Snakes and Boxing!…can someone say “Thailand”

The gang and I had another great day in Bangkok, but it stared off kind of hectic. We decided to go see the milking of a snake at a snake farm. We were really tired of walking so we took the sky train, which is a subway above ground level, and the metro. After breakfast, we went out in search of the snake farm. Unfortunately as we were looking for it we passed it and missed it completely. We kept walking until we eventually got lost and missed the milking of the snake. Suddenly Teacher Deb realized that she didn’t have her wallet. She decided to go back to the hostel thinking she may have left it in the room. That made Mr. Wei Hao Wu our new tour leader, and let me tell you that was an expierence…just kidding, he’s a good guy. Oh and just so you don’t worry Deb found her wallet, it was in her room, but anyway.

Now with Wei Hao in charge the group went into Bangkok’s Chinatown. It was a lot less hectic from most Chinatowns I have seen and it wasn’t as dense of an area. Here we had lunch at a hot spot restaurant. Wei Hao and I made a deal that from now on whatever he ordered I would get as well, so this lunch ended up being very…can I say – exotic. For starters David ordered shark fin soup, which we all had a taste of. It was actually surprisingly good. Then Wei Hao and I shared goat meat, and for dessert Wei Hao ordered this dish called birds nest. Birds nest is a type of cold sweet soup, that is made up of the spit a bird creates when making its nest. Unfortunately he told me this before I ate the dessert, so you can imagine how hard it was to get down. I was able to get most of it down, but at one point my mind just couldn’t handle the texture of the bird spit.

After we ate lunch, we decided to take another stab at finding the snake farm. This time we were able to find it and we saw a snake bearing show. It was amazing to see how these people got so close to venomous snakes. It was actually kind of scary. I think the snakes were drugged though because they had a very slow reaction. After their show, the audience was able to put some snakes around our neck and take pictures. It was very cool. We looked around the snake farm a little more, and then we headed back to the hostel.

That evening the group went to a Thai boxing match. Luckily Wei Hao was able to get us ringside tickets. Boxing is a huge sport in Thailand and the difference between Thai boxing and american boxing,is that you can kick in Thai boxing. We were lucky and got to see one of the two biggest names go against each other. We got there very early, but in a matter of seconds from when the first fight began, thousands of people filed in and the arena became filled to the max. The crowd was going crazy and every time someone got a good hit on another person, half the crowd would yell/chant. It was actually very funny, because as Americans we had no idea what was going on. The fighting was very intense and we were able to see one knock out which was unbelievable. Most of the fighting was kneeing the other person, however there was some interesting moves. After boxing ended we went out for dinner, and walked around a street called Pat Pong. Pat Pong is very similar to New York’s finest Canal Street in, which there is a line of vendors selling fake goods at a low negotiable price. Once everything settled down we headed back to the hostel, and everyone slept like a baby. Now we still have our last day in Bangkok, and head up the Chiang Mai tomorrow. Thanks

John-Michael

P.S: Hey guys, I was able to put videos up, however they are not edited only because I do not have the time. I hope to edit them once I get home. These are only quick clips of the boxing match and the Snake Farm. Again I did not edit or speak  for these particular clips. I do have a few more and I will definitely try and get those up before we leave for the elephant park. Also if the videos aren’t working on the blog you can check them out on my youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/outsider202?feature=mhum

THAILAND…finally

After about 30 hours of travel time, we have finally reached Thailand. We arrived at about 11:45 pm and even at night the temperature feels like 100 degrees. Thailand is a lot nicer then I thought it would be. Its kinda odd…I mean when you get off the plane you feel as though you are at a tropical island, but as you get closer to Bangkok, the atmosphere changes into city life, yet it still has that tropical feel, it’s hard to explain. Also they have really cool pink  and green taxis, and these open door cars/carts that act as a taxi. Once we arrived we got in a shuttle and went right to our hostel. Now, I never been to a hostel before, so I was a bit nervous. The only thing I know is that there is a community bathroom and you buy by bed not by room, which means you could be sharing a room with complete strangers, which is fine by me, but all I’m saying is it’s just not something I’m used to. Anyway, we were given our room keys and the place was really nice. there are seven guys and we are all in the same room with four bunk-beds. When we entered the room it was extremely hot, even worse than outside, and it smelled a bit. After we settled in the air came on and the smell drifted away, so we are now all comfortable. We decided that we would go out to Bangkok and get a late snack. One of the guys had some locks for the lockers, so I asked him if I could use one. I set my lock and everything seemed fine. I put all my belongings inside the locker just so everything was safe. I locked it up tight and left…Good idea right?…well just wait…more on that in a bit, so there we were out on the town in the middle of Bangkok. So much life for 2:00 in the morning. As we walked looking for a place to eat, many locals began bombarding us with things to buy.  Anyway we were able to brush them off even though they were convincing and we finally got something to eat. Unfortunately we were not feeling adventurous enough for the first night, so we ate at a Thailand restaurant classic…Mcdonald’s, home of the Big Mac. Except in Thailand it wasn’t that big. Everything was smaller. The average American would have needed to order three meals instead of one. After we ate we headed home. So remember I told you about that lock, well when we got back upstairs I needed a few things out of my suitcase. Unfortunately I couldn’t open my locker. The lock was stuck. I tried my combination a hundred times over. I even tried combinations near my number, nothing worked. I was seriously going to cry. I didn’t know what to do. I just kept saying to myself, “I told you Thailand wasn’t for you…you should have stayed home”. I was getting paranoid like I normally do. So I decided to go down stairs and ask the front desk for help. Luckily they had a bolt cutter and I was able to get my supplies out. Let me tell you explaining the situation to the Thai locals at the front desk was not an easy task. Now here I am getting ready for bed writing to my followers back home…(if I even have any and mom you don’t count). I don’t know if I will get wi-fi in the Elephant reservoir, but if I do i will be sure to keep updating. As for videos, I am filming the trip constantly, but I believe that it is too difficult to post videos from Thailand, so I promise the minute I return, I will try to post the videos up on here and YouTube. Also sorry about my last post I didn’t realize I was not allowed to mention names so no more children updates, however everyone seems like they are enjoying themselves and are really excited for what is to come. Thanks

John-Michael

Airplane!

Alright here I was getting ready to leave and guess what the forecast is in Philly? That’s right snow… and unfortunately for us Philly airport is famous for delays. So what does Philly decide to do…they cancel our flight. At least it’s not a delay…lol. Now we are leaving Philly at 9:00 am instead of 6:00 am. So check this out…we left from Westtown at 7:00pm today because of the snow, and we were lucky enough to book two rooms at the Marriott. Now I am waiting until the morning when we will head into the airport and hope that we leave for Detroit at 9:00 am. I’m looking out the window right now at 11:00 pm and it is snowing hard… not the best news for a on-time flight. Right now I’m playing cards with the guys and we are just kinda chillin’. Conan is on the TV, but I don’t really like him, I am more of a Jimmy Kimmel guy, and Natalie is taking her last real american shower. From Philly we head up to good old Detroit, home of the automobile industry, where as of now it’s snowing! Then, if all goes as planned, we will be heading to Tokyo, and finally a quick five and half hour trip to Bangkok. I think with all of these hours I’ll get a delta gold member card… for free. Overall  I am really excited and at least I am spending all of these hours with my friends. Plus I was able to get ‘Back to the Future’ on my iPod, so basically I am set. I’ll try to keep updating this on the trip, however I am not sure how often I will be able to get internet. Talk to you soon!

John-Michael

“One Night In Bangkok Makes a Hard Man Humble”

Hey Everyone!

My name is John-Michael and I am a Senior at The Westtown School. For my Senior Project I am going to Thailand and will be there for about two weeks. One of my passions is creating videos and so most of my trip I hope to be vlogging, which is video blogging. Hopefully this will give everyone a visual of what we are doing.

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m actually kind of scared about this trip. Last week we had a meeting about our travel plans and what to pack, and let’s just say it’s going to be quite the adventure. We leave on February 22nd out of Philadelphia to Detroit. Then from Detroit we fly to Tokyo, and then from Tokyo, we fly to Bangkok. I think it comes out to about a 30 hour flight. Well, at least I’ll be rackin’ up the frequent flyer miles. During our time in Thailand, we are spending the first four days in Bangkok, then a week in an Elephant Nature Park, and then back to Bangkok for a day. While we are in Bangkok we will be site seeing and experiencing the unique culture. We are visiting temples and touring the city of Bangkok. While at the Nature Park, we will be working with elephants right outside the city of Chiang Mai. There we will wash them, feed them, and clean up after them. I have always wanted to see an elephant because I hear they are some of the smartest animals and they have very similar emotions as humans. It is going to be hard adjusting to the new lifestyle and culture and I have never really backpacked around a foreign country before.

I am going with a great group kids and I believe four of us are blogging. I have traveled out of the country many times before, but I have never been to Asia. Also I love animals and I can’t wait to see an elephant up close. I hope I will be able to post some video and pictures of the elephants up on my blog. So with seven more days until we leave, I am extremely excited but also very nervous. I’ll also be putting up a welcome video up for those of you who like visuals. Thanks

John-Michael