There are three different options, the Express (1 night) , the Classic (2 nights), and the Waterfalls (2 nights). We signed up for the Express (actually we didn't have a choice but it would have been our top choice anyway) and after hearing stories and experiencing it, it's the one I would recommend. The Express is divided into two groups: a smaller group of seven (which happened to be entirely made up of French folks) and a second group of 13 (our group). After our ninety minute drive we were handed a single can of Beerlao and we started our two hour (uphill and leech free) hike. And let me tell you, it wasn't easy. But never has there been a bigger payoff. We spent the next 48 hours living out every child’s fantasy.
While Phu Chi Fa is no hidden gem for locals, it’s still somewhat undiscovered by tourists. Don't let the floods of thai tourist deter you from visiting, it was incredible. Securing the bus tickets and managing any sort of communication whatsoever was near impossible, so we will make sure to write up a guide on how to get there, where to stay, etc., but per the usual, that won’t be for a little while so feel free to send us a note if you need any help.
Eating our way through Thailand, we discovered the Khao Soi Khun Yai noodles of Chiang Mai and the best spot to get them as well as the Ploen Ruedee Night Market! We also did an excursion at the The Chiang Mai Thai Farm Cooking School which was one of our favorites.
We decided to take an all day boat ride advertising the Top Ten Island Tour (something we usually wouldn't do) and absolutely loved it!
Our quick trip turned into five nights at three different guesthouses ranging from $18 - $35.
Don’t get me wrong, Koh Phi Phi Don was a complete frat party, but if you can look past the bro-fest, buckets of booze, and all the Same Same muscle tanks (of which Brian is currently, and unfortunately, sporting as I type this post) and walk a little further outside of the super populated beaches, you’ll find beautiful turquoise waters, white-ish sand, and gigantic limestone mountains jetting out of the ocean.
We checked into our hotel, The Lanta Marina Resort, fun budget bungalows on the beaches of Ko Lanta right next to Long Beach, and settled into our thatched roof bungalow for the next couple nights. We knew the beach directly in front of the hotel was rocky, but we read that you could walk up to Long Beach within five minutes and find yourself on a beautiful waterfront paradise. Well…that never happened.
After three glorious weeks in the US we were packing our bags again to start the S.E. Asia portion of our trip. Our time in SF, while short (and wet) was glorious. We can’t say thank you enough to all our friends who made time in their schedules to see us! Especially to some of our best friends, The Hanlons, for opening up their home to us for not one, not two, but five nights! Thats a lot of sleepovers 😃 We had the best time. We love you!
I know many people have a fear of visiting India, and honestly I don't blame them. It has such a heavy reputation. The food and the pollution. The crowds and the crime. The heat and the distance. But why not challenge yourself? Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Experience new cultures and flavors. Open not just your mind but your heart to the wonders of travel. And experience India. Whether you are traveling on $10 a day or $1000 (omg I can't even imagine), you will be forever changed after visiting this beautiful place. You will leave with a new appreciation of so many things, both big and small. Find yourself. Give yourself this gift. Embrace it. You'll hate it some days, but you will leave with more love than you knew was possible. I know it's hard to grasp the true meaning of all of this through a couple overly descriptive sentences but after spending two months here, I fully understand the quote, "there are two types of travelers, those that have been to India and those who haven't."
Having a bright, new outlook on our remaining time in India, Brian and I were eager to see what North Goa had to offer. We knew South Goa was more our scene as it's known to be quieter and more secluded compared to North Goa (32 going on 65 anyone?), which is infamous for its party scene, specifically beach trance parties. Unlike South Goa and more specifically Agonda Beach, we couldn’t find anything close to our beloved beach huts and ended up staying at a guest house a little less than 2km (a twenty minute walk) from the water.