Thailand · 32 Days · 21 Moments · November 2015

Allie McBeal & Stu Chapman

Allie & Stu's voyage in Thailand

29 December 2015

What to do on a 15 hour layover in Beijing... Hike the Great Wall of course!

25 December 2015

Ever since we got to the beaches in the south of Thailand we have been slacking on our posts! Our focus has been more on soaking up the sunshine and playing in the ocean. We have been on so many adventures including kayaking, a week long diving trip living on a boat for 5 days and doing 14 dives in the Andaman Sea and multiple beach parties! Our Christmas was spent under the full moon on the beach in Koh Phagnan. One of the biggest celebrations I have ever been to with more than 30,000 people on the beach jumping fire ropes and dodging the fire limbo stick. We traveled all day today from the islands back up north to Bangkok and we have a few more days here before we depart. I'm looking forward to our 15 hour layover in Beijing where we hike the Great Wall and then, finally, back to SF! Can't believe how fast time flies and we are very excited for our next adventure that awaits! -Allie Awesome trip, can't wait to get back to the states and see everyone and share stories! -Stu

14 December 2015

Look who we ran in to!!! Mario himself! Rented mopeds and mobbed around Phuket for the day. Stu and I were planning on staying at an AirBNB but somehow our day with Mario turned into a wild night that ended in a Ping Pong Show... I'll let Stu explain... -Allie Luckily we had met up with a large crew of foreigners at Marios hostel to cruise with us to the show, we hit the sauce pretty good for the show and bargained a taxi for a ride. We rolled up on a place that resembled the Vegas strip: lights, people haggling all over the place, girls...wild. Anyway we got in after a typhoon rainstorm. Unfortunately, but much expected, no cameras were allowed in the ping pong show. There were ping pong balls flying, I'll leave it at that. We left jumping in puddles in the streets and back to the hostel we went! One and done kind of night, kicking it with Mario and everyone was awesome tho! -Stu

13 December 2015

Kayaking in Phi Phi

12 December 2015

Oh Phi Phi... The islands of crazy party people. We arrived here after spending a low key night at Tonsai/Railay Beach & we were surprised by how different the vibe was. At Phi Phi there were foreigners everywhere that dominated the small stretch of bar-lined beach that our hotel was located on. Our room had an ocean view, which also came with music from the beach bars until 2am but we didn't mind because we were out there in the madness for most of it. Alcohol here is served in buckets with a straw... Takes me back to Chico days. -Allie Phi Phi goes hard, as we were walking back to the hotel on the beach, a buncha Bros playing a count down game. Everytime someone laughed, countdown from 5, and everyone takes a shot...about 4pm in the afternoon. We went out later and came across fire twirling on the beach, which was wickedly awesome! Throwing, spinning, danger?! New hobby?! Ended at the fire limbo and jump rope, silly drunks. I'll just say people got burned. -Stu

11 December 2015

We made it to the beaches last week & haven't even had a chance to post about our journey. It must be something about the pristine beaches and the relaxing ambiance. ;) Our first beach stop was Tonsai Beach, right next to Railay Beach, home to some of the most amazing rock climbing spots in the world. We stayed at the Chillout Bungalows which was a culture shock coming from the resort in Chiang Mai but it was nice to get back to the backpacker life. Our bungalow was nestled in the jungle on a hill and consisted of a bed with a mosquito net and a rudimentary shower area outside. -Allie Railay & Tonsai were something else, Tonsai a bit on the ghetto side but the rock climbing surrounding it completely made up for it. Met a Swede & was going to hike into a mountain lagoon at 9am but as we headed over we realized there was only one boat to Phi Phi at 930am, we got on the boat. Would love to come back to Tonsai and Railay for some lead climbing & free climbing over the ocean. -Stu
We also saw a gnarly centipede at our bungalows! Got to watch a local kill it with a broom stick.

10 December 2015

The Veranda Resort & Spa in Chiang Mai. We will have to post pictures of the room soon... So amazing!
Late post from our stay at The Veranda Resort & Spa in Chiang Mai

6 December 2015

Chiang Mai has been so much fun that we haven't had any time to post updates. The past week has consisted of a cooking class, hiking with elephants, zip lining, massages and extreme mountain biking (Stu). It has been a blast getting to know this mountain town but we are definitely ready to head to the warm beaches in the south of Thailand. Right now we are recharging our internal batteries at a beautiful plush mountain resort before we take off to Krabi tomorrow. Beaches here we come! -Allie Activities everyday has been great! I was one with the elephants the youngin tried to pick me up at one point, if that's good or not...?? Good times either way. Zip lining was big and fast, place claimed to have longest in Thailand ~800 meters . Went downhill mountain biking yesterday, almost died, but had a couple great moments! Ready for the beaches and diving! -Stu

4 December 2015

Rolled in 5 min before train left, train left 15 min after...Thai time comes through again! We got up to Ayutthaya, old capital of Thailand (when it was called Siam) around 10am & took a Tuk Tuk around all the sites/temples, forget biking in 90 degree heat with 100% humidity. Hit all the temples, lots of rocks! Had a delicious lunch for 175Baht~$5 & then cruised back towards the train. We learned Thai time is...whenever. Train schedule says 135pm & 405pm, trains show up at 350 and 355pm. Nice. Anyway as we barely make it on this 355 train Allie left her notebook at the shop we were waiting at, she bolts off the train without even thinking twice...nice. Luckily the train conductors had pity on us & waited until she surfaced with the notebook. Hopped on the overnight bus to ChiangMai, that's a whole other story in itself! -Stu I refused to leave my precious memories conserved in my notebook behind! I have no regrets sprinting off the train to go fetch it. A little careless but yolo.-A

3 December 2015

Tigers & monkeys & monks, oh my! Visiting the TIGER TEMPLE was a major highlight of the trip! Thank you Feist for giving us your blessing to go. The 7 monks at the Tiger Temple take care of 148 tigers. Out of the 148, around 120 were born at the temple. Wild tigers in Thailand are being hunted and sold illegally & there are many baby tigers left orphaned because of these killings. The baby tigers are brought to the temple to be cared for by the monks. Watch The Monk & The Tiger on Netflix if you want the full history. The tigers roam free on the 2 thousand acre plot of land & the monks raise them with Buddhist teachings. It was an amazing experience eating breakfast with the monks, bathing & feeding the tigers, playing with the baby tigers, walking a 36 month old tiger & watching an insane "Tiger Man" play with the tigers in the water. For the last part we were brought into the tiger's area and instead of the tigers being in cages, the people were put in a cage to watch the tigers.
After the tigers we got to feed monkeys... Or more like the monkeys swarmed us and robbed us of all of the food we brought. Very unique experience. Such an amazing day and it's only day 4! -Allie Tigers were awesome, we had a morning session which allowed us to do everything with them from feeding, playing, bathing, walking and seeing a Thai version of Ciampaglia getting wild with them in a pond. Monkey palace was grimey, lots of trash and dogs/monkeys in heat. We hopped on the WWII death bridge train, name is coined from how aggressive the landscape was that the prisoners of war had to build this railway through. Jackie and Mr. Ping pong were awesome guides/drivers. Thought we would catch the train to Ayutthaya but with kings birthday celebration happening on the 5th a lot of local travel is going on. So we got a room in Bangkok and experienced our first typhoon rain of the trip. -Stu

2 December 2015

What a day, got picked up in Bangkok 6:45am headed to the mountains, ate some real local spiced Thai food, thought I was going to die, cruised through the forest on a zip line/ropes course, had some quality Thai for dinner and then got to go see a memorial for a WWII bridge...turned out to be a big firework show and kids getting beat up 😂 exhausted but ready for tigers tomorrow! -Stu So glad to be out of the madness of the city. We have been dedicated to only eating local Thai food and my mouth has literally had a dull burning sensation since this morning from the local Thai breakfast we ate. The WWII memorial was interesting to learn about and we had perfect timing to see the 70th anniversary fireworks show promoting peace. Zip lining was incredible! Definitely the highlight of the day. Can't wait for the Tiger Temple tomorrow. -Allie

1 December 2015

Today's agenda in Bangkok consisted of the Grand Palace, the Flower Market, Khao San Road (a.k.a BackpackersParadise) & massages. The Grand Palace was absolute mayhem. Having lived in Chinatown in SF I thought we were accustomed to large groups of Chinese people, but the packs of Chinese tourists here were unbelievable. Upon entering the palace gates I was held back by a guard because my shoulders were not fully covered. I got separated from Stu as he got sucked into the crowd of tourists. A guard eventually allowed me to enter the palace to find him but we were immediately escorted out so I could add more layers regardless of the heat. The palace had beautiful architecture that glittered with gold mirrored mosaic tiles and the gold statues sparkled in the hot sun and while I'm glad we went, we were definitely relieved to get out of the crowd and the heat when we left. -Allie Allie was freaking out at the palace hehe, cruised to Khao San rd for foot massages and beers. Good day! -Stu
Khao San Road was ridiculous. It's a short street about a half mile long filled with bars, restaurants, street shops, and more tailor made suits... We kept walking. Literally backpackers everywhere. We treated ourself to a $5 massage and they even brought us beers during the massage for a small fee. This is the life. The 24 hour flower market was a cool experience as well. Reminded me a lot of the market in Marrakesh, Morocco with fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers in big woven baskets along the many aisles. We decided that we have had our fix of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and we are currently on our way to Kanchanaburi, two hours west of Bangkok, to the Tiger Temple to visit the monks and play with baby tigers! -Allie Sleeping. -Stu

30 November 2015

Wat Pho temple of the Reclining Buddha was amazing! Huge golden statue of Buddha and we also got to sit in the temple with the monks as they prayed. Everyone we have met so far has been very welcoming. The economy here is very much based off of tourism and most of the locals are truly dedicated to helping tourists get around and enjoy their time here. A local passerby helped us plan out the rest of our day. We hopped into a tuk tuk, something I have been long awaiting for, and we were driven in and out of traffic to all of our desired location. Somehow we ended up at an Armani factory... I'll let Stu tell you what happened next. -Allie All the wild tuk tuk driving stories are true; driving into oncoming traffic, up on curbs, slipping through cross traffic...glad to get a beer in my hand for the ride! We run into another local that explains paradise at a suit shop that supposedly makes up Armani suits...we'll see after the fitting tomorrow! -Stu
We figured out the train situation at the airport pretty easily and made it to our hostel in Bangkok to drop off our backpacks. The BTS train is 100 times better than the BART and most metros I've seen. I'm impressed. Surprisingly we are pretty well rested after the long flights and layover in Beijing. We are ready to go check out some temples. Before we left Stu shaved his face... It's about time. That dirty stache had to go. No more shaving for the rest of the trip. I'm excited to see the transformation. And we're off again! -Allie We figured it out?? I guess haha haven't seen the clean shaven face in a long time, missed it. About to hit some river boat shuttle, hoping to see some shredders out there! -Stu
We landed in Thailand at 5am this morning. We made it! Trying to figure out the train system so we an get to our hostel. And the journey begins... -Allie Good thing I'm a boss at finding stuff, excluding keys and phone. Well rested from the flight and ready to tear up Bangkok! -Stu

29 November 2015

Made it to Beijing! Stu found a surprisingly comfy place to rest sprawled out across three chairs during our 6 hour layover. Can't believe we are in China! Everyone getting off our flight was all bundled up and we are wearing flannels... We definitely look out of place and were not prepared for this kind of cold weather. Thankfully we aren't leaving the airport. Looking forward to the tropical climate in Thailand! -Allie Sleeping. -Stu
I usually pride myself in saying that I'm always on time. Since I met Stu my rigidness on time has lessened. Today, I was late on my own accord and Stu was on time... Who would have thought! I had to stay in Sacramento until the last minute to wish my brother Vanya happy birthday before departing. Thankfully we both made it with just enough time for a glass of wine before the flight. :) We are currently on the plane about to take off. Follow our travels on Journi! Xxx -Allie Yay! -Stu