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Published: April 15th 2006
From the Andaman Holiday Resort
Horay for Thailand! Our two weeks in one of the most amazing beach destiniations will be brought to you by both Yvette (week 1) and Dom (week 2).. Travel & Bangkok
So we probably would have failed the auditions for the Amazing Race. The reality TV show where a dozen couples or friends are flung from one exotic destination to another, with challenges and activities along the way, all aiming not to come last, or else elimination from the race will ensue....
Firstly, we arrived at Hong Kong airport for 2 hours intransit, but I'd left my Hong Kong dollars in my checked-in luggage; we booked our Bangkok accommodation so last minute, non of the last-minute web sites were capable of taking our booking; and then to top it all off Day 1 of our time in Bangkok was spent almost entirely in an effort to get out of there to a beach, but again alas, we hadn't booked any flights or accommodation.. in a week in Thailand were there is a 5 day long NATIONAL holiday... 😉 Ooops!
But despite lots of 'chumping around', we still had a really good time in
Finally... That Cocktail!
The moment had finally come!
Bangkok, as everybody we met went out of their way to help us (with a big smile at that as well) and after all the hard work, on our last night before flying out we had a hoot zipping through town on our Tuk Tuk towards Koh San road for beers and great Thai food. Andaman Holiday Resort, Krabi
And rest assured, we did end up making to a place that may closely resemble paradise. After some deliberation, and mainly due to availability of flights, we ended up heading towards Krabi on the west coast (Julie - thank you soo much for your tips!).
Deciding to splurge a bit, before hitting the hard road of China, India, Nepal & Africa, we spent week 1 at the Andaman Holiday Resort, about 30mins drive from Krabi town, on an absolutely beautiful, quiet beach, nestled amongst limestone cliffs and long tail boats.
The resort itself was impeccable. Faultless. 3 swimming pools, beach front, cosy rooms, groomed grounds and extremely helpful and friendly staff. Dom proved to be 'Da Man' when it came to chatting and befriending the staff, and by the end of the week we couldn't walk through
On our snorkelling and canoe day trip
the resort without someone crying out "HEY DOM!"
The beach bar was our regular drinking hole, and we loved our barman Ek's cocktails, prawn crackers and friendly conversation. We spent several evenings 'bar flying' and got to know some of the other guests. (One English guy in particular had PLENTY of stories, and even nearly got Dom singing Elvis). 😊
To give you an idea of how beautiful the resort was; I actually didn't leave it's ground at all for the first 2 days, and simply sat by the pool, moved to the beach for a change of scene, then back to the pool. (Years of training over summers at the Templar family backyard pool obviously held me in good stead for this strenuous task)
Eventually however, it was time to see some of the sights. One stormy evening we boarded an old military truck and headed into Ao Nang beach to check out the restaurants and local scene. Rattling along, seated on our bench in the back of the truck, amongst the torrential rain, it felt like the year's exciting adventures were beginning to kick off!
One day we also took a day trip to
Hong Island by long tail boat for some snorkelling and canoeing action. You realise it can be tough being an Australian when the snorkelling at such a beautiful location fails to seriously impress, however I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and our hour of canoeing around the island. Creeping into caves and overhanging limestone cliff rocks in our canoe was truely spectacular.
So anyway, we had a blast, but all good things have to end, and we reluctantly packed all our belongings back into our backpacks to catch the 2 hour ferry to Koh Lantah island. Koh Lantah, Krabi
So we arrived in Koh Lanta to a cocophony of mayhem with people, taxi drivers and hotel tout's trying to win our business. Luckily, we had booked into a nice resort style manor with "sandy white beaches and views of the Andaman" and our carraige promptly carried us to our "hotel". We checked in and promptly checked out (enough said) within 30 mins having shimmied up the beach and cut a 1/2 price deal with the next "resort" on the beach. Our new home was to be the Andaman Holiday Villa'a and they were lush! Beautiful bungalows with
a lounge, large bed and bathroom that was twice the size of the bedroom. Backed up with a 24 hour football channel showing the English Premiership - Happy days (Woodsman)!
Enough about the Manor. The island was great, beautiful sandy beaches, roaring sunsets, and a "country" style feel to the island. Quite primitive in places with chickens and dogs abound and a few of the usual T-shirt/CD shops but not too many thankfully. Perhaps this is what Thailand is really like? The people were also tip-top with colgate smiles and a general sense of being happy with their lot in life. Whether they are or not, I'm not sure and it's not my place to say really. However, if we could import their smiles and sense of well-being then we should buy it in gallons, or even give it away for free!
Next stop was Phi Phi for the day on a nice little sail boat/ 100ft public ferry. We hit the usual sights - The Beach (ref - Leonardo Di Caprio) and chiled out on the Phi Phi beach for a few hours before being "ferried" back to Koh Lanta and piled on to the back of
a ute with 8 other sea farers and "taxied" back to our Manor to watch a few games of football. Ladies, I would like to highlight the fact that YT watched 2-3 matches (through choice) with me, asking numerous questions about the teams, players and the rules. Indeed, this little lady does ROCK (she is also a Liverpool fan)!
The Songkrat festival is celebrated over the Thai New year. It lasts for 5 days and involves every man and his dog and chickens having a water fight for the duration of the festival. They also cover your face in a flour/water mixture and target all non-Thai's as a matter of course. Enter YT and DS as PE Number One. Armed with a 4 wheel drive and a water pistol we cruised around the island checking out the beaches, Sea Gypsy Town" (Ade, I think I spotted some of your family there) and the "Old Town" with it's Chinese architecture, heritage listed buildings (kind of) and kids, also armed with water pistols and instant face packs! By the end of the day we were drenched and had been dazzled with more colgate smiles from very cute kids. All in all
a Tip Top day!
Overall view of Koh Lanta - Awesome and well worth the trip! Next stop Bangkok.....
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