Last snippets of Indonesia:
- Went to Yogyakarta to travel the home base for university students studying the arts in Indonesia and to meet up with the guy who took me scuba diving in Makassar. With Yogyakarta as his native city, I feel like I got the perfect dose of tourism, day-to-day life, and just all around good times chilling out.
- The pinnacle of hilarity in the trip was when we built up drunk courage to go to a club and then bailing out as soon as we saw the array of sexy club-goers compared to our homeless, backpacking attire.
- Went to Borobudor with Patrick (the Dutch/Indonesian scuba instructor) and his friend Markus from Papua. Simply spectacular.
- Also attended a political demonstration which was activating against the rise in fuel prices in Indonesia. As with the Occupy movement, there was a fair share of anarchists, rallying against a cause that they just didn’t get the jist of. Oh well.
- Spent my last few days with mama back in Jakarta before she headed back to good ol’ Vancouver.
- Chilled with a cousin in Jatinangor at her university for a couple nights before a couple more evenings in Jakarta.
- As of April 8th, I was Phuket-bound and 1.6 million Rupiahs poorer (don’t over-stay your visa, folks).
Thailand, thus far:
- Hit up Surin beach with 2 girls I met at the hostel, which was INCREDIBLE. Never seen a beach as pristine as this.
- Met a fellow British Columbian who is working as a teacher in Cairo, and since we have acquainted, we travelled to Krabi, Rai Leh and Ao Nang.
- Rode elephants – at an ethical sanctuary! Fear not, people. The master, who I feel was either semi-loco or a tad drunk, Lulu, thought my name was Umbrella.
- Oh yeah, and ran for our lives up a hill in Rai Leh after everyone was running and hollering, “tsunami, tsunami!”. Freaky at first, but the philosophy of most of the people at the restaurant that we were evacuated to was to drink beer to calm nerves.
- During the evacuation, Meaghan and I met a Canadian broad and a fella from Goa who both are currently residing in Dubai. Very nice hanging out with them, and I was ultra flattered when they said it was cool that I was travelling solo at such a ripe age (little do you know, I freak out when I’m not keeping myself busy with other activities).
- Officially became ROCK STARS! That’s right, we went rock climbing, and oh boy, it has been one of the highlights of my trip thus far, despite an aching body the morning after.
- Celebrated Songkran back in Krabi, which is essentially a huge water fight to ring in the new year. People on the backs of trucks, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, and everything in between, engaged in a water war with pistols and buckets spitting out H2O.
- Shitty outcome though: after having my fair share in getting soaked, I got into some dry clothes and carried my backpack for my 12 hour bus ride to Bangkok, which, little do people know (I’m talking visitors here, folks), shows no indication for travelling. Got a tub of icy water dumped on me and my luggage. The result? I came down with a 24-hour fever due to A/C and damp hair for a good 12 hours. Just minty.
- Arrived in Bangkok and what can I say? I wasn’t a fan. Could not wait to peace it and head up to Chiang Mai. I did manage to check out Chatuchak weekend market which was sweaty, huge, overwhelming, and above all: super awesome. Also got to see the massive reclining golden Buddha at Wat Pho. Although this was a hotspot for tourists, it was bucket-list material for myself. So beautiful and in a nutshell, I was speechless.
Well, after my 17-hour train and a night at the Little Bird Guest House, I’m now I’m in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand and I have quite the bit of travelling to do in order to complete this mission I have set for myself: get to Laos by tomorrow evening; find my way to Cambodia (which may call for crossing back into Thailand – apparently the Laos-Cambodia crossing is insane); get to Ko Pha-Ngan, Thailand no later than the 4th in order to attend the Full Moon fiesta (I’m no party animal, but I’m so close that’d it be something that I’d regret more skipping out on than going to).
From a coffee shop in Chiang Mai,
Amira Loosemore est. 1993 – infinity