Happy New Year - Island Edition

Trip Start Dec 10, 2011
Trip End Jan 07, 2012

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year's!!

I hope the New Year has found you well and you are feeling half ok on January 1. Candice and I have had an amazing week with sunshine and lots of adventure. We headed to Krabi where we stayed for 3 nights in a secluded bungalow "resort" that isn’t fully established yet but has extremely helpful staff and an awesome setup. It ended up being a 15 minute long boat ride away from paradise, Hat Rai Lay. Candice and I took the boat over to the island for the day and it was stunning –turquoise waters, limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches. Hat Rai Lay has some of the best rock climbing in the world –turns out you can get a taste of that climbing up to the viewpoint, which in any other country wouldn’t be deemed safe. We climbed up to the viewpoint in our bare feet. No hiking boots for us!
We then each did one climb up the limestone cliff, on the beach no less, and decided we loved it and wanted to do more. So we hired a guide and he took us to another area of the island to climb, which had unreal views from the top. He also took us through a cave where we repelled down the other side. Turns out our guide also owned a bar, so we went back there after climbing for a couple beers. The guy from our bungalow had told us to make sure to catch a longtail boat back home by 6pm. Good thing we were done climbing at 6:30 and didn’t have that option. We went to catch a boat around 9pm and the lady in the pharmacy near the water said there were no more boats until 7am the next day. Shit. So after trying to explain to a couple security guards, who didn’t speak English, where we needed to go, we walked back up the pier and found a guy that said we could take a boat back at 10pm, for 100 Baht (40 more than we paid to get there, about $3.50). So at 10pm, Candice and I were the two white girls on the local boat heading back to our pier –making it home safe and sound!

On Thursday we did a 4 islands tour on a longtail boat where we did a bit of snorkeling and laid in the extremely hot sun. The islands were beautiful, although Thailand is definitely starting to get overrun by tourists.

We took a ferry over to Koh Phi Phi on Friday, which is an island to the south of Krabi. We weren’t sure if we were going to come here on our trip as it has become a top tourist destination but after talking to other travelers and finding out it is worth it as it’s so beautiful, we came and are glad we did. Although we are excited for a hot shower and soap at our next stop… two things lacking on this island. We stayed at a place recommended to us, which ended up being on the other side of the mountainous island, only accessible by longtail boat or one hell of a climb. We took the hotels boat there and decided to climb up to the viewpoint from there, on the way to town. It was bloody hot out and an adventure to find the viewpoint, but as you’ll see from the pictures, worth it.

On New Year’s Eve, we went scuba diving. It was our second time going, after a previous sketchy experience in Bali. The instructor was awesome and although Candice kept getting water in her goggles, it was fun. We went diving off of Koh Phi Phi Ley and around the corner from Maya Beach (where the movie The Beach was filmed). Although we saw cool coloured fish, an eel, many sea turtles and some colourful coral, it wasn’t quite as colourful down under as we expected. It was peaceful though. Once we got back to the island, we went out and partied for New Years. It was quite the fun experience –people were setting off fireworks for 3 hours straight –on the beach, in the water, in the bars, on the street. And no regulations of standing a ways back. Nope, they’d set them off a foot in front of you. We also stopped at one bar that had Thai Boxing. We thought we were going to see a real fight, turns out it was for people in the bar that wanted to fight each other so we watched two girls fight. We then partied the night away on the beach, under fireworks and dancing to one of the best DJ’s I’ve ever heard.

Today, we’re making the long journey to Bangkok in a bus as flights are sold out. Should be fun riding for 12-14 hours in a minibus!
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Diane MacKenzie on

simply awesome pictures, thanks again

Bonnie on

Wow! Beautiful scenery & the underwater shots are great, too!

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