Will Work for Travel
My first week of teaching was a blur of big smiles, trial and error lesson planning and a million students greeting me each passing period with “hello teacha!” It was awesome and stressful and incredibly eye opening. By Friday, I was so ready for an adventure!
Traveling in Thailand is very different from traveling in the US. Back in the states, if I wanted to go somewhere I’d research online a little, buy a plane ticket or use google maps to drive there. Easy! In Thailand, however, I quickly found out that planning for travel is much more complicated (but that much more rewarding)! After realizing that googling train times and bus schedules was absolutely pointless, I turned to my local coworkers for advice. I got about a dozen different suggestions and kind of just rolled the dice and picked what seemed to be the simplest route.
I ended up hitching a ride on a songteow into Nakhon Pathom early Saturday AM, where I had a few hours to wander and explore on my own before meeting up with Lauren at the train station. From there we rode the train to Kanchanaburi, got on another songteow, miraculously met up with Steph & Mikayla, hopped on a (very crowded) bus to Erawan park, then jumped into the back of a truck to get to our home for the weekend.
We stayed at an Airbnb at Shanti Farm, where Mr. Hey and his wife put us up in an adorable bungalow and made us an incredible dinner (fresh homegrown pumpkin and tofu pad Thai!) and breakfast (eggs and bananas from the farm & French toast).
On Saturday night we got to explore the Prathat caves, and they didn’t disappoint. They were massive inside, and I only felt claustrophobic when we had to duck and squeeze through the initial opening in the rocks. Our guide did us a solid and didn’t shine his lantern on the thousands of bats until the end of the tour.
That night we slept two to a bed under one big mosquito net. It felt like a mix of slumber party and camp out. It’s crazy how quickly travel and shared experiences can create friendships. We woke up before the sun the next morning, and made our way to Erawan Falls.
We hiked straight up to the top, and didn’t let ourselves jump in till the seventh fall. The seven waterfalls were so beautiful that the pictures don’t do them justice. On the way down we swam in the crystal blue water, got “fish pedicures,” and slid down a natural water slide.
And that’s one national park off my bucket list! Relying on word of mouth while traveling is frustrating and liberating at the same time. Surprisingly, letting go of some control felt good. It also felt so cool knowing that I had literally everything I needed in my backpack, and that I was able to successfully go from point A to point B in a foreign country.
Less than three weeks ago, the four of us were in the US, wondering how we would make friends, if we were going to be okay, and worrying about what it would be like here in Thailand. If I could go back and tell myself one thing, I would tell myself that everything’s easier than you think! Oh, and maybe also to bring towels and granola bars.
Next up: Loi Krathong in Bangkok this weekend!
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