Monday, January 02, 2006

It was a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Jamie and I travelled to the beautiful and unforgetable Koh Chang island in the Gulf of Thailand. Our adventure started on Christmas Eve. We stayed at a resort in Trat, swam in the pool, got a Thai massage and ate some great classic Thai cuisine.

Our new friends from Berlin, they stayed in the bungalow next to ours. We played hearts with them on our last night and they had a lot of new and interesting perspectives about life and marriage.

Jamie and I opened our present on the 23 of December (no room in our bags for gifts). We had wine and thourouly enjoyed our very first Christmas together as a family. We packed our stocking stuffers with us (thanks mom and dad Graham) and opened them in Thailand (Jamie's socks made a makeshift stocking).

Me and Jamie at the crack of dawn on our bus via the airport. It was an 18 hour day ahead of us.

Christmas Day we caught the ferry to Koh Chang and checked into our resort in a tiny fishing village on the island. We ended up meeting an American family that permanently lives on the island. We chatted with them and they invited us to eat dinner with them. I had to leave early because of my fever and cough.

We went snorkling on a tiny unpopulated island close to our resort. Never saw so many colors and shapes of fish and sea creatures and coral.

We also took our rented motorbike around the island and expolored other beaches, waterfalls and scenery. It was on this journey that we discovered the White Sands Beach Resort. We booked a beach bungalo for 2 nights and cancelled our reservation for Koh Kod island. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling. There were mostly Europeans on that beach and resort. How could you tell? The women were topless. But I sure wasn't.

Smoothies. These were one of our daily amenidies on the island. Funny story about my desperation for smoothies. In Chiang Mai I really wanted a smoothie and i saw what looked like a fruit smoothie stand. We had to take of our shoes to get into the "smoothie" area and there was sort of a culture performance, insence burning and people bowing. No big deal, until I realized that the fruit was not meant for smoothies, but for offeries to the gods. That's right, it was an offering ceremony, not a smoothie stand.

Sunsets. Unforgetable. Breathtaking. Wow.

The last 2 days of our trip were spent in Chiang Mai. We stayed with our aquaintances who live in a beautiful Teek mansion. We visited the orphanage I volunteered at 2 years ago. The kids all remembered me and they still had pictures of me on their walls. We had a great time painting nails, making art, playing soccer and catching up. I also witnessed the slaughtering of a pig--a tradition for them especially since they hardly ever eat meat because it's so expensive. Thanks to those of you who donated money to the orphange. At the moment they are wanting to fix their kitchen floor as it's wrecked from the recent floods.

For New Years Eve we went into the city to watch the fireworks and shop our brains out. I bought a shirt at the stroke of midnight.

Now we're back in Korea (our home until July). Our skin is peeling and we're getting into the habit of wearing more clothing and putting the flip flops to rest for now.


keegan said...

Yeah- you're back- I loved the beautiful pics from Thailand. Did you get the gifts from the Lipsetts yet???

robtegelberg said...

You guys took some sweet pictures. The slideshow was really cool. Definatly beats a cold christmas in korea. We have to watch memoirs of a Giesha soon!!!

gram said...

Enjoyed the pics. We love you guys and pray for you everyday.