Our trip is just improving by the minute. Day after day we discover new and amazing places, and I've finally clicked on the chilled and gentle characters that surround us, instead of having a constant struggle so, finally, I'm going with the flow.
Surprises arise all over, good and bad. First, the unpleaseant gasthrointeritis that Irene suffered while travelling on a bus from somewhere to somewhere else, probably one of the most dreadful experiences anyone can have here. However, we went to the hospital, which was spotless and to our surprise it was tremendously efficient, real cheap and the staff were helpful and understanding. We got out of there before we knew and back on the road. Tired from a sleepless night, but relieved to be on track.
The Golden Triangle awaited us with open arms and we discover the beauties of the north of Thailand; more undiscovered, less touristic, but still. The colours, textures and flavours of this land never cease to amaze me. While we stroll around one of many night markets, my gaze freezes on a dish of "Fried Insects" which I do not dare to try, though I leave wondering what would it be like.
Understanding the rhythm and pace of the Thai people has become an essential point to start enjoying Thailand. As it always happens, myths and rumours are not entirely right, and in that sense I discover that the Thai are not neccesarily always the kind and smiley people that we were "promissed", they simply make a living out of tourism and in order to do so they need to behave extremely politely. Though in general they are indeed nice and gentle. What I've also noticed is that we are not treated like fresh meat no more. Is not at all that we've blended into so well but somehow the scammers (taxi drivers trying to rip anyone off for example) who are everywhere, don't bother us anymore. I'm not sure if it's because they notice that we've already taken the pace of the place or they smell we are peniless.
Seemed at first that heading south was not such a good idea. As soon as we got here, and after having being scammed by a bus company (it had to happen sooner or later), we arrived at Phuket, which according to the lonely planet guide is a "vibrant and multicultural city" when it's actually no more than lots of "Sexy Ping.pong shows", massages, fluorescent lights, boozing and beaches. Not quite what we were looking for so our first impression was of dissapointement. However, it's improved when went on a boat to see all the different islands surrounding the area of Phuket. The best snorkelling I've done ever by far. Beautiful coral reefs with the most spectacular coloured fish in a jawdropping scenary. Though 2,000 people less would have made it a lot better.
Do not be fooled by the pictures, there was people everywhere. Paradise comes at a cost I guess. Lots and lots of people come at this time of the year to Thailand, crowding the already crowded country. For us it's been trepidant, stressful, amazing and surprising. With a tired smile we say "goodbye for now" to Thailand. Ahead of us we have Cambodia and Vietnam, can't wait!