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A day in a Longan Farm

My Thai friend, Nitty invited me to come back to Thailand to help her with the English summer class for kids which we started on the 1st of April. 

We did not have any class today so I joined her relatives in their longan farm. The work was just to sit and check the quality of the fruit. We had to cut the excess stems and remove the unripe and the overripe ones. Sounds easy?

We started at 7am and finished at 3pm. It was tiring but the people I was with made it fun. 

   

I haven’t done this before and sitting for hours like this is very uncomfortable. I wanted to stop but I did not. Their smile and laughter sure encouraged me to keep working. Nobody can speak English. 99% of the time, I had no idea what they were talking about. The 1%? I know when they were talking about me. πŸ˜‚

When we finished, they had to compute what they earned and then a lady handed me 318 baht ($10) saying “money for you”.

  

I did not expect to get any money. I thought I was just helping out while trying to get a new experience. 

It felt so good when I got the money in my hand though. I’ve had office jobs ever since so I never earned money this way. It may not be a lot but it is something in Asia specially in the country side. 

Also, I got to take home longans! 

  

I’m so beat but this experience is definitely something to remember and worth trying. 😊

Visited a beach for the first time…

Since I started backpacking Southeast Asia, I always skip beaches or where the main attraction is water. My reason was always the fact that I’ve seen enough beautiful beaches where I came from; The Philippines.

My Thai friend, Nitty wanted me to see Ko Samet in Rayong so I came here after I visited Khao Yai. I took a bus from Pak Chong to Bangkok for 3 hours then another 3 hours van to Rayong. The pier is 20km from Rayong Bus Terminal so I took a songthaew. The boat ride to the island was 45 minutes. There were a lot of hotels right after I got out of the pier but they are not near the beach. I was surprised how expensive hotels/guesthouses are. I kept walking until I saw Tok’s Little Hut, a nice beach front bungalow costs 1500 baht and that doesn’t include breakfast. I just had to stay here!

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I woke up at 5:40AM to see the sunrise but it was still dark. I was alone in the shore. I got to watch the moon and the stars while listening to the ocean waves.

The sun did not show up until after 7AM. Sunrise is beautiful as usual.

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I walked around and sat on the huge stones. A Chinese girl asked me to take a picture of her then she took mine. πŸ™‚

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I got a henna tattoo. πŸ™‚

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I spent the rest of my morning at Tok’s Bar and Restaurant in front of the beach enjoying the feel of the breeze all over my body.

I haven’t been in the beach in a while and this is certainly a very nice little vacation from my backpacking life.

Khao Yai National Park Tour (Thailand)

I availed the half day bat cave tour and the full day jungle tour for 1600 baht through Khao Yai Garden Lodge.

I did the bat cave tour on my first day in Khao Yai. The lodge’s truck was full. We had Tuk as our tour guide. We left at 3PM and just after 10mins drive we arrived in our first stop, the natural spring water. We were only given 30mins. Just enough to change clothes, get wet and take picture.

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We then saw two buddhist temples. One inside a cave where we saw some bats.

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The second was on a hill.

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We then headed to the highlight of our bat cave tour, to see the bats swarm just before dark. They said there are millions but there is no way to prove that. There was definitely a lot of bats though.

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Seeing them come out of this hill which is their cave was just nice.

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And of course, there was this beautiful sunset.

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The next morning, we left at 8AM for the full day jungle tour. Bonsai was our tour guide here. Our first stop was this view point.

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We then headed to the visitor’s center for toilet and to buy some drinks or snacks. We saw couple of deers here.

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Now, it’s time for the 3 hour trek in the jungle.

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I’m sure everyone was hoping to see some interesting creatures here. We only saw hornbill and gibbons swinging in the trees though. And of course, monkeys along the way.

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We went up to the watch tower on our way back to the truck. The view was just beautiful after that 3 hours trek.

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We went back to the visitor’s center for lunch. We had fried noodles and fruits.

Next stop is the first waterfall.

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Then the big waterfall which was a few kilometers drive from the first waterfall.

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We were given an hour. It takes at least 20mins to get to the waterfall and there were a little bit challenging stairs.

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On our way out, a tour guide suddenly asked us to hurry up because there was an elephant. I ran! Luckily, I was able to snap a picture of this male elephant just before he stepped inside the forest.

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I’ve seen elephants before. In the zoo or some tourist place for elephant riding. Seeing an elephant walking slowly on the road and getting into the forest was just unique.

That’s the end of the tour. It was tiring. It was fun. 1600 baht was definitely worth it.

Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), Thailand

I initially went to Pak Chong from Bangkok but there was almost nothing there. Although, I liked the surrounding because I only saw 4 tourists there. I went passed a market to check the schedule of the van to Korat the next day. The locals in the market were very willing to help me to find the station (a very small station) even though they had a hard time communicating in English.

I went to the station of the van the next day around 8:15AM. The fare was 60 baht. I got dropped off in front of the famous The Mall around 9:30AM. I walked to find my target hostel which is Sansabai House with the help of my awesome CityMaps2Go app. I got a very nice room for 450 baht per night.

After I checked in, I walked back to The Mall just to check it out. They have this beautiful man-made waterfall upfront.

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I then went to Safe One night market as suggested by my Thai friend Nitty.

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The next day, I took a bus to Phimai to check the Phimai Historical Park. The fare was 70 baht and it took about 2 hours. They said and apparently this is a Kmer (Cambodian) Temple.

The entrance fee was 100 baht. All stones but beautiful. Worth checking out when it Korat.

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Ayutthaya, Thailand

I am back in Thailand again. Bryna and I first met in Penang, Malaysia. We are both in Thailand so we decided to share a room together near Khao San Road. We availed Ayutthaya Tour by Olavi Travel Tour Agency for 500 Baht each. It is shared with a whole bunch of people, more or less 20 people.

We were picked up by 7:45am when it should have been 6:55am (Asia time). It took about 1 1/2 hours. We visited 6 temples total. Here are some photos.

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It was too hot. We had to wait for other people all the time. We got back around 4pm.

It was hard for me the appreciate everything after seeing Myanmar (Burma). I was still glad I did it though.