So blogging about this trip has been way overdue, but I’ll try my best to continue it and keep this adventure going.
Day 33 - Pattaya, Thailand
Today was probably the most vacation like day of the trip. We got picked up from our hotel and took a 2 hour drive south of Bangkok to Pattaya! Our original plan was to go to Phuket, but Pattaya offered a more convenient solution as a quick day trip to a beach resort like city. I mostly slept in the car, or at least tried to. The driver was a bit crazy with his maneuvering of our tour van and there were also no seat belts. O_O
Anywho, 2 hours later we made it to Pattaya! We were greeted with the tourist agency and were told of the many water activities we could choose from. These ranged from sea walking (literally), snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, or simply beach lounging. Before we knew it, we were directed towards our speed boat that would take us to the coral island off the coast of Pattaya to enjoy these activities!
Daddy and I by the speedboat!
First stop: Parasailing. After paragliding last year in Switzerland (and falling in love with it. I still have to try hang gliding…), I jumped at the opportunity for para sailing over the Pattaya waters. The people helping us with the equipment were super fast! My sister put on her harness, walked up to the group of men strapping on the parachute, got strapped in, and was flying in the air in less than 30 seconds. I went right up after her in the same fashion. I loved the feeling of flying in the air. Even though it didn’t last all too long, it was quite the experience just closing my eyes and stretching out my arms and legs into the air and imagining that it was real. Well…it was real, until I slowly floated down to the crowd of workers who just as quickly unbuckled every clasp from my harness to the parachute.
Christina strapped in, feet already lifting off the ground...
and off she goes!!!
After our parasailing adventures, we hopped back onto the speed boat and were on our way to the coral island! This time, Christina and I rushed to get seats right at the front. =)
Cruising to the island. =)
So…speed boats look super glamorous in movies, and it was kinda fun to think we were super cool with the wind blowing in our face on our speed boat, BUT one thing we didn’t anticipate was the lack of suspension that came with the speedboat bouncing on the water when it went over waves. THAT was painful. And if you look very closely, I have a death grip going on with that handle bar.
A few shots from the beach:
Putting our sun hats to use!
My sister spotted the shot of this little girl playing in the sand.
After 20 minutes of bumping super cool speed boat riding, we made it to the coral island! First thing was first, we ate lunch at one of the restaurants on the coast, but soon after changed and got ready for some snorkeling adventures!
I don’t have any pictures from the snorkeling adventures because we weren’t sure about getting the camera wet, but here’s what went down! We took a boat out to another area of the coast near the same area they did the sea walking. Christina and I were the only people on the boat who weren’t Thai and couldn’t speak Thai. Interesting communication ensued when we tried to figure out the snorkeling gear and the fish feeding with bread…yeah. The people were all really friendly and helped us get set up so that worked well. Once me and my sister actually got in the water, that’s when we realized that our generic snorkeling goggles were not really made for our smaller faces. This was especially noticeable with the water that seeped in as we were looking at our sea creature friends. We spent a good 15 minutes flailing around in the water trying to get the goggles to work until we finally got them to work! It was a bit complicated, but we finally got to enjoy checking out all the fishies and coral below us.
There were these species of jellyfish that were every where. They weren’t dangerous, but more rather like pod-like jellyfish. Still, I managed to freak out in a panic as I saw hundreds around me. BUT that wasn’t really the scariest part. The scariest part was as I was trying to splash these little pod jellyfish away…I spotted one with tentacles gliding right in front of me. At that point, I splashed a lot more frantically and swam away. It was a bit comical, but just the idea of getting stung by a jellyfish worried me much more than all the mosquito bites.
Our snorkeling boat/glass-bottom boat skipper!
After our hour of snorkeling was up (it was quite the adventure with Christina), we headed back to the beach and met up with the rest of the tour group only to find that we were going to get back on the same boat that we took to go snorkeling on. The only difference was this time, we got to the see the glass bottom of the boat and saw just about the same things we had just seen while snorkeling.
After a brief 5-10 minutes of ocean viewing, we transferred back onto our speed boats and sailed off back to Pattaya. We made a stop over at the gem museum in Pattaya from there. Over there, we took a tour of the gem mining process and got onto a ride that almost made you think that you were in Disneyland. Btw, after learning about all these different mining processes (natural gas mining a.k.a. fracking, gem stone mining, oil mining, diamond mining, etc.), I’ve come to the conclusion that just about EVERY mining process is terribly detrimental to our environment (I’ll probably have a separate blog for all my other thoughts on these things in the coming future). It really makes me think about the bigger effects of our desires to get gem stones and diamonds as presents…
Anywho, after the tour was done, we headed back to Bangkok where we ate at the Baiyoke Sky Hotel Buffet in celebration for my dad’s birthday!!! It was amazing food of all cuisines, and we got to go to the top floor of the hotel (the 84th floor!!!) and got a 360 degree view of Bangkok! Sweeeeet deal.
Enjoying the Baiyoke Sky Cocktail.
On top of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel on the 84th floor!
That’s all for now. Last day of Bangkok and the rest of the Singapore trip coming soon! =)