Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Land of Smiles (Koh Phi Phi to Koh Phangan)

OK!

I get it!  Blogging is evidently not my strong point but when travelling non-stop for 7 weeks you get a bit side-tracked with let me think.... Everything!  So here is a glimpse the southern Island adventure of travels through Southern Thailand:

On September 11 we flew into Phuket and since it's September 11 we flew Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where we had just spent 10 amazing mind-blowing days in Paradise and were ready to finally backpack through Thailand, FINALLY!  When We landed we met a couple shared a taxi, which is a rip-off in the first place (500 Baht) which should normally cost around 250, but when you split it with 2 other people its reasonable.  We of course flew into Thailand during its Rainy season and when the travel sites and weather tell you it's going to rain LISTEN!  Cause it's going to rain hard and the sea conditions will leave you sick throwing up in a bag like I DID.  We spent the night in a guesthouse in Phuket walked around the markets and then headed to Koh Phi Phi to check out what all the fuss was about at Maya Beach where The Beach was filmed.  Not only is it a tourist overrun debouchery but more expensive than anywhere I have ever been in ASIA!  They have taken this amazingly beautiful set of islands and have turned them into a spiteful tourist trap that we thought to be one of the worst things that we had ever seen.  So Jamie and I decided to spend the next two days at Koh Phi Phi Relax resort which was on the eastern side of the island and a beautiful secluded spot at that!  The only problem, rain, rain , rain and more rain.  The bungalows where made of this beautiful wood teak set amongst the lush tropical gardens with amazing water.  When we go back we are either staying here again or just doing an early morning trip to avoid the craziness.  A few pics below I took of our two days on Koh Phi Phi Leh/Don

Koh Phi Phi Leh



Maya Beach (THE BEACH)

Long Tail Boat and In suing Monsoon


Koh Phi Phi Relax Resort


Koh Phi Phi is a tourist attraction for a reason and if we decide to return undoubtedly we will be returning prepared and in the DRY SEASON.  So Jamie and I left after two days, booked the ferry to Krabi because we were headed to Koh Phangan and Sunny Skies.  Though the ferry transfer to Krabi was one of the worst I had ever experienced in my entire life and honestly I thought the boat was going to crack in half!  The beams inside the boat were moving apart and then back together as the boat smashed into enormous waves and the windows were cracked with water seeping through them.  Everyone was vomiting including yours truly for two hours straight...  As soon as I stepped off the boat I sat down on a bench and got my barrings straight and thanked God for getting me off the boat in one piece, well at least in a piece!

So From Krabi, a nice little port town that had an awesome night market where we enjoyed delicious Thai noodle soup for a $1 and a fresh coconut $.50, we were feeling great and ready to head to Koh Phangan.  We bought a bus/ferry ticket to get to the island and when doing so always factor in that it will be at least an hour longer than said time of arrival.  After the 8 hours in a bus and ferry to Koh Phangan we arrived at dusk and headed straight for Haad Yaun and Ocean Rock Bungalows.  So many idiots go for the FULL MOON PARTY and Jamie and I were there for another reason, to experience the island for the magical place that it is and WE DID JUST THAT!  We heard about Haad Yaun (one of the many beaches) from a fellow traveller on Travelfish.org and recommended Ocean Rock Bungalows as a "Backpackers Dream."  After arriving on the beach at night and hiking a small 5 minutes up the tree-branch bridge over the rocks we had our magical bungalow overlooking the beach and sea and knew we had found Paradise.

Haad Rin (Full Moon Party Beach) and Haad Yaun/Ocean Rock Bungalows

Haad Rin


Haad Yaun and Ocean Rock Bungalows

The Bridges made from tree-branches were awesome!


Ocean Rock Bungalows...  Ours is the third from the right


The View from our Bungalow



HAPPY DAYS!


On Haad Yaun we had met an Australian couple who were very nice and spread some good vibes about where to travel and Laos and played cards and chatted till the we hours of the night.  I also met a Thai local who ran the peace and love bar right in the middle of the beach who had some amazing tattoo work done from a good friend of his who is still the best I have seen in all of Thailand whom I will be speaking with about my next tattoo for my left arm!!!  Since Koh Phangan is such a beautiful Island with over 20 beaches we decided to head up the east side of the coast beach hoping for the next 5 days.  Each beach had a different vibe and special in it's each way.  While on our next stop Haad Sadet had amazing views from the hill top restaurant and a FACE SIZE SPIDER THAT HAD CRAWLED INTO OUR BED AND WAS HANGING FROM OUR MOSQUITO NET!  It was the biggest spider I had ever seen and luckily wasn't poisonous and neither of us got bit but we had to go to sleep with the Erie feeling of not knowing where in the hell it went?!  ALL PART OF THE ADVENTURE BABY!!

Koh Phangan was still in the midst of low season and we utterly had the beaches to our selves.  Beach front bungalows, delicious food, and great locals made Koh Phangan one of our fav's!  Here are some pics of the other beaches we visited throughout our stay:

Haad Thien


Cruisin Baby!  And yes that is facial hair!


Haad Sadet Beach


View from our Beach side Bungalow







Sunset



Amazing View Point









 Koh Phangan is a diamond in the rough and when down right you can experience a special side of the island that many only go for the Full Moon Party...  This island has a special place in our hearts and we will definitely be returning soon, HA we haven't even seen the west side of the island yet and the sunsets are supposed to be INSANE!  Thailand is a Special Country and this was only the beginning.  Lose yourself in the unknown and seek out the unique be different and always have your EYES WIDE OPEN!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lotus Flower

I haven't written in my blog for over a year from when we last left South Korea!!!!  Jamie and I are currently in Sukhothai, Thailand, to be exact in the ancient ruins of the Old City.  After dropping everything back home in Austin, Texas within two weeks quitting our jobs selling the car and packing.  Moving to Japan was to say the least a HUGE risk.  But that's what life is about taking risks and LIVING!

After about a week we found out about what our school was really about and thus why we are no longer in Japan and now backpacking through Asia!  You learn how things can work out more amazing than you could have ever imagined even when in the very moment it seems like a catastrophe. So we heard about the Perhentian Islands from a friend and headed off on September 1st for 10 days.

In order to even reach the Islands you must take two flights, one into Kuala Lumpur the second into the city of Khota Barhu.  Second, an hour van transfer to Kuala Besut to take a 30 minute ferry to the islands which everyone must pay a $3 dollar conservation donation to maintain and keep the Preservation of the islands and the marine life of the Islands.  It is designated as a Conservation Marine Park and The Perhentian Islands have two islands named Kecil (Small) and Besar (Big).

Honestly, these 10 days were the most Amazing and beautiful of my life.   The beauty of the marine life, the beaches, the people and with the ENGAGEMENT of JAMIE and I and my birthday thereafter, we were both left speechless from our experience on The Perhentian Islands.

This blog post is dedicated to MY LOTUS FLOWER!

The Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

The Clearest Water I have ever seen!









Maya Snorkeling Trip:

Swimming with 100 year old Sea Turtles



Reef Sharks!!!!!



Jamie's Favorite... Nimo's


SHE SAID YES!!!


Mira Beach where i Proposed!


Sunsets





Turtle Beach (My 29th Birthday)

The only way you can get here is by boat!  No resorts, hotels, bars, the PERFECT BEACH!








If you would like to see the complete album please visit my Facebook photo album Lotus Flower

Jamie and I spent these 10 magical days discovering love and a bond between each other that only Love can build.  Between the lush island jungle and the beautiful clear blue, Green, white sea I got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with me as my wife.  We snorkeled with Sharks, Turtles, and some of the most beautiful untouched coral reefs on the planet.  We smoked Shisha on the beach while the stars shinned bright, and relaxed in our hammocks in the heat of the day.  Met amazing people, "The Oceans Three" you know who you are!, ate delicious freshly grilled fish, and when we left we both knew that we had just experienced HEAVEN ON EARTH!