Why land in Thailand? (Part 1)

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Recently, we’ve been asked why go to Thailand? What is so special over there that is making it so popular? Truthfully, we became interested in Thailand a few years ago when searching for our next adventure.
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My husband has always loved Asia so when we started reading on things about Thailand and how inexpensive it was over there, it intrigued us. We then started noticing different movies that were filmed there. It was then, we realized how beautiful it was. So we made the bold decision to make a trip of it with some friends. What a great idea! First, I’ll mention briefly where we stayed both times we visited Thailand…

Our Hotels

  • The Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort & Spa   Which was absolutely gorgeous but a bit isolated for my taste…
  • The Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa  At the perfect spot in Phuket, just walking distance from a few different beaches and the main street. Right in the middle of all the action, which is what we like best…
  • The Le Meridien Bangkok Hotel  This hotel was stunning and also in the middle of the action since it was conveniently located right across from Patpong Night Market. Very exciting area…
    • The Plaza Athenee Bangkok a Royal Meridien Hotel   This is my favorite hotel of all. Beautiful and perfectly situated right by the train (or sky train as they call it) and all the wonderful malls of Bangkok.

Now, I’m not gonna sit here and write about how great the hotels are and what they offer, etc. I’ll leave that for another day. Because, if you come to Thailand, you’re going to be outside exploring the country, not the hotel. There are great things about these hotels that I will fill you in on, aside from being amazing, later on…
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What mainly caught my attention is the food. Living in the United States gives us the advantage of eating a variety of different culture’s food (Thai, being one). Thai is one of my favorite types of food. And in Thailand itself, the food was not typical like what we’re used to here in America. It went from very spicy, to a soup dish, a rice dish, a pasta/noodle dish, anything! They serve such a large variety of food from land animals to seafood, from small plates to large plates, from American type food like burgers and fries to Italian like pasta and pizza to the weirdest Asian food you can find (like frog and insects on a stick). It’s really great. But, that’s not all…

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Very old fisherman's village


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There are so many things to do in Thailand that it overwhelms you with excitement. You can ride elephants, pet them on the beach or see them in a sanctuary. Tigers and monkeys, are also a main attraction in Thailand. Instead of being a “cat person” or a “dog person”, in Thailand, you either have an elephant or a monkey! For example, the Le Meridien Phuket Hotel we stayed in the first time around, was on a secluded beach just north of Karon Beach and on this beach, was a local man who would walk his pet baby elephant named Valentine. This was the cutest baby elephant you will ever see. The man also owned Valentine’s mother. Valentine was the definition of a gentle giant. Even though he was a baby, he was huge! He would walk 2-3 times a day, up and down the beach of the hotel, posing for pictures and giving all the girls sloppy wet kisses with his trunk. It was amazing to see how smart and friendly he was. Valentine would even serenade the girls with a harmonica! Truly wonderful. But, in this blog, I would like to talk about water tours. So, back to where I was heading…
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The beaches are breathtaking! Thailand is also known for their spectacular beaches and clear waters. They have tons of small islands to choose from with caves, powder like sand and water so clear, it seems like your floating in the air. The sea life just adds to the aw-ing and ooh-ing because it’s just gorgeous. With millions of fish and types of corals, snorkeling is a great tour to experience in Southern Thailand, along with, diving. Besides, most day trips to small islands include lunch and drinks. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?

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Maya Bay with a long tail boat


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Phi Phi Islands (pronounced “pee-pee” islands)
Monkey beach was a little stop we did when touring some of the Phi Phi Islands. It was loaded with monkeys screeching and running around. We were almost scared to land on the sand. Especially, after watching all the funny videos of people trying to feed these monkeys on youtube.com. I sure didn’t want to end up on youtube.com myself! Those little things can be quite vicious. Of course, they were expecting us to give them food, so when they saw us arrive, they went bananas! Luckily, our tour guide warned us and advised us to stay in the water on the shore so they can’t get to us, since they do not like the water. They’re funny little creatures. One guy tried taking a picture on the sand and almost got bit by one. He left running and screaming like a little girl to his boat after all. Being on the sand wasn’t a bad thing, but getting close to the monkeys was dangerous only because they are short tempered and extremely territorial, especially when they’re hungry. So we took a few pictures with our hearts in our throats and went off to the next amazing spot.
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Maya Bay was an amazing experience. All those pictures you find on the internet with the famous long-tail boats with all the colorful streamers on the front of them was exactly was you saw at Maya Bay. Pristine waters, white powdery sand, and of course the signature of Thailand, the long-tail boats with colorful streamers. When you turn around to look at the view, all you see is turquoise waters and green island hills surrounding us. But, no worries, if you prefer not to get in the water, there is a small hike to the other side of the island. Now, in order to do this, you would have to check on how long your tour group was going to stay on the beach area. Our tour group, unfortunately, only stayed for about an hour because Maya Bay is so popular and other tour groups want to get in for their tours. They also, toured us around some of the islands to see a bit of history in the rock formations. They showed us an old fisherman’s village that lived within the rocks. It was very interesting to see how they would make a living by their very different and unpopular way of fishing. You also saw views like those in the movies The Beach (with Leonardo Dicaprio) and James Bond: Man with the Golden Gun. Things like, the famous James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay or simple clear waters out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but lush green islands all around you. It made you feel like you’re in another world, like Pandora from the movie Avatar. They were simply breathtaking views that even taking the most perfect picture, will not do the real life scenery justice.

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In one of the caves at Ko Yao Noi & Ko Yao Yao


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Scoooooby Doo!!!


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Big bad fish Rock


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Another spot in the Phi Phi Islands that we enjoyed was visiting the Ko Yao Noi & Ko Yao Yai islands. They had what the tour guide called is as “the James Bond Jr Island”. True, it did look like a mini version. But what we did there was to stop on the outer part of the island and jump into a kayak with individual guides to kayak for us around the caves and the beaches in this area. We even saw a rock formation that looked like Scooby Doo was laying at one if the island’s peaks. All of these places were astonishing to see in person. The water color alone calls you to jump in.
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As far as, snorkeling goes, some of the best spots are not too far from the Phuket. Like Coral and Raya Islands. Land wise, they are not as beautiful at the Phi Phi Islands. But, for sea life and snorkeling it’s better! There were too many fish to count and the colors of the fish and coral leave you mesmorized. You want to stay in the water all day long. The water is warm and welcoming.

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Similan Island


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The Similan Islands are also a sight for sore eyes with very special rock formation to stay gazing at them in wonder. They are sort of similar to the rock formations in the Seychelles. But, odviously, not as much or as big. Still beautiful though. The ride was the hardest part only because it was so far from Phuket. Almost 2 hours from Kata. Not sure if I would do the Similan Island tour again but I would absolutely recommend for you to do it at least once. But, aside from these tours that are outside of Phuket, there are other tours and attractions that we enjoyed on land. Stay tuned for Part 2!!! 🙂
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Posted on August 30, 2015, in Hotels, Thailand, Top things to do, Travel Ideas, Travel Tips, Trip Reports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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