My family (hubby and two kids) and I moved to Thailand last year for me to teach second grade in Bangkok. We come from California, where we owned an outdoor retail shop from which we guided backpacking and snowshoe trips, and also kayak trips in California's awesome Sierra Nevada mountains and the Pacific Ocean. We find it hard to get outdoors here, but little by little we are finding new places to go all the time. My goal right now is to get us out of Bangkok and into natural places with increasing frequency over the next year.
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Our friends from home in California (left), our Bangkok friends, teachers I work with (middle), and us (right) - standing on the National Park beach waiting for our speed boat ride back to the mainland. The two nights and three days on the island were lots of relaxing fun, and a nature feast for the eyes, ears, and lungs (living in Bangkok makes for poor air quality much of the time!) And the best part, time with friends, building relationships.
I am not a super confident swimmer, and I hate cold water. Good thing that Thailand snorkeling is WARM and the choral and fish are so beautiful! We don't dive, but one of Thailand's best dive site is not too far from here. Snorkeling in Thailand has always been easy - just reserve from wherever you're staying, and a long tail boat shows up with a local driver to take you out to the spots. I found that here around the Surin islands it wasn't crowded at all, probably because the Thai New Year holiday has just passed, and we're entering the hottest part of the hot season.
Lots of tents close together, but luckily we were some of the only people camping here for the two nights. The nice thing was that the tent was literally 10 meters from high tide. Jeff found some time to relax in the Eno in the shade for a break from the tropical heat. It is hot season here right now, meaning that it is often 40 celsius with over 80% humidity.