HOW THAILAND CAN BE A CRAZY BUT PEACEFUL PLACE
It was an upcoming holiday in Thailand, and my aunt from Canada arrived to visit me, so my friend Adelline and I decided to get out from Bangkok and take her to an island. We chose Koh Lan as it’s the closest one to go to and we would not therefore waste much time traveling. Even getting there was an adventure itself because we changed so many transportations and dealt with many people on the way but eventually we made it.
PATTAYA AND A CRAZY NIGHT
When we arrived at the bus station in Bangkok it was such a mess, the floor was crowded with people sitting and laying down so that you couldn’t even walk to the ticket office. Finally we managed to get a ticket and find our bus. It took us around 2 hours to get to Pattaya city, after we found a tuktuk taxi that dropped us at the hotel. It turned out that this wasn’t the end of the adventure. The driver stopped somewhere on the main road and told us that he couldn’t go all the way to the hotel. “Ok fine, let’s walk and find it!” However, we didn’t expect that our hotel will be somewhere in the middle of nowhere – of course, they didn’t write that. Anyway, we were so happy to finally arrive at our room and take a cold shower. After all it was 47 C and it was the hottest day I had ever experienced.
The first night in Pattaya made it obvious that it was definitely the craziest place I have ever been in my life! During the day it seemed like a normal “boring” city but when night comes suddenly it turns into Sodom and Gomorrah.
As people suggested, we went to see the “Walking Street”. As soon as we arrived there we were left speechless! It is a street filled with bars and clubs, most of them with strippers, places for massages with happy ending and all those kinds of things. People who worked in those bars literally wanted to grab you and bring you inside. There were prostitutes everywhere waiting for their client. Quite a few foreigners, usually older men with young Thai girls walking around together. After all people call Pattaya “Single man paradise” but I would rather say “Old men paradise”. Unfortunately, there is another side of Thailand’s popularity which is sexual tourism, and that won’t seem to change until their government decides to do something about it.
It felt like being in alow budget movie and although we didn’t go anywhere inside it was so much fun for us just to pass by. For my aunt, for whom it was the first time in Asia, this was a tremendous shock especially since she came from a friendly neighborhood in Calgary. Ever since I came to Asia she wanted to visit me and among of all the nice and peaceful places I lived in she ended up coming to the craziest one.
FROM CRAZY PATTAYA TO PEACEFUL KOH LAN
Early morning the following day we were already on our way to the island. Since we came back from Phi Phi island a month ago we hadn’t been to the beach meanwhile, so having my last week in Thailand I wanted to swim and enjoy a bit more of those wonderful Thai islands before I go back home.
We took a boat to get there and while I was enjoying the view I decided to write down some of my thoughts as I really enjoy those special moments. Actually, I realized that I like the feeling of moving and not being in one place. Moving gets you to new places where you experience new things and make new memories, but don’t expect something exciting to happen if all you do is sit and wait.
In Koh Lan I got exactly what I needed – sun, beach and a piece of paradise. Sometimes staying too long in the city makes me nervous and distracted, and I guess many people have the same feeling. Whenever you feel like that go to the park, mountains, the beach or any other place where you can have your time and space, enjoy the view and relax. It is important to restart our brains from time to time and give some rest and peace to ourselves.
Ko Lan is a paradise under the sky! Blue sky and turquoise blue water made me feel so peaceful.
The ocean was warm as I had never felt before, waves were bigger and smaller from time to time and I was swimming against them as they were pushing me back. It felt like a fight –a fight with myself, a fight with life! Life indeed is one big fight and requires a lot of courage to push forward. We are fighting for our goals, ideas, fighting for our place under the sky. Once you stop fighting you stop living, the fact that you are breathing is just pure survival! It is just body, empty body!
You always have to fight, have the courage to love, live, explore, learn and enjoy if you really want to make your life worth living, otherwise you just exist on this planet.
I was often thinking about all of that, but the last couple of months made me realize that even more. The thing is when you are in a bustling city, surrounded by thousands of people and overwhelmed with work, you can’t collect your thoughts. This piece of paradise made me think about all of that and allowed me to put it on a paper.
On Koh Lan Island everything was perfect until we got sunburnt and for me, this was the first time ever. I was so angry with myself that I wasn’t more careful but we haven’t even felt how hot it was as it was a windy day. I still remember when I saw myself in the mirror that evening – I was burned, and my aunt and Adelline who both have pale skin were red as a beetroot.
We were supposed to stay one more day and enjoy the beach but after we got sunburnt we just went back to Bangkok so the next couple of days were kind of “recovering days”, with a lot of creams and oils to heal the skin and drinking lots of water to hydrate our skin from the inside.
However, even though we were tired and burnt this was another life adventure that we will never forget. Since I like a dynamic life, the crazy night in Pattaya and the peaceful day in Koh Lan made out a pretty good balance.