A beautiful few weeks with friends from home
Well the three and a half weeks in Thailand have flown by so fast!
We landed in Bangkok and it was so warm, you felt it as soon as you stepped out the door, lovely! We got in our taxi and after a few miles I thought I heard a strange sound and at at 120 km p/h we had a flat tyre, haha! So out the taxi we had to get and the driver flagged down another for us to get in, not a bad start hey!
We arrived at Dan's Uncle and Aunts and it was like heaven, from Kathmandu, Bangkok looked spotless and like the most state of the art and modern place on earth! It was wonderful to be in a home and what a lovely couple they are, we arrived to home made cakes, dinner, fresh towels and a hot shower! I do appreciate the small things now =)
Our first day in Bangkok started off with the flower market, it was so beautttiiiiful, thousands of roses wrapped in newspaper, lillies and bags full of orchids. We then went onto the next best thing, the food market! I wanted to burst into 'Wouldn't it be lovely', huge baskets full of all kinds of vegetables, mounds of chllies and all thinsgused for thai food. Then fruit stalls with so many wonderful, ripe and exotic fruit and everything is so so cheap! We often ate of market stalls and you can easily pay 30 baht for dinner which works out at about 30p and thats normal! For fresh, yummy thai food, boy we are ripped off BADLY in England!
We then headed to Wat Phra Kaew, it was fasinating, they temples are just so grand, gold everywhere and the architecture is just so different to home, I guess that is what strikes. When you see the pictures, you'll see. Then the one room had a reclining buddha, it was soo huge. Then a short trip to china town.
Next day Vicky, Dan, Alex and Ellie arrived, I was so excited! So lovely to see friends from home. We went to a rooftop building and saw all over bangkok and then headed to the culture centre followed by an awesome tuk tuk race, it was hilarious, no where else would you go that fast in an open vehicle with no seat belts, it was so fun though, we laughed so much!
Next day we all had to cover up for the Grand Palace and there couldn't be a more fitting name to be honest, grand it was, weird when so many live in poverty and you have that massive palace there. Anyway it was all very glamorous and gold, the photo's will only do it justice. And of course, temples, endless temples and although they are lovely, one can definitely see TOO many temples! haha
Next we moved down south to the island of Koh Sumui, a 12 hour bus ride later and a boat and we arrived. Not much to shoult about there really, but nice all the same.
Koh Phangan island I really loved though, an hour or so on another boat and it was beautiful, we hired a hut literally less than 10 metres from our front door, white sand, blue calm see and palm trees and for a rediculous 6 pounds each a night. The only problem, the dogs! They are flipping everywhere, the group made friends with a couple, but 'pink eye' was not one of them! haha. We went kyaking and also took a day trip to a couple of other islands and went snorkelling for the first time, I was a bit of a wimp and felt there were a few too many fish, but it warmed me up nicely to idea. We went to a waterfall, which really shouldn't have been named anything other than a stream, but made us laigh all the same =) Just so beautiful though and unending sunshine! We found the local food market and wow, that was by far our favourite spot, everything was so so cheap. Lots of small dishes, so you can eat more than you think. Loving noodle soup, fruit shakes, donuts and mango stivky rice is one of Pip's new favourites. You pay 20baht for a fresshhh shake, thats like 50p and 1 pound for the noodles. Too much emphasis on food here, I think! Anyway the whole see to have established a fear we call 'food panic' not sure why or where that came from, as we are eating like kings and queens, but still manage to panic we're not going to get enough food, haha! We chilled a lot here really and went to the half moon party, that was ace, a lot of fun! My highlight of the island was seeing my best bud Leigh Leigh from CT, so amazing to spend time with her.
Next after another bus ride we arrived in Krabi and got a boat to Railay Bay, a great spot for climbing there. We arrived and had to walk a good 50 metres in the rain from the long tail boat in the sea to the shore with all our backpacks, on a path under the water that we couldn't see, haha! Such a beautiful island and only accessible by boat. We took a day trip out to the Hong islands and went kyaking and snorkelling again, enjoyed the experience a lot more this time, amazing watching the fish and saw them all swarm together as bread was thrown in.
Next island was the famous Phi Phi, really enjoyed being there, a good night life and beautiful scenery. We went on a day trp to Maya Bay )the beach was filmed there) and it was by far the best beach, turquoise water, sand was like flour and that was on a cloudy day. Slightly uncomfortable when seeing the tsunami evacuation route though, haha. That is a must go to. We snorkelled againa and headed back and boy iut was choppy! I was rather glad to get offf that boat, really fun though =)
Then off I flew north to Chang Mai to meet Leigh again. We went on a hike up to a hilltop tribe and as we hiked up saw a scorpion, banana trees everywhere, a coffee plant and more. Before we left went on another elephant ride, that was fun and they were treated a lot better than the Nepali ones. Our guide was so funny too, he walked in front singing 'in the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight!' =)When reaching the top we had an awesome view on our veranda and we slept in a thatched roof hut, oh my I did face some fears, I was petrified of bugs and spiders, but got through the night! On our way back down we went white water rafting, that was so so fun! We laughed a lot and then went on a bamboo raft, it was hilarious as some other guys we met on our trek were on theirs and continued to sink the whole way to the end! haha! Lastly we went to see the tigers and got to sit with 6 month and 14th month year olds, scary, but amazing.
Then back to Bangkok for our last few days with our clan and went to lots of malls, my favourit being terminal 21, built to look like an airport, but every level is a different country, it was so rad! Again, pitcures will do this justice.
Loved Thailand so much and was sad to see my friends go home, we had such a wonderful time!