Stalked by a raincloud

In the days before my departure, it started raining. I have nothing against rain; it brings down the temperature and it can even cancel classes. However, I’m no longer in school and rain and travel don’t really go well together.

On the morning of the 17th of May, the sun was out and it was bright and sunny. Thank God, I thought, I just hope it holds out until I reach Thailand. The weather was good, even when the plane has took off from Singapore. I looked outside the window, marvelling how much light there is still out, even though it’s already past 7:30 in the evening.

While we were over northern Malaysia though, crossing into southern Thailand, the sky darkened. There was lightning in the distance, and I heard a faint rumbling of thunder. Next, of course, was rain.

The airport bus was right outside the airport exit, so I didn’t have to worry about wandering lost in the rain. Well, not until I had to get off the bus to look for my hostel.

There I was, standing in the rain in the Silom sidewalk without an umbrella and a big and heavy pack on my back. And wondering where the hell to go. I look up and saw the skytrain. Thanks to my geekiness, the countless hours I spent reading travelouges, guides and maps finally pays off: I knew where to go. Or at least which way to walk to hopefully stumble upon the Hostel Thailand.

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It was dark, it was raining, I haven’t had much sleep in the past 32 hours. I was cranky, tired and irritated. How much further to the hostel?

And so begins (or end) my first night in Bangkok.

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The following day, the daylight streaming from my window showed promise. Fueled by a renewed energy, I got up early and set off to the Grand Palace. Less than three hours later, it started to rain.

And it continued on the whole day. I spent the rest of the day mall-hopping instead of temple-hopping.

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I woke up on my third day in a train coach heading towards Suratthani. I note with satisfaction the absence of raindrops on my window.

Not for long. It started drizzling as we got closer to my stop. Great. It continued even as I walk out of the station and hopped into the bus going to the pier. Thankfully, it stopped as we were about to board the ferry.

The rain came back early the following day, making me doubt if my snorkelling trip will push through. The owner of the resort assured me there weren’t any monsoon, and that the people from Lomprayah will pick me up as scheduled.

It wasn’t raining when we boarded the catamaran; the weather seemed fined. Well, until we were miles off the shore and in the middle of the sea. This time, it wasn’t just rain. It was rain AND wind, which of course, meant big waves. Ah, I can still hear the sounds of barfing.

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Despite the wind and the rain, I still managed to have a great time snorkelling, trekking and exchanging stories with fellow tourists.

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The weather the following day was gorgeous. The kind that makes you regret you’re checking out of your resort. On the otherhand, I’m checking out to go to another island, so it’s not a total loss.

Due to me missing a boat that I was told I can’t miss, I had to spend a couple of hours more in the island of Samui. Just as well, I met two of the kindest travel agents ever.

Perversely enough, it started raining as I was on my way to the pier. It stopped as soon as it started though, and there wasn’t any more rain until the following afternoon.

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The weather in Ko Pha Ngan was lovely. Up until it was time to take a picture of the sunset anyway. It rained every afternoon, around 4 – 5 pm, and lasted until about 7 or 8 pm. Though I wasn’t able to take a beautiful sunset, the rain lowers the temperature, making for a pleasant sleep at night.

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Surprisingly enough, it did not rain when I left Ko Pha Ngan, nor when I arrived in Bangkok. Nor during the three days I spent in Bangkok. Not even when I the plane took off from Don Muang and landed at Changi.

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Of course, it rained the following day, my first day in Singapore. It was sunny enough when we set out for the church to hear mass. The sky started to darken when the service ended, and it poured while we were buying food at the market. Typical.

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When I flew home to Manila, the weather was deceptively fine. As before, it was bright and sunny and HOT! Missing my friends, I quickly sent a text message, asking to meet up for dinner. So far, so good, I thought as I step out of the house, no rain yet. I was able to hail a cab within a minute. As soon as I got in, the the rain started to pour.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 4 Comments
  1. bchai says:

    Nina, how much do hostels cost in Singapore / Malaysia / Thailand? Also, what about regular hotels? Which would you prefer?

    Singapore sounds pretty good…

  2. nina says:

    In Bangkok, you can get a bed in a hostel dorm for aroung 200 baht. You’d have to share the room and the bathroom though. For a room of your own with airconditioning and ensuite bathroom, you can shell out from 700 – 1,000 baht per night.

    Based on my research, dorm rooms in Singapore hostels is around SG$18-20 per bed, per night. For a private room with a double bed (not sure about the ensuite toilet and bath) and airconditioning, it’s around SG$50.

    Malaysian hostels starts at around MYR 25 (dorm) to around MYR 40 – 50 (single).

    I’m lucky because I never had to pay for accomodation in Singapore because my brother lives there ^_^ Singapore is pretty expensive, but there are a number of free events and attractions so you can stick to your budget. The Great Singapore Sale is awesome! Well, the prices are definitely not as low as the goods in the Philippines or Thailand, but you can still get great discounts on stuff that would normally be out of your budget. There are also special discounts for tourists!

  3. bchai says:

    Hmmm…hostels sound tempting, but I bet they’re not co-ed, huh? ;)

    Oh yeah, out of those places—which has the better cuisine? Are they similar? Singapore sounds expensive, but I bet the place is worth every dime. Also, what’s the Great Singapore Sale?

  4. nina says:

    Oh they’re co-ed ;) In some hostels, you have the option to stay in an all-female dorm or in a co-ed dorm.

    Better cuisine…Both have lots of restaurants specializing in different cuisines around the world. However, if you meant by local cuisine.. Thailand definitely! Though I’m quite partial to Singapore’s Hainanese Chicken Rice…

    There’s a lot of places to explore in Thailand. It’s similar to the Philippines: they have mountains, beaches, rural provinces, urban jungles. Singapore, however, is a great city to acclimate if you’re from a first world country off to jaunt around Asia. The city-state is a great fusion of eastern and western culture. But the country is really very small, so you can finish exploring it in a week (less if you’re on a budget).

    The Great Singapore Sale is an annual event during late May to early July. Almost all shops participate, and give discounts starting at 30% going up to 70-80%.

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