The first full week in Thailand was beyond terrific: five incredible days on Ko Samui, kayaking around Ko Tao and Ko Pha-Nan for the Full Moon Party with new friends. Paradise!

Flew up to BKK and spent 2 nights there: explored the biggest temple and the attached Grand Palace, then the palace-like SUPER shopping malls MBK and Siam. Got to the train station at 8:30PM Friday for the departing 10:00 PM sleeper to Chiang Mai and was lucky enough to get a second class seat. Didn’t sleep much, or well, and didn’t arrive until almost 3PM Saturday.

Felt sick that day, and much worse the next. At first I got some lozenges (Fisherman’s Friend) for my throat, then some antibiotics on Monday. Yesterday (Wednesday), after eating a sandwich, my stomach instantly felt like a rock had grown inside it. After class I tried to sleep for two hours, but the stone just shifted and turned, taunting me.

So when the group wanted to go to dinner, they suggested I go to the hospital, and I agreed. Going through my symptoms at the hospital, they said it’s a peptic ulcer, and gave me the necessary IVs and medications. The check-up, treatment and meds all cost under $50 for a non resident tourist without insurance. Way to go Thailand!