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Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand

Taiwan

I had heard good things about Taiwan, but I didn’t expect much. After living there for 3 months, it’s become one of my favorite places.

I left Taiwan on 10 May. The bus I caught for Tao Yuan Airport broke down, but I managed to get to the airport on time. Then my flight got delayed. Perhaps Taiwan didn’t want me to go.

I met some wonderful people during my stay. I meet people on the road. Then I leave them. Sometimes they leave me before I do. We are all going somewhere, and that’s the way it is. Sometimes you gotta leave others so you can go where you want to go.

I’m happy if you leave me so you can go where you want to go. I’m not happy if you feel obliged to stay with me and do stay with me.

Philippines

I went to Philippines for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. I spent a lot of time with my new friends from Nova Uniao Filipinas-Klub Konstriktor. Thanks to them, I had a great time practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with them and hanging out with them.

The competition didn’t go well for me. But, we win some, and lose some.

I also met some wonderful people through couchsurfing as well.

Compared to the last time I was in Philippines, it was significantly better this time, thanks to my new friends. I’m grateful for them.

Speaking of gratitude, I had another grateful experience. When you leave Philippines, you need to pay the terminal fee by cash for whichever airport you fly out from. There are three ATMs at Clark Airport, and all of them were broken. I didn’t have enough cash for the terminal fee. I had to ask some random people for money (about $5). I gave them my e-mail address so I can arrange something for them, but I haven’t heard from them.

By the way, my flight from Philippines to Malaysia got delayed, for almost 4 hours. Perhaps Philippines didn’t want me to go as well?

Malaysia

It was only a brief stop before flying to Thailand. Since I missed the last train that goes to my couchsurfing host’s local station, I spent the night at the LCC Terminal at the airport. I lied down on the floor, not quite sleeping, but closing my eyes and resting my body.

To be able to sleep anywhere is a skill. It could be an art, even. I haven’t mastered this skill yet, but I guess I am making some progress.

When I arrived at the airport after midnight, it was relatively quiet. Around 3 or 4am, it got busier. People were there to catch early flights.

I like airports and watching people going to or coming back from various places. It’s even better when there’s a variety of people. I like Malaysia for that. You are more likely to see people from different backgrounds. Compared to Japan, that is. The LCC Terminal isn’t the most beautiful airport on the entire planet, but people do light up this place. That’s how I feel anyway.

Thailand

I’m writing this from Thailand. My entry point was Hat Yai. Then I caught a bus from there to Krabi.

The tourist agent I arranged a mini van ride from Hat Yai to Krabi with suggested 550 bahts for this trip. I knew it was too expensive. After a bit of negotiation, I simply left there, knowing that I could catch a government bus from a bus terminal, though I wasn’t sure how to get to the bus terminal. They chased me and agreed with the price I proposed, which I think was still a bit more expensive than the standard fare. But, I agreed to take the ride.

After a few hours of a mini van ride, I was dropped off at somewhere far from the town I wanted to go to. Then there was a taxi driver waiting for me. I wonder if he’d get some commission from the agency. Or it’s just how it works.

I called the hostel I was going to stay at in the town, and one of their staff members, who was off-duty and around there, kindly picked me up from where I was. He took me to where I could catch a bus to the hostel. I’m grateful for them.

After sleeping on couches and floors for the last few weeks, sleeping on a bed feels terrific and amazing, even when the bed is in a dorm room.

The Next Destination?

I’m heading to Bangkok. That much, I know.¬†After that, I’m not sure.

Even though I already have a one way ticket to Sweden, my financial situation turns out to be not really ready for Europe. I need to make a decision soon.

But, wherever I go, I’ll bring my smiles with me and meet some interesting people.