« Day 4: Island in the Sun | Day 6: Into The Jungle »

Day 5: Go Climb a Tree

Mark Twain used to say: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." I attempted a slightly less ambitious version of that nifty trick by starting the day at 8 with a super-spicy beef salad. Then, feeling flushed and a bit woozy but very very much alive, I rejoined the others and we started on the long boat and minivan trip to Khao Sok National Park.

My general attitude towards modes of transportation is that unless it flies, floats or rides on rails I just hate in on principle. However, I must admit that minivans truly are a superb way to travel in Thailand. Fast, comfortable, with air conditioning and entertainment systems to rival modern airliners, they're also reasonably cheap, especially if you're in a large group. Unless there happens to be two airports conveniently located near your destination and arrival points, a minivan is nearly always the best option.

At noon we stopped in Surat Thani and had lunch in a dirty hole-in-the-wall place stuffed with plastic chairs and tables. It served only three dishes: thin noodle broth, thick noodle broth, and green noodle broth. All three cost .75€ and tasted much better than almost anything you can get in Europe at any price. I went for a "green" motif, accompanying my green noodle broth with bright green Fanta (.25€, awful) and iced green tea with soy milk and orange blossom (.25€, delicious.) Many European tourists are too scared to try street food in South-East Asia, but all who do are stunned by its quality: in many countries even restaurants don't serve anything that good ; compared with the hot dogs and other things that pass for street food in the West, the Asian equivalent is simply unbelievable.

We changed minivans and hit the road again. The new driver had his cellphone superglued to his ear and never once touched the wheel with both hands. Right in the middle of the two hour trip, with everybody asleep, he put on a Scorpions compilation album, starting with the song "Holiday" and its soft clean guitar intro, prompting him to up the volume. Predictably, the instant the main distorted riff came on everybody woke up in a start, hating everything. I loved the irony of it, since Holiday was obviously written expressly to serve as this trip's soundtrack: "Looking for the sun / We will come / To the island many miles away from home"…

Eventually we got to Khao Sok Nature Resort and checked in two very nice tree houses 15m off the ground. The night was falling, so there was not much to do but have dinner. I must have had upwards of 150 meals in Thailand by now, and what I got that night is the only one I'd rank below "very good". Actually it was dreadful: my fish in yellow curry sauce came as a sickly clear broth smelling strongly of rotten fish. I sent it back, which I never do, and nibbled on the white rice feeling cross. Luckily, it was soon over, and then we all went to our beds, cocooned in double-layered mosquito nets, suspended halfway up the trunks of very large trees, surrounded by the jungle and its heady nightlife of monkeys and birds and snakes and rodents and centipedes. I was asleep in minutes.

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: essay assistance
    At the first, it looks like that nobody is interested in climbing the tree. But afterward when they arrived to the place and see the tree house, they get more excited and rapidly start moving to the stairs. The final image shows that everyone was so happy by finding out this ...

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>