Staying Healthy in Sin City

You’ve worked out consistently for weeks, ate every green vegetable you could think of and drank water like crazy – all in preparation for your upcoming vacation. You go on vacation, eat whatever you want and forget about the gym the second you hit the pool. When you get home from vacation, you step on the scale to realize you have not only gained back what you lost but brought a few extra souvenir pounds with you. Who else has been there??

Sadly this used to be a regular occurrence when traveling. I have learned however that a vacation doesn’t have to be the end to a healthy lifestyle. Now when I travel, I want to be able to enjoy my travels but maintain the hard work I have put in. While it requires a little planning, staying healthy while traveling is important and something you will appreciate yourself for after the fact.

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But how do you stay healthy in a city that is known for buffets, alcohol and lounging by the pool? Well as you are planning your next trip to Sin City, check out some of the best deals for hotels on Vegas.com for hotels and activities in Las Vegas.

To ensure you keep up your lifestyle, here are 4 tips for staying healthy in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Set aside time for a workout

You don’t want to let your hard work go down the drain so start your day off on the right foot with a sweat session. Whether you visit the hotel gym or fitness studio in the area, make sure you set aside time to workout (I know I plan to visit the Orangetheory in Vegas the next time I’m there). Whether you love to workout at the barre or have a gym membership, find a workout that you love to do so you will stick with your workout routine through vacation. Better yet, set your next full or half marathon to be in Vegas (Rock “N” Roll Vegas was one of the best I have done) so you can enjoy a runcation. If all else fails, dance some calories off by hitting up one of the night clubs! Even if you don’t want to leave the hotel room (and may have enjoyed your night out a little too much) use a no equipment needed workout to get your heart pumping and burn some calories.

Use your feet to explore

I can’t tell you how many times I have walked up and down the strip. With traffic and congestion on the Strip, walking to your destination is the way to go! This has led to also finding great bars, restaurants and casinos along the way. A great way to get your steps in while exploring Sin City is walking around the city. Another fun activity? Walking to get a bird’s eye view of Vegas on the stairs to the top of the Stratosphere! Remember walking may not get you sweaty but you are burning calories to prepare you for the time you will spend sitting at the tables or next to the pool.

Allow yourself one cheat meal

Like I mentioned, Vegas is known for delicious food. Vegas has some of the most amazing restaurants (now my mouth is watering for some Grand Lux Cafe!!!) but they could also pack your daily calories into one meal! This is why people gain back the weight they lost if not more when on vacation. They simply take in more calories than they are burning. Allow yourself one meal, drink or dessert that you will indulge in (I got through my half marathon telling myself I would get a Sprinkles cupcake after). It is all about balance so make sure to keep your 80/20 rule so you are only indulging 20% of the time. The 80% of the time when you are not eating a cheat meal, utilize some of the healthier food options that Vegas does have like Skinny Fats, Canyon Ranch Grill and Protein House.

Take an active day trip

Vegas really is the center location from a lot of national parks. You are a fairly short drive to Red Rock (the closest), Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon. Why not take a day trip to enjoy nature? Hiking in some of the most beautiful parks around the US is a great way to further expand your trip and get your heart pumping. In addition, Vegas is close to Lake Mead, Laughlin and Havasu where you can enjoy water activities like wake boarding, water skiing, boating and kayaking. Especially during the warmer months, you get to burn some calories and cool off in the water! Even if you do not want to drive, you can set up a tour (Vegas.com) to get you to one of the nearby destinations to do some exploring!


Tell me: Do you work out when you go on vacation?

Travel Thursday: Words to Describe Travel

Wanderlust is a word I have written about often on the blog. It is a word that truly describes my strong desire to travel. As I am constantly reading travel blogs and articles, I have come across words from different languages that describe travel in a better way than English words can do. Today, for Travel Thursday, I am sharing some great words that can be used to describe traveling and the feelings surrounding the life changing action.

5 Words to Describe Travel 

fernweh

Fernweh

This might be my new favorite word. Fellow travelers will understand that the ache and desire for travel is a constant craving. Every single day I feel that desire to travel and either think about past places I have been, places I want to go or when I will be able to travel next.

saudade

Saudade

Like I just mentioned, I live very much in the past. My thoughts long for past places we have been, people we have traveled with, beaches we have walked, food we have ate. It is very common for my husband and I to be somewhere and say “This reminds me of..” Nostalgia always stands for my first love, Paris and most recently for Greece.

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Resfeber

Much like the excitement before a big race or leaving for a vacation, this is the reason I usually do not sleep well the night before. My excitement and anticipation take over and just want the day to be here already! When I know I have a trip coming up, this usually takes over weeks, sometimes months before.

sehnsucht

Sehnsucht

Basically see ‘Saudade’

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Coddiwomple

Some of the best traveling is done vaguely with no plan but to travel to a destination. While we have gone back and forth between scheduled and leisurely traveling, some of our best eexperiences have happened from traveling a new city with no specific place in mind. Aimlessly traveling can land you in a moment you will be so glad you have.

Missed Past Travel Thursdays? Check them out on the Travel Page. 

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Weekend Trip to Napa Valley & San Francisco, California

Lesson learned from this trip – don’t forget to check in when flying Southwest. Getting out of San Fran into Oakland this evening was a nightmare which resulted in being one of the last to board and sitting solo. Thank goodness the flight back home is less an hour and they serve alcohol on the plane. This was also the only hiccup of the entire trip so this was one of the best weekend trips we have had. Our trip started on an early (too early for this lover of sleep) flight to Oakland. With no checked bags and the early hours, within an hour we left our place, passed security and were up in the air.

We landed in Oakland before 8am, got our  rental car and were on our way to Napa. The drive was just a bit over an hour and gorgeous when you start getting closer to the vineyards. We met up with our friends who got to Napa the day before for a brunch at Oxbow! The husband and I absolutely loved it because it reminded us of one of our favorites – The Gansevoort Market in New York. After a delicious mix of donuts and breakfast tacos, we made our first to our first winery stop – Stag’s Leap.


I will be doing a review of all the wineries we visited in a seperate post because some of them were worth going on a second trip to (and yes we have already decided Napa might be a regular trip for us). Our day started with a Fire and Water tour at Stag’s Leap (thanks to our friends John and Eryka who were members). We then stopped at the Mondavi, Grgich Estate and Consentino wineries. For dinner we headed back down to Downtown Napa for a highly recommend restaurant – Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & BBQ. The food was to die for and the atmosphere was even better! We checked into our hotel after dinner and were pleasantly surprised at the unique hotel / bed and breakfast. It was a large house with 2 connecting houses that offered common areas, homemade breakfasts, libraries and DVD rentals and bonfires out back. While it was different from the chain hotel, it was a welcome change.


Our second day started with champagne tasting at Domain Chandon then wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa, Hall and V Sattui wineries. For dinner the husband and I enjoyed italian food (and more wine for me) in Downtown Napa. Throughout the entire weekend the weather was perfection and most of the wineries were not crowded. The husband and I both left wanting to stay longer and with the plan to return again.


On Sunday morning, we checked out of Napa and drove down to San Francisco for the day since our flight was out of Oakland. We started by driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate Park which reminded me of a smaller version of Prospect Park. We enjoyed the Dutch windmills and the beach before driving to the Coit Tower for views of the bridge and bay. There was a heavy fog over the bay but the views of the ocean and port were still spectacular. We could even see Lombard Street in the distance. Our next stop was to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf for seafood. We walked around the pier enjoying the street performers, the ocean views and people watching of course. My food highlight was the Baked Bear custom ice cream sandwich! We made sure to walk off the calories by walking to Lombard Street (hello uphill) before heading back to the airport. Traffic getting to the airport was rough but we eventually made it before walking fairly easily through security and onto the plane.


Happy Travels & Cheers! 

Top 5 Beaches To Visit in Mykonos, Greece

The second island we visited during our honeymoon trip to Greece was Mykonos. From the moment we got off the ferry until we got back on to head to Athens a few days later, we loved every minute on the island. We spent a large amount of time at the Old Port enjoying the restaurants and the ocean view. At the Old Port, we saw the Windmills and spend many afternoons getting lost in the white alleyways in Little Venice. My favorite part of Mykonos was the ability to enjoy a large amount of various beaches. Although we did not get to visit every single one, we tried to get to as many as we could to see the difference among the beaches. We wanted to visit the more well known beaches like Paradise Beach as well as get recommendations from locals on their favorite beaches. Here are my top 5 beaches to visit in Mykonos, Greece:

Top 5 Beaches To Visit In Mykonos, Greece

  1. Ornos Beach – We spent less time on the beach because of the high winds but we sat at a bar off the beach enjoying a drink and the beautiful view. Even with the high winds, the beach was a beautiful front to decorated restaurants. The beach made me want to just sit there all day and enjoy the peaceful ocean. We stayed out on the lounge chairs until we could not take the wind any longer before spending the rest of our time reading, protected from the wind. I wish we would have been able to enjoy more of our time out on the beach but regardless it was still one of the best spots.
    Ornos Beach Mykonos Greece
  2. Platis Gialo Beach – Luckily since we visited Greece right before the peak season, the beaches were fairly quiet and calm. We really enjoyed our time at Platis Gialo as we used the shaded lounge chairs to enjoy the beach. I mean really baklava on the beach – that is a dream Greece scene! The beach had its windy moments but was a lot calmer than other beaches we visited. This was one of my two favorite beaches due to the fact that it was the perfect setting to lounge under the sun, reading a book and enjoying music!

    Platis Gialos Beach Mykonos Greece
  3. Super Paradise Beach – While Paradise wasn’t much beyond loud music and dancers on the bar, Super Paradise was a perfect mix of good music and a calmer beach. The water had clean sand and beautiful see through water. We spent the longest time at Super Paradise because of the atmosphere. The husband spent a huge amount of time in the water which wasn’t too cold in mid May and I spent a ton of time enjoying the sun. This was probably one of my two favorite beaches while this was the husband’s favorite beach of all that we visited.
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    Super Paradise Beach Mykonos Greece
  4.  Psarou Beach – Our guide who took us to the hotel told us Psarou was one of the more expensive beaches, often frequented by the wealthy and celebrities but that we had to visit just to experience. The beach was very pretty (even on the overcast day we visited) and had luxurious day beds and expensive restaurants. It is more enclosed in a bay with beautiful homes and hotels surrounding the beach. The beach also offers water sports like jet skis and kayaking. We did not spend too much time at the beach but I completely agree with our tour guide, it is a beach you have to visit just to say you did.
    Psarou Beach Mykonos Greece
  5. Agios Stefanos Beach – Agios Stefanos was the closest beach to our hotel so we spent a few mornings relaxing on the beach. The water was a perfect blend of green and blue. The beach was one of windiest beaches making the beach more ideal for the morning because the wind really kicked up by the afternoon. There were great restaurants off the beach that also served the lounge chairs as long as you purchased two items. I would highly recommend the beach for families due to the separation away from the party beaches.
    Agios Stefanos Beach Mykonos Greece

Have you booked your ticket to Greece yet? Pack that swimsuit and head to the island! 

Check out other travel recaps for Greece on the Travel Page! 

Delos, Greece

While staying in Mykonos, we took a day trip to the island of Delos. When we started planning our trip, Delos was one of the spots I was most excited to visit. Our trip included not only an educational tour by an archeologist who showed us some of the “hot spots” of the island but an additional hour to explore the rest of the island and/or the Delos museum.

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The beautiful island offers scenic views of the Aegean sea is a short boat ride from Mykonos Island. Delos is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Delos is one of the most historic spots in Greece. The history spans from the Greek mythology to the Byzantine era. The island is now an archeological site being restored and preserved by archeologists.

Some of my favorite historic landmarks on the island included:

  • The House of Dionysus– a high class 2nd century private house which had a mosaic floor of for the floor mosaic of the God of Wine riding a panther.
  • The Theatre – a marble theatre, much still intact, which hosted plays and musical acts.
  • The Terrace of Lions – the well known lions are dedicated to the God of Light and stood guard to Apollo’s Temple. Originally stood 12 lions where only seven of the lions remain now.
  • The Temple of Hera / Heraion Temple – temple of Hera, queen of the Greek Gods.

 



Note: When visiting, make sure to wear comfortable shoes as some of the spots (i.e. Heraion Temple) require walking on uneven terrain and can be on loose steps / stones. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat as the island offers little shade.

Check out the other Greece recaps on the Travel page.

Travel Thursday: Food, Food and More Food

Happy Thursday! It may be late but it’s still technically Thursday so a Travel Thursday post is still allowed. Traveling from New York to 2 Greek Islands, back to New York and Boston meant we got to experience a large amount of delicious, unique food. Food is equally as important as adventure when traveling. I strongly believe that the best food when traveling comes from asking the locals. Although we have used reviews online, we have stumbled across prime restaurants from asking people who live where we are. During our honeymoon we did exactly that and were not disappointed. I was planning to include food pics in each recap but hey what’s better than a post full of food pictures? I apologize in advance if this leaves you hungry. Let the #foodporn begin!

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New York: I shared our memorable pizza from Brooklyn but we also made sure to have a slice of $1.25 greasy American pizza as well. They were both delicious, just different of course. I had two of my personal favorites in New York – Pret a Manger and Shake Shack!


Greece: The food and wine were the most amazing I might have ever had! The only rival would be Italy. Greece was filled with flavorful dishes unique to the country paired with the best wine I have ever had! I don’t think a day passed without a glass of wine. The gyros was to die for, I could not tell you how many times we enjoyed gyros with tzatziki. We also had gelato for dessert and pasta dishes galore. Even better was that unlike the USA, all restaurants are unique and mostly family owned.


Boston: Seafood galore! We had lobster rolls, white and red chowdah (because that’s how the cool people say it) and delicious drinks. Besides seafood, Little Venice had delicious options for Italian. We filled our bellies with pasta and of course, the famous Mike’s Pastry cannolis. My favorite treat however was the ice cream cookie sandwich from Cookie Monstah. The husband and I got the “Candy Shoppe” – M &M cookies with Milky Way ice cream and the “Salty Dog” – salted caramel cookies with totally turtle ice cream.


Check out past Travel Thursday posts on the Travel page.

Brooklyn: Prospect Park, Botanical Gardens & Barboncino Pizza

Good morning. What to do when it’s 3am and jet lag has hit you hard? Start writing your trip recap of course! Unfortunately day 2 of being back, jet lag is in full effect. Coming from someone who thinks it should be illegal to wake up before 7am, this is my least favorite part of travel. But hey, I had an amazing 17 day honeymoon so I guess I can’t complain about lack of sleep.

The first stop of our honeymoon was an extended layover in Brooklyn, New York. The last time we were in New York, we enjoyed most of the “tourist” spots and didn’t venture much outside of that since we had a full schedule of things we wanted to see. This time around we planned to enjoy a more relaxing stop in Brooklyn before the trip and an extended layover in Manhattan on our way back. We really enjoyed our time in Brooklyn but there were three definite highlights from our time there.

Prospect Park

The husband and I have been hearing a lot about this park being the new (some argue better) “Central Park” so we knew we had to check it out for ourselves. Our first night in, we made sure to grab some Shake Shack for dinner (being a Cali girl, I’m shocked to say this but Shake Shack is my In-N-Out all the way!) before heading to bed. We woke up bright and early which allowed us to walk through the Green-Wood cemetery, which I highly recommend if you have the time, to get to Prospect Park. When we walked through Prospect Park, there was so much going on being that it was a Saturday. It looked like a school race was going on so there a ton of families but the amount of runners and bikers shocked me. The running path was filled with people enjoying the nice weather! Much like Central Park, the path is extremely large and also has small side running trails. We cut through to explore and find a spot to lay out, read and soak up the nice weather. We passed a lake, the boathouse and some statues before we found a spot next to the water. The weather was perfect and the park, although lively was peaceful, especially next to the lake. I still don’t know which park I like best but Prospect Park did not disappoint. On our way to get lunch, we walked through more of Prospect Park to see the sports facilities, even more statues and the zoo.


Barboncino Pizza
We found this place on Yelp and was a fairly easy walk from the park. I am actually not a big pizza girl but since the husband loves it, I’ve been coming around to it as I find more than just cheese pizza that I like. These pizzas were not your average take out pizza. One pie was topped with eggplant and zucchini, the other with red peppers, tomatoes, arugula, parmesan and olive oil. Holy cow, both were full of flavor and the perfect compliment to a glass of red wine! The decor and vibe of the restaurant were unique with rustic brick walls, exposed copper pipes, old fashioned light bulbs. From the outside what seems like a very small restaurant is actually a two level place with outside seating and a stone oven to cook their pizzas. The husband and I both agree this one of our top meals during the trip!


Botanical Gardens

The gardens were the one thing that we had on our schedule from our last trip that never happened so I was thrilled to make it this time around. As expected, the spring was the perfect time to visit. The flowers were in full bloom (although we found out we just missed the cherry blossoms) and green everywhere. Coming from a state in a drought, this is always much appreciated. My favorite part of the gardens was the Japanese Hill & Pond garden surrounding a lake filled with turtles, frogs and fish. In the center of the park, there is also a beautiful tree filled grass area, that many people were enjoying, just like the park. Lastly, I was impressed by the large space they had for a discovery center for kids. The gardens really offer something for everyone.



Tell me: Do you like pizza? If so, what’s your favorite kind? Do you prefer Chicago or New York style?

I still haven’t had Chicago pizza so a trip is definitely needed to try! :)

Travel Tips: Safety When Traveling

Before traveling, the excitement and plans of the upcoming trip are usually on the forefront of all thoughts. As I research, plan my outfits and packing, safety is usually the last thing I am thinking about. Last year, before our trip to Thailand, I was really worried about my safety abroad due to the increase in terrorist attacks. Sadly, since November, they have not stopped and continue to be a recurring news story. While traveling should not be consumed by these threats, it is always a good idea to keep yourself as safe as possible when you are traveling. Traveling is life changing as you are exposed to new food, culture, experiences and languages. However, travel can be life changing in a bad way, if you are not prepared and aware of what is going on around you. Today, I am going to share some tips on staying safe when traveling.

Travel Tips Part 1

Traveling

Whether you are traveling in a well known tourist filled destination or an off the beaten path city, you must always be aware of what you are doing. It is easy to get into the moment of visiting a beautiful beach or finally seeing that Wonder of the World you have been waiting for. These are the times that people often get pick pocketed or are scammed out of money. The worst feeling is being in a situation you feel unsafe while in a foreign place, not knowing the language or having a device to get in contact with. Preparation is always key in traveling, especially when it comes to your safety.

  1. Make photo copies of all important documents (credit cards, passports, etc.) – You definitely do not want to be traveling and lose the documents you need to get home. Make sure to always make a copy of your documents and keep on hand. I usually make copies of all forms of ID and my credit cards to keep with me at all times while leaving the real documents in a safe.
  2. Notify your bank that you will be traveling – This allows for easier use as you travel from state to state or country to country as well as preventing credit card fraud.
  3. Leave valuables at home – I left my engagement ring at home when I traveled to Thailand. I did not bring jewelry and brought my cheap $5 Forever 21 glasses. When talking with the newlyweds we met in Thailand, they advise that they bought $10 fake rings for the trip. They left their real ones at home so they did not have to worry about losing their rings. If you would be upset if you lost it, do not risk by bringing it.
  4. When traveling internationally, notify the embassy of the place you are visiting – With the recent global terrorist alerts, you can be sure I let the embassy know when we were traveling to Thailand. An easy online process, STEP is a really great tool for notifications on alerts as well as getting information on the specific place you are traveling.
  5. Research local tourists scams and recent happenings – Know what you should be watching out for and what you should be sensitive towards. You can never know enough and being well informed is the key to traveling safely.
  6. Stay alert at all times, be aware of your exits and surroundings – Trust me, I know it is so easy to get caught up in the moment, taking in sights, snapping a picture or just relaxing on vacation. You should always stay alert when traveling. When you enter a venue, restaurant or attraction, look for your nearest exits, always be aware of what is going on around you and always (ALWAYS) leave if you do not feel safe.

At Home

While being safe while traveling is important, a lot of people forget about what they are leaving behind when they travel. Their home, family and belongings are being left for days, weeks, sometimes months which means it is the easiest target for burglars. In addition, you wouldn’t just get up and leave without a little preparation. You would ensure your house is locked, your alarm was on and if you have a pet, that they were being taken care of. When planning a trip, safety of your home should definitely be thought of during your planning.

  1. Leave a family member or friend your planned itinerary – When we traveled to Thailand, we made sure to leave our parents a detailed listing of when we would be arriving, traveling domestically and planning to leave. Good communication will help that someone knows where you should be at all times.
  2. Have a family member or friend check in at your house – We always have someone staying at our house when we are gone with the dog. If you do not have a pet that requires someone to stay at your place, ask a friend or family member to stop in.
                *Give the illusion that you are home if you cannot have someone check in – Doing things like setting up motion censored lights, leaving the windows open and/or having your newspaper or mail picked up will keep the illusion that your everyday activities are occurring.
  3. Safety proof your house – Just like you would take precautions to ensure your safety while traveling, ensure your house is set up safely before leaving. Make sure electronics are unplugged, all devices are off and set up an alarm system if you do not have one. Bringing your cellphone with you? Set up a device like Simplisafe which allows you to monitor your house from your phone.
                *Contact your alarm company to notify – Especially if you are not able to have someone stop in at your place, make sure you notify your
  4. Stop or forward your mail – It is extremely easy to stop your mail from being delivered while you are away. A simple setup online prevents your mail from being stolen and showing your house as an open target for theft.

Tell me: What are your tips to stay safe when traveling?

Check out past Travel Thursday posts on the Travel page! 

Last Day in Phuket – Phi Phi Island

After our eventful day at James Bond Island, I thought this tour would seem too similar. Boy, was I wrong! Phi Phi Island was the best day of Phuket and was the only competition for my favorite day of the trip. Early in the morning, we took a bus to a boat landing where we were given information for the loading the speed boat as well as the schedule for the day. We hoped on the speed boat and took off. Thank goodness for Dramamine because the boat ride was bumpy and fast! After a 30 min ride, we stopped at our first spot, in front of Phi Phi island to snorkel!

Phi Phi Island

In the middle of the perfectly clear water, we hopped off the back of the boat looking for fish which were everywhere. The clearness of the water was shocking. We could see fish of all colors as we swam along. By the time we had to load back on the boat, we were excited for our next stop – Phi Phi Island. Quick side note, the main reason I wanted to go to Thailand before we booked our trip was for Phi Phi Island. I love beaches and have read that the colors of the ocean are indescribable. So if you are thinking of going, I have to say, you will not be disappointed!

 

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We made it to Ko Phi Phi Island in less than 20 minutes where there were pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise water. It took everything in me not to jump off and run to the beach! No wonder they made the movie, “The Beach” here! This truly was indescribable. Pictures do no justice to the colors and beauty. Located in between two enormous limestone cliffs, it feels like a private beach. On the side the boat landed, the water was a clear green color whereas the other side boasted blue water. Once we embarked, we walked from one side of the island to the other. The short walk through trees and shade landed us on the “blue side” which was astounding! I have never seen water so clear. The water was surrounded by more limestone cliffs and made for perfect pictures. Since the blue side is on a small platform that gets crowded easily, we walked back to the green side to get in the water. The sand was smooth, the water warm and the surroundings incredible. There were schools of fish that you could see swimming alongside. Hands down, the best beach I have ever been to!

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En route to our lunch spot, we stopped at Maya Bay, Monkey Beach,  and Viking Cave.We enjoyed a lunch on the beach that was included in our tour group. I cannot speak to the lunch because I skipped due to not feeling well the day before but the views were amazing. The island was enjoyable to relax on and extremely lively.

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After lunch, we boarded the boat back to enjoying our last snorkeling spot. The boat stopped at Loh Samah Bay with again clear waters that made it hard to tell how far you were from the bottom. There were so many fish to see and by this time, the husband and I deemed the $3 bucks we spent on the waterproof case, the best money we spent all day! We got back on the boat, exhausted (partly from all the salt water I inhaled) but happy. As the boat took off, our guide walked around with fresh pineapple and drinks. It was so refreshing!

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Our last stop was spent at Khai Island which was our least favorite stop. From the moment we stepped off the boat, we were bombarded asking and buy drinks. The spot was a tourist trap but we made the best of it, soaking up the sand and more views of the ocean! What better way to avoid them bugging you than by taking a nap on the beach!

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We were thrilled to find out that we could buy a DVD with pictures and video from our trip. We purchased the DVD so we got even better pictures of us snorkeling and enjoying the island. Overall, it was the best way we could spend our last full day in Phuket.

Missed other Thailand recaps? Check out the Travel Page for more reviews!

James Bond Island Review

Missed the first couple of recaps from my trip to Bangkok and Phuket? Check out the travel page for all recaps before our first full day in Phuket.

James Bond Island Review

Our first full day in Phuket started bright and early in the morning. Before we headed to James Bond Island with the rest of our tour group, the trip started off on a great note when our tour guide pulled off on the side of the road to a fresh pineapple stand. The pineapples were grown in the trees right in front of our faces. No wonder all the fruit was DELICIOUS, no comparison to the fruit we eat every day.

Phuket, Thailand Review 2

Phuket, Thailand Review

After our stop at the stand, we boarded back on the bus to head to Monkey Cave (Suwankuha Temple). Before we off loaded, our tour guide warned us to keep all belongings close, especially phones and sunglasses. She said if the monkey takes an item of yours, let him have it. People have been known to fight the monkeys for their belongings but the monkeys always win. Um I will stay on the bus after all. Just kidding but I was a little concerned. We bought a bag of bananas, nuts and corn before we walked to the cave. Surrounding the entrance of the temple were monkeys all over. They were in the trees, on the rocks, coming down the side of the mountain. The amount of monkeys was incredible, including many parents with baby monkeys clinging to them. We made our way through the Temple which although small was very beautiful. We finished our stop feeding the monkeys. Never would have believed that monkeys absolutely love corn and preferred it over bananas!

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After our trip to the Monkey Cave, we hopped on a longtail boat to Phang Nga Bay, which is home to James Bond Island. Before we got on the boat, I bought a hat for $3 (what a steal) because I started to feel overheated. The heat was kicking in and I wanted to make sure I stayed as cooled off as possible. The ride to James Bond Island which included a few stops to point out a komodo dragon and some rock formations took about 45 mins. It felt great to have the wind in my face and definitely helped me cool down.

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Our stop at James Bond Island was amazing. The rock formations were just breathtaking. The water was a color I have never seen in water before. There was a small trail to walk around the other side of the (very small) island. The worst part of the trail was the inability to have people walking up and down the trail. Therefore, we spent a decent amount of time waiting for people to pass but we were able to get some great pictures across the island. The other side of the island was less crowded and offered a beautiful view of the ocean. Of course, the main attraction is the tall vertical rock island that stands out in the middle of the bay. The rock island was named after it appeared in the James Bond – The Man with the Golden Gun. Overall, the island is worth the boat ride for the pictures alone!

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Unfortunately by our last boat ride to a late lunch, I was started to get very sick. Therefore, there were no pictures during our time at the Muslim fishing village on Koh Panyee Island. It was very interesting to witness the local lifestyle of this village on the water. After lunch, we stopped at a few more stops along the water as we made our way back to admire the blue and green water with lush greenery.

Next week should be the wrap up of our Thailand trip with our last day in Phuket which also happens to be my favorite day of the entire trip.

Missed any past Travel Thursdays? Check out Travel Thursdays on the Travel Page. 

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