Canada, Qatar, Thailand · 26 Days · 75 Moments · December 2016

Mark & Catherine's 2016 trip to Thailand


23 January 2017

I'm glad we found this jewel as we might be caught up in the hotel for the next 4 days because of the weather.

22 January 2017

So we're headed on to the last leg of our trip...Phuket!!

20 January 2017

Koh Lanta seems to be a nice place to visit as the beach walk yesterday depicts. Unfortunately today's visiting schedule has been put on hold as we both are confined to bed rest after a difficult night of food intoxication. Oh well...we'll get better soon.

19 January 2017

We got lucky again!!! The perfect day so far since we've arrived here. We booked last evening a tour which had us visit 4 different islands, lunch included. The Mistery Machine picked us up @ 8h10 (which we managed to be 10mins late) then we set off an our later on our tour. We saw a monkey, a giant lizzard, 50 g-string bikinis and one ladyboy.

18 January 2017

To our surprise we woke up to a beautiful morning sun and decided to take a boat ride to a neighboring beach called Railey. We spent all day in the water under the sun. We finally found the Thailand we were looking for!!

17 January 2017

Upon arriving in Krabi after a stormy departure from Koh Samui it was actually sunny. With 10 days to go on our trip the weather doesn't seem to want to get better. The next 14 day forecast is announcing rain and thunderstorms. We figured that we might be seeing our last sunset of the trip, with a glimpse of winter. The green house is the view from our hotel room. Oh, and we're beside a mosque. 5h30am wake up call for prayer.

16 January 2017

Took a chance and road out to the beach yesterday. Catherine got hang out with Boo-boo before we got hit by the storm on the way back.

15 January 2017

On our way back to the hotel we stumbled upon the Magic Alambic Rum Distillery. Hope to try some amazing sugarcane rum and an enjoy a tour of the distillery, we were welcomed with a closed factory and a seat at the bar. This was the first rum that actually tasted like tequila. Pretty horrible I'll tell you.
Then we set off to find big Buddha. He was also pretty big but because he has gold, we figure he was the good kind.
Today's first stop was evil Buddha. He's pretty big. We found this place amongst a Buddhist monks tiny Village. Waking back to the bike we also witnessed a cock fight. Two cocks going at it was quite the sight to see...especially in Thailand.

14 January 2017

I met a young up and coming Muay Thai fighter last night after her bout. She has the look of a true Champion!
The sunset is pretty spectacular to say the least.
Koh Samui looks just about right especially from our hotel room. As soon as we checked in we were already in the water.

12 January 2017

Finished the evening VIP style at a bar on the beach. We had the complete staff waiting on us as everyone else was at the Full Moon party. I think our full moon was more enjoyable.
A quick trip out to the Full Moon party beach at Haad Rin Nai. It was a short stay as the people had already started flocking here around 18h. We saw a massive yacht with a helicopter in the bay. He was putting on his party gear in style!
Although the rain ruined or beach plans, it didn't spoil our sunset view.
We went north Thursday and found ourselves at Ko Ma beach. It was supposed to be good snorkeling but the current was pretty strong because of the last storm. We had lunch and sat for about an hour before the rain. We tried to run from it, but everywhere we turned it followed us or we chased it.

11 January 2017

Today we decided after getting our scooter it was time to go exploring. We rode until a dead-end at the northernmost tip of the island, then set foot for what was supposed to be an hour walk to Bottle Beach. It turns out that Bottle Beach is a 2hrs hike / death walk into the jungle. We met up with some new friends from Australia and Estonia that accompanied us along the way. We decided to take a boat back to the scooter so we could live another day.
Not a bad sight to wake up to...finally we've found the Thailand we've been looking for!

10 January 2017

Checked in and ready for a new chapter of our journey. If the rain holds up we might actually get to relax by the Golf of Thailand. The water is warm and the sun is predicted to be out tomorrow.
Off to Koh Phangan.... Full moon party here we come!!!

9 January 2017

Our final day here in Koh Tao couldn't have come sooner. It sucks not being able to have enjoyed it as much as we wished we could of as the sun finally came out and we discover a whole other side to the island. As you can see from the mound of bird poop in the cage, cleanliness isn't their top priority here. If you book a trip to Thailand you can skip this island all together.

8 January 2017

We ate this evening at one of the better rated restaurants on Trip Advisor called Lanta Restaurant. Needless to say, it was a shit hole with good food. The bonus, Catherine is now ordering beer...LOL Koh Tao sucks dirty ball sacks. Shitty day, one more to go.
We hiked out to Koh Nang Yuan...the northern tip of the island. There really isn't anything else to do at the moment do we stopped for a drink.
Koh Tao...and the rain continued today. This is what the aftermath looked like in daylight.

7 January 2017

How about a bite and a swim? The town has been torn apart because of three days of stormy weather. I didn't take my phone on with me today but I'll get some shots tomorrow. The rain makes the water cloudy and brown so the diving conditions are low visibility. Riding a scooter is difficult in these conditions as well. These three days might become a write off : (
All wet , but checked in. Thank God the room was ready. We're staying at the Sairee Cottage Diving. Looks like a huge compound.
The dude beside me was puking the whole way...so were the ladies beside him. This is a picture on our way out of the fishing boats...and another of what we saw the whole way to Koh Tao. The waves were at least 3 meters high.
Leaving this morning on a high speed boat for Koh Tao. The boat is leaving from another pier because of rough water. Waves were 3 meters high yesterday. It's raining and will rain for a few days : (

6 January 2017

We left Chiang Mai this morning and are making our way to Chumphon for the evening. Because of our flight we miss the last ferry to Koh Tao.

4 January 2017

What to do when they're announcing a little rain??...Elephant and Rafting that is! We visited a rescue project privately funded where they save elephants from labor work to freely let them roam in the jungle. We got to dress in traditional Thai clothing, feed then bath the elephants in the river. The thrilling part of the day came after lunch. A 10km rafting experience brought us down to the base of the mountains we were visiting. I couldn't bring my camera as I needed both hands for the paddle, but our new friends from Singapore will send us a copy of the photo CD they purchased from the tour company. They had a camera man on site.

3 January 2017

Cooking and chilling
This was actually pretty fun. We had a good group of people, and the experience was enjoyable and relaxing.
Welcome to the farm!
The Bay of Pigs...
Thai Cooking here we come! We signed up for an all day cooking class. Move over Chef Boyaardee the boys are back in town. We got picked up and dropped off at there kitchen in town, but we took the farm option...so off to the market first!

2 January 2017

We had finished our temple tour that day with a waterfront drink just outside of the old city. It was really nice a quiet as we found a boutique hotel with a wine list. Wine is very scarce here in Thailand and very expensive. Luckily for us they had it on the happy hour menu.
...and more running
The temple run...
Our humble home for the stay in Chiang Mai
Our first day was spent doing a temple walk around the old city which is delimited with a river running square around it. Woman unfortunately cannot expose their shoulders or legs. They lend garments at the gates just for that purpose.

1 January 2017

We immediately hit the weekend market upon arrival which was filled with food and we'll made crafts. It was packed
We thought our Airbnb properly owner was picking us up at the airport. Turns out he met us there and we all took the public transport back with a few other friends. Jerry is from Singapore so he doesn't have a car here, but does have multiple condos as investments. We found out he's looking to retire here. The public transportation are those red pickups and kind of act like taxes at a very low fare.
And now, off to Chiang Mai! The Don Muang Airport was pretty modern and our cab driver was dialed in like the fast and the furious!
On our last day in Bangkok we took it easy with a mini shopping day, visit to the rooftop pool and a special prayer for the King
As mentioned earlier in the blog, New Year Eve parties had cover charges from 1000 bahts (35$) to 100,000 bahts (3500$). We stopped at 5 different places and it was just ridiculously expensive for what they were offering. Also we found out that in respect to the Kings recent death there wasn't going to be fireworks this year. Just as soon as we were about to give up we visited the neighboring hotel to find out they had a rooftop terrace party organized without cover change. It was a pleasant way to celebrate the countdown.

31 December 2016

Happy New Year!
...although we did squeeze an hour for a foot massage. 1 hour of pleaser (no happy ending) for 8$
The bazaar just kept getting bigger. It was a massive market spanning multiple blocks with multiple buildings filled with tons of crap from animals to furniture, clothing and fake commercial goods. I stopped taking pictures as it was just never ending.
We then next headed out to a weekend market/ bazaar where you could find the largest fish emporium we've ever seen. It was easily the size of a 4 Walmarts and probably bigger
Needless to say we ate like kings! Those were some of the biggest prongs I've ever eaten.
Today we went north west of the city to see one of the 5 water markets Thailand is famous for. We chose Talin Chan floating market as it was the closest and less tourist busy market.
Just when we thought to have seen everything...we hit China Town

30 December 2016

The real Bangkok...we walked the streets until night fall and saw how the other side of world really lives. Street vendors are everywhere as sit-down restaurants were nonexistent...unless we just couldn't see them amongst the chaos.
The Grand Palace
Truck engines on a boat...need I say more? Kickass!! #diesel #thaicool
This guy just looked and acted real smooth...Captain in control
Neat buildings along the way. I'm sure you all noticed the rooftop dome from the movie Hangover 2? Tickets for New Years Eve party are 1000$+ to be there. Probably worth it just to see all the Russians gangsters there tonight.
We decided to on the water Taxi instead of the conventional taxis. Cool and cheap way too see the city. We took a one way transit, but you can take a day pass, hop on hop off time of thing.
After having to fight our way around this guy...things got real
It's time!!! No sleep for the wicked, it Bangkok time. We took the public transit to visit the Grand Palace. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Palace
Too early to check in...and my baby has a pounding headache. Looks like Bangkok already got to her. I think this blog is going to drive her crazy...lol....I'm just killing time. We got an early check-in as well. I guess the front desk was tired of answering my questions. The dude called some rooftop restaurants for New Years Eve reservations. One placed was asking 100,000 bahts per person. That's 3500$ each...food not included.
Cabbie had trouble speaking English but everything we really needed to know was indicated on the cards...lol
Qatar Airlines was exceptional. Service and airplanes were superb.
A380 was a beast of a bird... plus, free drinks the whole way . . . unlimited. That... we like.
Short layover at Doha International then we're back in the air to Bangkok!! Duty free here is way more expensive than anticipated. No perfume for me...but I can smack my girlfriend here and they'll cheer me on...lol She's been told to put a hijab on...by me. More to follow...
Flew through Iraq and Iran on our way to Qatar. No bombs over Bagdad today, but I did rip one on the plan...maybe two

29 December 2016

Good morning Bangkok...we have arrived. The airport wasn't too special, but very efficient. We got our passports stamped, SIM card with unlimited data for the month and a taste of Thailand as soon as we got in the cab.
She wanted a selfie...and here it is.
Air Qatar flight #746
In the ass of the plane...lol
Cheers to a month abroad half way around the world!
Checking in at YUL, and I must say it's quite the crowd.
Bags are packed, getting ready for the red-eye flight to Doha, Qatar where we'll have a 3hrs layover for Bangkok.