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Winter Vacation Part 2 of 3

We are now day 6 at the resort.  If I were anymore relaxed I would be a bowl of Jello.  Kim and I have done a bit of sight seeing, but for the most part have enjoyed the lazy life of waking up to a big breakfast, beach and sun all day, a light lunch of BBQ chicken and spring rolls and lots of fresh fruit.  A dip in the pool, then dinner out somewhere, finally a one hour foot massage and then to bed.  It’s quite surprising how inexpensive this routine is, however, the writing is on the wall.  Tourists are arriving by the plane load.  The locals will easily be able to bump the prices up and still keep the rich folks coming in.  The island is so beautiful.  Think Maui at 25% of the cost.
The other thing that amazes us both is the fresh fruit.  Kim and I have both tried coconut before and found it to be highly mediocre.  Coconut here is so delicious.  Today we ate a plate of fresh pineapples, a coconut, 5-6 mangosteens, a couple of litchi nuts, 3-4 plantains, a banana, some papaya, some watermelon and of course my all time favourite fresh mango.  Canadian  fruit does not taste like the stuff here.  It just seems to explode this amazing sweet flavour into your mouth when you bite into it.   After our foot massages we are served fruit tea.  Again amazing flavour.
Kim and I usually spend some time doing a bit of souvenir shopping whenever we go on vacation.  This has been totally unnecessary here as the beach vendors sell just about everything.   They are so friendly and will stop and chat for ten or fifteen minutes.  It works well as we have bought a couple of T shirts for me,  a duvet cover, some jewelry, a couple of blouses for Kim, a sarong and of course all sorts of food from great BBQ, fresh fruit to our favourite Magnum ice cream bar.  Yummy!
We ran into Greg, Chan and Greg’s son Mac who also vacationing at this resort.  We had dinner with them last night and ran I to them on the beach, at restaurants and at the massage parlor.   They look as relaxed as we feel.  Tomorrow we are taking a tuk tuk to the other side of the island to check out what’s over there.
We went Chaweng on the other side of the island.  The tuk tuk ride took us twenty minutes. The route to the other side of the island was filled with small stores and businesses.  I was so amazed at the number of phone and electrical lines on each pole.  Access to the beach was only thru the resorts so we just walked they a resort as if we were staying there.  Chaweng  is on the windy side of the island so the waves were huge.  We wandered the streets looking at souvenirs and other goods but other than some bottled water we bought nothing.  It was very hot and our already sunburned bodies were starting to show signs of blistering so we jumped into a cab and taxied back to our side of the island.  It sounds like an expensive ride, but the island isn’t that big and taxis are fairly cheap.
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Downtown Chaweng.
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Chaweng is much more of a tourist town than where we stayed on Bophut.  A lot more bars, and seedy massage parlours.  More evening activities you might say.  Take a look at the number of wires on the telephone poles here.
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More of downtown Cheweng,
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The beach in Cheweng.ImageImage ImageCheweng Beach is very dangerous and parts are closed due to the size of the waves and the undertow.
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These kids played in the surf but did not venture out very far.  It’s pretty scary.
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There are lots of resorts that are on the beachfront.
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And beautiful babes sunning on the beach.
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What a beautiful place.  The water is so warm.  You never get cold swimming.
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We left Cheweng after a couple of hours and went back to our own resort which was much quieter and the water a little safer.
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Kim and I spent hours in the water.  It was great.
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This is the view from the front porch of our cabana.  The building in front of us is the outdoor pool, bar and massage parlor.
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This a jungle and the plants. birds and animals are everywhere.  Here we see a friendly gecko hanging out in a lampshade.
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The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach.  Rak, our Thai beach cook, made us the regular; two chicken skewers, two spring rolls and a couple of plantains and mangosteens.  For dinner we took a tuk tuk to the BBC.  Big Buddah Cafe.  The food and service were quite below par.  The Pad Thai was over cooked, the red curry prawns were very hot,  but not very flavourful.  The garlic bread and spring rolls were tasty.  We waited 45 minutes for them to deliver our dinner.  The red wine was tasty but served ice cold.  To be honest this was one of the most expensive dinners we ate here, and probably the worst food and service.  We chose this restaurant  because they bragged of great sunsets. They didn’t disappoint us.
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We paid for our dinner and asked the waiter to call us a cab.  He told us it would be ten minutes.  After five minutes we walked to the door to wait.  He chased after us because the thought we might take a tuk tuk back to resort.  He stood next to us the whole time and waited.  Soon a vehicle pulled up and our waiter announced our cab was here.  He wanted 400 baht to take us back to the resort.  When I looked closely he wore the uniform of another resort.  He had borrowed their vehicle to make a couple of bucks for himself and the waiter.  I told the waiter that he was not a taxi driver and this was not a taxi.  He insisted it was and it was a very good price.  So I turned to walk towards the restaurant.  I asked him if the restaurant owner knew he was doing this.  Suddenly the price dropped, and he did not want me going back into the restaurant to talk to his boss.  We didn’t rat him out but passed on the pseudo taxi as a tuk tuk came around the corner and drove us to our resort.  We went for a walk on the beach before turning in.
Kim and I have grown into a very lazy pattern of getting up about 8:00 am, eating a huge breakfast then going for a swim at the beach and sunning for the day.   Every evening we go out for Thai food at a different restaurant.  Everywhere we go the food is so fresh.  Most of the restaurant owners have gardens in their backyard and grow everything there for the restaurants.  It is so delicious and the service is great.
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This is the restaurant at our resort.  We have a free breakfast every morning before we hit the beach.  The food is excellent.  They serve very fresh fruit from their own farm, thai expresso coffee and of course my favourite; lots of bacon.
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Rak sets up her BBQ in time for lunch.  Yummy World here!
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The view from the restaurant at our resort.
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Friday night we wander into Bophut.  Friday evenings they close the streets to trtaffic and the whole city becomes alive with vendors selling their wares, mojitos for only a buck fifty,
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Kim and I wandered down to the docks and were both eating the street food. I picked up a pound and a half of ribs for $4.50.  Man they were delicious and I was stuffed.
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We discovered this gem of a photo.  A group of Thai kids hovering around an iPad playing Temple Run!
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There are lights every where.
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And lots of people.
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Did I mention a ton of food?
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More food
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This vendor sits on her bike while she made us some Pad Thai and a papaya salad.
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After an evening drinking,eating, shopping and listening to very bad reggae music we hopped into the back of a tuk tuk (pickup truck) and head back to the resort.
Day nine here in Thailand and Kim and I sign up for a jungle safari.
We don’t generally do package tours but we got such a great deal on this.  400 baht to be picked up in a jeep, driven into the jungle and then go elephant riding.  We were out for about a half hour.
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  What a great experience.  Riding an elephant is a lot smoother than I thought it would be but very scary as you are 10-12 feet in the air.
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Kim and I both had a chance to sit up front and be the driver.
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Driving an elephant is a lot easier than one might think, but parallel parking one of these babies is really tough.
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We fed our elephant some plantains and she was very grateful and trumpeted her thanks to us.  We were quite embarrassed to find out some of the other people on the same tour as us had paid 2-3 times as much for the same tour.   We kept our mouths shut.   I hope they don’t read our blog.
ImageAt the end of our ride we were about a two minute walk from an 80 metre water fall.  There was a beautiful pool where you could swim as long as you want.
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But surprise surprise!  To get there you had to walk by all of the vendors.  It felt like getting off the ride at Disneyland and having to walk thru the gift shop..  Some things never change.
ImageThe water was very warm to swim in, but the walk down to this pool was very treacherous.
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We hung around for about an hour and a half.  It was quite cool in the jungle and we were sprayed up with citronella so the bugs left us alone.
ImageHere’s Kim and I dipping our tootsies in the river just down from the waterfall.
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On the way home this bozo wanted to ride on the back of the tuk tuk.  The driver said sure… His wife said “No Way!”  He rode inside.
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The end of part two.  Stay tuned for the final instalment of our Winter Vacation.
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