Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Travelog: Phuket, Thailand - Phuket Paradise

After getting the most out of city life in Singapore, it was time to head to the beach and soak up island life.  And that we did.  To make the most of our nine days in Phuket, we hopped around the island to three different resorts, each offering us different beaches and activities to do in that particular area.  While it was a little exhausting packing up every few days (and with bags getting heavier from collecting goods), we enjoyed how each part of the island is unique.  Including Singapore, we stayed at six places in total! Wow, that's gotta be a record.

Phuket was one of the most exotic and beautiful places I have ever been.  What a wonderful way to celebrate two years of wedded bliss hard earned work together! Haha only kidding…ok, maybe not.  I just always got a kick out of the married veterans who "lectured" R and I about tying the knot.  "You two are so young...its going to be hard work!...it's not always going to be the "honeymoon phase".  Blah blah blah.  Not saying they weren't supportive of us, as it was everything but that.  But, they were right after all.  Being married is hard work, but who ever said that hard work couldn't be wildly fun, madly entertaining, and downright satisfying?!  And, it certainly helps spending your days on a tropical island sipping mojitos.

Take a look at how we spent our time on the island…
Hotel hopping
 First stop, private two story villa tucked away in the trees.  You sure can get a lot for your money here! A nice change from Sydney.
Second stop, simple hotel room overlooking the Andaman sea on the edge of the main tourist beach.
Third and final, villa situated in the hilltops on the most secluded part of the island.
Enjoying the variety of pools haha..happy hours and napping in lounge chairs are the best.
 Late night dinner after our flight landed.  So much food!
 Kata beach. Our favorite spot of the trip.
Beach food!  Oversized Singah beer served in giant koozies and fruity drinks served in fresh coconuts. And don't forget the fresh grilled corn, R's favorite!
 Always a great treat to watch the sun set over the water after a long day at the beach.
 Sunset view from our room.  Good excuse to order room service on the patio!
Traditional thai cuisine.  Detoxing off noodles and mango sticky rice for a while now. It sure was delicious though!
 Our ride of choice, a "tuk tuk" as they call it.  Cheaper than a taxi and way more fun!  They all have colored lights and gaudy stereo systems, pumping out Katy Perry and Flo Rida tunes.  The rest of transportation is made up of mainly motorbikes.  Don't worry, we saw up to three children and an infant piled onto one while others are converted into moving restaurants hanging off the side, complete with a stove top and shelving for food.  It is quite creative and intriguing to see one blow past you!
One of the activities I was most looking forward to…an elephant trek through the rainforest! I will say, I felt a little guilty about "riding" this precious animal and was worried that they treated them poorly like circus animals.  Luckily, I was wrong.  The elephants were in a natural habitat with acres and acres to roam the lush property.  

The "keepers" live in shacks on the property and it is amazing to see the bond between the two, man and elephant.  Not only was it a new experience resting my feet on their rough skin, but they were roaming freely without fences to block us from one other.  Very cool, but don't you know I kept my distance when their trunks got a little too close!
The ride didn't disappoint!  What's next, a camel maybe?!
The cheesy self pics along the way...
At the top of my list was this day, a boat trip to the nearby Phi Phi Islands.  Some of you may now know it as the beach where Leonardo DiCaprio spent his time in the movie, The Beach.  Do you see the narrow stairs up the rocks in the top right picture?  R and I snorkeled off the boat and climbed up these steps to set foot on the uninhabited island.  Unfortunately, we couldn't bring our camera along. I think the memories in our head will last us forever, though.  As we were walking to the other side where the beautiful bay is, rain started to pour down in typical Thailand fashion.  While most tourists took cover under the trees, we took it as an opportunity to enjoy the beach all to ourselves!  Well, not all to ourselves, but you get the idea!
Our first dive trip since getting certified!  As my diving instructor and R say, I am what they call a "princess diver".  I enjoy being under the water, but not so much the prepping and heavy equipment stuff.  So, I thought I would like the ease of just strapping my equipment on and jumping off the boat…but one small problem.  This has never happened to me, but I got sea sick on our two hour ride out to the dive site.  No fun!  Don't worry, after a couple of dramamine pills and such, I was ready to roll.  The water was especially rough that day, though, so I hope this doesn't become a recurring theme.  
And off we go!  
Finding nemo..and a school of fish..and an eel!  No touching, R.
Some of the wonderful marine life we came across.
Our first time exploring a ship wreck.  The toilet was a nice touch.  There were about ten clown fish surrounding this space.  
Celebrating our last night in Thailand with royal thai cuisine by candlelight and a calming sunset.  So romantic.

I will say, we were excited about getting back to Sydney before our time in Dallas.  Well, that didn't last long.  R is already back up in the air after a 30 hour jet lagged whirlwind.  He should be halfway to Dallas now..and I will be joining him in a couple of days!  I am trying to enjoy these days alone to catch up.  In fact, I just had a yummy Greek dinner with friends! Feels good to be back in the city. 

We are both looking forward to our "old life" with family and friends..and will do our best to see everyone!!  We sure do have a busy week ahead!  It could be worse :) 


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