A new year begins in Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Starry sky above Ao Nang Cliffs, Krabi, Thailand

Starry sky above Ao Nang Cliffs, Krabi, Thailand

2015 is the year of the ram and my 2015 will be full of challenging new adventures.  Today I introduced 5 new members to grade 4 as the team leader, Brian and I just moved into an amazing new apartment and I’ve been volunteering with Seoul Hiking Group long enough to start planning my own hikes and even international trips!

Welcome to Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Welcome to Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Lucky for me that wasn’t all.  I rang in the Lunar New Year in Thailand with some of my best friends!  Just the other day Brian and I were sitting on a boat watching flying fish flap along the waves as islands littered the horizon.  The Andaman Sea is a wondrous place worthy of repeat visits by anyone who loves fun in the sun.  I know I’ll be back the only question is will I be renting long boats for island hopping or using my new SCUBA diving certificate to explore the deep blue waters teeming with life.

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi's majestic cliffs.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi’s majestic cliffs.

The Andaman Sea is perhaps Thailand’s most valuable asset.  It was stunning, unforgettable and one of my most memorable adventures yet.  In spite of this awe-inspiring land we often ran into those who swear by “how different Thailand was 10 or 20 years ago.” Subtly saying “how much better Thailand was in the past.”  To this I say “how different was America 10 or 20 years ago?”  The world changes, but lucky for those of us who have had one or fewere trips to Thailand these changes have made it more English accessible.  Sure a minor degree of authenticity feels lost to those who are lucky enough to be nostalgic but even in this modern world Thailand’s southern islands are an archipelago that remain an incredible part of the world.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi's majestic cliffs.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi’s majestic cliffs.

Island hopping in Phi Phi Thailand

Island hopping in Phi Phi Thailand

Green fishing lights off of Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Green fishing lights off of Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

I’m overwhelmed by everything about Thailand and can’t believe its over.  I’m even more overwhelmed by the thousands of photos I have to wade through as my Korean life goes back into full swing.  Its a great feeling to have so much to look forward to and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

Have you ever been to Thailand?  What was your favorite part?  What are you looking forward to in 2015, the year of the ram?

Adventures in Boracay, Philippines – Bulabog Beach & Mt. Luho

Zipping down the road in a flimsy yellow tricycle was just one of many great adventures in Boracay, the party island of the Philippines.  After a red-eye flight, a holiday family Skype session and a few measly hours of sleep I found myself on the island of Caticlan Sunday morning.  It was a short taxi (all the taxis here are tricycles aka trikes) to the port where I waited for a boat to take me to Boracay.

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The ferry across only was in the open water for about 10 minutes but takes nearly an hour with all the congestion at either port.  The wooden ferries look like converted fishing boats with bamboo outriggers lashed on either side.  These overcrowded vessels have local sailors on bow and stern toting what 30 foot bamboo poles.  There adept punting skills with those push poles successfully maneuvered us at both harbors before I disembarked and jumped into anther trike.

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The 2-way road was full of sidecar motorcycles converted into taxi-trikes.  After combing through a residential neighborhood my driver finally located MNL Boracay Beach Hostel; my home for the next 2 days.  I checked in, was excited to find a great view from our roof and went off to explore the beach.

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