A Travellerspoint blog

Homebound


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Well today could have ended up pretty bad!! I woke up early because I wanted to made sure I had time to meet up with some guys in my hostel who were also headed to the airport this morning so we could split a cab. I thoughtttt I had a flight to Bangkok this afternoon followed by my flight home tomorrow morning. With this in mind, I had already booked a hostel in Bangkok for tomorrow night as well as packed my bag in a half-ass manner since I figured I would take it all out and repack tomorrow. However, for some reason as I was sitting and waiting on the couch, I decided to look at my flight confirmation for my flight home and it suddenly hit me that I had made a big mistake; my flight tomorrow was a 1am NOT 1 pm! AKA I was pretty much starting my travels right now to go home! I forget that they used 24-hour time on flights and saw 1:00 and just assumed it meant 1:00pm. My bad! I was totally not mentally prepared to leave and was completely thrown for a loop by this but was extremely glad I caught it and didn’t miss my flight!

I rushed to change and repack a bit before getting a cab with some American guys to the airport. I waited around in the airport for a bit (I was early) before my quick 1 hr flight to Bangkok. I then took the free shuttle from DMK to BKK airport (the domestic to international airports in Bangkok, respectively), getting to BKK around 5pm. My flight wasn’t until 1am so I had a LOT of time to kill. I watched some movies, ate, bought some snacks, etc. I was pretty damn exhausted by the time it was time to check in for my flight and board. I had a 5 hour flight to Beijing and thankfully I slept pretty much the whole time. I then had my layover in Beijing for a few hours, still completely exhausted, before getting on my flight to the USA! Luckily it was a pretty empty flight and I ended up in a row with no one in the middle! This was awesome as it gave me more space to spread out and sleep. Luckily I pretty much slept the entire ride.

It’s crazy to think that my time in Asia was over and I was heading home! This trip was even more than I imagined it to be, I met lots of amazing people along the way and experienced things I never thought I would. It went by so fast and so slow at the same time. Can’t wait to start planning my next trip!!

Distance: 5.3 miles

Posted by bsantos1991 12:04 Archived in Thailand Tagged home flight airport bangkok usa beijing phuket layover Comments (0)

Last full day of vacation :(


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Second beach day was just as great but even hotter! I went with a random girl I met in my hostel that morning. Later at night, I went with Jodie in search of a weekly street market she had read about online. The internet saaaid it was a 20 minute walk, but it was probably a good 45 minutes later before we found it on the other side of the town. By the time we got there we were pretty tired and it had begun to rain. We ended up ducking into a bar to hopefully wait the rain out, but a beer later it was still going pretty strong. We were trying to decide if we wanted to grab a taxi or walk back, but the taxi’s were asking for expensive rates for the 5 minute drive back. We ended up deciding to buy some ponchos at 7-11 and walk the way back.

Distance: 4.9 miles
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Posted by bsantos1991 11:45 Comments (0)

Enjoying the island life


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Today’s plan was simple; lay my butt down on that beach across the street and relax! I slept in a bit and headed out with Jodie in the late morning. It was too hot to lay on the beach that we ended up spending most of the time in the water. It was a really nice temperature and not too warm that it wasn’t refreshing. The water was also pretty rough with pretty decent sizes waves. Nonetheless, it was a load of fun!

We lasted until around 3:30, then head back to the hostel to shower and grab some fruit juice. We met back up with the Irish girl and decided to watch a movie at night, watching Love Actually followed by Shutter Island. All in all, a great day, and I was excited to do the same exact thing tomorrow!

Distance: 0.53 miles

Posted by bsantos1991 11:44 Tagged beach phuket movie_night thai_islands shutter_island Comments (0)

Eat, Sleep, Dive


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Another day of diving in the books! We woke up early for a morning dive before breakfast, with highlights including seeing a white tip shark!! We then had breakfast and a short break as we waited for the speed boat to arrive with the new people. It was a small group, and we joined them for our second dive of the day. We then had a break and some time to pack our bags before lunch and the third dive of the day and final dive of the trip. Afterwards, we packed up our equipment and it was time to depart on the speed boat back to Phuket.

I was sad to leave as I had a blast on my trip. It exceeded expectations, with seven dives over 2 days/1 night and more colorful fish than I could count! Highlights included: school of barracuda, giant moray eel, octopuses, white tip shark, lionfish, and a family of eagle rays! It was amazing.

I got back to Phuket in the evening. I checked into my room and saw someone familiar in the room. Took me a few minutes to place her, but it was a girl I met in Hoi An, Vietnam, on the street food tour that my hotel put on! I had only briefly talked to her that night, but she stuck out to me because she was from Hillsborough NJ! Such a small world that she was now in my room in the Thai Islands, around a month later!!

Anyways, it was me, her, and a Irish girl in my room -- they were both great! It was late and I was pretty wiped out, but we hung out in the common area with some of the other people that I had met when I was there a few days earlier. The girl from NJ, Jodie, had mentioned that stranger things season 2 had come out this week, and since we had netflix at this hostel, we ended up binge watching four episodes! Pretty solid night.

Distance: 1 mile23380111_1..750877511_n.jpg23244247_1..888705558_n.jpg23380136_1..465327019_n.jpg

Posted by bsantos1991 11:42 Archived in Thailand Tagged fish diving phuket coral liveaboard thai_islands Comments (0)

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G


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Wow, what a day! I got picked up really early (6am!) and transported via minivan about 3 hours away to a pier, where we checked in with the liveaboard company and were transported via speedboat about 1 hr away to the boat! I was a bit surprised as I had thought the liveaboard was with the company I booked the trip with, but I guess they were just the middleman selling me the liveaboard with the actual boat/diving company.

We got on the boat and everything happened extremely fast. There were a handful of people already on the boat when we arrived. I soon found out that these liveaboards have a bit of a revolving door, a speed boat arrives every day with people arriving and departing from the ship. We had a quick debriefing, where we were explained the parts of the boat, shown our equipment, and shown the schedule for the next 48 hours. Then, within 45 mins of being onboard, it was time for the first dive! I was soo glad I had just completed a refresher and dove the week prior, as there were very minimal instruction and guidance. However, once I got in the water, I was amazed! The water was soo much cleared than in Malaysia and full of sea life. I was in a small group of 5 people plus a dive master. He lead us around for our 50 minute dive and we saw a ton of fish, colorful coral, and the highlight of the dive, a school of barracuda! It was amazing, and I was so happy to be back in the water. I felt pretty comfortable by the end of it and was so excited for all the dives to come!

We got back on the boat for lunch and I talked with some people on board. Turns out there was already a group of people who started their 2 days/1 night trip the night before, and were leaving after lunch. Within my group of newcomers, 2 of them were only here for a day trip (only getting in 2 dives), and there were 3 of us here for the overnight! We had our second dive after lunch and then the day trips and group from yesterday left. The boat got really empty really fast. It was me, another American, and a guy from Russia. We pretty much had the entire boat to ourselves, which normally can fit 30-40 people! We also each got our own room. I didn’t know what to expect since I had never done a liveaboard before, but the boat was pretty sweet! It had two floors with cabins, a big diving deck with equipment, a dining/eating/relaxing area, and a sundeck! We had a bit of a break then completed a third dive, followed by dinner before our fourth and final dive of the day, a night dive. It was awesome! I finished my day really exhausted but feeling so exhilarated and excited about the day and greatly looking forward to tomorrow! I wasn’t really nervous underwater anymore and was enjoying myself so much, this trip was definitely worth it!

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Distance: 0.13 miles

Posted by bsantos1991 11:36 Archived in Thailand Tagged fish diving coral liveaboard similan_islands barracuda thai_islands Comments (0)

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