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February, 2010:

Scuba Diving for Whale Sharks on Ko Tao

After my last post, Scuba Certification on Ko Tao, Sebastien returned to brag about diving with a 5 meter (17 foot) whale shark.  These are the kinda dives you see on discovery channel.  I knew I should have gone with him!!!

That evening we scheduled to go out on a dive for the following day so that I may have a chance to see one for myself.  It was also our first certified dive together!  Long story short we did not see  a whale shark but we had two really good dives.

Again we went out with the Sairee Cottage Dive “team”.  Our first dive was at Mango Bay in which we saw some trigger fish, yellow tail barracuda, and french angel fish.  On the second dive we were dropped off at Green rocks and dove to Twin peaks.  Very cool dive and unique (that’s what our dive masters told us).  We saw a HUGE puffer fish, schools of barracuda, banner fish, blue rig, angel fish, and needle fish.

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A beautiful view near our hotel.

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Loving Ko Tao!!!

Scuba Certification on Ko Tao

I last posted when we were still in Ko Lanta.  We flew from Krabi (the main land near Ko Lanta) to Ko Samui which has a small but beautiful airport.  Our first night on Samui we stayed at an Ibis hotel (a french chain) but found that the hotel was very isolated from things.

The following day we decided to go to  Ko Tao.  Which is known as a great place to get your scuba diver certification.  We took a fast pontoon boat (dad you would have loved it!) about 2 hours to beautiful Ko Tao.  Which means Turtle Island.

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Island living on Ko Lanta

If you need us we will be on Ko Lanta enjoying life.

Snorkeling, Yoga, and Rock Climbing on Phi Phi

For the past5 days we have been on Ko Phi Phi.  The second day we were here we took a snorkeling sunset tour.  We also visited Ma Ya Bay which is where most of the movie, “The Beach” was filmed.  The snorkeling was the best that I have ever experienced.  So good that I was pumped to want to go scuba diving soon.  Merry Beth should be happy with that idea.

There are two different sunset snorkeling trips you can take from Phi Phi.  We took the one that started 3:00 pm till 8 or so.  Ours provided a buffet dinner on the boat during the sunset.  Beautiful experience.  (more…)

Sunset From Our Boat Anchored in Maya Bay

We spen the afternoon snorkling and kayaking around Phi Phi Le, the island where most of the movie The Beach was filmed.

Feels like paradise…

Krabi is a state of mind

Sebastien and I checked out Rai Lei and Ton Sai Beach today.  Ton Sai is known to rock climbers due to the amazing terrain and beautiful settings.

We took a long tail boat from Ao Nang to Rei Lei for $6.  The long tail boats are long wooden canoe boats with have a long motor on the end.

We are staying a couple of nights on Ao Nang Beach and then thought we would stay a few nights on Ton Sai.  We had heard Ton Sai was a cheaper beach area and very chill.  However, we had seen a place on Phi Phi which was ideal.  The places we found on Ton Sai and Rai Lei were a let down for the price.  About 70$ a night for a new bungalow a few meters from the beach that did not have Internet or electricity for a few hours a day.

Krabi beaches are full of laid back locals and rock solid bodies.  It is a place to get lost in and relax for days.  Sebastien has said that it is the most beautiful place he has ever been to.  When you look out towards the ocean you see scattered islands and the water is a beautiful light turquoise.

After deciding that we would just go back to Phi Phi island the next day we hung out and watched the climbers scale up cliffs.  I went snorkeling but was quickly stung by several jelly fish.

When we retruned to Ao Nang beach we got our usual massages and had dinner.  Tomorrow we will head back to Phi Phi island.

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Poo Poo to Phuket

Sebastien and I flew from Bangkok to Phuket on February 8th.  I didn’t have a good feeling going to Phuket but Sebastien had heard from a few other people that it was beautiful so we went.

When we landed we had to take an hour long cab ride to Patong beach (the most populated tourist area on Phuket).  Phuket is very developed and Patong beach was not impressive.  I didn’t even take pictures of this place.  Sorry.

We stayed that night and the next and then took a boat over to Krabi with a stop on Phi Phi island.  I’ll post about that next.

However, I did get a haircut in Patong beach.  The hair cut was just as good as a $40 one at home but for $12.  Seb also got a man purse.  He loves it because now he can wear his fisherman pants and still carry his iphone.  He is starting to look like a real hippie.

Amphawa floating market

We decided to stay in Bangkok for a few extra days because my new local friend, Pom, had invited us to go to Amphawa with her and a few other American girls. I was ecstatic !

Sebastien decided that he wanted to have an alone day. This would be the first day in which we had separated in over 3 months.  It was time we got a day to do our own thing.

It was really nice to hang out with other American girls! Though Pom is not American she is as close to it as a Thai can be! She even had to get Starbucks on our way to Amphawa.

We had a full day in Amphawa.  From eating whatever was offered by the boat market people to searching for swimming monkeys.  The monkey part was tricky and if it wasn’t for Pom we would have never found them.  We had to take a long boat out to the ocean and then ask the locals where we could find them.  Our boat driver didn’t really know where to look.  The river ride was my favorite.  Seeing the locals in their houses built up over the water.  Very cool!  There were some beautiful homes.  My next favorite was eating these amazing spring rolls.  I had never had such good Thai food in my life!  30 bhat.  Can’t beat it!

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It was one of my top favorite days so far!

Tips for traveling in Bangkok

There are maps available everywhere in Bangkok.  Here are some tips we have picked out during our stay here.

  • Don’t trust the people standing around the tourist attractions that tell you it is closed.  They try to take you to another place for cheap but then scam you.  We were approached several times but knew the deal.
  • Use the meters in the Taxi’s.  Pom told us about this one!  It is cheaper than making a deal with the drivers.
  • Saying “hello” –  woman say – “Sawadee Kha” and men say – “Sawadee Krap”.
  • Saying “thank you” – woman say- “Kob Khun Ka” and men say- “Kob Khun Krubc”
  • Lady boy’s look very much like beautiful woman.
  • The market people seem to have the same prices for things.  Go to a few (they all have the same stuff) and find out their lowest price.
  • Pronounciation of  Singha beer- Sing

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Miss and love you all!  The Puffins

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