than expected for 500 baht.
When booking it, it showed I would get a minibus to the ferry, and the ferry in the price. I thought after the ferry I would have to find a way to my hotel. But, that wasn’t true, the bus came onto the ferry and dropped me off at my hotel.
So anyways, on the minibus it was all Thai people, but one couple who I could tell were not Thai, or Russian, but I wasn’t really sure where they were from. And being the bus is 5 hours long, I am going to make new friends. Yes, I am using them to make my trip shorter. lol.
The couple turned out to be from Lithuania, where I was only a few months ago. This started off a really great conversation, and lasted the entire bus ride, and ferry ride. During the ferry ride we made plans to meet on Koh Chang and go for dinner, but I forgot to get their contact information. Uhhh, so stupid! Well, maybe I will run into them on the beach.
On the side of the minibus is a pretty odd and funny warning signs.
No Dogs, I think? Not sure of the next one, then no guns, and no pokeyman?
Here are some pictures from the ferry.
The hotel that night was interesting. The owner is an Italian guy, with a wife or friend who is Thai running it. She is super nice, and speaks pretty good English. He is just odd, speaks OK English, but again, is ODD!
This is how my arrival went. I walked in and asked if they had rooms, and they do, for 450 baht. This is great for a night. As I am at the counter, pulling out my passport and money, he starts taking my laptop bag. I do not like anyone touching it because it is not really strong enough to hold my laptop and I don’t want it to rip. So, I stop him and say, no I have it. Then keeps saying, come come. He wants to show me the room. So, being clueless, I grab my money, and totally didn’t see my passport, in my passport holder/wallet sitting on the counter.
We get to the room, and I set my bags down. He goes back downstairs. 2 minutes later, I am like, “Shit, I left my passport down stairs.” I know it is safe, but I rush down to get it.
So tell me this. If you saw someone left their wallet, with passport in it, and you knew who’s it is, what would you do? I would hold it, until the person came back, or taken it to them. This is NOT what he does! He opens the wallet, goes through it, pulls out my passport and starts copying it. In Thailand it is law for hotels to take a copy of your ID. However, I do not think this is right that he does it without asking me.
I see him with my wallet and say, “That is mine” with a smile, thinking he was holding it. Then I saw my passport was not in it and he was copying it. I said to him, “Why is my passport out?”, he says he is copying it, and I reply, “Why is my passport not in it my holder?” He gives me a look, of, go fuck yourself!
Anyways, I get it back, pay the 450 baht, and leave it at that. This does piss me off though, as I think it is really disrespectful to go into someones wallet, when you already know who’s it is.
So that night, I made a video reviewing the room as I always do. Check it out here!
In the room, there were two small issues. One the bathroom light didn’t work and two, the sink drain was not attached. So when I brushed my teeth before bed and then spit in the sink. The spit and water went directly onto my feet. A little annoying. This was mentioned in the video.
The next morning they somehow saw the video, gave it a thumbs down and didn’t want to talk to me. It was really awkward leaving, but whatever. I really hate when you show the truth, and the other person gets mad for people knowing it. Sorry, but if you don’t want bad reviews, do some basic maintenance!
If you watch my video, please give it a Thumbs Up!
My first full day on Koh Larn was not bad. I explored the little town, and found a nice empty beach, I then found some great market food.
So far, I am really liking Koh Chang. Tomorrow I am moving down the Island, to White Sand Beach.
Back in Jomtien Beach and I know this is going to be a good couple of days. I get to see Anastasia, Olga and Kosta again.
However, before I go visiting, I have to check into my hotel. I booked this one online, and it had decent reviews, but some were not so decent. You can see my review here!
How much can you truly complain at 499 Baht a night!
It is evening and I am meeting Anastasia, Olga, and Kosta in Pattaya Park Night Market for some great eats. One of my favorite places to eat.
During dinner we talk about going to Pattaya walking street, but Olga and Kosta don’t want to go, but that is OK. It will be a great night, if you know anything about this street. It is crazy, full of drunks, bars, ladyboys, and just about everything else. Example below!
Anastasia and I finish eating and head down to walking street. Let this shit begin!
We walk all over looking for a bar without prostitutes and ladyboys, when we find a bar with a band playing. Looks great. Inside it is not bad, lots of people and the band is awesome. There is a Thai girl singing rocks songs, which is kind of cool, she is a decent singer.
After a few songs, she is done singing for the night and the other guys in the band take over. They are pretty funny, and good.
A few more songs and they are done for the night. We head over to the 7/11 for some cheaper beers. Always a good way to advance the night!
The rest of the night we spend walking around, chatting, and just having a great night, with a great friend!
The next day I spend doing some online shit, since I finally have internet. Get this, they have 1 GB Internet connection and no I do not mean, 1 GB router network connection, I actually mean, Internet connection. However, the router is wireless N, so you can’t use the full speed.
I did benchmark my connection to the net, and I got over 90 MB/s up and over 40 MB/s down. Explorer.net, why did I only have 5 MB connection in Canada?
My last day in Jomtien Beach, I convinced Anastasia to come to Pattaya Park for swimming and waterslides.
It was awesome! I think we went down the slides 100 times, and we were laughing and playing like little kids. What a day to remember! She even got to try a Snow Cone. How do Russian’s not have this! Maybe it is a Canadian thing.
After the park I headed back to my hotel and Anastasia went to Kosta’s. I decided not to come back into town for dinner, but later thought I should have, so I could give a proper goodbye to Olga and Kosta. They gave me many good memories!
Well tomorrow I am off to Koh Chang, where I will start traveling again. I am really excited for this, I have been in one place way to long.
I am going to go into details of what I did everyday. You can pretty much guess, swim, beach, eat. 🙂 But I am going to tell you some of the amazing Thailand hospitality.
At lunch the one day, I was just leaving the hotel when Wan the owner says, “Rob, come here!” I come into the lobby/kitchen area, and Wan starts pulling out plates of Thai leftover food. He tells me to eat, enjoy. Trust me, this food is amazing!
On another occasion, Wan is getting onto this motorcycle and says, “Come with me to my restaurant.” and he gives me a ride to his Seafood Restaurant. Next time I come here, I am going to try it. I did try his Seafood from the Market, and it was pretty awesome. He BBQ’d the fish and brought it back to the hotel deck for me to eat.
When I was at the beach, I had enough sun and wanted to come back. I was too early to catch a truck bus, so I started walking. A local pulls up beside me and says, “Get on!”. He gave me a ride back into Naban for free!
The two ladies I see selling street food all the time, invited me to see loi krathong celebration, during the super moon. I didn’t party with them, but I did stop by and say hello for a few minutes that night.
On a different note, I did meet two backpackers from Denmark on my last night. We had some great conversations. One of them was about the war between Denmark and Canada. It is over an Island called Hans Island. Denmark has claimed it theirs through Greenland treaty, but I guess Canada thought it was ours. So far, only two bottles of liquor have been killed during this war. The first was Denmark left a flag with a bottle of Schnapps, and a note saying, “Welcome to Denmark!”, and the other was later. Canada arrived on the Island and left a bottle of Canadian Whiskey, a Canadian flag, and a note saying, “Welcome to Canada!” for the Danish to see.
Yes, that is how Canadians resolve issues!
Just to complete my Koh Larn Experience, here are some pictures from under the water!
After last nights crazy Thai adventure, I still have to get up and meet Anastasia at the ferry around 10:30 AM. She is coming for a night with her sister Olga, and friend Kosta. This is going to be another 2 days of really awesome fun, with my friends from Jomtien Beach condo.
Right on time, the ferry pulls into Naban Port and just a few minutes later I see the 3 Russians. We all say hi, and walk back to the hotel, where they will check into their rooms and we will take our motorcycles for the day.
I have no idea what the plans is, but I think I will try and show them all the beaches, and end off the day with a sunset from Monkey Nual Beach.
Nual Beach, also known as Monkey beach is the furthest away beach. But come on, we are on an Island, it is only 8 minutes away. 🙂
We spend about 2 hours on Monkey beach swimming, snorkeling, and watching the monkeys fight.
Onto the next beach. Only 5 minutes away is Samae which is just around the corner, and over the hill.
As we are going up the big hill, the bike starts to run out of gas, but we make it to the top and easily make it to Samae beach.
Samae Beach is full of people and no real place to sit. So we decide we want to go to Tien Beach, but before we do, we have to head back over the hill to get gas. I am not sure if we will make it.
I was right, less than half way up the hill, it runs out of gas.
Within seconds of running out of gas, two Thai girls on a scooter stop and ask what is the problem. I tell them we ran out of gas, but had hoped to make it over the hill. I kind of felt like a stupid tourist!
The girls said, “wait 5 minutes, we will be back.”
While we were waiting to told Anastasia to push the bike up the hill. She gave me a nice look, which I take it as. No, that is not going to happen.
About 5 minutes later the Thai girls come back with a liter of gas and fill our tank.
I ask them how much I owe them and the girls says, it is 45 baht per liter. I give her 60 baht, and they refuse to take it. They give me 20 baht back and tell us to enjoy our holiday.
I am amazed! This is the second time a Thai person has done a selfless act of kindness and wanted nothing in return. I am extremely grateful.
Well, the Russians and I are back up and running. We turn the bikes around and head to Tien beach.
Tien Beach is a lot like Nual Beach, but smaller. We find a great place to lay our towels down, and we all jump in the water.
Tien beach is really pretty. There are rocks on each side of the beach, and then the beach itself is soft, yellow sand, with warm water. Just prefect.
While at Tien beach we also have something to eat, as the prices at this beach are a little more normal. Unlike Nual (Monkey) Beach.
It is getting closer to sunset, so we head over to Nual beach for our view.
The sunset was pretty awesome, but it is now time to leave the beaches, and head back to the hotel to get cleaned up, and go for dinner.
For dinner that night, we went to the Koh Larn Weekend Night Market, and guess who I see. My lady friends from the street. On weekends they set up here to sell food. I love it. They saw me first and yell out, “Friend, Friend, BBQ here” and as normal, are laughing like crazy.
I also see the owner of the hotel. Wan. I find out, the one lady is his mom. This is really cool. I feel like I am with friends.
Wan gives us, as he calls it, VIP treatment. We all get discounts on the fish, and Wan also brings it back to our hotel to eat on the patio.
Anastasia, Olga, Kosta, and the Amazing Rob!
A great meal, with amazing friends. The best way to end such a fun day!
Day two starts off with Seafood Rice and coffee on the patio, which takes me a few minutes to wake up. Maybe one to many rums last night. Haha.
After breakfast, we hop back on the motorcycles and head to the view point from near our hotel. This overlooks Tawaen Beach.
From here, we go to the next view point that over looks Nual, Tien and Samae Beaches.
This is the view point with 1 billion steps, to reach the top. The entire way I complain about how many steps there are. But I make it to the top.
For whatever reason, I am getting the same heat sickness I got back in Indonesia. Back them, it was everyday, within 20 minutes of being in the heat I would get feel sick. I hope it doesn’t last all day.
Anyways, the view from here is awesome!
After the view point we head over to Nual Beach where Kosta and I drop off the girls and head back to the hotel to give the scooters back. We only had them for 24 hours.
Kosta and I take a scooter sidecar ride back to the beach, where we have a little fun accident. As the scooter driver is going down the driveway, he locks the front brake up, and doesn’t release it. The back of the scooter comes up in the air. Kosta and I both fall forward, and then the bike stops. He still doesn’t release the front brake. So Kosta moves to the back of the sidecar and the back wheel comes back down. Neither of us got hurt, and I told the driver, this was fun, can we do it again. He says sorry, and I say, no worries. All part of the authentic Thailand experience. haha!
We spent the entire day at Nual beach, and the highlight was when Anastasia got the courage to feed the monkeys. Everything was going great until one of the baby monkey’s decides she wanted to touch Anastasia on the shoulder. I even said, “here one comes.” As soon as the little one touches her, she jumps and screams. Oh My God! it was funny. I spent the rest of the day teasing her about the little tiny monkey who scared big girl Anastasia. hahaha!
After an amazing two days spending with my friends, it is now 5 pm and they are heading back to Jomtien Beach. The good news is, I will see them again in a few days when I leave the Island.
See you soon friends and thank you for the amazing time!
Today is another day for exploring a new area of Koh Larn and I remember reading about a really nice beach, that starts with a T. I don’t remember the exact name, but I should be able to figure it out from the tourist map downstairs.
On the map, I see Tawaen Beach is not far from me. Walking distance, maybe 30 minutes.
As I am walking a local pulls up beside me and asks, if I want a ride. I said, sure, how much. He says, “Donation”. I say 20 baht, which is on the low side of the standard amount, but he agrees.
I tell him Tawaen Beach, which is straight ahead, no turns. This is also the direction he is facing.
I get on and the first thing he does is turn around and starts going the wrong way. I tap his shoulder and say, no no, and point other way. He thinks I do not know where I want to go and tells me, he knows where he is going.
After another minute of me trying to explain to him, no, this is not the right way. I live here! I know there is only one road to this beach. He finally stops and asks someone to translate.
No one understands, put I manage to explain again, I know where! He believes me and takes me to the correct beach. Mind you, the distance we drove the wrong way, is further than the actual distance to the beach from where we started.
We get to the beach, and he says, sorry, he didn’t understand. It is all good, as he still is happy for 20 only baht.
Just another adventure. 🙂
Walking onto this beach, I see tones, and in Australian, HEAPS of people. This does not look like the calm, relaxing beach I read about.
So get this, I later realize the beach my confused driver was taking me, was actually the beach I wanted to go to. I had the wrong beach name and location. This doesn’t matter though, I want to see all of the beaches.
So onto Tawaen Beach to explorer.
The beach is 99% filled with beach chairs, and I do not want one. I like to find a free spot to lay my towel down just on the sand.
At the furthest end of the beach, I finally find a small spot and drop my towel, toss on my mask and run straight into the water. Awww nice!
The water here looks the same as Monkey Beach, but I little less clear from all of the people and boats stirring up the sand. Still nice and clean though.
I swim and explorer the water for about 45 minutes, and then decide to dry off and walk around the beach vendors. I want to get an idea for what the prices are. On Monkey beach, the prices are crazy expensive when compared to the town prices. For example, a beer in town is 55 baht, on Monkey beach, it is 120 baht. Rice dish 50 baht, on the beach 250 baht and up.
Here on Tawaen Beach I find the prices are much more reasonable. 70 baht for a beer, and rice dishes around 120 – 180 baht.
I sit down at one of the beach restaurants and have lunch. I had a chicken burger with fries for 170 baht. I have been craving westerner food for a few days now. Mmmm sooooo good!
After my late lunch, I am done with this beach and decide to head back. It is way to busy here for me anyways.
I was able to catch a Pattaya Bus back to the main street, for 30 baht.
On the way back to my room I see my favorite street food ladies and stop for a little chat. I will be back later for dinner.
The rest of the day I relaxed on my patio, so nothing really mentioning, except when a Thai guy walked by and I said hi. I know, nothing exciting, but that changes later.
Around 11 pm, I am laying on my bed, when I hear a knock at my patio door. I see it is the young Thai guy from earlier. He asks if I want to come and have a beer. I say sure.
He introduces me as the Canadian, and I meet his friend, Tap, and the two Thai girls. I call one Crazy, and the other Funny. I have no idea how to spell or pronounce their names. Oh yeah, his name is Man.
2 hours later we are all still drinking. These 4 are truly power drinkers. They have well over 30, 700 ml beers already gone, and Man just left to go by more. I offer to pay for some of the beers and they would not have it. They also kept giving me another beer before I finished off mine.
One of their favorite sayings, is SahSee, which I am spelling wrong, but means. Last drink. So you must chug the entire drink and then they give you another, and say it again.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day. LOL!
I think around 4 am I decide I am done and need some sleep. I say goodnight to my new funny friends and head to bed.
The adventures when travelling are always so unexpected!
Today I woke up after a decent sleep in a full air conditioned room.
My first thought was, what the hell to do today, then I thought. I might as well as walk towards Monkey (Nual) Beach and explorer how to get around the island without a scooter.
I check the map and it shows about a 40 minute walk from here.
I am only taking my towel, sunglasses and money inside my GoPro stick handle. That way when I am swimming, I have nothing on the beach worth stealing. I really don’t know what it is like here.
After about 20 minutes of walking, I know I am about half way, but the sun is taking its toll on me. If I see a taxi or bus I will jump on.
A few minutes later a Pattaya Truck bus pulls up and I jump on. I ask the people on it how much they are paying, and they tell me 40 baht to the beach, and 30 baht back. I will try for 10 since I am a little past half way.
We arrive at the beach and I offer 10, he says 20 baht ($0.75 CAD), and I give it to him. No haggling!
As I walk alone the beach, I look for a place with no rental beach lounges, and some shade. At the far left / east side there is ample room like this. So I lay my towel down and head straight into the water.
The water is warm, clear, blue, with very light yellow sand. Soft sand at that. Not very many rocks or coral. A very good swimming beach.
Swimming around I do see little fish, that look like barracuda, but only the length of your hand. I also saw a small crab, and rock fish of some sort.
Sorry, these images are pulled from video and I haven’t been able to find what species of fish they are.
I swam for maybe 45 minutes and then I saw Monkeys jumping and playing in the trees. This is so cool, I was hoping to see them today.
I walk over and start watching them.
There is a Russian girl standing beside me, and I ask her if she speaks English. She says, “yes, a little.” So, I start talking to her about the monkeys and maybe feeding them.
She says, “Lets get some food!”
A few minutes later she comes back with her husband, and he says to me, “Come, come, we feed them!”.
We start the climb up the hill.
We reach the top.
Right away, one pisses on me. The joy of monkeys, but they are so cute.
Can you see all 5 in this picture?
My new friend feeding the daddy. He was really calm and nice!
After our little expedition, her husband and I become really good friends, in a very short time.
We end up spending the rest of the day hanging out, and this group of Russians were some of the nicest people I have met. They gave me food, water, rum, and homemade vodka. Which was damn good!
In their group, there was 3 couples and one single girl.
After our day of swimming, chatting, and laughing, they all invited me several times to come to Russia and stay at their homes. I am thinking I will have to do this one day. They even told me they will find me a good Russian girl for my wife, because I need a wife. I love it! So much fun.
2 PM and the monkeys came down to the beach where I get a second chance at seeing them, but this time, I am not getting pissed on. Woot Woot!
This time the monkeys are a little more aggressive, but on one gets bitten. If you do get bitten, life will suck! You have to get a tone of shots/needles, and they are not cheap. Also, you have a very good chance at getting Herpes Virus B, which is fatal in humans.
So don’t piss off the monkeys. If they want something, give it to them.
Around 3 PM we all jump on a bus and go back into town, where they catch the ferry back to Pattaya. I was sad to see them go, but I really do hope I see them again.
6 PM rolls around and I am ready to find some food. From my balcony, I can see two older Thai women cooking street food. This is always cheap and yummy.
I walk over and get 3 BBQ Skewers.
The ladies have lots of questions for me, as it is not normal to see a tourist after 6 PM.
They ask if I am alone, and I say yes. This sets them into uncontrollable laughing and the one says, “You want Thai lady”, and the other one winks at me. Oh my god, they are funny. I think they are around 60 years old.
Then they ask where I am staying and I point to my hotel. The one says, “Ohhh” and they start laughing even more. The one lady says to me, “You need women when you stay there, that’s honey suite.”
Now I get the pink room, and then I notice a sign that says, Love In Resort. This resort is the honey moon resort for Thai’s when they get married.
Who am I to judge, it is the cheapest place, so I am happy.
Anyways, these ladies are awesome, and I visit them almost every night for food.
Another end to another great day! Started off as a 1 hour trip to the beach, and ended up being an all day event with new friends.
This blog is not going to follow my normal style, but it is something I feel I want to do.
Only a few hours ago a friend, a person who I admired, and was a true mentor passed away from cancer. He is the 2nd person in less than 6 months, that I know was taken way to early in life.
How do I know Bill? Well, the story goes like this.
When I was 15 or 16, my best friend, Kris, who still is one of my best friends, was working for his Uncle, Bill. But Kris was moving onto a new job, and gave my information to Bill. Kris being a great friend told Bill I was awesome and Bill agreed to have me come work for him.
I was to meet Bill at the Athens fairground that Saturday at 7 am. I remember this day, just like it was yesterday.
I arrived a few minutes early to see a guy my dad’s age in a big yellow rain suite washing a transport. I walk over and ask if he is Bill. He says Yes and gave me instructions to put on the other rain suite and start working. My first day we worked 13 or 14 hours, and not easy hours. Who thought washing trucks would be hard, but trust me, it was!
Very quickly I learned Bill was a damn hard working guy, and rewarded people who also worked hard.
The agreement on the phone was $6.50 per hour, which at the time was just above minimum wage. However, at the end of my first day, Bill said to me. He really liked my work and decided to give me a raise to $7.
From that day on, Bill worked me damn hard. We averaged 10 hour days on weekends, and it wasn’t uncommon for us to work 14 hours a day. But he always rewarded me. Almost every day he bought us coffee and toast for my first break, and when we went for lunch, he always paid.
There was a few times I tried paying, and he would let me, but the next day he would fill my car up with gas. So, did I really ever pay?
That was Bill, a hard working, extremely generous, and kind man. Just being around him made me want to succeed in life. He was actually the first person to inspire me to travel.
I remember he went to Acapulco, Mexico for vacation and when he got back he showed me pictures of his trip over a Crown Royal, and Coke.
That reminds me of my favorite quote from Bill, “I like Crown Royal!” he would randomly say to me when it was near his birthday or Christmas. One Christmas I actually bought him a small bottle and left it in his truck to find.
Bill also got me my first job as a welder at Tackaberry’s, which lead to me going to school to be a software developer. If it wasn’t for Bill, I would not be the person I am today, and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today either.
One thing I will never forget about Bill, is he loved to give people nicknames. One of the funniest ones was when a friend of mine from school came to work with us. His name is Ben! Ben is a big dude, and always missed washing under the truck boxes. Bill nicknamed him, Bend Over Ben. There is a second reason he named Ben that. One night Ben and I went drinking, the next day at work we were a little hungover and Ben bent over to puke. Bill saw him and made a comment to me, “he can bend over!”
His nickname for me, was Knob! Yep, that is where my company name came from!
So, this summer I had a chance to go see Bill. I even dreamed about showing up with flowers and a bottle of Crown Royal and telling him how much what he did for me, meant to me, but I didn’t. You know why I didn’t! Because I was thinking about myself and was more concerned about leaving, and traveling. I thought, I will do it when I get back.
I rarely, if ever, have regret, but this time I regret not going.
I learned a lot from Bill, and my memories of him will never fade.
Before I wrap this up, there is something I must say! Don’t let life pass you by. Do what makes you happy, and don’t forget the people around you. AND never procrastinate when it comes to telling someone how much they mean to you.
It is almost 11 AM, I am all packed and just waiting for Earthie, to arrive. Earthie is the person I rented my condo from. I am very curious at how much my electricity, water, and cleaning bill will be for the month. The entire month I was tried to only use the air conditioner when I was over hot, and during the night so I could sleep.
Earthie arrives and we check the readings on the meters. After doing a quick calculation, I am very surprised. The total comes out to 1500 baht ($58.00 CAD) for all 3. Not bad at all, and that means I get 3500 baht back from my deposit.
If you ever come to Jomtien Beach, I highly recommend renting from Earthie. Check out the video of my room.
We wrap things up and I say goodbye to Earthie. He is a pretty cool guy and I hope to see him again in the future.
It’s 11:30 AM and I want to catch the 12 o’clock ferry to Koh Larn. If I miss it, I have to wait 2 hours.
I waddle as fast as I can with my backpack to the closes motorbike taxi, and we head off to the ferry.
This is a new experience. I am comfortable on the back of a scooter, but adding my backpack, and laptop in my hands, is more of a challenge. Especially when we are going through traffic as fast as it will go. And down hill, he pulls in the clutch to coast, because we were at red line, and now we can go faster.
Oh yes, this is fun, and exciting. I am glad I do not have a helmet on, that would slow us down anyways.
We make it to the ferry, with 10 minutes to spare. The cost is 150 baht, but I give him 160 baht, which makes him really happy. Back home this would be an insult to give 40 cent tip, but here, not so much.
I jump on the ferry and get a good seat, where I can see my bags. I love this ferry, it only cost 30 baht ($1.15 CAD), and has decent seating for an 40 year old tug boat turned into ferry, with wooden seats. So cool!
For some reason every time he blows the horn, I do the same in my head. Beep Beep! … maybe to many years of watching Thomas the Tug boat. (You know you are Canadian when you get that reference!)
From the port to my hotel is about a 12 minute walk, but it is peak heat time of day, and a motorbike taxi only cost 30 baht. So, this is my option.
I show the young guy where I am going, he says he knows it. As we pass my road, I wonder, maybe he knows another turn. Nope.
We arrive at a different hotel. I show him were to go and he says… Ohhhh. No problem. He knows a short cut between the two road.
OMG, he was not kidding. The short cut would be difficult to walk down, let alone taking a motorbike, with two manly men, and my packs.
As we are going down the path, a tree grabs my hat! I am not loosing another hat! I tap his should and ask him to stop. He stops looks back and sees my hat hanging 8 feet in the air. He is laughing so hard, and says many things in Thai. I laugh as well as I jump and grab it. How the hell did it get 8 or more feet up? Anyways, he thought it was pretty funny and keeps laughing as he is driving.
2 minutes later we are at my hotel. He wants 30 baht, I give him 40, and say, no change. Again, this makes him pretty happy.
Motorbike taxis in Thailand have a bad reputation for being angry, and trying to rip people off. I honestly do not know where this comes from. I have never had that. They tell me a price before I get on, and they always keep to their word. I never haggle, because the price is very fair, and most times I feel it is too low, so I give a nice tip.
So, if you are in Thailand, do the same. Don’t haggle to save $1 dollar, when it cost you nothing, and to them it is the world. You will get the same great experience that I have!
The owner of the motel/hotel/homestay, is not here, and the receptionist does not speak any English. She can tell I am wanting a room and keeps talking to me in Thai, while smiling. I smile back. I have no idea what she is saying, then she pulls out her phone and makes a call. Now I know we are going in the right direction. A few minutes later she grabs a calculator and shows me 3500. From this I know she knows who I am. This is the correct amount.
I give her 3500 baht ($134 CAD) for 7 nights, and she takes me to my new room. I have named this room, the Love Shack!
Later I will update the blog with my video of the room and area, but I have found out the free WiFi is a shared 56 K modem. So, yeah, I won’t be posting any vids as I am using my phone data to write this blog.
I am cheap. Here on the Island I get a 70 mbps (8000 KB/s) connection on my phone, which is amazing, but it cost me $1 CAD per 1.5 GB. I need that for porn in my Looooove Shack! hahaha kidding!
The remainder of the day I walk around and explorer my food options. My favorite place is closed though. 🙁 Not sure why.
9 PM, and I am starting to wonder what I got myself into. I am truly living with the locals. At around 6 pm, all of the tourist left the Island, and I am sure I am the ONLY non Thai remaining. Normally I will see at least one other person, but here, none, not a single one.
It is a little weird because on the mainland, you will find half of the locals speak a little English. However, here I think it is like 1 in 5 maybe.
This is going to be a very interesting week, and I am going to make the best out of it and see if I can make some local friends.