Monday, August 26, 2013

Island Hopping in Thailand


After watching the movie "The Beach" I always dreamed of visiting the beaches of Thailand. White sand, turquoise seas, a gazillion fish and unlimited Pad Thai. Little did I know at age 14, that the future 27-year-old Estelle would decide to lead a Paleo lifestyle, therefor limiting all Pad Thai consumption :(

After just having to deal with the Bali police and the inconveniences of having your house broken into, we were excited to get to Thailand and hang out for a week. We flew into Krabi, a quaint town that is a popular place for visitors to catch a ferry to the Phi Phi islands. We spent a night there and enjoyed walking around Krabi Town, buying Buddha pendants, pampering ourselves with a session of reflexology and purchasing fresh rambutan (a rather sweet and hairy fruit) to fill our bellies! We found that Krabi Town was a small, but colorful place filled with entertaining characters. 

To reach the Phi Phi islands from the mainland, we boarded a ferry with about 200 other tourists. Clearly, we were not going to miss our stop to get off. The Phi Phi islands were destroyed by the 2004 Tsunami. We were both quite surprised at how well the island has recovered since the natural disaster - as it would be very possible to have no idea that anything happened in the first place. Phi Phi reminded me a lot of Bali - filthy in some areas and heavenly in others. Kurt would be the first to say that he absolutely loved the food in Thailand. My shellfish allergies on the other hand, made eating Thai food a little more challenging :)


(OUR SARDINE PACKED RIDE FULL OF TOURISTS!) 

Our main reason for coming to Thailand was to find the gorgeous beaches we had both seen in so many magazines and movies. We were quick to book a day trip that would cover four of the islands surrounding Phi Phi. It was a spectacular day. We snorkeled, jumped off of diving boards, visited with monkeys and swam in the Indian Ocean.


(VIKING CAVE. ISN'T THE WATER DELICIOUS?)

Many, many years after I watched the film "The Beach" and said that I wanted to visit Maya Bay someday, I made it. I made it to my dream island with my dream man. It was absolutely breathtaking. Let's just say that getting onto the actual island is not as simple as stepping off of a boat onto the shore. No, no. We were thrown into the choppy ocean waves and were told to swim to a rope ladder that seemed to be more of a moving target at the gun range. The inconvenient entrance to the island insures that the beaches are clean for the daily visitor.  Unfortunately, that also means that large numbers of groups visit the island at the same time and it becomes crowded - fast. We were able to play in the water and get a sunbathing session in before boarding our boat to the next island. 


(MAYA BAY! WE MADE IT!)
It almost became a tradition of ours to attend the nightly Muay Thai fights at a local bar. There is a boxing ring that sits in the middle of the bar surrounded by stands filled with tourists. What makes this place unique is that the people fighting in the ring, are complete strangers and are not professional boxers! They are in fact... random tourists from the bar. Yes, you read correctly. The bar manages to persuade tourists to get into a boxing ring and give Muay Thai a shot. All for a bucket of alcohol. It is hilarious, painfully entertaining and almost addictive to watch.We were here every night while we were in Phi Phi.


(OUR NIGHTLY VISIT TO THE LOCAL MUAY THAI RING!)

Our most memorable event from our Thailand trip was our boat ride back to the mainland from Poda Island. Holy shit. A menacing cloud lurked over the sprinkled islands as we played in the sand and took many, many handstand photos. When it came time to head back to Ao Nang (our last mainland destination) our long-tail boat driver informed us that we would have to wait out the storm. Apparently there had been some boats that attempted to make the trip back to the mainland and were forced to turn around. I sat around nervously as Kurt walked around with a big grin on his face. I can't recall how many times he said "I love this stuff!" :) My little adventurer. We finally boarded our boat and hoped for the best. The waves were so massive that we would literally lose sight of other boats as we curled under the arms of each monster!


(HOW INCREDIBLE THAT THIS GUY STEERS WITH HIS FOOT!)

(HAPPY THAT WE MADE IT BACK ALIVE!)

I couldn't have asked for a better first experience of exploring the islands of Thailand. Lucky for me, I have a partner who enjoys finding a gym on every island we go to ;) Something that I have learned, not everyone enjoys! Eat well, love well and live well! 

Light & Love,

Estelle

(P.S) Kurt wanted to write about his surfboard so hopefully ya'll aren't getting too sick of my writing! Kurt will be posting next and we promise to be better about posting more often! xx

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