North America, Asia · 17 Days · 49 Moments · January 2018

Ted and Lisa's adventure in Thailand

1 February 2018

January 31, 2018. Tuesday. Going home today after a flight out to Shanghai, a short layover, a long flight to LAX and LAX to Home on good old Southwest Airlines. A long day later, we were so glad to finally hit ground in America again, and Home around 1130 pm. I couldn’t wait to sleep in my own bed tonight. We were happily greeted by our pups Maggie and Lucy! Thought we’d adjust easily to the time change but ended up unpacking, doing laundry and cleaning out the refrigerator until sunrise. Honeymoon over, the rest of our lives together just beginning! Thanks for swiping through our photos and reading my notes (I apologize for typos, I did this all on my cell phone). What a great trip and memories we will have forever. Love you all! Ted and Lisa

30 January 2018

In the evening we walked to the super trees they have which are these huge trees which look like they come out of the Lorax movie. The apparently are self sustaining trees that collect water in top that water the whole tree and the flowers that trail from the ground to the top of the trees. The trees also are solar so the sunlight turns into energy and there is a light show at night choreographed to a different musical theme every night. So cool! We laid down and watched the light show and it was amazing. Had a late dinner on the way home, found a street that was full of outdoor restaurants and had beer and tapas for under a hundred dollars! Crazy expensive. We and walked along the pier and they have chaise lounge chairs lined up along the whole pier! It was a safe and beautiful city and a Nice place to stay for a day! Had an early morning flight out to Home. Goodnight for now.
After the rain shower we went to the gardens by the bay and went through the gardens of the world. We also went to the cloud rainforest and they had a huge waterfall and a mist in the gardens and felt like Jurassic Park. They had wood carving of dinosaurs and dragons. They are all about sustainability here in Singapore and keeping the country clean and it worked well.
To get to the top of the building we had to walk the city for about an hour. It was hot and humid, and grateful when we were in the air conditioned tower. Up on the 57th floor we were able to see the entire city, island, country of Singapore! Views were incredible and realized this place was all high rise buildings, either bank buildings or hotels or condos. We did not see one Home with a porch, picket fence or a backyard. Strange. Up in top they had a nice bar there and we actually paid 16 dollars for a 12 oz beer! Ridiculous, but we were so hot, tired and exhausted that it was the best beer I ever had. A storm came in and we had a lightning and thunder show on the top that was super cool. Next time we will stay at this hotel, and have access to the roof top negative edge pool and have access to the gardens up here. 850.00 a night!
How to do Singapore in 24 hours? We first learned the rules. Cussing, littering and not using crosswalks can get you arrested. And spitting in public, no bueno. Same same going to jail. Good to know, right? Then we hit the city and did all we could. Started with local street food and I ate something that I have no idea what it was. It was some sort of burrito but definitely not chipotle. After lunch we walked to the spaceship (that’s what I call it) it’s straight out of the Jetsons or something. It’s three hotel building side by side with a cruise ship on top. Spectacular to see from the ground but we were actually able to go to the top!
Tuesday early early morning January 30, 2018...Ok so no airport room in Singapore haha. Some bad mistake that unfortunately left us homeless for the night. The airport was so nice that I would have been fine Sleeping on one of the lofty sofas they had in the lounge or the body massage chairs they have all over the airport. But instead, Ted got us us room for the night at a nearby hotel. Ted not so happy we are here but the airport is amazing and so clean and modern. I could hardly wait to see the whole city in the morning!

29 January 2018

We are to arrive in Singapore around midnight and have an airport room waiting for us. It started raining when we arrived at the airport and was so sad to be leaving. 😓
Monday January 29. We were served a spectacular breakfast in our air conditioned room this morning. Amazing. I’m ready to move in here. Phuket is fantastic and I really wish we would have spend a few days here. I was sad checking out, which meant we were leaving Thailand. We couldn’t leave without another massage, so we both got foot massages before heading to the airport. Secret: tell them you want a gentle massage please, and they don’t do all that crazy reflexology in your arches and use a stainless steel knife to your feet- that hurts so bad. Took a couple of massages to figure this out and the Thai ladies laughed at us. Prolly thought we were babies. I didn’t care at least we were able to walk out of there. We grabbed some deep fried ice cream and the taxi out of this great place. 😎 . Next time I think we will fly right to Phuket for a week and explore. Really a great place and we barely touched it. Now at the Phuket airport waiting for our flight out to Singapore.

28 January 2018

We strolled along the shops in the evening and watched some ladies get their feet nibbles on my little fish...gross. They said it felt good but I refused to try this. We both got massages, ice cream and went to bed. Another perfect day.
We were dropped off on the street in an alley and told this was our hotel. Ted and I looked at each other like” what the heck” must be a mistake. Ted was really worried because he made this reservation. We walked through the ally full of motorbikes and garbage and came to these double doors that once opened, led to paradise. It was like we stepped into a hidden hotel that was right on a quiet area on the beach and was super nice. We checked in and the Thai boy took us to our room which was expansive. It was all beautiful wood throughout with the smell of lemongrass and mint throughout. The room had a balcony with a beachfront view and another spiral staircase that led to the private rooftop deck. Ok so now this is my favorite hotel. We headed to the beach, went swimming in the waves and had an excellent lunch. We stopped at a 7- 11 and bought some Chang beer and potato chips and went back to our hotel and went to the rooftop and watched the sunset and had our own private happy hour
Sunday January 28. Honey moon almost over 💑. We checked out after breakfast, this hotel had the nicest staff, all smiles 😊and very accommodating. Nothing like the reviews online. Prolly my favorite hotel thus far. We hopped on another ferry 🛳heading to Phuket. Got to the pier in Phuket and got into some van that was supposed to take us to our hotel, which was an hour away to the west coast of Phuket and where the tsunami hit back in 2004. It was beautiful. ( if you go to Phuket make sure you stay in the west coast, it’s a drive, but totally worth it). Long uncrowned beaches which you could walk for miles and powdery yellow sand.

27 January 2018

Saturday January 27. We hit the Koh Phi Phi beaches after lunch and a couple of beers 🍻. We relaxed and fell asleep on the beach as the tide was coming in and woke us up! The beach was nice and not crowded, and shallow. We were able to walk out quite a way and enjoy the calm water. 🏊🏼‍♀️🏖 Had dinner overlooking the pier and beaches, ted had a lobster tail 🦑 and I had the spiciest Thai salad ever🌶! Had to cool down from that and found a place where they make frozen yogurt rolls with dragon fruit and blueberries right in front of you. Awesome🍧.

26 January 2018

After this Great day, exhausted we went to the hotel and showered 🚿and went back out for dinner. Our room on the top fifth floor and was quite a climb up the steep stairs, needless to say there are no elevators on the island! Dinner was delicious and we walked along the beach and found a fire show with these crazy people eating fire, dancing with fire lit ropes and throwing it around with gasoline. Impressive they didn’t catch on fire themselves. 🔥
Next was Wang long cave and went snorkeling again and saw a sea anemone and Nemo fish. We saw lots of fishies and coral. Sunset point 🌄was next and yes saw the magnificent sunset. The men running the boat were kind and funny. We had sandwiches🥪 and pineapple for dessert. Our last stop was the Plankton dive: so it’s dark out now and we headed into a cove on the southwest side of Koh Phi Phi, we dove into dark waters and it was so cool when we moved our hands or feet in the water we saw bio luminescent plankton floating in the water. It was like a glowing light show🌠! Apparently there are only a few places in the world where you can see this. Made my day
Loh Samah bay was our next stop and we had lunch here 🥡and relaxed in the shade. Beautiful sand here, just cannot tell you, you have to feel it. Maya bay “The Beach” National Park. So crowded. We stayed here for 3 hours and went swimming and walked along the island. They had an ice cream 🍦stand so we enjoyed that too. Next was Wang long cave and went snorkeling again and saw a sea anemone and Nemo fish. We saw lots of fishies and coral.
First stop monkey beach🐒🐵🙈Do not touch the moneys or feed them. They bite and may have rabies. They also grab things from you that are not attached, like cigarettes and sunglasses. So funny to see these monkey with cigarettes in their mouths. 🙊 VIking cave was next ☠️ the cave had ropes around it, it was a protected structure. Pileh bay was a lagoon cove and we stopped and jumped in! 🏊🏼‍♂️ Water was perfect and crystal clear. Shark point 🐋. We went snorkeling here but didn’t see any sharks, thank goodness. We saw tons of finish pretty blue 🐠🐟🐡 and yellow fish and some red fish too. We snorkeled for about 30 min, pretty.
Friday January 26. Today we are heading out on a speedboat to tour the south islands of Koh Phi Phi leh. We make several stops including Maya bay which is where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “the beach” was filmed. We end our tour with a night stop to swim with glowing plankton. I don’t care much for swimming in the dark, but will do. We leave from the pier at Phi Phi Don with about 20 others and plan on tons of sun👓🌞, boating, beaches, snorkeling and exploring. Taking off now⛴.

25 January 2018

We walked along the shore and all the shops on the island. We stopped at a seafood restaurant with a view of the pier and had dinner and played cards. We walked along the path to the beach side which had the same powder sand and was beautiful. We booked a full day boat tour for tomorrow with snorkeling and visiting several islands on a speed boat...more adventures to come.
Thursday Jan 25, 2018. Today we leave Railay island and go to Koh Phi Phi island. We left the beach on a long boat🛶 that took us out to the Andaman sea to transfer onto a high speed ferry boat⛴ in the middle of the sea! Once on the ferry it took about 1.5 hours to get to Koh Phi Phi island. The pier was super busy as many people come to the island for a few hours on a multi island boat tour. We were lucky enough to stay her for 3 days of more adventures to come. We checked in to our hotel which was right down the street from the pier. I was a little worried because all the hotels we looked at in advance had horrible reviews. We picked the best one we could find with the least amount of poor reviews. I think we did good. It was perfect.

24 January 2018

After the climb, we went to the beach to wash off the mud and had lunch on the food boats that pulled up to shore. The beach town version of food trucks but in long boats. After lunch, the tide was high and we ended up swimming to the the Ko Rang Nok island which had a cave and we saw some fish and got nibbled on by jellyfish. Thunder showers started again and we headed back to the hotel for hot showers and a nap before dinner. We had dinner at the hotel, which was very nice, reasonably priced and very good. I will need to find out how they make heir pad Thai so amazing.
The lagoon was cool, like a cave with a big pond and tall walls to the opening sky. The water was warm and we were full of the rich red mud that apparently stains everything. Sorry I didn’t bring my iphone to take photos this time, so will hopefully load some in off the go pro later. We headed back up over and down and out and stopped at a lookout area which viewed both sides of the bay and beaches. Very pretty. We made it to solid ground, took about 3 hours, and now I can say I rock climbed in Railay!
Wednesday Jan 24th. Adventure day! Today we took a trail leading to rock climbing to the lagoon. This was an at your own risk and was a little challenging with slippery ropes and mud from the storm last night. On the trail, we finally stopped in front of a stake in the ground with an arrow reading, trail to lagoon. It was pointing straight up a muddy set of rocks with ropes dangling down – ropes that were clearly needed to scale the route to the lagoon. Appearing to be something out of Jurassic Park, it became a vertical rock climb, without any gear in the slippery mud. We scaled the rock wall with our hands, feet, and some muddy ropes hanging from the top. Not sure how far the climb was but once we got to the top, we ventured back down to the lagoon which was life threatening! There were ladders in place that were broken and it took some maneuvering. We scaled four steep inclines, and declines sometimes dangling only by a rope.

23 January 2018

We spent the rest of the day on the beach until it began raining. Pouring! We walked back to the hotel in the rain and it was spectacular, never imagined what warm rain felt like, very nice. Our hotel was neat, It had a courtyard with a swim up pool, so the guests could enter the pool from their patio or balcony. The grounds were beautiful and green and lush. Happy hour, dinner then bedtime.
Tuesday Jan 23, 2018. We slept in and had a nice breakfast watching the long boats coming in and out. The view was just like in all the photos we saw . We walked down the beach to the rocks and watched the rock climbers with ropes. No thank you for me. We took a back trail to the other side of the beach and it was gorgeous ! The sand was soft like powder and was nice to walk on. We walked the full beach and went swimming. The water was nice and warm. We swam through some pretty cool caves, and including the Princess penis cave. Story is the the locals blessed the Princess of the Phranang cave and held true that she would spiritual preserve and protect their livelihood and make their wishes come true. Once blessed by her the people would gift her with wooden penis carvings, flowers and food. Strange...

22 January 2018

Arrived in krabi at 6pm. We found our way to the van/bus to take us to the pier which was 35 minutes away. When we got to the pier we bought tickets for the longboat to Railay, where our hotel was. It was about 3.00 for each of us to get on the boat. It was pretty dark so we couldn’t see much of the island. We checked in our hotel Avatar right on the beach. About 930 pm. We ventured out to find a late dinner off the boardwalk and remembered someone told us about the last bar on the boardwalk and how there was another bar after the last bar, so we went there. Since it was so late, we were the only ones there. We sat on cushions on the wooden floor outdoors right off the beach and had A nice private dinner. Yum. Had a few Thai beers and went back to catch up on some sleep.
Spent a few hours in Bangkok until boarding our next flight to Krabi.
Monday Jan 22 2018. Flying out of the Chiang Rai international airport to Bangkok today then a connecting flight to Krabi. We will need to taxi to Ao Nang then take a long boat to Railay island where we stay next. The beach islands are much less accommodating and much more expensive. I am hopeful we will be in relaxing beach mode.

21 January 2018

The night bazaar was similar to the shopping in Chiang Mai, but a little smaller. We stopped and had dinner and watched the Thai ladies dance performance. When heading back to the hotel, we decided to get hour massages for 7.00 dollars. Sweet! It was another great day in Thailand. Tomorrow we head to Bangkok by plane and then on to Krabi. Looking forward to the water and beaches. Goodnight.
We walked across the street and found there was a music and flower festival in the city center with food trucks and booths. The flower presentations were outstanding and the gardens amazing. We walked through the park and food booths, and decided to head to the night bazaar before it was dark.
We had lunch back at the hotel poolside and relaxed until we headed to the town center for the hilltribe museum. This was very educational, with highlights about the influence of the opium trade and its economic impact on the 6 tribal communities. We saw Beautiful basket weaving and a modest selection of costumes, weapons and their way of life.
The Big Buddha temple was our last for the day which representation of the goddess of Mercy, Wat Huay Pla Kung is a quite recent temple and still under construction.
The blue temple was next. The Blue color represents the Dharma, the Lord Buddha virtue code of moral that spread all over the world becomes the doctrine of logically naturalistic as the bright blue sky.
The white temple was pretty cool, it had a bridge you cross which In front of the bridge are hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire. The bridge proclaims that the way to happiness is by foregoing temptation, greed, and desire. After crossing the bridge, the visitor arrives at the "gate of heaven", guarded by two creatures representing Death and Rahu, who decides the fate of the dead. Kind of creepy crossing the bridge.
Sunday January 21, 2018. Started the day with a beautiful breakfast overlooking the river. It’s funny here, they serve American food like omelets, French toast and also traditional food like congee (rice porridge) and stir fry with rice. The fruit is delicious and I finally found bread to make toast and they even had cheese, which is the first time I have seen any type of cheese in Thailand. It was nice that we were staying here 2 nights so we took our time and walked around the property. We found the resort had their own garden and foraged for their own fruit and vegetables they use in the dining room. The gardens were amazing. We made plans to visit the white temple and the blue temple today, and the Buddha statue in the middle of town, then hit the night bazzar.

20 January 2018

So glad to be back at the resort. The staff at the resort were so kind, and arranged a taxi to Chiang Rai , our next destination. We had lunch and taxied off, arriving around 6 pm, checked into our beautiful resort that was like a castle with a moat around it. The only way in was through a bridge. This was the Dusit island resort, Chiang Rai. After we were brought to our room we fell asleep for hours, missed the market bazaar but will hit it tomorrow. goodnight.
The Burmese locals were very nice but we were both ready to go back to the hotel, which we had no idea would be such a problem. We could not find a single taxi to take us back, and it was not like we could call one or get an Uber. The tuk Tuks would also not take us as far as our hotel, so we found a taxi who this very sweet man felt sorry for us and took us to the bus station. We had no choice, so we were dumped off at the bus station around 20 minutes away and he only charged us 50 Baht which was like 1.50 US dollars. At the bus stop there was no bus to take us to the hotel, but a nice lady told us to get a ride from the locals across the street. Haha we walked across the street and found a group of men driving large tuk tuks that looked like paddy wagons and one of them agreed to take us to our hotel. We paid him 500baht and in half hour we were back at the Poonya mantra hotel. Whew, that was a wild experience.
We shopped the streets where the locals roasted chestnuts and sold everything from knock off sunglasses, purses, shoes and jewelry...etc. we walked around for a few hours of listening to the locals trying to sell us junk and bargaining prices. After awhile, it was time to return to Thailand and hopefully get our passports back. This all went well and was needless worry, but I was happy to be back in Thailand.
Saturday Jan 20, 2018. After a lovely poolside breakfast, we arranged for a taxi to take us to the border to cross over to Burma/ Myanmar. This was about a 25 minute drive up north to the border. It was crazy, tons of people there for shopping and farmers markets. We looked like tourists well at least Ted did and since I was tethered to him, we had to get Visas to cross over. This was very scary as we had to go through officials to check our passports and then go to the visa authorities who actually took our passports from us. I was super scared and thought we wouldn’t get back into Thailand. I was always told never to let anyone take your passport or let. It out of your sight. I thought they were going to hold us prisoners in Burma. Scary but not so. We got our passports back after going through customs in Thailand.

19 January 2018

Jan 19th Friday. Day 3 of Thailand. We slept like babies and got to sleep in today 😊. Had mangos, bananas and coffee for breakfast, and headed out to walk the streets until our bus to Mae sai. We took a tuk tuk to the bus terminal and found we never printed our boarding tickets for the bus. There was no internet anywhere around so we were kinda screwed. My new favorite app is now google translate. So I typed in that we purchased our tickets online but forgot to print them out, and the app translated my words to Thai written language, I gave the ticket agent my phone to read and she printed out our tickets. So nice! However 20 minutes prior to boarding ted realized he left his cell phone at the hotel and no more bus. We tuk tuk back to the hotel and thankful his phone was still there. Whew, but misses our bus and that was the last bus out today. The hotel staff were so nice and helped us get a taxi. We ended up taking a taxi to Mae Sai for about a hundred dollars...

18 January 2018

We went to the market bazaar next and gosh I wish I had packed lighter so I could bring some of this stuff home. The market started along the streets and ended in a huge tent with rows and rows of table merchants. Very cool stuff from wooden elephants, clothing to knock off bags and purses. We had fresh seafood there and ted got his prawns. I had a seafood soup which was awesome for my sore throat. We walked back to our hotel around 11pm and must have passed 20 massage parlors, but we were too exhausted to get a massage, imagine that!
We took a Tuk tuk to our next hotel about 20 min away. 3 bucks. This place was beautiful ! Yaang Come Village, still in Chiang Mai. I felt like I was in A tropical forest. So pretty. Our room was fantastic and very large for 70 bucks. We settled in an took a walk to the Ming river, went to the pier and took a 2 hour cruise on a long boat to a farmer market and we were guided on a nature walk and learned of all the different herbs and vegetables they use in Thai cooking and the medicinal benefits. The koc fruit is know as an anti aging fruit and cancer killing. we stopped and had fruit and a shot of ginger juice before we headed back on the boat to the king pier. The sunset was very pretty.
After the mud fight, our group took the elephants into the watering hole to rinse off, swim and play. This is where the baby elephant followed me around and stepped on my foot! She only weighed about a ton, so it killed for a moment, but I was relieved when I saw my foot was still in one piece. No harm done but a cut and a bruise on my foot. 🐘🐘🐘 After swimming we took cold showers and had lunch. I was exhausted and felt like I worked in the zoo for a day! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to bond with this huge animal and have human kindness for the terrible treatment they get in he circus and in other countries.
The elephant rescue Village was very cool. We fed asian elephants sugar cane sticks and bananas - with the peel on! We also made them some kind of mixture of banana, cane sugar, tamarind and vitamins and put them in palm leaves for them to eat. I knew they used their trunks to drink, but really never knew how their trunks were used as fingers to grab the food and put it in their mouths. We fed the elephants and the babies milk too. And I got smacked in the head by the elephant ear flapping because she was happy! Next we got into the mud with the elephants. They gave us clothes to wear and we muddied up and covered the elephants with mud all over. The mud cools them and heals bug bites. It doesn’t however do much for wrinkles, so those mud masks we use at home will not help our wrinkles ladies!
Day 2 Ching Mai, Thursday 1.18. Slept well last night despite the hard bed which we felt and heard the springs every time we moved. haha we are spoiled with our memory foam king size bed at home. Got an early start to breakfast which the hotel provided. Eggs, toast and a hot dog- that was their version of sausage. The OJ was basically tang but the coffee was amazing. We had to catch the bus to the elephant rescue village so we could play with the elephants in the mud. My throat feels like knives are in it but I can’t miss this today! I took some cold medicine and my cough drops and bucked it up. That’s where we are headed now. It’s about an hour south of Chiang Mai.

17 January 2018

We stopped at a little Thai restaurant and had an amazing pad Thai and green curry soup dish which made us happy and full for 6 bucks! From there we walked home from the restaurant and stopped for an hour massage which cost us 15 dollars! What a day. We ended up at a 7-11 yes really, and bought cough drops and drinking water. Going back to the hotel to make some tea. Hope I feel better in the morning !
About 4.5 hours later we arrived. So now it is 1/17 Wednesday : we lost a day somewhere. Day 1 Wednesday 1/17 of Thailand. We arrived at 230 pm and it was pretty warm out with a nice breeze. Don’t need lotion here because it is so humid. We took a taxi to our hotel and it was less than 10 bucks. We checked in the thapaeloft hotel . It was nice, minimalist and sort of industrial. We ventured out to see the Watt temples at the temple square. We put gold squares on the Buddha and said a prayer. They are big on the Chinese calendar here so we visited the dragon (me) and the Ox ( ted) and rang the bells. We saw our first monks and they were working hard.
Slept on the plane and in 15 hours we were in Shanghai. Customs there was a mess even at 6 am. We had lines to wait in which took forever. Finally we got to the gate and ted used the first class lounge ticket and we got to use it for a few hours until our flight left. It was spectacular, they had nice comfy chairs and alcohol and these yummy potstickers, noodles and lots of snacks...and a cappuccino maker, which I took advantage of. I tried all the juice bottles like a 5 year old would and ended up with a good shot of whiskey for my sore throat. We filled up there and rested and took our next flight from Shanghai to Chiang Mai.

15 January 2018

Made it to Lax and our connecting flight at midnight.
Rocky start for the honeymooners... Jan 15th, Monday. Heading to the airport we found our southwest flight was delayed 2 hours and we wouldn’t make our connecting flight out of LAX. Ted worked his magic and was able to get us on the American Airlines flight to lax that was leaving before our scheduled time so it was a mad dash to get our tickets and thank goodness we had carry ons only. Thank you Keiko for the ride to the airport! 😊