01.18.2009 0 °F
Hello from sunny Thailand! We have gone from leeches to beaches and it feels quite nice. We spent almost two weeks moving from beach to beach, island to island, and have had our fill of sunsets, pina coladas, and white sands.
We started in Phuket, which is actually like Vegas meets southern California. It was weird to go from Malaysia where we barely saw any tourists to Phuket where we had to fight our way through the fair skinned crowds. We've decided Phuket should be pronounced "fuuuckkitt." None-the-less we did see some nice sunsets and increased our luck by releasing a balloon on the beach.
Kata Beach, Phuket
We then headed to the beautiful Krabi province. We kayaked through emerald green waters, and enjoyed lazing on the beaches surrounded by limestone mountains.
To escape the crowds we went to Koh Lanta, a laid-back island with beautiful beaches perfect for swimming, and lots of seaside bars and restaurants to check out. The sunsets here were spectacular.
Sunset, Koh Lanta
We finally went to Koh Phangan on the eastern coast in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is known for its backpacker scene and cheap bungalows. We took a snorkelling boat tour around the island, but mostly just read and relaxed in hammocks. Life had been tough.
Our beautiful bungalow
Tan at last!
We decided that it was finally time to experience some real Thai culture, so we headed to Nakhon Si Thammarat, a small city that is known for a temple, its famous shadow puppetry, and lack of tourists. We knew we had gotten off of the tourist trail when we could read no signs, and no one spoke a word of English. We really enjoyed our time there, we were befriended by an English teacher, Terry, who took us to his school where the kids all practiced their English by yelling "I love you." We also practiced our Thai while waiting for a train and ended up drawing a crowd. Pretty hilarious. We visited Thailand's most famous shadow puppet maker, and he gave us a private show that was a mix of old stories and modern culture (ie cell phones). We were happy we made the trek.
We are currently in Bangkok, resting up after a 15 hour overnight train ride. We're excited to continue northwards and to experience more of real Thailand.
We hope that all is well at home. We are very excited about the inaugeration and wish we could be home to celebrate with everyone and witness such a historic moment!
Matt & Erin