I’m missing Thailand today, big time. I was able to enjoy the Songkran festival celebrating the Thai new year a few years ago. Basically, the entire country enters into one big water gun fight. I loved it. Unfortunately, I was recovering from a moped accident I suffered in Ko Pha Ngan and had some open wounds that were not supposed to get wet. Because of this, I had to be careful where I went as the Thai’s, especially the children, are ruthless with their water attacks. They’ll get you regardless of what you are dressed in and of course my pleas to avoid my right leg where I had 2nd degree burn were not heard.
Bar girls dousing a passing motorist
Still, I tried to have as much fun as possible and bought a couple of guns from a local vendor and took to the streets of Pattaya. I think, Soi 11 1/2 was my strong hold at Mac’s Guesthouse. I hung around here mostly, but ventured out in search of victims. Pattaya is well known for the endless amounts of Go-Go Bars, so watching out for the Thai youth was just as important as keeping an eye on the Thai bar girls sniping you from the doorway of their bar.
In some areas, traffic was at a stand still with truck beds full of teenagers dumping entire buckets of water on passing motorists. No one is safe. Even motorcyclists with passengers on the back were doused with water.
I hear the festivities are going on pretty normal this year even with the increased political unrest in Bangkok. Reports from fellow bloggers and Tweeters in the area have confirmed that, for the most part, hot spots such as Khao San Rd. are in full songkran swing! I celebrated the Thai New Year myself today by hitting up my favorite Thai restaurant in Tampa and eating some green curry chicken. It was delicious!
I wanted to take a moment to introduce the blog of a very good friend of mine Daisy. I met Daisy in an online travel community and for the last 6 years we have been bouncing travel ideas off each other and even got to meet up in Tanzania and Rwanda for 2 weeks back in 2007. She is finally starting a travel blog and it is called A Sybarite’s Story. She has a trip coming up to Turkey in a couple of weeks and will be seeing some incredible ruins and hopefully writing about it when she gets back. Daisy and I share a lot of the same travel preferences, as far as the places we like to go. So here it is!
This is a late addition to one of my features on my old blog. Beer and Pizza Reviews. I don’t pretend to be some sort of beer connoisseur and I certainly don’t pretend to be someone who didn’t need Google to figure out how to spell, “connoisseur.” However, I love pizza and I love beer. Who doesn’t? They are two of the world’s most simple pleasures. You won’t see any in depth discussion on the level of hops in a Bintang Bali or the cheese to sauce ratio of a Happy Cambodian pot pizza. I just try to let you know what I thought and share the experience. Hope you enjoy!
Pizza in Colombia
Colombia was very interesting when it came to the pizza. Pizza is everywhere and many Colombians eat it but they do it their own way. There are a variety of slices you can order from small pizza shops ranging from sausage (chorizo), mushroom, plain and even with corn.Ask for the mais pizza. I found it to be pretty good but most of the others I was with stayed far from it. Most of the local pizza parlors don’t make pizza with tomato sauce but you can find plenty of Domino’s chain restaurant if you really need it. I didn’t try the Domino’s in Medellin but many expats swore by it.
Cordilleras in Medellin
Beer in Colombia
Beer was definitely a surprise in Colombia. You have three main types of pilsner to choose from if you’re in Colombia. Poker, Aguila and Club Colombia. It seemed like Poker was more common in Bogota and Aguila in Medellin but that might have just been my perception. Club Colombia has the higher alcohol content of the three and would normally be my go-to beer if I was looking for something cheap. All three were good in their own way and were cheap. You shouldn’t pay much more than .75 to $1 for a beer outside of your hotel.
The real treat in Colombia regarding beer is the microbrewery in Medellin called Cordilleras. They are three beers that are are similar to American style pale ale, wheat and a heavier ale. I forget the names of all three but they were color coded blue, red and green. The red was by far the best but pictured to the right is the wheat. They were fantastic you can even take a tour of the brewery near El Poblado in Medellin. I didn’t do the tour myself but if I return I’ll check it out.
I spent many hours at Tiger Paw Hostel’s bar chatting with locals, expats and fellow travelers over glasses of Cordilleras. It was slightly more price than the local pilsners but well worth it. It was one of the highlights of Colombia in my opinion and the constant flow that Tiger Paw provided was excellent. If you show up on the right night you might even be able to drink it for free during their Beer Pong nights. I’d say, Cordilleras are the best beer I’ve had outside of either the U.S. or Europe.
My friend Brooke from Brooke Reviews.com brought up the Chichen Itza because of a book cover she found and loved. It reminded me of how many amazing things there are to see in my corner of the world. North America is filled with world heritage sites and ancient history that I’m often guilty of overlooking for more far away lands.
Has anyone reading this made the bus trip from Cancun to Chichen Itza? Or been there for any other reason? I think I’d like to visit during the autumn equinox because at an exact moment during the day a shadow hits the temple in such a way that creates a snake down the side of it. The Mayans were pretty cool. I bet Tikal and Chichen Itza will be flooded for the 2012 end of the world celebrations.
Chichen Itza (photo courtesy of travel.resourcesforattorneys.com)
Seriously, I finally figured out what was buggin my brand new PC over the last few months. It was a crappy hard drive. So, I made sure I got all my photos off of it and into safety. I would die if I lost my travel pictures. I replaced the hard drive and reinstalled windows and now everything seems to be running OK. I told myself I would wait for everything to be working right before I started organizing photos or getting myself more involved with Twitter.
So, about August. I have a week off from both classes and work in mid-August. It will actually be my birthday week. I originally planned to maybe go out of town for the weekend. I even went as far as attempting to make contact with a Couch Surfer from Haiti. Flights are pretty cheap from Tampa to Port-au-Prince and I have heard great things about the couch surfers there. I think the notice is too short now and in reality I just don’t feel up for a trip right now.
I’ve been running through a ton of options for December when I have much more time off but that’s Christmas time and mom has already expressed that she would like me home for Christmas this year because after I graduate I may not be home for SEVERAL.
This is where it will start. I’m going to blog about my progression towards going global. Everyone who knows me knows I’ve done some travel but also knows that my ultimate goal is to sustain myself abroad and experience the world on a much deeper scale. I will be blogging my final year of college, a few trips before I graduate and then my TEFL certification before heading overseas to teach English for a few years. The details along the way may change but the overall theme will not. I will be global. I will see the world.
I have a couple of exciting things in the works for the rest of 2009. I’ll post about them shortly. In the mean time, here is a photo from my last trip to the Dominican Republic!