Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Exploring the Phi Phi Islands


As always, I've saved my favourite Thailand post for last...today I wanted to share with you our day spent exploring the Phi Phi Islands. This was the day trip I was most apprehensive about, I'm not the best on boats or around fish {and I'm terrified of the sea!} and this day was a lot of speeding around the islands on a boat and a lot of being in the water with the fish 😬. However, like the trooper that I am, I soldiered on and I'm so glad I did - the Phi Phi islands are like heaven on earth, actual postcard paradise. 



We started our day with a briefing at the marina, where our instructor told us that although the weather looked perfect for a day at sea, it was in fact, very choppy. I'm the worst person when it comes to boats, but luckily the tour company gave us some complimentary sea sickness tablets and I had my super trendy sea bands on, so I was fine for the entire day...even if a group of girls did laugh at my anti-sea sickness getup 🙃. 


After our briefing we headed out to the speed boat where we jetted off {for about an hour} to Pileh Lagoon, and you can believe me when I say this - I have never seen water like it. The above photo doesn't even have a filter 😵. After we'd all gotten over the initial shock of just how blue and picturesque the lagoon was, we dropped the anchor and jumped off the boat and into the lagoon. Admittedly I was a little too adventurous for my own good and had to ask for a life jacket to be thrown in because my weak little arms were tired after about 30 seconds 😂 but nevertheless, it was an unforgettable experience and I was so bowled over by my surroundings that I completely forgot about the potential fish swimming around me. 



After we were done swimming around Pileh Lagoon, we jumped back onto the boat for a quick post-swim snack {the tour guides were very generous with the snacks throughout the day which was very much appreciated}, before jetting off to our next location - snorkelling! As we got to our snorkelling spot, the boats captain informed us that there was a whale shark in the water, and while it wasn't dangerous, I just couldn't force myself to get into the water. I was scared of snorkelling as it is, so this was just too much for me. I was however, able to have a little sunbathe on the boat and enjoy the surroundings...I could even see all of the fish in the water from the boat as the sea was SO clear. 


After our snorkelling session {I was promised another attempt after lunch where there would be no whale sharks!}, we headed to Phi Phi Don for a Thai buffet on the beach. I think this was my favourite spot, and not just because it involved eating...I've never been on an Island so uninhabited, it was like something from a movie. We sat on the beach after our buffet sipping Piña Coladas out of coconuts and I honestly don't think there is any greater pleasure in life. After a quick post-cocktail dip in the ocean, we headed back to the boat for our next snorkelling session in shallower waters...so no whale sharks 🙌🏻. 


This time I did manage to get into the water for the snorkelling, however I lasted about five minutes before all of the fish and the fear got too much and I went screaming my way back to the safety of the boat...but at least I tried it 😂. After I was fully recovered from my snorkelling experience we headed off to one of the islands to see some baby monkeys {I apologise in advance anyone who now has the 'Baby Monkey' song stuck in their head} before heading to Bamboo Island for an hour of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal clear waters - the perfect way to finish the day. 


Again, we booked our tour using Get Your Guide, and I can't recommend them enough. The hotel pick ups and drop offs were a lifesaver and nothing was too much trouble on the day. This was also one of my favourite trips as we were allowed to go at our own pace instead of being rushed onto the next destination, and there was plenty of time to enjoy our surroundings and actually swim in the sea instead of only getting enough time to snap a quick photo. 

xo Becky 

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Longboats, Sea Canoeing and James Bond Island


If you read my Thailand Photo Diary last week, then you'll know when I was in Thailand at the beginning of the month, we took a day trip to the infamous James Bond Island. As it was such a jam packed day, I wanted to capture it all in a blog post before I forget everything that we did! 

We booked all of our trips before we got to Thailand with Get Your Guide. When we got there a lot of people recommended booking in Thailand itself, however as we only had a week and didn't want to spend it traipsing around looking for the best deal and filling out insurance forms, we decided to book before. This just meant that we had everything planned out and could maximise time spent by the pool, something I'm so glad we did as a week really isn't long enough!


Our guide picked us up from our hotel bright and early, and we made the {quite long} journey across to Wat Suwan Khuha, otherwise known as the Money Temple. The main reason for visiting the cave was to see the giant golden reclining buddha, which really was quite something. However, as there were only a handful of us in the cave it really was quite eerie... 


Outside the cave there are hundreds of monkeys ready to steal your food at any given opportunity, so I'd recommend you save eating your lunch until a bit later in the day..unless you want it snatched by a monkey! 🐒

After visiting the temple, we drove a little more before getting on one of the traditional longboats and sailing to Talu Island. On the journey we were able to take in the huge islands coming out of the sea and the traditional Thai fishermen on their boats around us. 



When we finally reached Talu Island {it's about an hour away}, we hopped into our sea canoes and were taken around the island to see the sights, including canoeing through a cave...and even fitted in a little sunbathing while we were there! After our sea canoeing, we headed back to the longboat where we were taken to Phang Nga Bay, otherwise known as James Bond Island. 



Not being the greatest James Bond Fan {I've only seen the more recent films}, I hadn't actually seen 'The Man with the Golden Gun', which was the film set on the Island...but there were plenty of signs everywhere to let me know what was filmed and pointing out key parts of the film. As expected, James Bond Island was seriously crowded - all of the tour groups arrive at the same time and everyone wants that iconic photo...needless to say, I obviously joined in and queued for my photo 😬. Apart from the beautiful view, there isn't a lot to do on James Bond Island...so we hiked around a bit {not the easiest in flip flops!} and had a little dip in the sea before heading back to the boat. 


We finished the day with lunch at a nearby floating muslim fishing village, which was delicious {and seriously spicy...too much for my English tastebuds!} before heading back to the mainland by longboat and driving back to the hotel in time for one happy hour piña colada! 

Overall, it was a great day and the views were well worth the waiting around, but there was a lot of stopping and starting and I can't help but think the day would have been better had we of only visited one or two attractions instead of cramming in so many in the 30 degree heat - just something to bear in mind if you're thinking of booking something similar. 

xo Becky  

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Thailand Photo Diary

If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know that I recently took a trip to Phuket in Thailand {sorry about all of that holiday spam!}. With the exception of a few day trips, we had a fairly chilled week and spent most of the time relaxing in the resort, so instead of putting together one of my 'Ultimate Guide To' posts {because we really didn't explore enough to warrant that} I thought I'd just share some of my favourite snaps from the week and let you know what we got up to. I'll also do seperate posts on some of our day trips as we managed to cram a lot in and this post would to years long if I tried to cram it all in! 😊

Sunday 


We arrived in Phuket late on Saturday night after one of the longest journeys Ive ever had, by the time we arrived we were tired {we'd been awake for 25 hours!}, hungry and very much ready for a shower and bed. Instead of going out we ordered room service, relaxed in the room and got an early night ready for the next day. 

As expected, we were pretty jet lagged on Sunday so we decided to spend the day at the resort, exploring the six {!} infinity pools, numerous hotel bars and generally lovely surroundings. We stayed at the Mandarava Resort & Spa in Karon Beach which was slightly quieter than Patong, its popular neighbour. I'll be doing another post on our hotel as it really does deserve some recognition, so spoiler alert: it was fabulous! 

Monday



Monday started with an extremely early start as we headed further inland to visit the Phuket Elephant Retirement Park. Before visiting Thailand we knew we wanted to see the elephants, but didn't want to get caught in the usual tourist trap of riding the elephants as they are normally mistreated and it's incredibly cruel - something my conscience couldn't deal with. Whilst researching we came across the Phuket Elephant Retirement Park, a park which takes in elephants from the circus, tourist attractions, etc and gives them a better life.

We booked online direct with the park themselves and they kindly picked us up from our hotel {and drove us back later in the day}. When we arrived at the park we learnt about the parks goals and mission and how they look after the elephants, before preparing them a meal of pumpkin cakes, sugar canes and bananas.

We then got to meet the elephants {including two babies!}, feed them and get a photo with the group before we joined the elephants in a mud bath..not something I thought I'd be doing on my holiday but it was so much fun getting stuck in the mud with the baby elephants! After the mud bath we washed off in the next pool before learning how to make Pad Thai and sitting down for a traditional Thai feast. If you're heading to Thailand, I'd thoroughly recommend a trip to the Elephant Retirement Park - you can find out more and book here.


After our morning with the elephants, we chilled by the pool before heading into Patong for Thai Food and catching the sun set over the beach which was just magical. 

Tuesday


Tuesday was another early start for us, as we headed out to Phang Na Bay, or more commonly known: James Bond Island. This is where 'The Man With The Golden Gun' was filmed, and whilst it's now a tourist hot spot, it really is something to be seen if you find yourself in Phuket or Krabi. I won't go into this in too much detail as I plan on doing another blog post on everything we did on this trip, as it's way too much to cram into this one blog post!

Wednesday


Wednesday was yet another early start for us {can you sense a theme here?} as we were up and ready by 7am to head to the Phi Phi islands for a day of exploring, snorkelling, relaxing and monkey spotting. Again, I won't say too much here as we did a lot and I'll be doing a separate post on this.

Thursday & Friday



Thursday and Friday were our last two days in Thailand, and after a busy week of day trips and exploring, we decided we wanted to finish the trip on a more relaxing note. I did a lot of reading, sunbathing and snacking, and couldn't have asked for a better end to the trip. We split our time between the beach and some of the resorts {six!} infinity pools.

We also managed to squeeze in a wild night out {Magaluf style} in Patong before we left, and I would go into the details but it's honestly all a bit of a blur...free Piña Colada will do that to you!

xo Becky