Millions of Leaches, Leaches for Free

Pak Chong Travel Blog

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Rocking the Leach Socks

We caught a plane from Chengdu to Bangkok and arrived at our guest house at 3 am.  Tanisha booked us at this Christian guest house because we're not exactly into the whole "Backpacker's Road" where you have to constantly watch your purse and dodge vomiting drunkards on the road.  But the Christian guest house was a whole other experience, as I learned at dinner.   We learned that most of the people staying in the guest house are missionaries in impoverished towns throughout Asia, who have run into health problems and had to come to Bangkok because it provides the best medical services in all of the Asian countries.  Who would have guessed?  So anyway, whenever we talk to somebody new, they provide this entire sob story about their health, or their mother's health or whatever and then when they aske Tanisha and I what we are doing in Thailand, we're like the party girls telling our whole story about travelling and having a grand old time, like the self-indulgent sinners we are.

In the rain forest
  Tanisha and I were joking about it last night and saying every time we talk to one of them, it's like, "Wow, thats such a sad story...I really hope it all works out for you... Cocktails anyone?" 

Anyways, now we're in Thailand and it is such a breath of fresh air compared to China.  Not that I didn't like China, but everything there was such a task.  It took forever to travel anywhere, there were different rules for foreigners than for everyone else, the people harrassed us and thought that since we were rich foreigners they were entitled to our money, and nobody trusts anybody.  Now that we're in Thailand, the people are so much more trusting and happy and they don't bombard you on the street, begging for money or trying to sell you something.

Looking up through the bat cave
  Tanisha makes fun of me becuase now I actually SMILE in pictures.  I tell her, "It's Thailand dude, I can't stop smiling!"

But since arriving in Thailand, we headed out to Pak Chong and the Khai Yao National Park. It was a really beautiful park and we signed ourselves up for a 1.5 day "trek" aka hike through the park.  The first day, we went to a bat cave and watched the mass exodus of bats at sunset and the next day we went hiking in the park looking for animals.  We kept joking with each other that the tour provided leach socks, thinking that was a little over-precautious.  We headed out into the park, leach socks on, and hiked through some really beautiful rain forests.

Gotta love the telephoto lens
  Along the way we saw all kind of monkeys, snakes, spiders, birds, deer, giant lizards, and giant squirrels and cats.  We were looking for elephants and crocodiles, but because it's the rainy season, they were hiding out in the jungle and couldn't be found.  After stopping for a moment and getting back into the truck, we looked down at our feet and realized we were all covered in leaches.  The socks we wore, which went up to our knees, were covered, they were all over our shoes, and some had managed to climb even farther up our bodies, onto our legs, backs and arms.  All of us were inspecting each other, looking for leaches.  Some had more than others.  I thought I had escaped the attack, excepting my shoes and socks, but as I headed back to the truck somebody pointed out that my arm was bleeding.  I didn't find a leach on my arm, but the wound was enough proof that I had been a victim.  Throughout the rest of the day, we kept warning each other, "I think there's a leach! Is that one? Do you see one on me/her/him?"  It was super fun. 

Finally the group of us arrived back at out guest house and all sat down for dinner.   Half way through our meal one of the guys in our group walks up and says, "Hey guys, look what I found on my back!"  And he had the hugest leach I had ever seen in my life in his hand.  That thing had been nursing on his back all day long!  It got good and fat off of him.  Needless to say, it ruined all of our meals and Tanisha and I returned to our room for an "inspection."  It was perhaps the funniest thing that has ever happened to me.  Tanisha and I were preparing ourselves and would go, "1, 2, 3" and take off our shirt and look to make sure there were no leaches.  Then again, "1, 2, 3" and take off our socks, and so on, examining eachother to make sure we didn't have any leaches on our bodies.  That was definitely an adventure I was not prepared for, and will likely never do again.

Now we're in Ayuttaya, the former capital of Thailand, until the ruthless Burmese sacked it 200 years ago.  The ruins from the battle still exist, so we're looking at all the burned down temples and such until we head back to Bangkok to pick up our friend Emily and head the leach-free beaches of Southern Thailand.  I can't wait.  Cocktails and cabana boys are in my near future and not a leach in sight! 

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Rocking the Leach Socks
Rocking the Leach Socks
In the rain forest
In the rain forest
Looking up through the bat cave
Looking up through the bat cave
Gotta love the telephoto lens
Gotta love the telephoto lens
Pak Chong
photo by: dan2105