TRAVEL: Thailand – Swimming with the Fish

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I obsessively checked the weather report every day the week leading up to our Thailand holiday.  I’m not sure if you guys are familiar with Belgian weather, but we see our fair share of rain here.  Well, maybe more than our fair share.  Simply put, we get a whole hell of a lot of rain.  So imagine my dismay when I saw that rain was forecasted for most of our time in Koh Lanta.  The beach time in Koh Lanta.  The time when you want sunshine and blue skies.  Turns out, I didn’t have too much to worry about.  Our days were mostly hot and sunny, and then as the evening would set in we would find ourselves watching these amazing thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms were one of the things that we missed most while living in Southern California, both of us having grown up in areas where summer storms meant gazing out the windows in amazement as the skies would light up and the house would rumble.  The storms on Koh Lanta made us feel a bit like kids again – staring at the sky in anticipation for the next strike and crying out in excitement when it was particularly bright or big. 

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Many a night were spent watching these storms roll in from the north with drink in hand on the beach, trying to gauge how long we could stay in our current post before having to try to seek cover from the rain that would eventually follow.  Proof that a little bit of forecasted rain may actually end up being one of your favorite things.

And so now, as we wrap up our recap of our Thailand trip we are going to finish with our off-island excursion.  Most people who know me know that I fear the ocean, which was only further deepened about six or seven years back when I was stung by a stingray in Mission Beach, San Diego.  I can easily peg my fears into the three S’s: spiders, snakes, and sharks.  The last one being the one most relevant to this next adventure, although one could – and I would – argue that an eel could be considered a large, slithery water snake.  So given these fears, when Jared first suggested trying to snorkel while in Thailand I hesitated.  The mosquitos find me extra sweet, what’s to say the sharks won’t as well.  What if I get eaten?  Totally rational fears, I know.  Putting fears aside, we booked two spots on the 4 Island tour where we would get the opportunity to snorkel or swim off the coast of – you guessed it – four islands.

We saw some beautiful fish (hello Nemo!), made friends with a Dutch family (we have an open invitation to stop by for coffee), swam through a tunnel to a legitimate pirate’s cove, and took in the most beautiful sight in Thailand.  The water may have been a little hazy (pardon in advance for the super over-exposed photos – beggars can’t be choosers), but we had fun paddling around and exploring the coasts.

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This is the Emerald Cove, and it actually used to be a pirate’s cove where they would hide their booty.  It’s the perfect hidden spot, except it is no longer hidden.  It is crammed with tourists.  The cave is packed with boats-full of people all hanging on to one another in a long line as the leader navigates the tunnel to arrive in the cove.  It is a pretty beautiful cove even with the hordes of people, so I can imagine how serene it would be if one had it just to themselves.

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And, of course, then we found perfection in one little island.  I think this island may warrant a longer stay in the future.

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And so with that, goodbye for now Thailand.  I have a feeling we’ll be back real soon.

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