It’s been 6 years since I’ve been back to Koh Tao, and although a lot has changed, as soon as I stepped off the ferry, a million memories came rushing back. The first time I was here was in 2003. I spent 2 months here doing my Divemaster Course, and loved every minute of it. Since then I couldn’t wait to come back, so when Mike and I decided to head to Thailand, I knew we had to come here.
March 19, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report
We spent a couple more days in Phuket, chilling on the beach, working, and taking a cooking class. Then on Thursday we headed to Koh Samui. Koh Samui, is a little more our style, but still a bit bigger than we’d actually like. There are however, quite a few options for long term rentals so we might look into it a little further.
Last time I was in Thailand I never got around to taking a cooking class. It’s something I really wished I would have done, so this time around it was at the top of my list.
Tuesday morning we were picked up from our hotel and driven half way around the island to The Phuket Thai Cookery School. Sure, there were closer ones to our hotel, but most were more expensive, shorter, or just didn’t look as good. Plus the Thai Cookery School looked like it was the most hands on, which is what I was looking for.
March 13, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday
Travel Lesson #347 – It always takes you twice as long to get somewhere than you think it will.
We left our hotel in Kuala Lumpur at 9:30 in the morning and finally arrived in Phuket, Thailand just after 5pm. What was suppose to be just a quick trip turned out to be an all day affair. But we made it. We arrived in Thailand and are happy to be here.
March 6, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday
March 4, 2009 - Filed under Stuff to do
Our visit to the sanctuary to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary was unforgettable, and the highlight of our six months in Asia so far. While doing some research online I came across the email address for a man named Razali…. also known as The Elephant Man. Not really knowing what to expect I sent him an email and enquired about a trip to the sanctuary. He quickly responded and we arranged to met up saturday morning.
During the two hour ride out to the sanctuary, Razali told us story after story of the elephants and the history of Kuala Gandah. This man is an endless source of information and knows pretty much everything there is to know about elephants. We arrived at the sanctuary just before ten and joined the staff for a quick breakfast before being introduced to the elephants. Most of the activity happens in the afternoon, so all of the organized tours from KL arrive between 12 and 1pm, but because we were there early and with Razali we were able to get involved almost as soon as we arrived.
While doing a bit of research on getting our 90-day visas for Thailand, we read a few negative reviews of the Thai Embassy in Manila, so instead decided to try our luck in Kuala Lumpur. On Tuesday morning we flew to Manila where we had a 10 hour layover before flying to KL… yes that’s right 10 hours. I’m not sure what the other terminals of the Manila airport are like, but the newly opened terminal 3 is not a very enjoyable place to spend 10 hours. Most of it is still under construction, however it didn’t seem like any work was actually being done. Everything was boarded up and there was not a construction worker in sight. There are very few options for food, so if you’re flying through this terminal, try and eat before you get to the airport.
We finally arrived in KL at around 12:30am, and by the time we got to our hotel it was just after 2am. We had an early start the next morning as we wanted to make sure we were at the Thai Embassy before 9, in order to avoid the line. The whole process went pretty smoothly and we were told to come back the next afternoon to pick up our passports.
Our hotel was situated in the heart of KL’s Chinatown, which is pretty much tourist central. As a result most of our time was spent close to there, which was good, but I think if we return to KL we’ll look at other options, as after four days it was a little bit busy for us.
It’s been six months since we started this crazy adventure of ours and arrived in the Philippines. We weren’t quite sure what we were getting ourselves into when we landed in Cebu on Sept, 2, but if there is one thing I’ve learned since we started this trip is that you can do all the research in the world, but you will never know what a place is truly like until you arrive.
It’s been an amazing six months. There have been some ups and some downs, and it hasn’t always been exactly what we hoped it would be, but I wouldn’t trade it for a minute. Mike and I are both very excited about the next phase, and are looking forward to arriving in Thailand after a brief week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Before we do, we wanted to give you a little recap of our time in the Philippines.