cait +tiff


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C / Sailing in the Andaman

jump

Last week, I went sailing with a group of friends in the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Thailand. It took me most of this week to recover from the constant feeling of sea legs and overall wobbliness, but I already miss being out on the ocean.

5 days. 8 people. 1 catamaran.

The Trip

ADMMAP

le map

We hired a captain for the trip, because we shouldn’t be trusted with something as valuable as a boat. We left from the north of Phuket the first day, taking the scenic route, and did a bit of island hopping.  We sailed around the north side of Koh Yao Noi, hitting Koh Panak, Koi Yai, then scooting around to Koh Hong and Koh Roi, and sleeping at Koh Kudi. We explored some lagoon caves, did a bit of local prawn shopping and dragged a few free loaders off the back of the boat.

cave

Indian Jones came on our trip

shramp

the prawn shop

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hitching a ride

After sleeping in the front nets of the catamaran (less comfortable than I had hoped for) we set out for Koh Roi and Krabi. En route, we stopped at Koh Nok where we were able to “hike” up the side of a very steep hill, and look out over the sea and all the islands. This was also the place where we took photos to post when it is snowing in North America.

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i hear it’s cold where you are

We were able to sail the rest of the way to Koh Roi that afternoon, which is also known as Chicken Head Island. This is because the island looks like a chicken head. Very clever.  We pulled in and decided to take a stroll on the beach, and ended up with one of the best sunsets in the history of the universe. See below.

Chicken-Head

looks like a…chicken

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eh

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two become one

sunset

blammo

The next morning we did our fair share of snorkeling, an important daily ritual on this trip, and then picked up a few free loaders in Krabi.  We spent most of the day playing around Railey Beach, and of course, had to explore the Cave of Dicks. The Cave of Dicks is technically a shrine to fertility, but doubles as a haven for obnoxious tourists to take silly photos.
The night was spent checking out the phosphorescent algae along the quiet side of Koh Phi Phi. Well, it was the quiet side until we got there and got a little crazy with the coconut juice. There will be no photos.

maps

this is a map. this is the ocean. this is the storm we are going directly into.

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winter is coming. hahahahah i’m just kidding its Thailand

these guys want to party

these guys want to party

Because it is insanely gorgeous and I never get tired of it, I made everyone get up early and go to Maya Beach. This is the beach where the movie, The Beach, was filmed, and it still smells like Leonardo DeCaprio. It’s almost as pretty as he is. Because we knew we were going to hit some weather the last few days of the trip, we took off as the Russian tour boats were pulling in and sailed into Koh Phi Phi for some dry land and noodles.

Koh Phi Phi was hit hard by the Tsunami in 2004, so I am fast to forgive the tackiness, but I can only take so many sunburnt tourists and Full Moon Party t-shirts. After filling up on pad thai and crazy spicy curry, we grabbed our supplies and got out. We sailed to Koh Rachi Yai, famous for its sunshine and snorkeling, and it rained for 500 hours.

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“stop playing with your dinghy”

We got in some amazing snorkeling the next morning off of Koh Racha Yai. The water was perfect and the rocky night on the boat was worth it.

snorkel

under da sea

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darling its betta down where its wetta

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soggy in koh racha yai

Sadly, there aren’t many pictures worth posting after this, which is ok because it was the last day. The storm moved in on us, we remained soggy and wishing the rocking would stop. Then lightning hit our boat. We didn’t sink or drown, but I did learn how thankful I am for wind shadows, Xanax and Kahlúa.

caitsig

 

 

 


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C / go away / chiang mai + andaman sea

The Cambodian Water Festival starts next week in Phnom Penh, and since that means MILLIONS of people will be descending upon our fair city, I will be getting the eff outta here. Bless Cambodia and their 25 public holidays.

This is what I am missing.

This is what I am missing.

A group of us kids are going to Thailand! Our first stop is Chiang Mai. I have wanted to go for years, and I am so excited. I can’t wait to hike and go white-water rafting and eat gigantic bowls of khao soi until I pass out. I have been scouring Paper Planes for local tips on food and adventure in the area. Written by an expat living in Chiang Mai, there are a ton of great ideas up on the blog. With the best timing ever, she just posted a Last Minute Travel Prep Checklist, which I am using this week. So ready to get my exploring on.

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Chiang Mai local

After our time up in the mountains, we are heading south, to the Andaman Sea, where we are renting a sailboat for the week. I have done this a few times before and while I generally like to go to new places every trip, this one is worth returning to. There are few places in the world where I am totally calm, and the abundance of coconut drinks and snorkeling make this spot pretty perfect for chill out time.

If you have any suggestions on what to see/eat/do in either place, I would love to know your thoughts!

Evidence on why I am going back, below.

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Catamarans in love

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Long boat at sunrise

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Dinner.

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Can’t even handle it

Oh, and if you lived inside my head, this is what it would sound like.

caitsig

Photos: The Khmer Times, National Geographic, Cait