Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 7 & 1/2)

Our flight out of Ko Samui departed at 6:05am. We had to be there an hour before take off and it was about a 45 minute drive. Take into account getting ready and eating something, we basically got up extremely early. The taxi came promptly and we soon headed to Bangkok. The flight was quick and before we knew it we had landed.
When we arrived in Bangkok we went straight to the left luggage department and dropped off our bags for the day. We were going to be walking all over the place so we did not want to carry our stuff with us. It was only a couple of bucks to leave the bags.
After dropping off our stuff we went towards the airport shuttle bus area and bought a ticket to take us to Ko San Road. Buying the ticket was convenient and we hopped straight on the bus. I had done some research and mapped out our modes of transportation, however I did not expect it to be this easy. It seemed as if we were just having the best timing. The bus ride took about 40 minutes to get to our destination. We got off the bus and walked Ko San Road. This particular strip is a haven for foreigners and it is usually really lively, we were told. But at 9 O'clock in the morning, not much was happening.
We then headed to the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace is home to the king and queen. It was only about a 15 minute walk. We bought our tickets and went right inside. Before we bought our ticket though we had to rent a few pieces of clothing. You see, you can't wear shorts, me, and you can't show your shoulders, Latanya. So we needed a shirt and a pair of pants between us. We gave them the $6 deposit and put on the loners. It was especially funny looking at Latanya wearing such a big and baggy shirt. Let's just say she did not want her picture taken (I was able to take a few though).
Once we got in we took the tour around the grounds. It was pretty crowded. Because it was Sunday they were having a ceremony inside the large temple. The temple housed the Emerald Buddha that I wanted to see, but because there was a ceremony going on we were not able to see it. The Grand Palace itself was really beautiful, all the architecture looked amazing. We walked around for a little while longer and then returned our loners and headed over to our next destination.
The main tourist attraction we wanted to see was the Reclining Buddha. It's a giant golden statue of Buddha and he is reclining, pretty obvious right? The best part is that it's inside a building that is barely bigger than the statue. It was really amazing. Because we got there early in the day hardly anyone was there. We got to take our picture with no one else in the background. We stayed in the building for awhile and just took in the magnificence. We then left to our last must see destination in Bangkok, the shopping.
We hopped in a taxi and went to MBK. MBK is a giant shopping mall with individual vendors selling everything you could imagine. It was basically a huge mall designated for knock off everything. They sold knock off designer jeans to fake Rolex's. The best part was they were mostly really good knock offs for really cheap. The one thing they did not have an abundance of, were designer purses. They did not really have what Latanya was looking for. But as for clothing they had it all. I bought five polo brand shirts for about $4 a shirt. What deal right? And they look great. Latanya got some jeans, skirts, shirts and souvenirs. We also bought a cheap duffel bag to put all our stuff in. We were having such a great time shopping. After many hours in the mall, mind you Latanya also got a massage, we decided to check out the rest of area. We went to a couple other well known malls and walked and walked. We were really worn out when it came to the early evening time. I don't know how celebrities and rich people can go shopping all the time, it's exhausting. We ended up just sitting in a Starbucks for a couple of hours to kill some time.
It was about 9:00pm now and we needed to make our way to the airport. We grabbed a cab and he dropped us off right at the left luggage area. We got our stuff and then headed for our terminal and then gate. Our day in Bangkok was almost too easy. I had allotted some time for getting lost or longer transportation routes, but over all we made it around the city easily. I almost wished we would have fit some more sights in. We did do all we wanted though, so I guess we did not need to squeeze in anything else.
Our flight left at midnight. We took off just fine and actually I had started to fall asleep right away. I mean we had been up since 3:30am. So I was in my little dream land for a little while and then suddenly I was awoken by my neighbor to my left. She had put her pillow on my lap. That's odd, why would she do that, she should obviously know that I am clearly married and my wife was sitting on my right. Well she put the pillow there to catch the water that was leaking from above. Oh just great! It turns out it was the air conditioner that was leaking, and it was leaking onto my lap. The stewardess was very apologetic and was helpful. She tried her best to fix it, but the only solution was to have me switch seats. I ended up a few rows towards the front on the aisle. I was actually happy about the aisle. Dinner soon came and went. I then proceeded to fall asleep, again. About twenty minutes had passed and was awoken again by my new neighbor. It was an middle aged women who did not speak any English. She wanted me to move. I quickly said why? I was half asleep while we were conversing or charading. She wanted the extra seat for her son to be able to lie down to sleep. She pointed to another open seat that was between two people and I preferred not to sit next to. We argued back and forth for a few minutes and I finally decided to get up. When I got up I noticed the boy already fast asleep and not only that but he was like 14 or 15 years old. You have got to be kidding me. And why couldn't she have said something before when I first sat there? But no she wanted to wait until I was fast asleep. So because I was really frustrated and tired at this point I went back to my original seat that had a paper towel plugging up the leak. The stewardess attempted to talk to the crazy mother but she was not budging. After a leak and two seat switches as well as some always fun (not) charades I was finally fast asleep again. This time I slept for the rest of the flight.
We landed in Beijing and our layover was only 2 hours and then we got on our last flight to Seoul. Once we arrived we bought our ticket for our airport express bus and then passed out as soon as the bus left. Two short hours later we were back home. At this point is was about 1:00pm. The journey was long and interesting to say the least. We would have done it over and over though, it was all worth it. We had such a great time in Thailand. We will definitely go back.
Next trip, Beijing in October!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 6)

Saturday was our last full day in Ko Samui and our second to last day in Thailand. We had one more sight to see on the island and then back to relaxation on the beach. Latanya wanted to see the Big Buddha which was about 15 minutes north of Chaweng and about a half hour drive from our hotel.
After our usual breakfast we hailed a cab to the Big Buddha. We told the cab driver as well as the bell hop and a front desk person exactly where we wanted to go. The taxi driver and I decided on a price and we were off. We were driving through Chaweng when the driver kept asking us what hotel we were going to. We responded with, no hotel, just Big Buddha. This is where the communication got rough. He ended up stopping in downtown Chaweng and said here you are. We said, we wanted to go to Big Buddha and he said Chaweng. After a couple of minutes of back and fourth conversation he finally said, oh Big Buddha with a thick accent that we obviously did not have. We said yes Big Buddha, trying to replicate his exact pronunciation. He then told us double the fare. I said no way. I said, we told you Big Buddha and decided on a price we did not want to come to Chaweng. We argued back and fourth pretty calmly as a matter of fact for a good five minutes. It got to the point where I said we will not pay because we did not want to come to Chaweng. He then pointed at the traffic police stand and said, I will call the police. I then said, go ahead I will explain how you are trying to rip us off. Once I called his bluff and attempted to get out of the cab he said, ok. After another 15 minutes or so we finally arrived at the Big Buddha safe and sound with the original accepted fare.
We looked around the site and made our way to this Big Buddha, which better have been amazing looking after the whole cab fiasco. It most certainly was worth the trip. A giant statue of a Buddha was atop a stair case. We took some pictures and walked around for awhile. We then took a Tuk Tuk back to Lamai beach to the spot we were the other day.

We did some more relaxing and just chilled out on the beach for most of the day. The weather was amazing. It was hot and sunny. The water was so refreshing and we were starting to get sad about having to leave.
After the beach we walked the Lamai strip. We had some street eats for a late lunch/dinner or lunner as I call it. Latanya had some more Pad Thai and I some more curry. We stopped by a Tattoo shop, I wanted to get a battleship done on my chest. I thought it would be a great way to send us off....Just kidding. No, actually Latanya wanted to get a tiny star on her right foot, just between the strap of her sandal and the big vein that runs through the top of the foot. She got quoted a price and we made the appointment for later in the evening.
We then went back to the hotel to do some late afternoon/early evening swimming at the pool. We had fun just swimming around. After saying goodbye to the pool we freshened up a little and headed to the tattoo appointment.
The guy was really nice and friendly. He was also very patient with Latanya. Not to say she did not handle it like a champ...well...actually she handled it ok; With the exception of her screaming after the needle barely touched her as well as every time after that. It was really entertaining for me to watch. The tattoo artist used all sterile equipment for those worried moms out there. It took a whole 15 minutes, when it should have taken 5. After it was all said and done Latanya loves it. I think it looks good as well. It really is small. It's smaller than a square inch.
After the tat we headed back towards the road and stopped by the local Family Mart to get our last two beers in Ko Samui. We had to call it an early night. We needed to wake up at 3:30am to catch our flight. Ko Samui was great to us. We will definitely be back, but our vacation was not over yet, we still had a full day in Bangkok.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 5)

After an interesting night at the full moon party, Latanya and I still woke up around our usual time, 8:00am. We got our usual breakfast and were pleased with our little routine. Today we wanted to ride an elephant. It's not everyday that you can wake up and decide to ride an elephant and actually be able to do it, right? Well since we were in Thailand, and they just so happened to have elephants, we decided to take one for a spin.
We arranged an elephant ride through our hotel. They booked a reservation for us at a local animal part. There were a few parks on the island that had elephants so we chose the best one in our mind for what we wanted. Some packages included other sightseeing but we just wanted to do a half hour with an elephant and no other exotic bird shows or unique monkey shows as they put it.
After we were fed and ready for the day we hopped on a Tuk Tuk as usual and it took us straight to the park. When we arrived on site we could see about a half dozen elephants just walking around with people on top. We started to get excited at this point. I mean, once again it's not everyday you can do this. The truck dropped us off and we were directed where to go. We handed a man our receipt and we then walked up some stairs to a rather large hut on tall posts. It was the elephant seating station. Soon enough an elephant came walking up to the hut with two other foreigners on it and a trainer sitting on the elephants neck/head. The foreigners got off and we got on. Strapped to the elephant was a chair and a small rope that held us in. The trainer was very nice and spoke a little English. We took a photo before we departed and then away we went, atop a giant elephant. WOW!!! We road the elephant for a half hour. It was a lot of fun. The elephant even left a little present for us along the path. Out elephant was old but strong. It was a little bumpy at parts, but so much fun. We were actually riding an elephant in Thailand. Sweet!!!
Once we got to the end of our elephant journey the trainer let us off. We then wanted to hike up the mountain side to find the nearby waterfall. It was only about a twenty minute hike or so, not too bad. Latanya was definitely getting a workout. Once we got to the falls it was amazing. The water was so refreshing and crystal clear. We hung out there for a little while and then made our way back to our Tuk Tuk. Before we left the animal park I saw a baby elephant I wanted to take home with me. Unfortunately I was unable to pack him in my backpack so we had to leave elephantless.
Once we got back to the hotel we decided to go to Chaweng once more and took another Tuk Tuk to the beach this time. We both really wanted to get another massage. The previous day I got an oil massage, which was an all over body massage. Today on the other hand I got a back, shoulder and neck massage. I can tell you that I have had knots in my lower back for as long as six years. I have never been able to get them out. I mean we are talking huge knots, the size of Montana huge. The Thai lady I had went to town on me. She worked my lower back like no one has done before. I swear I was bruised for the whole week after. But it was all worth it. She made my back feel so much looser. She got out about 80% of the knots, which is pretty good in my book, especially for a six year build up.
After the massage and just relaxing we hit up the strip of Chaweng for some food. We stumbled upon this Thai place and Latanya and I had the best Lemon Grass Soup in the world. Latanya had been searching for this soup all vacation. Not only searching for it, but looking for the best, and we found it. I too found something equally wonderful. I discovered Phanaeng Curry. I asked our waiter to make it extra extra spicy. He smiled and said sure. When they brought out our dishes he also brought extra peppers and spices to add to make it even hotter. I was in heaven. It was so good. The service was amazing. The food was great. And of course it was so cheap. We were loving Thailand for sure.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel for some late night swimming and then off to the room to relax. The next day was our last full day in Ko Samui, we wanted to make it count. We had one more touristy thing to accomplish on the island before we left.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 4)

So the previous day we had bought two tickets to a full moon party that was taking place tonight. The full moon party was on another island and we needed to get the transportation over to it. The party was not until later in the night so we wanted to do a little sightseeing before we took off to do it up, as well as get some needed beach time.
When we woke up we did the norm and got some breakfast and got ready to start our day. We took a taxi to a place about 15 minutes down the road towards and past Lamai beach. Actually it was at the very south end of the beach. Our hotel is on the north end just to let you know. Our destination was where they ,what they called the grandmother and grandfather rocks. These rocks were not just any ordinary rocks, they were shaped a little differently. To be Frank, they were shaped like male and female private parts. Apparently it was a big tourist destination, pun not intended. We walked up to the rock face and were stunned to see the male member looking out to the ocean. It was definitely interesting to see. We took a couple of pics and made our way back to Lamai beach on foot.
We wanted to check out the south end of the beach so walking to it was a good idea. We ended up stumbling upon a really nice spot. We found an area with some beach chairs and umbrellas and got a couple of beers and just hung out for most of the day. We swam around and lived the good life some more. We did not want to do too much today because we were going to be out late tonight. After awhile we headed up the beach to grab some lunch. In Thailand, they are obsessed with Bob Marley probably due to their relaxed island atmosphere. We stumbled upon a restaurant that claimed to have the best Jerk chicken on Ko Samui island. We decided to try it out I was craving a jerk burger and Latanya wanted to try the jerk chicken. My burger hit the spot her chicken was ok but it was really dry, saucy, and lacked spice. After that we went back to our hotel pool and swam some more. Then we headed up to our room to get ready for the full moon party.
A Tuk Tuk came to pick us up at around 8:00pm and they took us to the dock were our speed boat was. That's right speed boat. The place we bought our ticket from was for a speed boat to the other island. We got on the boat and raced our way over to the other island. The boat was ridiculously sweet except for the fact we all got soaked from the bumpy ride.

Once we arrived we noticed that everyone was out in full party force. We entered the gates of the party and made our way through the streets of a small beach town. We grabbed a quick bite to eat before we headed to the actual party on the beach. We ate some really good Pad Thai. Pad Thai is a mix of noodles, chicken or choice of meat, a hint of curry and coconut, some green onion, and some spice to go along with everything else, all stir fried. It was so good. We made sure to fill up.
We then headed toward the beach. We could hear the party from far away. When we arrived on the beach the party was already going strong. Imagine a couple of giant raves on the beach. Loud dance music was coming out enormous speakers. People were dancing and drinking. There were these two guys standing on two tall platforms, about 20 yards apart. They were swinging a giant rope that was lite on fire. It was a giant jump rope, where many people would attempt to jump it. Keep in mind on fire and alcohol. It was entertaining for sure.
We headed over to get a drink and they sold many of these buckets of drinks. A bucket would come with all the booze and mixers still in their packaged bottles. We chose the vodka, red bull, and ginger ale bucket. They mixed it all for us and we were in business. We did not do too much dancing. Latanya was not feeling up to par after the bumpy boat ride. We did have lots of fun watching all the drunk people dance and make fools of themselves. We walked the beach a few times. We had a few more drinks and then just found a spot to chill out and relax. They had this carpet area on the beach with little coffee tables. We had our drinks there and enjoyed the loud music and full moon of course.
We ended up heading out at about 1:00am and made our way to the speed boat. It was a mad house trying to get back. The line was long and many people were pushing. It was a great party night even though we did not get too crazy. We wanted to make sure to not lose any of our day tomorrow. I mean you need your energy to ride an elephant right?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 3)

We woke up very rested and excited for another vacation day on Ko Samui. We got up at around 8:00am or so. We made sure to hit up the breakfast buffet downstairs. It was the same spread and still delicious. Once we were fully awake and showered we decided to go see another part of the island. We hopped on a Tuk Tuk and made our way to Chaweng, the largest beach in Ko Samui. It also happens to be the most crowded.
When we were first recommended to come to Ko Samui for our vacation, our friends told us that Chaweng was more crowded with a lot more backpackers and party people. So we obviously wanted a more quiet and relaxed vacation so we chose to stay at Lamai instead.
After we got off the Tuk Tuk we realized that Chaweng was bigger than we thought. Actually Chaweng was not only a beach but an area of the island that went inland further than expected. We had gotten off too early on the Tuk Tuk. The driver was going to make his way to the beach but me, thinking we were in the right place when we were not was a huge mistake. So using my best internal compass we headed in the direction of the beach. It was really hot at this point and we were walking around a giant lake that was in between us and the beach. After about 45 minutes of great navigating on my part, we arrived to the beach part of Chaweng.
We grabbed a couple beach chairs in front of a resort and sat under an umbrella. We were so hot from all the walking that we needed the shade desperately. The part of Chaweng beach we were on the water was really shallow. In Lamai you can go as deep as you want gradually and have no trouble with rocks. At Chaweng there were some rocks about 10 yards out from the sand. In between the rocks and sand we were able just to go knee deep or so. It was nice because there were no waves at all and you could just lie down on your stomach and glide yourself through the water with your hands in the sand. It was really relaxing.
We did notice right away that the beach was really crowded. I mean it was not like a southern California beach in the summer time, but there were still a lot of people, especially compared to Lamai.
We had a few beers and some barbecued corn. It's so nice when people that sell the food and drinks come to you and you don't have to leave your beach chair. After awhile Latanya went to get a beach massage. They have these gazebos set up right on or near the beach. In the gazebos they have about 4 to 5 Thai women who give massages. It was about 9 dollars for an hour oil massage. Which is ridiculously cheap. In fact Latanya got one from then on almost everyday. After her massage she was really relaxed and felt great. We decided to head back to our hotel and check out their pool.
This time on the Tuk Tuk we got off right in front of our hotel. We headed straight to the pool and dove in. It felt so refreshing. The pool was a quasi infinity pool. The water spilled over the side on one end, however in between the pool and the view of the ocean were bushes. Other than the blocked view the pool was quite wonderful. After some cooling off we decided to have a drink at our hotel bar, which was located near the pool. So it was not a far walk at all. We each had a drink and then ordered a coconut to share. Latanya was raving about coconuts prior to this trip and I just had to try one. It was so good, the coconut meat inside was my favorite part. It was also Latanya's favorite part too, so you can imagine us fighting over the last bite. After our coconut was done we head up to the room to call it another night. It was just another day of relaxing. Day 4 was going to be our day for a little sightseeing and late night party, for it was to be a full moon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 2)

When we first arrived at Ko Samui airport, we were delighted to see such a quaint and relaxed atmosphere. The airport was merely a few over sized huts, all exposed to the nature of the island. There were no walls to be seen and a nice welcoming breeze. We had finally arrived at our island paradise. We made our way through the small airport and needed not to get our checked luggage, because we had carried everything on the plane. We were greeted by a driver from our hotel, and he swept us away to our new home for the next 5 days.
The roads were windy and narrow. We noticed right away that many people road small scooters. In fact the scooters ruled the island roads. After about a half hour ride or so, we arrived at our hotel. From the outside it looked grand and elegant. On the inside it was still grand and quaint. The hotel was very nice. It was built within the last few years and had a nice welcoming staff. At this point it was about 8:00am. We were worried at first because we were there so early in the day. We did not know if we would be able to check in, or maybe we would have to wait until the afternoon. We were delighted to find out that we would be able to go directly to our room. The staff also informed us that they were serving complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We went up to our room and got settled a little bit. We decided to hit up the breakfast buffet. It was really nice. It had all the essentials, toast, eggs, potatoes, rice, cereal, fruit and so forth. After breakfast we went back up stairs and grabbed our swimsuits. We decided to hit the beach right away.
Our hotel was directly on the beach. Lamai is the second largest beach in Ko Samui. It's second to Chaweng. Even though our hotel was right on the water, there were many rocks in this area. So we decided to walk down the beach a little further and find a nicer area to swim. It was only about a 10 minute walk when we found the start of the rest of the beach. Lamai's nice part of the beach is about a mile and half long or so. We set our towels down and jumped straight into the water. As my dad would say, it was just like bath water. It felt so refreshing yet not cold in the least. The waves were practically non existent. The water was so clear, that we could see our feet even at shoulder deep. There were no rocks to be stepped on. The sand felt great running through our toes. We had arrived, we were officially on vacation. We must say that the beach experience was much different than the great old Pacific in. We were actually able to wade in the water as opposed to being swept away by the waves. So, after an hour or two we headed back to the hotel to take a long awaited nap.
After a quick shower and our nap it was the afternoon. We wanted to take a trip into Lamai, this time to see the shops and vendors. Outside of our hotel was the main road. We were able to catch a Tuk Tuk, which is the island's version of public transportation. It's a little pick up truck with a shell on the bed opened in the back. There are two benches to sit on and away you go. It was only about a 7 minute drive, so not too far.
We got out and were able to walk the strip, which ran parallel with the beach. They had many shops selling all sorts of knock off clothes, purses, watches, sunglasses and plenty other merchandise. I swear if Latanya and I did not think Ed Hardy was so tacky we would have bought it up. But of course we have a little thing called taste, well Latanya anyways, I just try.
After walking the shops for awhile we were starting to get hungry. We found a restaurant that smelled delicious and stopped in. I ordered a red curry dish and Latanya a green curry dish. We also had rice and a beer to wash it down. The beer we had was Singha. Singha beer is actually really good. It complements the spicy food wonderfully. Our food arrived and we were both very pleased. Latanya's green curry was a little better than mine. After our wonderful dinner we got the check and it was a whole eight dollars. Eight dollars for two entrees, two sides of rice and two beers at a nice sit down restaurant. Wow! We were happy to be in.
We then decided to walk the shops some more and then head back to the hotel. We wanted to walk back to the hotel on foot. Instead of walking on the main road at night we instead walked the beach all the way back. It was only a 20 minute walk, so not too bad. We also got to walk off our dinner. Still pretty tired we hit the bed and watched a little T.V. We knew that day 3 of our vacation was to be even better than day 2.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thailand Vacation (Day 1)

We are back from our vacation. In order to
tell all about our wonderful time away I must break our trip into separate parts, so I don't overwhelm you all with a really long story. We will break it up into different days, starting with Day 1 of course.
Last Monday morning Latanya and I woke up at around 7:30am. It was not too hard waking up because we normally get up for school at around 8:00am anyways. We got up and got ready. We made the necessary last minute packing arrangements such as toiletries and things of that nature. We headed over to the Family Mart to get some breakfast and headed towards our bus stop. We got to the bus stop at around 8:30am and waited until 8:50am for the bus. The bus stop was in the district next to ours, Pyeongnae. It was about a 15 minute walk or so to it. Latanya began to realize how heavy her backpack really was. In fact the night before when I had fallen asleep she had snuck some heavier items into my bag without my knowing. Pretty sneaky huh? Well to my surprise the next morning when I discovered them. Needless to say as any good husband would do, I told here that this was quite clever and held here extra things for her anyways. How nice, right?
The bus we were waiting for was an airport shuttle bus with very few stops in between. It was a better alternative to the subway, which may have taken a lot longer. This way we would make it to the airport with in two hours. Mind you, we live to the east of Seoul and the airport is 45 minutes west of Seoul. Driving through an area of 10 million people is bound to take a little while. We were ecstatic about the convenience of the bus station to our house. It was much easier than any other root and way cheaper than a cab. The bus finally arrived and we made our way to catch our plane.
We arrived at Incheon International Airport at about 11:00am. Our flight was at 1:00pm, so we were right on time for our two hour cushion before hand. The Seoul airport is very clean and really nice. It was actually recently named the world's best airport for the second time. It's relatively new with ease of access to all it's amenities. We went through the necessary security and all and eventually caught our first flight to Beijing, China.
When we arrived in Beijing it was around 2:00pm, local time. Beijing's airport was also relatively new, at least since the Olympics. We arrived and had to go through more security and immigration. Part of the security took an infrared scan of your body to see if you had a fever which could lead to swine flu. We later discovered that Bangkok's airport had the same as well as Seoul on our return. Our layover in Beijing was for about 5 hours or so. We had a lot of time to do nothing. We played some Uno, and Latanya was schooling me. She had a perfect game and everything. I tend to own her in Korea so I was willing to let her redeem herself even for a little bit. We had some Chinese beer which was just as bad as Korea's. Before we knew it, it was time to hop on our next flight.
We took off around 7:00pm and landed in Bangkok, Thailand just before midnight, local time. We had yet another layover, this time for 6 hours. It was a domestic flight and we had to wait in limbo for the domestic part of the airport to open at 5:00am. We looked for different places to sit. But because we were between the international gates and domestic, there was not a common sitting area. We looked through all the shops but we were starting to get really tired and bored. We finally stumbled upon the promise land of chairs. There was a glowing light that shinned onto a secret area where employees would sleep. We laid down to catch a few z's while we waited. I fell fast asleep, Latanya on the other hand had trouble. Actually as soon as she did dose off I accidentally woke her up, I had a waken in a panic because I thought my hat was stolen. Oops. My hat was under the bench of chairs directly under my head. Sorry Latanya was definitely in order. After another hour of sleep, for me anyways, we headed down to the domestic terminal. We got on our flight and left at 6:00am. We arrived in Ko Samui, Thailand at 7:00am almost 24 hours from when we woke up the previous day.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wii Room

So yesterday Latanya and I met up with Ben and Lydia, to go play some Wii. We had planned to get a bite to eat before our Wii action. We all hoped on a bus to Seoul. After arriving at Jamsil, a place in the southeast part of the city, we rode the subway a few stops to our destination. The directions we were given were not exact. Often times in Korea there will be no address or street name. Directions are usually a collection of clues leading one to nearby landmarks. After getting off the subway we were told we would see two giant cones, and to take a left at those cones. We were puzzled to say the least. First off any given subway station in Seoul typically has many exits which lead you to the surface, all of them being a large distance from one another. So we needed to make a guess as to which exit we wanted to take. We had ten to choose from. We hoped that we would see the giant horns from any exit. Once to the surface out of exit two we could not see anything that resembled horns. When someone says giant you think you would be able to see them from far away. The area we were looking for was supposedly lively with a large crowd of university students. We made a logical guess as to where to walk towards. After about five minutes of walking and looking for two massive horns, we started to think about our clue. Horns, hmmm, what could this mean? Could they actually be horns from and animal? Or maybe they were large horns that came together to make an archway. We saw a McDonald's and I had suggested that the golden arches could be the answer to our riddle, but then tossed that idea. The best part about the clue is there was no suggestion as to which way to walk. So no exit number and no direction. We continued to walk and the streets began to get more crowded. We new we were getting closer to the area. Looking ahead in the distance there they were, two giant horns. To me they looked like two really big metallic cones. One cone stood about 15 feet tall the other one was about 7 feet tall. They were shinny and big. There actual size definitely lived up to the description. So we made our left and headed down the strip. There were many bars and nightclubs lining the street. The people out and about were all in their 20s. Once we found the Wii room we decided to get a quick bite to eat first. We had some good spicy chicken mixed with rice. After a few beers we headed to a convenience store to pick up some beer for the Wii extravaganza. We went into the place and we were shown to an extremely small room with a tiny T.V. We said that it would not hold four fully grown Westerner sized adults. They said all the larger rooms were full and we would have to wait 2 hours for one. We decided to make the reservation and go kill sometime somewhere else. We wound up in a pool hall. We played six games and the couple pool tournament was all tied up 3 USA 3 England. We decided to break the tie with the Wii. We headed back to the Wii room and discovered it was closed. We were shocked. At this point it was 12am and their sign clearly said they are opened to 3am. It was so weird. We did not want it to ruin our night so we went to a club near by. We danced for quite sometime. Later we were over the dancing and hit up a bar and continued to enjoy the evening. After a little while we grabbed a cab and headed for home. So to make a long story short (too late) we did not experience the Wii room yet, though we have seen it. The night was still a success and we had a great time with Ben and Lydia. We are off to Thailand on Monday, so we may or may not be out of contact with the rest of the world for a week. When we return we will make sure to let you all know how our vacation was. Bye for now.