Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 7 - January 13, 2010

Today we arrived in paradise. We spent the day in the Similan Islands. These are 9 islands off the coast of Thailand that are one of their national parks. We got to visit 4 of the islands.

We had to get up at 6am for an hour-long shuttle to the jet boats up in northern Phuket (next to the bridge to the mainland). From there, we took a jet boat for a 2-hour ride to the islands. It was a bumpy but beautiful ride.

Nobody lives on the Similan Islands and they are closed for 6 months of the year during the monsoon and typhoon seasons (May through October). The islands are owned by the Thailand government as part of their national park system. People can camp on the islands when they are open, but tours are only available 3 days a week during the 6 months they are open to the public.

The first island we visited, Island 4, we relaxed on the beach and swam in the crystal clear ocean. Ali got stung by something, but it wasn’t a jellyfish like her trip in Hawaii, she was ok after a few minutes, and Kim didn’t even have to pee on her! We also found a little lagoon on the island and we climbed some rocks that surrounded the beach. The white, fine sand was the most luxurious sand either of us had had ever set foot on (if there is such a thing as “luxurious” sand, this was it!)

A two-minute boat ride to the second island brought us to our first snorkeling adventure. We saw some beautiful fish and got to swim around in the Andaman Sea.

The third island brought us a yummy Thai lunch. We had a couple of different kinds of fresh fish, some fish/noodle dish, rice, fried eggs, and soup. During lunch we watched a cheesy Asian soap opera that they had playing on the TVs in the eating area. A local man was also hanging out holding a bat he found in one of the trees. It just slept hanging upside down while he was holding, it, amazing!! After lunch, we sunbathed on the beach and swam in the Andaman Sea some more. The water was beautiful shades of green and blue and was crystal clear.

The final island was another snorkeling adventure. We had more time to swim and see some amazing fish and sea creatures under the sea.

Then it was time to head back to the beaches of Phuket, which are not as great as we had first thought after seeing the Similan Islands. When we arrived back at the hotel, we were exhausted. We watched the Heartbreak Kid on TV while we got ready for dinner. While we were getting ready, we both realized the great pain we were in from being burnt to a crisp. Kim’s shoulders and legs are fried, and pretty much every inch of Ali’s body is glowing red! We made a quick stop for some Aloe and then had a nice dinner and drinks at a local restaurant on the beach. Ali had crab and Kim stepped out of her box and ate a Thai dinner of beef and fried noodles.

We had planned to go out on the town and party it up tonight, but we were in so much pain from the sunburns that we just had a couple of drinks at dinner and went home and passed out. What a wonderful day in paradise!

Here are pics from Paradise!

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