Yesterday we visited the 3 main tourist areas on the island. Kata and Karon are located rather close to us and Patong a bit further away. In general I could say that I’m very happy that we are staying in more quieter Rawai area :). Kata and Karon have beautiful long beaches, hundreds of shops, restaurants, massage salons and much more but they are still quite touristy. Nevertheless if you’re staying for a shorter period and you don’t want to travel around on the island very much then they’d be quite good places to stay since everything is located just around the corner. As much as we saw the prices were also relatively same as around here so all in all not a bad choice.
But Patong… it felt like we were back in Bangkok again with only difference that there was also a beach. Although we just drove around there with a scooter for a bit and took a small walk at the beach we got the idea of that place rather quickly. Dense traffic, a lot of people, more tourists than local people (the same seemed to apply to Kata and Karon also), tuk-tuks (although in Phuket they are like a small minivans rebuilt to be very bling, not tricycles like in Bangkok and Chiang Mai), “Hello my friend”‘s shouted across the street and so on. You could definitely say that this place was full of life and there’s much to do but if you’re looking to put your feet in the sand at a quiet seaside and relax this place is not for you. But you could definitely say that Phuket has a lot to offer to all kinds of taste :).
Driving a scooter for 10-15 min is totally fine and very quick and reasonable method of transportation. But if you plan to travel for a half an hour straight then it would be reasonable to make stops here and there. I don’t know if we aren’t used to it yet but after a long drive your bottom and back are quite sore :).
I’ve also finished the second video of our adventures in Phuket. Go and check it out 🙂
Sending sunshine – we have more than enough of it in here 🙂
Yesterday beautiful Loi Krathong festival was held all over Thailand (and also some other countries). You can read more about it from here. We went to see and enjoy it at nearby Nai Harn lake. Unfortunately our experience was not as picturesque as seen above but it was still beautiful. Hundreds and thousands of people bought different krathongs (little baskets from banana tree trunk and banana leaves decorated with different flowers, ornaments, a candle and 3 incense sticks), lit them up and placed on the lake surface. Unfortunately it was a bit windy so most of the candles blew out quite fast (as did ours 🙂 ) but it was still pretty. Sadly (but with a good reason, potential hazard to the nature) flying lanterns were forbidden but there were still some (supposedly) official sellers from who you could buy one and send it towards the stars. I also went for a swim at the beach in the darkness with lanterns flying above my head, it was quite a sight :). Only maybe a bit negative part of whole this was that the main festival area where all the market stalls were located got properly crowded and the place was really touristy. I read that there are also other areas near Phuket city where locals gather to celebrate. Nevertheless it’s a must visit when you’re visiting Thailand in November :).
I’ve also finished the first video of Phuket where you can see views of Rawai and other southern parts of the island. Have a look for yourself :)!
Yesterday we went to see Chiang Dao caves. To get there we took the local county bus which was an experience in its own. The bus was probably from the 70’s but after a fun 1,5h ride we arrived at small Chiang Dao town (one way ticket was 40 baht per person). From there it was supposed to be 1h walk to the caves but we managed to walk only for about 1,5km when a very lovely couple picked us up and took us the the cave entrance. Big thanks to them! Although walking in this beautiful countryside was a great experience. There you could see the true country life of Thailand. Rice fields and farmers everywhere, majestic views of the nearby mountains and much more. At the cave once again our friend fast floods greeted us. The nearby river at the entrance was flooding and water was covering the park benches and pathways. Luckily though we could still get into the caves. Entrance fee is 40 baht which allows you to see the lit part of the area with small shrines and walkways. This was definitely worth the money! But there’s also an option to hire a guide for 100 baht per person (+ a tip at the end, usually 50 baht) and then you can go and discover the darker areas of the cave system. The pros of this was that you could see a lot of different bigger halls, beautiful stone figures that water has formed through thousands of years and also get a small adrenaline rush climbing through the small passages (rather I would say crawling, and there was quite much of it so be prepared to get dirty) joining the different parts. The cons are that the guide has a rather small gas light and it’s difficult to see much (since there were hundreds of bats in the cave, maybe small light is so that they wouldn’t be disturbed) and our guide seemed to be in a rather hurry. It would have been better to discover this place on our own but sadly that’s not allowed. Some areas were closed once again because of the high water but either way it’s definitely worth a visit! Sadly we lost Anna’s sunglasses somewhere in the darkness of the cave.. but we will buy new ones :). By the way the first picture in the beginning of this post is when you try to take a picture in the dark caves with a flash but at the same time you are sweating and there’s a huge amount of vapor coming from your body. In the end it turned out to be quite an artistic capture :).
To get back it was supposedly a 5km walk but once again we could manage to walk only for about 1 km when we were picked up by another great couple. People in the countryside seem to be very very nice :)! So we got the experience riding in the back of a open pickup truck and it was fun :)!
Today we went to see a local Nong Buak park in old city Chiang Mai. It was really nice and most of the time we spent feeding the fishes. There were several ponds filled with them and also some very big and beautiful Koi fish. We had never seen so huge and magnificent Koi before! It was truly relaxing spending time there. In addition I could through some hoops after a long time. There was a basket and a basketball in the middle of the park and a couple from Sweden were playing 21. They were also travelling through SE Asia planning to visit Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. So I joined in and it was fun :)!
I also made a video of our adventure in Chiang Dao and some clips of our pool visit in nearby Eco resort (you pay 150 baht per person and you get access to the poolside for the whole day) plus of course I had to include our Hostel hamsters :). Go and have a look!
In Spring this year I bought myself a GoPro Hero 5 adventure camera. There was 2 reasons for this. First of all since very soon we are going to travel through SE Asia I wanted to capture as much of the trip with camera also and share it with other people. The second reason is related to my interest with photography and naturally video making and editing is not very far from it.
During the summer I made 3 short videos, first one just for testing and just for fun. Second video was to give an overview of beautiful Taevaskoja-Kiidjärve hiking trail in Southern Estonia and the 3rd to promote different sporting activities for which I also rent equipment for. Feel free to go and have a look :)!
Youtube is full of users and channels who share interesting content on daily basis. Although there are several people I follow regarding self-improvement, training, technology, music, cars etc. there is one who’s videos are just very simple, fun and also educating to watch if you want to spend some relaxation time in Youtube not just wasting it but learning something interesting in the process. He regularly posts videos about different facts, top 10’s, fun and scary topics and much more. Go and check it out but be warned, his videos can be quite addictive :)!