National Geographic Photo of the Day

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Kingdom of Thailand - Day 2

We got up early today at 7.30am (Considering I usually get up at 11am during the holidays). Got ready, had breakfast and left the resort to go to the beach. From there we took a boat to a platform far away from the shore. Accompanying us was a guide who came as part of the package we had taken for today - The Coral Island tour - and an American and a Phillipino woman (nope, they weren't part of the package :P). This platform was essentially a large barge with a covered shelter built on top of it and half of it left open. Its a place from where you could go para-sailing. Around this barge there were speedboats moving in a wide circle and they had people with parachutes attached to them by a line from the stern.

I took a shot at it and it was certainly a nice feeling to fly effortlessly through the air. Of course, if the speedboat slowed down the parachute's altitude would decrease and you'd get dipped in the water before they sped up again and brought you back up to a 100 feet in the air. The guide (a Thai man) was all "Namaste" when he spoke to us, and it was really funny with that vegetable-cutting Thai accent.

After that we transferred to another boat (a slightly bigger one this time) and went on a 1 hour cruise. I could tell from the look on my Mum's face that she wasn't quite enjoying the up and down motion of the boat, a Domstal would set her right. Going past a few islands, the boat stopped at one of them and we took a smaller one to the shore. This boat had a glass bottom and we got to see all the corals on the sea floor before we got to the beach. The beach was the kind you would see on Discovery Channel, clean white sand with deck chairs a bit away from the water, and pristine turquoise waters lapping the sands gently.

On arriving we had something to drink and some fresh corn (yes there were shops just off the beach, Thais never ever miss the opportunity to make money). Following that we spent around 2 hours in the water enjoying the gentle waves and clean, cool water with Mum and Dad trying to prove they could swim (No, they couldn't). But think twice before you take a swim in really salty water – your eyes as well as any slight wound on your body will burn. Then there was lunch – pineapples, different kindsa salads, egg fried rice, fish, chicken and green melon soup.... the list is long. After that we sat around enjoying the breeze till 2.30pm and then left by the same boat that had brought us there. A 1-hour cruise later we were back where on the Thai mainland and we took a taxi back to the resort.

There's this show in Pattaya called Alangkarn. We went to Alangkarn around 6pm for the 1-hour extravaganza which included moving stages, pyrotechnics, elephants, a huge number of actors in an incredible variety of costumes, trapeze artists, and martial artists. It tells the legend of the sun god and moon god, the legend of Ram and Raavan (the Ramayana is part of Thai folklore as well), the creation of Thai lettering, the battles in the formation of the Thai Kingdom etc. This is one thing you shouldn't miss. Photography isn't allowed inside though.

While we were waiting for a taxi it began raining. What started as a light drizzle devolved into a cats-and-dogs downpour before we reached the hotel. We waited for the rain to stop and went to this middle-eastern restaurant for dinner. The food was wonderful. To top it off, we had some Coconut ice cream put inside a real coconut with coconut milk on top of it and lichees in it. Something you have to taste to believe.

Hit the sack around 11pm. Another day of fun awaits.


Rajarshi said...

heyy, interesting travelogue.
Did you not try the sea-bed walking ? That was an awesome experience...

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