PHUKET

This is the part of the trip was on my must go list when we were trying to decide where to go. I have dreamed of going to Thailand for years and years. Every time I saw pictures it looked like paradise…and guess what? That’s exactly what Thailand is.

Day 20:

We had a 8am flight (yay a little later than usual!!) to Phuket Monday morning. We had a 40 minute taxi ride out to our hotel. On our way to the hotel we saw two elephants on the side of the road!! One person was riding one of them and the other one was being watched by someone while it was having a snack. We stayed on Karon beach at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket. We got here and checked in while they gave us a refreshing cool towel. All the hotel people put their hands in traditional praying hands  form and bow to you for everything. It’s cute. Our room is amazing!!! We have a huge bathroom with a large soaking tub, a rain shower, etc., a nice king bed (for the first time this trip, everywhere in Asia only has doubles), a couch, and a beautiful balcony. {below: view from our balcony of the pool area}

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They even leave complimentary waters and exotic Thai fruit every day! We even had a pillow menu, meaning if we don’t like the pillows that are already here we have a list of 6 different types of firm and soft choices haha. So we hurried and got into our swimsuits. We went to the main pool and got lunch at the swim up bar, after lunch we decided to try the beach. Okay never have I been to a place where it is literally the perfect amount of humidity and heat with the most perfect temperature sea water. It is seriously amazing. It’s a nice sandy white beach too! And the sea stays shallow for a good ways out too! We hung out at the beach for a bit and then headed to the cliff jump and water slides at the pool. The fake cliff jump is about 20 feet and was a little intimidating at first haha. The slides were super fun though! Then we tried the lazy river, complete with occasional waterfalls. At one point in the lazy river there is a mini slide that you went up some stairs from the lazy river that you go down with your tube, it was soo fun! After that we went to check out the adult pool. It’s a really pretty infinity pool. We ended up taking a nap there on the lounge chairs. It was perfect. I got up a few times to jump in for a quick, cool dip. Then we headed back to the main pool for awhile before heading up to the room to shower. After we showered a lady came up to our room for turn down service and gave me some pretty purple orchids. So I put them in my hair and we headed to dinner. 

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Day 21:

We woke up around 7am so we could be ready and go to breakfast before 8:30am. We paid to do the hotel’s buffet breakfast, and it is well worth it! It’s a good selection of American breakfast and Thai breakfast and convenient for the mornings. At 8:30am our tour people came to pick us up for our Phi Phi Island tour. We got a ton of recommendations to do a tour like this so we couldn’t pass it up. Our driver took us to Phuket Marina, and we got on a boat with about 25 people. Our first stop was at Island. We swam and enjoyed the beach. The water here is ridiculously beautiful and warm. Then we got back on the boat and drove a little farther from that same island to snorkel. Unfortunately the clouds looked like they were going to start raining on us and the current got really strong, so they got everyone in the boat to head in the opposite direction.

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Then we got to Monkey Island. It’s an island inhabited by only monkeys. We weren’t allowed to get out of the boat because if the monkeys bite you they will probably give you a disease, so the company we were with doesn’t risk it.

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Then we went to island right next to it to eat lunch. It was actually a decent lunch. We had some extra time on that island so we walked around to look at the shops and whatnot. A few guys were letting you take pictures with their baby monkey. I was like UM, YES PLEASE!! So we took a picture with our friend Nancy, the 5 month old baby monkey. Pretty cute. We then visited an island that we walked the width of to take some pictures.

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Then we went to another island, anchored, and went swimming and adventuring for a bit. It was beautiful.

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An hour later we got back on the boat to go to Island where we parked the boat in the middle of two islands and got to jump off the front of the boat.

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After that we headed to Island where we snorkeled again. It was pretty cool. We saw lots of fun fish.

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After that we got back on the boat and headed back to Phuket Marina. We got back to the hotel around 6:30pm. We went to our hotel room ad showered and went out for dinner. We went to the resort’s Italian restaurant and got really good pizza and sorbet all while being serenaded by a few men. After that we went back up to the room an hung out the rest of the night.

Day 22:

We woke up so early because our scuba diving instructors were picking us up at 7:30am! We drove to a different marina and got on a boat there with our British instructor. So it took about an hour and a half to get to our dive spot. We dove at Racha Yai island.

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There are two small ships out where we dove that a Swedish company sunk on purpose {apparently it helps build natural reefs}. So let me tell you. Michael and I are convinced everyone should get scuba certified. It is the coolest thing! Such an amazing way to experience God’s creations under the water. We had the best time!! It is so peaceful and fun to be down there with the fish! It’s not like snorkeling where the fish run away from you! These fish aren’t as scared of you when you get down on their level. We saw lion fish, trumpet fish, dory fish, sea urchins, sea slugs, sea cucumbers, and all types of colorful fish! The boat was a little eerie to go through, not going to lie. I think it helped knowing that a company sunk it on purpose and no one died in a tragic situation. Then we got out and ate lunch on the boat. It wasn’t that great haha. Then we moved over to a different place on the island and dove again. This time we got to see clown fish in their annemy!! So cool. We also got to see a sea snake! They are even more poisonous than a land snakes! But guess what? I wasn’t even scared! Something about being underwater didn’t make me as scared. We got touched a black and orange spike sea cucumber too! It was really smooth. We also saw a really creepy moray and really large, yet skinny starfish. We got to swim in schools of fish and have fish surround us because they want food. Overall it was just about the coolest experience. We can’t wait to scuba all over the world! So quick story about our instructor. So after he graduated college he worked a corporate job for ten years. He had broken up with his girlfriend and he bought out her part of the house they owned together and was pretty depressed about how he was living. He said he was having to work just to make the house payments and put food on the table and was barely scraping by. So he decided to sell his house and all of his things, get a Australian working visa, and leave for Australia. He found random odd end jobs and just traveled around settling where he wanted to. He met his now wife in Australia, she’s Finnish and was doing the same thing as him. So they went back to Finland for a year and he told her he didn’t want to move back to Europe and have a normal life again so he was moving to Asia regardless if she wanted to come. She said she was down with that plan, so they moved to Indonesia for a few years, Then they moved to Phuket so he could start his own business. They’ve been here for eight years and they have two kids now! And he says they’ll stay here for the rest of their lives! How crazy is that?! {not going to lie, kind of a tempting lifestyle haha} Anyway he was really cool and we were happy we happened to choose his company to go with. He made us feel really comfortable about our first real open water dive.

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After we got back to the marina they took us back to our hotel and we got showered and ready to hit the town by 5:00pm. Our hotel had a shuttle that takes you to Patong at 5pm everyday. Patong is a lot different than Karon, where our hotel is. Patong has crazy nightlife and tons of shopping and places to eat. Luckily when we first got there most of the bars hadn’t gotten crazy yet. We are at a little hole in the wall called Sabai Sabai, a recommendation from an Australian couple that comes to Phuket often. It was pretty good but it made it even better that we got two entrees and two drinks for under $10!!! Parts of Thailand are ridiculously cheap. It’s awesome. After dinner we got massages because Thailand is suppose to be the massage capitol of the world. It’s kind of ridiculous how many massage spas there are here. We got hour long massages for $10 and $13. And they were great! Michael loved his first professional massage! After that we walked around a bit and shopped. Then we got $1.50 blizzards at DQ. We headed back to the hotel on a tuk tuk, a motorcycle with a couch on the back that has a roof over the whole thing but no doors or windows. It took a little while to find one that would take us back for the price we wanted haha. You barter with them on a price before you get in. Michael is really good at bartering, but I’m getting pretty bad at it haha. I think I can only do it in Spanish. It was a great day to say the least.

Day 23:

Thursday was our animal day. The elephant trekking people came to pick us at the hotel around 9am. They took us to a jungle-y area with lots hills. And we got to ride an elephant for an hour! It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting plus they kinda lied online about what they said we would do but it was still cool to be with the elephants. We had a driver who sat on the elephant head and he made me a grass-woven bracelet while we were riding, it was sweet.

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Then we watched a short elephant show. They had the elephant throw darts at balloons and kick a soccer ball. They asked for a male volunteer, and I volunteered Michael…whoops haha. They had him lay on the ground and they put bananas on the bottom opening of his shorts! And then they let the elephant go loose trying to get the bananas. So Michael had elephant trunk up his swim shorts! Haha he said thank goodness that was the day I wore Under Armour compression shorts under his swimsuit hahaha. Then they gave us some fruit and we were off to Tiger Kingdom!

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Tiger Kingdom is where they train tigers from birth to 2 years old before they are taken to zoos. The tigers aren’t drugged or abused. They are just trained to be with humans from a very young age. They split the tigers up by size so there are smallest, small, medium, and large areas. We chose to pay for the smallest and large cages. When did the smallest cage first. They are in a 10×10 ft cage with two trainers. There were two 2 month old tigers that we got to be with alone with the trainers! They were adorable! They just wanted to rough and tumble play with each other. It was pretty darn cute. They would sneak around the back of the other one and pounce haha. We tried to get them to cuddle with us but not too much luck. After that we went in the large tiger cage that was probably 50x30ft. There were five tigers in there, three trainers, and us. These tigers were mostly sleeping with the exception of one that woke up at the end. The one that we took the most pictures with was hugeeee. He was 19 months old and weighed 350 lbs. He definitely could have eaten us both easily. I was so hesitant to get too close. But he wasn’t bothered when we laid on his back! Pretty nuts.

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After that we headed back to the hotel. I woke up on Wednesday morning with a head cold and it had gotten pretty bad by this point. Hanging out with the tigers was just about the last thing I could do for the day. So we went back to the hotel and took a nap. We got room service for dinner that night and watched Tom and Jerry on TV haha. (It was the only thing in English other than a movie that we didn’t care to see)

Day 24: 

I was pretty out of it on Friday. The previous night was rough, and I felt like all my energy had been sucked out of me because I got so sick. We hung around the room until 4:30pm. We took two hours to hang out in the ocean and in the pool. It was about all my body was going to let me do for the day. Too bad too because this place is amazing. I’m seriously obsessed with Thailand. I wish we could have spent the whole day outside! Michael was so patient and great about me being sick. I had been sick for most of this trip up to this point, and he was so awesome about it! We got dinner up in the room again so we didn’t have to dress up for the hotel restaurants. We got packed up too since we were headed to Bangkok in the morning. Phuket was the first place since Korea I haven’t wanted to leave! It would have nice to explore Korea more and meet up with more people Michael wanted to, but Thailand is just gorgeous and really like paradise! The weather and beach are so wonderful. I could have spent a month here!

 

Next up…BANGKOK!

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