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Published: November 15th 2013
Our train from Bangkok reached Chumpon (the closest inland town to the west coast of Thailand) later than expected which meant we weren't able to get the 7:30am ferry to Koh Tao. Instead had to wait six hours for the next one! Eventually we got the ferry and arrived in Koh Tao at 3pm. As we hadn't been able to book any accommodation before we left Bangkok we were hoping to find something at the pier. This unfortunately didn't turn out so well for us as all of the reps said they were full. Just when we had given up hope though a man came and asked us if we needed a taxi. We explained that we needed somewhere to stay so he offered to drive us to a few hotels and resorts.
The first resort we got to called Tropicana Resort in Chalok Baan had one room left and luckily for us it was a budget double right on the beach costing £9 a night. By the time we had checked in and showered it was 5pm so we went for a walk along the beach and then went to a little beach hut bar to chill out with
a cocktail and watch the beautiful sunset. The following few days spent in Koh Tao were so relaxing. We would sunbathe for hours on the crisp light sand and swim in the calm crystal clear sea and spend the evenings drinking cocktails on the beach listening to reggae tunes. It was the nicest beach I had ever been to and the green scenery and rockery made it even more stunning.
On our last day in Koh Tao we decided to go and do some snorkelling - something that Koh Tao is well known for. We hired some snorkelling gear from the resort and walked for about 15 minutes to Freedom Beach. It was a remote golden shallow beach with dazzling blue coral sea. It was really peaceful there with only one beach hut above the rocks selling drinks and snacks. There were also a few trees where you could seek some shade from the blistering sun that had pretty shells hanging from the branches. It was a brilliant place to snorkel and we saw lots of cool tropical fish including a barracuda which I first thought was a shark!
From Koh Tao we made our way to Koh
Phangan via a Songserm ferry where we spent nine days at two different resorts. The journey was only supposed to take two hours but due to another Songserm ferry engine setting on fire we had to go and rescue them and their passengers which took us a bit longer. We finally arrived in Koh Phangan and were greeted at the pier by our resort owner, Mr Nice, who true to his name was a really nice man. En route to the resort we sat in the back of his jeep enjoying the wind blowing through our hair and cooling us down. After a short drive we arrived at Nice Sea Resort which was situated right on the beach. Mr Nice's beach was small and intimate with corse sand, blue clear sea and dotted with sun loungers and wooden umbrellas.
We checked in and were shown to our beach bungalow that was lovely and then went to the restaurant to sample some food cooked by Mr Nice's mum. We shared a pad thai and a tom kha soup which is basically a coconut milk based soup with chicken and vegetables, it was heavenly. After we'd eaten we went and relaxed
in our hammocks on our balcony for a few hours and then went and treated ourselves to an hour long, full body, oil massage - it was incredible and so cheap! The rest of time spent at Mr Nice's resort we relaxed on the beach on the sun loungers in the days and the evenings were spent sprawled out in our hammocks after eating some delicious seafood dinners in some of the beachfront restaurants.
The next five days in Koh Phangan were spent in Haad Yao in a big beach bungalow. The beach at Haad Yao was fairly long with many restaurants and bars. The sand was a fine golden white and the sea was a clear blue with patches of dark coral in places. Unfortunately after our first day in Haad Yao I woke up the following morning feeling pretty ill as if I had the flu. I spent most of my days in Haad Yao trying to sleep off feeling unwell or trying to catch up on blogs and Jon would go and sunbathe on the beach for a few hours. We spent our evenings watching the sunsets and having dinner along the beach and had a
great seafood BBQ one evening consisting of a whole Spanish mackerel. All in all it was a quiet uneventful few days.
For our last few days of sun worshipping we spent our time in the north of Koh Samui (the biggest island on Thailand's gulf coast) on a very quiet part of the island at By Beach Resort. The bungalow we stayed in was very cute with our own balcony to chill out on again. The beach at the resort was lovely but long and narrow and full of stray dogs, so one day we hired a kayak and went on the hunt for another beach. After paddling for about half an hour, we found a beautiful beach that was part of a 5* resort and sneakily pulled up and laid out our beach towels out of site. The beach was stunning and untouched, the sea was so clear and glistened on top - we spent the rest of the day there sunbathing and mucking around taking photos of each other jumping around on the beach.
One day the quiet, isolated nature of our resort was starting to get to us. We decided to visit the biggest beach
on the island, Chaweng and spent the whole day there. In the evening before we got the taxi bus home we shared the best and cheapest seafood BBQ I've ever had. It consisted of tuna steak, 3 king prawns, oysters, blue crab, a jacket potato and a corn on the cob all for £6! During the final few days in Koh Samui we did what we do best, sunbathed and relaxed! In the evenings we would go to the Freedom Bar a short stroll from our resort and have cocktails overlooking the sea and watch the staff perform fire shows.
The three weeks we spent on the islands of Thailand were so relaxing and peaceful. It was just what we both needed after travelling none stop the past few months. The weather had been perfect and some of the beaches we went to were the best I'd been to in my life. Next we were on route to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to meet some of our friends from home so we spent one last night on the mainland of Thailand in Surat Thani before getting a flight the following morning. We could not wait to be reunited with
Darren, Jim, Ste and Laura - we were so excited that we barely slept that night.
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