A Thailand Tale Part 2

We came to a decision, after perhaps too many days of too many margaritas (is this even possible? Yes it is. I’ll tell you when you’re older), that we wanted to spend a day on the water, exploring caves, jumping off boats, swimming with monkeys, and learning more about life in Thailand. You know, cause when we returned and people said “so how did you spend your days in Thailand?” we’d have a response that wasn’t “lying in the sand like a beached whale”. So, our plan to spend the day with John Gray’s Sea Canoe was born.

We were driven to the port from our hotel (in a car that played “Bleeding Love” endlessly, what a way to start the morning, LORD) to start our day adventure. The sky was blue and the sea was green as we boarded the boat.

Thailand
On the boat

From there, we were assigned guides and boarded the sea canoes to do some exploring!

sea canoe in thailand
Katie, myself, and our guide on the sea canoe!

Exploring the caves was pretty badass. (Not as badass as the dragon tattoo I got later. See? Told you there is such a thing as too many margaritas. Don’t worry its not a real one and has now faded off my body.) The entrance to many caves were so low to the sea that we had to lie down in the canoe so we could slide in. This photo (although poor) sort of gives you an idea of what I mean…

sea canoe in thailand Coming out of the caves

sea canoe in thailandThe best part? Not having to paddle..

We explored bat caves, which were completely dark aside from the light of our guides headlight, we saw monkeys swimming (!!!), and saw mud-skippers (the fish to first decide they’d had enough of water, and walk on land). For those bird watchers or nature lovers out there, I saw: horn bill birds, crimson sunbirds and a strike breasted woodpecker. (I hope those are correct, I tried to make note of them so I wouldn’t forget!)

After we finished exploring, it was back aboard the boat to thank the gods of the water for our day by making an offering. This was the most interesting part of the experience. We each sat with our guides to learn how to make these offerings, which are a routine part of many Thai peoples life (and an aspect Katie and I had learned a bit about during our time in Bali).

sea canoe in thailandOur guide starting the offering

sea canoe in thailandAlmost finished..

sea canoe in thailand
Complete with candles and intensesea canoe in thailand
Me and the finished product

Then we had a lovely dinner aboard the boat (I cannot rave enough about Thai food!) and watched the sunset.

sea canoe in thailand
Thailand, why you so purrty?

After dinner we boarded our canoes and paddled out in the dark to lay our offerings in the sea. We were told, as we lit the candles and incense and released the offering into the sea, that we were also throwing away the negatives in our life. As we watched the offering float through the waves, a thunderstorm boomed in the distance. The luminescence lit up the water around the boat. It was truly a beautiful scene.

(Although the offerings were mostly made from natural resources, after we had the experience, we brought them back to the boat with us so as to leave no sign we were there.)

The day was an amazing experience until the end. Then it was back to real Thailand life… of beers & being a beached whale.

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Pam visits Japan

Despite a difficult journey of cancelled and missed flights, mom finally made it to Matsuyama on Saturday April 27th. I had many plans to show her a traditional Japanese experience. This is her adventure…

We spent the first couple days checking out the local sites: Dogo Onsen, Ishite temple, and Dogo park. The weather was nice and mom got to experience and take in the beautiful sights I see daily. Cranes in the park, turtles sunning themselves on the rocks in the moat, the statues that surround the entrance to Ishite temple. We also enjoyed a nice meal of shabu shabu and a post-shabu-shabu purikura session with my friends!

On Monday it was off to Kyoto on the overnight bus.

willer expressAll aboard the Willer Express to Kyoto!

Kyoto, despite not giving us its best weather-wise, was beautiful. I have only been there for a short visit before, when Dancia & Seonaid came to Japan for a few days. This time I was able to take mom to the beautiful Kiyomizu-dera, where all the Japanese said we had to go!

Mom at Kiyomizu-deraMom at Kiyomizu Temple

Mom at Kiyomizu-deraMom at one of the shrines in Kiyomizu Temple

We also stumbled upon an antique kimono shop where we spent hours looking at the beautiful kimonos (and maybe buying some too)!

Mom Kimono ShoppingMom checking out some of the beautiful kimonos!

Antique Kimono ShoppingThe beautiful kimono patterns

We also got lucky stumbling around Gion (a district of Kyoto) and managed to see some beautiful girls dressed up geisha style!

Gion DistrictA scene from Gion district in Kyoto

On our last day in Kyoto we headed out of the city to see some monkeys! We all know how much I love seeing monkeys, and this time was extra-special as I got to show mom her first true monkey-business experience.

Monkey & MomMom and a monkey on the mountain overlooking Kyoto city.

Back home on early in the morning on Friday May 3rd, but not done with adventures! We took the day to rest, but on Saturday, mom’s final full day in Japan, Mom, Futoshi, and I headed up to Imabari and Oshima to take in some more of what Japan had to offer.

We checked out the famous whirlpools, which I also had wanted to see but hadn’t yet gotten the chance…

Imabari WhirlpoolsWe’re on a boat.

Not to mention Oshima ice cream!

Oshima Soft CreamFutoshi & Mom having some Oshima ice cream!

And we also went to the Imabari towel museum, which impressed us with larger-than-life burgers, champagne, and popcorn, which we all enjoyed.

imabari towel museumMMM burgers.

imabari towel museumGimmie some popcorn.

imabari towel museumClassic Pam.

imabari towel museumEnjoying the towel displays.

And that is a brief summary of Moms Japan expeirence! Hopefully she enjyoed it as much as I did!

Until next time, xo