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January 06, 2005

Vientienne to Krabi

Last night I received an email from a friend who was staying in Krabi, Thailand during the Tsunami. He mentioned that he had not left the area, that this part of the coast was not very heavily affected, and that he had been able to volunteer his time to help others find their loved ones.

I had originally intended to make Krabi one of my main stops during my SE Asia journey, but the Tsunami wrecked my enthusiasm. I had thought of helping outas a volunteer in any way I could, but I was not able to find an outlet for that in the few minutes of internet time I could devote to that while in Laos.

I had effectively given up on going to Thailand's Southern beaches, but 24 hours after receiving Winston's email, I am here in Krabi.

While hitch-hiking in New Zealand I had gotten used to the idea of packing my bags in the morning not knowing where I would open them again to spend the night. Today felt very much the same, except I was catching airline flights, not trucks and farm rides.

I started off by exiting Laos by bus and making my way to the Udon airport in Thailand (where I figured I may have to spend the night if all the flights are booked). I will miss the Lao P.D.R., it was the site of some wonderful and enlightening experiences for me. Thailand felt stinking rich compared to the former country. Most roads are paved, most vehicles are not beat up, and even in the countryside very few buildings are made of bamboo thatch.

I bought a ticket to Bangkok on THAI's discount airline NokAir, then hustled through BKK's Don Muang and managed to catch a flight to Krabi. Although I had landed in BKK prepared to spend the night there because I didn't have a ticket to go onwards and it was getting late, I was aloft again in an hour. As I expected the flight South was mostly empty, which lent an eerie feel to the ride, not helped of course by the fact that I was reading the Bangkok Post's articles about the disaster (there are no newspapers in Laos, so I was catching up).

I have been in Krabi for a few hours, only long enough to see the main parts of town, and to realize that I would not be able to tell that a tsunami hit here 11 days ago if I had not read it in the news. This is a superficial observation of course that I may or may not regard as foolish after I have spent more time talking to locals and visiting different areas. But for now I look forward to discovering an area that seems ready, if not eager, to welcome a tourist.

Posted by piegu on January 6, 2005 07:25 AM
Category: Thailand

Hi Olivier,
Great blog - my friend and I are considering going in late January, so will be reading your blog to hear how it is down there, especially since I too am planning to climb there. Good luck and keep writing! (I'm also blogging on bootsnall, the RTW section.)
Good luck,

Posted by: Conor on January 6, 2005 11:15 AM
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