Angkor Wat & Islands

I woke up the next day to find a picture of a princess folded up in my shoe. It was from one of the daughters of the hostel owner. So I drew her a little picture and left it with the guy at the front desk.

For our last day at Angkor Wat we went to a small group of temples a little further out called the Roluos Group. These temples were similar to our earliest temples that we visited with red sandstone and intricate stone carvings.

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After this group of temples we went back to Siem Reap for another tasty lunch. I followed that up by finally indulging myself in a massage. It was such a phenomenal massage, including foot reflexology and what felt like scalp reflexology, and only cost $6 so that was a very nice treat. My masseuse was also frustrated by the unkempt state of my hair, so she threw in a complimentary brushing and fancy-braiding of it so that I would look presentable. It was very sweet.

After reaching complete relaxation, I met back up with Luke to get fresh fruit smoothies and sticky rice with mango. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the various markets around Siem Reap.

In the evening before dinner we played with the baby daughter of the hostel owner. She was really the cutest little thing. She played for a while with our mancala stones and became pretty attached, wanting me to hold her and then not set her down. When we finally had to leave for dinner she burst into tears: bittersweet…

After dinner we explored some of the Siem Reap nightclubs which were quite unique. It was fun.

For our final day in Cambodia, we hung around the hostel the whole morning. The owners older daughter had left me another drawing so I drew her another butterfly in return. Then we just relaxed and ate and enjoyed the last bit of Khmer culture. By the time our same tuktuk driver came to take us to the airport, the family seemed very sad to see us go and walked us all the way out to the street and waved until we’d left. They were really such a wonderful family and Cambodia was just such a special place, with some of the friendliest people I’ve met.

We arrived in Krabi (a small Thai town on the Andaman Sea) late that night and pretty much crashed by the time we reached our very raucous hostel.

The next morning we got on a long tail boat to Tonsai beach.

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We dropped our stuff off at our very cute, and rustic, bungalow and headed immediately to the beach to wash all of our sweat off.

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Later on we ate some delicious curry and Tom Kha soup and ventured across the rocks to nearby Railey beach.

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Unfortunately the moment we arrived it started pouring rain so we sheltered under the rocks for a little bit until it let up. We swam at Railey for about 10 minutes before a real thunderstorm hit and then we scampered up under the trees. This was a serious storm though so we decided to hike back the overland route to our bungalow at tonsai. We were soaked by the time we got back so we rinsed off, played some cribbage, and watched the thunderstorm from the shelter of our bungalow. It was quite exciting to watch such a wild little tropical storm pass.

Eventually we ventured out for some more delicious dinner and then drinks at the bar affiliated with our bungalows.

We woke up early the next day and took a longtail boat out to a ferry to get to Koh Phi Phi. After a pleasant, uneventful ferry ride we arrived to find someone from our hotel unexpectedly waiting to whisk our luggage up the hill for us which was a nice surprise. Our hotel there had a really nice view but was quite the hike up a hill to get to.

We left the hotel to get some food, find a bit of wifi, and book a snorkeling trip for the next day. Then we went to the main beach, Loh Dalum, but the tide was so low that swimming wasn’t exactly an option although I did wade way out, but the abundance of crabs around my feet eventually got the better of me and I decided that resting in the shade of the beach sounded a little better.

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We then wandered through town for a little bit before getting a cocktail ‘bucket’ and taking it to the beach with us. Later in the evening we got some pizza (I know… not very Thai but sometimes you need a change of pace) and returning to the beach to watch some fire spinners.

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For our full day in Ko Phi Phi, we took an early morning speedboat tour to see some more of the islands around there. We made friends with a Lithuanian couple on the boat and spent the remainder of the day with them. Our first stop was Maya Bay. It is truly a spectacular beach. Unfortunately it was the subject of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach, so the number of tourists packed in taking photos there was astounding.

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We found a nice area to swim away from the crowds and frolicked around there for about an hour joined by our Lithuanian friends. Our next stop was across Maya Bay opposite the main beach where we jumped off the boat to snorkel. It was really beautiful snorkeling. It’s always fun to snorkel in such a new place because the fish we saw were so different from what I’ve seen in Hawaii. For example, we saw a whole school of cuttlefish and I saw a pair of beautiful squid, two things I’ve never seen before in real life. After snorkeling we continued our boat trip around the island stopping at a big cave and some beautiful little inlets, one of which we swam around at.

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Our final stop was Monkey Bay. Morally, I’m not sure where I stand on feeding monkeys but this is quite the spectacle. The cliffs and trees around this little bay are filled with monkeys. Tour companies toss the monkeys fruit and they come really close up to the boat, one of them even jumped on the boat and then impressively swam back to the cliff.

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After our boat trip we returned to the beach from the previous day, only this time it was high tide.

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We got lunch and mojitos with our new friends and then swam around with them a bit. Even at high tide it was crazy how shallow it was. We went way out and the water still was below our hips. After the swim we bade adieu to our friends and got some of this fancy roll-y ice cream. Basically they mix toppings in with milk and then spread it out on a frozen stone. Once the milk and toppings freezes, they scrape it up into these little ice cream rolls. It was very refreshing.

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By then, it was low tide so we went back to the hotel to swim in the pool there. We relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon and evening and I finally finished a book that I keep opening and then not reading. (Where’d You Go, Bernadette?)

Today we slept in a little, ate another incredible lunch, and relaxed in the shade by the beach for a few hours. We were kept company by some silly old taxi boat drivers who sang very cute songs and engaged in some idle conversation. Eventually we left them to get on a ferry back to Krabi, where we headed to the airport, headed to Chiang Mai.

Tomorrow will be our first day in Chiang Mai, where the food is supposed to be even more phenomenal!


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