Settling into Thailand

Well let’s just say Thailand is a lot different than India. From the moment we got off the plane, we noticed how few people there were and how much space we had. I guess that’s probably going to be how it is almost anywhere in the world when you compare it to a country with over a billion people. Anyways, there’s been a lot of adapting and I’d say the majority of it is quite pleasant and appreciated as Thailand is a very wonderful place.'

I am currently sitting in a guest house in Ayutthaya, which is about 90km north of Bangkok. We biked here two days ago, and although the ride was hot, it was super interesting to see what Thailand looks like outside of the city of Bangkok. We have found that it is very green here and everything seems to be very manicured. The village we are in right now is very well known for its temples. We have spent the past two days admiring some of the ginormous, beautiful and outstanding ‘Wats’. I have photos of some of these temples on the photography page. As you may have noticed, I recently changed how the blog works. If you press on the photography button in the menu, it will now take you directly to the most recent country that we are in. If you are interested in previous photos from Eastern Europe or India, all that’s required to do is to press on the appropriate button in the menu. I also tried to make the blog a bit more mobile friendly so that it can be more versatile depending on how you choose to read about our adventures.

I haven’t had the chance to post in a while as the past week or so has been quite eventful and interesting. We spent our first week in Thailand with our friends Colleen, Graeme, and their daughter, Kate. My parents know them through Camp Mishawaka when my parents were counselors with Colleen. They are from the US and Australia. Colleen works at the International School Bangkok, which is one of the many international schools that she and Graeme have worked at throughout their teaching careers. Their daughter, Kate, is 16 and it was great to spend some time with her and many of her friends that she introduced us to. Markos, Tarn, Kate and a bunch of her friends and I even had the chance to go see a movie in the cinema. It was nice to lean back in the comfy chairs, enjoy some buttery popcorn, and watch The Greatest Showman.

We didn’t really get that much of a ‘taste’ of Thailand until a few days ago as they lived in a gated community popular with Expats. However, we enjoyed many delicious meals that we hadn’t had in a while. Some of these meals were things such as spaghetti and meatballs, steak (finally) and mashed potatoes, and finished off with some amazing deserts such as brownies with ice-cream, apple crisp, and dark-chocolate. Although the break to having some more well-known meals was nice, it’s good to get back into travel mode and enjoy the local Thai food. Some favorites so far have been noodle soup, grilled chicken/pork/steak and papaya salad. I unfortunately haven’t remembered to take a photo of them yet, so I will make sure to do so before we bike into Cambodia in a couple weeks.

We also attended to a lot of business in Bangkok. Markos and Tarn both took two final exams to conclude their two courses for the first semester. Personally, I took my midterm for ELA (English Language Arts) which ended up to be pretty extensive and I spent five and half hours writing two essays and answering a 40 question multiple choice. Anyways, I’m glad that’s over as I spent a lot of time studying and I am hoping to receive my mark for that soon. I plan to take my final in two weeks so that I stay on track with my courses. I finished my Science class earlier in India, but fell behind in English and I am all over the place with my assignments right now. However, I’m on track to finish by the end of the month which will most likely be the situation. As for other business, we tried to get our visa’s for China, but found out that it is going to be a lot more difficult than we had previously thought. They wanted a full itinerary of where we were going and what we were going to be doing everyday… and through a travel agency. Since then, my parents have talked with a few of their friends who have previously travelled through China by bike to see how they did it. We will revisit that idea later on in Hanoi, Vietnam once we get there. We did get our Vietnam Visas and Cambodia Visas arranged at the Vietnam Embassy in Bangkok and online.

For the past few days, I have unfortunately caught the flu and have been spending most of my time sleeping and resting in bed. I started feeling under the weather on Monday night, and although our plan was to leave Tuesday, we postponed our departure from Bangkok a day so that I could hopefully get better and feel confident riding 90km. I felt quite better on Tuesday evening and so the following day we made our way to Ayutthaya, where we are now. Although I may have felt better then, I think I might have pushed myself a little bit and by the time we got here I felt as though I had no energy left and ended up passing out on my bed. For the entirety of Wednesday night, I repeatedly had to get up to go to the washroom due to severe stomach cramps and I tried to get a little sleep in-between them. As for Thursday, I spent the day in bed with a headache and slept for the most of the day. I felt a little better by the evening and joined my family for some Thai food for dinner. We thought about leaving today (Friday), but thought that it would be a bit better to give me one more day to rest to make sure that I am 100% tomorrow. I am feeling a lot better now and hope that the flu is leaving me fast as I hated feeling weak and incapable of doing anything. I am glad that I am feeling better now, as I have wanted to post on the blog for a while since the last post was in India!

Overall, our first week and a half has been really enjoyable and it is exciting to start our journey through South East Asia. From Thailand we plan to go into Cambodia and visit Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. After Cambodia, we plan to bike into southern Vietnam and make our way up the border of Vietnam and Laos, jumping back and forth between the two countries until we reach Hanoi, Vietnam, where we will re-evaluate the option of possibly going to China, or to fly to Japan directly. Hopefully I have given an adequate checkup and I hope to be posting on the blog more often as it seems wifi is quite a bit easier to find compared to India. Enjoy the photos I have posted already from Bangkok and Ayutthaya!

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