Siblings in Kuwait – Spring Break 2013

One of the deals we are giving our 5 siblings is a trip (once) to visit us. Abby is here for the semester subbing and Andrew came to visit for his Spring Break! Shannon was studying abroad in Barcelona so they met up in Kuwait. It was a memorable week for all! (see Shannon’s post for proof)

There was a little miscommunication ..Shannon arrived on Friday, March 22nd and Andrew arrived 24 hours later. Luckily we like Shannon so it worked out just fine 😉

Shannon made it!

It actually ended up being quite an interesting experience: Shannon met a guy from Portugal on the plane. He was visiting friends but they weren’t able to pick him up at the airport. Our friend, Dana, was driving so we all piled into her car and took him to Marina Mall. We invited him to have breakfast with us at Pain Quotidian…and ended up finding out he was visiting some Kuwaiti royalty that he had met on a road trip. Crazy! We ended up hanging out with him all day and had quite a bit of fun being hospitable. Bonus: he’s a great (self-taught) photographer!

girls & the gulf

jeff, shannon & city

The afternoon consisted of coffee and pedicures. Saturday was another early morning to pick Andrew up at the airport.

We had an amazing breakfast (as always) at the Cocoa Room before heading out to the desert!

Full and satisfied, Dana, Andrew, Shannon, Abby, Jeff and I headed out to do some desert hiking. We found some interesting things along the way!

We also managed to do some GeoCaching…

…and found lots and lots of bullets in the process.

It wasn’t the clearest day but we had a great (HOT) time! Check out the entire album for many more pictures 🙂

Before they came, we compiled a list of all the things we wanted to do with them. [As you can see, we take our food very seriously!] It was actually a pretty busy week! We gave them a taste of a lot of things and know we missed even more. Contrary to popular belief, there’s actually a lot to do in Kuwait (if you’re looking). Some of the blogs I use to find goings-on: 2:48AM, Life in Kuwait, The Grapevine Kuwait.

Shannon introduced me to Red Mango…how did I manage to get through the first 7 months here without ever stopping to try it?!

We ventured to Souq Sharq (a first for all of us!).

We made at stop at the Fish Market.

We (finally) tried a nearby bakery and enjoyed some Middle Eastern sweets.

Strolling through the Old Souq.

Dinner at the Old Souq

Our last night, we ventured to one of our favorite restaurants for some Turkish food and shisha.

Jeff getting fancy with shisha

Abby’s friend from high school (Lance) was in Kuwait for a couple months working on the oil fields and joined us…small world!

Andrew’s turn 🙂

It was a great week!!

Check out the rest of our pictures plus all of our iPhone photos 🙂

Our Guide: Phuket

Where We Stayed:

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PapaCrab Boutique Guesthouse. It’s a tiny (1o room) hotel run by a German guy and his Thai wife and it’s perfect. It’s a 2 minute walk from the beach, right around the corner from some quality restaurants and about 5 minutes away from a bakery.  It’s clean, simple and comfortable – exactly what you need for spending maximum time at the beach. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a little general store in between the hotel and the beach which makes beverage runs quite nice 🙂

What We Ate:

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We ate at Kokosnuss German Bakery for breakfast, had some street food from the beach for lunch, and Skyla’s and Carbonara’s for dinner. I’d recommend them all to anyone. Breakfast was ham, cheese and homemade bread, costing us somewhere around $5 per day (total) for 3 people. Lunch was usually 3 servings of typical Thai food; Pad Thai, Noodle Soup with Prawns, etc. Each dish cost about 80 thb and whoever went and ordered got to have a beer while they waited. Total for lunch was usually ~300 thb or $10 total for 3 people. Dinner was slightly more expensive but the atmosphere at both places was worth it. At Skyla’s we had Pad Thai, Lettuce Wraps and Spicy Papaya Salad. At Carbonara’s we had pizza. I don’t remember the totals for each place, but they were slightly more expensive (120 thb – 150 thb) per dish.

What We Did:

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Mostly stayed at the beach on Kamala. One day we rented a car (~900 thb) and drove up to Banana Beach, which is quiet, secluded and difficult to access. We snorkled, swam, ate food at a tiny “restaurant” on the beach and had a good time. We also went to the Farmer’s Market that happens on Wednesday. It’s a fantastic place to get food of all sorts 🙂

Pro-Tips:

* We didn’t find a single place that accepted credit/debit cards, so carry cash. Not a single bank in Kamala accepted our Kuwait cards, so we had to go to SCB on the main strip to have them charge our American Credit cards. Again – take out LOTS of cash, because plastic won’t work!

* Once you’re in Kamala, plan to stay there. Taxis, Tuk-tuk’s, busses and rental cars are pricey. Scooters are cheap and we thought about renting them but decided against it (and were thankful we did, as it poured that day!) and ended up grabbing a car for the day.

* Buy towels there, and make sure you bargain. I’m a big fan of traveling light, so packing a towel wasn’t going to be something I did. The towels are cheap quality, so don’t pay full price.

* Rent a chair and umbrella every day. They cost about 100 thb per person per day, but they are absolute MUSTS. You have to have a place to escape the sun or you’ll fry. Chairs and umbrellas are plentiful, so don’t pay more than 100 thb per.

* Beer is cheap in Thailand and they’ll open it for you at the store so you can drink it walking out the door. Take advantage of this, as drinks on the beach get pricey fast.