Friday, April 13, 2012

Koh Samui

Flying to Koh Samui was so beautiful. Our plane was so cute, painted with an under the ocean mural all over. And Koh Samui airport.. amazing! It's all outside, so welcoming and just a great way to start our week.

Once we landed it was a short private ride to our resort. As we pulled in we weren’t quite sure what to expect with it being in the middle of absolutely nowhere but much to our liking we were at the most beautiful resort I’d ever seen. (Insert resort addy) Three pools, outdoor cocktail bar, delicious food and a stone throw to their private beach. For the first couple of days we soaked up the rays poolside making our way through the extensive cocktail list.
Day two we decided to venture into the nearest ‘town’ for dinner and to check out the nightlife. Chewang was a 40min drive away from our hotel but well worth it in the end. We had dinner at one of the many street side restaurants then began wondering. We were stopped by a couple of blonde English girls who were promoting what we thought was a bar nearby. They slapped some wristbands on us and pointed down a side street saying it was a simple 500m away. 20 minutes later and after walking in the pitch black along deserted dirt roads we saw flashing lights and heard faint music. We’d stumbled across a sort of field next to the river and our wristbands were apparently the ticket in. This place was huge. One massive stage, a few different bars, hundreds of tables with sheesha pipes and of course the usual strobes, fluoro lights and disco balls everywhere. We had found the monthly Black Moon Party. As you do we made a few pals and were introduced to Samsong Thai Whisky buckets. Amazing first night out in Thailand followed by a horrendous hangover the following day.

After another couple of days lounging by the pool and getting a little too ridiculously burnt we hit up Chewang again. We started with a delicious typical Thai dinner and cheap cocktails followed by our new fave Samsong buckets and a little connect four. We ended up at a bar called Hush dancing the night away to old school hip hop with a young Thai guy called Art. Will never forget him he was hilarious and so good to us with free alcohol all night. After Hush he took us with some others to a different bar down the road, which was massive. After closing hours Ana realised she no longer had her iphone. O oh. Art was all over it… first he alerted the entire staff of every bar on the street to search for it, then hired a scooter to trace the streets. We finally gave up, said our goodbyes and headed home empty handed. Ana awoke a little stoked with life when her long lost phone appeared in her handbag, crisis averted.
Our final day in Koh Samui was a little bit cute at the resort. In the morning there was a beautiful wedding we spied on from the middle pool. I can’t even imagine trying to be poised in that heat and felt a little sorry for all the males in suits. The evening bought a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach. I’d like to claim it as ours but unfortunately not, it was however planned for a proposal to take place. We watched the beautiful sunset and packed our bags for an early flight to take us away from paradise and back to Phuket.
Until next time Koh Samui.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chapter One - Thairan

First day waking up in Thailand was hot, sticky and exciting. We met Shack and Brooke for a huge buffet breakfast at the hotel and basically had a quick hello and farewell before we went our separate ways. Fair to say the girls weren't feeling their best at this point. 
We had flights mid day to Koh Samui so couldn't do much Phuket exploring this morning. We did however wander out our front door and about 100m down the road to the most amazing beach. People everywhere but still so stunning and clear blue waters. Jetskis all around and the good ol' Paraflights where a guy actually flies up in the air with you (just hanging onto a piece of rope) so he can jump off after you if you slip out of your harness. Safe.
This was also our first encounter of Thai people hussling you for money... and of course the whole "ooh sexy lady you want dvd? nice shoe for you?".
One positive from the pestering men on the streets was we found out about a party on Bangla Road that's free alcohol from 12-2am, mainly hip hop, and majority Westerners (apparently they don't let Thai people in?) It's also the stop off for Contiki tours.. could be worth a visit! Save that for Phuket trip next week.
Goodbye Patong Beach. We're off to Koh Samui!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Multiple Surprises

Best hangover cure? A Dad's pie of course. After thanking and farewelling the Grooten household Tom took us to Dad's Pie factory for a delish butter chicken. Next step we all spent the day at Piha beach again, meeting Cam, Jase and Chris at Pig's place. Best views you'll ever need, right out to sea! Ventured further down the beach for the boys to find their perfect little surfing spot. Note to towny self.. black sand is not your friend! We all went for a little dip until I was completely demoed in the waves just in time for the chaps from Piha Rescue (sadly no cameras though) to come kick us out of the water.
After a stunner of a day at the beach, and some more goodbyes, our chauffeur Cam took us into town to met my lovely Mother.

Surprise number one.. not only did Mum come up to send us girls off but she had my big sister in tow! Laura snuck around the corner and gave me a little fright, whereas Ana and apparently everyone else I was excited enough to tell the news to already knew. Four ladies scampered up to the hotel room updating each other on the previous 48 hours and getting excited about the next. We went out for a beautiful Monsoon Poon Thai dinner matched with our fave cocktails. Mum and Laura called it a night while we attempted to back up Friday's festivities and met up with Cam and his posse. After a quick hello and goodbye it was home to bed.
Sunday was spent shopping and organising our lives before our early morning flight the next day. Ana met up with Kata for a monsoon repeat while my family and I caught up with Laura's soon-to-be-in-laws Jim and Paula for the best lamb dinner ever. Home to pack.
Sunday morning it was some more sad goodbyes with Mum and Loz before a rushed trip to the airport. We arrived all rearing to go but then a little confused and anxious as we couldn't find our flight on the departure screen. Surprise number two.. they had changed our flight to the following day but good ol' Jetstar failed to inform it's passengers! After a lot of hustle and bustle and being passed down the chain of command we demanded to speak to the head of Jetstar, who finally rebooked us on the following day's flight and put us up in an Auckland hotel for the night. Accom in Phuket - wasted.
Farewell NZ take two. Once on board with Jetstar we had just enough cash between us to chose either A. unlimited movies and games for the 10 hour flight to Singapore or B. a snack each (most likely vege crisps). We chose A. which then had us rationing a tin of eclipse mints for the trip. First world problems.
Singapore Airport
Stopover in Singapore for a few hours then on to Phuket to begin our Thailand adventures! By the time we arrived to our hotel at Patong Beach we were unfortunately a little too nackered to meet up with Shack and Brooke so re-aranged for a rendezvous over breaky. Although they had other plans, surprise number three.. waking us up soaking wet after having a little midnight ocean dip after a few too many buckets.. we soon found out this is quite a norm here. Finally sleep time for Chapter One to begin tomorrow. Night NZ.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Waking up in Cam's grandmother's 100 year old bed the morning of Friday Feb 17th. What a dream.
We had a big day ahead so proceeded to get ourselves ready while our lovely host fixed us our morning meal. It was time for the Auckland Zoo! Way too excited as we arrived and received our giraffe stamps (special), ready with map in hand we took off.
Apparently I'd been to the zoo before as a little one but in my mind this was a whole new experience. We saw stunners from lions to turtles, giraffes to the meerkats (my faves) and everything in between. Auckland really turned on the sunshine for our weekend which made it all that much sweeter.
Next task for Friday Funday was to sort out Cam's plums for the weekend markets. I wasn't entirely sure what we were doing but they tasted good and that kept me quiet. This trip was made via visiting Cam's firefighter friend (sorry champ, names slipped my mind) who happened to live on miniature lane in little person ville.
Fletchers Fruits

Our day continued to soar. We piled into the van filled with plums and headed for Cam's family winery, Artisan Wines, located in the beauty of Oratia Valley. Lucky girls we were wined and dined whilst meeting the whole family and taking in the stunning views. Pals Andy and Matt joined us for some nibbles and a little vino tasting before we went for a stroll among the vines gathering Adam & Eve leaves for Mrs Sunde.

With full bellies and tipsy heads we had a few errands to run before making our way to Red Beach for Mr Grooten's birthday dinner. Timing was perfect for we arrived the same time as the man himself. Had a wee sneaky look around and a quick visit to the beach (located approx 5 meters from his house!) before the drinks and catch ups began to flow. After one or two glasses it was apparently an awesome idea for Ana and myself to utilise being at the beach and began flapping around in the minimal waves.
All up it was a very good day and night, although the following morning my head didn't agree.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Yes, this post has been a long time coming, I know. My apologies.

February 16, 2012 we began our long awaited journey. With our packs on and anxiety running through our veins Ana and I met, along with our families, at Queenstown airport. A close call to missing our first flight too! After a few tearful goodbyes and lots of hugs we boarded our plane to Auckland, only to be met with angry clouds the entire trip.
Landed and made our way to Parnell for the ENG1 Medical Exam - passed. Beautiful day in Auckland as Cam picked us up and we headed for Piha beach. The afternoon was spent swimming and tanning with a few beers, perfect start to our trip as Stan Walker even made an appearance. Cam introduced us to his friend Pig (Antony) who joined us for dinner at the Piha RSA. Absolutely amazing food and crowd. Once we'd stuffed ourselves we headed back to the Sunde household for an early nights sleep. 

 Sunde's pad
 Cam's imitation of Lion Rock, Piha Beach
Piha Beach