CRT+RPK=RTW – Thailand 9

SO it’s our final day in Thailand and I though I’d kick out one last blog entry from this beautiful and fascinating country. We’ve spent a longer period of time on Ko Samui than we have spent in any other one place on our trip. I think that must say something. This island life is something that I’ve always loved and it’s been fun watching Ryan fall in love with it too. Before we left I was worried that I wouldn’t get him in the water, he would shudder when we talked about how deep the ocean is and what might live in the depths. For a fish like me, that was a little disconcerting. However, I’m proud to report that the boy has taken to it. He’s lightly sunburned with saltwater and beach grime in his sun bleached hair, and sand all over his feet. Just the way I like ’em. AND yesterday he went snorkeling for the first time. Yes, he was swimmin’ with the fishes and loved it. Our boat trip yesterday was fantastic. Ryan mentioned that we were taking a high speed boat out to Angthong National marine park. It certainly was a speed boat. We parked ourselves right out in front for the best view and some early morning sunshine. Along with those perks came the biggest bone rattling, spine crunching bumps ever. The boat would lift out of the air on a big swell and then crash down with such force that I couldn’t help but scream every time it happened. The first five minutes of this was great fun and the six of us ( ryan and me, a young and gorgeous Israeli couple and a mother/daughter aussie duo -the daughter was another actor!) on the front of the boat we’re loving it. 55 minutes later, we were all ready for the boat to dock. It wasn’t nauseating, just torture on the bones. We pulled into the marine park which is actaully made up of 80 little islands, only 6 of them inhabited. The island we went to for snorkelling was called Ko Wao (wow!) and it was pretty neat but seemed like maybe tourism, careless anchoring and the ecologically destructive practice of feeding bread to the fish has diminished thevariety of sealife, damaged the coral and clouded the water. That said, it still had some wow-factor. We saw all different types of coral, sea cucumbers, anemones with clown fish (like Nemo) parrotfish (some pretty big ones). Ryan even got adventurous and dove down under the surface (something that I’ve never been able to do) and started doing some expert fish spotting. He found one that was almost completely camoflouged on a piece of coral. I took a quick look and went away quickly beacuse it looked a little too much like those crazy poisonous Lionfish you always see in aquariums. Ryan’s only issue while snorkelling was that everytime I waved at him he would smile at me and then end up with a mouthful of salty, cloudy fish water (ew!). We snorekled for an hour and were happy with what we got to see. Of course when we got back on the boat and headed back out to sea the Israeli guy asked if we’d made it over to this cave thing that neither of us had even noticed. He told us it was “amazing!” and we both felt a little sad. Like he had gotten the bigger ice cream cone or something. Oh, well. We’re going to the Great Barrier Reef in a couple of days, what do you think about that, buddy! Next we went for a little sight seeing through the marine park and took some great pictures of crazy rock formations and limestone coves. All of that beautiful rock will bring out th einner geologist in anybody. The camera freaked out againbut after several tense minutes, it started up again. I am going to write Fuji a long letter when we get home! Our next stop was an island with an interior salt water lagoon. It was quite a hike to get to but so worth it. The lagoon itself was a deep blue-green color and was surrounded by limestone cliffs cover in sub tropical jungle. We saw a centipied that was about 5inches long and had a million legs. SO gross we had to get a picture! Also near the lagoon was a lookout point where you could see all kinds of of the other islands. More photo ops! Then we were whisked off yo yet another of the islands for lunch and kayaking. A note about sea-kayaking. Not really easy. And not really as much fun as one might think. Especially since neither of us really knew what we were doing and we had our super sensitive camera, or’the baby’ as we’ve taken to calling it,wrapped in a plastic bag and cover with a towel. We pretty much soaked ourselves in trying to paddle as fast as the super-human Israeli couple. I’m pretty sure they were genetic mutants capable of doing everything better than everyone else. Anyway, we did eventuall make it to a secluded beach where we saw MONKEYS! Live monkeys in the wild in Thailand. They were jumping from tree to tree. It was a happy moment for me. Sadly, the little scamps were too quick to photograph. Out of the kayak and back onto the speed boat which was much smoother on the ride back to ko samui. We got some great travel tips and sight seeing advice from the aussie duo. I was happy to know that we’ll be able to see humpback whales while we’re there so you can look forward to a whale watching story in the coming weeks. Back on land we were both sunburned and kind of sleepy but we managed to drag ourselves out of our air conditioned bungalow for an early dinner. We made a zombie-like walk toward a restraunt called Pisces 99 (I HAD to eat there, couldn’t help myself) and had a lovely seafood feast. Yes, first he swam with them and then he ate them for dinner! I know his family will wonder what I did with their son and brother, but I promise you he hasn’t contractedsome kind of fever which alters personality and tastebuds.He is Ryan as you know and love him, just with a broader idea of fun and food.I had some kind of lobster curry fried rice served inside a pineapple and ryan had prawns the size of his head with cashews and onions and stuff. It was a lovely meal and just what we needed to send ourselves into a deep rejuvinating sleep. I’m not nearly as sunburned as I anticiapted after a full day on the water (wow, sunblock really works!) and so we’re venturing down to the beach to soak up our last day here. A massage might be in order later this afternoon to soothe those kayaking muscles… and then of course there’s the dilemma of what to eat next and the question of whether to see more thai boxing tonight, which is supposed to be great according to the little truck that drives up and down the main street by the beach blaring a pre recorded message over a bullhorn”SEE the champions OF the world. SEE real muay Thai. TOnight. TOnight.” I am intrigued of course. Tomorrow we hop a plane (probably a tiny scary one -i’m just praying that it doesn’t have a propeller.) for Bangkok and then overnight to Sydney then up to Cairns where we begin a three week road trip down the east coast back to Sydney. My mom did all kinds of internet work for us and found us a realtively inexpensive car so we’re set to pick it up at the airport and be on our merry way. After this week in Ko Samui, my spirit has revived and I’m ready to and excited to go down under. Thailand has been wonderful. It’s a place I’d recoommend to anyone for the food, the natural beauty and the friendliness of the Thai people. And it’s incredibly cheap! I think we’ll be back someday. There are lots of things we didn’t see and so much more of the country to explore. It’s on our short list of return trips.

On another note, Congrats to the Frederickson(en?)-Eitel clanwho now number 4! Welcome to the world little man! And Happy Birthday Pete Hansen! Save some cake for us. Oh and YAY for Tiffany and Jack who set a date for their wedding! We now get to go to Jamaica in December to welcome them intothe married couple club! That’s it from Thailand. Long Live King Bumibol! Love you all, talk next from Australia! CRT & RPK
Posted from Thailand:

posted Saturday July 2006