11 July 2008


At times, India was tough. But when it came time to leave, we were both a bit sad. That is, until we got to the horrible airport in Delhi and had our flight delayed by five hours--then we couldn't get out fast enough. We made good use of the time, though: we rescued a two year old who wandered off from his mother in the crowded terminal.

Contrast that hectic airport experience with Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, the nicest airport I have ever been in, bar none. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to enjoy is, as our generous four hour window until our next flight evaporated with the delay in Delhi. We checked at the ticket counter to book a new flight to Phuket, and were just able to catch a new flight out. Turns out, this hassle turned out to be quite beneficial, but that story will be told in my next post.

Once we got to Phuket, we got a car to the ferry dock, then took a two hour ferry ride to Ko Phi Phi. So by the time we got to our bungalow on the island, we had been on two planes, three airports, a car and a ferry, all without so much as brushing our teeth. Needless to say, we were ready for a nap.

We did get a little refreshment at the ferry dock. Recognise these?

This was our beach for the week. You'll notice the deeper water is very blue, while the water in the foreground appears browner. This is only because is was very shallow, and stayed that way for quite a ways out. It was so shallow that low tide caused the water to move out a couple hundred metres--the boat you see here was easily grounded at low tide.

As nice at Ko Phi Phi was, there were plenty of reminders that this part of Thailand was hit by the tsunami a couple of years ago. These signs give instructions on what to do and where to go in the case of disaster. There was plenty of rebuilding going on over the island as well.

This is on the other side of the island, on the dock side. This part of the country has lots of these rock formations/islands, many very dramatic in their structure--let's just say that you wouldn't want to be underneath some of them.

Also did some SCUBA diving while we were there. I've done it before, but it's been twelve or thirteen years. I was a bit nervous when it came time to go in--putting my trust in some hoses and a bottle of compressed air just didn't come as easy as it used to--but when I was underwater I forgot to be scared. I did well on conserving my air: a sure sign of a rookie diver is a quickly emptied tank. We saw lots of fish, plenty of coral and rock formations, and even a couple sea turtles. the dive instructors told us we might see some black tip sharks, but no luck. So my goal of swimming with sharks is still on the table.

The food on the island was fantastic. In between our bungalow and the docks was a small village of shops, tourist attractions and food. Heather and I both love Thai food, especially when it is authentic and cheap. Other than that, we just sat on the beach.

All in all, I would highly recommend Thailand. I have been to several tropical destinations--Cozumel, Tahiti, Great Barrier Reef--and I rate Thailand the best. It's beautiful and provides an authentic yet convenient experience. The people are beautiful--so friendly and kind, and down on the island, very relaxed. Instead of going to the Caribbean again, why not give Thailand a try?

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