Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Koh Tao was definitely a game of PADI cake...

The hardest thing about Koh Tao, was getting there. The travel arrangements to the island were easy to book, but it was the boat itself that put a little bit of a "stink" on our trip. Simply put, we dealt with several people inside a crowded commuter boat that could not handle the rockiness of the medium sized waves. The boat docked in Koh Tao with more bags than just the passengers carry on.

Our main goal while at Koh Tao was just to get SCUBA certified and get some sweet diving under our weight belts. I had spoken to a good friend of mine, Mark, who had worked on the island for a few years and tried to arrange our open water dives with him. Upon landing, I found out this his dive shop had closed down a few nights before we had arrived. Luckily, there are about 650,000 dive shops on the island and it was super easy to find a place that would help us out. We ended up booking our class with Ban's Dive Resort and got a free hotel room out of the deal as well.


The first day of diving started at around 7:30 in the morning. We loaded up the speed boat and went to the dive boat. We were briefed by our instructor Bex, who was super hot, and she told us what skills we would be covering and how deep we would be going. It was nice to get in the water and see what was beneath us. We saw an assortment of fish, stingrays, sea snakes, and brightly colored coral. Brandon and I had mentioned to Dave that sea snakes are one of the deadliest snakes in the world, but no matter how many times we told him, Dave always asked everyone he saw about the toxicity of a sea snake. So for the record Dave, SEA SNAKES ARE POISONOUS!! Regardless, we were never in any immediate danger with the snakes as they stayed away from us and we never ventured close to them either.

That night we decided to hit up the Fish Bowl, which is the bar that Ban's Dive Resort owns. Bex had mentioned to us that the next day of diving would start a bit later than today because she was going to party for a while. We did what any good student would do, and followed the lead of our instructor. The three of us went to the Fish Bowl and ordered the traditional Thai bucket of Coke, Red Bull, and whiskey. DELICIOUS! We split a couple of those and bought Bex a drink of her own and then called it a night.


We got started at the crack of noon today and were definitely super excited about the last day of our course. We went to the same area that we had gone to yesterday, but we went to the opposite side of the dive site. Our test this morning was to do an emergency ascent from 6 meters below. The three of us jumped in and Dave did his dive first. As Brandon and I were floating in the water watching Dave to his test, i heard a small whistle coming from my suit. Apparently I had a tiny hole in my air gauge and it was leaking little bubbles in the water. Bex took a look at it and said not to worry so I didn't. Next thing I know, I am floating in the water and I feel something dragging me from behind. I asked Brandon to take a look at my tank and he came up to the surface and yelled a profanity and then told me that my tank was just dangling in the water behind me. Brandon being quick on his fins fixed my problem that my "dive buddy" didn't catch. I'm not mad...

We had one more test to pass before we officially became certified divers. We had to master our neutral buoyancy. We sat at the bottom of the ocean, about 18 meters down, and learned the art of neutral buoyancy. We let out our air and took deep breaths and started to float in the water and as we exhaled we were able to bring ourselves back down. The art of neutral buoyancy is being able to rise and fall using only your breath. We mastered the art and shook Bex's hand underwater and the continued our dive as PADI certified scuba divers.

That night was concluded with a Ban's fashion show with free drinks and fire dancers. It was a taste of what real island life is and it was AWESOME!!!

Koh Tao was incredible and I would definitely love to come back again for an extended period of time..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ko Samui was buckets of fun...literally

Ko Samui...Wow! This place is the glue covered trap and all the tourists all over the world are the rats that can't resist the temptation. Get your wallets ready because this place will make you drop your baht until it's hot!! Upon arriving to Ko Samui we joined up with some fellow tourists. Our group consisted of Katrina and Marion from Austria, Katie from China, and Eddie and Drew from California. We parted temporarily as we all found our separate accomodations on the island. It seemed that no matter where you chose to stay you had to pass by 500 people trying to sell you things, as well as a suit store that gave you a compliment on your body type and encouraged you to buy a suit to bring out your flattering features. Will was always asked if he was a gangster from America because of his lion like hair and short compact muscular body. (Of course I'm describing myself). Before our first night we did what anybody from Texas would do. We went and ate at a Mexican restaurant, but ordered Thai food. You would have done the same. 400 baht later we made our way to the scenic downtown of Ko Samui. What a scene it was. As we headed to the Green Mango, we passed by several bars offering more than just a drink. There were more prostitutes waiting to love you long time then there are enchiladas in all of San Antonio. We had to decline the business before we even heard what they had to offer; I think we had a pretty good idea.

The Green Mango shined like the Andaman sunset on a warm summer day. The booze was flowing and the music was bumping, although the only tunes in rotation was Efiel 65 and Black Eyed Peas. Each time we finished a bucket, we became better dancers. I've never snapped and clapped so many times in my life. I know that everyone around me was impressed to say the least. We decided to call it an early night after the clock struck 5am. 8 hours and a piercing hangover later, we managed to get up and walk downstairs and get a full body Thai massage. They lady told me that since I was so much bigger than her she was going to have to stand on me give the right amount of pressure. She managed to do several handstands and double heel drops on my back and leave me with more aches and pains than I had to begin with. We then decided that we needed a break from the craziness of Samui and decided that it was time to test our Duggan Diving skills on Ko Tao or Turtle Island. Stay tuned for another update in a couple of days. Hopefully from this point on we can be just the "three dudes in asia" and not the "three dumbest and unluckiest dudes in asia".

We'll get 'em next time Cowboys...

Before we leave, make sure you Ko Phi Phi...

Sorry for the delay in updating our trip, but it has been pretty crazy and wild this past week. We left Krabi and headed out to the island of Ko Phi Phi. It was about an hour and half boat ride from Krabi to Phi Phi and our boat was filled with backpackers from around the globe. Upon arriving to the island we were surrounded by resort employees trying to get us to book rooms with them. We felt like a wounded kitten surrouned by a pack of howling coyotes. The only thing we could do was to pretend like we couldn't hear anyone and run like we were being chased by killer bees. We decided to stay at the Paradise Pearl Resort on Long Beach. It was a nice relaxing get away with loads of white sand and tons of topless European women. (Borat Voice - "I like very much"). Our excitement was short lived as we soon found out that we were a group of 3 single dudes amongst the company of several couples tyring to get away. But instead of eating mounds of chocolate and watching sex in the city, we booked a snorkeling trip to the surrounding islands.

We got up early the next morning and got on the speed boat out to Maya Bay. Maya Bay is where the filmed the movie "The Beach". As the rest of our trip has had some sort of bump in the road, we had a bump in the water en route to our first snorkeling destination. We were greeted by black smoke bellowing out of the the center console of the boat. Come to find out, our life jackets were blocking the ventilation holes and the engine was overheating. We fixed the problem and were in teh water soon after that. We swam with sea snakes and many different types of fish. We took some decent underwater photos with the Olympus camera as well as some staged underwater video. Needless to say, our snorkeling experience teased us just enough to intensify our craving for the scubadiving at Ko Tao. But before we go to Ko Tao, we must hit up the legendary Ko Samui and get a taste of what real nightlife is all about.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I've got a Krabi feeling about this...


Sorry for the delay with the updates, we have been super busy trying to get by in the land of Thai. Our travel from the states to Bangkok took roughly around 32 hours of travel time and about 25 of those hours were spent on a crowded plane.

The city of Bangkok gave us a little more for our money than we bargained, and took a little more than we anticipated. Throughout our two day stay we were able to check out some local shops, visit the grand palace, and hang on for dear life as we rode in the infamous tuk tuk through some of the not so great parts of bangkok. We found ourselves in a bogus travel agency and before we had a chance to read the warning in our lonely planet guide book we signed our thailand trip over to the high pressure sales staff of TAT. Dont worry moms, we're okay. :)

We were glad to get out of busy Bangkok and get to the city of Krabi. When we landed in Krabi we were greeted by a man holding a sign that read "Team Texas" and knew immediately that meant us. We spent the afternoon and latter part of the evening hanging at the beach and basking in the HOT sun.

The next morning we were picked up around 9am to go Whitewater Rafting and Fourwheeling in the jungle. The rafting was hardly rafting at all, and it was a disspaointment to say the least. Our fourwheeling experience however, was some fast paced high intensity fun. We went through muddy water, slippery rocks, and up and down some serious inclines and declines. If you want to hear a good story about it ask Will when he gets home. Ater our jungle experience we then feasted on some home cooked Thai cuisine...delicious.

To help us get over the body aching experience we did what any normal person would do and we got a massage on the beach. We were very happy about it but the ending itself was not "happy". We befriended the people at the massage hut and stayed under their tarp as it started to rain. We drank Chang and Singha beer and ate some Thai Pizza Hut which consisted of crab and shrimp pizza.

Needless to say our stay in Thailand has been nothing short of perfect. With the beatiful beaches and the friendly people, it's obvious why people come to visit and sometimes never leave. Don't worry we are coming home...or are we?

We hope all is well with everyone, sorry for the short blog update and we will hopefully have another one with some pictures on it tomorrow. As for now, we are off to some local bbq provided by our friend in the Massage hut #11.

Three Dudes In Asia

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pre Trip


This is our blog for the duration of our stay in Asia. This will be the first time for any of us to have been to this part of the world and we are extremely excited to say the least. With only a few days left before our departure we have been going over our itineraries and last minute items that we may need to get prior to take off. We will have a more detailed post the night before the trip and hopefully everyday or every other day while on vacation. Until then, Sawasdee!!

Willy, Brandon, & Dave