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Published: February 15th 2009
Sorry for the long absence, internet was hard to find. We're in Cambodia at the minute but I'll update by country. Anyway, leaving Malaysia, we spent the next 24 hours traveling up to Ko Tao. When i say 24hrs, i mean 24hours straight. The bus from Kota Bahru to the Thai border was 1hour. Then we had to wait for our bus for 3hrs. The train itself took 12hrs to get to Chumphon, and there were no sleeper class left, so we were in 3rd class seated. When we first got to our seats, the window wouldn't open and considering how hot it was and how long the journey was, i'm sure you can imagine that we weren't best pleased. After about 20mins of fiddling with it, we eventually coerced it into opening. We celebrated with a high five, which for some reason caused a few strange looks...It was either the high five or the cheer. There isn't much to report for the next 12 hours on a train, it was long and almost impossible to sleep. Not just because it was uncomfortable but also because the hostel we stayed at the night before had bed bugs and i, yet agai8n,
got eaten alive. I counted later and i have a nice round figure of 50 bites. The views out of the window were quite beautiful though. We arrived at Chumporn at 2:30am and had to wait at the station until 6am for the bus to the ferry. Then over to Ko Tao. I slept the whole of the ferry ride over there so i don't really know if it was nice or not.
Ko Tao. You can see from the pictures how breathtakingly gorgeous this place was, so i really don't have to say that. Pretty much as soon as we arrived we extended our stay, taking a day from Bangkok. The bungalows were fabulously clean, and the view was spectacular. We had a twin bungalow with en suite for the equivalent of 7GBP each. We spent our days relaxing in the restaurant, by the beach or snorkeling. It was great. It wasn't as colourful as the Great Barrier reef but that was never expected. After a couple of fantastic days in paradise we got the ferry back to the mainland and caught a bus to Bangkok.
What to say about Bangkok? Its big, busy loud and dirty.
Ok, so all of Asia has a bit of a rubbish problem and Bangkok is no worse than the rest of it, but its hard to breath if your on the streets at rush hour it's that polluted. Anyway, thats the reason for the title, coming from the paradise of Ko tao. We went to the Grand Palace and had a mooch round there. It was very colourful and shiny, bordering on tacky but somehow not quite crossing the line. The main thing we did in Bangkok was to go on a cooking course for a day, to learn to cook Thai food. We had a really nice boat ride through the canals to get to the Thai house, which is a gorgeous little guesthouse that we didn't know existed, otherwise we would have stayed there. Pip was our teacher and you could tell that she really enjoyed it. She has a real passion for cooking and it shines through when she teaches. It was only us so we had her all to ourselves. After making it, we got to eat it. 😄 The soup was stupidly spicy and we ended up leaving it but the curries were nice and
the Pad Thai (Noodles) were delicious. After the course we asked to be dropped off at Wat Po, where the reclining Buddha is, and there we got a massage. Ahhhhhh....we should have got the 1hour one but only did 30mins, and it was great.
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