A Travellerspoint blog

Ko Phi Phi

Poi, Parties, and Muslim Prayers

sunny 30 °C
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Party central. If you are looking to travel to Thailand for beautiful beaches, clear blue water, and parties, then this is your island. Stepping off the ferry from Phuket, you are led through mazes of markets in search of a guest house. Not only are the Thai people looking to sell you their goods, food, and massage, then you need to add in the Aussies looking to take you diving. Quite an interesting mix. After finding our guest house, we set off to take a dip in the sea and find a cool place to lay on the beach. As day turns to evening, the tourists head to the clubs to party it up and watch the locals play with fire...fire poi that is. This continues until about 5am and then they do it all over again.
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The locals are mainly Muslim on the island and so five times a day, you can hear the Muslim prayers over the loud speaker no matter where you are on the island. The locals tolerate the young party goers but you can see the discomfort they feel when people are walking around the markets in just about nothing due to the extreme temps.

We fortunately met a couple from Ireland and England on the beach our first day and asked if they would like to share a long tail boat to explore Koh Phi Phi Ley(the island where "The Beach" was filmed). They gladly joined in and we set off the following morning. Our guide, Bob Marley, took us to some of the most beautiful coves to swim and snorkel in and drove us completely around the island. The minute you jump in the water, you feel as though you are in an aquarium. The fish come right up to you and kiss your skin.
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Sunset led us to a magnificent viewpoint where you can take in the whole island. Ko Phi Phi was hit very hard in the tsunami of 2004 and you can see why when you hike to the viewpoint. The majority of people are packed on a small strip of land between two stunning beaches leaving no where to run when an influx of water takes over. This island is great to see and experience for about two nights...then it's time to hitch a ferry to your next destination.
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Posted by SMWiley 00:09 Archived in Thailand Comments (4)

Phuket

Sundowner/ Happy Hour

sunny
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Flying around South East Asia can be relatively inexpensive if you are flexible....meaning sometimes you have to get up at 3am to catch a $30 flight from Bangkok to Phuket. It's worth it though. We arrived on this beautiful island at 7am and drove an hour to The Southern Fried Rice Guest House in the area called Kata Beach. We were warmly greeted and told that although our room was not quite ready, we could leave our bags to explore the area. We found many shops and markets and an easy walk to the beach. This was a much welcome sight as we had just travelled through far too many cities.
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Our days in Phuket were spent lazily on the beach or on our rented motorbike exploring the different areas of the island. Motorbikes are a major mode of transportation and for 200 baht per day (roughly $6), you have the freedom to go where you wish. The beaches were beautiful but beware of the strong currents. Almost everyday we were there, the red flag was put up and the lifeguards pulled everyone from the water due to the rip tides.
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Every evening, Stets and I would find ourselves with beer in hand walking down to the beach to catch sunset. We would sit on the beach for hours as the sun settled into the sea and talk about whatever came to mind. Once our bellies began to rumble we would know it was time to get moving and would set off to find some local Thai food to complete the night. What a great start to our Thailand adventure.
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Posted by SMWiley 08:43 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Tea Time!


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Brits drink 165 million cups of tea per day and Tea breaks are a tradition that have been with us for approximately 200 years. We had the opportunity to have afternoon tea in two amazing ways. The first was on a river boat tour on the Thames River. We boarded at 3 pm just under Tower Bridge. The boat had high glass windows and upsatirs outdoor seating. We not only had the chance to dine on scones, tea sandwiches, and sweet treats, but also received an education on the buildings that line the Thames and how they got there. The Mayflower took off from a site just at the end of our tour and there now sits a pub by the same name. If you have the opportunity to have tea in London, this is a brilliant way to enjoy!
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Our second afternoon tea experience found us in Richmond. This little town just outside the main city is quaint and quiet. Erika knew of a gem, The Tea Box Company. Here, we were lucky enough to have a sunny, warm day and so we opted for street seating. The menu was endless. White, Black, Green Teas, Herbal infusions, and house made concoctions. I finally settled on a vanilla black, jasmine oolong for Stets, and green for Erika. We also ordered scones with clotted cream and jam. Soon we were all sitting in tea heaven with our bellies full and our attention alert from the pot of tea.
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Posted by SMWiley 05:19 Comments (2)

One Day in Bangkok

Finally made it to the land of smiles

sunny
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Destination: Southeast Asia for the unforeseen future and our first stop is Bangkok. We are only here for a day...so what to do with such little time? We opted for a long tail boat ride down the Chao Phraya River. From our location at the Imm Fusion Guesthouse, the pier we started from was easily accessible using the sky train. We were greeted by smiles and escorted into a private boat for two. During this hour and a half tour, we saw a woman from the floating market selling her goods, we journeyed through the side canals, visited a strange, but intriguing snake farm, and ended at Wat Arun. Stets was brave enough to drape the huge python around his neck at the snake farm while I stood by squirming on the inside and ready to run! After our time on the boat, we hit the streets in hopes to find some delicious food to fill our bellies. Stets knew of a food court we could stop at on the path of the train and we found some delicious Vietnamese Pho. We wondered the markets near our guesthouse and finally decided on a siesta to help cure our jet lag. Tomorrow we head for southern Thailand and look forward to the rest and relaxation that no city can offer.
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Posted by SMWiley 03:57 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Stomp and the Borough Market

Must see!


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Stomp. Have you ever looked around your garage, or perhaps The Home Depot, and thought about the music that can come from trash cans, plastic drums, drainage pipes, etc? These guys and gals have. The music they create is unlike anything we have ever experienced. For an hour and forty minutes, we didn't move. We were so enthralled by what we were seeing and hearing that the whole show felt like 15 minutes. The theater we saw the show in was located in the theater district just near Piccadilly Circus. There are plenty of pubs along the way from the underground so of course, we treated ourselves to fish 'n chips for dinner. Yum!
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Borough Market is another "must see" in London. Located near Tower Bridge, this market is more than a place to buy and sell food. It is home to a culinary experience. On the outskirts, Stets and I were able to find lamb kabobs (or what some know as a lamb doner) and also a tea shop to stop for tea and a scone. Once inside the market, we were greeted with samples of meat, cheese, breads, olives, and the list goes on. We finally settled on some fresh produce to include in a pasta dish for the evening and also a loaf of sourdough/rye bread for dinner and also for French toast in the a.m. An amazing experience and one of the best markets I have ever visited.
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Posted by SMWiley 03:27 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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