I know I haven't posted in forever, but I have to write about Thailand!
We left Friday after work for the airport. It was so cold, I couldn't feel my toes. It was so weird to go from freezing, to hot weather. We were exhausted when we got to Bangkok. We took a cab to our hotel, arranged for a driver to take us to the floating market and tiger temple the next day, and then went to bed. We woke up early the next morning(Christmas Day!), had breakfast at the hotel, and drove a couple hours to get to the floating market. It was a very interesting experience, though everything was overpriced. All I bought was a coconut. haha You had to be careful because if you looked at something long enough, they would hook your boat and pull you in whether you wanted to go there or not.
When we finished there, we drove another couple hours to tiger temple. To go in, your shoulders and knees had to be covered, and you couldn't wear bright colors. We weren't dressed appropriately so we had to buy t-shirts and pants. Inside were water buffalo, reindeer, wart hogs, and of course TIGERS! We got to pet the baby tigers. Kristina walked one. They were soooo cute!
We went back to the hotel and got ready to go find a yummy Christmas dinner. We ended up having sandwiches and burgers and doing some shopping. Definitely a different Christmas, but a fun day:)
Our flight Sunday to Phuket was at 2:00, so we had the morning to sight-see. We wanted to go to the Grand Palace, but people kept telling us it wasn't open, or we couldn't go there. We ended up at a temple. It was pretty. A lot more elaborate than the Korean temples.
We tried to go to the Grand Palace again, but they told us we couldn't, so we gave up and went to see the big buddha and try on million dollar rings haha. Our tuk tuk driver got gas money for bringing us to certain shops, so we let him take us to a few until we were cutting it close to get to the airport in time. We made it though in plenty of time. We set up 3 days worth of activities at the airport including a tour of Phuket, Phi Phi Island, and James Bond Island.
Our flight to Phuket was only an hour. The drive from the airport to our hotel at Patong beach was about 40 minutes. We were slightly disappointed by the hotel. It was about a 15 minute walk from the beach. The "pool" was more like a moat around the hotel. We never saw anyone actually swimming in it. The website was a little misleading. The staff were not nice at all either. The jacuzzi on the balcony was nice (at least when the hot water was working).
We walked to the beach that night. They were having a memorial for the tsunami. It was cool to see all the paintings and sand sculptures.
We had our first thai dinner that night. Really yummy:)
The next day we spent at the beach. We played on all these inflatable things in the ocean and drank out of coconuts and pineapples.
We found mexican food for lunch:) We did a little shopping before going back to our hotel. We got in the jacuzzi for a while. I had put a little sunscreen on my face and shoulders. Abby and Kristina didn't put any on at all, so we were all in pain that night.
Tuesday we did our tour of Phuket. We drove by other beaches and stopped to take pictures. Then we went to a snake show (Kristina's idea) where we saw cobras and jumping snakes. I got kissed by a snake. Scary. We rode elephants after that. There was a seat on the back and then we took turns sitting on its neck. That was really cool.
We took pictures with a monkey, which bit Abby. haha That night we went out for steak. It was really good.
Wednesday we went to the Phi Phi Islands. It was kinda gloomy and rainy all day. The tour wasn't very good at all. There were so many people crammed in a little boat. We went snorkeling, but it was cold and people on the boat were throwing bread at us so the fish would attack. I didn't stay in the water long. I got out and threw bread at Abby with Kristina. We went to Monkey Beach after that. There were a lot of monkeys on the beach. One bit a little girl, and they were taking peoples stuff. We saw a monkey drinking coke, and one drinking gatorade. We went to the place where they filmed The Beach. The queen's niece was there. If we took pictures of her, we would get arrested though. It was really pretty there. The water was crystal clear. I wish it had been sunny!
That night we ventured to another beach and went to Dino Park for dinner...a dinosaur restaurant! The waiters and waitresses were dressed like the flinestones. It was cool. There was a baby elephant outside the restaurant to feed and take pictures with.
Thursday, we had another beach day. Massages on the beach while they delivered spring rolls to us. I think we had spring rolls every day. More Thai food for lunch/dinner.
Friday, we went to James Bond Island. First they took us through caves in kayak things. We saw more monkeys and rocks shaped like various animals. At James Bond Island, one of the guides took Kristina's camera and led us around making us do all these cheesy poses.
After that, we went to one last beach where we could swim.
When we got back to the hotel, we relaxed in the jacuzzi for a while before getting ready to go out for new years eve. It wasn't easy finding a place to eat. Everything was full. We finally got a table at the place we had gone for steak before. It was crazy walking around. There were so many people. You couldn't walk down the street without getting sprayed with silly string. We almost missed the countdown. We walked out on the beach where the fireworks and all the people were. They didn't start from 10, they just said 3, 2, 1!
The next morning when we were packing to go home, it was weird to realize everybody back home was still in 2010.
Anyway, we left our hotel at noon, and we were about halfway to the airport when I looked at the itinerary. We thought our flight was at 2, and we assumed that someone had actually looked at the paper...turned out our flight wasn't til 6:45! So the cab dropped us off at a beach near the airport with all our luggage. The people were really nice. They let us leave our bags at a restaurant, and we enjoyed an extra day at the beach. It was a really nice beach. Not too many people and probably the best weather we had all week.
It was a nice ending to our trip, even if we were covered in sand and smelly on the plane ride home. We were so sad to see all the snow when the plane landed. From white sand to...kinda dirty snow:(