An Asian Adventure Part II

November 13th: We woke up early because our cab for the Elephant Sanctuary was supposed to pick us up around 7:00. We had pre-ordered breakfast the day before since we needed to eat before the cafe in our hotel was actually open (which was an awesome amenity). Breakfast was amazing like always.

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Our shuttle ride ended up being over an hour late which was super annoying because we could have slept longer. Two couples from Britain that were staying in our hotel were also going to the same Elephant Sanctuary with us. There was also two guys from New Zealand with us. They were super cool and helped make the trip more enjoyable.

Our “cab” ride was pretty much a truck with a top on the back with the sides open. The ride was about an hour long.

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Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was the company that we chose to do the excursion with. They had great reviews and don’t ride their elephants (the places that ride the elephants mistreat them). Once we got to the sanctuary, we put on Karen’s (the shirts pictured) so that the elephants wouldn’t be afraid of us.

Once dressed appropriately, we anxiously waited for the elephants to file in to feed them. We fed them corn stalks and bananas. The adult elephants would just eat the whole banana, peel and all, but we had to take the banana out of the peel for the baby (although he was pretty fast and would steal some unpeeled ones).

That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

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The awesome group we rode to the sanctuary with.

The amount of corn and bananas that these elephants ate was unbelievable! They just kept eating and eating and eating! Elephants need to eat between 200-600 POUNDS of food a day!! And they can drink up to 50 gallons of water a day. The guys working at the sanctuary had lots of interesting facts like this! They also told us there was a difference between African elephants and Asian elephants. Who would have thought! African elephants are larger and weigh between 4,000-7,500kg and Asian elephants weight between 3,000-6,000kg. Also, African elephants’ ears are like the shape of Africa and Asian ears are smaller like the shape of India.

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After feeding them, we went over to the mud hole and gave them mud baths. The baby elephant was like a little kid in a candy store in the mud. He was rolling around, splashing, having a grand old time.

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Following the mud bath, we gave the elephants a real bath. The baby elephant was even more playful in the water.

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We then cleaned up and were fed another traditional thai meal before heading back to our hostel. We were all exhausted and still had a 4 hour cooking class that night so we just chilled at our hostel’s pool for awhile.

The cooking class  (Zabb-e-lee)

http://www.zabbeleecooking.com/index.html

began by taking us to a market and educating us about all the vegetables in the market. It was interesting learning about all the different plants and vegetable that grow in Thailand that we had never heard of before. We picked up all our ingredients that we needed to cook our meal and had a chance to just wander around the market on our own.

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We then headed back to start cooking! Now everyone got to pick their own soup, appetizer, curry, and main dish. We all got the same dessert. I decided on Pad Thai (my absolute favorite thai meal. Pretty sure I ate it every day while in Thailand), deep fried spring rolls, and Panang curry. In the kitchen, our instructor would instruct each group as to what they were supposed to do. It was super cool how this class was flexible so we had some choice as to what we wanted to make to eat. We first made our soups and main dishes and ate them before starting the next items.

Not only did the food taste amazing (to my amazement), but she taught us how to make the dishes appear aesthetically appealing.

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We then made our Curry paste, appetizer and dessert. The dessert sounds very odd, sticky mango rice, but it is a huge fad in Thailand. You can find it anywhere. I will say, it was pretty darn good! Unfortunately, I was sooo full from all the other food I ate, that I couldn’t finish it. After the class was over our bellies were full and we were ready to pass out so that’s exactly what we did!

November 14th:

Today we had reservations to go ziplining! The zipline course we picked had a “rollercoaster” zipline which was this line that had handlebars that you had to hang on to and it would take sharp turns and throw you to the side (literally pretty sure my body was horizontal at some points). The views were amazing and the crew was a lot of fun. Once we were done with the course we were fed a typical thai meal and then headed back to the hostel.

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Tonight we headed to the bazaar. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but were hoping to find some good deals on some souvenirs. We hauled a tuk-tuk and headed to the bazaar. Once we got there we bought some items (including some awesome nike shoes for $30 US dollars) and checked out the drink stands (duhhh). They had live music and a lot of food trucks. We decided to eat some american food (it had been a hot minute since we had anything besides rice, noodles, meat and veggies!)

We even did the “fish pedicure” where Garra rufa fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Bad. Idea. It was so ticklish I could barely stand it!

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After the bazaar we went out to the night clubs again, Zoe in Yellow. They were hopping and we decided to hit up a speak easy, The Living Room after the bars closed. These speak easys are “illegal” because they serve booze after hours, but pretty sure their police could give 2 shits. The speak easy was in a weird building that obviously didn’t look like a bar. You walked in through a few rooms and then got to a door where they checked your ID and there was a cover. With your cover though, you got a free drink. Once in the bar, it turned into a club and everyone was dancing and having a great time. This place doesn’t close till the early hours of the morning, when the sun is coming up.

November 15th: The next day we flew to Phuket via Bangkok.

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Our hostel was really unique with quirky decorations. We stayed at Quip bed and breakfast.

It was connected to a bar called “The Library” and was set up to look like one. They served unique, fancy drinks. There were a few high rolling guy there with ladies and bottle service. One guy had a bottle of grey goose and was just taking shots from it. The bartender brought us over shots with limes so we just figured they were tequila blanco shots. We asked and she told us they were vodka shots. We weren’t gonna turn down free shots, but straight shots of vodka?! Man, did I feel like I was in college again! I’m also pretty sure I saw our bartender take at least 5 shots of vodka the short time we were there. Not sure how the rest of his night went! We didn’t stay out late because we had a long day the next day!

November 16th: Today we were off to Phi Phi island. We boarded a fairy and a short while later arrived to the gorgeous island.

The views on the ride were unbelievable.

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Once at Phi Phi, we checked into our hotel which was on the beach, grabbed some food [and drinks] and then headed to hangout on the beach. Man was it a hot one! I laid on the beach for awhile, but not for long and you were burning up. The water was even ridiculously warm.

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Man was it a hot one! I laid on the beach for awhile, but not for long and you were burning up. The water was even ridiculously warm.

 

That night we walked down the beach, stopped at a few places for drinks and food and then headed to the clubs.

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Now these clubs were lit and by lit I mean literally. They had fire twirlers, EDM music, and crazy drink specials.

They were super interactive with the crowds, pulling people up to do tricks with them. They also did simple things like the limbo, jumping rope, or just dancing. If you participated in these you would get a free shot (Lord knows what it was). There were clubs like these lined up and down the beach. Another big thing at these clubs was buckets. They sold buckets of whiskey/coke, vodka/sodas, tequila/sprite, pretty much anything you could think of they would do it in a bucket (nothing like trying to get you drunk).

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Day 17th We left the island and headed for Patong.

Here’s some more beach pictures because I just can’t get enough of how gorgeous it is there!

For our last stretch we booked a really nice resort (The Kee Resort and Spa) in the heart of the downtown area. We really liked this resort and I would give it a 4/5 stars. I didn’t give it a 5/5 only because our room’s air conditioning was on the freak and our room’s temperature was not controlled making it very sticky and uncomfortable in our room. They came in several times and said it was fixed, but wasn’t. We ordered some food and then went out to the bars.

As you’re walking down the street, there are guys trying to get you to go to a “ping pong show”. Now we had no idea what these were. If you’re interested, google it. We never ended up going to one as mind boggling as they sound, I couldn’t get myself to go.

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We went to a bar called “New York”. It was a dueling piano bar and it was a blast. We danced, we sang, we drank, and had a great time. It was very “american”, but still a good time.

We stopped at another bar on our way home which had a lot of ladies dancing. Dang could these ladies pole dance! In the bar, the bartender asked if we wanted to take a shot with him. Us being dumb, innocent girl we agreed thinking he was being a nice waiter buying us shots. WRONG! Appartently what they do is they make you buy the shots and you buy their shot too! That was a lesson learned. Not only did we buy the shots, they were the worst shots ever! Cheap tequilla, cheap vodka? I don’t know, but the next day Sarah ended up being sick and thinks it was from that nasty shot.

Another interesting thing about these bars is that they have girls (thai girls) playing games like connect four with guys. Loser buys shots. Now these girls aren’t stupid and they know how to win every scenario, so it’s all a set up. At least we didn’t’ fall for that one and try to play against them.

Ladyboys is another term frequently used in Thailand. There are a lot of men who dress up/pretend to be women and they are so pretty that you can’t even tell that they are actually men.

November 18th: We were supposed to go snorkling today, but as I mentioned earlier, Sarah was sick all night long and not feeling so hot in the morning. So while she rested up, Lindsey and I hungout at the pool ALLLL day. We met some friends including the bartender who was absolutely hilarious. We learned of the crazy amounts of Thai hookers on the street we went out on the night before. It’s so common that when you bring a girl to your hotel, they check in at the front desk and have to give them their ID in case anything happens to them or to you. Sketchy!

That night we went to one of the biggest parties – The half moon party {on the beach}. The full moon party is the bigger one, but unfortunately we weren’t there for that one. We met up with some guys we had met at the pool and waited in line for a good 30 minutes to get onto a shuttle to take us down to the party.

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Once at the party, the ticket included a bucket drink (again. They love the bucket drinks). This party was insane. They had dj’s, dancers, and of course fire twirlers.

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We were watching the fire twirlers and before we knew it they came over to us to bring one of us as a part of their show. So, I went up. They sat me down in a chair and gave me a cigarette to put in my mouth. I had to lay my head back while he was twirling the fire chains over my head to light the cigarette. My eyes were closed as tight as I could close them. As if I wasn’t already sweating from the humidity, I definitely was sweating now. Once it was lit, he did some more fancy twirls around my head and then gave me the chains to hold while they were still spinning.

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November 19th: Since Sarah was sick yesterday, we rescheduled the snorkeling trip for today. We got up early and headed to our snorkeling trip with SeaStar. This catamaran took us to the Rok Islands (Rok Nai, Pakrong Bay, Haa Island, and Rok Nok) Before we loaded the boat, the company fed us snacks. We now had a relaxing trip to our first snorkeling spot. The views were absolutely beyond words!

The crew got in the water with us and would point out cool fish/coral to us. They even took Lindsey’s go-pro and would dive down deep and get pictures for her. I was amazed at how many people on the snorkel trip didn’t know how to swim and had life jackets on! I’ve snorkeled before, but this was the first time I’ve really dove down deep into the water and I was loving it.

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After stopping at two different stops to snorkel, we headed to an island to relax and eat lunch. They had this cute set up on the beach for lunch with so much food! They had a whole table just full of snacks/goodies [all of which we had no idea what they were – traditional thai snacks].

We ate and then headed to the waterfront to relax and catch some rays as it was our last beach day before heading to Bangkok to start the trek home.

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On our way back home on the boat, we had one last snorkel spot.

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Once home we were exhausted after spending the day in the sun and just grabbed some dinner on the beach and called it a night.

They always gave you a straw with your cans.

We grabbed some rolled ice cream on our walk home. Nothing special about it. Tastes like regular ice cream ha

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November 20th: Today was a travel day. Bus to the airport, plane to thailand, and cab to our hotel.

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We grabbed dinner that night at a fancy restaurant [apparently we were supposed to have reservations, but didn’t know that]. They still let these dumb american girls eat there.

Dessert for our last night in Thailand!

We had wanted to check out the rooftop bar that was in the Hangover II, but it was pouring rain, so we passed and went back to our hotel. We had been pretty lucky with the weather during our trip. It was rainy this last day in Bangkok and one other day in Bangkok, but all of our beach days had been full of sun!!

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November 21st: Peace out, Thailand flat,800x800,075,f.u2

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We were lucky enough to snap the exit row AGAIN for the 16 hour flight back home. I seriously don’t know how I would have tolerated sitting in a regular row for 16 hours, making the whole row get up every time I needed to get up and stretch/use the bathroom, grab something from overhead, etc. I would definitely recommend requesting to have exit row seats for any long flight. We only asked when checking in and they were available! This flight seemed so much longer than the flight to Thailand. I wasn’t able to sleep much so I watched lots of movies on Netflix that I had downloaded, movies the plane had, did some adult coloring (no that’s nothing dirty), and played solitaire on the plane’s tv pad.

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As much as I loved Thailand/Vietnam, there were a few things I was beyond excited for – Air conditioning, free toilets, toilet paper, actual toilets that flush not just a hole in the ground that you have to dump a bucket of water on, weird airplane meals, and being able to communicate with my uber driver.

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Things I was sad to leave – $1 beers, $15 2 hour massages, the SUN and BEACH, the gorgeous views, the food, the pretty drinks (They love bendy straws in Thailand), and all the amazing adventurous friends we met along the way.

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17 days in Thailand/Vietnam was not nearly enough time. I’ve always been the type of person to want to travel to new places and not return to places I’ve been to before just because I want to see the whole world. I do not say that about Thailand though. I would go back in a heartbeat. There’s so much more to explore there and I could take those views in any day. 10/10 would highly recommend. We spent a little more money on the trip for the places we stayed, but there are nice hostels for $7-12/night. We met a lot of people who were traveling on their own and would just meet people at the hostels. As cool as that sounds, pretty sure I’d have an anxiety attack doing that. Also, a lot of people we met didn’t have anything but their flight there and flight home booked. They booked adventures and flights once they were there. This allowed them to stay in a place for longer if they were really enjoying it and leave when they were ready to move onto the next place.

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Cheers. Until next time, Thailand

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