Category Archives: Thailand

July 3, 2014

When in Thailand: Koh Phi Phi

A trip to Thailand won’t be complete without venturing into Phi Phi Islands. A day with Simba Sea Trips for 3,600 THB (around $111 USD) per person will provide you the chance to explore two of the major islands- Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, world renowned for Maya Bay, the shooting location of the movie blockbuster starring Leonardo di Caprio, “The Beach”. IMG_0626

We were picked up from our hotel at around 6:30 AM. The tour starts so early in the morning that I was able to witness the sun rise behind huge, ancient karst formations! IMG_0633IMG_0634IMG_0736Crystal clear waters, so clear you can see the bottom of the sea! IMG_0650Admiring the world-famous Maya Bay, pretending to be a figment of Alex Garland’s imagination.IMG_0685IMG_0769 (2)Caves like this one called the Viking Cave serve as an important factor in the Bird’s Nest Soup business- a very expensive Chinese food delicacy.IMG_0735The Pileh Lagoon with its gigantic rock formations surrounding its bright blue, cool waters gives an impression of being in a very large, natural swimming pool.
IMG_0866IMG_0758While on the tour, we had the chance to visit Monkey Beach, home to a group of wild monkeys that reside on the islands. Beware of the little rascals because they are smarter than what you think as they can sneak up on you and take your things when left unattended. This particular monkey was able to unzip a closed backpack, recover a can of Coke from inside and was capable of opening and drinking from it!IMG_0763IMG_0765There are a lot of tourists in Phi Phi Islands because of the popularity caused by Maya Bay. To avoid the crowds at Maya Bay, we had lunch at the secluded beaches of Loh Samah Bay, where walking around for a few minutes led us to a secret cave that I shamelessly proclaimed as my own territory. It came covered by vines and trees, with a view to die for. If only I could live here forever!
IMG_0748IMG_0746Thank you @giliislands (Instagram) for planning this whole trip! Definitely unforgettable because of the fact that Thailand does not disappoint!

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow”

-Lin Yutang
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May 18, 2014

When in Thailand: Phuket

Finally- my first post that is dedicated to the beaches of Thailand! 🙂 The Land of Smiles is not only known for their nightlife, ladyboys and very kind people but it has also gained international recognition through its pristine waters and white sand beaches. Some would even argue that the beaches here could rival the best ones in the world. And since there are so many beautiful beaches in Thailand to choose from, I will start with one of the most popular ones.

IMG_0417 IMG_0458 IMG_0418 I stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel called Sugar Palm Grand Hillside in Kata Beach, Phuket. I was given a room that had a porch that provides access straight into the swimming pool! I absolutely loved the thought of having a porch where I can hang out for a smoke, some snacks, or some coffee and then connects me straight to the water whenever I feel like going for a swim. Its a great feeling to wake up to a backyard like that. And since you have direct access to the pool 3 steps from your backdoor, a 2 AM early morning dip in the water does not sound shabby at all.

Sugar Palm Grand Hillside Phuket

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When in Phuket, I also got the chance to go elephant trekking. A trip to the Kok Chang Safari (15 mins. away from the hotel by car) will give you an experience that you will never forget. Trek up hills, go through a forest, trek up even steeper hills to get a panoramic view of Phuket, the water, and other distant islands– riding on the back of an elephant. Yes, in Thailand they use elephants as a way of transportation the way other nations use horses, or wolves, etc. It was good because after the trek, I had the chance to feed the really big but very gentle elephant. I love the fact that they really love bananas!

IMG_0646 IMG_0543 IMG_0663 IMG_0711When you’re done with the elephant trekking, you can head back to your hotel to spend the next few hours soaking in the sun and relaxing on the beach. Check out the water because its really refreshing… and when you’re done with your afternoon of sunshine, get ready to explore the town at night! Check out the different shops, the vendors, the restaurants, etc. And if you have a strong stomach, I suggest you to try my favorite Thai street food: Thai banana pancakes. Made with sweetened cream, egg yolk topping, a semi-salty crepe-like recipe (pancakes!) fried to a thin, crispy buttery perfection, filled with bananas smothered in Nutella and drizzled with chocolate syrup on top. This very oily, sweet-and-salty goodness will literally just melt in your mouth! I can’t even deny it, I’m so addicted to it! IMG_0625 IMG_1053IMG_1017Phuket Phuket Thailand

In Thai culture, lighting a lantern and releasing it into the sky is considered good luck, and a symbol of problems and worries floating away.

IMG_0896Phuket boasts of beaches covered in very fine sand, surrounded by crystal clear warm waters, littered with beautiful hotels, restaurants that serve the freshest seafood and most delicious dishes you can think of. Depending on what your purpose is, it is important to be aware of the areas in Phuket to best serve your needs. Patong is for those who are looking to go party because most of the bars and clubs are located here. This area is also infamous for its red light district. But not to worry because for those looking for a calmer, more family-friendly escape, there’s Kata for you. The beach is occupied by those expecting to have a blissful day of relaxing and being one with themselves, and I couldn’t help but to just breathe it all in and indulge in the moment.

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“Every one of a hundred thousand cities around the world had its own special sunset and it was worth going there, just once, if only to see the sun go down.”

-Ryu Murakami

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