Jayme’s Thoughts & Back In Phuket 

As we come to the end of our trip we can both feel ourselves getting burnt out. It’s been a great adventure so far and I’m so proud of the both of us for all the things we have accomplished since we’ve been in Thailand. 
I read something the other day that an old friend of mine left in a comment under a picture of a group of us from high school. She mentioned how it was crazy how time has gone by so fast (going on 8 years since we graduated) and she listed what each of us are doing with our lives. A huge smile came across my face when she said “Jayme is out there traveling the world”. Some of us have moved away from Savannah and started careers. Some of us are married or engaged. Some of us have kids. Some of us are off to graduate school and some of us are off exploring what the world has to offer. I love watching everyone’s life journey and seeing other people’s lives develop. We’ve all chosen a path and I’m so happy I have been choosing to explore life, adventure, & be in the moment that is in front of me. It took me a while to fully understand what that meant. I had this picture in my head, like most of us do, as a kid. I wanted to have an amazing career, get married and have my first kid by the time I was 25. That kind of seems like the right thing to do and it’s a thing I think many of us are taught to think is what we SHOULD do. Well, I’m pushing 26 now and I couldn’t imagine doing anything different than I have done up to thus moment. So I just wanted to take the time to give props to all of you out there where ever your path has taken you thus far. To the moms, dads, college students, hard working employees, travelers, caretakers, the ones who choose the path less followed, the ones still trying to figure things out. Whatever point you are at in your life, you’re doing it and I’m proud of you. 

Okay, so here is an update for you guys. Phuket is not really what we thought it was going to be. The location we choose for our hostel is in Phuket Town and when looking at the map we thought it was basically like a downtown area close to the pier. I had imagined the pier to be more of a beach area but it’s really just a docking area for ferry boats in a small river area. Since we are both worn down a little we opted to not book a day trip island hopping. I keep reminding myself of something we both read in a blog while researching Thailand. A guy mentioned that Thailand, mostly the island areas, has so much to do and offer but to remember that you can’t do and see everything. Our trip is only a total of 3 weeks and that’s not near enough time for us to do everything we wanted and that’s ok! 

Our first day back in Phuket was spent hanging out at the hostel and walking around. We are actually right in the same part of town as we were when we stayed at Sino House so we kind of know the area. That day was a blur for me to be honest so there’s not much detail I have for you. The following day we mapped out a few places we wanted to visit and pinned them on my maps.me app. This app has been a lifesaver because it works offline and gives you directions to destinations you’ve pinned. We wanted to try and maybe find a half day snorkeling trip but we thought it would be best to take a taxi over to the west to Patong beach to try and find a tour company. What a train wreck that experience was. 

We flagged down some taxis and they were charging 600 Bhat which is way out of our budget at this point. We managed to flag down a taxi truck and he gave us the same price. One thing to note about the taxi drivers here.. they can spot a tourist from a mile away and honk at you until you tell them that you don’t need a taxi service. It’s a tad annoying constantly being bombarded with drivers asking us “where you go? Need taxi?” Every time we walk around but that’s all part of the experience. The guy in the taxi truck told us that he could take us to the bus station for 50 bhat each and then we can catch a bus to Patong beach. We just went for it. After getting in the back of the truck he came to us and tried to explain that he wanted to take us somewhere for 10 minutes to shop/look around but no need to buy anything. I honestly didn’t understand what he meant so we just said okay. I thought he meant he needed to stop somewhere and we would wait for him. I was completely wrong. See, the taxi drivers here try to scam you by insisting to take you somewhere but then they end up taking you somewhere else because they make a commission. Kind of like a third party thing. He ended up taking us to a jewelry store and insisted that we go inside just to look around for 10 minutes. What I got from this was that he has some kind of deal worked out with the jewelry store where if he brings them customers he will make a commission off of the sale. Christina and I walked around in the store completely annoyed the whole time. The employees following our every move didn’t help either. 
My brain went into survival mode while we were there. Thailand is known for its underground sex slave trading so in my head I’m thinking this was some kind of weird set up where we were going to be kidnapped and taken to the basement in the jewelry store. A bit dramatic I know but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I kept a decent look out of our surroundings and made sure I knew where all the doors were. When we were ready to leave we followed a strange path where the exit signs were and both just kept saying how weird the experience was. We got our safe! Lol 
Really the taxi driver was just trying to make money but the whole situation really irritated me so by the time we got dropped off at the bus station we both decided we didn’t need to go to Patong. Also, we knew exactly where we were and we could have walked to the bus station. We we lost 50 bhat each but I know we will be laughing about it later on. 
We went back to Sleep Sheep hostel to collect ourselves and then set out again to head to Monkey Hill and the Phuket Viewpoint. 

Using maps.me we were able to navigate to the entrance road to the mountain. It was a 20 minute walk there but walking up the “hill” was another story. We began our trek up and both quickly learned why the reviews said the hike is rough. A little less than half way up they close off the road so cars don’t have any access. This is a popular hike for locals to come for a workout. At the point where the road is closed is a restaurant,temple area, & people selling food for you to give to the monkeys. 
TRIGGER ALERT: there was a monkey tied up to a tree in the area and both Christina and I kind of got upset about it because he didn’t have much room to move and was pacing in circles. We just assumed that maybe he was there just as a “welcome to monkey hill” and that he was let free after closing. We were so wrong!! On our way down it was late and the place was closed. This poor monkey was still chained up to the tree without a person in sight! How cruel? Hundreds of monkeys up too are all free and wild and roam the jungle as they please but this ONE monkey has to live a life tied to a tree. We thought about releasing him but we also don’t want to do anything here to get us into any legal trouble. I plan on contacting the founder of Girls Love Travel about this story to see if there is anything that can be done. I can’t physically do anything but I can talk about it make it known. It’s just really upsetting but something I have learned here is to just keep walking when animals are involved. This country is filled with wild dogs. In the beginning of our trip I got really upset when I saw them because it’s a reminder of how lucky our dogs back home are. I know the dogs here are happy and fed so that a plus but it’s just so strange to see a dog wonder the road and not even get a tail wag out of say hello to them. I took this picture for awareness, not for entertainment 

Back to the hike…
We took breaks along the way and once we got half way up I was so confused as to why this spot was called monkey hill but there were no monkeys. The rest of the hike on the map showed that we were heading to the view point. I got a little upset that we came all this way and saw no monkeys. I sat down at a rest area and Christina went off to explore. After 20 minutes of being attacked by bugs I got up and decided to keep going just to see what was at the top. I ran into Christina while she was on her way down and she said all the monkeys were at the top and it wasn’t too much further. She sat down for a break as I headed to the top. 
Monkeys everywhere!!! In the road, on the rails, in the trees. It was a cool thing to see. There were a lot of babies and some of them were feeding from their moms. I don’t know if it’s mating season but there were also a few of them having sexual relations so I kindly looked away. The sun was going down so it was starting to get dark but I watched as a few people fed the group of monkeys in the street. When I reached for my bag to grab my camera the monkeys swarmed me because they thought I had food. It was a bit of a scary feeling being alone essentially in the dark surrounded by wild hungry monkeys but I managed to back away slowly. I snapped some pictures and videos and headed back down. Before getting away from the monkey area I got stuck watching 2 males going at it with each other. I just kind of froze and didn’t move until it was over. These things can be dangerous and I didn’t really want to come home with battle scars. By this point it was completely dark and I was all alone so I’ll admit I was scared. 

I met back up with Christina and we walked back down the mountain and headed to dinner. We just had a crazy workout so we worked up an appetite for some sushi at a local Japanese restaurant.
Earlier that day we had lunch at a rasta bar and our server invited us to come back that night for some live music. After dinner we headed to the bar and enjoyed some cocktails while watching a super cool band play. Our server from earlier even got on stage to sing some songs. She kept trying to get Christina and I to come on stage and sing with her. We knew every song they played so they were all interacting with us. After the show the lead singer stopped to talked to talk to us and we of course we had to snap a selfie. His name is Moosah and is truly one of the happiest people I have ever met. He has this beautiful presence about him and you can tell he’s a genuine soul. We may go back tonight.

Today so far has been uneventful and thats completely fine with me. We did go grab lunch at a cafe called B Cat Cafe. The name should have given it away bevause the hang out area was filled with adorable cats! I paid the extra 50 bhat to go in and hang out with them. We haven’t really been able to give love to any animals here because they all live on the streets are aren’t really excited about human interaction. So I had to go and spend some time playing and petting the kitties. I’m missing my boo boo, Charlee , back home and although petting a cat is nothing like petting a dog, it was still fun.
Tomorrow we check out of our hostel and have an early evening flight back to Bangkok. By the time I post this and you all read it, it’ll already be tomorrow. 

Christina and I are both excited to go back to Bangkok! We changed our original hostel plans and decided to book a hotel with a roof top pool. We will spend 2 nights in Bangkok and then begin our journey back home

Thanks for keeping us with us!
Xoxo Jayme 


Chatuchak Weekend Market & Khao San Road 

Have you ever been invited to a “p*ssy ping pong show”? Well we have. Read below to find out more. 
This city should be the city that never sleeps.

A few highlights and quick update.
It’s 10:30am here and I’m just waking up from a good nights sleep. Christina is still sleeping but I should be waking her up soon because we have a day of visiting landmarks planned. We accidentally slept itln so we’ve missed the free breakfast lol.
Yesterday we managed to successfuly take the public bus to our destination for the day. Christina sat next to a super sweet Thai woman who loves Tiger Woods & Hillary Clinton lol. It’s funny the things the locals say to try and relate to us. The woman was extremely nice! She even told the woman working on the bus which stop we wanted to go to so that we wouldn’t miss it. She offered up her seat so I could sit next to Christina and rubbed my shoulder and hald my hand before leaving. When she was chatting with Christina she told her she had a sweet face and wished her good luck on her travels in Thailand. On the way back we got on the wrong bus and no one spoke English, unlike the first bus. A very nice local woman behind us managed to try to explain that we were wrong so we got off and opted for a taxi instead. As our taxi driver was taking us back to our side of town we searched through his collection of CDs and put in one with American music. We thought it was funny and thoughtful for him to want to make us feel comfortable. We sang along to Whitney Houston with him lol! 

We spent the day at Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s a massive outdoor market with over 2,000 vendors selling all kinds of goods. We did a good job shopping and are getting pretty good and understanding the money here. It’s HOT and humid here just like how it feels in August back home so after 5 hours of shopping I was ready to leave. 

We relaxed when we got back and organized our goodies. We decided to have a chill dinner here at our guest house down in the lobby. We shared spring rolls and pad thai. Christina had an iced coffee and I had a Thai beer called Chang. 
After dinner we took a nap before our big night out. We took some time to experience the popular Khao San Road night life. It’s a 5 minute walk from our hostel and so full of life! It’s hard to even explain it. It’s full of bars, restaurants & vendors. Every bar has music blasting from all corners. All of it is American music or Djs mixing house & edm. Everywhere you walk someone is trying to get you to buy something or trying to get you to come to their bar. 

There are people holding signs for laughing gas which we later found out is literally laughing gas in an inflated balloon that you inhale. We didn’t find this out from experience, we researched it and also found out it’s very illegal. Ever been invited to a p*ssy ping pong show? Well we have. We didn’t partake in viewing the show but I’m sure it’s a sight to see. I won’t explain exactly what it is but it involves Thai woman on stage bouncing ping pong balls. I’ll just let your imagination do the exploring here. We found ourselves at a nice bar called Super Flow. It has a club/beach vibe to it (fake sand included). The employees were nice and the band sounded great. They kept giving us shout outs because we seemed to be the only one clapping/cheering for them. Christina and I shared a bucket of Thai rum mixed with limes and sprite. It was more than enough for the two of us for the night. 

On our walk home we stopped for some food and were approached by 2 men who scared me at first but we’re both very nice. The first one tapped me on the shoulder and said hello to me like he knew me. The 4 of us chatted for a bit and we learned that they were from Holland. Michael, the first guy has been to Thailand 8 times and he brought his friend along this time because he has never been. They basically offered for us to go back to their hotel with them but we kindly turned it down and they went on their way to the next group of girls lol. I don’t think they meant any harm in it but it’s just crazy to see how different cultures are. 

Koh San Road is nothing but a big party, girls passed out on the side of the road and everything. Christina and I described it as being at a music festival but with bars and more alcohol . A woman working at one of the shoe vendors told me I looked like Elsa because of my hair ( it was in a braid) and while we were at the market buying hand stitched coverups the owner asked us where we were from and when we told her she got all excited and asked if we have ever been to Coachella and how she hopes she can go one day lol. 

Xoxo Jayme 

Bangkok Day 1 

There was a worry that I wouldn’t like it here or that I’d feel so out of place I’d want to go home but that’s far from the truth. We both feel strangely content with this city and feel right at home. During our first breakfast in the cafe below our room we had a moment of realization and I think it finally set in that we were here. Months ago Christina kept telling me that she didn’t think this trip would happen because she thought one of us would back out. Fast forward to now as she sat with happy tears in her eyes we couldn’t help but laugh and high five! This does not feel like real life.

You’d think walking the streets of Bangkok for the first time would be overwhelming or scary but it’s enjoyable and pretty easy to navigate. Aside from the tuk tuk drivers constantly trying to convince you to take a trip with them, we haven’t encountered anything that made us uncomfortable. NOTE: don’t believe them when they tell you the grand palace is closed for prayer. They are just trying to get you to use their service until it “opens at 3.” I’ll probably explain more about that later. Christina and I have a pretty good system going. I’m good with navigation so I’ve been guiding where we walk to and how to get back to our hostel. Christina is extremely organized so she’s been on top of tracking money and is pretty good at figuring out the conversions in her head. For those of you who don’t know, Thailand is a country on the poor side so our American money converted into around 52,000 Bhat (around $1,600 USD) the exchange rate is always changing but it usually stays between 0.30-0.35. This means that $1 for us is equal to around 30-35 Bhat. It feels a little awkward pulling out a bill that has 1,000 written on it but really it’s around $28 USD. To give you a better example here’s some things we purchased today.

  • A large water bottle 15 bhat = $0.43
  • Small package of razors 26 bhat = $0.75
  • Small bottle of tiger beer 60 bhat = $1.72
  • Green curry pork noodle soup 70 bhat = $2.00 

Khao soi green curry egg noodle dish with pork
Complimentary Breakfast – Yogurt with fruit, granola & oats

I’m so happy with our decision to stay in this guesthouse. The owner, Pom, is more than willing to give advice and help guide us. Her and I believe her mom run the place. Her sons name is Pom Pai and is the cutest little boy I’ve seen! He greets us with a huge smile and waves every time he sees us. During breakfast he kept coming around our table and would just smile at us. His grandmother set up a little play area for him with some toys and an umbrella for shade. It kind of puts things into perspective. Here is this young boy who can’t be more than 3 years old growing up in this guesthouse (they live in the room next to us) constantly surrounded by travelers. You can tell he’s a happy kid. The Thai people are all happy and helpful! They do what they can to work to put food on the table. It makes you realize that our problems back home really aren’t problems at all. We were a little worried telling people we are Americans because of all the negative feelings towards our country right now but I don’t think they care here too much. One of the locals asked us where we were from and when we told him he smiled really big and said “go Obama” lol. 

Street food vendors are fire

Anyways, it’s 10:30pm here on Friday night and we just woke up from a 5 hour nap. It’s going to take a few days for us to get on Thai time. Tomorrow is the start of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s one of the biggest outside markets with over 5,000 vendors and sees 200,000 people over a 2 day period. Our plan is to spend half of the day there shopping! Put in item requests now! Also, if anyone would like a post card sent to them, send me your address in a Facebook message. I already have a list of people but I’ll be happy to add to it.
Xoxo Jayme 

Arrived in Bangkok

Just a quick update

We arrived in Bangkok 8 hours ago and things still haven’t sunk in yet. There was a moment when we first got settled into our hostel when Christina and I just kind of looked at each other a laughed because we can’t believe we are on the other side of the world right now. 

Our passports finally have a stamp! After we deboarded our plane we had to head to customs and pass through immigration. The lines were long but the process was easy. We jumped in a taxi and were on our way. We didn’t talk much during our taxi ride because we were just admiring the craziness of Bangkok driving. We both got car sick. Taxis, cars, motor bikes & tuk tuks (a 3 wheeled motor bike taxi) all weaving in and out of traffic. They also drive on the opposite side of the road so that in its self made me a little sick. 

We are staying in a super cute hostel/guesthouse called Laksameenarai Guesthouse. It’s hidden in a little alley behind Trok Mayom Road and right around the corner from a main road (Khao San Road) It’s a traditional Thai wooden house but has a gingerbread house feel to it and is over 130 years old. The location is not on a road you can drive on so we had to walk down an alley area to find it. We were both a little scared because it was dark (9pm) and it’s also our first adventure here. We found it with no problem thanks to a little guideance from our taxi driver and detailed directions from hostel world.

*the room we are staying in is upstairs with a balcony view outside our front door

Cafe/check in lobby
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very nice woman and her adorable little boy. They guided us to our room, gave us a little tour and showed us how to use the basics of our room. We have a small private room with a shared bathroom. The walls are thin so as we were going to bed we could still hear the noise from Trok Mayom. At one point they were blasting Lady Gaga, I know Magen will appreciate that! It’s  3am here now, exactly 12 hours ahead of you guys back home. So, we are basically in the future. 

Our private room
I’m having a hard time sleeping so I figured I’d have time to give you guys an update. 

Christina and I both have an international plan on our phones so we are able to have unlimited texting during our time here with no international fees. There is also wi fi EVERYWHERE so we are able to keep in contact with everyone back home.

In the morning our guesthouse serves complimentary breakfast in the cafe area and then we plan to walk around the main roads to get a feel for the area we are. We are in walking distance from some popular temples and museums so we may explore that as well

Good night! 

Xoxo Jayme