one last hurrah.

since jim and i didn't get to travel outside of australia as much as we thought we would, we decided to take our last week abroad to a new country - thailand!

first, we traveled to phuket, thailand, where we stayed at a BEAUTIFUL resort called movenpick hotels & resorts.  it was absolutely stunning.  this is the view from our room:

we went to thailand primarily to relax.  jim had been really busy at work up until his very last day, and we were excited to just enjoy ourselves during our last week abroad.  sooo, we spent a lot of time here:

enjoying these:

but we knew there were things we wanted to do aside from the swim up bar so one day we hit the town.  we couldn't wait to have more reasonable prices for food, services, etc. available to us.  and, man, was it cheap!  

everyone talks about going to thailand for custom suits, shirts, etc.  so we definitely took advantage, but i will fill you in on that in a separate post.  

we started with lunch at a little irish joint, and we were so happy to see normal prices on the menu.  we quickly learned that we liked tiger, singha and chang beer the best.  

after a delicious lunch, we headed across the street for a little pampering.  you hear of these services being super cheap.  i had a pedicure for $7 USD!!!  it was awesome and jim had a leg and foot massage for $8 USD!  we were in heaven.  plus, the people that worked at the salon were so nice.  we even went back on a different day for massages.  they were only $20 USD each.  

then we decided to try something a little different.  there were fish tanks at all the salons.  the idea is to put your feet in the tank so the fish can eat the dead skin off.  so, we decided, "when in rome!".  that being said - NEVER AGAIN!  it was such a weird feeling and it tickled so it wasn't relaxing in the least.  plus, since then, i have heard it's not really safe because they don't change the fish after each person.  so, i am glad to say we've done it, we survived and we will never do it again.  

it is worth mentioning and showing you some of the things that stood out to us while were touring the town.  

#1 - power lines:

doesn't quite look safe, does it? 

#2 - chip and ice cream flavors:

{nori seaweed and lobster hot plate}

{a lot of these were pretty normal, but then you have green tea red bean - yum!  no, we didn't try it and, yes, that IS dairy queen.}

#3:  transportation:

the majority of the population, it seemed, got around via moped or motorcycles.  primarily to weave in and out of traffic.  it was not unusual for a moped to be within inches of your vehicle while driving.

lots of people also traveled in truck beds.  totally legal in thailand:

if you were a tourist, you had the option of taking a taxi or a tuk tuk.  they were pretty comparable in price, but you could negotiate a little with the tuk tuks.

while we were at the pool we met another couple from australia.  their names are netti and brendan, and we hit it off right away.  so, we decided to enjoy a night on the town together.  we had a blast.  first, we had a delicious mexican dinner and then we walked the streets of patong.  there were vendors everywhere and they were still open when we were heading back to the hotel at 1:30am!!  

we had a great time wondering from bar to bar to street vendor to bar.  most places offered some live music or other forms of entertainment.  there were a ton of places with tree stumps games like the one below.  the object of the game was to be the first one to get your nail into the tree stump by taking turns swinging the hammer once a turn.  harder and a lot more fun than it looks.  we spent a lot of time playing this.

{we had a good laugh over this sign.}

since we were having such a great time with netti and brendan we decided to join them on an excursion to james bond island.  james bond island is where they taped "the man with the golden gun" and thailand has, of course, capitalized off that fact.  the tour provided great scenery and good times just hanging out and chatting with the locals.  

{this is netti and brendan - love them!}

{some locals out fishing}

{panoramic view of the islands}

{this, my friends, is james bond island}

{they call these bond boats because apparently they used them a lot in the scenes of the movie - they have an engine from a truck running them.}

{on the island - i guess this is a part of a scene from the movie.  i guess it's a good time to mention that i haven't actually seen the movie - neither had jim.}

{every couple had a guide on the trip.  this was ours - his name is chi.  he was hilarious.  and LOVED jim.}

{after we left james bond island, the tour took us to a couple of other islands that we got to explore via blow up canoes!  again, our tour guides did all the hard work.  it was pretty amazing because we got to go through a bunch of caves and even saw a couple of monkeys!}

{there's a monkey!  not the most pleasant of views.  sorry!}

{i spy... }

last, but not least, the tour took us to a beach where we were able to sit back, relax and have a few beers.

jim and chi enjoying a little stroll on the beach.

after phuket, we took a plan ride over to bangkok, but i will tell you more about that in a separate post.

i'll leave you with the photo below from the plane window.  these are the islands that i just showed you above from an aerial view.  pretty amazing stuff.