Sadly, yesterday was our last full day on Koh Chang Island. We decided to give ourselves our own little personal tour of the island. We started out pretty early in the morning with a 5 K walk to the nearest waterfall. We did well navigating and since it was early the sun wasn’t too strong yet. We walked to the sign that said “Klong Plu Waterfall” and then a native in a pickup truck offered to give us a ride for free to the waterfall. In the US this would be considered hitchhiking, but in Thailand this is pretty much the norm. Knowing the waterfall was at least another 30 minute walk we accepted. The five of us piled into the back of the pickup truck and reminded ourselves: safety in numbers 🙂 After a 5 minute ride we arrived at the national park and soon found out that the random guy who gave us a ride was actually the park manager. We got to the gates and realized that you had to pay to get in. We had some money, but were running low, so we didn’t want to pay the full price. One of my friends tried to explain that we didn’t know that it cost money so we didn’t bring any, but the lady wasn’t buying it. She offered that if we had student IDs we could get in for half the price. Instead we told her we were teachers in Korea and pulled out our Korean ARCs. She bought it and let us all in for half price. We were so proud to be the first people to get in to this park with the “Korean Teacher’s Discount.” Love it! We walked another 700m through the forest until we got to the waterfall. Because it is the dry season the waterfall is not that big, but there was enough water to take a nice swim. The water was cool and refreshing. We spent some time at the waterfall and then took a taxi to a really nice lookout point to get some last-minute pictures. I figured out that I had a panoramic setting on my camera so I was able to take some really nice panoramic shots.
After our little adventure we stopped for some lunch. My friends headed back to the rooms for a nap, but I decided to nap on the beach and enjoy the little time we had left there. Around sunset I got one last massage and shopped for some last minute gifts and souvenirs. Later that night while eating my last authentic pad thai, I looked at the street and noticed my two girlfriends from Seoul! I knew they were coming this week and I messaged them where I was staying, but I never thought I would actually see them. I was so excited to see them. They were walking around with their backpacks still on and they looked exhausted so I told them I would wait for them to find a place to stay and then we would hang for a bit. We ended up meeting up and I showed them where to eat. We had a few drinks and danced a little. It was nice to see them and I was glad they made it safely. It’s so surreal that my trip here has come to an end. There are some things I didn’t get to do. I didn’t get to play with any baby tigers, I didn’t get a traditional bamboo tattoo done, I didn’t see any “Lady boy” shows or “ping pong” shows (I’ll let you google that one). But there is always next time! I’ve enjoyed every minute of the trip and now I’m looking forward to getting back to Seoul and my routine of teaching again with a refreshed new outlook. Can’t wait to post some pics!