A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Onward to Thailand!

Adventures in Bangkok

semi-overcast 93 °F
View Thailand on Allie and Sam's travel map.

Sawadee!
Some people asked us...why Thailand? Why not?

The main turn-off seems to be the crazy long flight...
but our motto for the twenty-one plus hour journey was "better than work!"

Plus we saw some amazing, if not somewhat unnerving, views on our fourteen hour flight over Canada, Alaska, and the Bering Strait to Tokyo, Japan.
large_90_Flying_over_the_arctic.jpg

We even caught an arctic sunset.
large_90_Sunset_over_the_arctic.jpg

We made it to Tokyo and hopped on the last leg of our journey...wooooo!

Finally arrived in Bangkok, Thailand after our seven hour flight, exchanged our US dollars for jewel colored Thai Baht (about 30 Baht to $1), and hopped into a lovely pink taxi much like this one...except that we arrived in the dark at about 11:30pm, a full twelve hour time difference from NYC.

Pink_taxi.jpg

02.08.13
Our first day in Thailand we each had a nice massage for 400 Baht/hr (about $13) and met up with our tour guide Nina feeling a lot more relaxed, ready for a day of temple exploration. Can't recommend Tours with Tong enough...if you're ever in Bangkok, it's beyond worth the 1000 Baht for a 5hr tour by public transportation...that's about $30!

We hopped into a taxi and just caught the tourist boat...so excited for our first day!
Bangkok_to..ammyandNina.jpg

Bangkok_to..oat_-_Allie.jpg

Enjoying longtail boats and gorgeous scenery along the way.
large_Tourist_boat_sites.jpg

large_Sammy___Ni..ourist_boat.jpg

And when I say we arrived at Wat Phra Kaeo, The Temple of The Emerald Buddha...

90_Wat_Phra_K..Sassy_Allie.jpg 90_Allie_at_temple.jpg

Nina took us through the temple grounds, explaining the meaning behind everything. We were told to be sure to wear shoulder-covering shirts and a knee-length skirt or pants so Sammy threw on a pair of pj pants he had with him...hence his stylin' look.
large_Temple_-_Allie_and_Sam.jpg
large_90_Temple_Big_Buddha.jpg

We took in the sacred sites...
large_Sammy_as_the_statue.jpg

Thank Buddha for the breeze!
large_90_Allie_as_the_statue.jpg

Nina fit right in.
large_Sam_and_Ni..mming_it_up.jpg

After wandering through the crazy scenery,
large_90_Sam_and_Allie_at_temple.jpg

we came upon a gorgeous gold leaf covered Buddha outside of the temple,
large_90_Gold_leaf_Buddha.jpg

and left our shoes to go see the Emerald Buddha himself.
Leave_your..rald_Buddha.jpg

We stopped upon entering the temple to deliver a traditional blessing, dipping lotus flowers into water and each delivering a drop onto the other's head...a lovely tradition.
large_A_flower_water_blessing.jpg

The man himself, dressed in his winter gear despite the sweltering heat. Apparently the Emerald Buddha isn't actually made of emerald, but rather carved from a single piece of jade. There are no pictures allowed inside of the temple so this is tall man's best shot through a window.
large_90_The_Emeral..dha_himself.jpg

We walked around the temple and took in the gorgeous exterior, everything has a story behind it and Nina knew all the details.
Sam_and_Al..rald_Buddha.jpg

The temple is so ornate, each and every area has been thoughtfully decorated...just look at the walls behind us.
large_Sam_and_Al..st_the_dogs.jpg
large_90_Allie_posing_as_the_dog.jpg
large_270_Sammy_posing_as_the_dog.jpg

Grrrr...
large_90_Grrrr.jpg

So high!
large_90_So_tall.jpg

We sauntered on through the beautiful scenery around the temple...
large_Scenery_ou..rald_Buddha.jpg

heard the story of Rama and beyond...
large_The_story_of_Rama.jpg

and finally made our way over to the Grand Palace.
large_90_Entering_t..Hammy_Sammy.jpg

After taking in the beautiful palace grounds...
large_90_Beatiful_G..ace_gardens.jpg

and very serious guards...
large_Pic_with_the_guard.jpg

we jumped into this sweet ride called a Tuk Tuk to get to Wat Pho, The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
large_Tuk_tuk_ride.jpg
large_Outside_the_tuk_tuk.jpg

This room was actually built around The Reclining Buddha,
90_By_the_Rec..ddha_s_head.jpg

and we couldn't get over his amazingly giant and ornate toes!
large_90_Giant_toes.jpg

...quite a back on him too.
large_Behind_the..ning_Buddha.jpg

We wandered on and found ourselves standing in front of the actual tree that THE Buddha sat under in India.
large_90_In_front_o..actual_tree.jpg

Adding to the fun it was nearly Chinese New Year...
large_It_was_Chinese_New_Year.jpg

and we stopped to pose with a very stately statue.
large_90_Posing_wit..tely_statue.jpg

Ahhhh the ancient art of Thai massage as taught at Wat Pho Massage School, kop khun ka...really, thank you!
large_Ancient_ar.._at_Wat_Pho.jpg

We kept exploring and strolled amenst a truly striking row of golden Buddhas...these took my breath away.
large_90_Walking_am.._at_Wat_Pho.jpg
large_Sam_and_Al..den_Buddhas.jpglarge_90_C9BAAE202219AC68171C7D2F6326B1EE.jpg

We arrived at the temple and watched a local monk ready for evening meditation, so peaceful.
large_90_Temple_at_Wat_Pho.jpg

A little more posing with this lovely demure statue...
large_Allie_as_a_demure_statue.jpg

and it's hands up Wat Pho! So beautiful pictures surely do it no justice.
large_Hands_up_Wat_Pho_.jpg

Onward to Pak Khlong Talat, the flower market!
large_90_Street_sho..ower_Market.jpg

Women sit outside in the market and craft these ornate flower creations...
large_Side_view_..ower_Market.jpg
large_Ornate_flower_creations.jpg

with bold beautiful colors galore.
large_Allie_and_..r_necklaces.jpg
large_Sammy_and_..r_necklaces.jpg

large_Sam_and_Al..ower_Market.jpg
large_Allie_in_the_market.jpg

Bangkok proved to be full of lovely little shrines everywhere.
large_Shrines_everywhere.jpg

And finally a tight boat ride home to rest up for tomorrow's adventure, rush hour even on the river.
And_a_tigh..t_ride_home.jpg

02.09.13
We headed to the Chatuchak Weekend Market in the morning, one of the most famous markets in Southeast Asia for it's 5000-6000 stalls!
This is the view of the walk to the market from the Skytrain.
large_The_walk_t..kend_Market.jpg

There are endless rows of stalls selling everything from clothing to animals...to these busty statues.
large_90_Allie_and_..usty_statue.jpg

Sadly no picture of it, but we stopped into a massage stall for a nice half-hour 150 Baht ($5) foot massage under a fan...we need this in America!

Only 2 Baht to drip-dry, 5 if you want toilet paper...love it. You learn quickly to BYO...TP in Thailand!
large_Only_2_Bhatt_to_drip_dry.jpg

Burning up! The heat was oppressive once it reached noontime since it is like 100% humidity in Thailand...so we did our last looking, got an amazing bronze Buddha, gathered our spoils, and headed through the crowds.
Allie_burn..kend_Market.jpg

This is what heat exhaustion looks like! The only time we didn't feel so good in Thailand.
This_is_wh.._looks_like.jpg

Hurry up and get the Skytrain tickets!
large_90_Hurry_up_a..in_tickets_.jpg

And finally home to cool down and rest up for the following day's trip to Kanchanaburi where it will be floating markets, tigers, and elephants...oh my.

Posted by Allie and Sam 18:13 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Beyond Bangkok

Exploring Kanchanaburi

overcast 92 °F
View Thailand on Allie and Sam's travel map.

02.10.13
We decided to take a day-trip a few hours out of Bangkok to the Tiger Temple and Elephant Village in Kanchanaburi, exploring some particularly unusual markets on the way. Yet again Tours with Tong exceeded our expectations, our guide JJ and our driver gave us the absolute VIP treatment, complete with water and cool towels after each stop.

First stop was the Mae Klong Train Market...
large_90_Sammy_at_the_Train_Market.jpg

Literally a market that happens right on the train tracks, the vendors just move out of the way, and let the high bottom of the train pass over their goods with only inches to spare. Apparently touted as "the world's most dangerous market" because of the way people must scramble when they hear a distant fog horn...

large_90_Following_..rain_Market.jpg

All kinds of fresh produce, food, and sweets...
large_90_Sammy_and_..rain_Market.jpglarge_90_Allie_and_..rain_Market.jpg

including this amazingly delicious and fortune-like cookie with marshmallow-ish topping and a sprinkle of something or other...mb sweet potato, omg.
large_Amazingly_..rain_Market.jpg

Gotta love a place where there are monks just doing their errands.
large_90_Sammy_in_t..th_the_monk.jpg
large_90_Allie_at_the_Train_Market.jpg

We checked out the actual station where the train stops and went on our way.
large_90_Actual_sta..rain_Market.jpg

After a short drive, we arrived at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and JJ commissioned a boat for us.

large_JJ_getting_our_boat.jpg

All aboard!
large_All_aboard..ting_Market.jpg
large_First_view..d_our_boat_.jpg

Our view...
large_View_from_..of_the_boat.jpg

A photo op with JJ's noodle soup...despite the sweltering heat many of the locals are eating hot soup in long sleeves!
large_90_Sammy_and_the_noodle_soup.jpg
large_Allie_fann..ting_Market.jpg

Sammy, the proud new owner of this Thailand hat.
large_Sammy_in_the_boat.jpg

After some shopping we paddled through the back canals...
large_Allie_and_..ting_Market.jpg

and spied a monitor lizard in the water!
large_We_spied_a_monitor_lizard.jpg

We walked around the front of the market and Sammy made some new friends.
large_90_Sammy_with_the_snake.jpg

Kiss, kiss...
large_Kiss_kiss.jpg

large_Bridge_at_..ting_Market.jpg

Hard to see, but there is a small child (who honestly looks like he barely could've mastered walking) that is sitting on the front of the bike...one hand steadying himself on the turn signal and the other holding onto a tiny baseball cap. This kid is a professional!
large_Professional_infant_biker.jpg

Onward to the Tiger Temple...taking in some sites on the drive.
large_Sites_on_t..iger_Temple.jpglarge_Driving_to_Kanchanaburi.jpg

Baht Baht bills y'all...
large_Baht_galore.jpg

Entering the literal mouth of the Tiger Temple...
large_Driving_in..ger_s_mouth.jpg

The drive up.
large_Tiger_Temple_statue.jpg

This is where you sign your life away. We asked our tor guide in Bangkok, Nina, if anyone ever gets hurt at the Tiger Temple...her reply was a quick, "oh yeah." We laughed. She told us, "two months...so cute, three months...so cute, after that...be careful!"
large_This_is_wh..r_life_away.jpg

Dear, goat, and wild boars wandering about on the property.
large_Dear__goat.._everywhere.jpg
large_90_Walking_up..iger_Temple.jpg

Whoa...tigers and monks...in such close proximity...
large_First_view.._big_tigers.jpg

Crazy it's actually a tiger temple.
large_Monk_with_the_tigers.jpg
large_Monk_directing.jpg

Come on up and pet him everyone...
large_Allie_pett..e_big_tiger.jpg
large_Sammy_pett..e_big_tiger.jpg

Walking down (and back up) the canyon to get to the tiger cub area, whew scorching hot!
large_90_Walking_do..mple_canyon.jpg
large_90_Following_.._the_canyon.jpg

We were so excited entering the tiger enclosure...
large_90_Entering_the_tiger_s_pen.jpg

Awww!
large_Sammy_look..ed_for_cubs.jpg

Aww, he loves his baby.
large_Allie_play..ffed_animal.jpg

These guys may look small, but they are incredibly strong!
large_Allie_play..th_the_cubs.jpg

"If they start to bite you tap them on the nose with two fingers. If they keep biting, tap harder" {Australian accent}
...seriously, this is what the tour guide tells us as we walk in...love it.
large_Sammy_with..jumping_cub.jpg
large_Sammy_disc..ing_the_cub.jpg

They were ridiculously cute...
large_Cub_in_the_tire-swing.jpglarge_Cub_poking.._tire-swing.jpg
large_Allie_and_..ace_to_face.jpg

Watch your back because "they're natural instinct is to attack from behind," {Australian accent again} says our guide...whew!
Allie_watc..o_the_swing.jpg

Serious tiger roars...no mewing here!
large_Roar_cub_close-up.jpglarge_Sammy_with_a_muewing_cub.jpg

Thirsty baby...
Allie_look..thirsty_cub.jpg
large_Allie_hold..ub_to_drink.jpg
large_Allie_look..rinking_cub.jpg

large_Sammy_petting_two_cubs.jpg
large_Sammy_brea..r_cub_fight.jpg
large_Candid_All..tting_a_cub.jpg

Eenie meenie mini mo...
Sammy_grab..iger_s_tail.jpg
large_Sammy_with..der_divider.jpg
large_Allie_pett..der_divider.jpg
large_Allie_with.._background.jpg

large_Sammy_chee..ith_one_cub.jpg
large_Sammy_and_one_cub.jpg

Trying to wrangle the baby, but he was not having it.
large_Sammy_and_..gle_the_cub.jpg
large_Sammy_and_..ith_the_cub.jpg

Baby tiger feeding time!
large_Sammy_feed..e_of_others.jpg
large_Sammy_bott..eding_a_cub.jpg

Time to go so soon? It was a whirlwind 45 minutes with the babies!
large_Allie_pett..ub_on_a_cub.jpg

The tiger that almost ate us...barged out into this middle area between the cub's play enclosure and the doors to the canyon...
large_The_tiger_..most_ate_us.jpg

Closing the gate!
large_90_Closing_th..r_enclosure.jpg

A deer on our way back down the canyon.
Sam_and_Al..ting_a_deer.jpg

The adult tiger area...everyone is quiet and the staff literally walk you around hand-in-hand to take pictures with the big guys.
large_Big_tiger_area.jpg

For a minute there the heat was too much...
large_90_Allie_sitt..iger_Temple.jpg

These guys are huge! Some people say they are drugged, but just after we left they were having "play time" where they go down into the canyon and play in the water, apparently jumping 15 feet in the air after a giant ball...so I"m thinking they're not.
large_Allie_on_a..giant_tiger.jpg
large_Sammy_pett.._over_tiger.jpg

There was also an option to take a group picture with a tiger's head in one person's lap, "the brave one or the dumb one, however you want to look at it!" {Australian accent}
large_90_Allie_with..can_eat_you.jpg

We hiked back up the canyon dreaming of some Thai food and air conditioning, our driver ready at the front gate to meet us...thankfully with cold towels and water as always. We drove just down the road and had some delicious Thai fried rice with lime and some Coke in the bottle...why does the bottle seriously make it taste so much better?

We arrived at the Sai Yok Elephant Village with full bellies and changed into our bathing suits and water shoes.
We stepped out onto the property, some people were taking an elephant ride.
large_Walking_do..ant_Village.jpg

There are many elephant rides and trekking places throughout Asia that give these activities a terrible name, but the Elephant Village is a lovely and humane place keeping the elephants safe and well fed. The greenery was so lush walking down to the river.
large_Rear_view_..nt_trekking.jpg

We met our elephant Full Moon, luckily JJ suggested we stop for bananas on the way.
large_Sammy_and_..t_Full_Moon.jpg

Full Moon is 48 years old and has been with her mahout for the past 10, when we first walked up wife and infant son were sitting river-side.
large_Feeding_Full_Moon_bananas.jpg
large_Allie_feeding_Full_Moon.jpg

The mahouts still carry the bull hook for safety sake, but their relationship with the elephant is incredibly close and makes its use unnecessary. Apparently they actually sleep together when first working with each other...to this day Full Moon still sleeps right next to his home.
large_Full_Moon_.._river-side.jpg
large_Looking_up_at_Full_Moon.jpg

Let the adventure begin!
large_Sam_and_Al..o_elephants.jpg
large_Allie_look..n_Full_Moon.jpg

Elephant bath!
large_Sammy_look.._River_Kwai.jpglarge_Sam_and_Al..ircle_spray.jpglarge_Sam_and_Al..Cicle_Spray.jpglarge_Sammy_says..n_Full_Moon.jpg
large_Just_got_d..n_Full_Moon.jpg

large_Full_Moon_..o_the_water.jpg
large_Allie_look.._to_get_hit.jpg
large_Full_on_hi..n_the_water.jpg
large_Allie_lovi..hing_waters.jpg
large_Allie___Sa..ircle_spray.jpg

Bracing for a hit.
large_Allie_brac.._circle_hit.jpg
large_Sammy_spra..fect_circle.jpg
Gotta love swimming around with an elephant.
large_Loving_a_s..an_elephant.jpg

Elephant rodeo!
large_Getting_re..phant_rodeo.jpg
large_Elephant_rodeo.jpg

Drenching water fight with Full Moon.
large_Drenching_..h_Full_Moon.jpg
large_Water_figh..h_Full_Moon.jpg

Peace!
large_Sammy_on_F..trunk_peace.jpg
large_Allie_on_F..ammy_behind.jpg

Photo op!
large_Sammy_and_..n_the_water.jpg
large_Sammy_and_..oon_s_trunk.jpg
large_Allie_unde..oon_s_trunk.jpg
large_Sam_and_Al..oon_s_trunk.jpg

Remember this, remember this, remember this...
large_Kissing_in..f_Full_Moon.jpg
large_Sitting_in..ircle_spray.jpg

Riding Full Moon out of the river.
large_Front_view..g_Full_Moon.jpg
large_Riding_Ful..f_the_river.jpg
large_Closeup_ri..f_the_river.jpg

Walking back up...whooo!
large_Up_the_hill_on_Full_Moon.jpg

Lean forward for the steep part...
large_Lean_forwa..steep_part_.jpg

Whew made it to the top!
large_Whew_made_.._Full_Moon_.jpg

Onward...
large_Walking_back_on_Full_Moon.jpg

This picture may be fuzzy, but it captures the moment so clearly...
90_Hands_up_Full_Moon.jpg

Peace from Thailand!
large_Peace_on_Full_Moon.jpg

Stopping for a a bite to eat.
large_Full_Moon_.._by_the_ear.jpg

Okay, time to go...
large_Full_Moon_.._front_shot.jpg

End of our ride, we will never forget it!
large_End_of_our..n_Full_Moon.jpg

We took advantage of their outdoor showers at the Elephant Village and headed on towards the Bridge on the River Kwai before the ride home...
large_Sammy_and_..f_the_brige.jpg
large_Allie_and_.._the_bridge.jpglarge_90_8BFC0CCB2219AC6817B48C6FE6428E1D.jpglarge_Allie_and_..idge_-_view.jpg
large_90_Allie_in_the_A.jpg

Out like a light after this amazing day...
Allie_sleeping_in_the_car.jpg

02.11.13
We took it easy swimming the next day and finished it off with a low key dinner, pool-side in the "eggs" why not? Just take off your shoes, they sit in shallow water!
Sammy_in_the_egg.jpg

The pool was amazing, infinity looking out over Bangkok...quite a view.
Allie_in_front_of_the_egg.jpg

Yummm...
90_Allie_eating_in_the_egg.jpg

Cute patio decor, loved the color changing ottoman...
90_Allie_sitt..ght_up_seat.jpg

And off to bed with dreams of white-sand beaches and emerald waters, to Krabi in the morning!

Posted by Allie and Sam 11:05 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Railay Beach

Have fun at your party!

overcast 88 °F
View Thailand on Allie and Sam's travel map.

02.12.13
On our last morning in Bangkok we had a quick breakfast, complete with delicious yellow watermelon...
90_Allie_eati.._watermelon.jpg

Great breakfast set-up...especially considering it was included.
Great_breakfast_set_up.jpg

We said goodbye to the lovely Eastin Grand Sathorn and were greeted with a bunch of giggles when we told the girls at the front counter that we were headed to Railay Beach, Krabi. "Have fun at your party" they said...and we knew then it was going to be one hell of a beach vacation.

Farewell Bangkok, we'll be back next week!
large_Bye_bye_bangkok.jpg

You're not kidding awesome Thailand!
large_Awesome_Thailand.jpg

Even the airport was festive for Chinese New Year.
large_Allie_in_a..decorations.jpg

After a short one hour flight we arrived at the Krabi International Airport, barely able to contain our excitement...
large_Allie_in_f.._Asia_plane.jpg

A songthaew...essentially a converted pick-up truck that makes for some very cheap travel, but we opted for a 600 baht ($20) air-conditioned cab to make life easy. When you consider that it cost like $60 to get to the airport in NY this is a no-brainer.
large_Driving_th..-_Songthaew.jpg

Driving through the beautiful limestone cliffs towards the Andaman Sea....
large_Driving_through_Krabi.jpg
large_Driving_th..r_limestone.jpg

Gorgeous scenery...
large_Driving_th..ush_scenery.jpg
large_Driving_th..bi_-_temple.jpg
large_Driving_th..ws_of_trees.jpg

We arrived at the longtail boat dock for the final leg of our journey to Railay Beach...technically not an island, but accessible only by boat because it is cut off from the mainland by limestone cliffs. So sexy.
large_Sammy_wait..st_longtail.jpg
large_90_Waiting_fo..st_longtail.jpg

We waited for 6 people, handed over 60 Baht each ($2), and were off to paradise...
large_Off_to_Rai..he_longtail.jpg
90_Sammy_and_..he_longtail.jpg

We got dropped off on Railay Beach East, walked through our hotel Railay Bay to the main area on the west, and caught a rare thunderstorm rolling in....
large_90_Allie_with..he_distance.jpg

We ended up watching a completely epic sunset from the beach-side pool at our resort, by far the best of the entire trip, but were so in the moment that it's up to our memories to preserve it.

02.13.13
We hopped out of bed the next morning to watch the sunset rise over the mangroves on Railay East...
large_90_Approachin..Railay_East.jpg

at which time it's extremely low tide.
large_Sunrise_Railay_East.jpg

We sat on what served as our dock upon arrival to Railay, at high tide the water laps over the cement we're sitting on.
large_Sammy_at_sunrise.jpg

Gorgeous...
large_Allie_in_front_of_sunrise.jpglarge_Sammy_in_front_of_sunrise.jpg

The crazy tractor like shuttle to the left is what they use to pick people up when arriving by longtail at low tide.
large_View_of_Ra..ds_Phranang.jpg

We made our way back through the resort which stretches from one of the narrowest points between East and West Railay.
large_Map_of_Railay_Beach.jpglarge_90_Sammy_next..Railay_East.jpg

The resort grounds were lovely...
large_90_Sammy_walk.._Bay_Resort.jpglarge_90_Allie_walk.._Bay_Resort.jpg

and we came upon some kittens.
large_90_Allie_petting_grey_kitten.jpg

Sammy fed them some milk from the convenience store across from where they hang out on the resort.
large_Sammy_feed..ittens_milk.jpglarge_Three_kittens.jpg

We decided to explore Phra Nang Beach by walking down the little pathway on Railay East, through the jungle with crazy caves rising up to our left...
large_90_Allie_next_to_big_tree.jpg

Serious jungle...
large_Upward_view_of_jungle.jpg

complete with several types of monkeys!
large_Small_monk..ing_on_wood.jpg

Aww, monkey with its baby...
large_Monkey_with_baby.jpg

Monkeys everywhere! Some people were feeding the monkey and letting them sit on their shoulders...we love them, but no thanks!
large_Monkeys_everywhere.jpg

Emerging from the jungle at Phra Nang Beach where the cave and shrine lie.
large_90_Walking_be..to_Phranang.jpg

There are many conflicting stories about Phra Nang cave and the true origins have been lost to history, but it is dedicated to the princess Phra Nang and many (especially local fisherman) still leave various phallic offerings in the hope of fertility, prosperity, and good fortune...it's quite a sight.
large_90_Sammy_at_fertility_shrine.jpglarge_Allie_in_f.._penis_cave.jpglarge_90_Penis_shrine_up_close.jpg

The water comes right up to the limestone and erodes it beautifully...
large_90_Allie_at_Phranang_Beach.jpg

If you walked through the water next to the limestone, you could meander through the rocks since it was still relatively low tide...
large_90_Sammy_thro..at_Phranang.jpglarge_90_Allie_in_b..at_Phranang.jpg

It was still on the early side so we nearly had the beach to ourselves...how often do you get to swim under a cave?
large_Sammy_swim..er_the_cave.jpg

A few hours later we were just swimming around and saw some people pretty high up on the rocks (just to the right out of this picture and in front of a "no jumping" sign). One, two, three people jumped and then...is that? Does she have a wedding dress on?
So memorable...everyone was cheering as the newlyweds leaped!
large_Newlyweds_on_Phranang.jpglarge_90_Newlyweds_on_Phranang_2.jpg

We spend the rest of the day on the beach, had massagies for 300 Baht ($10) each, and hiked over the rocks to Ton Sai Beach at low tide...a backpacker and rock-climber's haven with late night bars boasting names like Freedom and Chill Out.

large_towrds_the.._to_Ton_Sai.jpg

We met four people our age from D.C. and had a great night, a couple named Emma and Mike that were on "indefinite vacation" and their two friends Mike and Matt who are teaching English in S. Korea for the year...I only wish we had gotten a picture cause we never bumped back into them! We couldn't get enough of the fire shows, like moths to the flame we were drawn down the beach...
large_Fire_show.jpg

Late night, we had found ourselves feeling jealous of our new friends' food considering that we'd spent all the baht we brought to Ton Sai already...Mike walked over and announced to his friend Matt with all sincerity that, "I got us some noodle soup and it's going to be awesome..." Mmmm noodle soup, we thought, that sounds good...until Mike continued, "I did see him swipe a huge cockroach off the rice, but...whatever." Too funny...glad we left the cash because we ended up here at Bamboo Burger on Railay East when we got back, AMAZING pad thai and chicken burger (aka delicious piece of freshly fried chicken on a bun)

large_Sammy_at_Bamboo_Burger.jpg
large_Chicken_burger.jpg

02.14.13
The next day was Valentines Day so we decided to rent a kayak, paddled our way over to Ton Sai to "chill," and then discovered a little private beach around the corner...

large_90_Allie_in_front_of_kayak.jpglarge_90_Sammy_pointing.jpg

After hours of exploring we hung out around the pool...
large_Sammy_sitt..ont_of_pool.jpg

and took in the sights on Railay West...
large_90_View_down_..h_at_sunset.jpglarge_90_Sunset_on_Railay_West.jpg

Crab art left behind by tiny creatures combing the sand for little bits of food.
large_Crab_balls.jpg
large_Crab_art.jpglarge_Double_crab_art.jpg

Sigh...
large_Longtail_at_sunset.jpg

Taking it all in.
large_90_Sammy_in_f..l_at_sunset.jpglarge_270_38D252EC2219AC68178A32D5A86C3588.jpg

For Valentine's dinner we had some amazingly fresh seafood...as in, "Ill take this part of him" and pointing.

02.15.13
Love watermelon in February!
large_Sammy_eati..t_breakfast.jpg

Over to the Chill Out Bar on Ton Sai to relax for the day.
large_Front_view_swinging.jpglarge_90_Swinging_on_Ton_Sai.jpg

Just having a drink and such...
large_270_Allie_in_hammock.jpglarge_270_View_from_hammock.jpg
large_270_Sammy_loun..ill_Out_bar.jpg

then this little guy came to hang out.
large_90_Sammy_with_white_cat.jpglarge_View_from_Chill_Out.jpglarge_View_of_Chill_Out.jpg

We moved down to the beach to catch some sun and swim a bit.
large_90_Ton_Sai_Beach.jpg
large_90_Allie_hand.._at_Ton_Sai.jpg

Back to Chill Out for cover from a light shower and some bikini beach swinging...
large_90_Sammy_in_sun_shower.jpg
large_Bikini_swinging.jpg
large_Bikini_swinging_2.jpg

By the time we got back it was a nice 300 Baht massage, some fresh seafood, and good night!

02.16.13
Feeling sufficiently relaxed after being worked out the night before, we decided to take out the kayaks out again. We headed over to Phra Nang, paddling through caves with tunnels and feeling like Indiana Jones...it was crazy and, needless to say, minimal photo snapping!

On Phra Nang Beach there are these wonderful people operating restaurants out of longtail boats so Sammy got us some freshly grilled corn and watermelon shakes, so amazing...
large_90_Sammy_with_two_corns.jpg
large_Sammy_with.._restaurant.jpgAllie_with..xt_to_kayak.jpg

Oh. Yeah.
90_Allie_suck..n_shake_omg.jpg

It doesn't get much more idyllic.
large_Longtails_on_Phra_Nang.jpg
large_Longtails_..on_Phranang.jpg

Down towards the shrine...
large_Look_down_..to_the_left.jpg
large_Walking_do..to_the_left.jpg

Over towards the west side of the beach.
large_Look_down_..o_the_right.jpglarge_Down_Phran..o_the_right.jpg

The food was so amazing we decided to get a chicken kabob sandwich.
large_Good_view_of_boat_menu.jpg

Sammy waiting for his samy...in the water. Now this is the way...
large_Sammy_wait..n_the_water.jpg

OMFG...
large_Sammy_eating_samy.jpglarge_Allie_eating_samy.jpg

We paddled away with full bellies and stopped to...admire the scenery from a precarious yet beautiful spot where smaller rocks were jutting up out of the water.
large_Precarious..or_kayaking.jpg

Looking back at Phra Nang from the little rock outcropping...
large_View_of_We.._from_Kayak.jpg

Sammy steadying us...
large_Sammy_stea..on_the_rock.jpg

Aww a heart in the rocks.
large_90_Rock_heart_from_the_kayak.jpg
large_Alie_on_front_of_kayak.jpg
large_Side_view_..le_kayaking.jpg

Onward to Ton Sai!
large_Kayak_route.jpg

We arrived after paddling all the way around the tip of the peninsula and past Railay West to Ton Sai...ready to relax.
We climbed up to the platform so we be near our kayak, got drinks, and listened to some Bob Marley.
Allie_lying_around_at_bar.jpg
Allie_drin..ying_around.jpg

We parked our ride right below...
large_270_View_off_the_platform.jpg

How often do you get to nap in a bar, in your bikini...on the beach?
large_Allie_lying_around_2.jpg
large_Sammy_sleeping_at_bar.jpg

We summoned our strength and paddled back to Railay West after a serious siesta, hiking back to Ton Sai over the rocks after the tide went out...a definite hike you better pay attention for!

We went over to the Sunset Bar where we'd met our friends from D.C. earlier in the trip...
large_Sammy_late_night_at_bar.jpg
large_Bar_late_night.jpg

love the outdoor "chandelier."
large_The_outdoor_chandalier.jpg

We had a great view of people setting off dozens of fire lanterns on Railay West...unfortunately this picture does it no justice.
large_Watching_d..from_Railay.jpg

We ended up at the Chill Out Bar and had fun with body paint late night...as you can see the bit on my foot got washed off getting on and off the longtail boat.
large_Ton_Sai_design.jpg
90_Fun_with_body_paint.jpg
270_Sammy_s_snake.jpg

and back to Bamboo Burger for some more pad thai and another Chicken Burger...so good.

02.17.13
We headed back to Phra Nang Beach along the limestone.
large_90_Allie_walking_to_Phranang.jpg

Crazy caves...
large_Caves_on_t..to_Phranang.jpg
large_View_of_jungle_and_cave.jpg

and jungle stalactite.
large_90_Jungle_stalactite.jpg

People climbing up to the viewpoint which also leads down to a lagoon where we were told there are points that you are actually putting all of your weight on a rope only to find when you get up that its looped over a little rock. We passed.
large_90_People_cli..the_lookout.jpg

Beautiful...
large_Jungle_upshot.jpg

and so charming.
grafitti_lock.jpg

Mind the phallic stalagmite, everything near Phra Nang cave that looks remotely penis-like gets decorated accordingly!
large_90_Phallic_stalagmite.jpg

Watch your head!
Allie_touc.._stalactite.jpg

Some cave carvings just before you come upon the beach...
Cave_carvings.jpg

Is that a giant penis on the left there?
large_Is_that_a_..on_the_left.jpg

Sammy setting up by some monkies on the beach.
large_Sammy_sett..ome_monkies.jpg

Ahhhhhhhh
90_Sammy_sunbathing.jpg

You know we got more watermelon shakes and corn! God, look at the way my feet just sink into the sand...it's SO soft!
90_Allie_wait..melon_shake.jpg

Sammy wading for food.
large_Sammy_wading_for_food.jpg

We wandered back through the jungle and monkeys after a long beach day and Sammy passed out while I got comatose with a massage. Our usual girls were busy so I wandered around and came upon an air conditioned place on Railay East where I zoned out for a solid hour and a half...sooo relaxed post massagie!
large_90_Allie_at_sunset.jpg
large_90_Sammy_sunset_silouette.jpg

It is always wise to guy a fire lantern from the guy on the beach for the first time as we had a few days earlier because he'll help you set it off, especially if you throw him a few extra Baht! This time we were prepared to go it alone.

Unfolding the lantern...
90_Allie_unfolding_lantern.jpg

It's lit!
The_lantern_is_lit.jpg

So joyous!
90_Allie_wiht..ing_lantern.jpg90_Allie_with..g_lantern_2.jpg

large_Railay_West_Sunday_sunset.jpg

Sammy's turn.
90_Sammy_opening_lantern.jpg90_Sammy_opening_lantern_3.jpg90_Sammy_opening_lantern_4.jpg90_Sammy_with..ing_lantern.jpg

Yet again a fuzzy picture that captures the moment so clearly!
Fuzzy_phot..ith_lantern.jpg

And away they go...
90_People_lighting_lantern.jpg90_Lantern_lifting_off.jpg

Mmmmmm Sammy waiting for this rotee pancake on Walking Street...more like a thai crepe and so good.
90_Sammy_wait..tee_pancake.jpgSammy_sitting_and_waiting.jpg

Rotee wit honey, but the savory options like tomato and cheese are just as good!
Rotee_with_honey.jpg

We walked through to Railay East to hang out at the bars there...very chill.
large_Sammy_at_bar_Railay_East.jpgTune_into_today.jpgLove_will_..Railay_East.jpg

Posted by Allie and Sam 11:05 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]