Krabi + Koh Lanta, Thailand

Los Angeles – Southeast Asia

Stop #6 & 7: Krabi, Thailand & Koh Lanta, Thailand

Continuing our journey in Thailand, we decided to check out Krabi for a few days and hop over to Koh Lanta for a quick visit. What was intended as a quick 3-day stay ended up being a good 6 days in this part of Thailand. Koh Lanta is paradise and island time got us good.

Photos taken April 2016.

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The view from the top of Railey Beach, Krabi.

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Railey Beach, Krabi

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One of many menacing monkeys at Tiger Cave Temple, Krabi.

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Tiger Cave Temple. 1237 steps up to the top for this sunset view.

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Fresh steamed buns from the weekend night market at Krabi.

 

After spending a few days on Krabi, we decided to take a boat over to one of its neighboring islands. A boat ride to Koh Lanta was 300 Baht, or about $9 USD. One of the lesser known islands, which consequently, makes it one of the most serene. And, the perfect place to learn how to ride a moto.

Koh Lanta, Thailand

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First time riding this pink moto! I ran into a parked bike moments before this photo was taken. I eventually get better at this later on in my travels.

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Two bottles of gas (approx. $1 USD each) fill up a tank, which will last for the entire day.

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I travel with an Instax camera and snapped a picture of this woman and her daughter. She lives here and runs a gas station/restaurant. We’re Facebook friends now.

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Locals playing Sepak Takraw at a park. They use their feet to pass the ball, not their hands. So, you can imagine how high these guys can kick, jump, and flip.

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The plastic ball used in Sepak Takraw. I tried passing around the ball with my feet…it was as hard as it looks.

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Koh Lanta

This island is the perfect place to escape static noise from a busy city. Its laid-back, rasta vibes allowed me to chill out, sip on beers, swim in the ocean, scooter around, and meet some rad locals. Really, the coolest, most genuine people.

Now, off to Singapore.

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Koh Tao, Thailand & The Songkran Festival

Los Angeles – Southeast Asia

Stop #5 out of 35: Koh Tao, Thailand

Photos taken April 2016.

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Koh Tao Island, Thailand

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Koh Tao – often referred to as “Turtle Island” – attracts thousands of travelers and expats thanks to affordable diving courses, clear waters, and carefree lifestyle. With hundreds of dive schools employing English-speaking instructors, it is likely that you will meet more expats residing here than local Thai.

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Every night, we visited “Mamas” – a small shack with loads of repeat customers – for cheap, top-notch Thai cuisine. Pictured is an order of stir-fry chicken and vegetable noodles made from the most endearing and genuine  Thai mama we’ve met yet.

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Our last day of instruction was graced with an illuminating sunset, our new four-legged friend, and Chang beers. We are now open-water certified! 

Spending the rest of the evening at a local bar recapping our dives with video footage courtesy of Bobcat, our videographer from Mojo Divers, was a brilliant end to our trip on Koh Tao…or so we thought.

 The following day was the Songkran Festival.

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Songkran Festival 2016 – Thailand’s annual New Year festival, officially celebrated on April 13th – encourages a myriad of people out on the streets for a day (or days!) of celebration. This colossal water fight uses an unfathomable amount of water, white minty paste locals smear on faces, and music blasting from all areas.

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The streets were filled with local vendors selling water guns, backpacks, and plastic waterproof phone cases. Restaurants and shops – closed for the day – set up water refill stations for everyone to join in on the fun.

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Coke can in one hand and water gun in the other…this kid means business. Be warned.

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Final sunset before departing the island, just like sunset here every night.

Bangkok, Thailand

Los Angeles – Southeast Asia

Stop #4 out of 35: Bangkok, Thailand

Photos taken April 2016.

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Midday commute at Siam Paragon.

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Rose apple fruit, usually in season May to June. It’s crisp and the flavor is subtle, not too sweet.

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Public boat ride to the Grand Palace.

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Hopping on a “free” government tuk tuk ride to a giant golden Buddha was the first time we got scammed. Immediately following this, we were taken to a travel agency insisting that we book a tour. Still, we were able to appreciate this statue.

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Met a local Thai during his lunch break and he directed us to the best mango sticky rice I’ve ever had. The vendor is pictured in the next photo.

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Supplier of the greatest mango sticky rice in all of Bangkok.

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The public bus in Bangkok cost about 7 Baht ($0.20 USD). Some tuk tuk drivers will charge 200 Baht (roughly $6 USD) for the same distance. This was a really pleasant alternative to private transport. The locals are very kind and gave me a heads up when we arrived at my stop.

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This photo of an empty driver’s seat (right-sided!) was taken moments after another vehicle had rear-ended us. The taxi driver went to check it out, but since there was no harm done, we just moved right along.

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Tuk tuks patiently waiting for new arrivals.

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Rajadamnern Stadium on a Thursday evening. The attendees are approximately 90% men, all betting on the outcome of each fight.

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Last piece of toast before departing Bangkok. Stayed at a hostel away from Khao San Road for a quieter residential neighborhood. Every afternoon, students from the school next door visit this hostel and ice cream shop hybrid for a quick treat.

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Peace out, Bangkok. Off to the next stop.

Seattle, Washington, USA

Los Angeles – Southeast Asia

Stop #3 out of 35: Seattle, WA

After a visiting Portland for two days, it was time to move on to Washington. We left late in the afternoon and arrived just in time for sunset. We spent three days here, soaking in some sun and, surprisingly, little to no rain! The luxuries of having a car (as opposed to flying or taking the bus) allowed us to see tons of spots in and around Seattle.

Photos taken April 2016.

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A view of the city from Gas Works Park

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Paseos

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Discovery Park

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Discovery Park

 

Seattle, Washington is the type of city that emulates a cold breeze on a summer day. It’s unexpectedly chilly and you can’t help but go outside. Being surrounded by an abundance of water and lush forestry in a refreshingly urban city makes it a no-brainer to go out even when it’s raining.

Portland, Oregon, USA

Los Angeles – Southeast Asia.

Stop #2 out of 35: Portland, OR.  (This is my first blog post. There’s no “Stop #1” because I was way too excited to see Marie, my soon-to-be travel companion for the next 3-months. So much to catch up on, I couldn’t be bothered with documenting it.)

Before embarking on a 3-month backpacking trip across Southeast Asia, I decided to take an extra week venturing up the coast from Los Angeles to Seattle. I took a bus from LA to San Francisco (Stop #1) to meet up with Marie, who was all packed and ready to hit the road. The drive from SF to Seattle was 12 hours. With family in Portland, it was the perfect stop for a good night’s rest. And, a full day of exploring.


Photos taken March 2016

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Chai tea to start off our day.

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Multnomah Falls

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A random outing in Downtown Portland. For a Wednesday night, Swift was packed! It was also the only bar on the street.

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Marie showcasing her grilled cheese sandwich right before devouring it in .5 seconds.

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A quick stop at Powell’s for a new book before hitting the road again.

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A short, but sweet trip in Portland. Off to Seattle.