Month: May 2010

Thailand Part 2: The Lap of Luxury

Part 1 can be found here.

After spending two days living as cheaply as possible, my new accommodations felt like a palace!  There was a real (hot water!) shower, the towels were arranged in the shape of flowers, and the resort had its own pool!  The two could not have been more different.  Sunda Resort is located in a sleepy little tourist town on the beach, and although it’s not directly on the water there was a little tuk-tuk shuttle to get to any of several beaches.

Ao Nang beach

Ari and I spent the next morning at the nearly empty beach, and got a Thai oil massage for about $10 (did I mention that Thailand is incredibly cheap?) then browsed the shops along the beach.  We neglected to bring the phone number to call for the shuttle back, and were too cheap to pay for a taxi so we ended up walking about 40 minutes back to the resort.  On the way we stopped for some street food which turned out to be the most amazing pad thai I have ever eaten.  You find treasures in the most surprising places.

My vacation ended at 5:30 the following morning when I awoke to catch my early flight back to Singapore.  One more trip done and one more exam to go, but with memories of the best vacation I have ever had.

Thailand Part 1: Backpacker Style

My first two days in Thailand were spent on the beautiful island of Ko Phi Phi.  Unfortunately I had a bad first impression of Thai weather as it was rainy and depressing when I first arrived:

Phi Phi Le on a Cloudy Day

The neighbouring island of Phi Phi Le

The ferry ride improved my mood for several reasons: I met a couple from England and chatted with them for part of the trip, then sat up front dangling my feet over the edge and saw huge jellyfish in the water!  A Thai family near by offered me some snacks – sugared dried fruit with chilis.  Hot hot hot, but also very yummy.  I arrived on Ko Phi Phi and found a warm and welcoming backpacker “family” at The Rock guesthouse; this sharply contrasted my bed which was nowhere close to “warm” or “welcoming”, and could probably be described using nearly any negative adective.  Let’s just say there’s a reason it only cost about $5 per night.  However, this didn’t put a damper on my mood and the night only got better – I was informed that the beach parties were not to be missed, and included free drinks just for showing up at a certain time!  The twenty or so backpackers I was with dominated the otherwise quiet clubs which were just fenced areas on the beach with tables.  A great way to relax after traveling for about six hours of traveling!

The next morning, I woke up to this:

Monkey Beach on Ko Phi Phi

…which more than made up for the rainy weather the previous day!  I really didn’t do a whole lot that day – I’ve been getting tired of traveling to places, then rushing around trying to see everything important before I have to leave, which is hardly what I would call a vacation.  This was a vacation – and a half!

My first two days were amazing, and reminded me again of why I want to go backpacking.  I could have spent months in Thailand, and many of the backpackers on Ko Phi Phi obviously felt the same way since most were there for the maximum of 30 days allowed on their entry visa.  Time flew, and before I knew it I was headed back to the mainland to meet Ari at Ao Nang.