And a good Sunday evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. How great was it? Well, when you consider that Team Taylor SACKED OUT at 9 PM (that's right - NINE IN THE EVENING) on Saturday night and woke up at 11 AM this morning, you can tell that a) we REALLY made it count on Saturday and b) we were BEYOND EXHAUSTED by the time we hit the hay. But recapping the weekend is not the goal of tonight's blog - we need to wrap Thailand, baby!
On Saturday, we left the hotel at 8:30 AM for our first and only foray to the islands. I expected it to be cool, but let me tell you - Phang Nga Bay is simply EPIC by anyone's standards. WOW - what a day in paradise. Our guide, Lim, was very good, although he struck TERROR into my heart early when he said, "You will go to 5 island today including floating maaaahket...floating maaaahket." Seriously, I had IMMEDIATE flashbacks to being in the Delta with Dingbat, and consequently I was in a dark place for about 5 minutes. However, we were soon on the pier for the journey, and all was right with the world.
You'll see me splash a whole host of pics up on this blog, but the reality is that the photos simply don't do this place justice. We had a 45 minute boat ride, during which time the islands of the bay emerged from the distance. When we got close, we hit the first island, Penang Island, where we had SUCH a cool experience - canoeing through a bat cave (and YES - Lim made the "Batman waiting for you!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" joke about 714 times - SERIOUSLY)! So here's how they do this - basically Jenny and I step into a rubber canoe, and our guide does ALL the paddling. All you have to do is take photos. You enter the cave through a hole in the rock that's built for someone of "The Littles" cartoon (yes - I went there), which involves you LAYING DOWN until you're under the level of the boat. You then lay there and hope your face doesn't get clawed whilst your guide pushes you through. For the record - you rise/repeat this another 3 times, as he takes you around the various areas of the island (we saw TONS of monkeys - including one swimming!).
After Penang Island, we went to Hong Island, where we got a chance to swim around a bit (as well as be lazy whilst our guide canoed). It was BLAZING hot out there, so some much needed ocean time was JUST what the doctor ordered. We then stepped back onboard the boat for the next big activity of the day - LUNCH!
Seriously - these guys had prepared a FEAST, and we ate like kings - chicken satay, coconut shrimp, tons of rice, salad, you name it. I was one CHUUUUUUBBY BUNNY when it was over.
After that it was over to the FLOATING MAAAAAHKET...FLOATING MAAAAAAAHKET, where I FINALLY got to see one in action. It was really cool, and Jenny went into OVERDRIVE working this gal for a beach outfit. The gal wanted something like $15 for a beach shirt (which was really cute, for the record), but Jenny was having none of it. She drops the "I'll give you $8" speech, and when the gal pauses, Muffin Puffin just turns and bolts (I was really impressed, for the record), and the gal instantly calls back "Okay $8!!!" Similarly, I bought a sarong (yep, that's right - and I look HOT in it - who says dudes can't rock dresses on the beach?"). I was willing to pay a whopping $6 (she'd started me at $15), and I was honestly going to come back to her after I browsed a bit. However, when she started screaming "Okay $5! $5!!!!" I honestly couldn't help myself. And let me tell you - there is NOTHING sexier than a pasty white ang mo rockin' a black and blue skirt with little fish bone pictures on it - good times.
We then rolled over to James Bond Island, so named because the movie "The Man with the Golden Gun" was filmed here in 1974. We just walked around this place for about 30 minutes, but it was SO COOL. All I could think of was Dr. Evil's lair and picture sharks with lasers on their heads circling in the water. However, aside from my mega-hot wife, I didn't see many potential fembots...details. Incidentally, the first photo of the blog was taken at James Bond Island - it's most famous for that column that sticks up in the middle of the bay.
The last stop of the day was Tulu island, which involved about 20 seconds on the canoe and then 15 minutes in a malaria infested mangrove swamp. Granted, it was a less than profound way to end the trip, but there was no denying that it was among the best day trips we've EVER taken. And then, on the way home, our boy Lim brings up about 4,000 pounds of chicken and starts chucking strips into the water. 10 minutes later, we have EIGHTEEN EAGLES following the boat, swooping down and looking like one of the Five Armies from the Hobbit. Seriously - it was out of this world watching those birds swoop down like lightning bolts and fly in from the distant peaks of the islands. Some of them even caught the chicken in mid-air! SO COOL. We were then treated to a SPECTACULAR sunset along the water, with the sun finally dipping below Phuket island. Again - just amazing and WAY better than expected or advertised.
We finally arrived back at the hotel 90 minutes late but with NO complaints. We then rolled into Kata, where we found a CUTE little rooftop restaurant (we were the ONLY cats in the place). Muffin of course rocked some Tom Yam, and I went for another fiery curry. And then, with full hearts and fuller bellies, we passed out around 11 PM.
On the Sunday, we were WORTHLESS (which was great). We checked out of the hotel and then promptly walked RIGHT BACK INTO IT, spending all day swimming by the pool, swimming in the ocean (which was POWERFUL - not like last time!), and just relaxing. And considering that there was the "local market" in the hotel, we were drinking $1.50 beers whilst chillin' with the Kindle and livin' the high life (sans the Lady in the Moon).
We then engaged in the final activity of the trip - a last dinner at After Beach Bar! We rocked up there about 4:30 in the afternoon, spent 3 hours sitting on the bench that faces the ocean, watched the sun go down, and literally got emotional about 15 times about how truly blessed and lucky we are to have each other and be on this amazing adventure together. The smile on my face in that photo pretty much says it all.
We then rolled back to the hotel and then the airport, at which point we "made our stage" and headed back to the Sing.
Okay, that's Thailand in 2 posts and definitely all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny