Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Truly Memorable Vacation

A wonderful trip indeed.

Both Carl and I had a bit of anxiety as we set out for our trip to Thailand in January. We have been together for over two years now and this was the first time he was going to meet my family. I wasn't all that worried to tell the truth. I know he would be well received.

It was beyond expectation.

We went to a memorial service for my late grandmother at a Buddhist temple where her ashes were interred the Sunday after we arrived. This is my family's annual pilgrimage so to speak. It is almost a command performance. When my grandmother was alive relatives would gather at my parents house (She lived with my mother who was the only daughter.) on her birthday. It became an annual tradition, a family reunion to speak.

Now that she is gone, the family gathers at the temple to remember her and then go to my oldest uncle's house (who is now the patriach of the family) for a luncheon.

I had not been to one of these gatherings in years. The timing was never right. This time not only did I show up, but with a new family member in tow.

Needless to say, more relatives showed up to meet "the new guy."

The surprise was this cake. Sorry I didn't ge the picture before it was cut, the it says "welcome to our family."

That's my mom:

We had a lot of fun. Here is my sister, me, my niece and my sister-in-law.

The day before we went out to dinner. I have not seen my dad smile like this in a long time!

We were in Bangkok for only a couple of days before heading south the the resort town of Krabi. One of my cousins has a hotel right on the beach and she graciously gave us a room with a great view.

Krabi is a small resort town on the Andaman Sea coast on the west coast of southern Thailand. It is a sleepy little town compared to the world-renown island resort of Phuket, which is right off the coast. We are glad we chose to go to Krabi instead of Phuket. What it lacks in glitz and glamor is more than made up with beautiful beaches and all the charms of a small town.

Here is our Phra Nang Inn Hotel

That's my room in the bottom left picture. Here is the view from the balcony:

Those boats are "long-tail speed boat" - water taxis that will take you out to the outlining islands for a day trip. You can also charter one out for a day.

We took a day trip to Phi Phi Islands, about a 45 -minute boat ride out in the Andaman Ocean. This is Maya Beach, where the movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed in 2000.

Phuket, Krabi, and Phi Phi Islands all were hit badly in the New Year tsunami of 2004. Now there are evacuation route signs posted all along the beachfront.

And this is the "Chicken Island."

The islands off the coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea are predominently lime stone, hence a lot of interesting rock formations. This so-called "Viking Island" is so-named because of pre-historic cave paintings resembling those found in Viking caves in Europe.

The island itself is more economically valueable because of the concession to the gathering of the nest of the swiftlets for the infamous bird nest soup - an extremely expensive Chinese delicacy that is allegedly highly aphrodisiac. How anybody gets amorous from eating bird barf is beyond me.

I was so fascinated with the rock formation.

From the one in the middle of the sea:

This one is at the end of the beach in front of our hotel:

But this is my favorite rock:

In fact we climbed over one rock to get a better picture of it.

Me an my rock!

Carl, of course, couldn't care less for the rocks.
He'd rather be with his Kindle.

So I started to knit socks, naturally.

But Krabi doesn't just have only sand and sea to offer. Next: the Hot Springs of Krabi.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Tried Bird Nest soup last year from like . Tastes really good... yeah, I thought it was gross at first, but wow, you won't regret it.