One day in Bangkok and low and behold who do we find at the airport, JLo (Jordan my younger brother)! This is his first trip out of the good ol' U.S.A. (other than a quick trip to a report in Mexico after high school) and boy was he excited to see us! We had a few days spent poolside, while Ville finally made it to a Chinese Medicine clinic for treatment because he just wasn't getting any better, and got some baggies of medicine that helped him build back his stomach. Bangkok was just so hot and muggy and the pool was the only way to go. That and an A/C hotel room.
Thanks to low oil prices, AirAsia has the cheapest flights ever and we were able to fly to Phuket in an hour instead of taking an overnight bus. Once there we grabbed a 2 hour taxi to Krabi and a half hour boat ride to Railay Beach East. A jaunt over a point and we arrived in Tonsai, where we checked into a small fanned room up in the hills close to the beach and began sweating. The beaches were absolutely beautiful, the tiny town super laid-back and full of backpacker/climber/hippie sorts. It was a blast! After a couple nights not sleeping through our poorly ventilated and hot bungalow, we scored a deal online and stayed the next 9 days in Tonsai Bay Resort near the beach with A/C and a killer breakfast buffet at the beach. And finally we are united with Mindy!! Poor girl had a hellish trip over and quite the adventure getting to us, but made it and our group was complete. She shared a ride with a guy from Phuket, Jesh, who came to Tonsai and we all had a great time exploring the area together.
We scrambled up to a lookout in the jungle, down to a beautiful lagoon, and Mindy even got attacked by monkeys trying to steal her peanuts. We relaxed on Railay Beach West, met a couple from Argentina, played a hilarious ball game with a big group of Thais, cracked some beers and took silly pictures. It finally truly felt like a relaxing vacation.
At a drop in yoga class we met two kick-ass girls from Santa Cruz, Hannah and Amy, and a new fun posse was formed. They introduced us to a friend of theirs, Jill, who lives and teaches in Phuket, but came for her month off to Tonsai to climb. JLo couldn't have asked for a better climbing partner on the trip. She had climbed here for years, knew all the routes, and brought along gear. Also her bubbly and charismatic personality just puts a smile on your face! The first couple days JLo was able to climb with a Swiss couple who were super, and once they left Jill and our posse were unstoppable. We climbed together, explored caves together, ran and swam together, kayaked and snorkeled together, shared beers, poi, laughs, and stories. Hannah and Amy left for Koh Lanta a couple days before us and it was a very sad, sad day. But even harder was the day we left Tonsai for Koh Ya Noi and Jill stayed behind. We will miss you Jill, Hannah, and Amy, but you are not forgotten. We will see you again some day soon. On the bike trip, when you visit Oregon, or when we look into the sky and see a shooting star. :)
Koh Ya Noi was a very relaxing low-key beach with a bungalow near the beach, and very hot and humid weather that kept us on our porch most the time. We did rent some motor bikes to zip around the island for a day and try some different food spots. Lots of swimming, floating, reading, and relaxing was spent here. And we found the best restaurant on the island if you make the trip: The Pier Restaurant. The lady that runs it is so sweet and man she can cook! The masaman curry was epic and the mango and sticky rice the sweetest in town.
We took a boat to Phuket, taxi to a cafe near the airport where we waited in A/C for our flight to Chiang Mai. Can't wait to see the kids and my old town!
K.G. & Ville
On a cruise ship, heading north up the west coast to Los Angeles.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson
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