Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thai Islands: Forget a BAHT it.

"I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know 
it's not some place you can look for. Because it's not where you go. 
It's how you feel for a moment in your life when you're a part of something. 
And if you find that moment...It lasts forever." - Richard (The Beach


A Baht, somewhere between .30-.40 american cents - depending on which city you are in, who you are talking to, the weather, and what color clothing you have on. It wasn't the most SCIENTIFIC calculation. Whenever we thought we understood the conversion (like from the interwebs) we would take out money in the ATM and it would be a COMPLETELY different conversion. It made SO much CENTS, but we rolled with it because REGARDLESS, things were like $1 there, so whatever.

 So, how do we top gallivanting in ancient temples? Or jungle trekking? Ah, yes. This.

This is the view right outside our hostel
We knew we wanted to end the trip on the beach. Get some actual relaxation in before heading home (post-pit stop in Bangkok). Phuket is a beach town on the mainland, and Ko Phi Phi is an island about 3 hours (by ferry) west. So, after landing in Phuket, we took a taxi to the port to hitch a ferry to Ko Phi Phi for a few days of island bliss. It. Was. Magical.

Mirror pics on the ferry!


We stayed at the Blanco Beach Bar, which was RIGHT on the water, and steps from a bar.

The small stone path leads to the bedrooms, beach/bar is behind the shot
To the left of this is the bar - nice little relaxation area out of the sun
Immediately after "checking in", we were found here: Beers on the beach


After our long travel day (Plane, Taxi, Ferry, Walk a mile), we relaxed at our hostel/bungalow with a few beers before heading to Relax bar, down the street. Here, we casually taught some fellows from Australia, Ireland and England how to play Flip Cup, our favorite drinking game :)


What is AWESOME about this island, is that at night the beach LIGHTS UP with fire, literally. Fire shows allll night. So memorizing. BUT THEN, they start lighting jump ropes and limbos on fire and after a few beers your like "yeah, I haven't jumped rope in like 10 years, I got this." Thankfully no burns were acquired on this part of the journey.



All the little Thai guys were RIPPED and loved showing it off, it was kinda funny
Our first full day on the island we didn't move from the beach, if only to order another pineapple smoothie from the bar #hardlife . We did manage to book a tour for the next day, which included a stop to see Monkeys on the beach, cliff jumping from 10 meters (TERRIFYING), snorkeling, swimming in a lagoon, scaling cliffs to Maya Beach, and swimming with plankton at night (they light up when disturbed). I think we were in the water about 70% of the day.

This monkey stole a water bottle and successfully drank from it #ThaiMonkeysGotTalent
The Lagoon we swam in (It was about a 4' to a 124803' drop)
Where we snorkeled!
This is where we jumped out to scale the rock ledge (see below!)

BUT OMG MAYA BEACH. Of course a capitalized attraction over here for us Leo lovers, but it was BEAUTIFUL. We were there for the sunset so we basically died of happiness. BUT, getting there was, interesting. Allow me to paint the scene.

We took a long boat (I'll explain what this is in a moment...) out that day, the driver took us into a...cove...Maya Beach was on the other side of a very steep rock cliff (you can't get in through the beach's inlet because of the tide? or something? #languagebarrier). So, we jumped out of the boat and swam to shore. Only, there wasn't really a shore, it was more like a rock ledge with waves crashing into it. So, with each wave, we held on tight! After scaling the rock ledge we came to a CAVE. Only one person could go through at a time, and you had to time it well with the waves to not fall (rocks here are not smooth, getting cut looks like little paper cuts, super sharp!). After the cave you'd grab a rope and get back into the water (The rope made sure you didn't drift into the rocks with the waves). Pulling ourselves along the rope, bracing with each wave, we came to a jungle gymish rope ladder. We climbed up that (about 30 feet) to wood steps, this led back down the other side to safety. We then walked about half a mile to the beach. DA BEACH.





 Just a perfect way to end the day (aside from swimming with Plankton, of course).


Phi Phi (which BTW is pronounced PEE PEE...hehe) was a small enough island where we could walk from one end to the other in 5 minutes (if we didn't get lost), which made it cute and quaint. Below are shots from the port side, these are long boats which you take around the islands. The motors are long poles (like 15') with a small propeller off the end. The driver moves the pole from side to side to steer the boat in the right direction.








A few recommendations/things to do:
>>Boat Day trip, totally worth the $16, many different companies/variations to choose from
>>Eat a million Thai Pancakes (basically a fried crepe), They are SO DELICIOUS.
>>Banana Bar - Good food,, awesome outdoor rooftop bar (they play movies at night!)
>>Fire shows. Every night, all night.

Banana and Nutella Thai Pancake!

Although it's the only island we visited whilst in Thailand, it was amazing and i'd HIGHLY recommend it. It's basically spring break there every night. You kinda loose track of the days... and your age...

Next up was a busy 48 hour dash through Phuket and Bangkok before figuring out our flight home was cancelled (how's that for a CLIFF hanger...get it? Because I jumped off a cliff?...)





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