Beaches on the Gulf Coast of Thailand


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March 1st 2008
Published: March 10th 2008
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008 - Thailand - Gulf Coast Beaches

03/01/08 - 03/07/08

After a couple of days spent in the chaos of Bangkok, both Hannah and I were ready for some beaches and decided to head south. We will eventually return to Ko Tao (also on the Gulf Coast) to do our volunteer work in April, so we decided to pass on the initial (popular) Gulf Coast (East coast) destinations of Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Samui ('Ko' means 'island' in Thai). Still, we wanted some experience of the East side and it was on the way.

First stop was a small fishing village called Prachuap Khiri Khan. Our hotel room was on the top (5th) floor of this building right next to the water... and it only cost 350 B ($10) so we were stoked. Unfortunately, the reason the room was so cheap was that: the toilet was a squatter (see photo), the bed was about as hard as the floor, and the pillows were filled with stones (at least it felt that way)! The next best room was over double the price so we took it and didn't complain...

On one of the days we went to the popular swimming area of Ao Manao about 5 km out of town. This area had mainly Thai families (no foreigners) that would come to the beach for some swimming and eating.

We also went to the main sight of Prachuap Khiri Khan, a monkey infested temple over 400 steps high called Khao Chong Krajok. Okay, I must say I thought it would be funny to check out a couple of monkeys running around being goofy... hmmm, let's just say there were more than a couple of monkeys, some of which were very aggressive, and one of which attacked me, but luckily, was shoved off by my cat like reflexes and martial arts training (read: I got a lucky hit in and he scooted away)! Oh, and one of the monkeys was completely destroying the temple by removing the tiles from the roof and shattering them on the ground. One of the monks was inside but paid no attention... anyways, there were some great views from the top and Hannah led the way down after my close encounter with a fellow primate!

Our next stop was a not so popular beach town of Ban Krud. We stayed at a really nice hostel that was only a few steps from being considered a resort. The views were wonderful but the mosquito net had some holes and we often would wake up and start swapping the little buggers to death. We also had some great times picking coconuts and breaking them open without any tools. Hannah officially became the Coconut Queen.

On one of the days we went to a gorgeous temple called Wat Phra Mahathat that had an enormous gold Bhudda overlooking the ocean from a hill. I guessed that the local fisherman would feel safer with Bhudda looking over them as they were offshore.

Another day we rented a moped (motor bike) and explored the area. Okay, I know this is going to sound lame, but I've never ridden a motor bike before so it took some getting used to. Also, this was the first time I had ever driven on the left side of the road and Hannah was in tow behind me. For the record, Hannah has ridden motor bikes before and was very patient while I learned the ropes! We had some good times finding deserted beaches and exploring Ban Krud,
The view from our hotel room at duskThe view from our hotel room at duskThe view from our hotel room at dusk

Check the green lights of the fishing boats
Ban Saphan, and Ban Saphanoi that day. We also ran into a family that we had seen at Ao Manao a few days back that had a little restaurant on the side of the road. This was quite the coincidence and the food was excellent!

Next stop is the other side of Thailand, the Andaman Coast, where we will explore some more beaches... this time they'll be even more remote!


Additional photos below
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Cockroach in my food... yuck!Cockroach in my food... yuck!
Cockroach in my food... yuck!

This wouldn't be the only time!
The base of the templeThe base of the temple
The base of the temple

I like the contrast of the pots and pans in this photo.


11th March 2008

coconut
Dude, I know how hard it is to open a coconut. That must have taken like an hour to get one open! Or maybe I am just a wuss?Coconuts rule, especially the milk....
11th March 2008

Cockroach, hum?!
A long way from the Polytaridis' Sunday night dinners, hum?!?!?!
13th March 2008

Yeah, that took the better part of an hour and a half to find a way to get the coconut down and then figure out how to open it without any tools. Luckily, I had just watched Survivor Man a few weeks before I left so I think I had the basics down!
13th March 2008

Survivor
Hi Nico and Hannah! I see smiles on your faces! So good to see you are having fun and dealing with all the challenges along the path. It's all about the path! Enjoy it. Jane and I miss you both - of course! We'll think fondly of you when we brave the Bangkok streets and Siam Reap next week. "What would Nico and Hannah do . . . ?" This is my mantra.
15th March 2008

mmm, coconut
The coconut looks delish, the cockroach not so much. It looks like you two are having a blast!! Miss ya . . .

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