Friday, May 23, 2014

Holiday

Firstly, keep in mind that Malaysia has two distinct seasons. A rainy season and a dry season. The country is typically warm throughout the year with temperatures ranging from 21 degrees Celsius (In layman's terms 70s) to 32 degrees Celsius (90s). Goosebumps are rarely experienced until one steps-foot into an 'icebox' (Shopping Center). However, in the highlands, temperatures can drop as low as 16 degrees Celsius (60s). So, the likelihood of spotting a snowman here during Christmas will be one made out of sticky rice.



Some expats are not aware of the number of holidays Malaysia has in a given year. Likewise, I'm not aware of it until I'm at a shopping mall one day, where I stumble upon a SURPRISINGLY giant, happy snowman, or an AMAZING Deepavali rice-art SMACK in the middle of the pathway. Alternately, when I hear the sounds of Chinese drums in the distance, followed by the ECHOES OF CHINESE DRUMS INSIDE MY HEAD.


Needless to say, the holidays creep up on us all the time. Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Wesak, to name a few. There are SO many holidays where there is barely enough time in between them to make arrangements. (Can you feel my frustration? Probably not. Okay moving on....)

Prior to the recent holiday, Labour Day, and all other holidays before that, it was Good Friday. In which coincidentally fell between student's mid-term break. SPRING BREAK, per se. And, sequentially added 17 days of (Think Madonna Song.) "HOLIDAY!"

We chose yet another incredible island for our "HOLIDAY" destination. Kata Beach in Phuket Thailand, since we've never been to Thailand before, and to seek relaxation with breathtaking views.

Here the boys enjoyed surfing for their first time.



We enjoyed magical sunsets.

 
We also thought about experiencing a sequestered island, with a lesser civilian population, if that's even possible. In 2013 statistics reports; Phuket Thailand, 209.7 square miles of island, Population: 503,000. More than 21 percent for whom are expats permanently reside here. Who can blame them?! Then add SPRING BREAK to the equation. Now do the math.


So, we readily went for an island hopping excursion, that required us to hop on a bus, which then took us up-and-down a mountain on a narrow winding road, with torrential rain and mudslides. An hour later, optimistic and with no regrets, YET, we cradled aboard a speedboat that took us 30 minutes, or so, away from the east coast of Phuket. Then, astounded that we finally made it, found ourselves on all fours upon an island called Koh Khai.






Here the boys enjoyed snorkeling for their first time.

Notice the colorful array of umbrella BRIGADE in the background?






An Asian once said to me that Westerners all look alike, perhaps as a joke. Well, it is quite apparent that we all THINK alike, TOO.


HEY! The more the merrier.



Here, we were greeted by friendly Koh Khai Islanders who offered us fresh tropical fruits and drinks.











Here's reality.











And, here is yet another 'sad' fact. It was disappointing to discover coral reef disintegration. As well as to find an extensive amount of plastic bags, fishing lines and empty bottles washed ashore in the mornings at Kata beach. By, presumably, night fishermen in their boats, who their tiny flickering lights are seen by the hundreds in the vast distance, fishing for squid, or whatever else that gets tangled up in their nets.

















All in all, we enjoyed our holiday getaway. Our accommodation at Kata Beach was inviting. Restaurants are affordably priced and the people are friendly. They did a good job keeping their beaches clean, as well. Our boys could hardly wait to arrive back to our hotel room, to find these countless, hand-crafted sea-creatures made of leaves from a tree. (below) I'm surprised to see there are still quite a few leaves on its branches.


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