Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thailand Day #3

Hello all! Today was another relaxing day in Mai Khao beach in Phuket, Thailand. We completed our two nights at the five star resort, JW Marriott, and had to check out today. But our next destination was a nearby Marriott on the same beach (another five star hotel). After a quick workout at the fitness center and a simple breakfast of granola bars and bananas, we headed down to the pool for one last time at the JW Marriott. We spent some time in the sun and the pool, and then headed back to our room to get our stuff together and check out. The hotel offered to take us about 5 minutes down the road to our next hotel in this tuk-tuk.

And within minutes we had arrived a little ways down the beach at the Marriott Renaissance:

And again, we were impressed with the beauty of this hotel. Here are two pictures I took from the lobby of this hotel, which was only recently built (2009 or 2010). These are looking out toward the entire resort in the direction of the beach:

Since we had checked out at noon from the JW, we had to wait a couple of hours again to check into our next hotel. So we borrowed some bikes from the Renaissance (they had cruiser bikes, not mountain bikes, and this time, they didn't offer us helmets or a mobile phone...a much different experience!). But instead of heading out for a long trip into the nearby village, we just made our way to a very nearby little restaurant. The concierge at the hotel warned us that they couldn't officially recommend any of these places to us because they couldn't guarantee the cleanliness or hygiene. This obviously didn't stop us, and Derren judged that this place was just the right amount of dirty. This little restaurant (if you could call it that) was basically right on the beach. In this picture I took of the place, we are sitting pretty much right on the beach - and yes, they walked our food all the way out too us (but the bad side of the location is all the FLIES surrounding us while we were eating!):

Oh, and another dog pic. This was one of the tables right outside this little restaurant. He looks so comfortable!

This is a view from the table where we ate lunch. And you can see my cruiser bike. Quite a breathtaking view while we ate our little lunch!

And a picture of me while we were waiting for lunch (with my Coke Light):

And here is what we ended up with for lunch for 290 baht (just under $10). I had stir-fried vegetables with oyster sauce and rice, and derren had green chicken curry with rice. Yummy!

Soon after we arrived back at the hotel we were informed that our room was ready for us. We were told by the woman at the front desk to get into the golf cart (where they loaded our luggage for us) so that we could be driven to our villa. VILLA??!!!! We were just expecting to get a normal room, and were driven up to a villa!!!!!!!!! (We are assuming that because Derren has silver elite status for Marriott, we got upgraded - all thanks again to the credit card for this amazing free hotel room!) So basically, we were completely shocked and so pleasantly surprised by this room. Check out this video I took - you can tell I was still pretty shocked and excited!

Our pool at our villa in the Marriott Renaissance!

After we finally got over the shock and surprise of our room, we decided to head back out to the beach. This hotel offers daily free paddle boarding, so we both took up the chance to try it. Derren did it first, and he did a great job! He even laid out on the paddle board and stared up at the sky for a while when we was far out there.
Derren paddle-boarding in the Andaman Sea:

And now it is my turn. I started out great, but then had stop paddling when I was pretty far out and was just standing on it and watching Derren so he could take a pic from far away, and I totally lost my balance and fell over backwards. Good thing my foot was attached to the board, haha! Smooth move...

This was literally right before I fell off...but its a cool picture of the ocean and sky line with me in it!

And a video of me to prove that I was able to do it!:

After some ocean swimming, and then some time in the pool (this hotel has a MUCH smaller pool area and much fewer people, which is actually really nice because the other one was overrun with kids and people! Everyone is in Thailand for the Thai new year's festival which starts tomorrow!) So after some time relaxing we headed back and spent some time in our own little pool. It was fun, but it was actually really cold because it wasn't getting any direct sun. But Derren used this time to try another one of the Thai beers he had bought at the market (60 baht; $2).

After we were done with pool and sun, we got dressed to go to the Turtle Village near the JW Marriott, which is where we had been going last night before the tsunami evacuation. Here we are waiting in the lobby of our hotel for a shuttle to take us over to Turtle Village.

The first place we headed was to the supermarket to get some more US Dollars changed into Thai baht. Then we headed up to the English pub for happy hour. We each got a pint of Heineken for 100 baht each (about $3). We played a few games of pool, and a game of shuffleboard (Derren beat me at like four games of pool and the shuffleboard - I blamed it on the Heineken!)

Then we went to a restaurant in the shopping center that was the most westernized place we've eaten at in quite a while, but was also reasonably priced compared to the restaurants in the hotels. This place was a coffee shop, served breakfast all day, had a full bar, had an american menu (soups, salads, sandwiches) and had thai food. It was such a weird place, but pretty good food. I had vegetarian pad thai:

And then Derren had some Thai dish with beef. Neither of us can even remember what it was. It wasn't anything exciting at all:

After dinner, I got a scoop of ice cream from the ice cream shop in the shopping center (it was funny because I think this place originated in San Francisco because there were cable cars and the golden gate decorating the walls of this place!)
We then headed back to the JW Marriott to catch one of the shuttles that goes back and forth between the hotels every 30 minutes. However we then found out that these shuttles didn't actually exist today, so the JW made us call our hotel and ask them to come get us. They said they would, but then called right back and said that they were actually too busy to come get us. So we decided instead of walking on the dark roads with the crazy drivers, we would just walk down the beach. It was about a 15 minute walk along the beach, but it was absolutely beautiful - with the waves, and constant lightning the whole, it was just amazing. We got back to the hotel and have just been relaxing in our villa ever since.
However there was a down turn to our evening when Derren got bit in the head by a giant ant a while ago. He tried to call the front desk and ask if he should be worried if its poisonous. They couldn't understand him, so before we knew it, two employees were at our door with a giant bottle of Raid - at least they have good service! Hopefully Derren's throbbing head will get better soon, and we will have another relaxing day on the beach tomorrow!

Ashley & Derren

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