Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On our way back home

To get back home from the resort we had to take a lot of different modes of transportation. A truck from the resort to a ferry from koh toa to koh Samui, a taxi to the airport, a plane to Bangkok, a van to our hotel, a van back to the airport, a plane to Tokyo Japan, a plane to portland, a car to grandmas house, and then our car to our house... Phew that's a lot.
Well.. We are almost there.
The first part was a little stressful, because a lot of things needed to line up to ensure we made it to the airport. The ferry ride was really hot and the ocean was very very rocky. But both of us made it without feeding any fish. We got to the airport 3 hours early so we took a nap.
We didn't have much trouble finding the hotel van, which was nice. We arrived at the hotel just before 11:00 pm, but had to check out at 3:30 am. Showers and 4 hours of sleep was worth the hassle.
Only a few more legs left of our trip. I am definitely ready to sleep in my own bed.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Getting around on koh toa

The "roads" on koh toa are really something. Every uses 4 wheel drive trucks and 4 wheelers to get around, the roads are very narrow, very steep with lots of blind corners. The best part is they move people around in the back of pick up trucks. I felt like I was on Indiana jones at Disneyland. Some visitors choose to rent motorbikes, but John and I have no desire to, people around here drive so crazy!

Yesterday John and I needed a little break from tanning ( John was a little red) so we decided to go into town. The hotel has a free shuttle that leaves around 2 and picks you up at 6:30 or 9:30 pm. We had a few things to do in town, book our ferry back to koh Samui, get a massage, get more sun tan lotion and big spray and get some snacks and water for our room. The ferry company we used to come here on was booked so we needed to find another one. After that we needed to find a massage, which isn't that hard because there was like 10 within a 5 min walk. After all that we still had 2.5 hours to burn. Oh how I wished we just stayed at our resort. The resort is so tranquil and relaxing, whereas the city is loud and busy. We were going to have dinner at a place by the beach, but just after we ordered the people next to us found a cockroach in their pad thai. I was no longer hungry and decided to get a changs beer instead.
We ended up talking to the guy sitting next to us, who was also from portland, he lived about 10 blocks away form where I work and he is taking the same flight back to portland. Crazy small world. We also met a nice couple who use to live in Beaverton. I guess people on the northwest really love thailand

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Haad Tien

Our resort on koh toa is breath taking. We have our own private villa about 100 yard from the beach. We have our own private deck with two chairs, we spent a good amount of time relaxing there reading a book. It's very quiet and exactly how we want to spend the rest of our honeymoon. Yesterday all we did was work on our tans.
There is a bucket down stairs to wash our feet before we come in to our rooms. There are even a few dog who live on the property. John had made friends with one of them, which is good because he really misses Miley. ( I miss her a lot too)

The longest day ever

Two days ago John and I had a rough day of travel. We were suppose to be picked up at our hotel in Samui at 10:45. At 11 o clock we were starting to get worried. We went to the front desk and had them call the place we had made our reservations for. The guy must have called like 30 times saying "they are very busy". He finally got a hold of them and said that someone at the airport had made a mistake and forgot to call in our reservation. John was PISSED! There are only 2 ferries that leave a day that go straight to koh toa. The nice man at the hotel told John not to worry and to enjoy his holiday. Finally a out 20 min later he comes over to us and tell us that a taxi will pick us up at 4:00.
John was really angry, and upset that we were missing time at the resort. So I did what any good wife would do, I went to 7-11 and bought him a changs beer for 44 baht (1.50). Only in thailand do they have a bottle opener at the register. John kept asking me why I wasn't upset, and I told him because being upset is not going to get us there any faster. I decided we could both use some relaxation so I found us a massage place with air condition. After our massage John was less upset, which is good, I mean we were still on a beautiful island in the South China Sea.

At 3:45 the "taxi" driver came and picked us up. He wasn't really a taxi driver, he was the owner of the company at the airport and be picked us up in his private car. He apologized for the mistake and says that it never happens. He was from Sweden and had lots of useful information for us.
The ferry office was so unorganized and crazy. Lots of people, lots of walking and lots of waiting. We finally got on the ferry at 6:15. I was crowded, dirty and there was a screaming child. We had both taken some pills to help with the sea sickness, which helped a bit. But the trip was really long. About 2.5 hours of travel time, but they stopped to drop people off which took another 1/2 hour.
When we finally made it to koh toa John and I were both pretty grumpy, hungry and tired. We were really hoping that our hotel would be there to pick us up. When they were we both gave a big sigh of relief. That was until we saw who we would be sharing our truck world. A huge group of Chinese tourist. They were so loud the entire trip, yelling at each other from across the way. The kids were terrible standing up and screening. I really thought John was going to lose it.

We finally made it to our hotel. But it was too dark to see anything. Not that it really mattered because John and I were too tired to care
But on a happy note, I did manage to capture a beautiful sunset from the boat.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Koh Samui- island time

John and I were very sad to leave our friend Pon and the beautiful house we stayed at in chaing mai. We ended our stay with a wonderful breakfast of smoke salmon and fresh fruit. It's going to be hard to beat the service we got there. After breakfast we headed to the airport for our next flight. The airport in chaing mai is a blast from the past, it kind of reminded me of Pam am. After we checked in 40 min before our flight left, we were told to go to the lounge to wait for our flight. There were lots of snacks and drinks, it was a nice treat!

We took a taxi to our hotel, 500 baht ( 15 dollars) to go about 2 miles, I guess we are not in Bangkok any more. We checked in and spent the rest of the day lounging by the beach. Later that night we walked along the beach and found a nice restaurant to have dinner. There was live music playing old love songs, candle light and a fire dancer. John got a video of it on his phone.

Now we are waiting to be picked up by the ferry to go to Koh Toa, our last destination.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Homestead pictures

We had no idea what we were I for when we booked 3 night stay at the cooking school. I guess we figured it would be like any other hotel we stayed at, but that could not be further from the truth. Pom is not only our cooking teacher, he is also our tour guide, driver, personal chef and friend. He told us from the beginning to make our selves at home and don't be afraid to ask for anything. He told us to be down stairs for breakfast at 9 am. John and I did as we were told and come down stairs. The table by the pool is set with water and silverware for us. A few min later one of the house cooks comes out and asks us if we would like coffee or tea. She emerges with fresh espresso and steam milk. Then we are brought toast with yam ( Thai jelly), next she brings our eggs, sausage, bacon and broccoli a long with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. After we finished that she cleared our plates brought us a wonderful plate of fruit.
During this time Sompon Nabnian (Thai version of Bobby Flay) comes down to say hello and welcome us to his home. Oh yes, he lives here with his 8 dogs.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful property. It is 1.5 acres and has a wonderful organic garden.

Cooking school

For the past two days john and I attended a Thai cooking classes. It has been so much fun. We have learned lots of good techniques and a lot about local Thai ingredients. The first day we went to a local market where we went around and bought all the ingredients that we needed for that days class. Thai markets are something else, they are all out in the open and each booth has some thing different to offer. There are booths that carry spices, rice, coconut (more on that later) fresh meat, chicken, veggies, and already prepared food. It was so amazing to see all the people go around and buy different ingredients.
One thing that I found interesting was the coconut station. I had no idea how coconut milk and coconut cream where made. First they shred the coconut and press it through cloth to make coconut cream. To make coconut milk they mix coconut cream and water.

Cooking school has also been great. Yesterday we made 6 dishes and today we made 6 dishes.
We were really full yesterday, but learned to pace ourselves a little bit more today.

After cooking school yesterday, Pon ( not Paul like I said in the last post) took us to another local open Thai market. I couldn't believe ow much cheaper things were, got a Thai iced tea for 10 bhat (about 30 cents). Next we went to the night bazaar, Pon showed us which restaurants were good and which were not. Then he took us to china town to find John a special snack. BUGS! John thought he was brave enough to try them, but once he saw them in real life he decided against it. John found himself some street food snacks and then we headed back to the house for the night. We were both so tried and full we went straight to bed.