Islands and Beaches

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March 17th 2010
Published: March 24th 2010
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We decided to fly from Bangkok to Phuket as it was cheap and would save us a day or two of travel. The plane almost touches the trees on the beach as it comes in to land which was pretty impressive if a little scary! We were going to stay in Hat Karon as it's a little quieter than Patong. It turned out to maybe a little too quiet, only old people there and not much to do. We were only there for 3 nights so we just chilled out down the beach most of the time. Had our first of many encounters with jellyfish, they're tiny and the sting only hurts for a minute or two but they put me off so i mostly just sunbathed. Me and Jason got our first fish massage by the beach which was the most tickly thing I've ever done! You just stick your feet into a little tank and the fish come and nibble away any dead skin, sometimes a bigger fish will come up and you can feel him yanking at your skin! There must have been 400 odd fish in the tank between 1 and 4 inches long and if you managed to stay still for long enough your whole foot got completely covered up by them. One night we went out for a drink with Louise (from our trip around Cambodia etc) and found this tiny reggae bar. The barman sat next to us and chatted away for a while, telling us local ghost stories and trying to say our names; Louise became Weed and i was Root!

The next island we went to was called Koh Phi Phi. We took the boat there which took about an hour and a half in the morning and then had to find our accommodation. A surf shop gave us a few tips of where to try and let us dump our bags in the shop, which was great as it was roasting! We had a look at a few of the places until we settled on one with a fan and a manual flush toilet which was within our budget. The island was really nice, all the streets were covered over with trees and there was a lot of nice places to eat or shop. Again we were only here for 3 nights so not a huge amount of time to do much but we did take a boat trip on one day. We went out to a few different islands/beaches nearby to snorkel but again there was a lot of jellyfish so i mostly just sunbathed on the boat! At one place there was strings of them attached together stretching over a foot long and they looked pretty vicious although everyone managed to avoid them. We also went to Maya bay which is where "The Beach" was filmed. Unfortunately we got there when the tide was out and there's a lot of dead and VERY sharp coral to walk across to get to the beach and then back to the boat. Nice view of the cliffs though and i didn't get stung for once! After the bay our trip was done and we headed back to shore, until the boat driver decided to stop and let us watch the sunset...side on to the waves, which were getting bigger. I felt like i was going to be sick everywhere after about 5 minutes and couldn't help but notice the water was thick with jelly fish coming centimetres from the side of the boat! It was only a little long tail boat we were on and at one point we were hit by a big enough wave that it splashed into the boat, taking with it a jelly fish that smacked off of Jason's shoulder! Luckily we left a few minutes after that, just before i had a nervous breakdown!

We went to a town called Ao Nang in Krabi next. The town is nothing too special, and the beach is just OK compared to Phi Phi but we needed some time to rest so we had booked 6 days here. We really didn't do much apart from slope around, although one day we took a longtail boat round to Railay beach which was better, still jellyfish though! People do a lot of rock climbing there but unfortunately we didn't see anyone, the cliffs looked amazing, like they were melting into the sea. We also saw loads of tiny crabs making patterns with balls of sand outside their burrows and a big dead puffer-fish! One night we decided to head out for a few drinks and ended up in a tiny little bar/club. The boys headed home early but me and Louise were out until half 5, hanging out with the girls who worked at the bar and getting free drinks! Another night we went out wasn't quite as nice, there are a lot of prostitutes working in bars in Thailand and one who was clearly wasted took a shine to our table. Not pleasant so i wont go into detail but she was rough. Got a great breakfast most mornings at a cafe on the main street which had a mean fry up and an amazing sour kiwi freeze shake!

We took a bus (or actually about 4) to Surat Thani and then got another ferry out to Chaweng beach, Koh Samui. We had only booked 3 nights here because we thought we might go to Koh Phan Ngan for a full moon party but loved it so much we stayed for 7. The beach was amazing, 7 kms of soft sand, crystal clear water and NO JELLYFISH!!!!!! We spent most of our days here playing about in the waves and sunbathing, and at night the beach chairs were put around tables and turned into bars where we had some cocktails after dinner! Most nights had fireworks and fire shows to watch too. Alex got a little tipsy on the cheap buckets and had to be walked home one night, and Jason woke up the next morning with Liam's flip flop! We had to find a new hotel after 3 nights and got an amazing deal. 1000 baht (20 pounds) a night for a room with the comfiest bed we've had so far, a good view and a really fancy bathroom with a pebbled floor and bamboo walls! We took a boat trip out to the Ang Thong national park one day, the scenery was stunning and we got to walk up a hill to see an emerald sea trapped behind the mountains. On our last night here we went out to a pub for some good food and a quiz night. Jason's censored picture of the vetruvian man put us in the lead and we all got a free drink at the end! We decided we wouldnt bother going to the full moon party on Koh Phan Ngan as we liked it here so much but after our 7 days we went up to Koh Tao to see about diving and snorkelling.

In Koh Tao we again had to find accommodation as we got off the boat and were swarmed with people trying to get us to choose their hotel. We got a lift down to one hotel to check it out and although it wasn't the best for the price it was fine enough for us, at least we didnt have to walk around town with our backpacks! We ended up never leaving our little area of beach in the three days in Koh Tao as it was so nice there. Another long beach, this time divided up by large boulders, really quiet all day and bath warm still water. A mangy old dog took a shine to us and we nicknamed him "crack dog" because he looked so haggard; he had raw patches all over his fur and was blind in both with one bleeding every now and again. We were nervous about him for a while but he was nice, just wanted someone to pet him for a while. At night we again sat down on the sand, listening to hip hop on our beanbags with a few cocktails and a deck of cards. Had a great Mexican dinner one night, 3 pounds for a plate of yummy fajitas or burritos, and went back the next night! We ended up not doing any diving as it was pretty expensive, but there was a few little fish around the shore to look at anyway.

Then it was back up to Bangkok for the third time! Another 11 hour journey, at least it was broken up between the boat and the bus. I stubbed my toe when we got off the boat and it's still black under the nail now, gross. Stayed on the Khao San Road this time since it's close to everything we needed. Alex and Liam got their flight home the day after and it was just the two of us left! We didn't do an awful lot here as we were a little templed-out from our trip but we did go to the zoo, and met up with Jason's dad! The business side of Bangkok where we met Billy was really different from Banglumphoo (where the Khao San Road is), just loads of big offices and hotel but really quiet on the street. We found a little restaurant and had a meal and a catch-up. Seemed really surreal! We watched Alice in Wonderland 3D, did some shopping for warmer clothes and ate nice food too. The food on the islands was definitely nicer but we got some good meals in. Very sad to leave Asia, everything here is so easy and everyone smiles at you. Not to mention amazing beaches and food. But next up was Australia so we were excited about going there too.

Missing everyone at home. Photos are on their way, maybe a day or two.


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