We left Myanmar heavy-hearted, and with our bellies turned upside-down. Clement started to have a fever but we didn’t have a choice, the plane wasn’t going to wait for us.
Just after we landed in Bangkok, a traveller looking like the absolute cliché of a would-be hippy came to us while we were getting cash at the ATM. Although, from what he told us, he had been travelling in Southeast Asia for a while, he was totally lost and didn’t seem to understand anything about the fees you need to pay when exchanging or withdrawing money, he didn’t have a guesthouse booked and had no idea where to go to find one, and did not know how to get to downtown Bangkok either. We told him that at this time of the night, the only option was to get a taxi and that it would cost roughly 6€. He lamented about how he could not afford such an expense and kinda forced us to share the cab with him. After all, we didn’t really care, it would be cheaper for us too. Unfortunately, he was either completely stoned or still asleep from the plane journey, as he was excruciatingly slow and stopped walking from time to time for no apparent reason… We stopped waiting for him at some point and went straight to organise our taxi ride to go to our guesthouse. He still managed to find us in time, put his bag in the car, and started to light up a cigarette. Clement, not feeling well at all, lost his patience and explained to him “nicely” that he would smoke his cigarette later.
Once in the cab and en route towards the city center, he realised that we were not going where he needed to be the next day (apparently he had no idea about anything related to Bangkok and thought the international airport was in the center…). At our guesthouse, and after taking a good 10 minutes to get his money out to pay the visibly annoyed taxi driver, he went to see the poor guy who was waiting for us to do the late check-in (it was 1am) and asked him for a room. When the guy asked if he had a made a reservation, his only answer was “Nooooo, I’m going with the wind maaaan !”… Although he really annoyed us at the time, he still makes us laugh today and we’ll always remember him as the cliché of the annoying backpacker. We have no idea if he managed to find a place to sleep in the end, we ran towards our room, or more precisely, the toilets of the guesthouse where we spent most of the night.
The next day, Clement started to feel even worse. He was unable to do anything most of the day, just dozing in and out of sleep, struggling with a high fever that would not go down. As we were a bit better in the evening, we met with Jean-Jacques, a family friend who has been living in Bangkok for the past 15 years, to have a drink on a rooftop bar. The atmosphere was super classy, with some chilling-out electro music in the background and overpriced drinks (like in all rooftop bars). The view over Bangkok was amazing and we had fun.
We got up early the next day. After a 5h bus ride followed by an hour and a half boat ride on an “Express Catamaran”, we landed on Koh Kood island. On the boat, Clement started to feel really unwell (he spent most of the time looking at the floor while holding his seat’s armrests very tightly). But it turned out to be nothing compared to the tuk-tuk ride to the “resort” we had booked: the road was winding, very hilly, and the driver was going like the devil himself was after him. Clement started to feel pretty terrible at this point, so we tried to go to the hospital but after 5pm, there is no doctor anymore. Following the advice of our doctor in France (thank god for mobile phones), Clement started taking antibiotics that night and we went to the hospital the next morning. The verdict: an acute bacterial infection combined with a slight dehydration. Two antibiotics, rehydration solutions and one mission: get some weight back.
Koh Kood is the island in Thailand that is closest to Cambodia. Still relatively unknown from mainstream tourism a few years back, it has been mentioned more and more in guide books and online as being one of the last islands to remain unspoilt, calm and paradise-like. The island is far from being remote or deserted though (there is a hospital, an ATM, as well as lots of hotels, resorts and restaurants). Even with the island’s rapidly rising popularity, most of the beaches are still not heavily visited and you can easily find yourself alone in the water. There are not many things to do, but this corresponds very well to what most people look for when they come to this place. The weather is beautiful, there are hammocks everywhere, beautiful sandy beaches, coconut trees, good restaurants, perfect to enjoy life and have a good rest !
Although Koh Kood is not really famous for its diving opportunities (contrary to the islands in the south of Thailand), we finally decided it would be a shame not to try and we registered for our first dive. The first few minutes under water were very strange (the brain seems to have trouble accepting the fact that it’s ok to breathe), but once you get a bit used to it, it really becomes magical. Sea urchins with gigantic spines, fluorescent fish, corals, we had an amazing time!
After 11 days on the island, Clement was feeling way better, we had gotten a lot of rest, the blog was up to date and we were ready to leave for Cambodia. Since then, we managed to get late with the blog yet again, and we are now in Laos… But we’ll try to catch up soon, we promise ! 🙂