We ended up 'squeezing' one night in Koh Lanta before heading back to Bangkok towards Ayutthaya, and boy we were glad we did! Koh Lanta dosent have the same 'crystal clear water' appeal than Phi phi, but offers beautiful virgin scenery. Also, the cultural landscape is different than other places we went since Koh Lanta is about 80% muslim. Also .. the food!! We had the freshest and most delicious fish and prawn dish ever at Saladan seafood for our 1 year wedding anniversary! how romantic! Next up was Ayutthaya, and historic city 1 hour north of Bangkok. We we greeted by the nicest couple ever at Tamarind guesthouse. I still can't believe how big hearted they were, they went beyond their means to offer us a comfortable stay.
After our trip in the jungle of Kao Sok, we headed to the western coast of Thailand, the Andaman. When you think of Thailand's beaches you invision limestone and crystal clear turquoise water.. well this is it guys! We started off with Krabi, the jump off point for all the beautiful islands. We stayed in Krabi town, which offered more budget-friendly accommodation but is a good 30 min from the beach. At first we thought Krabi Town was polluted and not worth visiting, but we ended up really liking the 'local scene' especially the night market. After 3days in Krabi we took a ferry to the world famous Koh phi phi island ( think Leo Dicaprio 'the beach' movie). We heard so many reviews about the island from beach paradise to dirty party hole. Well, it is true that you need to avoid Tonsai village at ALL COST. But the rest of the island is absolutely beautiful.. and not crowded at all..see for yourself:) ( and yes you've seen right, there is a 'penis' temple in railey beach krabi)
After Chiang Mai we headed south to the tiny island of ko tao to do our PADI open water scuba diving certification! Ouf, what an amazing experience, 4 days of intensive training, with a kick ass Parisian instructor from Scuba Junction school. After 1 week on the island, we headed inland to Koa Sok national park. Jungle, floating lake house, monkeys and lots of well.. creatures!
On day 2 of our trip, we took Air Asia and flew to Northern Thailand's biggest city: Chiang mai. I cannot recall how many temples we saw because there was one on every corner! But the most impressive one was Doi Suthep. We had to ride a motorbike through the mountain from the city centre, but it was well worth it! During our stay, we also took a full day cooking class and got to learn so much about thai product, thai cooking and thai culture in general. Our teacher Aoy, was sooo nice and I highly recommand her cooking school ( Bhum's cookery school).
For 4 years, my husband and I have been dreaming of Thailand. Temples, culture, amazing food,monkeys, elephant, beaches,diving, shopping, kind people, Thailand has it all! In december we finally realized our dream, and left for our 1 month trip. Today I present Bangkok, which we visited on day 1, day 29 and 30 of our trip. The first day upon our arrival we visited beautiful temples in the old part of the city ,got a traditional thai massage and tried to get something to eat at the night market near our guesthouse ( on nut bts station) ... Lets just say that we succeeded everything exempt to manage to eat something lol. Since On Nut nightmarket is far from the touristic center ( we like that!), everything was written in thai and our food was WAYYY to spicy for us to eat. ( and we do enjoy spicy food back home!). Second time around in Bangkok we were ''self proclaimed thai food specialist'' ( thanks to our cooking class in chiang mai) and we were able to order all delicious food! The last day was January 13th, which was the day that marked 'SHUT DOWN BANGKOK' protest. Although our families ( and I) were a bit scared of the outcome, everything was done very peacefully, and I was actually able to get some shots of the protest :) . We also managed to visit Chinatown, and the Amulet market.
So we had 8 days off in between weddings this summer! We needed somewhere not to far, and not to expensive to take a pause from it all, and get new photo inspiration to continue the wedding season in full force... Thanks to YULAIR we found a great destination: Puerto Rico...we grabbed our backpacks and off we go! Feel free to contact me if you want more info and the 'island of enchantment!'
I love to travel. Actually, I’m obsessed with it. I need to feel lost and confronted with another reality to be stimulated. Our journey to the small island of Caye Caulker certainly gave me the feeling of self-abandon. Caye Caulker is a small island (about 1,5 km large by 7 km long) off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean sea only a few kilometers away from the worlds second largest coral barrier. Belize, formally british Honduras, is located south of Mexico and bordered by Guatemala. It is the only English speaking country in Latin America.
Getting to Caye Caulker from Mexico wasn’t an easy task. We left Playa del Carmen early in the morning to catch a (very comfortable) ADO bus which took us to Chetumal in about 4.5 hours. Chetumal is the last town in the Yucatan before entering Belize. When we arrived at the bus station a man asked us if we needed to take a water taxi to Belize. We knew we had to take the (allegedly 2 hour) boat ride to the island, so we followed the man from the WATER JETS INTERNATIONAL (wrong!). We bought our 38us$ one way tickets (same price indicated in lonely planet) and we took a short taxi ride to the port. When we got there the not-so-lovely-woman from Water Jets told us we needed to pay a ‘port fee’ of 150 pesos each in order to get in the boat. We refused and insisted that it was a scam since we checked the other company BELIZE EXPRESS and they didn’t charge this extra fee. After arguing for 30 minutes, we ended up paying since she wouldn’t let us in the boat. Let me tell you that it was a boat ride from hell: it was raining and the ride was VERY rocky. Urrg… After 2 hours we finally arrived on the island of San Pedro where we had to go through immigration and customs. Water Jets had us waiting another hour on this island to finally ship us on a smaller boat. It was now 5:30 pm, pitch black outside and raining. The ride was supposed to take 30 min but took 1.5 hour. The captain got lost in the sea and a British traveler used his IPHONE to save the day!! (go apple!)
As soon as we arrived in CC our stress drifted away and we let ourselves go to the beat of reggae music. No cars, no shoes, no pavement, just sand, kids playing, reggae blasting from households and Rasta men busting moves and signing their heart out in the middle of the street. GO SLOW is their motto and we certainly did: we enjoyed the clear and turquoise sea, the breeze, the amazing seafood and the cheap drinks. Travelers were all backpackers with an open mind attitude and the locals were warm and friendly. Are we in Paradise?