Joined December 2021 Message
  • Day19

    Elephant Sanctuary

    January 4 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Pick up at 8:10. Very loud family with three kids got in the van. Arrived at check in. I wasn’t on the list. Showed my QR code. Was shown to a room offering coffee, tea and snacks but no milk or cream. Took a black tea and tried a bun. Tasted exactly like a Twinkie!
    At least some other people arrived. I can see elephants roaming around in enclosures and can smell them. Not in an offensive way.
    After feeding the elephants the balls we made from rice, coconut, tamarind, palm sugar, we broke into two groups. I went with the group with no screaming children. I was disappointed so many were not wearing masks. It was probably not too dangerous for me but showed an attitude.
    We went to other elephants and he told their story and explained how they had lost precious time during Covid when there were no tourists.
    They still had to feed the elephants. The elephants are fed premium products.
    Then we saw an elephant take a bath. Then two elephants covered themselves in mud.
    Last we had a light lunch of fruit, French fries and a green desert with a gel like consistency.
    Next I laid on the beach for about two hours. Then I went for my 2:00pm scheduled massage.
    She found tender places I knew and didn’t know about. If only massages were this inexpensive in the States!
    After that I decided to jump into the ocean. Such a warm & beautiful day here. And it would be my last time in the ocean for another six months!
    Then I decided I would go out for dinner. I hate to admit, I don’t really crave Thai food every day. I haven’t found any new loves. Perhaps masselman curry - but would it taste that good the next time as my first night in Phuket? I may try making it at home.
    Now I am at Armando’s. A reviewer said the cordon blue was good. I imagined it was chicken, but on the menu it’s pork. I was wondering if it would be on the menu tonight? I saw a billboard outside the restaurant and it was on it. This made me go inside because it sounded good, and not Thai food. I will eat Thai food again for sure.
    Thinking back, I did not get to a restaurant my first night here and I regret it. I started to walk down the beach but the tide was in so I had to go to the street, and didn’t want to make my way to the restaurants. I will miss the beachside restaurant!
    Tomorrow - onto Bangkok!
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  • Day18

    Hui Lard Waterfall Magic Garden & Tradit

    January 3 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Danny my host’s friend took me to visit the tranquil Hin Lard waterfall. Monks live there in little detached houses with the windows boarded up. There are also some shrines.
    Then we went to his mom’s house to enjoy banana wrapped in banana leaf and steamed.
    Then we went to the Magic Garden.
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  • Day17

    Boat Trip to National Park Ko Samui

    January 2 ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Waiting for the boat to get going. They give you a life jacket but don’t appear to enforce it’s use.
    More than an hour in an angry 🌊 but enjoying the tossing.
    We arrived at a location, then got into two longboats, then went to a dock. They helped s from the boat to the dock saying “up,up,up” to encourage me to step on the slats used for seats. Then we were on an undulating dock.
    Arrived at the park. Had to climb up stairs made of large rocks and then down. Seemed like a lot. Some people had sandals and some women in sundresses.
    At the park I bought a cap for Joe with a military look. They said I can leave my backpack there but where would I put my water and iPhone?
    I started the clime upwards like 100 stone stairs. What a struggle. I didn’t realize this was optional!!!
    This one German man, prob sixties - reminded me of Dennis! He says “you should take breaks”
    I was kind of offended! But he was right. Resting at the view points did help.
    Going down wasn’t as bad. I knew I would make it.
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  • Day16

    New Years Most Relaxing Day!

    January 1 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Heard a large crash in the middle of the night. It was New Years Eve fireworks! I just saw flashes of light since I couldn’t find my glasses in time.

    Beautiful gentle breeze! Surf!
    Made a delicious muesli with passion fruit and a very sweet pineapple I bought at the market I went to last night.
    Stopped at a unique coffee shop called Monkey Bar. Not politically correct but I’m sure they don’t know that!
    My host has been very involved! Great that she tried to arrange a trip to Elephant Sanctuary for me today. Sometimes it is a little frustrating arranging activities! Sometimes I’d rather just lay on the beach. I know I may have a great time on these outings and see more of Ko Samui and have some good photos and some memories.
    I already booked a Pig Island trip tomorrow at 9:00am. She said the Elephant Sanctuary is booked today and you know I don’t mind. Hoping to take a dip in the ocean. Also I have a lot of food left over from the market last night.
    My host suggested I visit the market at the port where I came from. I was thinking handicrafts?
    It was almost 100% food. Some foods looked kind of scary & most did not speak English. One person told me to microwave the chicken leg for two minutes so she was a rare one who did. That seemed to make it more fun 🤩. I was glad I brought my tote bag since I had a heavy bag of food by then! I think I will eat lunch soon!
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  • Day14

    From Ko Lipe to Ko Samuie

    December 30, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Had my last breakfast fruit over muesli with yogurt at the Lipe Beach Resort! Ordered a Cappuccino and left a $200 Baht tip.
    Met my cab driver walking back to my room. Comforting to know he knows who I am & will be picking me up.
    Then went to pack and walk to the lobby area. There is a bench where guests typically wait with their baggage. My cab driver came along and we had a bouncy ride in the motorcycle taxi. In general I prefer walking!
    Actually got on the earlier boat which was running late as usual. The boat bounced and slammed down for the first 3/4 of the trip.
    The person had the sign for the agency which I saw right away. I was concerned about my iPad Pro and the bouncing. Actually I found my backpack was damp. I regretted not bringing it onto the ship. What was I thinking? It was well protected in the case (a) so it was good to go! Thankfully.
    The woman who waited for me & took me to the cab was not so helpful. She took my wheeled bag but I was left with two backpacks and a handbag! It was a long walk. We arrived at the taxi stand. Now I am in car and I guess I can relax!
    Not much to see on this 6.5 hour trip! Highway and vegetation, a large double decker McDonalds.
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  • Day13

    Last full Day Ko Lipe

    December 29, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Woke up at 5:30am, later than usual! Used my free breakfast coupon for pancakes this morning with mixed fruit, pineapple and mango. Delicious. Ordered a Cappuccino.
    My game plan was to do my laundry, arrange my trip from Ko Lipe to Ko Samui, and see the rest of Walking Street. I knew I really needed to finalize that trip first and foremost, since it is a six to ten hour trip.
    I stopped at the travel agency where the man told me to come the day before my trip. I hated waiting this long. When I stopped there a woman told me he was not there yet and to come back before lunch. I stopped on my way back from shopping and she said she could make the arrangements. I decided on a taxi ride from Pak Bara to the port where I would pick up a ferry to Ko Samui. I also had to take a ferry to Pak Bara from Ko Lipe. She had a young golden cat, which she said his name means golden in Thai. She said he had no parents and she had adopted him. The cat sat contentedly on the counter. Although I paid 5,500 BT that was about $168.00 so I think a pretty good price!
    Next fetched my laundry from the washer, put it out to dry. Walked into town for last minute shopping.. Mainly for myself! I like it that in Ko I Lipe the store owners said I can do a try on. At Phi Phi no one had a dressing room. Sometimes they allow trying on over clothes but not as good.
    I actually took an iPad cord and knotted it at several places so I could make a rough measurement when I saw a bathing suit cover up I liked! Thank goodness the store owner offered to let me try it on. The washroom was wet that he offered to me but it was really worth it to do a try on. I decided on the white version. But maybe I should have got the black? I just thought the white was less shop worn.
    That was my first day. This day I had realized I did not see all of Walking Street. When I took the long boat trip I had realized when people were dropped of near their hotel that there is a part of walking street that goes down to Sunset Beach.
    I saw one shop with some amazing goods. A dark skinned man with lose dreadlocks told me again, I can try on!
    I ended out with a handmade black dress, so nice. I think it will serve some use in the Spring or Summer, possibly fall. I also purchased a bag that was around $50.00. Seems so expensive at $1,200 BT! I was looking at another two bags. He’s so suspicious. He moved the bags I noticed, to a place he could see them from his counter. Kept asking me how I was doing with try ons (in his bedroom) and it was a hot day so try on went slower than usual. But, there could be theft from tourists or even non tourists. When I decided to purchase the bag he took some photos for his website of me wearing the bag!
    I also found some pants, perfect for this weather! In another shop that even had a changing room.
    I was looking for a sushi 🍣 restaurant. I thought I saw an ad on the shore. Could not find it. The fish they have would make great sushi, and some restaurants serve it, but it is unusual.
    I settled on a mango passion fruit drink and figured I’d skip lunch since I am never really hungry in the day in Thailand. I decided on an early dinner at my Very Special Restaurant.
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  • Day12

    A very Special Restaurant!

    December 28, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Found my way to Walking Street. I enjoyed the walk for the most part! Sometimes the humidity builds up and the heat! On a dirt road with the heat of the day it can be rather uncomfortable. The good part was seeing interesting things. Like the little restaurant where a very pleasant woman said “hello” in Thai. I decided to make the sacrifice of coming for dinner to help the local economy not expecting much. The restaurant closes at 6:00pm butt my bedtime is 7 or 8 pm so this was not too problematic. When I arrived she asked me if I would like to sit outside on the beach? I didn’t know she had outdoor seating!
    It was wonderful. A deck with a small bar with four what looked to be beer bottles. Wanting to try a Thai beer that looked exotic no English on the bottle I was surprised it was sold warm. I wondered if this type beer is sold warm?
    Upon tasting it I realized it is not beer! It was Whiskey! I was disappointed.
    My dish came. I ordered the chicken with basil and she got the spice level right. It is difficult to say how spicy, I like spicy but not too spicy!
    I went back two more times, I got the fried chicken (not coated, more like stir fry) which came with a fried egg and a sauce which was like a vinaigrette with large pieces of garlic or shallot in it. The last time I went a woman was happily peeling a large metal bowl of shrimp. She said the fresh shrimp just came in and would I like Pad Thai with fresh shrimp?
    They had saved the whiskey for me. She told me it is better with green tea. It was much better with the bottled green tea she brought out!
    When I told her this was my last evening on Ko Lipe she said “see you next time” and was gracious and smiling and pleasant as always.
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