Travel To Grow

Understanding The World Through Travel

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Sat
24
Jan '09

Day 4 – Smileys


Coming off the train we saw something pretty sweet, there was this crazy looking bus all panted with cool designs. We were quite thrilled to find out it was our party bus!

A special party bus... Just for us!

A special party bus... Just for us!

Fans kept us cool on the bus

Fans kept us cool on the bus

The bus was designed specifically for us and was packed with lots of fans to keep us cool, a pretty sweet sound system, a couch at the back, and even a siren with flashing lights. As we drove along we got some pretty interested looks from the locals and even some friendly waves.

We arrived a few hours later at a place called Smiley’s Bungalows. We were told that the people at smileys bungalows were like family and it was completely true, they even had a big sign hung up welcoming our group to them. Here we met one of my favorite Thai people from the trip named Bau. He was incredibly friendly and bursting with personality, he constantly told us jokes and liked to call everything sexy, like our bus, the sexy bus!

*picture of Bau*

Smileys had a nice big restaurant / party area, and had some really delicious food. There were hammocks all around, and it was a really comfy place to relax, and of course the bar was always fully stocked.

I loved the open atmosphere of the place

I loved the open atmosphere of the place

In the mornings you could even get the smileys western breakfast special! Which lived up to its smiley name:

Hey McDonalds... This is a real happy meal

Hey McDonalds... This is a real happy meal

Even the menu’s were smiley!

:D

:D

Our Bungalows were really nice, they had western toilets, hot showers and were perfect for setting up the free hammocks we were given at the start of the trip. They also had a great view of the surrounding area, and in the morning the mist would float through in the distance.

Mist flowed through the hills in the morning

Mist flowed through the hills in the morning

Surrounding smileys were a bunch of cool places to visit, there were other restaurants/bars with different themes, massage places, and more.

Who wouldnt want to eat in a place like that?

Who wouldnt want to eat in a place like that?

Good fortune shrines??

Good fortune shrines??

It was nice to interact with the Thai people in this area, removed from the chaos of Bangkok. This is where we really started to notice the truly genuine friendliness of the Thai people, they seemed more calm and at peace than people in western societies. My friends and I talked about how waitresses who serve you in western societies smile and talk nice because it’s their job to be friendly, but it seemed here in Thailand that their smiles were genuine and they were naturally friendly because they enjoyed it. The atmosphere was much more free and relaxed. Throughout the trip we would notice many people that lived with so much less than us back home but seemed so much happier. It really hammered home the point that money doesn’t buy happiness. Money is a nice bonus that can enhance your already existing happiness, but don’t pursue money or material possessions in hopes that it will create the missing happiness for you. Try appreciating all of the free things in life, like solid friendships, fun games, deep connections with others, or the beauty of nature.

At this one particular restaurant where I ordered some delicious shrimp pizza they even had this little guy doing some bartending which he thought was very fun.

My new favourite topping, shrimp!

My new favourite topping, shrimp!

The youngest bartender

The youngest bartender

Relaxing at smileys was really nice, but the real reason we were there were the awesome day trips we would soon be taking! Stay tuned~

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