Sawadeekah from Thailand


October 2008

Gorgeous Islands of Thailand

Karst Formations

The unbelievable limestone mountains on the islands are breathtaking. “Erosion along limestone shores, notably in the tropics, produces karst topography that includes a sharp surface above the normal reach of the sea and undercuts that are mostly the result of biological activity or bioerosion at or above sea level. Some of the most dramatic of these formations can be seen in Thailand’s Phangnga Bay and Halong Bay in Vietnam.” We have tons of great photos of these!!!

Chinese Taoist Lent Vegetarian Festival

Trang hosts one of the largest festivals in Thailand

The Vegetarian Festival started Sept 29 the same date as Rosh Hashannah (HAPPY NEW YEAR!) It is a 9 day festival and the people wear white, think positive thoughts and hope for good luck. We saw a ceremony where they were feeding their gods…one woman was blowing a rams horn (shofar). “The Trang Vegetarian Festival is a spiritual gathering at the Kio OngIa and Chao Pho Muen Ram Chinese Shrines. It marks the first days of “Taoist Lent” with parades and a ceremonies. The title of this gathering is somewhat confusing – food does not provide the central focus, although white-robed devotees attending the event do adhere to a strict vegetarian diet to mark these important days.” It was a great cultural experience for us and we met so many wonderful people. Both of these festivals began on the 1st day of the 9th lunar month, Ramadan ended on Sept 29th.

Sept 16-Oct 7, 2008 Thailand Part One

Wow!!! Do we love Thailand! By the time we left we could count, order in a restaurant and have some of a conversation in Thai. All the people were so great, it truly is the land of SMIILES!
We were able to stay at LOW SEASON prices in all the towns. In Ko Phi Phi we stayed at the Paradise Resort on Long Beach. It was 500 B a night with 2 free waters. (33B =$1) but in high season it is 900B. (with aircon 2000B) In Railey we stayed for 400B but our room would be 3000B for high season….and it is 75 steps UP. It has a great view of the bay.
The islands have very extreme tidal variations. We arrived at Low Tide and walked for 300m up to the shore from our LongTail Boat and water landing.
The diving and snorkeling were great. I saw a turtle eating balloon coral polyps!! We snorkeled in Ko Phi Phi with several black tip reef sharks and went on Shark Watch with Murry and Jenny. We had a great snorkel trip with them to Ko Phi Phi Leh. All of the beach towns were affected by the Tsunami and there is building EVERYWHERE in Thailand. We were told just being there is so helpful to all the people and the economy. We were lucky to meet so many wonderful people and to be in Trang for the Vegetarian Festival. We are in Malyasia now and we will be BACK in Thailand before we return home. Hope you are well! Lisa and George

Something that is never far from your mind in the islands of Thailand is the 2004 Tsunami. “The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing more than 225,000 people in eleven countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand were hardest hit.” We were happy to be in Kata Beach, Ko Phi Phi and Railey. All these beach areas were affected by the Tsunami and devastated afterwards by the lack of tourism.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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