Day 212: Happy New year guys! We hope you all had an amazing break. We came back from Thailand on Friday night, to a crazy snow storm here in Korea. there is so much snow here, that we actually had a snow day which gave us a chance to download our photos to share with you.
Our trip was wonderful and the weather was perfect the entire time! Our first night there, we walked the beach, explored the hotel and watched an awesome fire show at the beachfront restaurant. Our place was gorgeous and only a one minute walk to Karon beach :) On our second day, we visited Kata beach and did some shopping in the local markets and booked a few day trips that we had planned. We also attracted a cute doggy friend who we nicknamed Straggles who came along for our walk. If Shayna had her way, he would have come home with us :)
On our third day, we went elephant trekking with our friend Jenny which was cool and a little scary at the same time! Our elephant's name Namoon and we had the best elephant trainer with us. After about 10 minutes into the ride, he jumped off Namoon and told us to ride on the elephants head. He grabbed my camera from me, and proceeded to take about 200 pictures for us :) Our elephant was only 30 years old, which is young since they live to be about 100~ He also was VERY hungry and ate everything in sight. When Brandon first got on his head, he walked straight to a tree, and grabbed the top branch and actually pulled the entire tree down on Brandon and I. I think he as testing us :) After that, we got used to each other and even took a bath with him in a little pond. It was by far one of the most memorable parts of the trip.
The next day we headed to the Big Buddha and Chalong temple, the most famous temple in Phuket. The Buddha was huge, but still under construction, and the views were incredible! The temple was beautiful as well, and loaded with tourists.
On the fifth day we spent the day at Patong Beach. It is one of the more popular beaches in Phuket and way more crowded than Karon beach. Although it was fun to people watch, we preferred our more low key and laid back beach. While we walked the beach, we ran into some interesting characters, including a little boy with a net over his head playing in the water :) And at the very end of the beach, where there weren't as many people, we met an awesome man and his three Rottweiler puppies. One of them had a hurt leg and he says he brings them to the beach to rehabilitate it. Of course, Shayna was in heaven playing with the dogs and watching them run on the beach.
On our sixth day, we took a day trip to Phi Phi Island. The trip included visiting the Maya Bay where the movie The Beach was filmed, snorkeling, going to Monkey Beach, and exploring Kai and Phi Phi Islands. But, our boat's engine broke down while we were having lunch and so we got stranded on Phi Phi Ley for about 4 hours. Although we missed some of the activities, we are glad we got to see and chill with the monkeys, which was pretty exciting and totally terrifying since they are totally wild and not afraid to attack! When we got back, our agent refunded 50% of our trip and we took ourselves out for a delicious surf 'n' turf dinner!
Finally, on our last day, we decided to stay on our beach and just relax. Also, since we have always wanted to try para sailing, we did that too! The views from above were gorgeous and when you looked down into the water, all you could see for miles were these huge jellyfish. It was a pretty epic view, although we wouldn't want to get stuck in that part of the water! Afterwards, right before sunset we were swimming in the ocean where we found this beautiful purple starfish which we of course put on our heads for some funny shots.
Finally, it was time to get ready for our New Years dinner and beach party. Our hotel had an amazing buffet and fun performances. We joked that we were at the T.G.I.F's of hotels because of the insane amount of flare they put up for the party. It was an amazing night which ended with us firing up a big paper good luck hot air balloon type thingy and watching an incredible fireworks show on the beach. We wish you all a great 2010, and can't wait to have our wedding in 8 months and 18 days (not that we're counting or anything) :)
With love from South Korea,
Brandon & Shayna xo