UPDATE: Managed to add some photos – March 19, 2012
We arrived in Thailand on March 7, flying into the country’s southern airport in Phuket. We spent only a night in the city (gushing over our first authentic Thai meal) before taking a 5 hour minibus ride to Nakhon Si Thammarat to spend some time with my good friend Kaitlyn and her boyfriend Stu who have been living in the city for the past two years.
We arrived in Nakhon and Stu and Kait met us with their motorbikes to drive us back to their neighboorhood. It was so exciting to see a familiar (and long-missed) face in the middle of this adventure and it was great fun to experience a part of their life in Thailand. Nakhon is a very Thai city, not often a stop on people’s tours of the country, though it should be.
The food is INCREDIBLE, I have the happiest belly in all the world after eating different types of curry, fried catfish, tom yum soup, pad thai, mangoes, coconuts and oranges off the street, smoothies, and papya salads. Staying in Nakhon solidified the fact that I LOVE thai food.
While in Nakhon Kait and Stu took us on a half-hour motorbike ride to a local waterfall and national park. It was the perfect way to spend the day swimming in the fresh water pools of the waterfall and taking in the jungle surroundings.
We also were able to join in on the celebration of Stu’s birthday – meeting most of their fellow teachers and friends and eating some great food along the way.
Currently I am on Koh Mok, one of the Trang Islands in Thailand. Therese and I arrived here on the March 10 and, after experiencing the incredible beauty of the island’s crystal clear water and peachy sunsets, we decided to stay for three nights.
We’re staying in a little room in a rubber tree forest, geckos and frogs climbing over the walls and (occasionally) into our bed. Our room is about a 2 minute walk to the white sands of Farang beach where we spent the greater part of the afternoon yesterday.
We spent the morning on an adventure to Koh Mok’s famous sight – the Emerald Cave.
We awoke around 8 a.m. and had a quick breakfast before heading to the beach where we rented kayaks and a dry sac. We each brought our cameras, our headlamps, some water and sunscreen as we paddled off into the ocean.
Using a map Therese had found in one of the hotels we navigated our way around two points arriving at the opening to the emerald cave. This is where things got interesting as we slide off our kayaks, strapped on our headlamps and began the 80 metre swim through the pitch-black cave to a little beach.
Many tours are run to this sight with guides leading the way, so Therese and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves as we emerged from the darkness towing our kayaks behind us into the green waters of the Emerald cave.
Following this adventure we kayaked along the island’s coast, exploring some of the amazing limestone rock formations and coves along the way. Although we tried our best re-applying sunscreen constantly the salt water got the best of us and we both have rather ridiculous patches of burn in splotches on our legs and arms.
Tomorrow we’re leaving for Khao Sok National Park where we’ll spend a night and two days before taking a night train from Surat Thani to Bangkok.
I’ll try to add some photos soon.