Monday, 25 March 2013

Two Weeks in Thailand: Part Two!


Top 3: Favorite Adventures in Thailand

There were so many fabulous moments it is very difficult to select just a short list to share with you. After thinking long and hard these are the few that I came up with.




Two million bats leaving their cave!
1. Trekking through Khao Yai National Park

Jersey Girl and I decided on making a trip up to the National Park - we both were craving adventure in the Jungle and to see some wild life up close and personal! Turns out this was the BEST part of out trip (in my opinion). 

In doing some research we stumbles upon Greenleaf Guesthouse and Tours (http://www.greenleaftour.com/). In addition to having very reasonably priced rooms they run a One and a Half day tour in the National Park. Their guides are extremely knowledgeable and a lot of fun to be around. The guides make the tour exceptionally interesting and fun!

Rock formation in the Bat Cave
The first day of the tour you head out to a local swimming hole in the late afternoon - the view isn't so nice but the water is beautifully refreshing!  The next stop is an underground temple to explore a bat cave! The monks use the bat cave temple for meditation and seclusion. After looking at the bats in the cave, you head up to a ridge to watch an astounding 2 million bats leave their cave to hunt for food! The sight is breathtaking. They fly out in a line and twirl and move as one - it is beautiful.

Macaque!




Buffalo Spider







Day two is the full day tour and is packed with animal spotting, Jungle walking and fun information. You trekk about 5 KM's through the jungle, see various forms of insects and reptiles, monkeys and birds. If you are lucky - which we happened to be - you will see a wild Elephant or two! You trekk up to a ridge for lunch head out to a waterfall and then spend the last part of the day driving around the national park enjoying the scenery and hoping for more animal encounters. My description does not do the tour justice as it is impossible to put into words how fantastic it truly is. 

 Beautiful Waterfall that you end the day with
Wild Male Elephant!









2. Snorkeling Tour in Koh Chang Marine National Park 

On this delightful day the entire day is spent on the ocean speed boating from Island to Island and snorkeling at each stop! The fish are similar at each stop but the rock formations under the water were quite different and very cool.
Para-para-paradise

The tour includes pick up and drop off to your hotel on Koh Chang - something that is much appreciated!  (http://www.i-sitekohchang.com/koh-chang-tours/speed-boat-tour.html) You leave for the tour from Kai Bae Marina and head out into that deep blue landscape for a day on the water. Once again, the tour guides are wonderful, very lively and always trying to entertain guests - I think this is just part of how the Thai people are.
Koh Wai

The last disembark of the day is Koh Wai - a little slice of Paradise. If I head back to this area of Thailand anytime soon I would spend much more time here. From the small bungalows to the white sand beach and the very relaxed atmosphere this is the place to really kick off your shoes and relax. The coconut trees almost grow right up to the water - it is simply stunning.
Mamas with their Babies!



On the way back to the Marina you stop to feed a local family of Monkeys on the rocks of an Island. They are too cute and it is really a heart-warming way to end your day!


3. Exploring Kao San Raod and Area

One of my favorite things to do when I get to a new city is gather my bearings and people watch especially in the area that I will be staying in. After Jersey Girl and I checked into out hostel, ditched our bags and waited for the shower [there is nothing worse than an out of water shower right when you get off the plane], we headed out for some face time with our new surroundings.

We stayed on Kao San Road in Bangkok. This is like grand central station for tourists. Everything from the cheap clothing stands to the pubs are specifically designed to lure tourists into their layer. I will be the first to admit that it workds. After spending one evening out on the 'town' on Kao San Rad I had no desire to search for a different sort of nightlife anywhere.

The best food in Bangkok can be found here, as well as super cheap drinks, wonderful live music, exotic food choices, and any type of souvenir you could ever want. Tourist paradise, once you have found your way around!


My trip was phenomenal  and these are just three of my favorite moments! If you are heading to Thailand anytime soon, these are MUST-Do's!







Saturday, 9 March 2013

Two Weeks in Thailand! Part One.

A two week winter holiday means one thing for me, going somewhere HOT! I was tired of the mild and balmy weather and ready for some sunshine. Though, I probably wont be saying that for much longer, and will probably be wishing for the opposite.

I am not a lay on the beach and  get a sun tan for 10 days kind of girl. I do enjoy the heat, mixed with cultural or environmental experiences, and a little surf and sand time is always welcome.

Two weeks is quite the long time to be away, so rather than giving you a day by day run down of what I did and ate I am going to provide you with a few Top 5 lists for your reading pleasure.

Top 5: Favorite Thai Foods to Eat

1.Pad Thai

This delicious and filling food is pretty decent anywhere you get it. A mixture of noodles, veggies, fried egg, and your choice of meat with a light sauce combine to make a tasty morsel! 

Yum. Yum. Yum
Make sure you use the four different accouterments that a solid pad thai place or cart provides you with (fish sauce, sugar, chilies and vinegar). They really change the taste of the dish as a whole - and you can change the dish to your specific taste. The best places to get Pad Thai are the street carts - I know, they look a little (okay, maybe a lot) dodgy but you just need to grin, pick one and go for it. DONT miss out. You will not regret it!

Some of the best places to eat street pad thai are along Kao San Road - there are tons of options and all busy enough to make you feel secure in eating their food. 

My rating: 5 Street cart vendors out of Five



2. Mangoes With Sticky Rice

Seriously, whoever came up with this delicious desert/snack has my eternal gratitude and is a genius. Mangoes on their own are delicious  and sticky rice a fantastic invention, combine the two together and add a little coconut milk and you have a scrumptious, refreshing and filling dish. 
Sweet and Creamy with a Grain supplement! YUMMY!

I personally like to cut up the mango and drench it in the coconut milk and then eat it with the sticky rice, but you have to find your own way with this one!

My rating: 5 peeled mangoes out of 5

3.Chicken and Pineapple, Baked in a Pineapple
Looks and tasted delectable!

So, I am not actually sure if this is a standard Thai dish, or the one restaurant we went to just happened to have it on their menu, BUT it was FANTASTIC. I love chicken, I love pineapple and this was just the perfect combination of the two. Not only does it combine the chicken and pineapple, but it also has rice, corn, raisins and some other veggies in it. Super YUM! I would eat it again for sure! Plus it looks cute, and who doesn't like cute looking food?

My rating: 4 baked pineapples out of 5







4. Thai Green Curry

My own creation in my cooking class!
WARNING: If you do not like spicy food make sure you tell your server for MILD spice. As a tourist you will get  the less spicy version anyway, but it can still pack a punch!

Green curry is made with green curry past, chilies, an assortment of veggies, coconut milk and meat. While the heat can be intense it is seriously tasty and you should 100% give it the ol' college try!

My rating: 5 Mini Egg plants out of 5

5. Spicy Fish Salad 

Warning: Only those who LOVE spice should attempt to eat!

A combination of all sorts of ocean creatures and, of course, veggies, mixed with a very SPICY dressing. Not for the cool of tongue.

HOT HOT HOT!




My rating: 5 Hot chillies out of 5


I hope that you enjoy some of these foods as much as I have!