So as many of you may have noticed, I have not been able to update the blog for the past three or four days because Derren and I did not have access to a plug for my computer! So, no way to upload photos or update the blog! I even bought a converter for the Southeast Asian plugs, but for some reason, this particular hotel had completely different outlets - so weird. Nonetheless, we are in Malaysia now for the next two weeks, and will have steady internet access at his grandmother and aunt's house. I will tell you a little bit about the past few days and some of the adventures we had!
So since the last time I blogged, we had spent our last night in Patong - we went out to Bang La Road for one more night of people watching. A few Chang beers for 50 baht a piece, and we were good to go to people watch for a couple of hours - it was a fun last night!
The next morning we had to wake up very early, and were picked up by a van to take us across the Phuket peninsula to the pier where we had to take a ferry to get us to our next destination, Ko Phi Phi island (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=ko+phi+phi+don&hl=en&ll=7.743651,98.77533&spn=0.407549,0.617294&sll=7.822568,98.805542&sspn=0.407472,0.617294&hnear=Ko+Phi+Phi+Don&t=m&z=11)
This is a view from the ferry as we pulled into the bay where our Holiday Inn resort was located. There is no pier for the ferry at this part of the island, so it anchors out in the bay, and then these "longboats" pull up to the pier and we have to step off the back of the ferry onto them. In this picture, we are still on the ferry, facing the beach where our resort was, and you can see the long boats coming up to pick up all the passengers (our luggage followed us on a later boat!):
Here's a shot of us on the ferry before we stepped off onto the longboat (this is facing away from the beach into the ocean):
Here's a shot of the ferry we took - this is a picture I took once we arrived at the Holiday Inn Resort:
As soon as we arrived at the resort, we were taking to a seating area and given another "welcome drink" and were checked in. Unfortunately we had to wait an hour or two before we could get into our room, so we set off to explore the resort and the neighboring sea gypsy village (where the locals on the island live - they exist on charging tourists to take explorations on their longboats and fishing). Here's a picture of us in front of the Holiday Inn while we waiting to check in:
Once we had done some exploring of the resort, we were able to get into our room, and here's what awaited us:
Here's a short video I took of our room (and by the way, it was really weird because our room # was 517, and this was the EXACT same room # at the Renaissance!):
For lunch that day we ate the prepared food that we had bought at the supermarket in Patong, and then we headed out to the beach!
The first thing Derren wanted to do was go snorkeling - he has been waiting to do this for months!! The water is very shallow outside the resort - you can walk out at least 100 yards and still only be submerged to your chest! And the snorkeling is really good - LOTS of little fish and coral to look at. Unfortunately, some of these fish were quite territorial, and I got "bit" twice on my legs. I started freaking out because the fish were all around me and I felt these things sting my legs. Derren thought I was being such a baby because I was like panicking, so I went back to the beach to get some sun, while he spent a little longer checking out the fish....Until he got bit, and then he believed me and came back to the beach. :)
After some time at the beach, we headed to one of the pools that was right near our room. Here's the view from my seat at the pool - pretty awesome!
And for dinner we headed to the sea gypsy village near the resort to grab some cheaper food. This restaurant is run by the locals and is called "Jasmin". They had quite an extensive menu, and we sat right on the beach for dinner. Here's a picture of the restaurant:
And this is a picture from our table where we sat for dinner. Luckily I had remembered bug spray because there started to be a lot of bugs as the sun was going down! And you can see all the longboats parked in the bay at the sea gypsy village!
Here's a great panaromic shot that Derren took from the balcony of our hotel room - you can see the pool, the ocean, and a pathway that leads off the resort and to more of the village:
The second day that we were on Phi Phi island, we had a free buffet breakfast (included with our free room), but I don't think we really took full advantage because we were both feeling a little off (later, we deduced that it was probably due to Jasmin restaurant!). After brunch, we spent more time at the beach (so Derren could do some more snorkeling while I just sun-bathed and read) and some time at the pool. As the evening approached, we went to the Sunset Bar located a short walk up the hill. This bar is only open from 4-7pm and has incredible views of the sunset. Together we probably took about 100 pictures of sunsets during this three day trip, but I have tried to pick a few of the good ones to share with you. Here's a cool one of me while sitting at the bar:
And here's one of my favorites! This is a great picture of us with the sunset in the background - and you can see how much sun we've got - so dark!)
That night, after we spent some time at the bar, we headed to the resort's restaurant for their Thai Food buffet. At about $22 a person, this was one of the pricier meals we had, but there was A TON of delicious food to choose from. There wasn't a ton of vegetarian choices, but we walked by the Executive chef who was trying to get us to try things and Derren told him that I was vegetarian, so he said he'd go back into the kitchen and make me whatever I wanted! He made me a vegetarian pad thai that was delicious! The picture below was not included in the buffet unfortunately, but this was at one of the hotel's other restaurants - check out these HUGE tiger prawns - bigger than the lobster (Dad, I bet you would LOVE these!!! And they were only about $10 each to be barbequed!)
After dinner that night, we had stuffed ourselves silly with that buffet, and unfortunately we both felt increasingly sick to our stomachs. :(
But the next morning, our last morning in Phi Phi, we just took a walk along the beach since it was still pretty overcast in the morning. Here's pictures of us on the beach outside our resort!
That afternoon we rented a longboat from a local villager, "Chang" and his son "Do" to take us out snorkeling. Here's a picture of me on the first day on Phi Phi with one of the longboats.
And here is "Chang" and "Do" with the longboat we rented. It cost us about $40 for a 3 hour boat ride and snorkeling equipment. It was an INCREDIBLE 3 hour trip, and we saw a ton of fish - Derren was feeding them bread out of his hand. Unfortunately, all of the video we took of that trip were on Derren's camera, which takes hi-def videos, so I can't post them because they're too large. I will do my best to share the videos at some point, because they were great! It was an experience we will never forget!
This is a little out of order, but this is a picture from our second day, when Derren was playing with the hermit crabs. He found two of them and were trying to make them fight each other! Then he dug a hole and watched them try to get out. He looks like such a little kid...what am I saying? He is a little kid!
After our snorkeling trip, we headed back to Jasmin restaurant for dinner on our last night - unfortunately I was barely able to eat anything because I was feeling pretty ill, but Derren ate some food, and then realized later that he probably shouldn't have, because that was the place that made us sick! So he didn't feel good the following day, as I was starting to feel better!
The morning of our departure, we had to wake up really early for a long day of traveling. We took a long boat from Chang from our resort to the pier (about 30 minutes; $30), which you can see in this picture:
Then we had to take a ferry from that pier to Krabi, Thailand. This is a picture from where we sat in the ferry - it was SO HOT and miserable. A painful 1 1/2 hours, especially when neither of us was feeling very well. This cost us about $15 each.
Once we arrived in Krabi, we took a taxi (35 minutes; $15) to the airport. There we grabbed a small lunch, and then waited about 2 hours for our flight. Luckily, the flight from Krabi to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was only about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From the airport, Derren's Uncle Chee Yeng picked us up, and drove us all the way to Ipoh, Malaysia, where Derren's family lives. The drive was a little more than 3 hours because of traffic and rain - yuck! A LONG day of travel! Upon arrival at Derren's grandmother's house, we were greeted by Derren's mom, dad, sister, uncle, aunt, and grandmother! We took a shower after a long day of travel, and then were fed some delicious home cooking!
The next two weeks in Malaysia will be less exciting and full of adventure than the past two weeks have been, but I plan on documenting all of the food we eat, and the adventures we go on, and I will update the blog every few days or so. Maybe tomorrow I will update how our first day in Malaysia with Derren's family has been. We have a big dinner planned for tonight!
Thanks again for following along with our trip - we look forward to hearing from you all!
Ashley & Derren