Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PHUKET {with Ash}

last week i was sick with the flu but i got better just in time for a weekend to trip to Phuket, an island in the south of thailand {and is the number one destination followed by Ko Phi Phi, where we went as well}. my sister ashley and her husband clint live in guilin, china right now and they are teaching english. they have been there almost two years and i haven't seen her in all that time {my brother patrick is also living in china and has been there around 2 and a half years i think, but he wasn't able to visit thailand at the moment}. ash and clint were in malaysia before coming to thailand and then they flew over to phuket {the "h" is silent} to meet me. 

i am lucky i got there at all. friday morning i was teaching the orphanage kids and then i took a bus back to chiang rai and got to the bus station around 4ish {i had brought my bag with me and was even early since i didnt technically need to leave till around 5}. but of course all the buses were booked full until 7pm. i was freaking out. i was going to get to chiang mai late, miss my flight, and would have no way of contacting ashley to let her know because i had no phone and her phone was chinese. so i called hudson, one of my country directors, and he drove over on his scooter to help try and figure it out. we drove over to the other bus station and they didnt have anything until 7:15 either. renting a minibus would've cost too much as well. so hudson was willing to drive me all the way to chiang mai on a scooter in the rain. chiang mai is 3 hours away and the roads that go through the hills are super curvy. hudson is a saint. but luckily we didn't have to resort to that because they found a friend who had a truck we could use. so we picked up dave, my other country director, to keep hudson company on the way back and we drove to the airport in chiang mai. hudson booked it and we made it in time for my flight to phuket. hudson, if you are reading this, you are the best man on the earth and i thank you. 
this little guy was playing with us while we waited at the orphanage for a ride. he has a hole in his heart and would get tired quickly and have to sit down. 

i got to phuket around 1am and met them, took a taxi to our hotel, and got subway on the way there. {i love you subway}. we didn't end up going to bed til like 4:30ish so we slept in the next morning. the hotel was perfect. we swam at the private beach, looked at all the crabs on the rocks, read our books, and then rinsed off in the pool. around 3 in the afternoon we went into the nearest town called patong. i had been warned about this place and they were right. so trashy {full of ladyboys and bars}. but at least we got to go to the mall and get some american food. later that night we swam in the pool again. i forgot how much i missed the water.

view from our balcony 

clint searching for crabs

the next day we went on a tour to an island right next to phuket called Ko Phi Phi. phi phi is gorgeous and they film lots movies there {like James Bond and The Beach}. however our tour was kind of a bust because it didn't do all the things it was supposed to and the beach had lots of trash. oh well. live and learn. phuket is the land of scams and overpricing so i wasn't surprised. but at least we got to go snorkeling and see some beautiful scenery. i am also tan and sunburnt. {these pics are all out of order but whatever i am not fixing it. and there are more pics but ashley has them, so if there are any good ones i'll post them later}. 

the next morning i woke up around 4:30am to accompany them to airport since it would be cheaper than me going separately later. i sat in the airport for like 2 or more hours. then when i got back into chiang mai i took a taxi to the bus station and waited in a longggg line to get a ticket back to chiang rai. i got to the bus station at 1pm and didn't leave until 4:30. ughhh story of my life. i hate buses, trains, and planes. then the bus is ghetto and the air conditioning is barely working and the seats are way squished {someone even through up}. and  to top it all off everytime we would go up a hill the bus would slow to a stop and make funny noises...so yes it took forever to get home. i finally got into the chiang rai bus station at like 8pm and then took a tuk tuk home but the driver got lost like three times. i am just glad to be home.

today {tues} we went to the hospital and one of the ladies read our palms. it was actually pretty cool and accurate for all of us. now this is going to bug me. one of the things was dead on and i can't figure out how they can do that! hm. until next time!

also i have a favor to ask of anyone reading this:

This summer our HELP International Team has been working with the Akha hill tribes of Northern Thailand. The Akha hill tribes have a rich and distinct culture. However, the Akha people are among the most impoverished groups in all of Thailand. In many cases, the Akha live in primitive villages that do not have essential things that we take for granted.

Foremost of these things, some Akha villages do not have running water. An Akha hill tribe that stands in need of running water has approached our team and asked if we could help them to acquire the pipes necessary to run fresh water to their village. The distance between their village and water is around one kilometer. The village consists of 500 people. We have a tremendous opportunity to change the lives of these villagers in a very meaningful way. We estimate the cost of the pipes needed for this project will be $1,820. A single contribution can make a world of difference. 

Please make a donation directly through HELP International’s website: http://help-international.org/donate-now


audrey said...

whats a tuk tuk? loved the water pics!

xoxo, andrea said...

a tuk tuk is a little motorized bike with a place to sit attached. you can usually fit around 3 people. in other countries they are called rickshaws.