I can't believe it has taken me almost a year exactly to finish blogging about our trip to Thailand! My bad! Life got a tad nuts after we got back, me getting a new job, Trevor working full time at his new firm, house hunting, and then moving! Oh yeah and then getting pregnant. Trevor, who I swear almost never reads this blog, was getting after me the other day because I hadn't finished blogging about our trip to Thailand! haha So that is when you know it is bad. It has been hard to finish these up because I want to do each place justice and I spend a lot of time recapping everything. Time is something I don't have a lot of these days, but since Trevor got on my case, here is the next part of our trip, almost exactly a year later, oops! And beware, there are a TON of photos! haha
POSTS ON THAILAND
Bangkok Koh Samui
After we had settled in we rented a motor bike and decided to explore the area and head down to the really popular beaches. I wont lie, I was pretty nervous to drive in Thailand, just reference our Bangkok experience! They don't seem to really follow the rules of the road around there. We got a little lost on the way there but quickly figured out where we were. We parked and headed out to the beach and walked around familiarizing ourselves with the area. We were kind of kicking ourselves for not just getting a place on that beach. We thought we would want something quiet and away from it all, which was nice to have for sleeping, but it would have been so convenient to be close to all the hot spots. Just a tip for those who are looking at staying there! After walking around we picked a place to have some dinner and enjoyed some great thai food in an open style restaurant. Growing up in San Diego I am used to things being open to the outdoors, my high school was like that, so many restaurants have options like that. With Utah everything is enclosed because of winter, so it was nice to eat and enjoy the gorgeous weather.
After dinner we walked around some shops and got some ice cream. I made Trevor stop and get a fish pedicure with me! Ever since we had arrived I had wanted to try the fish pedicures we had seen. The fish, called garra rufa fish, or sometimes "doctor fish," actually nibble the dead skin from your feet. It looked hilariously entertaining. Because the fish have no teeth, they are just nibbling and sucking at the dead skin. Without teeth, they can't remove live skin, so you don't have to worry about being bitten. It was by far the most ticklish thing that has ever happened to me, Trevor and I were both dyyyyyying. It was so funny and felt weird, good all mixed into one. And believe it or not, it actually does its job! My feet were soooooo smooth! Oh man, if you ever the chance to get one, do it :) After some more walking around we decided to head back to our place for the night. Oh yeah, the night did not end there! haha We got lost. Like really lost. At first it was funny, then it turned into not so funny because we were getting tired and the streets were so confusing, and it was dark. We stopped to ask people several times about where we were and where to go but by this point we were pretty far from the touristy side of the island and not everyone speaks English that well or at all. We kept trying to look on the bright side, this was an adventure right? Right? This was hilarious and oh so fun! haha To make ourselves feel better I kept saying that we were getting a really great tour of the island at least, seeing we had basically driven around it say, six times?! Finally we were able to find out way back to our place! A little irritated, and a little tired, but not willing to let it totally kill the vibe of our day. We headed to bed so we could have some energy for the big day we had planned in the morning.
The next morning we woke up early since we had the entire day planned to go tour the Ang Thong National Marine Park, a pristine archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand with towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, fertile mangroves, waterfalls and hidden coves and lakes to explore. Sound amazing? Yeah, it was. We didn't have time to really go anywhere to eat since the tour was meeting not far from our bungalow, so we headed across the street to a grocery store to see what kind of breakfast we could put together. It turned out, interesting, to say the least. Of course the dogs followed us there and back.
After we had scarfed down some juice that looked but didn't taste like orange juice, and a mystery meat sandwich, we headed out to meet our tour group. There was a pretty big crowd and we were all put into groups. When we got called to our boat we realized that everyone else in our group was together but us. They were a huge group of people on a work trip from Chile. They were talkative, fun, and really nice. We had a blast getting to know them throughout the day. There was so much beauty around us as we sped off into the distance. Thailand has gorgeous blue green water, and these little spots of green islands that just seem to burst out of nowhere. The really tall and skinny rocks that look more like a skinny island are called sea stacks, and they are pretty incredible. Sea stacks are amazing vertical rock formations standing in the sea that were formed entirely by wind and water. There were tons of them! I loved just sitting in the back of the boat with Trevor and enjoying the moment. I love being in a boat, especially when it is going fast. We pulled up to a small island and some sea stacks and put on our snorkeling gear. We hopped in and enjoyed swimming around and looking at the gorgeous reef and fish for an hour. My favorite were the sea urchins, they looked totally different from the kinds you see in Southern California, and I was intrigued. They seemed scarier to me because even though they had less spikes, they were way longer! The variety you find in the ocean is incredible. Trevor and I were the last to get out of the water and they had to call us in or I think we would have stayed there forever. It was pretty funny because none of the group spoke English so they just started yelling, "GRINGOS, GRINGOS!" Which growing up in San Diego I knew they were referring to us. It was pretty funny.
After the snorkeling we headed off to an even bigger island, Mae Koh Island, to see the Emerald Lake. This island was beautiful, and we had to hike and climb up and down the side of the island to see the lake. It was breathtaking with green emerald water. It was starting to get a little overcast, and rainy, which was just fine by me because I was so hot! After enjoying the lake they had a spot up top where you could take in a 360 view of the island and everything below it. That was honestly even more impressive to me then the Emerald lake! BREATHTAKING! Again, we were the last to want to leave and we heard them calling for the gringos again.
Next we headed to a small village that was out on one of these tiny tiny islands, I mean Koh Samui is small enough as it is, so just imagine an even smaller one off of it! We pulled into the dock and were served one of the best meals of our whole trip! The lunch and spread of food was amazing, and all made for us by the local people there. While everyone was finishing up their lunch and chatting, Trevor and I decided to explore the area. It was obvious that very few people lived on this island, and that they lived in very humble circumstances. At one point a little girl came out on a small bike and was following Trevor and I. We tried talking with her, us both laughing, and her and Trevor played a little chase and tag for a bit. It started to rain and we knew our boat would be leaving soon, so we headed back. Of course everyone was waiting for us again, chiming in "GRINGOS, GRINGOS!" haha It became a theme for them with us :) That part of the afternoon was one of my favorites because when I travel my favorite part is really being able to get a taste of the culture and experience what life is like for the people that live there.
Then we were off to the next island! At the next island we got to kayak all around the island. There was a pretty big sea stack in the distance and of course Trevor wanted to see it. I won't lie, we had some scary moments. They told us to stay away from the edges of the island and to not get too close because you can't predict the waves etc. and you could get smashed up into caves and what not. Of course this was an invitation for my husband, who got as close as he could before I started flipping out. At one point he actually wanted to enter a pitch black cave in front of us. Sure Trevor, sure. Let's go into a blacked out cave which they have told us NOT TO DO and then what? Hmm? haha The sea stack was insane! It is so much bigger when you are just under it staring up from your kayak. Pretty incredible what mother nature can create. When we got back in we had the rest of the afternoon to swim and play on the beach. We loved it.
The next morning we designated as a pure beach day! We headed to the main beach and swam and played all afternoon. We ate ice cream on the beach, relaxed in the sun! We rented a jet ski and took it out for a spin. Now let me just tell you something about the water in Thailand, the wave patterns are totally different than what I am used to from growing up in San Diego. You know in Japanese art how there are tons of little waves and ripples, not just one big even wave? That is what Thailand was like. Very sharp, jagged, abrupt mini waves. This made for one BUMPY ride on a wave runner! I was not the biggest fan of going too fast on waves like that, and Trevor took full advantage of that. We took turns driving, and even though Trevor intentionally went faster than I wanted him to, it was a lot of fun. We got some lunch on the beach, and did some more swimming before we realized we were exhausted. One main reason we were so zapped was because we were totally sun burnt! I was pretty upset because I am always so diligent about sunscreen. I had already got a little burned the day before from our snorkeling session and we soon realized the sunscreen we had bought in Thailand was total crap. We learned the hard way, don't buy sunscreen in Thailand and think it will work. We even bought familiar name brands. I don't know why but every single bottle we got didn't do anything for us, so that is a tip for any travelers! We decided to get some full body massages with aloe vera, which was amazing! I swear I lost count at how many massages we got while in Thailand, they are the best, and so affordable. We got them pretty much everyday sometimes multiple times a day since they are so accessible.
After our massages we did some last minute shopping since it was out last day on the island. Of course we couldn't end the trip without something happening right? When I went to purchase something Trevor realized his credit card was missing. We were very worried somehow it was taken but after walking through our day we both realized he had, had it at the atm machine at the restaurant on the beach where we had lunch. Trevor was almost positive he had left it in the machine and hadn't taken it out. We headed back and it was gone. We talked to the manager of the location and he said that the machine will eat the card when it is left there. Lovely. Thankfully you pay your taxi after you get to your location and I had some baht (thai cash) back at our bungalow. We actually just had the cab driver wait because we needed a lift to the airport anyways. We grabbed our stuff, said goodbye to our beautiful home from the past few nights, and headed to the airport. Trevor was able to quickly cancel his card, just incase, and all was well. When we got to the airport our flight had been delayed. We were pretty bummbed because we just sat there for a few hours when we could have been out and enjoying the island. There was a temple we had really wanted to see which we didn't think we had time for but turns out we would have. Oh well, can't take those risks when traveling in a foreign country right? We ate dinner at the airport, which honestly is the best airport to be in if your going to get stuck in one. It was like being at a nice hotel in the island, all open and beautiful. Before we knew it we were saying goodbye to the beautiful island of Koh Samui, and heading Bangkok for the night.
We got into Bangkok much later than planned because of the delay, but our hotel was probably the nicest of the whole trip, which our tired, sunburnt, bodies appreciated. I took a shower and passed out. That morning we enjoyed a great buffet breakfast at the hotel, and took a taxi to the airport to fly back to Taiwan. That flight was short and sweet and before we knew it we were on the plane back to LA! While in the airport we actually ran into one of Trevor's professors from Law School, so that was funny. Oh and thankfully we got to sit next to each other on the fight home, YAY! It made all the difference in the world being able to snuggle up next to Trevor during that long of a flight. With that said I also got stuck sitting next to the most insane woman ever. Oh man, I could go on forever about her but to sum it up, she thought for some reason that my space should be her space. She kept trying to put her feet under the seat in front of me... um what? Or she would put her food tray down and prop her feet up on it and her one foot would be right in front of my TV screen and in my face. She was crazy. She also kept farting. Guys, I can't make up all the things that happened on the flight but at one point Trevor didn't believe me and we switched seats and he was dumbfounded and appalled by her behavior as well. She was insane the whole way but hey, at least she offered us some entertainment, right?! haha Always looking on the bright side.
Oh and don't think I am done yet, I have one more post to share after this that will contain all those extras that didn't make it into the posts I have done so far. And hopefully there will be a little video too ;) I promise it won't be another year until I share it, haha!
POSTS ON THAILAND
Bangkok Koh Samui