Aaahh... so, we've finally discovered why hey call it the Rainy Season. Since we've been gone, we've been pretty lucky with the weather... every now and then, we'd get a serious downpour, but nothing major. Well, that seems to have changed in the past week or so.
We arrived in Ao Nang on the 15th to a light shower. No problem. We went out for dinner, booked an island-hopping tour, our elephant ride and white water rafting for the following days and then headed back to our hotel (super snazzy, by the way). The next day, our only plans involved sitting by the beach and tanning a little more. Well, that got rained out. So we sat in our room doing nothing. Thankfully, we had a TV with three English channels, so we were at least able to veg out in front of it. The following day, we got up super early for our island tour, only t0o find out that it, too, was cancelled due to rain. Soo... we retired to our room, yet again.
The next day, we woke up to... get this... RAIN! After being shut up in our room for two day and what with this being our supposed elephant day, we were really upset/scared that it would be cancelled. So, we called the company that runs the tours and they told us that we could still go, but that it would be wet. Naturally, we told them that we didn't mind in the slightest and at 1 o'clock, they picked us up at the hotel. As you can imagine, elephant trekking kicks ass! Like, serious amounts of ass. First of all, the elephants are amazing! So beautiful and gentle and funny. Steph's elephant was named Honey and Kristelle's Luvy. As always, Steph had to be stuck with the rebel... Honey kept rubbing up on trees (which makes balance a rather difficult feat) and stopping at every third tree to rip off branches to eat. We told her she would get fat if she kept it up, but she only speaks Thai, so that didn't work out so well. Another great thing about the trek was the scenery. Basically, the walk you around a tropical forest/jungle, whatever you want to call it... it's amazing. The rain stopped about half-way through, so we were able to get rid of our umbrellas and enjoy it properly! It was great!
The next day, still in the rain, we went white water rafting. Seeing as we were going to be soaked by the of that day regardless of the weather, the rain did not bother us. The raftign was pretty cool... despite the flat tire on the way to the river and the hour wait before we could actually go anywhere. The rapids were not as intense as they could of been, but our guide made up for that by purposely ramming into every rock he saw. Kristelle, who was seated right in the middle of the raft and did nt see this coming, was sent flying forwards. She managed to stay in the boat, but barely... At the end of our 5 km run, we were shipped back to the hotel (where we stayed holed up because of rain).
On our last day in Ao Nang (and, incidentally, Thailand), we finally got to go on our 4 island tour by long tail boat. We woke up to some pretty nice weather, actually, but we didn't trust it. Our first stop on the tour was Tup island, which is actually two small island connected by a sand bridge. The "bridge" is only visible (and walkable) at low tide, which is why this was our first stop. We got to lie in the semi-sun for about an hour and do some swimming before getting back on the boat to visit "Chicken Island". We didn't actually get off at Chicken Island, as it's more of a photo-op stop. It's really just a big rock that looks like a chicken's head. Kind of lame, but funny. We got to do some snorkelling around this island... it was cool, there were loads of fish to see, but Steph kind of lost it when the guide started throwing bread in the water all around her and the fish attcked. She actually got bit by a fish! Bastards! Anwyay, after that we went to Poda island, where it started to rain. This would have been a nice beach for sunbathing, but instead we sought refuge under some trees. It didn't work so well... Our last stop (after the rain) was the Princess Cave at Railay beach. It's named that way because of some kind of legend about some kind of Princess. Obviously, we're not too sure... The cave was really pretty from the outside, but for some reason there didn't seem to be any entrance. Half-way through our tour of this island, however, our guide came running up to us shouting about how he was afraid of the waves (it had started to rain again) and how we had to go. So we got back on the boat, and headed out. He was right to be scared of the waves... by the time we got back to Ao Nang, we were drenched and feeling rather queasy... That night, you guessed it, we stayed in because of the rain.
On Tuesday, we hopped a bus to Malaysia (easiest border crossing of all time) and we are now in Kuala Lumpur. We are pretty shocked to say that we will be home in just over week, but surely that's good news on some level.
See you all soon!!
Steph and Kris