Island get….away!

5 am and the alarms calling us to get up and out of bed! A groan and a stretch and I’m up. We’re already packed up so we’re pretty much ready to leave by 6.20am. Outside, we debated over a bus or taxi and as the roads were pretty clear, we decide to grab a cab to save us lugging over extra heavy invisible men around.

So in the cab, a few disgruntled words from us and he finally agrees to put the meter on and we’re off.

At the bus staion, we book our tickets and hop on the 7am bus! The journey takes 3.5hrs to reach Banphe. At Banphe, we find the tour company who then arranged our speed boat to the island..Ao Wai.

45 minutes later and we’re reached our paradise island getaway! Wow, this place is gorgeous! We’re staying slap bang right in the middle of a secluded white sandy beach! Checked in, we then follow the receptionist up to our room and wondering which of these beautiful temporary homes will be ours for the next few days. We pass cottages, apartments, small but beautiful shacks…hmm..it’s taking ages, it’s quite a walk.

Suddenly, a windey path or 2 later and our tiny shack appears! Umm..for starters, shack is the right word! It’s small, wooden and rustic features scream ‘renovation’. Ok, maybe it’s better looking inside? We enter into a hot and dank looking square room…oh and there’s a double bed staring at us haha! We did order a twin of course!  No aircon either, just a fan, oh and no mozzie net either..hmm this can’t be right! So we go back to reception to switch rooms. “No sorry, nothing available as it’s holiday season”. I think she means it’s the weekend coming up, they are fully booked by the Thai’s. Ok, we can handle it for a few nights right?

Ok, so lets get some washing done..”I put together to make 5 kilos” Um, ok! Hasn’t been a problem anywhere else but if that’s what we have to do, we put it together. “Will you keep the whites separate?” Asked Judith pulling out her white Tshirt. “It might be ok, no guarantee!” “Well, we don’t want our whites to come out coloured!” replied Judith. So I quickly pull out my red Tshirt as this one hasn’t been washed yet and we decide it’s worth a risk.

Later, we head out for dinner which was pretty bland, washed it down with a cocktail and then went to bed by 10pm!

Friday 24th May – A white shade of blue!

So we’re up by 9am and down for brekkie by 9.30am. Scrambled eggs (apparantly) and toast which tasted of sugar, urgh, none of it was nice! We then went over to reception to pick up our washing…

“Oh my god!!” Screeched Judith… she pulls out her white TShirt and trousers which are now looking a dull shade of grey / blue!! “They were my clothes for my stay at the meditation centre!” Oh great, and my smalls have all gone blue too! I think my blue aladdin pants are the culprits! Oops, sorry Judith! Strange though as they have been washed before. Judith complained at the receptionists who basically replied with a ‘told you so’ comment but they did agree to try and get it fixed. I wasn’t too worried about my smalls so left them in all their new bluey glory haha!

Peeved, we went back to our room. As they were no nets, all our bites are now coming up. Judith is absolutely covered poor thing! We then see holes all around the doors and windows so it’s more than enough space for bugs and creepies to sneak in! Again, a long walk back to the reception and we’ve asked them to sort it out. 20 mins later, they’ve sent 2 guys to come along and try render the doors and windows ‘bug free’ ! Phew, lets go and chill on the beach.

Woah, the sun is pretty strong here so on goes my factor 50. I couldn’t stand it for long so had to go back into the shade. A while later, our bellies are telling us it’s lunch time but we’re dreading it! What horrors will they serve up this time? Ok, they can’t go too wrong with a sandwich right…wrong!! Something tasted a bit funky so I couldn’t eat it all! Sunburnt, hungry and to be honest a little hacked off, we headed back to our room. We agreed to leave a day early (Saturday and not the Sunday as originally planned). We thought we’d head back to Bangkok to party it up Saturday night.

It was such a shame! How could we be so unhappy in a seemingly perfect paradise? Well, it was a mix of things I guess..believe it or not, there was a real lack of anything to do. Yes, the beach was absolutely a-mazing but it was more of a couples / honeymooners scene! Being the single one of the pair, I found this a little bit hard but no doubt Judith did too and was secretly wishing she could trade me in for her boyfriend Matt hehe! But also, there weren’t any people we could befriend and mingle with. The couples were all being ‘coupley’ and lovey dovey and other people tended to be families having a short getaway. Oh and the majority of people there were of Asian ethnicity so they didn’t want to be mingling with us anyways hah!

So on our last night, we had a Magnum icecream for dinner followed by a beer and a cocktail oh and then a walk on the moonlit beach…all together now…awww!!

Saturday 25th May – Skybar?? More like Skyfall!!

So the journey back to the big smoke felt like it took up most of the day. As soon as we’re back and checked into our hostel for the night, we get ready to hit the town and party to make up for our island disaster!

“Lets go to this Skybar you went to before!” An excited Judith putting the final touches of her make up on agreed it was something we had to tick off the Bangkok bucket list. “Ah yeh, sure. It’s nice in there, you can see the whole of Bangkok from the top!” I agreed it would make for a wicked night out.

In the taxi along the way, it hits me there are 2 skybars! “Hang on, I went to the bar at the top of Baiyoke Tower. Albert said there are 2 skybars…the one I went to and the one where the Hangover 2 was filmed and that one is uber expensive. Also, the matter of attire is important, apparantly they don’t let you in unless you are suited and ‘shoed’ up..no flip flops allowed type of dress! So a quick call to Albert and he tells us we’re going to the wrong one….the extortionately priced one! Oh crap! “Lets turn this cab around then!” I quickly blurted! “They won’t let us in with our Aladdin pants and sandals now will they!”….but it’s too late and the cabs now pulled up right out the front!

We can see very smartly dressed (and rich looking) people coming and going about the place. A bell boy comes straight over and opens the taxi door for us. “Welcome to Skybar!” He did seem quite welcoming but immediately his eyes fell straight to our shoes! ‘Oh no, he’s checking us out to see if we’re suitable…if we’re worthy’ lol! He was too as well..both Judith and I got the up and down..not just from him but everyone! It was so embarrassing. As soon as we walked in, men and women in their fancy frocks and suits were looking us up and down as if to say ‘what are YOU doing in here and how did you get it?!’  I notice everything looks just perfect! Shiny marble floors which looked as though they’ve been polished up to perfection, a huge grand piano (again, polished to pristine condition) and the tallest ceiling that you’d have to crook your neck to see the top of! Judith said to ignore the snobbery and now that we’re here (and in!), we may as well just have one drink and then leave…

64 floors up, we’re now right at the top..”Skybar? Follow me ladies” Another bell boy in a top hat and white Michael Jackson looking gloves beckoned us to the roof top bar. Wow, it is amazing! A whole birds eye view of Bangkok! “Would you like to see the drinks menu?” Asked the tiny and perfect looking waitress. “Sure”. We proceeded to flick through (prices first!) and woah…the cocktails started at 550 Baht on average! Right, one drink then we’re out of here haha! I chose a very berry vodka and Judith goes for a Martini. All the while we’re looking around and seeing the ‘eyes’ on us…as if from disapproving Asians wondering what and how on earth we are there. Everyone’s so dapper and sharp looking and there we were…both in Aladdin trousers and vest tops and sandals lol! “Ladies there is a seat free now right next to the view. Would you like to sit there?” The bell boy showed us over to a nice comfy looking sofa right by the view so of course we went to sit a while. Moments later, I somehow lost the grip on my glass…..

‘SPLOSHHHHH’ I paused for what felt like a few minutes just staring down at my sky blue aladdin pants that were now completely splashed with my very berry cocktail!!!! O…M…G…!!! “Judith, can we um….go…NOW??” I was absolutely mortified!! Had I just done this right in front of all these people? There is absolutely NO way no one could miss this! “Oh no miss….shall I show you the bathroom?” The tiny and perfect waitress promptly showed me the way to go and get myself ‘cleaned up’ ! I really didn’t want to move! The very berry cocktail was SO red that it looked like I had blood all down myself! Gingerly, I followed the perfect waitress to the ladies, feeling the eyes burning into the back of me, the bathroom felt like the longest walk ever!!

Right, so I’m in the bathroom…’what’s the damage? Yup, it’s pretty bad and unrecoverable’ I thought to myself..there’s no way I can clean this off, if I wipe it, it will smudge..where’s your Mum when you need her hah! Where was Judith? Maybe if I stay in here long enough, she will come to my rescue and get me out of here?!! But no, I had to ‘man up’ ! Ok, think, think, think….I’ve got it! I’ll just roll up my aladdin pants and turn them into shorts so the stains are covered! Brill! Seems to be working..not a stain in sight. Ok, right, now I have to face the snobbery and walk back out there! Oh boy, here goes…..head held high, I waltz back into the roof top bar and greet Judith. It felt like I walked into the room in slow motion hah and I could see an accepting nod from Judith before she’s even opened her mouth. ‘This is great’ I’m thinking! ‘Yeh, I’m really working it here’ haha!  Ok, daydream over, we’re leaving!! We then hop into a cab, rush back to the hotel for a soak and a change and then hit our favourite place..Koh Sarn Road! It turned out to be a fab night! We found a club called….’The Club’ ! And partied until the morning!

Sunday 26th May – Hey Jude…or should I say ‘Bye Jude’ 

Today Judith and I spent some time shopping in MBK’s mall for odd’s and sods and grabbed some lunch and chill time for today we were a teenie bit jaded! Later on, Judith left me to head for her meditation course…5pm, that was it. I watched Judith hail a cab and then that was it! I did um…blub a little in the hostel reception but then pulled myself together as I know I can do this! I have BEEN doing it!

I check myself back in for another night but of course, this time, on my todd. Ok, so I’m in a 6 bed dorm. ‘I hope no one checks in with me and I’m all alone’…A few hours later and yup, no one seems to be checking in…woo hoo!! I got my wish! Eventually my tired eyes tell me to switch facebook off and hit the hay in my large, empty 6 bed dormitory.

Monday 27th – De Ja Vue…Sleeper train! 

Ok so this now brings me to today! I checked out nice and early and left my back pack down with reception so I could go back into town for more shopping. I needed a new ruck sack as my other one had ripped with all the cramming I’d been doing plus, I needed a white Tshirt to wear at the monastery. A bus ride into the big city and I’m there. It’s just like London really..lots of people, lots of hustle and bustle and way too much traffic and pollution! Brill, I’ve got everything I need and I’m now headed back to the hostel to chill in the seating area (which is now!)

My overnight sleeper train leaves for the monastery at 8.30pm so I will head off at 8pm to be at the platform nice and early. I will arrive in Ubon Rattachani at 7.25am and I will then catch a cab straight to the monastery. I am actually really nervous! I will be living with monks! I’ll be taking part in their daily routines of meditation, chanting and learning about Buddhism. It’s not because I wish to become a nun though you know..I’m doing this purely because I want to see what monks do, what do they teach in Buddhism, how do they teach it but also because of the meditation. Being a Reiki Master, I need to be able to meditate properly so I felt this will be a huge help and it will teach me how to train the mind to be ‘silent’.

It will be my biggest challenge yet but it’s one my instinct is telling me I must go through. So you may not hear from me for a while as I will not be allowed any contact with the outside world!

Do wish me luck!! I can’t wait to tell you all about it when I resurface! I feel this is going to be one hell of an experience…see you soon!! xxxx

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