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Archive for July 4th, 2009

R & R

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park

When  Megan last left you, we were getting our bearings back in Koh Samui, Thailand, an island in the south.  After our disappointments in Laos and our bout with homesickness, we needed something to get us out of our funk.  It turns out that a Thai island is just what the doctor ordered.

Though Koh Samui was a little more crowded, a little more developed, and not quite as stunningly beautiful as Koh Chang, the island we visited with my Mom and Andrea in May, it did the trick.  Though we complained about laziness and complacency when we were dealing with our little burnout thing, laziness and complacency didn’t seem to bother us when we were sitting on a beach in southern Thailand.

We lucked out and found an awesome little bungalow about 100 meters from the beach, complete with complimentary beach chairs and a very friendly staff.  There were the usual touts on the beach as there seem to be everywhere here in SE Asia, but they were all super friendly, always smiling, and very cordial when you gave them a “No Thank You”, provided it was accompanied by a big smile.

Most people’s complaints about Thailand are that it’s too touristy.  And while yes, it is that, it doesn’t seem to affect the local people.  They’re as friendly as ever, as evidenced by the two ice cream men (boys, really) that we became friends with throughout our week in Koh Samui.  Every day when they first saw us, they would come up to us, shake both of our hands, ask how our night was and what we did, and just sit and chat with us for a few minutes.  And every time they passed us throughout the day, they would always stop to say hello and see how we were doing.  And this was all before we ever bought a thing from either of them.  After a few days,  and since they were so nice, we did decide to purchase some ice cream from them a few times.  But it was solely because of the friendliness, I swear.

There’s not a whole lot more to tell about our time in Koh Samui.  We didn’t do much.  We had a few morning runs on the beach, and one morning we took a long walk early to get some pictures.

Hat Lamai

Hat Lamai 2

Hat Lamai 3

Hat Lamai 5

Hat Lamai 7

And while the weather was beautiful pretty much the entire time we were there, it did storm one late afternoon right before sunset, creating the opportunity for a great photoshoot.

Storm Pics

Storm Pics 2

Storm Pics 3

Storm Pics 4

Storm Pics 5

Storm Pics 6

Another great thing about Koh Samui was the seafood.  While we weren’t able to partake as often  as we would have liked to because of our limited budget, we did splurge for one dinner on the beach where we picked out our own red snapper and small, blue crabs that we ate for dinner.  We enjoyed a nice, quiet, beautiful, romantic beachfront dinner of the day’s fresh catch.

We had our choice

We had our choice

Our table for the night

Our table for the night

It wasn’t all lounging on the beach.  We did decide to take one day to visit the nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park, which consists of hundreds of little islands in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand.  We had a great day taking a boat ride around the islands and hiking straight up about 500 meters on one of the islands for some breathtaking views of the park.

Us

Ang Thong National Park

Ang Thong National Park 3

Ang Thong National Park 4

Ang Thong National Park 5

Ang Thong National Park 6

Ang Thong National Park 7

Ang Thong National Park 8

Ang Thong National Park 9

Us at Ang Thong National Park

And now we’re back in Bangkok for the fourth time, and it’s quickly becoming one of our favorite cities on the trip (Megan will have more on that in the next post).  We picked up our Vietnamese and Indian visas yesterday when we returned, and we fly to Hanoi on Tuesday, which we’re both very excited about.

We’ve also had many discussions about the end of this little adventure, as it is nearing.  While we haven’t made any clear cut decisions, yet, we are getting closer and closer to planning the rest of the trip and booking that final flight home back to the United States and St. Louis.  We don’t have an exact return date, yet, and the final decision depends on what kind of word we receive from Megan’s employer.  Hopefully we’ll find out sooner rather than later, and we will obviously keep everyone updated on our exact return date.

Have a great 4th of July weekend everyone, we miss you all a whole lot, and until next time…

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