One of the most important things I learned is that I really do believe in God. I saw Him everywhere. He is in the smallest details of this planet, in the tiniest ant to the largest mountain range. I know we are all His sons and daughters because I saw Him in everyone I encountered. In their beautiful smiles, their helping hands and the amazing children who would laugh and wave with us. His divine nature could not be hidden.
We spent the first 10 days of the trip in Thailand. I'll blog about the other countries separately. So here goes...
This is a view of Phi Phi Don Island where we spent a few days. There are several islands in this island chain but this is the only inhabited one. The Phi Phi Islands were hit exceptionally hard by the tsunami. When it was all over there was only two hotels left standing, everything else was gone. It is devastating when I have seen the living that goes on here to know that just a few years ago it was gone as was a lot of lives. The people here are so special, they are quick with a smile and a helping hand.
Thai pancakes are probably my new favorite food! They are a really crisp crepe with a topping or filling. I loved the chocolate ones (of course) and the savory ones as well, like potato and cheese. They were cheap too! About $1 each.
One day we went on a longboat tour of the other islands. The first stop was Monkey Beach.
Click to enlarge if you want to see the sheer delight on my face. The monkeys were a bit intimidating because they would see food in your hand and then several would start encroaching on your personal space...scary but totally cool.
On the same tour we were able to go snorkeling in secluded coves and swimming in private beaches. It was breathtaking to say the least. Even professional photos by National Geographic don't do these places justice, their beauty and magnificence cannot be captured on film.
I am now addicted to Thai food. Granted, this is fried rice but it was still the best food I've ever eaten in my life!
We traveled by longboat almost everyday and I felt like they became the symbol of the Thailand part of the trip.
Leaving Phi Phi for Ao Nang we rode a ferry for four hours. This is just a view from the ferry.
We were there during the rainy season. It rained SO hard!
Sunset at Ao Nang
Arriving at Railay
Long story time - on Railay there is an East and a West side. The West side is really nice - it's where all the fancy resorts are and the nice beach. The East side is the opposite. The beach is gross, the hotels/hostels are cheap, and the food is sketchy but cheap. We stayed on the East side and to get to the West side we had to walk along a path through some woods. At one point there is a gang/family of monkeys that lives in the area. They are scary! They are not scared of people anymore. They would run right up to us, in front of us and behind us (extra scary). Needless to say, I am no longer a fan of monkeys.
The beach on the West side. I took this while we were eating lunch one day.
Sunset was amazing!
My favorite photo of the entire trip.
Muay Thai is their national sport and we were able to go to a local match one evening in Railay. It was pretty intense! The guy I picked won the fight :)
More to come soon on the rest of the trip!