A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Thai holiday

Posted by Pepper on January 9, 2014

When I look back at the past few years, I realise most of our holidays (including international ones) have just happened without prior planning. We make plans on the very last minute. Just like Thailand. We booked our flight tickets a day before we were to fly out. And our accommodation, well, Mint made the booking two hours before we left for the airport. The currency exchange happened only an hour before that. The just dried laundry was stuffed into our suitcase a few minutes before we rolled it out of the door. My parents keep shaking their heads and calling us crazy.

Anyway, Thailand. This was one of the best vacations I’ve had. When I compared it to the last two big holidays (Hawaii and Europe), I actually think Thailand beats them all. It was that good. And when things are so terrific, I find it awfully hard to put them in words. But for the sake of this blog, I will try.

We reached Bangkok early in the morning. Oh by the way, this was my second visit to Thailand. The first time I went there was 5 years ago. And what a surprise I was in for. I think the city has progressed considerably in the last 5 years. The infrastructure looked shining and new. And it was all so efficient. It made my heart ache a little when I thought of India. We can never dream of such rapid advancement. Sigh.

We stayed in a hostel in Bangkok. Considering our love for travel and the amount we do it, it is kind of unrealistic to expect to stay in expensive hotels. Especially if our holiday is kind of long. Which this one was. We took a private room, but most of the rooms were meant for sharing. Staying in a good hostel is so much fun! It is the best place to socialise and meet new people. You will even have common areas where people will be strumming the guitar, a place where you can sit back and play the board games they have there, a theatre club and so much more. Here is a video of Lub D, the hostel where we stayed. If you are visiting Bangkok and want to cheap it out, I highly recommend this place.

We chose to travel to Thailand towards the end of December. It was a great idea, because the weather was gorgeous. Cool and pleasant all along. Which was a good thing, considering the amount of walking we did. Since this was my second trip to Bangkok, I had already seen all the temples and shrines they had there. Mint however, was visiting for the first time and did not get to see much. We had chosen to be in Bangkok for limited time so we could spend most of our time on beaches in Phuket. And I wanted to shop in all the time we had in Bangkok.

Surprisingly, I got bored of the shopping soon (Okay, knowing me, it is not very surprising, I know) and lay my focus on the food there. Authentic Thai cuisine has now been elevated to my list of top favourite cusines in the world. Big rice noodles, the glass noodle salads, the fresh fruits, Thai curries, the explosion of flavour with the powdered red spices and lemon. Topping all of that with their ice coffees. Oh my God. I want to go back there. Sigh again.

Next on the list was Phuket. Phuket was where we spent most of our time. We lived right on Patong beach. It was quite crowded, if you ask us. But we had our fun. Again, we took a private room in a hostel. I suppose from now, we will abandon hotels and only stick to hostels. Our stay in Phuket was what I will call heavenly. Wake up in the morning/afternoon/evening or whenever you please, walk to the beach. Slump on a beach chair. Eat all of that fastastic Thai food. Enter the water. Walk on the shore. Step out of the beach. Walk around in in the city. Buy knickknacks. Get a massage. And that sums it up for us. We did all of that in various permutations and combinations on different days. It was glorious and restful.

We went to Phi Phi island one of the days. It is a few hours away and we chose to get there by speedboat. A crazy, bumpy ride it was and I was sure some of my bones would get dislocated by the time we reached. But then, I’ve lived to tell the tale.

Oh, we also went to meet the elephants. I’ve always wanted to ride on them, bareback. This time I did, while Mint sat behind me. We went on a trek in the forest. The elephant we were on consumed bananas at the rate of one per second. By the time we were back, I had run out of all bananas I had carried and that dear fellow wanted some more. Unfortunately, I had to tell him I had none left. And hey, they really do understand what we say! I also had the pleasure of playing with a baby elephant, and I must say, I am in love with these animasl. So intelligent, so loving, so majestic! If somebody asks me about my favourite animal now, I will say ‘elephants’ in a heartbeat.

Here is what I learnt in this trip:

1) A country can progress only if it wants to. To me, it looks like India is stuck in a rut and it is chooses to stay there.

2) Delicious food doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy food. Thai food is brilliant, and yet, so very healthy.

3) My dependence on caffeine is scary. Every day on waking up, the first thing my senses would demand is a mug of strong coffee. Which meant, we had to keep all our plans on hold and go in search of my caffeine fix first. Only then could I function.

4) I am terribly unfit. I always knew this, but I realised the extent only in this trip. The endless walking made my legs so sore, I thought I would collapse. I would have, had I not been revived by the foot massages. Infact, I would find myself cringing with each step and walking with a limp. On the other hand, Mint can just go on. Says something about his fitness.

5) That my body is something I have to learn to be comfortable with. The amount of trouble Mint had in coaxing me to wear ‘atleast a one piece swimsuit”, when the entire beach was swarming with bikini clad women made me think. I *have to be* more comfortable with my body.

6) The sight of a darling little baby girl playing on the beach as her parents watch, with wet sand stuck to her chaddis is a powerful one. It can stay in your memory forever.

7) That Mint will never tire of making fun of my nose. This time he was trying to teach me how to swim. I was trying to float on my back and my head was almost fully immersed in water. Once I am up, he says, “You know, when your head was underneath, only your nose was visible. I was worried people will start running. They’ll think a shark is approaching”. Yes, I have still not forgiven him.

I can go on, but let me get to the pictures..

sandcastle

Building sandcastles at night.

water

That is me rushing out of the edge of water after Mint threatened to pull me inside.

frisbee

Mint and I played frisbee on the shore. That is him chasing the disc. I love this click.

phiphi

Phi Phi island! The colours here make you fall in love with the place.

maya

Mint succeeded in making me wear my swimsuit and taking me inside the water this time. We asked somebody to take a picture just before we stepped out. This is Maya Bay. Who will tell me why this is so famous?

snorkeling

Snorkeling to see the colourful fish.

fishes

The fishes racing towards a piece of bread

Elliebig

My darling elephant. He took us around for a while. Yes, I love him, and so he becomes mine

Elliesmall

And this little fellow, I wanted to bring him home. He was so adorable! I even have a picture of him giving me a kiss on my cheek.

walk

Going back to the hostel after our adventure with Ellie! We realised we could walk on the shore instead of the road..

jump

If we’re having fun, we have to jump! Always!

streetfood

My very handsome boy waiting for his omelette to be made. Did I already tell you streetfood in Thailand rocks?

bicycles

A Christmas tree made of bicycles! We thought it was very creative

toycity

Toy city! Bangkok looks so unreal here. Just a bunch of lego blocks and hot wheel cars.

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31 Responses to “Thai holiday”

  1. woohoo! Pepper, looks like some awesome holiday in Thailand..heard Phuket is awesome and longing to visit..me too m a caffeine person..plan a trip to Mauritius soon where I’m based and the family has settled before I move to Dubai and eventually, home in India:)

  2. What an amazing holiday you had Mint and Pepper. Thailand was always on my travel list, now your post is making me to go there right now.
    Does mint tease about your nose? I can’t believe.. R tells me the exact same thing, we were in bed other day and he was about to kiss me, he said I can’t notice anything but nose. I gave him a nice punch. BUt he has been teasing me for last 8years and still wouldn’t stop.

    That baby elephant looks super cute 🙂 I love your body babe, you have a sexy body, you should show off now.I regret not wearing bikini before my pregnancy days. I mean even now I can , but with all those stretch marks, its horrible. You should do it in your next beach vacation.

    Your hostel stay reminded me of our South AFrica days where we always did backpacking, similar to the hostel where you share rooms and bathrooms. It was never a problem. Meeting people with similar tastes was always fun. For some reason hotels we hardly talk to neighbours or people we meet,, but hostels its like minded people and you feel instantly connected.

    Whenever I read your travel posts sometimes other posts too, I can’t stop but amazed how much alike we think 🙂

    • Pepper said

      LF, you’re right! Each time I read your blog, I feel amazed at how alike we think too.
      And yes, wearing a bikini is in my list of things to accomplish. hopefully, soon 🙂 And oh, you must visit Thailand. It is a lovely place.

  3. Mint jumping with the Frisbee is my fav pic from the lot. You did an awesome job capturing the spirit and lovely evening you had .

  4. dashing images

  5. Green, Blue, Turquoise and every other color possible, with envy LOL! Seriously, glad you guys had fun and of course, the Frisbee click is worth sending to a contest 🙂 About India, I agree with you. Where there is no will, there is no way 😦 On a brighter note, perhaps AAP might be a beginning?

  6. aarya said

    Sounds like a great vacation, Pepper. Just few days ago, S-Man and I were talking about trying a hostel stay next time. I am bit skeptical about the safety and cleanliness of the place but then, of course, we will check reviews before we go ahead.
    And I guffawed at your point #7 which is not good when you are sitting in office 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Yes, do check the reviews. I mean, I worry about the safety and cleanliness even while staying in some hotels sometimes. It all depends on what you pick. Where we stayed, it was exceptionally safe and supremely clean. Their shower rooms were fragrant and sparkling 🙂

  7. Hey, lovely pictures! I totally agree about going cheap on hotels. I love traveling too and do mind spending a lot on a place just to crash. Except Vegas, where it is more fun to stay on The Strip.
    You should probably start walking/jogging to build up stamina. I look small but can walk! NYC had 3 days of walking from morning to night, that is where I realized I am pretty fit.
    As for you question, Maya Bay=Hottie Leonardo. Am I right? 😀

  8. Sarah Syed said

    The pictures make me want to go there. I was rounding on Turkey, and maybe next to it will plan Thailand.

  9. Neha said

    Hi Pepper,

    I am delurking for the first time after being a regular reader of your blog for the past three years. Your holiday pictures look lovely! I am especially enjoying this new year coz of yours and smitha’s posts every day. Please keep up your enthusiasm!
    You asked about Maya Bay- Leonardo DiCaprio starrer ” The Beach” was filmed here 🙂 We had gone for an evening tour to Maya Bay to see the luminescent plankton which was really fun. After the sunset you jump into the waters and walk over plankton and your feet light up:), very similar to the Life of Pi scene (though not as bright)! It was a spectacular sight! The tour is operated by Phil Raby. Do go if you’re into such things.
    Look forward more of your posts throughout this year! A very happy new year to you and your family!

  10. Sounds like a splendid trip!
    Even if you had not said it, one could easily guess from those photos! Those pristine beaches, frisbee, the street food..and elephants!! Oh what fun!

    Pardon my extravagant use of exclamation marks..am just so excited just hearing it from you 😀

    Stayed in a hostel just once ( visiting New Zealand) and must say it was unlike anywhere else. Now that you recommend too, we shall stick to hostels instead of hotels 🙂

    May you have many such impulsive trips to wonderful places in the new year, Pepper and Mint.

  11. Bhavani said

    Wow lovely pics…we were in BK this summer and visited all the temples and shrines..very beautiful…but I hated the weather then..it was so so sultry and sweaty…ditto on Thai food…loved it..

    Was that you in the first 2 pics..or some random kid ;))

    And on # 5……:)) same with my hubby…he encourages me to not care and wear what I want but I am very conscious. And I dont even have a perfect fig like yours..i have the bulges here and there…but being comfortable with my body..that is what I need to work on too..

    Loving this Blogothon..keep writing…

    -Bhavani

  12. R's Mom said

    Oh what lovely lovely pictures…even I have a swimsuit like that..only that I look like a whale in it :):)

    But what fun. This is what a holiday is all about. resting and having fun instead of going to 100 different places in a day!

    I love Thai food, but RD doesnt like it. Next time we meet, lets order in some thai food eh?

    RD has been asking me for so long for an international holiday and he says kuch nahi toh Thailand/bangkok chalo 🙂 I have been refusing 🙂 Too much money no?

    BTW, do hostels accomodate children..just asking

    • Pepper said

      Mumbai main kahan authentic Thai food milta hai RM. If we do get some good stuff, I’d love to order it.
      You guys should go to Thailand! See ticket to Bangkok is quite cheap (and once there, you can do Pataya too). They’re cheaper than some of our domestic airfares. We paid more for our return ticket to Coimbatore. No kidding. Our biggest expense in this trip was return tickets from Bangkok and Phuket. Those cost a lot, but if you want to have an economical holiday, Bkk and Pataya work quite well. Call me if you want to plan a trip. I’ve been there twice and kind of know the place.

  13. oh such a gorgeous travelogue..you did complete magic with the words… loved reading it.. and this hostel thing is a great idea.. will keep in mind when I plan for the next holiday.

  14. Shweta said

    Lovely pics Pepper!! I loved the beaches and the elephants both!!! 🙂

    You seem to have a fabulous body. Yes! *slim* means fab!So shed your notions.

  15. Shweta said

    BTW, did you’ll not do scuba???

  16. S said

    That was a great description of Thailand. Sounds like a lot of fun. I have seen so many people going to Thailand recently- most of them only shopping or going to the beach, I wondered if Thailand was really worth the time or was it just like another Goa. But your post seems to have changed my mind 🙂

  17. MR said

    Lovely pics, and Thailand is indeed wonderful, and you think about thai food just like i did, fresh and flavorful and healthy too . especially the authentic thai 🙂 love it.

    hope you go onto have more vacations and more fun. travel is the best.

    I’m not into hostels , i need my resort 🙂 i also need to be on the beach, hearing the waves when i wake up, but i’m ok working an paying for it, we all have our guilty pleasures ..

  18. MR said

    oh and you look lovely in a bathing suit, i dont see much diff betw that and wearing shorts, or other pics, you look very nice and fit 🙂

  19. Bingo said

    Hey ponne, I like the one in which you are jumping with Mint and you are super beautiful.

  20. Deepa said

    Loved this post and the pictures so much. You know that you have a beautiful body don’t you. You’re lithe, slim and very graceful to look at so go rock it in a two pc swim suit the next time you’re on a beach or poolside. You know how much I now miss my very nicely proportioned body after a baby and the inevitable stretching. I wish I’d worn a two piece back then when I could happily do so. All I ever wore were granny one pieces that reached all the way down to my thighs(you know the skirted thingies you get)!!! You can always wear a skirted bottom with the upper bikini top or a sexy skirted one pc if you wish.

    Thailand seems so dreamy from your description…..Sigh…

  21. Ashwathy said

    Awesome!!!! Finally reading this now! 😀

    Psst… Mint can jump higher than you, but then you already know that right? 😛

    Christmas tree made of bicycles?? Wow! What next?
    That baby elephant is SO adorable 🙂 Sigh!

    I have no idea why you are hesitant about wearing a swimsuit… you look FINE. More than fine in fact.

    Thank you for giving us ideas for our next trip 😛 We need to connect on working out the finer details!

  22. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely
    you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

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