Sunday, April 17, 2011

Turtle Island, shopping marathon, and the return home

After the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, it was a nice change spending the last ten days relaxing in the southern island of Koh Thao.  After being ravaged by massive rainstorms a mere two weeks ago, floods destroyed many of the numerous dive shops and bungalows.  Luckily by the time we arrived the weather was clear and beautiful.  Although much of the beach had actually washed away with the storm, we still managed to have an amazing time.  

Ryan spent the first few days working on his diving certifications in the secluded Chalok Bay area of the island.  I worked on my tan.  In the evenings we scootered around, ate pad thai from pretty much every restaurant we could find, and watched some amazing sunsets sipping cocktails on the beach.  We also had some delicious breakfasts beachside, sipping mango smoothies and fresh squeezed pineapple juice.  We've gotten so spoiled!  Our last few nights were spent in an adorable bungalow on the much busier Sairee Beach.  The beach and its many bars were packed, but in the wake of the storm our resort was nearly deserted.  Our only company was the outrageously noisy frogs who croaked for most of the night.

We were lucky enough to hit the island during Thai New Year.  As I mentioned, the celebration consists of everyone drenching everyone else with buckets of water, hoses, and squirt guns.  As we scootered and walked around we were doused with water and painted with a kind of baby powder paste.  What a fun (and soaking wet) day!  We had a blast.  Our time in Thailand wouldn't have been complete without a Cabaret performance (wait for the video) and a captivating fire show on the beach. 

It was difficult to leave paradise but we had good reason.  Today we spent a full day perusing the capital's massive weekend market.  It was a shopaholic's dream!  Over a thousand stalls offered pretty much anything you can think of.  Even Ryan was captivated from ten to five, with a break for Thai iced tea, fiery papaya salad, and some kind of banana leaf kebab.

Tomorrow we'll attend a Thai cooking class in the morning (so excited!) and in the evening we'll head to the airport to fly home.  It's been an amazing year in Korea and an incredible adventure in Southeast Asia these last few weeks.  We are also ready to go home after being away for nearly fourteen months.  We can't wait to share all of our stories and pictures and are even more excited to see you all very soon!

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