Korea Livin'

this is a new chapter in my life...let's see where it takes me...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The country of Humidity, Tsunamis, and Songkran

When I first touched down in Korea, I knew I would eventually get a break from my teaching life and get the chance to do some traveling. What I didn't know, was the endless possibilities of where I could go. Some suggested the Philippines, while others insisted on Vietnam, Malaysia, China, or Japan. With that being said, I also knew Thailand was a place of interest, especially with the consideration that I could travel with two other girls - Amy and Monica. As Amy and I established our friendship and became close quite quickly, my mind was made up. Hands down, Thailand it was!

Her friend, Monica, from back home (Chicago, Illinois) was going to join us for our Asian Vacation. In December/January, our dates were set and cleared from HR to take vacation at the same time. Monica was also able to get those dates off from work. As we were searching flights and prices, we started to think it was going to be a lot more expensive than other expats had led us to believe. But then we chose a travel agency - which brought our price from $831 round-trip down to $587 - Thank you Hana Tour!!

That was the 'hard' part. Casually, we looked on the internet for places to stay and where we wanted to go. Unfortunately, all we knew was that we wanted Thai massages, manis/pedis, the beach, and a few cocktails - with some site-seeing, of course. Luckily, Skofe (the adventurous, fun-spirited Canadian) had enough ideas to guide us. After our extensive FB (Facebook) e-mail exchanges and internet searching, we had our mind made up that we would visit Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Bangkok. 

Our itinerary looked a little something like this:

Sunday, April 8th - Fly from ICN (Incheon Internation'l Airport) Seoul to Bangkok for a transfer to Phuket.
Monday, April 9th - Take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi Island.
Tuesday, April 10th - Koh Phi Phi adventures
Wednesday, April 11th - Koh Phi Phi more adventures
Thursday, April 12th - Koh Phi Phi more relaxing
Friday, April 13th - Koh Phi Phi last day of fun on the island
Saturday, April 14th - Take a ferry back to Phuket 
Sunday, April 15th - Fly to Bangkok - explore
Monday, April 16th - Bangkok all day for more exploring. Fly back to ICN at 11pm 
Tuesday, April 17th - 7am : arrive back in Seoul

Instead of boring you with every inch of detail, I thought it would be a nice change to let the pictures of my trip do the talking. But, the ONE story I MUST share is that one of my dreams came true! I had the chance to feed many macaques (monkeys) AND hold, yes I said HOLD, a gibbon all on the SAME day. It was this day that made me fall in love with Thailand.

Without further adieu...

Day 1
The sticker ticket!

Bangkok Airport

beautiful sunset

flying into Thailand

when all you want is a picture of the first "restaurant" and you capture the goobers (funny older men)

Amazing 1st meal

Owner of the hostel - he was SO helpful - from the UK

Tuk Tuk's...never got the chance to ride one, but they were mini party buses.

First dinner in Thailand (Phuket)

Day 2

Our hostel in Phuket

On the ferry to Koh Phi Phi

Andaman Beach Resort - our 5 night stay

Walking to our room

When you get off the ferry, Thai people swarm you to get your business...this was the man that helped us choose Andaman Resort

Songkran (Thai New Year)

police?! where?!

our wing!

The wild cats that greeted us every day. 

on the ferry.

before we headed to the ferry, we enjoyed breakfast in our hostel.

fire show

our waiter. good man.

the day we'll never forget - BURN!!

choosing a tour...

no big deal. cats come to take the leftovers...

in our wing...getting ready to head out for the night!

Day 4 - Tsunami!!

the highlight of my trip!!

on our tour...about to snorkel for my first time, EVER!

it was love. his name is Peter.

right before we were told to run to the boat...

a quick "hi" and "goodbye"

waiting among other boats to get word about the tsunami status..our tour guide was WAY too laid back for our comfort levels..

possibly the reason for my wrist infection - will have to post those pictures too.

if you know me, you know this is the happiest moment of my life!

lovers and friends.

Bamboo Island - Hat ladies

Day 5 - Recovery mode from the Tsunami scare...

we met an amazing Finnish couple - this is Tommy

and this is Sara - sweet, down to earth, cool chick

dinner out with the couple

Bring it Songkran celebrators...

Songkran (Thai New Year), it started as a little water and clay put on your forehead with a prayer...and it has exploded into a huge water/clay fight that lasts about 3 days...it's MADNESS!! Thai people are so welcoming about sharing their tradition with foreigners.

Goodbye Koh Phi Phi...back to the mainland

Our last days - spent in Bangkok

our second stop on our day tour in Bangkok...rode on one of these...

housing in the country...


Tiger Temple

many Thai locals meet here to spend the day BBQ-ing and playing in the dirty waterfall to cool off

delicious street food.

a peek of Songkran celebrated on the streets in Bangkok..


policeman...they were fun to attempt a conversation with/

In honor of their King

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