Thursday, April 25, 2013

Random Shots of the Week (4/14-4/20) - Thailand

I AM the law

This is how they pour a glass of wine!

The view from our room in Ko Lanta - nice reflections!

Mmmmmmm - coconut glory (coconut milk and pineapple juice)

We couldn't figure out what was considered "poisoning garbage" 

While at the Outrigger, we had a couple of storms

Trying out the hammock

It didn't fit Paul as well

This banana was awfully small

Turtle on the beach - Donatello, is that you? 

Meat/fruit stand on Ko Phi Phi

Paul often looks like this after walking in the heat and wonders why people stare

Party time comes to you

These musicians were blind and very talented!

Everyone is frozen while the Thai national anthem plays over the loud speaker at 6pm

Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai around 10pm on April 19. We heard that the city was smoggy but wow, the moment we got outside, our eyes started to burn. We promptly got a taxi and headed to our accommodations for the next 3 nights - Baanlek Home Stay. Yup, another home stay. We figured after splurging in Ko Phi Phi, we needed to take it down a notch. At about 30USD/night, it was a nice place to stay.

The next morning on April 20, we explored the old town.

Wat Pan Whaen

Wat Pan Whaen

Perimeter of Old Town - Bamrung Buri Road

Wat Chang Taem

Saturday Night Market

Lots of useless things to buy

While walking around eating coconut and banana chocolate waffles

On April 21, we took the half day tour to the Mong village and visited the temple on a hill, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.

The Mong (aka Hmong) people are from China and live in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos

Mong child contemplating life

Street in the Mong village

Paul walking along the Mong streets

Hats for sale...Paul wanted to get one

After the visit to the village, we headed to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, one of the most important temples in Thailand.

People were encouraged to ring the bell for good luck (but no pushing the bell)

Paul only wanted a little bit of luck so rang a small bell once

Elephants are sacred in Thailand

Novice monk enjoying the smoggy view of Chiang Mai

Novice monks gathering for lunch

Because of the new year, it's also good luck to pour water on Buddha

The 7 positions of Buddha representing the 7 days of the week

Chedi (stupa/buddhist shrine) at Doi Suthep

Posing in front of the chedi

A different perspective of the chedi

These kids were dressed up and performing

Throwing flower petals


The dragon's spine was the railing

I'm glad we didn't have to walk up these stairs

Another little girl in traditional dress (of Northern Thailand)

Later we explored the night markets...

Yeah, I made some more negotiations - this was the Night Bazaar...

Which is not the Sunday night market & VERY different than the Saturday night market

The next day, we headed to Bangkok. But we couldn't leave without getting a picture with our host, Mr. Lek, the friendliest guy in Chiang Mai!

Mr. Lek reminded Paul of the bar owner in Good Morning Vietnam

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ko Phi Phi

After our time in Ko Lanta, we were really looking forward to Ko Phi Phi but will admit were a little worried that we got suckered into another place that Trip Advisor and say is nice but really isn't. Since we set our expectations pretty low, it was pretty easy to exceed them - especially while staying at a resort. After about a hour ferry ride without air conditioning, we got on a long tail boat for the Outrigger.

Front of the long tail boat

Paul and Capt'n enjoying the ride

Arriving at the Outrigger
The lovely Outrigger

Welcome coconut/pineapple drink. Yummy!

They even let us check in early...and our bungalow was very nice.

Our home for 3 days

We spent our three days here finally getting some sleep and R&R. We treated ourselves to a nice dinner and the hotel really took care of us. We had contacted them about Paul's allergies ahead of time so the food & beverage manager had informed the staff. It was easy to order and there were no tomatoes anywhere!

Besides hanging by the pool and beach, we did manage to take a hike to a couple different places.

Boats along the beach

Panoramic view

Cool pool

Low tide

Another morning at the Outrigger

Lounging by the beach

Moving to another spot by the pool - convenient swim up bar in the pool...

Ahhhh....a hammock. This one couldn't fit us both. 

We took a hike around the grounds and found the tsunami victims memorial

Walking towards Loh Lana Bay

Loh Lana Bay

Butterflies along the way

Hotel staff cleaning up 

I like that you can see the reflection of the blue skies in this shot

We splurged on a BBQ dinner on our porch

They had even decorated with pretty flowers

At dusk on our last night

We checked out on Friday, April 19 and headed to Chiang Mai. It only took us 10 hours to get there...first a long tail boat from the Outrigger to Tonsai Bay. We had some time to kill around Tonsai Bay before getting on the ferry to Phuket so we did some shopping. Paul would refer to it as negotiating.

Long tail to Tonsai Pier

The water was really clear that day

Tonsai Pier

Walking around the pier area

Doing some shopping

More sight seeing

A beach on the other side of the pier

Getting ready to leave Ko Phi Phi

After a 2 hour ferry ride to Phuket...

Bye bye Phi Phi

Along the way, we saw more limestone cliffs

...there was another hour taxi ride from the pier to the airport. Then we waited another 2 hours before flying 2 hours to Chiang Mai. After being so lazy at the Outrigger, all the travel and effort made for a long day.

Phuket International Airport