Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Back in the Vortex

We are back in our new "hometown" of Krabbi. We've used this quaint little place as a jumping off point for our beach trips and have fallen in love with the people, the town and the pace. We have met some really wonderful people and will be sad to leave tomorrow. We are leaving on the 7:00 am bus to Bangkok which will take 12 hours, then we hop on the overnight train to Chang Mai. So we should be there by...oh, I don't know. We'll be there.

We headed out to Ko Phi Phi a few days ago (don't expect specific days or dates, I stopped counting a while back) and the boat ride over was horrendous. I have never really had sea sickness before but I got introduced to it in a big way. The water was really rough so I ended up puking for the whole hour and forty minutes. I must say I was quite discreet though and nobody seemed to notice. Although at that point I wouldn't have cared anyway.

All the sick was worth the view. Ko Phi Phi is easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I wanted to take a picture of everything I saw...bright blue-green waters, white sands, palm tress and bright blue skies. It looked like a postcard. I can easily see how you could come to Thailand and just never leave (and let me tell you, we met plenty of people who have done just that!)

On Sunday night Brian and I were lying in bed and I felt it shake (insert sex joke here). I said to him, "Did you feel that?" "Feel what?" he asked. I insisted several times that the bed was shaking, and Brian basically told me I was imagining things. Turned out I was feeling an earthquake. The quake, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, hit about 650m off the coast of Phuket in the Andaman/Nicobar Islands. It spurred the Thai government to declare an official Tsunami warning which sent people into a panic. The restaurant where we had eaten dinner that night was evacuated about half an hour after we left. Apparently people's cellphones just started ringing like crazy and the Thais took off for the hills...literally. So there was a mass evacuation and guess where we were? In bed. Oblivious. I heard someone going door to door knocking gently "Hello? Hello?" but assumed that it was someone looking for their friend. Trust the Thais to be their typical sweet, quiet, gentle selves during an evacuation. Evacuations don't work if people don't know about them! Anyway, nothing happened and no tsunami showed up. It's a good thing too because Ko Phi Phi still looks like the tsunami hit last week despite an ongoing cleanup effort. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked about where the aid money has all gone and why there is no permanent medical facility on the island...but I'm on holiday. I don't ask the tough questions when I'm on vacation.

Yesterday we spent the day snorkeling (fortunately we met a lovely couple from New Zealand who supplied me with sea sickness pills...thanks guys!) all around Ko Phi Phi, Phi Phi Leh and Bamboo Island. It was awesome. I had never seen so many beautiful fish and coral. It was warm and the water was so clear...I felt like I was a mini- snorkeler in the world's largest aquarium. We spent the day diving off the boat, laying on the beach and swimming to our hearts content. It was awesome. We also rented sea kayaks one day and paddled all around. We had such a good time. It took a lot of will power to get aboard that outbound boat today. A lot of will power and some serious medication.

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