As I have posted about before, I spent my winter vacation in Thailand. The original plan was for my parents and sister to join me, but those plans were changed due to some family issues. My friend Corinne joined me for the trip, with Tricia (my sister) spending the last night and day with us. As sad as I was to not get to see my parents, it was great to experience such a drastically different culture from Korea.
Corrine and I took a night bus to Seoul, flew into Bangkok and immediately jumped on a night train to the province Krabi is in- usually 12 hours south, but our train broke down so it took 14. We spent part of the trip in third class and the other part in seated second class (the pictures are Corinne's from second class). It was very intense. When we finally got there, we took what was supposed to be an hour bus to Krabi (this actually took four hours) and then a taxi to..
... this beautiful resort!
After about 36 hours of traveling, this was exactly what we both needed.
We showered, changed, and immediately got some Thai food!
Then we took our resort's shuttle to the beach! It was beautiful and hot, and most of all the opposite weather of Korea! We ate amazing Thai food, enjoyed relaxing Thai massage, and went to bed early.
The next day we hired a taxi to take us to the Tiger Temple Cave, the Emerald Pool and the Hot Springs. This is Wat Sum Sua, or the Tiger Temple Cave, which actually doesn't have any tigers.
The temple is famous because its surrounded by monkeys, which are known for being rather aggressive and harassing the tourists. Luckily, the temple had recently had the monkeys removed and relocated, because of the issues with tourists, the lack of natural food in the environment, and the fact that the monkeys damaged the temple itself.
Did I mention the temple is at the top of a mountain? It doesn't sound like that far, but I soon realized that this is similar to Korean "hiking" - the steps are incredibly steep, to the point that you have to use your hands, like a ladder. It was entirely worth it though for the view.
The Buddha itself was massive. I wish I had gotten a picture with some scale, but to give you some idea, I didn't reach even the bottom of Buddha's leg!
These three are probably my favorite shots from the temple.
This is the view from the top!
Later we got a chance to relax in the Emerald Pool and the Hot Springs. Both were incredibly beautiful, and if you click the links it will take you to a video of each of them. I was worried about my camera getting wet, so I didn't take a ton of pictures there. They were both surrounded by beautiful rain forest and mountains, it was a sight to be seen.
We spent the night getting Thai massages and relaxing, and in the morning left for Khao Sok National Park. This is a prehistoric rain forest that is supposed to be beautiful. The plan was to stay in this awesome tree house, go hiking, canoeing, elephant trekking, etc.
The plan ended up changing when I broke out in extremely painful hives due to an allergic reaction. When allergy medication had no affect, and with the hives spreading by the minute, we hired a taxi and headed out of the rain forest. We booked another night train back to Bangkok. I will update about Bangkok in the next day or two!