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Published: October 31st 2008
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
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
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
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
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.
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