An Update from The Island

A lot has happened since my last post. I haven’t written in about a month and a half but that’s because I was being studious and studying for exams and then going on spring break. Exams went well, but the real treat was the two-week break (in our case three and a half) after our middle semester tests. We decided we were going to backpack through Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Our trip would start at 5:30 AM the day after of final tests, where we nearly missed our flight to Cambodia. Once successfully landing in Cambodia, we walked around and found a crazy guy who told us all the great things to do in Cambodia, including partying on the street known as Pub Street and seeing all of the ancient temples. Our first adventure was going to see the floating village on the massive lake of Tonle Sap, where we saw a crocodile farm and had dinner on a massive boat. We did a tour of 11 temples in one day. We started at sunrise, going to Angkor Wat, and finishing at Bayon. In between we saw various temples, all of which were absolutely insane with incredibly detailed hand carvings and hidden rooms. Pub Street was probably the most bananas street I’ve been on, with people throwing a potent mixture of tequila shots and dead scorpions, crickets, and cockroaches to eat in every direction. If you ever end up in Siem Reap, definitely o to this street. It’s all backpackers from around the world partying all night. After experiencing all we could in Siem Reap, we headed up into Laos.

We set off for the small town of Pakse in southern Laos. Once we got there, we found out basically the only thig to do there was rent bikes and do a 150 KM circuit on the Bolaven Plateau. Along this loop, we saw around 6 massive waterfalls, got caught in the world’s worst downpour, and got to see some elephants. After Pakse, we took a night bus up to Vientiane, then another shuttle up to the mountain town of Vang Vieng. We basically did the same thing as in Pakse, we rented bikes again and took off into the mountains. We crawled into a massive cave that was incredible sketchy, went to watering holes, and climbed a small mountain to find an insane view from the top. After a few days, here, we went further north to the town of Luang Prabang, cutting through the mountains and driving up on roads so high we were literally in a cloud. Luang Prabang was a laidback town that seemed incredibly out of place in Laos. We didn’t do much there as sickness was ravaging the boys. We eventually went for a ride on some elephants, which was hilarious. Later that day, we flew to Bangkok.

Bangkok honestly sucks. It smells like shit, is really spread out, and there’s a shitload of tourists bumping into everybody. There’s a decently fun street called Kho San Road, but it’s kinda weird as there’s still just loads of tourists everywhere and an off-putting amount of ladyboys. After not doing much in Bangkok as everybody was getting sick and it was hard to go outside without the smell of ass hitting you in the face, we decided it was time to go to Kho Phangan, and the full moon party. Kho Phangan might have been the highlight of the trip. It is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand that draws around 40,000 people per month to attend the Full Moon Party it throws. The party itself was without a doubt the best party I’ve ever been to and one of the most fun nights of my life. The mile-long beach was packed with people, there were many different DJs playing at once, and the beach itself was flanked by massive cliffs and mountains on either side, completely secluded from the rest of the island. The sun rises directly off the beach, and at sunrise the beach was still packed and the party was still in full force. After the two days we spent in bed after the party, we went back to Bangkok, and flew back home to Bali.

The spring break trip was so awesome, and I will definitely be returning to Southeast Asia to do a more extensive trip. However, I was very excited to get back to Bali. The only drawback was that we were incredibly out of shape from not surfing for a few weeks, so our first time back out we immediately realized that it would be an issue as we wore a few 7 foot waves as hats. Not getting entirely murder by these freight trains was pretty cool, and we eventually settled down and got back into a groove. We only have about 5 more weeks out here: two more weeks of class, a week of a road trip, a “study” week before finals where we don’t have class, and then finals themselves. I’ll be home before I know it, no longer able to dodge real world problems by just going surfing instead, which is sad. Also, I’m going to try to update the blog weekly, so check back next week to see what I manage to get into.

Good on ya.

Follow on Instagram: indocinco

Program Info: www.asiaexchange.org

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