Saturday, September 5, 2009

9.1.09 Last day in Thailand

We checked out of Amari, and took a flight back to Bangkok. Our hostel had gotten great ratings, but it was pretty gross.

We went out around our hostel and hung out at a bar nearby. We stayed there the entire night and struck up conversation with a bar girl and played drinking games with her (no, we did not pay the extra bar girl charge).

8.31.09 Day at Amari Resort

We woke up really late due to our late night out and intense Jenga sessions. We checked into Amari resort, which was in Patong, and immediately wished we had more nights there.

Our room had a balcony with an ocean view and the pools were also overlooking the ocean.

For lunch Jenn ordered a naan wrap with curried chicken which turned out to be one of the most delicious things she'd eaten on the entire trip. After lunch Kyle ordered a dessert that was absolutely beautiful. It came in a hollowed out coconut shell and had coconut and taro ice cream. Jenn usually does not like taro or ice cream, but this was pretty good. After that we laid out by the pool until it started to get dark.

We stopped by the lobby on our way out later that evening and listened to some cheesy live music. We had dinner in Patong and did some shopping. At the end of the night we shared a motorcycle taxi ride back to Amari, which was definitely an interesting experience.

8.30.09 laying out

We went to a national park today. It started raining as we were making our way up a trail to see a waterfall. There was also a gibbon rehabilitation center in the national park, which rehabilitates abaondoned or abused gibbons. They are very cute, but apparently they grow sharp teeth and become aggressive when they get a little older, and people who once had them as pets abandon them.

The rain let up and we finally got a nice day on the beach.

After many excursions and getting lost, we decided to start keeping things simple. We went to the beach, drank some Singhas, and laid out.

Later at night, we ate at an Indian restaurant and went to the bar across the street from it. It was a very interesting and entertaining bar run by a middle aged woman named "Sexy Sue" and her children (about our age). Sexy Sue was wasted and turned in early. We spent the next hour or so playing random games with the bartenders and other barhoppers, including a Thai variation of Jenga.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

8.28-29.09 Rain rain go away

There was a lot of rain these two days so there wasn't a lot we could do. We went to go see a giant Buddha statue on top of a hill, but it was really foggy and rainy so the view wasn't that great. Later at night we went to Bang la road and went to a few bars. It was rainy all night and actually a bit cold and we ended up getting matching jackets. So dorky.

The next day we got a late start because Jenn got food poisoning - strangely enough not from a food cart, but from a seemingly clean sit-down restaurant. The rest of the day continued to be comically bad. Jenn stepped off the motorcycle to look at the map and her foot somehow lined up with a sewage slit in the road and her entire leg went under and got scratched up. Later, she made Kyle pull over and vomited in the middle of the street. Eventually we made our way to Cape Phrom Thep, which had a nice ocean view. We had dinner and tea at a Chinese tea house in Phuket.

Later we stopped by a really cool beer garden for some drinks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

8.27.09 Elephants, Getting Lost, Winery, and Beach

So we started out our day taking an elephant tour. They said it was $30/hr/elephant, but then we get there and it's per person. We should have said we wanted seperate elephants then and watched them say fine and give us just one elephant for 30$ instead of 60, but Kyle didn't think of it till after. So instead we just did 1/2 hour which was fine. It was pretty fun, so some good views of the city and even went in the water where the elephant's head was underwater and he had to breath with his trunk. Then we say a litte show where the elephant did some tricks, played music, and painted. Then the elephant pointed to the tip jar, but we just laughed and left.

Then off to a winery about 40km away on our scooter. We ended up missing the turn, but once we realized it, it was OK because there was a waterfall out that direction that we wanted to see. However after going a long ways and seeing signs stating "danger wild elephants" we were running out of gas and eventually turned around. We found out later we turned back about 3km short of the waterfall. Oh well. We ended up getting gas from a hand pump out of a barrell. The drive was scenic and it always feels good to feel the wind on your face, so it was not in vain. So we found the vineyard and it had great views and we had lunch for quite cheap, especially for a vineyard. 3 meals, 2 drinks, and 2 wines for ~15$. Also so free wine tasting. Good times.

We had checked out our hotel, so we just went and hung out on the beach and waited for our night bus to Phuket. Oh and Kyle found the tickets we lost earlier where Jenn was blamed, but they were in Kyle's shirt pocket. We had checked all his pants' and shorts' pockets, but regretably not the shirts. Oh well.

8.26.09 Monkeys, Beaches, and Temples

We went to Wat Khao Takiab in the morning, which is a temple on a cliff overlooking the beach. There are monkeys everywhere on the temple grounds. They swim around in the fountains and chill out in a hammock. They play like children in the water and are really cute! They are also mischievous. They tried to grab Jenn’s bag twice. Kyle was afraid to take his shoes off to go into the temple for fear they might take them. The temple had a great view of the beach.

Next, we went down to the beach and waded in the water. We got some massages in a cabana overlooking the ocean. It was very picturesque. It was only $10/hour/person.

After the massages we went to another beach on the other side of the cliff and had some yummy food and Thai beers (Singha). The ocean water was about 85 degrees. Kyle liked it but Jenn prefers cold water. Warm water reminds her of pee and she does not find taking a warm bath in the ocean very refreshing when it’s 90 degrees outside.

It started to rain, and we rode the scooter to a remote temple which featured a giant statue of a monk. It is allegedly the largest monk statue in the world. The statue was rather ugly but the grounds were beautiful. It started to pour and we had a really wet, cold, dark and long ride back to our hotel on our scooter. It wasn’t too bad because even though it was raining, the temperature outside was still quite warm. The hardest part was that Kyle couldn’t wear sun glasses because it was too dark, but then he nothing to keep the wind and random particles out of his eyes while driving.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

8.25.09 Hua Hin

We were quite happy to get out of Bangkok. Beautiful sights, but a little too hectic for vacation. We (probably Jenn) lost our train tickets to Hua Hin (a beach city about 2 hours south of Bangkok), and rushed over to the train station to buy more tickets. The train tickets we had bought before were sold out, but there were some super cheap ones for 88 baht (about $1.50 a person) left - the non-A/C train which took about 1 hour longer.

The non A/C ridiculously cheap train wasn't too bad. The windows were down the whole time, and there was a nice breeze. We actually kind of enjoyed it. We arrived in our hotel in Hua Hin, and immediately went to the beach. We had some Singha beers, pad thai and papaya salad and a stir fried green vegetable that Jenn loves and always eats but does not know the name of.

We did some horseback riding on the beach, and went to the local night market afterwards. We hit up a few bars and ate a late dinner from a cart across the street from our hotel. On the street, cut pineapple and mango was about 30 cents and delicious shish kabobs were the same price.

Hua Hin is a cool beach city, more laid back, nice people. We rented a scooter which only cost about $4 for 24 hours.