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COLLECT, GATHER & GO

Written on: Friday May 19th, 2006

A journal entry from: SOUTHEAST ASIA

7 Holder Guesthouse, Khao San Road
BANGKOK, THAILAND

Greetings from Bangkok!!!

We flew in late last night for a brief recharge before we begin our journey into Cambodia and Vietnam. The last ten days were spent hanging out in the Southern Thai Islands - Koh Phangan, Krabi, Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi Islands and Rai Lay beach.

The FMP on Koh Phangan was definite madness. We literally shut 'er down, dancing and drinking our way down the beach as each venue closed. The evening was a complete blur, but we did manage to stumble back to our beach bungalow around 10am while thousands of others made the litter strewn beach their lodging for the night. We enjoyed the best breakfast of champions of banana pancakes and mango shakes and a power nap before heading out to the after-party, which raged until sunset the next day. There we continued the celebration with the sketchiest of the sketchy. Crazy Thai locals become our entertainment for the afternoon (*Bird and Pod deserve special mention).

On the West Coast, we made Ao Nang our base as we explored the Phi Phi Islands. We cruised around on a "speed boat" and enjoyed an afternoon of sunbathing, snorkeling and feeding monkeys. I can just hear my mother, "Wow... Dianne you are so dark!!"

Rai Lay beach was spectacular despite the almost constant pouring rain. Thankfully, the storm clouds cleared up long enough for us to spend a day rockclimbing. Rai Lay's enormous rock formations make it a world renowned rockclimbing destination. We stumbled upon Phra-Nang beach which could possibly one of the world's most gorgeous beaches. A secluded beach complete with monkeys and a cave stockpiled with a shrine of phallic idols dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Indeed... Strange?

So Bangkok is everything we were told and expected: oppressive heat, extreme pollution, tantalizing food and the shopping non-stop. Our accommodations are 'decent' by Bangkok standards. However, for our short time here they will more than suffice. We are catching the bus to Siem Riep early tomorrow morning and will spend the next week exploring the Ruins at Angkor and the rest of Cambodia. Based on what we have heard, tomorrow's journey will be the most treacherous that we will encounter... we shall anticipate the worst.