We walked down to the beach, which was beautiful, and checked out the shops along the way.
Our second full day in Karon we did a city tour around Phuket. It consisted of several quick stops, but it was perfect for our short attention spans. At our first stop, we saw a demonstration at a rubber tree plantation. To get the rubber out they cut a little slit on the side of the tree every day and the white rubber base drips down into a little cup.
At the same stop we got a yellow curry paste making demonstration.
We went to a viewpoint where we could see Karon beach and Patong beach, and then it was off to the Big Buddha. The people of Thailand sent in donations for this monument to be built for the King.
Beach view of Karon and Kata.
Next we saw Wat Chalong. "Wat" means temple, so all the temples are called wat something. Wat Chalong is the oldest temple in Phuket.
The most exciting and most important part of the day was meeting temp-Bear Thailand. Temp-Bear Thailand was a beautiful baby girl:
And for a less adorable animal experience, we went to a Thai honey farm and got to hold some bees! It was a little scary, but no people or bees were harmed.
We finished the day off in old Phuket town, some pool time at the hotel, and some Thai food (a vast improvement over Filipino food).
After our few days in Karon, we took a series of busses to Khao Sok, the Thai rainforest. We were in the rain forest during rainy season so... it rained. It rained a lot. But we went to the national park anyway, in the rain. It was still worth it- we got to see bamboo, some butterflies, and monsoons. We did not see any really cool animals (supposedly slow loris and elephants live here), but the flip side of that is we did not get attacked by any cool animals.
We stayed in a raised hut, which was an interesting experience. There were a lot of snails and geckos. At one point a gecko fell on Kendra's leg and based on the resulting panic, it was decided jungle life is not for Kendra.
After Khao Sok, we dried off and took a night train to Bangkok. The night train was pretty uneventful, but we did have to catch it from a neighboring town called Surat Thani, where we were able to experience a street market with a lot of delicious Thai food, and some intimidating Thai food.
It's hard to believe that Bangkok and all it's big roads and busy business people are part of the same country as Karon and Khao Sok. Bangkok is great- it has everything. Great food, impressive history, an easy public transit system, and modern conveniences. Our first stop was to get some suits and a dress made by a tailor recommended by a friend of Mary's. It was a quick job- the whole thing took three days.
We took the river boat to the main tourist sites in Bangkok: the temples and the Grand Palace. The temples, Wat Po and Wat Arun, werethe highlight. They were so beautiful and intricate. Its hard to believe they are hundreds of years old.
We checked out China Town, which was really nice. It was pretty orderly- definitely nicer that the one on the Philippines, and even more organized feeling than New York. They had everything for sale, including shark fins.
There are tons of markets in Bangkok, selling all kinds of clothes and food. We got some amazing pomegranate juice, which the guy pressed right in front of us. And despite our efforts to travel light, Kendra had to buy some puffy elephant Hammer pants...no picture now but they will surely show up at some point in this blog. Elephants are on everything.
Overall, a great time in Thailand. Next stop: Cambodia!