Anti-abortion blah blah, eye roll.
Rob and I flew to Phuket on April 23, 2012. We got in around 9pm and had an hour long drive from the airport to our resort in Patong. We stayed at Tony’s Resort which was really just a large, out-dated hotel with a really awesome pool and good location to the beach, bars and shopping. We didn’t want to waste our “first” day in Phuket, so we cleaned up and headed out for a couple drinks. We had vodka redbulls then split a pizza from Pizza Company before heading back to our room which we were able to get one bar of wifi connection from and spent the early morning hours watching spotty prankvsprank youtube videos before falling asleep around 5am.
The following day we woke up late and headed straight to the beach where we swam until we decided it was time to eat breakfast which was actually lunch time. We walked around until we settled on a seafood place along the beach. Rob picked out his own lobster and I had a plate of Som Tom and Pad Thai. After lunch, we went back to our hotel where we relaxed poolside. The pool was really awesome. We ordered drinks that we enjoyed in the pool.
The rest of our time in Phuket was spent drinking, eating, beaching and swimming. We went to a Ping Pong show which was quite the…uh…experience. Rob and I found a Thai cooking school that also was a restaurant that we really enjoyed eating at. The prices were really good for Phuket. One of our last days, we booked a snorkeling day trip to 3 islands. We got picked up the next day at 7:45am, got to the port to depart for the island snorkeling tour and got to our first stop that was raining and the sea was super shaky. They cancelled one of our stops so we could do this one but it wasn’t that great. The tide was up so high, the rain was bringing in the jellyfish, there was garbage everywhere and it was cold. But we pushed through trying to get our money’s worth.
We enjoyed a lunch aboard the ship between this stop and our final stop at Koh Phi Phi Don. We had a pit-stop in Monkey Bay before reaching the pier on Koh Phi Phi. We jumped off with snorkel gear to snorkel for 45 minutes but as soon as we started getting stung by jellyfish, we booked it back to the boat where they cleaned us up and treated our stings before reaching the island where we spent the last hour relaxing with our new friends, Amy and Nate from Australia.
Tap water and TP
I’ve been back in American since May 2, 2013. I adjusted rather quickly to my western lifestyle. I spent my first week back with my parents on vacation in Florida where I also got to visit with my uncle and his family who (if I’m lucky) get to see once a year. I indulged in pizza, tortilla chips, donuts and alcohol but did manage to eat somewhat healthy (think omelets and salads) for some of the days there.
I’m back in Milwaukee now and have spent this past week catching up with friends and trying to get back into the work world. The lack of internet at my house has forced me to frequent a coffee shop just a few blocks from my house, which is nice for socializing but will result in continuous dents in my already dwindling wallet.
Some things that have been nice: clean, drinkable tap water and toilet paper. However, this week I realized how much I appreciated the use of the bathroom spray hose.
I miss Thai food but fortunately with America’s awesome food importation system hasn’t been too difficult to replicate. I haven’t tried my favorites yet: pumpkin egg stir fry that I ate for breakfast and spicy papaya salad. Those might pose some challenges.
I’ll continue to update my blog with pictures from my travels from the past 7 months since I’m a little behind.
S-21 and The Killing Fields
There were only 2 things Rob and I had set out to see in Cambodia, Angkor Wat and the combination of S-21 and The Killing Fields. We had booked our accommodations Siem Reap then Phnom Penh but with my visa fails, we ended up having to back track and our original plans of busing to Siem Reap (from Bangkok) were changed to flying to Phnom Penh. So after Siem Reap, we took a van to Phnom Penh and made arrangements with a tuk tuk driver to pick us up the following day to take us to both S-21 and The Killing Fields, both of which are easily doable/see-able in the same day. Make sure to ask your driver for a mask to block the dust and dirt from getting in your nose and mouth! Don’t worry if you take a nap, you’ll look very attractive while doing so.
Both S-21, Tuol Sleng, and The Killing Fields, Choeung Ek, are very disturbing places to visit. Disturbing as it was so upsetting to see where the Khmer Rouge tortured and killed its own people.
This was an exercise equipment for students that was turned into a torture machine during Pol Pot’s reign.
S-21 was a secret prison. It was a school turned prison. I found I was more emotional from the prison than I was from Choeung Ek. My boyfriend felt reversed.
These were the rooms in which the victims were tortured.
These headstones are for the last 14 victims whose bodies were found at the site, one of which was a woman.
These were the prison cells.
The barbed wire was to keep the prisoners from committing suicide.
Next, we drove to Choeung Ek, The Killing Fields. This land was an old Chinese cemetery and outside of the city, which is why it was chosen as the site for the bodies. It was really sad to see both the mass grave sites and the broken Chinese headstones.
Choeung Ek had an audio tour included in the $5 price which was really nice being able to go at our own pace and for it to be quiet thus feeling the seriousness and emotions of the site. There were personal stories included in the audio tour.
A mass grave site.
Another mass grave site for women and children.
The Killing Tree.
The magic tree had speakers attached to it used to blare propaganda to drown out the cries of the victims.
The Stupa is a memorial building housing 17 levels of bones from victims.