|The meaning of within
It is being
It is being ....
Greetings to all and Happy Holidays! Ya, my favorite time of year. It gets cold, snows, the malls get packed full of crazed shoppers, the roads are jammed with drunken office party revelers, people are out spending money they don't have on things nobody needs, ah the joys of the holiday season. Oh well, it is being ....
I'm being. Being in the Philippines. So, I'll be sitting out the cold and the snow and the malls and the office parties. Ah, it is being....
I have managed a quick moment with Santa though. I won't get into my whole Santa rant here but maybe one day....
So, I finished off my recent run in Thailand on the island of Koh Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi is in the south Andaman Sea off the coast of Krabi and south of Phuket. Wow, what a beautiful place. The weather wasn't the best while I was there and even that couldn't take away from how spectacular the landscape and the beaches are. The people are even better. They are a resilient bunch and have had to completely rebuild their island and everything on it after being devastated in the 2004 Tsunami. Amazing how friendly and happy people can be even when they deal with the most incredible adversity.
My friends Tom and Lek drove me down to the pier in Phuket to catch the ferry over to Phi Phi. Lek had cooked an incredible lunch of Tom Yum Guy (a spicy chicken soup) for me and it was amazing. It was fortunate to have a belly full of good food, for finding the pier and asking directions proved quite the task. It is fascinating asking directions in Thailand. You get out, with map in hand, show where you want to go, the person you ask then asks another person who then asks another person until there is a small gathering of Thai's all talking in Thai to each other and pointing in different directions. After about 10 minutes of deliberation they give you direction like "go down that way and turn at soi 7" (which means turn on street number 7 right? wrong. turns out it means turn at the 7/11?) unbelievable! It turns out nobody knows how to actually give directions so after some random turns and a few lucky guesses we made it to the port.
The ride over to Phi Phi is amazing there are limestone islands jutting out of the sea and the views are just incredible. I checked into a hotel and spent the next few days wandering around and lazing on the beach. I found some of the best street food yet. The highlights being the best Pad Thai I have ever tasted and a melt in your mouth Banana & Egg Pancake stand. Yum. I did go diving one day also and enjoyed a 3 dive day out to a wreck - King Cruiser, a pinnacle - Shark Point, and a nice marine park dive around Koh Phi Phi Ley. I managed to sneak in a few Thai Massage's along the way too. I eventually had to leave the rubber tree farms, palm oil plantations, rice fields, coconuts and the odd roadside elephant behind and start my journey to the Philippines.
It was a relatively short trip for me in that it only took a ferry, a mini van, a flight to Bangkok, another flight to Manila, and finally a taxi to complete the 12 hours of travel. I did fill the tanks in the Bangkok Airport at "The Magic Food Point" and that alone was almost worth the trip. What a great find that has been. I stuffed myself on one last Thai meal of Noodle Soup, BBQ Pork and Noodles and Pork Shank over Rice. I'm going to miss the food in Thailand for sure.
I arrived in Manila, Philippines in the early hours of Sunday and set off to find a friend of mine - Roger - who I have met up with and will be traveling with for this leg of the journey. We have also been fortunate enough to meet up with a good friend of mine Dave and his girlfriend Mary who live here in the Philippines. We have had quite the few days running around Manila and enjoying the food, the sites, the people and the partying. This is a huge crazy city and to be blunt is a bit overwhelming.
We head out today for the south of Luzon to where Dave lives in a place called Anilao. It is a beautiful area on the sea and is known for incredible scuba diving. So the plan is to go hang out. Eat fresh fish, laze on the beach, scuba dive and enjoy the hospitality of my friends.
It is being...