Koh Samui Bankok
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Julia the mermaid.
Today we took a boat trip to
Angthong National Marine Park. This is a group of islands to the west of
It was about an hour of bouncing around on half meter
waves in a very fast speed boat before we reached the islands. Once there we
snorkeled, toured around the islands in the boat, hiked up one to a view an
inland sea, ate lunch on another of the islands, went kayaking on another
island, and then lazed about on a beautiful beach.
We packed in lots of activities and got lots of sun so when we finally arrived
back at the hotel we were both very tired.
Julia surrounded by beautiful islands.
Both of us have been very concerned with the amount and
type of road traffic we have seen on the island. So many motor scooters,
small roads, large cars, and much bad driving made us suspect there must be
lots accidents. So no surprise that on our way back to the hotel the bus
driver hit a motor scooter with two people on it and they crashed falling on
to a very busy road. We do not think they were seriously injured as they
were both able to get up and walk after the accident.
Julia doing all the work kayaking.
The bus driver stopped and got out to help the two victims of her carelessness.
One of the injured had to be taken to hospital so the bus driver had to
detour us all to the hospital as this is a required action in Thailand after
a collision. We were both glad to get back to our hotel and sleep away this
very long day.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Today was a day of rest after yesterday's flurry of
actives and experiences. We also had many mundane tasks to do to prepare for
our next trip to South Africa, sending mail back to the USA, and so on.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
On our way to diving this morning, as we drove down the
main road, we came across the most horrid sight. Once again it was a motor
scooter accident. But this time we did not see it happen. However, this time
I am almost sure someone died! Up ahead of us a motor scooter lay on its
side on the road and next to it was a man lying face down on the road in a
pool of blood convulsing in a
regular but hideous way. Our driver called the emergency services and also
stopped two policemen on a motorbike to help. I cannot tell you how
dangerous it is to drive on the roads here in Koh Samui.
A good indication of how dense the fish can get at Koh
Tao where we dived today.
From Julia: We are thankful to live somewhere that has
road safety laws and traffic cops -- when you are somewhere without them you
realize their full value. We don"t know what the ambulances or hospitals are
like here. Apparently, a new hospital was built here because so many
tourists were being injured and killed on the roads. I don"t know the exact
numbers of injuries or deaths but we have heard that It's at least one
tourist death on the road every month. Our experience has been shocking; we
have seen accidents on two out of five of our road trips. This leads me to
believe the incidence of accidents is very high. It's also very difficult to
witness such horror and then keep on being a tourist without feeling
disturbed and concerned to do something, but there really is nothing I can
It is just amazing to think about the consequences of
increasing traffic, driving without a helmet, and no policing. We have seen
some sights you wouldn"t believe such as a whole family of four people
(tourists I think) with a mother, father, small child, and baby balancing
precariously on the mother's knee, all on one bike; with no helmets.
The roads here are terrifying. The residents seem to accept the way it is rather
than believing there is something they can do to change this danger to them
all. It's a real lesson to me to not be complacent and to stand up for what
I believe in. I only hope that I can.
now for some good news. We had a great day of diving and I felt very relaxed
and happy under the water for the first time. The fish were beautiful. I
imagine being underwater with fish is like flying in the sky with flocks of
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Acting goofy yesterday while diving. Perhaps this will
be my permanent behavior after today; but then what would have changed?
Today is the day we begin our malaria treatment in
preparation for our visit to South Africa. Julia and I are both going to
take Lariam/Mefloquine which was prescribed to us by our doctors
independently as the best malaria prevention. Here is an excerpt of the
potential side effects of taking this drug from the US Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention web site:
"The most common side effects reported by travelers
taking mefloquine include headache, nausea, dizziness, difficulty sleeping,
anxiety, vivid dreams, and visual disturbances. Mefloquine has rarely been
reported to cause serious side effects, such as seizures, depression, and
psychosis. If you cannot tolerate mefloquine, see your health care provider;
alternative drugs are available."
So if our writings get stranger than normal from now on
you can suspect we were one of the rare few that has not done well on this
drug; wish us luck.
Monday, March 17, 2008
See if you can figure out what Bruno is doing to Julia
in this photo. Look at Julia's expression and then look at the expression of
the three guys behind her.
We had dinner at a resort two resorts down the beach last
night. We had eaten there once before and the food was very good, more
western than Thai. Last night we had the additional treat of being
entertained by a traditional Thai band of "glockenspiel" players and
traditional Thai dancers. It was such a brilliant way to spend our last
night in Koh Samui. We discovered that the wrist is the most important body
part in Thai dance. Much swirling of the wrist takes place. Their costumes
were made of vivid colored fabrics all covered in sequins and they wore
imitation gold helmets with tall points on top. The dancers really looked
like the characters we have seen in every Thai temple's art decorations.
It is just another sybaritic day in our life today. The only thing left now is
to repack our bags for the flight to Bangkok tomorrow. We took our pills and
nothing bad has happened so far; so far so good.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This is one of my favorite shots from Koh Samui.
We got up, ate our buffet breakfast, risked our lives on the Koh Samui high
road, and left on an airplane for Bangkok this morning. It was an uneventful
flight and trip back to the Dream Hotel; you have to love that name.
The taxi ride from Bangkok airport to the hotel was much
more frightening than driving in Koh Samui. You can save money by taking the
"metered taxies" but our experience with two of them now is that they have
no safety belts and the drivers drive like maniacs.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
One of my favorite shots from this leg of our trip.
This shot really gives you a feel of our sybaritic life.
We leave for South Africa tonight on a 12:15am departure, 11 hour flight to
Johannesburg. I feel we are hardened travelers now.
We will most likely not have Internet access for the
first part of the trip in South Africa which will last for three weeks. So
if you do not hear from us over the next few weeks please do not worry. If
you do not hear from us in three weeks time then we have no doubt either
been consumed by wild animals, wandered off into the bush in a psychotic
stupor, or not been able to connect to the Internet; one of these for sure.
South Africa Plan