S: THAILAND 2012
FC: THAILAND | 2012
1: THAILAND | November 2012 | Week 1 - Hilltribe Trek | Week 2 - Sailing
2: Arrived in Bangkok on a typically steamy hot day, grabbed a delicious Watermelon Shake and headed off in search of my first Thai massage.
3: BANGKOK | November 17 | I visited Wat Pho temple, home of world's largest reclining Buddha and a school of Thai massage. That was about all I could handle with the long travel.
5: My, what big feet you have, Granny.
7: Out and about in Bangkok.
10: The Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok
11: Overnight train journey to Chiang Mai. | It was a Japanese style train that featured Japanese signage and Japanese style squat toilets where you have to climb up on a platform to use them.
13: CHIANG MAI | November 19
14: Donald Duck Temple in Chiang Mai
18: We had one free day in Chiang Mai to do a little shopping before our trek and pick up some snacks (dried worms anyone?) to eat along the way. After that, a big night out in the VIP seating at the local Muay Thai Boxing match.
19: Big night out in Chiang Mai. - Muay Thai match VIP ring-side seats cover band
21: OUTSIDE CHIANG MAI | November 20 | Slathering on bug repellent before we start out trek.
23: It was very hot and humid and we took lots of breaks. It's difficult to see what's going on here. If you snap this branch in half and blow gently, you can make bubbles. We worked hard at it.
25: HILL TRIBE TREK | November 20
27: Arriving in our fist village | Local home
28: Shared accommodations in the village. It's best to avoid late night visits to the bathroom hut...you will need a head lamp to make that happen. The shower is really just a garden hose but, after a day of being soaked in sweat and bug repellent, it was totally worth it.
30: Our new leader, Mr. Thuy, (who doesn't seem to sweat) is leading us on a trail that has never been used on the trek before. In fact, it's not so much a "trail". That's what the hoe is for. The villages have a very conservative culture where there's no physical contact between men and women until married. Mr. Thuy and I shook hands so I believe we are to be married soon.
31: Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature's varied forms. -George Washington Carver
33: Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature's varied forms. -George Washington Carver
34: Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature's varied forms. -George Washington Carver
35: So sweaty I can't even describe it. | HILL TRIBE TREK | November 21
36: The ultimate eco-friendly lunch! They packed us some Pad Thai wrapped in a Banana leaf and eaten with Bamboo chopsticks that "Mr. Boon" carved on site.
39: At our second village, the local children showed us their traditional dances, our guide Alif put us to work making Spring rolls, and we played games. Anyone who loses a round of the game, gets soot on their face. Clearly I was not the winner
40: Around the village. Livestock lives underneath the homes.
43: Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature's varied forms. -George Washington Carver | Bid Goodbye to our last village. The invalids, with a variety of rashes, cuts, and scary bug bites had to be trucked away while the rest of us hike out to the main road. on the way back we stopped in at a hospital for treatment before the drive back to Chiang Mai.
44: Sunset ceremony at Doi Suthep Temple. Located way up on a mountain top outside Chaing Mai
45: One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. -William Shakespeare
48: COOKING LESSONS IN CHIANG MAI | November 23
52: We flew down to Phuket to begin the a week of sailing around the islands. First we visited the caves at Ko Hong.
54: Second, we got caught in a storm our very first afternoon on the boat. While we all huddled in the tiny eating area our captain braved the storm. Eventually, the storm cleared and we had great weather for the rest of the week.
57: James Bond Island | November 25 | This island, formally known as Khao Phing Kan, was featured in a James Bond movie as the villain's evil empire. Seems like a good place for an evil empire.
59: The King's vacation home
60: At Railay beach, they were still doing some rebuilding after the Tsunami of 2004. As there are no real roads, they have to bring in construction materials by boat.
65: NEAR KO PHI PHI | November 26
66: 7-Eleven at Ko Phi Phi. In Thailand, all roads lead to the 7-Eleven. Need water? Need to break a large bill? Need alcohol late at night? Razors? Rain Ponchos? The 7-Eleven is the answer to all of life's challenges. | Loaner shoes to use the bathroom at a Thai massage place in Ko Phi Phi. They quite fit! Philippe and I got sunburned so we got an Aloe Vera massage....therapeutic you know!
68: The morning after in Ko Phi Phi!
69: Long boat engines. Who knows how these things manage to run?
70: One of the great things about traveling around by sail boat is that we could anchor near big tourist attractions and see them first thing in the morning before the crowds arrived. We had Maya beach (the beach from the movie "the Beach") to ourselves for a whole hour....and then the Russians arrived.
71: MAYA BEACH | November 27
75: New friends for the second half of the sailing trip. | Cathal (a.k.a. The Bronze Adonis) from Ireland | Benno from Canada | Gangham style
76: KO RACHA | November 28
77: Our boat, "The Simile" and her little sister.
78: We anchored on the sleepy side of the island and wandered across the island to the resort, passing through the area that the locals lived in. | We were pretty fascinated by this modular dock that rolled with the waves.
79: We were in Ko Racha for the full moon festival where they set off paper lanterns and float candles on the water at night. The local ladies gave us one to set off from our boat.
85: LIFE ON THE BOAT |Lounging
87: LIFE ON THE BOAT | The Best Spot on the Boat
89: LIFE ON THE BOAT |Captain and Boat | Perpetual laundry line | Robin
91: LIFE ON THE BOAT | Helping Out
93: LIFE ON THE BOAT | Tying Knots
94: Our cook, Yow.
95: LIFE ON THE BOAT |Eating Well
96: The "Ensuite" | So hot in the cabins during the day!
97: LIFE ON THE BOAT | Accommodations | Alternate sleeping accomodations in the netting | Training on flushing the toilet. It's a 7-step process! You really don't want to have get up and use the toilet in the middle of the night. You have to get your headlamp on, climb up out of your hatch, go across the boat and climb down another hatch. Then you have to pump out the toilet before you do the whole thing in reverse.
98: MYSTERY ISLAND | November 29
100: I have no idea what this island was called. It may not have even had a name. It was tiny. Just big enough for a bar and this tiny little beach. We anchored off shore and came in for a quick swim and some fresh fruit shakes. My favourite spot for the whole trip.
102: Visiting a fishing village at low tide
107: It's for you!
110: Racing the storm back to the boat
111: LAST DAY | November 30
112: The dreaded Durian fruit