Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thailand in the Low Season

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Thailand. It was a blast. We were there about 10 days which was a little short of our plan but the flights were looking good so we had to leave early.
At first we headed up north to Chang Mai, which is one of the bigger cities up north but it was much smaller than Bangkok. Chang Mai was cool and I wish we could have spent more time there. One day we rented a motorcycle and drove all over getting lost, sun burned, and scaring Lauren. We got some really good local Thai food and went and saw the tigers and went on a pretty cool hike. When we were up north we also went on a Trek through the jungle. This is a picture of the elephant with us on it's back.

It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Except for when the Thai hot peppers smashed in my pocket and burned my leg!
The second part of our trip we headed to the South through Phuket. The beaches were great. Supposedly the rainy season is right when we were there but it was nice most of the time and wasn't very stormy at all. We stayed on Ko pi pi for a couple nights in this beachfront bungalow, it was unreal.

It was a secluded beach, and our cabin had a balcony looking over the ocean, all for only $20 a night. They even let me fish with their snorkel gear and make shift fishing gear. It beat fishing in Utah.
Thailand is a long ways away. Probably close to 20 hours each way. And even though we got business class most of the way there and back, it wears on you. But, I would still like to go back and explore some other areas in Thailand and maybe get another Tailor Made suit!
Total spent for 2 in 10 days = Hotels $150 + Food $150 + Buses $120 + Scooter Rental $10 + Jungle Tour $90 + whatever else we spent money on = $800

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Playa Del Carmen the thrifty way

We had another 3 day weekend and the flights were open to Cancun so we jumped on the plane Saturday Morning and made it down. We landed at the Cancun airport and headed out to find our way to Puerto Morelos and the Amar Inn. The bus stop is directly outside the terminal to your right. There is only one major road heading to Playa del Carmen and beyond so it is really easy to take public transportation. It cost $10 to Puerto Morelos and shouldn't be too much more to Playa Del Carmen. We got off the bus at the Puerto Morelos stop which is a few miles away from the resort part of town and there are always taxis that will take you directly to where you want in the town for $2.
Puerto Morelos was great! It is a small town and much lower key than Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. We stayed at the Amar Inn which I highly recommend. Just call or email ahead of time to check if they have room. Our room was $50 a night and included a complete homemade mexican breakfast, it was soo good. The staff was very friendly and even cut down a coconut and cracked it open for us to drink the milk!
It is right on the beach so anytime we wanted we could go enjoy the white sand beach. The reef has really good snorkeling, it's a little ways off from the shore so you need to have a boat take you out. We payed $15 each for the snorkeling trip which includes gear and a guide. On Sunday we took the bus to Playa Del Carmen and walked around the market buying fresh cooked food here and there and eventually made it to the beach and had a picnic. There were a ton more people on those beaches but it was fun to see another area.
Monday came and reluctantly we took the taxi back to the bus stop to head back to the airport. We made stopped by the local fruiteria, bought a mango, and then headed back to Utah.

Total Cost: 2 Nights at $50 + Snorkeling trip $30 + Bus and Taxi $50 = $180

Monday, April 12, 2010

Southern Carribean Cruise

Well we just got back from our cruise down to the southern Caribbean. Before we left I found a little bit of information on what to do and how to get around but once we got there it turned out to be even easier than I imagined. Here is a list of the islands we went to and what we did, and what I would recommend if you happen to get to one of these islands:

St Marteen (Phillipsburg)- When you exit the cruise terminal you walk out and there is a walkway past all the tour operators that takes less than ten minutes to walk to Phillipsburg which has a nice beach and a little touristy shopping area. From talking to other people it sounds like the shopping on St. Maarten is pretty good and cheap and I even got this sweet hat for 5 bucks!
Total Spent = $5

Dominica-We visited on Easter Monday so all public transportation was shut down. But on any other day they have 3 row vans that all the locals take. Because we wanted to see a few places we did some negotiating and got a great deal on a tour. The first stop was the sulfur springs in wotten waven. I imagined jumping in this pot of hot water but it turned out you just looked at a real small gated off water hole. It was not worth the trip. Next we went to Trafalgar Falls, this place was sweet. It had two real tall waterfalls and several pools for swimming. I even got to do a cannonball into one. And to top it off, there were some hot water pots we got to sit in. There were slews of tourists but the place was cool enough it was worth going. The final stop was Titou Gorge. I guess they filmed part of Pirates of the Caribbean here. It was a narrow gorge that you had to swim through to get to the end. I think you could probably get to one of these spots through public transportation but I can't tell for sure. Either way if you get a cheap enough price on a tour it is worth it to see the island.
Total Spent = $15 each for the tour

Grenada (St Georges)-This was the craziest bus we had but it added to the fun. We wanted to go to the Grand Etang State Park and do the seven sisters falls hike. The bus station is right off the port and it is easy to get the right bus. They don't run on any schedule but just leave once they are filled up. When we got to the bus they were almost filled up so we jumped in and left. The busses are more like vans. We had 21 people in ours, 4 people to each row, and the drivers are crazy. I mean the roads are crappy and they are all way steep but that added to the fun of it. We payed our 2 bucks and got off. The people were surprised that we wanted to got to seven sisters because it is about a 30 minute walk. We could have had the bus stop at the entrance but we didn't know. So we hiked down there and entered the park. There is a $2 entrance fee to get in.

The hike is pretty good and a little slippery and steep. We were kinda surprised that there were old people doing it. When we got there there is a two waterfalls you can see and swim in the pools beneath them and to the right is a path that takes you to the rest of the falls. Their was a local guy who wanted to be our guide and wanted money but you can do it alone. At the end of the side path you start heading down the river and jump off the falls into the pools of water as you go. As long as you are careful you will be fine. The last waterfall you jump off is about 25 feet and it is the one that drops into the main pool. Lauren went and was a little scared at first but got enough courage to jump off and got cheers from all the spectators!
Total Spent = $12

Tobago-Tobago has an even better bus system that has schedules and set routes, but it is less frequent. We also heard there are private buses that go on the same routes that if you ask the locals they will help you identify them. By the time we got to the bus station, which is a short walk from the port, the bus we wanted had just left. We were heading to Argyle Falls, which is probably close to a 45 minute drive. Other people were heading to pigeon point beach which is supposed to be really nice but we weren't in the mood for the beach so we went up to the fort king george, it was cool but nothing to write home about. I was able to buy a few cokes in the glass bottles made with real sugar, those are so good.
Total Spent: $2 on cokes

Barbados (Bridgetown)-Lauren like most girls gets giddy when she hears she can swim with giant sea turtles, so she was excited for Barbados. All the tours cost $60 a head to take you on a boat to the bay and let you out to see the turtles. So we hopped on the bus, the main terminal is about a 10 minute walk from the cruise port, and headed to Paynes Bay beach which is where all the boats end up. We borrowed snorkel gear from this German couple that we made friends with and swam out to where the boats were feeding the turtles. It was really cool, they attracted some big old fish and about five turtles were swimming around us. I had planned on grabbing the shell of one and getting a ride but when I got my opportunity I wussed out. All I did was barely touch the shell. That day it was pretty cloudy and so of course we stayed out all day and got fried. Buses are very frequent out there and we never waited very long at all, on the way back we gave the driver $2 and he gave us a Barbados dollar back so I don't know how much it really costs but its cheap.
Total Spent = $4

Overall the cruise was fun, the food was great, the stops were a bit of an adventure, and Lauren looks cute with her tan.

About Us

Dryden, New York, United States
We love to travel, especially Lauren, she really loves it. She loves it so much that she works at Delta so we can fly for free. When we go on a trip we try and figure out how to get around and what to do while we are there and of course how to keep to a budget so we can do another trip soon. This is our first attempt at a Blog to share what we have found and hopefully help other people in their travels.