It had been a rather nice winter in Texas but I am now back in France for a few weeks and it has been all about winter coats and scarves again. I get very nostalgic when I think that exactly one year ago, we were in Hawaii, enjoying hikes and beach time on Oahu and Kauai islands.
We arrived in Sri Lanka without knowing much about the food there except for the idea that I should be ok as a vegetarian. Well, it is absolutely not difficult to be a vegetarian in Sri Lanka. Unlike in other countries, I didn’t have to spend time researching vegetarian restaurants in the areas we visited, if such restaurants even exist. I knew for sure there would be several meat-free options wherever we would go. The country is actually so vegetarian friendly that when we took a cooking class in Ella, we were surprised to see that all dishes were vegetarian by default.
Phuket is one of the paradise places we were lucky to visit. The week we spent there was filled with food discoveries, beach time and we loved the quiet Rawai area where we were staying. Although we did spend most of the time exploring the South of the island, we decided to take a day to drive up North a bit to visit Old Phuket town. You don’t need a lot of time to see the heart of the little town but the streets are all so cute that I was not disappointed.
Koh Phi Phi is composed of several islands among which Koh Phi Phi Leh, a small uninhabited islet, home to Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous Beach. Touring Koh Phi Phi Leh has become a major attraction since the film was released in 2000. This island features paradise beaches, clear waters and a dreamy lagoon. Its beauty is simply breathtaking.
Koh Phi Phi must be the Thai island that has the worst reputation. Or the best, if you love partying. Some people will tell you it was worth it 25 years ago but that the island has been ruined by tourism. Unfortunately, I can’t say that it’s not true: every inhabited part of it is basically a holiday village to itself, packed with hotels and restaurants. It’s definitely not the right place to go if you want to discover Thai culture. But 25 years ago, I was 2 years old and I’m not sure I would have been able to enjoy any of it! So should we have just skipped it? I’m happy we didn’t.
After almost four months of travelling, we were starting to feel some kind of burn out – all the temples looked more or less the same, we were a bit less excited about all the new things that surrounded us and more than anything else, we were exhausted all the time.
Spending six weeks in Hawaii was a great opportunity and a great experience. In addition to exploring the wonders of Oahu and Kauai, we got to meet other tourists as well as locals since we mostly stayed at people’s houses, and we were able to catch a glimpse of what life is really like in paradise.