Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

Krabi

Posted: September 9, 2011 in Thailand
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Giant crab statue- Krabi,Thailand

Krabi is in the southern part of Thailand facing the Andaman Sea. Like our weekend in Phuket https://ellehctur.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/phuket/ the weather was glum and it looks as though a typhoon was in the area and will stay for the rest of the weekend. Note to self! the best time to visit famous beaches of Thailand is between the months of November to April …damn that groupon deals! This is what a get for being a cheapskate! Anyways, we never let this negativity dampen our spirit, in spite of, we managed to enjoy the hotel, the massage and the main street of Ao Nang which is dominated by restaurants, pubs, and shops.

While on the plane for one and half hours, I was contemplating on taking a boat ride to Phi Phi Island for a swim and indulge myself for some water sports and activities but since the climate was not at all pleasant and we tour the islands when we had our trip in Phuket, we opted for Elephant trekking instead which later on was a big regret. Located in the forest of Tumbon Khao Thong, Krabi. One hour elephant ride will take you through rubber plantations and nearby streams. The seat is only wide enough for two adults so the guide has to seat on top of its head. I was in awe seeing an uncaged elephant; they are such gentle giant, so the minute I stepped on its back I was overwhelmed with pity for this calm creature. So pitiful that if a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) happened to passed by and threw stones at me I won’t lift a finger to pick a fight. Anyways, as we are swaying to the rhythm of the elephants footsteps so high up while holding an umbrella, we jokingly imagined we now know how it felt like being a ‘haciendera’ scouting their plantation estate. Everything was going smooth until I noticed that there’s something wrong with our Dumbo (Note: I’m calling it Dumbo in reference to the Disney cartoon of the same name) , it loves to eat but only picks the branches nearest to the cliff, I worry it might slipped and fell on us and we get crushed by it (karma much?). Right there and then, I was arguing with myself, I should have rented a motorbike instead of going for this trek. At least with the bike I have the control with Dumbo we don’t stand a chance; it has a mind of its own with a big appetite. Dumbo kept eating and eating, our guide had a hard time swaying it to pace because it just want to stay in a cliff and eat. At one point the scent of the wet leaves and grass changed to a bog of eternal stench because from all that eating Dumbo took a pooh and by far that’s the biggest dung I have seen in my entire life. The last part of the trek is what freaked me out. Dumbo went to a secluded running stream. I felt that this is not part of its routine and Dumbo is the boss of us and our guide can’t do much. Instead of just crossing the running stream, it strolled along the running stream until only its trunk and we are what’s left visible of the muddy water. Though its whole body was submerged into murky stream, its trunk kept tugging branches and small trees are crushing down with every pull. All throughout, I was holding on tight to my umbrella thinking that one of the branches it yanked might include a snake…Oooohhh my imagination gets the best of me when I’m fearful. My friend was pissed because of my negativity but all I was thinking was how to jump off and save her. So this is my first and last ride with the mighty Dumbo.

We went back to the hotel in one piece and made fun of our experience with Dumbo and its giant dung. Our friends are already there from the Island hopping trip so we availed our free Thai massage. This is my least favourite type of message because it involves a combination of stretching and gentle rocking, and uses a range of motions and acupressure techniques. The massage is oil free and performed on a mattress on the floor with your clothes on. It’s not like I want to get naked but I find this type not soothing to my taste so instead of ahhhh…ohhhh…you can hear me say  awwww…ouuccchhhh….No! No! No….

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Maya Beach

Maya Beach

“I’m moving, I’m coming
Can you hear, what I hear
It’s calling you my dear
Out of reach
(Take me to my beach)
I can hear it, calling you
I’m coming not drowning
Swimming closer to you”
–Pure Shores, All Saints

We landed 20 minutes late at Phuket international Airport due to heavy rains. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, approximately the size of Singapore. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by a bridge. Neighboring provinces are(from north clockwise) Phang Nga and Krabi, but as  Phuket is  an island there are no land boundaries.

The weather was glum and its look as though a typhoon was in the area and will stay for the rest of the weekend. We stayed at Royal Paradise Hotel; we ate seafood for dinner outside and roam around Patong for the rest of the night. After seeing a lot of beer houses and bars that played 80’s rock music we ended up lounging at the hotel lobby before getting shut eye.

Phuk*rs @ speed boat

Phuk*rs @ speed boat

The next morning, we arranged an island tour. We rode a speed boat together with a number of people for the island hopping.  The weather condition is suffering from bi-polar disease, sun coming, sun hiding, rain pouring while the speedboat traveling at faster speeds than ordinary ferry. The bumpy ride as the vessel travels across the waves at high speed caused nausea and vomiting for most of us. The first stop was at the Maya Beach located at Phi Phi Leh Island, belonging to Krabi province – A must see in Phuket because this is where they shot the movie ‘The Beach’ (1999) starring Leonardo Di Carpio. The stunning beautiful bay surrounded by steep limestone hills that rises vertically out of the crystal clear emerald green water was really an awesome sight that you’ll just pat your back and thanked God for bringing yourself there alive to witness the view.  The sands are as fine as a milk powder and the shallow water are just as clear.

monkey beach

monkey beach

We also went to Monkey Island, passed thru pirate’s bay while sightseeing for fishes that you can only see at seafood bistro’s aquariums. Lastly, we arrived at Phi Phi Don,  located at Ko Phi Phi. The island is for leisure swimming and snorkeling amongst the coral. We relaxed on the white sand beaches, soaked up the sunshine and later part of the hour, rain shower of course.

The trip was well organized and the tour guides was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. The scenery was spectacular and  all in all, it was a fantastic day out. It was worth the trip, it was worth getting sea sick, or worth getting stung by the sea urchin while snorkeling. Well, I need to ask my friend for the sea urchin part. Going back to Patong after whole day in the sea we had dinner and whole body massage for a whopping 300 BAHT for 60 minutes – we’re such lucky b*tch*s we can never get that price from where we came from.

me

T'was me!

The morning of our 3rd day vacation were spent in Patong beach this is where the main tourist resort in Phuket are located. It’s amazing to see how far they have come from the destruction of December 26, 2004 –where Patong was one of the worst affected areas of Phuket that struck by a tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The killer wave claimed a lot of lives and caused a great deal of chaos to the beach waterfront and inland. Although the weather was gloomy there was no rain. The sand was fine but the water was not that clear maybe due to the heavy rains at night. The highlight of the morning was the parasailing. It was the closest I can get from flying – It was all good stuff…Life’s a beach!

sPHUKETs

The tsunami aftermath created a lot of ghost stories for Phuket. The most famous and now becoming an urban legend was one taxi driver picks up some foreign tourists who ask to go to the airport. They negotiate a price and get in the cab. After a few moments the taxi driver looks in the back seat and there is no one there

 One friend’s experience that went there before us was.

On the 2nd floor of a hotel he saw a girl in a pajama went inside the lift and closes the elevator door quickly. Pissed at the girl’s rudeness for not waiting for him, he hurriedly took the stairs and saw that the elevator door opened from the floor where he’d been but it was empty.

Along Patong beach wanting to buy a wishing lantern he asked the guy next to him how the lantern works. The vendor talked to him and asked him who he is talking to. He bluntly said ‘I was asking him about the lantern’ pointing at the guy next to him but there’s no one there. The vendor said ‘there’s nobody there, it was just the two of us’.  

The scary part of our trip was the speed boat who wants to throw us out to the sea because of the waves and being stung by the sea urchin apart from that we just wondered amongst ourselves whether random people roaming in our midst are real or not. So I guess,  no sPHUKET for us.

 Notes:

Sea urchins or urchins are small, spiny, globular animals it inject a small amount of venom when stinging, but the amount is negligible to cause any serious injury if you are only stung by one urchin. The best thing to do is to pee on the wounded area. Some people think it works better than vinegar. As for my friend’s experience ice ease the pain and vinegar works as well.

Mcdonalds @ Phuket

Mcdonalds @ Phuket

Only in Phuket -Ronald McDonalds not waving his hand nor seated on a bench waving his hand. He is doing a sawadikap The Thai greeting referred to as the wai where head a slight bow, with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion.

On the day of the flight, I woke up in the middle of the night. I can’t go back to sleep so opened the TV and what do you know Star movies were showing ‘The Beach’. Well, that kept me awake for a few more hours.

 *Phuket, Thailand – August 28- 30 2009

Bangkok

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Thailand
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Bangkok

Bangkok Skyline

Travelling is like an itch you can’t scratch you really need to go out of the country to sooth that prickling sensation. This was my 2nd travel after going to HK, the following year we went to Bangkok and booked a package tour.

The city of Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. We went to Safari World – a zoo that consists of two parks that is named Safari Park and Marine Park. Safari Park stretches about 8 kilometers long and a 45 minute drive through the park where there are a lot of wild animals. There is a Tiger and Lion feeding show. This zoo was out of the ordinary because the animals are not in cage, they are roaming wild and free while you sit inside a van all windows closed of course. The Marine Park houses a vast spectrum of animal of land, sea and air. The attractions are the Orang Utan boxing show, Sea Lion feeding show, Cowboy stunt show, Spy War and others. I recall going to a lot of temples and also went to Chatuchak usually refers to Chatuchak Weekend Market because it’s only open on weekend. A famous market where you can buy bargained items.

The night market around the city was also cool the style is to bargain and if the vendor did not give in walk away slowly. It’s almost always automatic he will call you back and hand over the item for the price you wanted. It was also fun seeing elephant walking in the street.

Our hotel was nearby MBK, a famous mall in the city. I recollect going to a movie for 800 Baht and watched I ROBOT. The movie house has a lounge with all you can eat finger foods and bottomless drinks. due to the costly price it’s not that crowded and inside you can seat on a recliner and massager chair with sterilized pillows, socks and blanket while food are being served by the waiter. It was an awesome experience I cannot forget because I loved movies, I loved going to the cinemas and this one was off the roof! Thailand has it in 2004 long before other neighboring countries have!