FIVE THAI ISLANDS (KOH PANGNAN, KOH YAO YAI, KOH YAO NOI, KOH PAYAM, KOH PHUKET), AND ONE NIGHT IN MYANMAR...!


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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket
October 31st 2008
Published: October 31st 2008
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im now in phuket again, after spending the time since the last blog with travelling around southern thailand with ekk. after spending a week in bangkok and hua hin generally being depressed about the delays and bureaucracy and sheer bloody mindedness of the procedures involved in getting ekk a uk visa, we took the lomprayah cateraran to koh pangnan.

we stayed on hat yao beach in the far north west of the island, at the shiralea backpackers resort, a new place with great beds and a pool for 500bht a night. it's not right on the beach, but near enough. some of the hotels on hat yao seem to be over-developing their plots somewhat, but is a still a great beach for the moment. we spent a week there, exploring the island by motorbike. also went to the full moon party, which was good, from what i can remember of it!

when it came to check out though, the resort were not prepared/able to take us to the ferry pier for 7am, even if we paid them! so had to find another nearby hotel to do it for us (dreamhill resort) for 300baht for the 20 min trip. they
HAT KHOMHAT KHOMHAT KHOM

NORTH COAST OF KOH PANGNAN
said not many guests get the 7 am boat, but if you are heading to phi phi/krabi/phuket the same day, you need to get that early boat, and as a resort you should be willing to service your guests, especially as they were more than willing to pick us up from the same pier FOR FREE, when we arrived.....

the boat arrived at don sak, from where we took the scam bus to surat thani town (100b for farang, 60baht for thai!). then it was a 2 hour wait for a public bus (pantip tours), to phang nga town. took 4 hours, and we spent one night there before taking boat to koh yao noi the next afternoon at 1pm. we were heading for koh yao yai, so once on koh yao noi we had to take a taxi to another pier, and then it was another small boat to koh yao yai. we stayed at tiewson bungalows, a very quiet place, on an average beach. the views west towards krabi and phang nga bay were very good though. koh yao yai island is very untouristy, and muslim, the scenery was ok, but not spectacular, but just the place
HAD RIN SUNRISE, KOH PANGNANHAD RIN SUNRISE, KOH PANGNANHAD RIN SUNRISE, KOH PANGNAN

2 DAYS BEFORE THE FULL MOON
to go to escape the farang trail for a while...

after a few nights we left koh yao yai for koh yao noi, staying at tabeak viewpoint bungalows, owned by the local policeman and his japanese wife. as the name implies the views are fantastic from there. muslim koh yao noi has the only 7-eleven i've seen that doesnt sell either fags or booze! we spent a few nights there before taking ferry to ao thalen pier in krabi. took the local bus to krabi bus station just missing the bus to kuraburi, our next stop. so we had to get a bus to phang nga town and change there onto a rather cronky slow local bus, complete with a chain smoking driver.

kuraburi is a nice spot, but rather wet when we arrived, so stayed just the night before heading on to ranong. spent a night there before heading to koh payam, a 3 hour boat ride out to sea. great unspoilt buddhist island. we stayed at aow yai beach, at hornbill hut, a great place, with 3kms of unspoilt white sands and bungalows right on the shoreline. the weather turned bad while we were there, and
WEIRD SUNSET LIGHTWEIRD SUNSET LIGHTWEIRD SUNSET LIGHT

PHANG NGA TOWN
has continued until the present day here in phuket, with high winds and torrential rain most days, with only an occasional break...

after a few days on koh payam, i had to renew my thai visa so we took a boat trip to myanmar from ranong, something i dont want to repeat in a hurry! most farang just pop over for 5 mins, get stamped in and out of burma simultaneaously, and then quickly get the next boat out again. however for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to spend at least one night there. big mistake, as it was very poor value, the officials were creepy and locals annoying. after getting woken up at 1am in our grotty poor value room at the "honey bear hotel", by officials wanting to check our papers, the next morning we were actually queueing up at immigration waiting for it to open, so we could escape back to ranong. i have never wanted to be anywhere somewhere else ever before! after one more night in the relative sanity of ranong city, ekk went back to work in hua hin, and i took the bus south to here in
DOUBLE RAINBOWDOUBLE RAINBOWDOUBLE RAINBOW

NEAR TIEWSON BUNGALOWS, KOH YAO YAI
phuket. going to spend 10 days here before meeting up wth ekk to attend loy krathong in chiang mai november 11-13th.


Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


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WAITING FOR ANOTHER  BOATWAITING FOR ANOTHER  BOAT
WAITING FOR ANOTHER BOAT

FROM KOH YAO YAI TO KOH YAO NOI. LOOKING WEST TO KOH PANAK.
BEACH TREEBEACH TREE
BEACH TREE

KOH YAO NOI
KURABURIKURABURI
KURABURI

VIEW FROM OUR BUNGALOW
VIEW OF BURMAVIEW OF BURMA
VIEW OF BURMA

FROM THE BOAT TO KOH PAYAM
AOW YAI BEACH, KOH PAYAMAOW YAI BEACH, KOH PAYAM
AOW YAI BEACH, KOH PAYAM

IN THE RAINY SEASON...
VIEW FROM THE WINDOWVIEW FROM THE WINDOW
VIEW FROM THE WINDOW

OUTSIDE THE HONEY BEAR HOTEL, KAWTHOUNG, MYANMAR (BURMA)
PATONG BEACH, PHUKETPATONG BEACH, PHUKET
PATONG BEACH, PHUKET

THE GAY PART OF THE BEACH AT DUSJK


2nd December 2008

Response from Shiralea Owners re taxi
Hello Steven I am one of the owners of Shiralea. As a new business, we are very focused on the standards of our customer service. I believe that what we offer our guests compares very favourably indeed with what is on offer elsewhere for a similar or even higher price, and this is backed up by the multiple positive guest comments on our website, on our facebook group wall, and in our hardcopy guest book that we keep in the bar area. We do try and accommodate all our guest requests. However it is not always possible to comply with all wishes for various business reasons, and in that scenario we will always try to be as helpful as possible, and offer advice, or an alternative. In the case of your taxi, which we were genuinely unable to provide owing to lack of an available driver (due to staff injuries and illness), our suggestion was that you use the taxi service of another nearby resort instead. If the reason why we were unable to provide a taxi was not adequately explained, then I can only apologise. FYI the price you paid to Dream Hill is not out of line, given that it was early in the morning. The normal price is 100 baht per person for the journey from Haad Yao to Thong Sala, so if you paid 300 then that is only a premium of 100 baht for the unsociable hour. It is standard practice in global tourism to offer free pickups for new arrivals, but it is however not economically viable for us to offer a free return to the port at the price point that we charge for our accommodation.. In fact even resorts that have a room rate four times our rate always charge for their taxi service back to the pier. Subsequent to your visit, we have hired new local staff, who are able to act as additional driving resource, so that we have driver cover for taxis to the early boats. I’m sorry you feel that this taxi experience is a reason not to recommend us to other people, and apologise on behalf of the resort that you felt inconvenienced by this incident. I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us and I hope that you have enjoyed, or continue to enjoy, the rest of your trip in Thailand/SE Asia. Best regards Geoff Bleasby
2nd December 2008

thanks for your reply
glad to see someone reads my blog! i have amended my blog slightly as a response.. steve
18th January 2010

Hi Steven, I have found your blog when seeking information about Koh Payam. It is very interesting for me. I am looking for a beatiful but not very tourist popular and not very developed island. i know Koh Lipe but it is now very crowded. Could you please write some more about Koh Payam. Where to stay, what to do (diving ?), where to eat ? Will be very grateful , regards, Magda from Poland.
30th January 2010

koh payam
hi magda, thanks for your comment. we stayed on aow yai beach, which is by far the best beach on koh payam, and one of the nicest beaches in thailand. we stayed at hornbill hut, right on the beach, small with friendly owners and good food, i can highly reccommend it. there are also about 7 other places to stay and eat on the beach, bamboo bungalows being the largest and most upmarket. also a couple of beach bars. its a very easy going place, with a few basic shops and no cars, just a few tracks which you can hire a motobike to explore, or walk. other things to do are swimming and sunbathing on the beach, beach volleyball, watching the sunset. there is also a snorkelling trip to the surin islands. it is also spending a night in interesting ranong town before you go to get more info from the cafes there. the boat to koh payam leaves from ranong about 9am. enjoy your trip! steve x
20th January 2011
VIEW FROM THE RESTAURANT AT TABEAK VIEWPOINT BUNGALOWS

Stayed there and it was wonderful
I stayed there more than 20 days for the most relaxing vacation ever! And the view is spectacular! They now have a website: www.kohyaotabeak.com

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