Bangkok and Beaches

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Asia » Thailand
November 6th 2007
Published: January 4th 2008
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Crossing the border from Cambodia to Thailand showed a large contrast. Gone was the muddy trail that was the main road, instead we drove on large boulevards lined with palm trees.
It was dark when we arrived in Bangkok, but we found accommodation without too much difficulty. We were staying near the Khao San where all backpackers stayed. Like Siem Reap we were surprised at how many westerners there were, but considering this was a bit like a tourist village, we shouldn't have been surprised.

We were meeting friends in a few days and would be heading out to the beaches, but we did a fair bit of shopping and exploring until they arrived. Bangkok has the most amazing temples which all shone with gold. Gates of gold, towers of gold and statues of gold. They were all quite spectacular.

We had last seen our friends in London but they had both returned home since, Shiona to New Zealand and Mel to Australia, but it was quite surreal to see them again in another part of the world completely. We spent a couple more days in Bangkok, then took an overnight bus, then boat to Koh Tao on the eastern side of the Thai Peninsula.

We arrived in Koh Tao in the rain, and that it is how it stayed for the next 4 days. I did my Advanced Divers course while we were there, had some amazing dives including diving with a Whale shark, but for the others, they had only the rain.
Finally as the weather showed no sign of changing, we decided to head to the other side of the peninsula. The eastern side of the peninsula was supposed to be better at this time of year, but for whatever reason it wasn't.

We headed off to the west to Koh Phi Phi, a beautiful (and popular) island that was hit very bad by the tsunami. They estimate up to 4000 people died there when the waves hit, but it has managed to recover quite a lot since thanks to tourists returning. The weather seemed to be lot better there, we still got rain but usually in the evening which was fine with us. We decided to stay here.

It proved quite a struggle to keep up with our friends who were not on such a budget, and at the same time not to limit our enjoyment and theirs. But we did the best we could (a few exceptions included), and came away from the island having exceeded our budget but not blown it.

Koh Phi Phi was a lovely island with some nice beaches, access to some nice islands with good snorkelling, and a very good nightlife. Finally after 10 days or so there we continued onward, Shiona and Mel flew back to Bangkok and we headed for Malaysia.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


So many lottery ticketsSo many lottery tickets
So many lottery tickets

There was an entire city block taken up with tables and tables of lottery tickets
Statue and CatStatue and Cat
Statue and Cat

I didn't even see the cat at first
Buckets of booze anyoneBuckets of booze anyone
Buckets of booze anyone

And yes we had some

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