Wow, the past few days since my last travel update have been insane! As we rang in the New Year last night we hit the three week mark on the five week long trip. We spent the last five nights on the small, beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi. The whole place is basically like a non-stop Spring Break party with fewer boobs, more scuba diving, and much prettier scenery.
Part of my time there was spent relaxing on the beach, laying back in hammocks drinking coconuts, and going to various beaches and view points on photo missions, and the other part of my time was spent getting my open water certification for scuba diving. This was my first time ever diving, and it was an incredible experience to say the least—it truly is a whole different world under the water. The highlight for me was a black tip reef shark and a few sea turtles on my very first dive! Swimming with great white sharks is really high on my bucket list right now, and with this certification I’m one step closer to making that dream a reality—hopefully 2012 will be the year for that!
The New Year’s Eve party on the island was one of epic proportions. One side of the entire island was a massive party for about 48 hours straight. Of course, I was only there for about two of those hours, but that was plenty enough for me. It was a really cool and unique scene…all the bars and parties are on the beach, and during the night when the tide is low you can walk about a half-mile into the bay and still only be waist deep, so the music and dancing had a beautiful backdrop of long tail boats stuck in the sand and people wading in the water.
After a few short hours of sleep I woke up this morning at 5:15am and walked for a solid hour to a beach on the other side of the island hoping to catch a nice sunrise and to shoot photos on an empty beach. However, it was overcast all morning, so things didn’t quite go as planned.
Lindsay and I hopped on the 9:00am boat off the island and got back onto mainland Thailand where we taxied to another port to catch a long tail boat to the new “island” we are on now called Tonsai Bay. It is called an island even thought it is still part of the mainland because you can only access it by boat. It’s way more relaxed and laid back than Koh Phi Phi, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for sun the next few days (it’s raining as I type this on the porch of our bamboo bungalow) so we can go kayaking around the limestone formations and explore some new terrain. Lindsay plans to do some rock climbing as well since the island has world-class walls to scale, but my wrist is still jacked from a slip and fall at a waterfall early on in the trip, so I’ll have to sit out during the climbing sessions.
After a few more days of enjoying this majestic tropical paradise we’ll be off to cross the border into Cambodia and spend our final week there before heading home. Hopefully I’ll have time to squeeze in another update or two before we head back to the U.S. on January 13th.
Have a healthy, happy, and lucrative New Year, and good luck on all the goals you set for yourself! I can’t wait to work on writing down my new personal goals when I get back home!
NOTE / UPDATE: I had this blog post ready to go up early on the evening of the first (Thailand time), but couldn’t get Internet access until tonight (evening of the second). Since writing this post we sat through a super gnarly 15 hour rain storm. Our bungalow got soaked and we were about to leave the island to head to somewhere with nicer weather. Then as we were working on our exit strategy the it got sunny and beautiful and we proceeded to have one of the best days of the trip! More photos and explanation on that in the next update, but I’ll say this…What I did and saw today is in the top three most incredible things I’ve ever done/seen/experienced in my life!