We've arrived in what feels like the Salt Spring Island of Thailand. It's a little hippy village in the Northwest of Thailand. It took 4 hours of tight switch backs up mountains in a rattly old bus from Chiang Mai to arrive, but we're glad we persevered. It's called Pai and there are signs everywhere that say "I (heart) Pai" and Mark keeps chuckling as he sees the dirty side. Cheeky.
We found a sweet little cabin for $30 off the main road that is a definite improvement from our stinking hot hostel room in Phuket town. It is downright swank in comparison! We can't wait to explore and have already booked a thai cooking class with "Mr T" tomorrow. It's called "Wok with Tee" so we couldn't resist (Sadie, Erin and Gail will appreciate).
After our time in the treehouse in Koh Phi Phi, we moved on to Koh Lanta. We decided to skip Krabi and head to Ko Lanta in hopes of getting a little off the well-worn route. If Koh Phi Phi was relaxing, Ko Lanta was catatonic. It was pure bliss to sit in a cabana sipping Singhas and watch the most beautiful turquoise water roll up on the long, white beach. Originally, we went to Koh Lanta because we wanted to stay in this place called Sanctuary that was recommended by Lonely Planet. Unfortunately, they were so laid back that they didn't answer emails or phone calls so we ended up booking a bungalow down the beach. It was somewhat spartan (the bathroom looked like a cement jail cell) so I took to calling the bathroom "the Gaol" I am reading Stieg Larsson's Swedish mystery right now so it seemed appropriate. Also, did you know it's possible to flush a toilet by dumping a bucket of water down it? Yessiree, Mark and I figured it out when there was no lever in site.
Anyways, enough about toilets, onto Katoys (again, I know). There were three highlights in Koh Lanta:
1. We had the best seafood BBQ restaurant on the beach right in front of LD Bungalows (our place) called Thai Cat. The staff were so cheerful and Mark and I shared a delicious whole grouper with rice, salad, BBQd corn and Singhas. It was delicious.
2. Both evenings around sunset, we played beach volleyball with an eclectic mix of locals and tourists. Three of the best players happen to be girl-boys. I use both because they had manly faces yet full breasts and they could squeal with the best girly girls! These girls had some serious game and I had a blast playing with them. Mo and Nat were my new buddies and we challenged the boys to a game. We lost by a hair but there was lots of flirting and joking going around. Such a laugh. I don't understand Thai, but I did hear one of the girls use the word Katoy whilst referring to herself. I think my new friends were part of this elusive thai club- but definitely not as convincing as the ones we saw in Patong, Phuket.
3. Yoga on the beach. Both mornings, Mark and I walked 25 minutes down the beach to the Sancturay and did a Ashtanga class. It was gorgeous with the view of the ocean and a slight breeze. I would have bee in heaven if it wasn't for the sound of Mark's heavy panting as he worked that downward dog.
Have to run! Mr T invited us for dinner tonight since his class made too much food. Hope they are good students.