After a few weeks of waiting, Val and I were finally able to head back to our favorite road, Khao San, and we brought my family with us. Yes, my parents and sister came to visit me in Thailand! Drinking from buckets and eating burritos made us happy, but the street was not as packed on a Wednesday night as it was the last time we went there on a Friday night—a bit of a bummer.
Val and I living it up on Khao San Road!
After classes the next day, I took the bus back into Bangkok where my family and I got on a plane to Krabi, a beach town in southern Thailand. White sand beaches, here we come! Krabi is best known for its wonderful island hopping. On Friday, we went on a speed boat island tour around the Phi Phi islands. The boat was awesome—too bad we weren’t tubing from the back of it—and held about 30 people. We saw several limestone mountains with cliffs, caves, and long white sandy beaches.
At the first island, we went swimming in the Straight of Malacca. At the second island, we went snorkeling, where we saw many, many different types of colorful fish. At the third island, we ate a great lunch of rice and chicken and watermelon, and then walked around and took photos. At the fourth island—Monkey Island—guess what we saw?! Monkeys! We stopped to snorkel again on the way home.
The tour of the Phi Phi Islands was amazing.
Despite putting sunscreen all over me, my shoulders got a little burned. I truly thought I would be much tanner since I have been living in the sun for over three months, but I was wrong! When the tour ended, we headed back to our hotel and then grabbed some Thai food, and I got a head and shoulder massage. (I’m going to miss the all the great food and pampering massages when I leave!)
On Saturday, my family left bright and early to head back to Bangkok and homeward, while Val and I slept in late. When we finally woke up, we decided to take a long boat ride to Prah Nang Cave island, where we spent the afternoon. The boat ride was short, and we were happy to see that when we got to the island, there were not a lot of people and the water and scenery looked pristine.
We swam in the surprisingly warm water, ate grilled corn and roti, explored caves—and of course, I made Val take lots of pictures of me.
By the time the sun was setting, we were beat, so we took the boat back to the main land and then took a tuk tuk to our new hotel. The hotel had lost of cats and was right on the water; however, we had no air conditioning! Ahhhh!!! If you understand how HOT it is here, you’ll know how miserable it is to be without AC! That night, we watched the waves roll in as we ate fried rice on the beach (because when is it not a good idea to eat fried rice?!).
Watching the sun set from the beach—life doesn’t get any better than this!
After falling asleep super early and sleeping for 10 hours, on Sunday, we went on another island-hopping tour. This tour consisted of seven islands, a beautiful sunset, delicious dinner, and a swim in bioluminescent plankton. The tour was sadly not on a speed boat, but instead a large ferry. The ferry took us to a turquoise blue area where I then jumped into the water to snorkel with lots and lots of fish. We then went to a National Park—while it was no United States National Park, it was still beautiful.
We went at low tide, so when Val and I went swimming, we were surprised how far we could go out while still touching the bottom. We snorkeled again at another island. This area had fish that looked like Dory from Finding Nemo! I would have been happy snorkeling all day, but I was forced to get out and watch the sunset on an island while eating some great Thai food and fried chicken! (You can’t go wrong with fried chicken, so it was all good.)
Still smiling despite finding a large crab stuck in my hair.
After the sun went down, I was surprised how completely dark it was. Most of the islands don’t have houses on them, so looking out from the boat, all we saw was pitch blackness—and the occasional lightning strikes in the distance. The boat then stopped in the middle water, and the crew told us to jump in the water. When we were in the water, they turned the lights off on the boat, and the water lit up with bioluminescent plankton! It looked like little twinkle lights floating in the water. When you moved your hands underwater, they would light up brightly! While in the water, we looked up and the sky was covered with stars as lightening from the storm came closer. It was an incredible experience, and I didn’t want to get out of the water (no surprise!). As I was swimming back to the boat, the crew kept yelling to watch out for sharks because sharks here love to eat pretty women. So flattering! It was no surprise that when we got back to Krabi, I passed out pretty quick. What a fun day!
It was hard to leave Monday morning and go back to Bangkok because the sun and the beach were just what I needed. However, the fried bananas and pineapple at the airport helped ease the pain of leaving.)
Anything fried is usually pretty good!
Now it’s my last week of classes and I have to deal with finals. Just take me back to the beach, please!