Crab Island

During our time in Destin, we did a lot of relaxing while enjoying great food and company. On our first full day, we all got together, rented two boats, and sailed out to Crab Island. Crab Island is a MUST when visiting the area. The island has been featured on Good Morning America and been published in several magazines, making it one of Destin’s top attractions!!

thumbnail_IMG_3143Crab Island used to be an actual island, but over time it slowly disappeared and now it’s just a giant sandbar within the golf. 

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Because this is such a large attraction, they’ve assembled different restaurants and bars that you can swim up to! Instead of eating there, we ordered 60 pieces of chicken and biscuits from a local restaurant and ate it on the boat.

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There were several other boats already anchored down when we got there and even more came as the day went on. I’ve been told it can get really packed during the summertime.

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After we were on the island for a couple hours, we decided to drive the boat around until we had to return it. We even spotted several dolphins!

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It was a great day with friends and family with some much needed relaxation!

Last Day in Phuket

For our last day in Phuket, we had to check out of our apartment at 12. Before then, I drove into town to pick up some canvas paintings that Kendall and I had ordered a few nights before. We couldn’t pick them up the night they were purchased because they had to dry. Kendall bought a painting of a tiger and I bought one of an elephant.

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Once we checked out, we  went down to the pool until we got hungry. For lunch, we decided to eat at the Only Cheese restaurant that we ate at our very first day since we liked it so much. While at the restaurant, we looked up a good beach to go to so we could soak up our last minutes at the beach before our flight back to Bangkok. We decided on Nai Yang Beach. It was a beautiful day!

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We enjoyed our last day on the beach and stayed to watch the sunset. Of all the beaches we went to this week, this beach was the least crowded. The views were amazing and you could walk everywhere. The sun setting over the water was an incredible sight to see and topped off our trip before heading to the airport.

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IMG_2288The airport was only a five minute drive and you could see the planes landing and taking off from the beach. This was super convenient since we had all of our bags with us at the beach. We got to the airport a little before the check-in counter was open so we grabbed dinner, found wifi, and waited to check in our bags. Once we got our bags checked we made our way to the gate for our short flight back to Bangkok. It only took about an hour.

IMG_2272When we landed in Bangkok, we got an Uber (yep, they have that in Bangkok) and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Baan Sathorn Riverfront hotel and it was perfect! It was located right on the river, which came with amazing views, easy transportation, and was super close to everything. There was free wifi, an outdoor pool, and airport transportation. We were very satisfied with our stay and would recommend staying here to anyone.

 

 

Phi Phi Island

Wow. I wish I had the best words to describe how incredible visiting the island of Phi Phi was! Kendall and I had a blast spending our day exploring and soaking up the sun.

It was exhausting waking up early in the morning, driving through traffic to the pier, paying for a 600 baht one-way ticket, and riding on a boat for 2 hours but it was SO WORTH IT.

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Let me give you a little more information regarding the transportation to-and-from the island before I just drool over Phi Phi some more:

There are several ways to get to Phi Phi. You could take a speed boat, which would cost you for the luxury and time saved. Another option would be signing up for a tour group. This includes transportation to your hotel, a meal on the island, activities such as snorkeling, and round trip on a larger boat. We decided to take the third option, which was a 2 hour ferry ride for 600 baht.

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Since we would be cruising for a while, we purchased two smoothies to enjoy on the boat.

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Even though it was a long 2 hours, we had great seats with air condition and a view.

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After the boat got going, we went up to the sun deck to relax.

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Then, we moved to the front of the ship for the rest of the ride.

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I have one complaint about the entire day. The first ferry was scheduled to leave at 8:30am (which left late) and it takes at least 2 hours to get to the island. The final ferry leaves at 3:30pm, which didn’t give us a lot of time. If I do this again, I will not make it a day trip. Instead, I would like to stay on the island for at least one night. The island is filled with hostiles and guest houses, but if I could have spent one night out there, it would make this absolutely perfect.

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Trust me when I say that we made the best of our time while we were there! The first thing we did when we arrived was eat at a Thai restaurant. I ordered the chicken fried rice and it was delicious!

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Then, we made a beeline for the beach! It was paradise! The soft sand, crystal clear water, and beauty of cliffs surrounding the beach were amazing!

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We swam, sat in the sun, talked to other travelers, and enjoyed the day! When we needed a break from the sun we walked straight off the beach into this sandy little beach hut for some refreshments.

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Before we left Phi Phi, we were told that we needed to climb to the top of the hill to see an amazing view of the island. Apparently, to reach the very tippy top you needed to pay 30 baht, which isn’t a lot at all, but we declined and just soaked in the view from where we were at.We needed to hurry back to catch the last ferry anyway.

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After our hike, we grabbed a slice of pizza and some water then hopped on the boat to head home.

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We boarded our ferry at 3:30 and relaxed on the way back to the pier.

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When we finally got back to our apartment we quickly showered and called it a night. Being in the sun all day can be exhausting!

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Thailand Tips & Tricks

Within 4 days, we got the perfect taste of Thailand because we traveled through the city, countryside, and beach. This was our first trip, which gave us plenty of tips-and-tricks for the next time we visit! If you plan on visiting, these may be helpful!

  1. Be aware of the time difference and try your hardest to adjust on the plane ride over. Taylor and I knew we would be getting to Bangkok at 1:30am their time so we fought to stay awake so we would be able to fall asleep when we arrived. If we had fallen asleep on the plane, the jet lag would have gotten the best of us and it would have been extremely hard to adjust.
  2. It’s hot…ALL THE TIME. Every day was at least 90 with extreme humidity. They also have a rainy season, so be prepared.
  3. Don’t forget sunscreen! Chances are, you are a lot closer to the equator than you realize.
  4. Dress appropriately. Most temples have a dress code that is strictly enforced so do your research. This will save you time and money.
  5. Exchange your money through an ATM. Believe it or not, the fee is less than an exchange center at the airport.
  6. Download a currency exchange app and save your receipts. This will keep you aware of how much you’re actually spending and not just guessing.
  7. If you’re arriving at the BKK Airport, get off the plane as quickly as possible because you will have to stand in customs for at least an hour. There will be at least 20 stations, but only 3 people working. It’s pretty much like being in line at Wal-Mart. Make sure your arrival card is filled out before you land.
  8. Do your research! Trip Advisor will tell you the best activities and places to eat.
  9. If traveling to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, or Wat Arun, take a river taxi. This is the most scenic route and probably cheaper than a taxi.
  10. If you have one weekend in Bangkok, go to the Chatuchak weekend market. It’s only open Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 6pm and Fridays 6pm-midnight. The 35-acre area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market shops where you’ll find the perfect gifts and souvenirs. Be prepared to bargain everything and anything with a friendly smile.
  11. If you are paying with a credit card, make sure they accept the card carrier BEFORE you decide to purchase or eat. Some places will let you use your card, but will charge an additional fee to use it.
  12. Don’t be afraid to take public transportation. We found the sky train very simple and way cheaper.
  13. There are 2 airports in Thailand with a free shuttle to transport you between the two! The trip will take about an hour and all you need to do is show them your flight itinerary.
  14. If you’re planning on visiting the beach, there are several busses at the airport ready to take you!
  15. Make friends!! Don’t be afraid to step outside your bubble and meet new people from all over the world. There’s no telling who you’ll meet along the way.

Pattaya City & Koh Larn Island

On Monday morning we woke up at 6:30am because we were taking a day trip to Koh Larn Island. We left our hotel and headed to the sky train, which took us straight to the bus station. Our sky train ticket was 31 baht for each person, which is equal to 86 cents. The bus ticket was 115 baht, which was $3.20 per person.

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After a 2.5-hour ride, our bus dropped us off in the city of Pattaya. Then we hopped aboard a tuk-tuk to take us to the pier. A tuk-tuk is a truck that has seating in the bed for about 10 people. This cost 50 baht per person, which is equal to $1.39.

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Once we arrived at the pier, we needed to buy ferry tickets to take us to Koh Larn Island. The Ferry would take about 45 minutes and cost 30 baht, which is equal to 83 cents. There was a faster but more expensive option on a speedboat that would take half the time, but cost 400 baht per person. Overall, we really enjoyed the ferry because it gave us time to enjoy the sights!

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When you arrive at the island, shops, street vendors, and restaurants surround you. There are several different beaches on the island that you can easily get to. We decided to take a moped ride to a beach on the other side, which was 80 baht, which is equal to $2.22. It was hilarious with Taylor, the driver, and myself on a tiny moped, but it was fun!!

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The Thailand beaches were very different from what we were used to in the U.S. You can’t just sit on your towel anywhere you want because there are thousands of chairs and umbrellas already set up for you to rent out. Each chair was 100 baht, which is equal to $2.78. The beach water was crystal clear and we picked the perfect day to go because there was a slight overcast and a really nice breeze. We had a very relaxing day lounging in the shade and swimming in the water.

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The last ferry leaves the island at 6pm, so we left around 4:30 because we didn’t know how crowded that last ferry ride would be.

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When we arrived back in Pattaya City, we found a restaurant on the water. We split an appetizer of homemade currly fries and they were awesome! Then, Taylor ordered mango salmon with white rice. I ordered a club sandwich. Our bill was 813 baht, which is equal to $22.59. This was our least favorite meal during our time in Thailand. Not only was it more expensive than our other meals, but also the food wasn’t that great.

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When we finished up our meal, we hopped aboard another tuk-tuk, which took us back to the bus station. The ride was 50 baht per-person and the bus ride back to Bangkok was 115 baht per-person just like the ride over. The bus was FREEZING because the air was on full blast during the entire ride.

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Once we were back at the hotel, we showered and packed our bags because we were leaving bright and early the next morning for the airport. Next stop, China!!