Thailand, Phuket, Bangkok, and Koh Phi Phi!
Pronouncing names of places in Thailand is a tricky business.
When you think about it, all the names of places we went in Thailand could be EASILY mispronounced into something dirty.
Phuket (pronounced like Poo-KET, but Bruce said it like “F**k-it”)
Koh Phi Phi (or the Phi Phi Islands, pronounced like Pee Pee Islands(really).),
and of course Bangkok and Thailand (thigh-land).
Regardless of how you pronounce it, Thailand is a gorgeous place. It’s shares a long border with Myanmar, and so in some ways it had a similar look to it – the food was all fantastic and the people were super friendly. However, we’ve heard Myanmar be compared to “Thailand, but 30 years ago,” and this was definitely true. Where Myanmar had dirt roads and horse carts, Thailand had well-paved lanes and 7-Eleven stores all over (Almost as many as the US, actually). Myanmar is just beginning to see their tourist boom, and Thailand has had several decades to perfect the art of managing tourists while not giving up too much of the local flavor.
Our trip to Thailand was initially going to be quite different. See, we’d planned to visit with Bruce’s brother, Eddie, during a week-long trip he was taking with his Medical School. We’d planned a nice 3-day weekend to hang out, party it up, and likely get ourselves into some trouble in Bangkok with the brother and his med school buddies, but unfortunately, the trip was cancelled two weeks in advance. So we moved quickly and found a perfectly timed connecting flight to Phuket, which is a rather large island (about 4x the size of Washington, DC) on the West coast of Thailand.
Bruce was particularly interested in visiting the Phuket area because we were able to book a trip out to the Phi Phi islands, made famous for where the movie The Beach (released in 2000, starring Leonardo DiCaprio) was filmed.
So we suffered through 2 days of snorkeling in some of the most gorgeous waters on the planet, and got some nice little tans to bring back to cloudy Chengdu. We ate Thai food until we were stuffed and drank cheap and delicious fruity cocktails while sitting on the softest powder white sand beaches you could ever imagine. After two days of paradise, we had a day-long layover in Bangkok, where we wandered aimlessly around the streets, rode in Tuk-Tuks, and ate more Thai food.
Overall, not a bad change of plans- though we still wish we could have seen Eddie. 🙂