Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Crashing" an Akha Wedding in Chiang Mai

March 30, 2017
Chiang Mai, Thailand

The farangs (that's us), with the happy couple in their traditional wedding finery
[Scott] Waking up early for a change today, at 6:30am, I went out for a walk before the heat moved in. While rounding the corner near our condo building, I noticed that they were setting up for a wedding, with tents, tables, pink and white balloons, and a "curtain" of photos of a happy couple in combinations of western and hill tribe wedding costume.  I snapped a photo of the setup, then headed back to the condo to start our day.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Silly Farang! Or Getting Settled in Chiang Mai

March 27, 2017
Chiang Mai, Thailand

In case you're wondering where we've been lately, these last three days have found us getting settled in Chiang Mai, located in northeastern Thailand.

We arrived at our Chiang Mai AirBnB rental at sunset. It was 102 degrees F. It is hazy here, as the farmers are burning the fields in preparation for the coming rains but it was still a lovely sight from our balcony. It didn't come out in the photo, but the sun appeared as a perfectly round, bright red ball - simply gorgeous!

After a couple of weeks of moving at a reasonably speedy pace while island-hopping, we came north to the small city, popular with western expats, in order to take care of the necessary business of life and to plan our next steps.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Magnificent Railay Beach

March 18 - 20, 2017
Railay Beach, Thailand

Railay's two shorelines from above, at the top of a jungle hike/climb
After a long and trying day getting from Koh Tao to Railay Beach, we were rewarded with a magnificent karst landscape, perfect turquoise waters to swim in, amazing jungle hikes to viewpoints and hidden lagoons, macaque spottings, delicious food, a beautiful hotel, and a most gorgeous sunset.  There's no point in trying to get around a run-on sentence when describing even the shortest visit to Railay.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Travel Day: From Koh Tao to Railay Beach

March 18, 2017
Koh Tao to Railay Beach, Thailand

How we got from Koh Tao, in the Gulf of Thailand, to Railay Beach, on the Andaman Coast.
Three pick-up trucks arrived at our hotel, the Montalay Beach Resort, on the island of Koh Tao at 8am, to take us and several other guests across the island to the ferry pier. One truck was loaded with everyone’s luggage, as all of the tourists piled into the other two.  The tower of luggage was piled so high in the back of the one truck that we had to wait some time while the taxi crew searched for a string to tie around some of the bags.  Not quite sufficient, the employees piled a few of themselves on top of the bags to keep them in the truck on the extremely steep (twenty-something percent) incline over the middle of the island.

Departing the Montalay Beach resort in a taxi pick-up truck

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Everybody Else Was Doing It...

March 16, 2017
Ko Tao, Thailand

If all of your friends were jumping off a cliff into jagged, coral-filled water, would you?  Well, in this case, sure.  Maybe it was that I’ve given up coffee (as of today – it’s soo bad at this hotel!) that I needed a shot of adrenaline to replace the caffeine.  Or maybe it was because it just looked fun.

All The Fish In The Sea: Snorkiling on Koh Tao, Thailand

March 16, 2017
Koh Tao, Thailand

Lovely Tanote Bay on Koh Tao. Sorry, no silly pic of me/us in snorkel & mask. :-P
Our first full day on the island kept us busy with snorkeling and travel-planning.  Scott's co-worker/replacement Jacqui was spot on with her advice - the snorkeling right off of the beach immediately in front of our hotel is amazing!