Over the course of our trip we have experienced some big changes as we move from place to place. Europe to Nepal, Nepal to India, and now India to Thailand. Each new landscape we enter is so different than the last that and it takes some time to adjust to our new surroundings. A lot of traveling is becoming comfortable with all the little things you either have, or don’t have. The transition from India to Thailand felt great. Thailand caters to travelers so much more than India. In India you are truly on your own, you don’t know who to trust, and more often than not people are after your money. It is sad to say that but believe us, its true. In Thailand you simply walk into a travel office, tell them where you would like to go and they ship you like cattle to your final destination. It’s as easy as that. Another one of the small luxuries we have neglected is ice. Sounds funny but ice in India is off limits to travelers. In Thailand all of the ice is made from treated water, meaning we can now have smoothies, cocktails, and cold everything! So having ice was a treat like you could not believe. You don’t notice it because you have it, but ice is just like your pillow at home, its great to have all the time!
We had a few days in Bangkok, which was a great start to our Thailand adventure. Bangkok was beautiful with clean streets and glittering Wats (temples). We saw all of the sites and enjoyed our new surroundings. Bangkok was so different than some of the bigger cities we went to in India. We relaxed, ate Thai-curry, shopped and took in all the hustle and bustle of this enormous city. We visited the Weekend Market in Bangkok, which is the biggest market in all of Thailand, and it did not disappoint. You could buy anything from coconut ice cream to a yorkie puppy. We contemplated buying the puppy to say the least and defiantly ate some coconut ice cream.
From Bangkok we went to Chiang Mai, a smaller city with great energy. We took an overnight bus to get to Chiang Mai, which was not the best. We ended up getting in two hours early at 5:00 AM, obviously too early to check into our hotel but we were able to work out a very good deal into a much nicer hotel. We got some sleep, rented some scooters and were off. We scooted around the city checking out the Wats (temples) and took some longer journeys into the mountains.
After Chiang Mai we headed further north to the small town of Pai. Simply put Pai is paradise. It has everything you would want and nothing more. The best, healthiest food is here, and it’s cheap. Check our photos to see more, but we had a perfect home, perfect food, a dog to call our own, and plenty of adventure to make us never want to leave this small town in the jungle. We met Dan and Priscilla, they are a great couple from Oregon that just finished two years of teaching in Korea, and they just got hitched! Congrats! So we shared the great vibes of Pai with them and had an amazing time. Can’t wait to see them again! Our time in Pai was suppose to be about 3-4 days and ended up being 10, and it was still far too short. We will be back! From here we head to Laos with a two-day trip down the Mekong River on a “slow boat.” From Laos to Cambodia to meet with some of Jeff’s family, and then to the islands of Thailand. Life on the road is too good. Glad there is much, much more ahead of us.
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After spending about a week enjoying historic sights in Cambodia and the company of the Khmer people we headed straight for the closest Thai island. Koh Chang is a solitary island in South East of Thailand. We traveled here with Jeff’s family and spent a few days on this quaint little island. We stayed on White Sand Beach, which is accurately named for it’s long stretch of soft white sand. One day we participated in another Thai cooking class. This class was much more educational than our cooking class in Pai. We made 5 different types of curry, pad thai, tom yam soup and ended with sticky rice and mango. Yummmm. We all had a great time. Jeff’s birthday was while we were in Koh Chang. It was a special day especially since we were with his family. We rented motorbikes, which is always a blast, and cruised around the island to a different beach. Afterwards we jumped into a fancy resort’s pool and had a couple pina coladas at their swim up bar. Not a bad way to spend your birthday. After Koh Chang we traveled back to Bangkok where we said goodbye to his family and continued our journey down the country to another set of islands.
Thai cooking class is Koh Chang
Koh Phangan is a tropical paradise know for it’s monthly full moon parties. Every month on the night of the full moon this little Thai island is jammed packed of backpackers, covered in neon paint and clothes dancing til the sun comes up. Attending a full moon party is right of passage for any travelers backpacking around South East Asia. It is a little crazy but unlike anything in the world. Jeff and I stayed in a cute little bay only accessible by long tail boat. This beach is a hidden gem and not mentioned in any travel books, we heard about it from my sister who stumbled upon it during her travels here. This little beach was one of our favorite spots so far on our trip. It had everything you could want. The full moon party night was a lot of fun, we danced all night, made some fun friends, and danced some more. Dance, swim, dance, swim, its perfect.
The scuba diving island. It is one of the cheapest places in the world to receive your scuba license. The best part about this island for me was that my sister Jacy and her boyfriend John met us here! After not seeing any of my family members for 5 months I broke down in tears when I first saw my sister. My sister and I have both had our scuba licenses since were were 13 years old. We have been looking forward to diving in Koh Tao since we planned this trip. Jeff signed up to get his scuba license, which is a 3 day course. I was able to go with Jeff on his last few dives which was really fun, the water is warm and clear and there is much to see around the coral reefs. It was a great experience but because the diving is so affordable some of the dive sides get somewhat crowded. But we can’t blame the backpackers who dive in Koh Tao when one dive is only $30. You can’t beat that price anywhere. We are very excited for the end of our trip when we go on a live-aboard scuba dive boat with Angs parents in a remote area of Indonesia called Raja Ampat. We rented stand up paddle boards and also rented scooters to explore Koh Tao. After Jeff was officially certified we headed off to Railay Beach. The fun in Thailand continues, three more weeks and then off to Bali.
Oh my Lanta, we loved this island in Southern Thailand.
Maya bay is located on Koh Phi Phi Leh, the tiny island next to its much larger sister island Koh Phi Phi Don. This is where they filmed the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. This incredible beach closes down at around 6 PM. Jeff and I found a tour that allowed us to stay the night on a boat anchored in the bay for the night. We were two of 30 people who stayed after hours at the beach. They do a big BBQ dinner on the beach, give you a few cocktails and let you enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world. The entire group was back in the eating area while we sneaked off for a stroll down the beach on a near full moon night. It was peaceful and seemed too good to be true. During the day this little bay is very crowded so it was an amazing feeling to be the only ones on this beach at night. After a fun night we went swimming in the dark with photo luminescent plankton that live in the bay. The plankton glow bright when you disturb them, like underwater fire flies. It was magical to swim and dive down into the darkness with only glittering lights around you. It was definitely a night we will never forget.
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