THAILAND - Go Pro Summer 2013 - Sawa dee ka! from dana dobbie on Vimeo.

Finally got around to finishing up my video of my time in Thailand. All shot on the GoPro Hero2 and edited in FCPX. Hope you enjoy! 

So the biggest gnaring event I encounter in kanchanaburi was about an hour and a half outside of town to the beautiful country side where mountains and rivers flow - and of course waterfalls.

Erawan waterfalls is a lovely 7-tiered waterfall which ment some hiking was to be had to get to the top. There was plenty of areas to stop and take a dip.

The only problem with this beautiful placebos the fact that bus loads I mean bus loads of white people. Not only is there so many people there after 11am they all like to be disrespectful to the parks wishes of dressing conservative when swimming. Aka shorts an a shirt - but no instead there are half naked girls and by half naked I mean 3/4 naked of all sizes and men in their speedos and banana hammocks. It’s disgusting and a shame they don’t pay attention to the billion signs thru out the park. For this reason and the amount of people there shortly after arriving and the hike down I started to not enjoy myself and unfortunately decided to cut my time short.

Tho once again the journey on the local bus was far more enjoyable. I’m starting to sense a trend here.
A Thai mother and her two boys got on the bus along the route and one of the little boys sat next to me. He didn’t speak any languages and his mother spoke a limited amount. But it was fun teaching him how to high five with the help of his mom as she understood what I was doing. Since the drive is so long he ended up passing out on me and curling up next to me. It melted my heart. He was one rad little dude.

Xo

Where has the time gone to? I’m a wee bit behind on my posts and by wee I mean a lot since I’m already back in Canada but I thought you should know how my last week was in the beautiful country of Thailand.

Since I last left you I was in the very busy city of Bangkok and wanted to escape for a bit. In which I successfully did. I ended up riverside in the town of Kanchanaburi.

As always I seem to have some sort of story revolving around transit and this is journey is no different. I took a minivan from Victory Monument to Kanchanaburi because it was the quickest way and closest way out of town. Upon finding my way and getting a ticket I ended up in a van full of teenage Thai boys and a sweet Thai lady. The Thai lady spoke a little English and wanted to know where I was from and how was I enjoying her country. We exchange emails to keep in touch further and then she gave me some mystery food. I had and still have no idea what they were and what was in them but she kept saying they were a very thai food. She gave me two and that it was a must to try. Sadly she wasn’t coming to Kanchanaburi but I was very glad to meet her.

Once I arrived I quickly found myself in a guesthouse that over looked the river. It was much cooler by the river as you got a breeze. You can guess it - yes sireee. All I did my first day in kanchanaburi was chill down by the river and read. It was the relaxation I was needing before making my way back to Canada.

During my time here I of course ate a lot of food - checked out the town, markets an the local sites. I was hoping to do some kayaking but sadly every time I went to go get a kayak the shop was close. This was highly frustrating. Made me a little sad actually. But I did get some gnaring in before leaving by visiting a seven tiered waterfall which I’ll save for another post since there are several photos to share.

Oh! I also got to meet someone local! From Hamilton Ontario actually! That was really neat. You never expect it but its always a pleasant surprise. One of my favourite things is meeting people an realizing how much we all have in common and how small the world really is.

So yeah. Kanchanaburi was a good thing wish I could have stayed longer and kayak of course.

I’ve started the trend of walking to my bus station when leaving a town and sukhothai was indeed part of this.

The amount of times I got ask for a tuktuk drive is an absurd amount. I wondering if Thai people walk places much or are they use to foreigners not walking anywhere?! The second is probably the more reasonable answer. I find this strange as I am very much a walker. I have two legs and heartbeat. It was only 2km - took me 20mins which isn’t bad. The heat was terrible as it was first thing in the morning plus I needed to do something as I was about to sit on a bus for 7hrs into Bangkok.

My body is growing acustom to these long bus rides - it helps they are air con. I slept most of the journey and the periods I was awake I made faces with the young Thai girl beside me. She thought it was hilarious and her mom just smiled at me. It was cute.

Ah. Arriving in Bangkok gave me super anxiety. It’s just far to busy. So many people. And dealing with taxi drivers are no help.

One approached me and asked ‘where you go’ I told him the hotel I wanted to go to where he had to ask another young Thai girl where it was and then told me 400BHT!!!!! How insane! That works out to be about 14$ Cdn to go 2.5km. Your kidding me. After much bartering I still got ripped off at 100bht. But there wasn’t too much I could do. I didn’t know exactly how o get there myself and I forgot to write the google directions down and I was hoping it would have stayed in my browser cache but that wasn’t the case whatsoever.

So once we negotiated for the 100bht I was sent on this wild goose chase thru the bus terminal to the road where he told me we take motorcycle too much traffic. So if you can picture this - there I was about to hop on a motorcycle with my gear on my back and with this skinny little old Thai man who didn’t come past my shoulders in height an me this monster compare to him about to embarked into Bangkoks notorious traffic at five o’clock in the afternoon.

I’m not goin to lie - I was shitting bricks. I thought my first tuktuk ride thru Bangkok when I first arrived was scary specially whn it started o pour rain - oh no. This ride tops it. There I was with this small Thai man weaving thru traffic at 60-80km an hour - I was literally holding the back of the motorcycle seat hoping I wasnt going to be in a crash - specially when going between two cars. How we fit I have no idea.
Before the journey really took off we stopped for gas. Yep. I was not impressed. I paid 3.50$. I wanted direct. Haha. So after we filled up we both hopped back on and I swore I saw the gas tenant chuckle which I don’t blame him it was a hilarious sight to see. So zoom away we went at top speeds zipping and turning cutting thru hospital parking lots and bam. 7mins later of terror I had arrive at my hotel. Never again.

So besides my dramatic entrance into Bangkok the rest of my time was much tamer.

I knew Bangkok was just a stop over to check out the famous and largest market thailand has to offer that was in the north end. So I didn’t stray far from the north.

The market was huge. Thousand and thousand of stalls. It was essentially set up like storage units back at home with a little walk way they them. There is probably over 1500 stalls that sell items from furniture cookware to clothing. I have to admit if I was Asian size I would have bought a lot o clothing. So many cute things. Here you can barter to get price cheaper as well and they also do wholesale. So much to see. When I arrived shops were just opening so it was quite dead. By 1ish the place was flooded with people. The air which was already hot became that much hotter. And no one moves quickly. I had spotted a few items I wanted and just ended up giving up on finding the stalls again because weavin thru slow people is one of my biggest pet peeve specially when they don’t move for you.

So that was essentially my stay in Bangkok. I had a few drinks with some locals down the street (they had free wifi. -hotel didn’t :( ) and I discovered beer and springrolls go together like peanut butter and jelly.

And yeah. My next adventure is Kanchanaburi :)

Till next time!

When I last wrote I was in the bustling city of Chiang Mai. But not so much anymore. I’m a little behind so I’ll continue where I left off.

From Chiang Mai - I thought it was a brilliant idea to leave my guesthouse early in the morning and walk to the bus station - it ideally wouldn’t have taken Me to very long 30-40mins instead of the hour and a bit if I didn’t get lost several times but you know I’m stubborn and didn’t want to pay for a tuktuk.

As soon as I got the station I found where my ticket counter was to get the city of Sukhothai - I arrived just in time as my bus was about to leave in 5mins. How bout that. Once again it was the government bus into Sukhothai so many locals and not so many foreigners. Aka just me.

The ride it self was pretty uneventful an considering it was 7hours it went by quite quickly.

My bus driver didn’t speak more or any English so when we stopped for food I had no idea until this little old Thai lady came up to me and made hand motions to replicate eating. I was so thankful for her and her doing that because I had no idea what was going on as I had drifted off to sleep land just before that.

I wish I knew more Thai at that moment but I did what I could do and thanked her in Thai.

Arriving in Sukhothai is like any other place a bus terminal which seems like its in the middle of no where and tuktuk drivers trying to get your baht from you. I barter down one for a reasonable price and he took me to my guesthouse.

Sadly tho the guesthouse of my choosing was booked :( the Thai lady try to convince some other foreigner to take me in which she agreed to if I didn’t have a place - but I knew there must be somewhere else to stay as I was in the backpacking district. Turns out I was fine. Found me quite a decent place close to everything for cheap cheap.

Now my visit to Sukhothai was purely to check out the historical park of ruins - and that I did. It’s located in old sukhothai where I took a tuktuk to get to and the best part - rented a bicycle and away I went. It was very similar to Ayutthaya but more spread out. Rocked my world.

I also pigged out on sukhothai noodles which is like a soup in a sweet pork broth. Om nom nom.

I wondered the many night markets near my place - which are very similar to all the other mArkets I’ve seen except I didn’t run into any thee foreigners. So I felt a little out of place to be honest. It was a wired feeling.

Anyways after two nights here I decided it was time to continue southbound to Bangkok…..

deer-reed said: Hi! I'd love a postcard if you're still doing that :) Reed PO Box 11277 Santa Barbara, CA 93107 USA

I would love to send you a postcard!! I’m still in thailand for a few more days so you caught me just in time!

Elephant Nature Park -

Just some photos for you to enjoy and a reminder if you’d like a postcard from Thailand today is your day to email me your address!

I guess it’s time to share with you my time in Chiang Mai!

It’s been a very busy past couple of days gnaring it up in Chiang Mai as there are many things to do in town as there is to do out of town. So I’ll start from the beginning.

My first evening in Chiang Mai there was a little festival of sorts happening in the main square you could call it in the backpackers en of town. I noticed it as I was looking for a place to stay. As soon as I settled in my room I headed back to this square to get my eat on. As I didn’t eat much on the journey to Chiang Mai. As I was sifting thru the vendors I noticed a shake lady. I love love the fresh fruit shakes here and are usually my go too. There was an older foreigner in fruit of me and having that ear for English I wanted to know what shake she got as it looked good. I ended up getting the same as her - pineapple strawberry. Om nom nom. Her husband came out of nowhere to pay for the shakes and I was paying for mine as well at the time a d they noticed I said something in Thai and was curious to what I said. I told them I said thank you - and the next thing I know I’m sitting at a group of tables with this cute couple from the states. It’s amazingly easy to meet people while travelling specially when solo. They were incredibly nice. We chit chatted about our travels so far and each others home life. As it got later in the evening we split ways. I’m always sad during these moments when you meet rad people you always hope to meet again so I never say goodbye just I’ll see you later - as I genuinely hope I do.

The rest of my first evening in Chiang Mai was spent filling my fAce and then stretching out in my room. This was the first place I’ve stayed at that had a tv. It was somewhat distracting.

My second day in Chiang Mai was spent taking it easy. Since I got in so late the previous night all I really wanted to accomplish was booking my elephant tour and a cooking class. I headed out somewhat early to look for the Elephant Nature Park office on the strip - of course my sense of direction was a little off and I started the morning heading in the wrong direction.

Upon realizing this I turned around and started to head the other way. I was on a mission and I had to find this place. In the distance of my scampering about I thought I heard my name. Danaaaaa! But I didn’t really didn’t think much of it and carried on my way when all of a sudden there was a tap on my shoulder. Let me tell you how scary that is - specially not knowing anyone - or at least thinking you didn’t know anyone. It was John! From the older couple I met from the evening before. They were eating breakfast at this little place when his wife CheChe thought she saw me and sent her husband after me. It would have been a sight for anyone to see this older man (who’s in his 70s) running after a 20-something girl. We had a good chuckle about it and he invited me to join them for breakfast. I could very well say no - as they are adorable. We had a lovely breakfast and chat.

They reminded me of home and family. It was like I knew them all my life which made talking to them so easy. It was nice as I was starting to feel a little home sick. The little boogars even treated me to breakfast. Once again we said our see you laters in hopes of running into each other again. Bit I can sadly tell you I didn’t see them again. So if this some how reaches you John and CheChe - thank you for the chatter, your friendliness and kindness. Hope the rest of your trip was a good one!!

After breakfast I quickly manage to find the Elephant Nature Park office where I got one of the last spots for the day visit the next day - then I beep bop over to where I wanted to do my Cooking Class an got in for the following day after the elephants for the farm cooking class.
Things were coming up Dana - which ment it was nap time! Hahaha. Because it gets hot here!
But
Don’t worry I didn’t waste my day away as there was a huge night market to attend to and where I filled my face with delicious food. Seriously going to miss the food and the street vendors.

Elephant Day!
Man oh man. This day was awesome. To sum it up I got to spend my day hanging with elephants - feeding them,yes that means they took food from my hands - and then bathing them in a river. My mind is just blown at how majestic these creatures are.
I took lots of photos and even way more video to show you guys later.
I even had the brief chance to meet Lek who started this project. She’s originally from a hillside tribe in Northern Thailand an rescued her first elephant from an unkind situation in 1995. Now she has over 35 elephants in her care. Just a super awesome organization!
That was my third day as it was an all day event. So much gnar!!

Cooking Day!
Now there are many places to take Thai cooking and I am so glad I went with my gut. I went with the company that had the most personalize as in their story in the brochure and I ended up at Asia Scenic. I signed up for the farm cooking class which lead me out of the city by a half an hour to this cute farm where they grow majority of the food used for the cooking class. All natural - no pesticides. Amazing. Once again I lucked out and got the owner Gayray as our instructor. She’s amazing. And cooking Thai food is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I got to make an stuff my face with - cashew chicken, spring rolls, green curry (paste we also made), coconut milk soup, and mango with sticky rice.

All I have to say is damn I’m a good Thai cook and cannot wait to make Thai food at home all the time. All the time!!!! Srsly. Om nom nom

That pretty much summed up my last full day as once again the class was an all day event.

So today I manage to get lost on my way to the bus station as I walked to the station but made it just intime I catch the bus to Sukhothai - where I’m now relaxin on a comfy bed boy to hit the hay as tomorrow is going to be a long one!

Oh Pai how I adore you.

When I last wrote I was just leaving the city of Ayutthaya to head for the second largest city in Thailand Chiang Mai. Some plans had changed in the process and I ended up in a little town fours north of Chiang Mai called Pai.

The reason for the switch was my long 10hr bus ride to ChiangMai was a very uncomfortable one. I had taken the government bus and by the time I got on a little Thai lady had reclined her seat in front of me all the way. This is not like the reclining on greyhound buses. Much worse. They recline pretty much at 75% of a laying down position. This caused me to basically hang in the isle of the bus the whole trip. Ending in very little sleep.

Once I arrived in Chiang Mai at the bus station in the wee hours of the morning. Aka 5am I was slammed instantly as I got off the bus by tuktuk and taxi drivers to get my ride. It’s a little much to handle first thing in the morning. So I made the rash decision to see if I could just hit up Pai right off the bat - and awesomely it worked out. I ended up boarding a local bus to Pai in under 15mins! Huzzah!

The ride to Pai was incredible. You literally zigzag they the mountains. Sharp turns and all that wonderful was that it actually made a little nauseous after 3 hours of it.

The first thing to normally do when you arrive in a new place is to find a place to stay. Not really Having any place in mind to begin with I just started to wonder. My legs needed a good stretch anyways. After wondering for 15-20mins I seen some girls that took the bus with me up here come from this sort of alley way and I thought to myself. Hmm what’s down this way. Away I went to go explore - and came up to a little rickety bamboo bridge that lea across the river to a few places.

The next thin I knew I was booked in a cute place that had bamboo bungalows an wonderful staff.

I kept my first day and well many of the days to follow pretty low key.

My first night I had the pleasure of helping the owner - ms. Sarah prepare a meal for the guests of Indiana Cottage - as well as meet many if them. By golly can that girl cook. Se made sooo much food. Super spicy green curry (nom nom) stemmed rice, spring rolls, massaman curry, a noodle dish and something else that I can’t remember right now. All I it was so good. She does this for no cost - for the love o cooking and sharing with her new friends.

There was a really cool crew at the place that we ended up hanging out for the evening till the wee hours o the morning drinking - sharing stories and laughs. Probably the first time I’ve met a large group of people that just instantly jived together.

My second day I just lingered about. Hanging out in different shaded areas. Ate more yummy food. Talk to me moms gave her an update. Walked thru the night market. Oh got a message. Just a really chilled day. Also ate some amazing pumpkin spring rolls. I realize I talk bout food lots. But there is an abundance and they are all so good!!

After my lasting about for two three days I thought it was time to hit some action and I made my way back to Chiang Mai on the local bus I came on. To my surprise they will pak that bus silly. Before we left there was over 50 people for a 30 seat bus. Yes there had to be people standing. And yes I was one of them. Let me tell you after standing for three hours sitting never felt so good. Don’t forget the path back is super zigzaggy!!! Oi vey.

Needless to say I made it into Chiang Mai - had some small issues finding a place before dark but luck is on my side a little as I found this small gem to stay at.

I have no luck with buses here tho. :( might hit up a train next to see if that’s any better. Haha.

Lots of new adventures already had here which I’ll share on another day. Must go book a cooking class and I get to spend a day with elephants tomorrow !! Eee exciting.

Till next time!

P.s. if you’d like a postcard send me an email! My time is coming to end soon! So hurry!!

Oh Pai how I adore you.

When I last wrote I was just leaving the city of Ayutthaya to head for the second largest city in Thailand Chiang Mai. Some plans had changed in the process and I ended up in a little town fours north of Chiang Mai called Pai.

The reason for the switch was my long 10hr bus ride to ChiangMai was a very uncomfortable one. I had taken the government bus and by the time I got on a little Thai lady had reclined her seat in front of me all the way. This is not like the reclining on greyhound buses. Much worse. They recline pretty much at 75% of a laying down position. This caused me to basically hang in the isle of the bus the whole trip. Ending in very little sleep.

Once I arrived in Chiang Mai at the bus station in the wee hours of the morning. Aka 5am I was slammed instantly as I got off the bus by tuktuk and taxi drivers to get my ride. It’s a little much to handle first thing in the morning. So I made the rash decision to see if I could just hit up Pai right off the bat - and awesomely it worked out. I ended up boarding a local bus to Pai in under 15mins! Huzzah!

The ride to Pai was incredible. You literally zigzag they the mountains. Sharp turns and all that wonderful was that it actually made a little nauseous after 3 hours of it.

The first thing to normally do when you arrive in a new place is to find a place to stay. Not really Having any place in mind to begin with I just started to wonder. My legs needed a good stretch anyways. After wondering for 15-20mins I seen some girls that took the bus with me up here come from this sort of alley way and I thought to myself. Hmm what’s down this way. Away I went to go explore - and came up to a little rickety bamboo bridge that lea across the river to a few places.

The next thin I knew I was booked in a cute place that had bamboo bungalows an wonderful staff.

I kept my first day and well many of the days to follow pretty low key.

My first night I had the pleasure of helping the owner - ms. Sarah prepare a meal for the guests of Indiana Cottage - as well as meet many if them. By golly can that girl cook. Se made sooo much food. Super spicy green curry (nom nom) stemmed rice, spring rolls, massaman curry, a noodle dish and something else that I can’t remember right now. All I it was so good. She does this for no cost - for the love o cooking and sharing with her new friends.

There was a really cool crew at the place that we ended up hanging out for the evening till the wee hours o the morning drinking - sharing stories and laughs. Probably the first time I’ve met a large group of people that just instantly jived together.

My second day I just lingered about. Hanging out in different shaded areas. Ate more yummy food. Talk to me moms gave her an update. Walked thru the night market. Oh got a message. Just a really chilled day. Also ate some amazing pumpkin spring rolls. I realize I talk bout food lots. But there is an abundance and they are all so good!!

After my lasting about for two three days I thought it was time to hit some action and I made my way back to Chiang Mai on the local bus I came on. To my surprise they will pak that bus silly. Before we left there was over 50 people for a 30 seat bus. Yes there had to be people standing. And yes I was one of them. Let me tell you after standing for three hours sitting never felt so good. Don’t forget the path back is super zigzaggy!!! Oi vey.

Needless to say I made it into Chiang Mai - had some small issues finding a place before dark but luck is on my side a little as I found this small gem to stay at.

I have no luck with buses here tho. :( might hit up a train next to see if that’s any better. Haha.

Lots of new adventures already had here which I’ll share on another day. Must go book a cooking class and I get to spend a day with elephants tomorrow !! Eee exciting.

Till next time!

P.s. if you’d like a postcard send me an email! My time is coming to end soon! So hurry!!