Thursday, 7 April 2016

We woke up at 9.30 and packed up our stuff. We had to go to a resort to begin our tour and discovered that it was on the opposite side of town, a taxi there costing £10. We decided to get a local bus instead for 30 baht each (60p). It was quite crowded but fortunately had a fan and the breeze was nice when we were driving. Using Google maps we worked out when we were closest to the hotel and got off the bus. We began a small trek up to the hotel in the midday heat, and when we arrived at a fancy hotel felt a little out of place; the potters grabbed our bags and were almost laughing at how rank we must have looked.

We quickly checked in and we're told where our rooms were, Molly was with an Australian girl a couple of doors down from lauren and i. We went to our room, so luxurious compared to our previous ones and lauren and i screamed with excitement to see a bath. After settling in a bit we went to the hotel gym. It wasn't the mod intense workout but c
ompared to the tiny amount of exercise we've done recently it was nice to do some.

We showered then headed to the pool and collected our free cocktails which were sooo nice. The pool is warm in a really nice way as it's not a shock at all to get in, kind of like swimming in a bath. We stayed there for most of the afternoon and then at 5 decided to get curry. It's become an addiction!!

 We rushed back to meet our group at 6 at a meeting. It's a group of 33 aged 18-35, and I'd anticipated a lot of fellow travellers, but we seem to be the only ones! There's even a couple here on their honeymoon which shows what a contrast this is to what we've been used to! Our group leader is lovely as seem our group though we're among the youngest and there are only two other English people. We did a classic ice breaker activity (the day story from the previous night saved me) and booked out optional activities. The girl said that everyone usually does them all, clearly not anticipating our £15 a day budget, and as we've done similar trips before opted for one of the three.

After a break we met the rest of the group and headed out for dinner, though we just had a cocktail as we'd already eaten. It was nice to talk to people; I'm not entirely convinced by our guide's promise that we'll all be best friends by the end of the tour and crying when we separate but they all seem nice enough! After dinner we went to a bar where lauren and i shared 2 buckets- a bad choice, and combined with these and a couple of shots were not in the best mental state. We were already at a lady boy bar where a common game was 'guess the gender' of the staff. Most (if not all) are men but with the most petite, slim frames, perfect hair and make up and they're honestly so beautiful!

Afterwards we went with the rest of the group to a ping pong show. Apologies to any family members shocked by this, I'm sorry to say it's not like table tennis. I felt really uncomfortably with the whole thing; I'm far from being a prude but even with a lot of alcohol in my system I couldn't decide if I morally agreed to watching women dancing around naked on poles (we left before anything more explicit!). Our guide had assured us that this was one of the 'tamer' ones, whereas many include people trafficked into the sex trade. Whilst I'm all for doing what you want with your body i just found the few middle aged men who looked as though they could be dads of my friends sitting and touching women who could have been younger than me very disturbing. I'm still unsure on my stance on it and the sex industry confusing; is it empowering or inherently misogynistic? But while a group of tourists having a laugh isn't hurting the women; I'm sure it's helping them make a living, without being certain that they'd all made a free and comfortable choice to be in that job and industry I did not want to support it. After doing a bit of research afterwards and learning that studies have found statistics like 65% of prostitutes having been raped before the a age of 15 I'm just concerned by the extent of their free choice in choosing to work there, so yeah,  not my favourite part of the trip by any means and not something i'd ever rush to do again.

We headed home, stopping at McDonald's for a little midnight snack (drunk calories don't count right? Even extra large fries) and then went to bed (after downing about a litre of water). I'm not in any rush to drink again soon.

Laura x

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