insert all the heart eye emojis !!!!
because of our initial travel schedule, jordan and i would crash at 8pm and wake up around 4am ready to go - it stayed like this throughout the entire trip! it played to our advantage, we would wake up and skype our families as they got off of work, then be the first ones out.
we took the first boat to railay beach that morning, and were shocked to hop out of the boat onto an almost deserted beach. we got private massages, hiked to a few other beaches and up to a lookout point, met another couple from maine (who will show up later on this trip) kayaked around the bay and made it back to ao nang in time for a dip in our pool and the sunset on the beach. those green cliffs and blue water were just as pretty as everyone said times 10,000 !!!!
|jordan made a friend, so cute|
|ALL THE MANGO STICKY RICE|
the next morning we were planning on taking an 11:00 boat to koh phi phi don, but were given some bad information that resulting in a very panicked packing situation - the boat left at 9:30!! our front desk friend called the ferry, asked them to wait for us, and called a tuk tuk. he held up traffic, threw our bags in the taxi, and yelled at him in thai (i assume) to get us there QUICK.
guys, that little tuk tuk was hitting like 50 mph I SWEAR. we were passing CARS!! (if we would have crashed we literally would have had a zero percent chance of surviving.) it was stressful but actually really exciting. and we made our boat!
once on phi phi, we taxied by boat to our resort. we stayed in beach-side bungalows that were pretty removed from town. although the room was really cool and thailand-ey, we concluded that having AC is always the better choice. (i also woke up one morning to find a cat under our bed and i had no idea how long it had been there??? like okay???) the resort had it's own restaurant and a few private beaches, bonus!
we spent the rest of the day hiking to a lookout point, (and sweating off ten pounds to do so) getting massages, finding a knockoff naked palette (score!) and watching the sunset on the beach.
that night, jordan hiked back into town to try to talk a private long tail boat into leaving early early early the next day to a few surrounding islands. nobody in thailand wants to get up before 9am apparently, but we struck gold! we met mr call the next morning at six.
aaaaand here is our crazy "what are our lives right now" story of the trip
so we get to maya bay at like 6:30am. maya bay is notoriously touristy and almost every review i've gotten from friends has been like, "it's gorgeous, but it is PACKED." i don't know if it was the early hour or the fact that our trip has juuuust eeked into off-season, but GUYS. there were literally 6 other people there. i couldn't believe our luck !!!!! we played in the water, took photos, and even took a group photo with the other tourists to commemorate the novelty of the morning. (LOL)
then our tourist friends leave as it starts to sprinkle. we figure we will wait it out to enjoy the empty beach. then we watch mr call take our private long tail and drive off, leaving us stranded in this bay. our first thought was "SHIZ we already paid that dude, we are so screwed" and our second thought was "crap it's starting to rain really hard, what should we do with our phones?"
we finally found the government official working on the island and after 20 minutes of broken english, we figure out that we need to go to the other side of the island, apparently that's where our boat had taken off to. we left our shoes in the boat, so we hike through the jungle, barefoot and clad in just our bathing suits, through a monsoon. i was praying equally for our phones to stay dry inside the backpack and for our ride to actually be on the other side of the island.
well, we make it to the other side of the island and we see mr call and the boat. RELIEF. only problem is there's no beach, there's only a CLIFF into the water and a sketch-town rope net thingy that apparently we should climb down? the waves are pretty nuts and it is pouring and me and jordan are just standing there like, um?
so obviously in the moment we were not worried about taking pictures, so here's a photo of the spot i nicked from google. you can kinda see the net-situation between the two mountains. except picture the craziest rainstorm of your life. (also i feel the need to qualify and say that the tide was WAY lower on the day we were there than it is in this picture - the cliff was significantly taller. i swear.)
anyway - mr call swims some life jackets out to us (he couldn't go back to maya bay because the storm would have trapped him in there) and jordan holds the backpack above his head while swimming in this crazy water. it was nuts!! but we survived and so did all electronics.
the rain died down shortly after, and we snorkeled around the phi-leh lagoon, visited monkey beach, and snorkeled again around shark point. the water got quiet and we hardly saw anyone else - the craziness morphed into a really serene morning. although i had heard bad things about thai snorkeling, we saw TONS of fish and i even got stung by a jellyfish!
we arrived back from our adventurous morning, feeling like it should be 6 at night but it was noon haha. we got another massage (bc what else) and spent the rest of the day hanging out on the beach & around town. we loooooved the atmosphere of the phi phi islands - very lively but not loud, lots of locals out and around, and endless long tail boats decorating the beaches. and those green cliffs again, they are other-worldly!
we said our goodbyes to phi phi and ferried into krabi the next morning. we checked into our hotel, set the AC to 60 degrees, (hehe) and got a taxi to tiger cave temple.
when we arrived we looked up to the top of the mountain and saw where the temple was. we literally said to each other, "he must drive us up a little farther before we start, there's no way you hike up that high." but then our driver was like, "entrance over there!"
there were 1300 concrete steps to the top - and they were crazy steep and randomly so narrow? like i couldn't even fit half my foot on the step? HAPHAZARD. surely if you would have fallen down one flight of stairs you would have been toast. there were sections of stairs marked off with danger signs - which was comforting. we took it 200 stairs at a time, and then 100, and then 50. we were both shaking by the time we reached the top and i feel the need to mention the sweat again. we were both literally soaked. LITERALLY. completely soaked. (it was a little reassuring to see everyone else up there sweating the same, probably dangerous, amount.) here's the rough shape jordan was in:
let's hope he never reads this blogpost, cuz he will immediately murder me for that photo.
the view from the top was EASILY worth every step!! the green was so intense it made me eyes sore.
sweating that much takes it out of ya, so after some exploring some temples around krabi town, we called it quits, bought some ice cream that we EARNED, and gave ourselves an 8pm bedtime for our early flight to chiang mai!