A Travellerspoint blog

Week 5 - Phuket / Phi Phi / Krabi

The Andaman Coast (West Thailand)

Phuket:

After a horrendous 13 hour journey from Samui which included every type of transport in Thailand we eventually arrived exhausted. Thankfully, when we arrived at our hotel we were pleasantly surprised. Located in Kata, just down the coast from "party Patong" which just driving through was enough!

The small town of Kata has lots of shops, restaurants and bars within walking distance and of course a beach. We only had a couple of days in Phuket and the weather was so hot, unusual for the west coast at this time of year. So we spent most of our time at the beach or making use of our hotel swimming pool. Kata beach is known for its surfing and we could see why. The small alcove beach was like a surfers paradise, with huge waves and plenty of surf boards to hire. Paul took advantage of this and decided to try his luck at surfing. He was quite confident that he would pick it up quite easilly but after my experience windsurfing (on a girls holiday) I warned him this may not be the case! Half an hour later an exhausted Paul returned to the shore yet still determined that by the time we get to Oz that he will be a pro surfer!

Phi Phi

A couple of hours on a ferry from Phuket and we were in Phi Phi Don. This beautiful island was struck by the Tsunami 7 years ago and is still being rebuilt. As soon as we stepped off the boat we could see something quite different about the island. It has no roads, therefore no cars and the only transport is bicycles or boats. The back to basics of this we instantly loved and the hustle and bustle of the streets and bars reminded us both of the lanes in Brighton. We stayed in very basic accommodation on Loh Dalum Bay just 10 minutes walk from the pier. We were right near the beach so enjoyed a few days topping up our tans and wondering around the streets coming across all sorts from food markets, ample tattoo parlours and of course bars, we like them best when happy hour is on!
Our last couple of days on Phi Phi were rather wet so boat trips were out of the question but in between the downpours we went out kayaking and enjoyed a few more "buckets" (bottle of spirit / coke and redbull for 2.50pounds)

Krabi

We travelled here by boat during a huge rain storm which included the boat stopping in the middle of the Sea for 10 minutes whilst the boat rocked from side to side before the captain decided it was safe to continue! Getting to our accom in Ao Nang put us in a better mood. A clean lovely hotel with pool and friendly staff all for only 7 pounds each a night. We went to the Tiger Cave Temple which is located on top of a mountain! After climbing up 1237 steps (some as deep as one foot) the view was worth it. We had 360 degree views and could see for miles including other islands, a lagoon and more mountains.

Over the next couple of days we enjoyed the sun around our lovely pool and went to visit an emerald lagoon. A favourite of the locals, it is a natural green coloured pool in the middle of the jungle villages. After an hour and a halfs drive on a ped we were both roasting and keen to cool off in the lagoon. We took a walk along a broken path to visit a blue pool also a naturally bright lagoon, not for swimming though.

Hat Yai

We got a minibus here to stay a couple of nights to break up the journey to Malaysia. Its a busy city, much like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. We enjoyed looking over the bustling streets from our 12th floor hotel room whilst researching our next couple of weeks in Malaysia.

Posted by pjr6 04:30 Comments (0)

Week 4 - Koh Samui Part 2

After our brief stay at Koh Pha Ngan we were eager to get back to Koh Samui to see the rest of the island. Becoming a bit of a habit we hired a ped, got a map and I selected a few points of interest for us to see; first stop: Big Buddah. A 12 meter tall statue with 73 steps leading up to it which can be seen from around the island. Once at the top the views were worth it. Not so sure the Buddah appreciated Paul banging all the bells that were hanging around the statue though.

Then onto Lamai beach where the famous rock formations in the shape of male and female genitalia are set. Also known as the "Grandfather" and "Grandmother" rocks. We had a giggle looking at them and of course taking photos!

After sheltering from the rain and enjoying some fried rice in a restaurant we headed further around the island in search of a waterfall (Paul's new favourite hobby!) We stumbled across the first one which was rather unimpressive as the path seemed to disappear half way up it. We then found the actual waterfalls we had been looking for but by this time it was getting late and neither of us fancied climbing. Although tempting, the extra expense of the jeep safari they were offering us was too much! Instead we admired the elephants that were roaming around the safari park until a trainer called us over! Without a second thought we went over and were able to climb onto the elephant and took photos while he did his tricks.

Our last 2 days in Koh Samui were filled with activities and sight seeing. We visited Angthong National Marine Park which is made of 42 islands. We went on a boat trip setting sail very early to our first destination where we stopped and began kayaking to the next island. Kayaking was an experience! once we had mastered the art of steering together after fits of laughter, lots of splashes and a few stern words. Seeing all of the beautiful rock formations, caves and greenery was really something. On one of the islands of the National Park there was a view point over the island and surrounding ones. On the other side, there was a fantastic view of the salt water lagoon.

On our last night in Samui we treated ourselves to a drink in a swanky hilltop bar called 'Q Bar' We got there soon after sun set to admire the views over Chewang Lake and the island. The drinks were pricey so we had the one and admired the view before heading back on foot as the cabs were too expensive! - We're on a budget!

Now we're off to our last 10 days in Thailand, all on the west coast (Andaman Coast) to Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi.

Posted by pjr6 07:07 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Week 3 - Koh Phangan

We have arrived in paradise...

We decided to take a speedboat to our next destination Koh Phangan, only slightly more expensive than the ferry and a short 20minute journey, perfect for both of us trying to avoid sea sickness!

We are staying at the Milky Bay Resort, in a little beach bungalow set amongst our own private section of the beach. It has everything we need, beach restaurant/bar, lots of sports volleyball, pool and table tennis, to keep us entertained.

The first morning after a hearty breakfast we decided to rent a ped to explore the island. This is proving to be the easiest and cheapest way to get around the islands, allowing us to see sights we may otherwise have missed. Although scary at times, I let Paul do the driving whilst I hold on tight with my eyes shut, occasionally yelling directions at him!

After a quick look over our guide books and map we headed into the centre of the island in search of a National Park waterfall and trekking point - this time with no tour guide!! When we reached the park we parked the bike and set off around the extremely steep and dangerous looking climbs, but we ploughed through. The 1st waterfall we reached was dry because of the lack of rain but as we headed higher we found one flowing nicely. After just over an hour hiking we reached the "view point" and what a view! The highest point of the island gave us possibly the best view we have seen on our travels so far, we could see for miles including over to Ko Samui! We trekked back down and stopped for some home made ice cream at a little shack - the perfect refreshing end to an energetic afternoon!

We then jumped back on the bike and went to explore Hat Rin, the beach where the full moon party takes place. A beautiful setting we watched the sun go down then headed to a local night market for some dinner.

=September 19th - My 25th birthday!!=
What a place to celebrate. After some clothes shopping - on Paul of course! We went off on the ped in search of a remote beach bar we had read about for a drink. After a 30mintue drive and further 5minute walk through thigh high sea water, we reached the island. Only to find the only bar there was derelict! So we made our way back through the water to a bar on the mainland where we enjoyed lunch and a fresh coconut shake!

We then treated ourselves to an oil massage thanks to the secret stash of Baht Helen had hidden in my birthday card :) We had dinner at our resort on the beach where I was spoilt with a huge free pizza (I felt obliged to share this with Paul!) and a lovely cake with a chorus of Happy Birthday, perfect!

We have had a chilled couple of days, unfortunately we have both picked up eye infections (both of mine and one of Paul's) so have been hiding in shaded corners of the beach and behind dark sunglasses! Gutted, we had to give the half moon party a miss as both of us unable to drink on antibiotics and one good eye between us, it wasn't the best idea.

We like the resort here so much we have extended our stay until the weekend, by which time hopefully our swollen eyes will look more human and we can continue seeing more of the island!!

Posted by pjr6 00:26 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Week 3 - Koh Samui

After a short flight we arrived in Koh Samui and made our way to a guest house, friends had recommended we stay at. Koh Samui being the largest of the Gulf Islands has lots to do so we thought stopping here for 2 days would give us a chance to look around before returning here in a weeks time. It was also more practical as the flights only go into Samui and it saved us getting a ferry etc.

We went out the first evening and had a few drinks in the Dukes Head bar, of course enjoying happy hour then strolling home...via Macdonalds! The next morning we filled ourselves up with a big breakfast at the hostel and set off in search of the beach. We came across a bar on the beach called Ark Bar which we recognised from the lonely planet book we had been reading on the short flight over. We soon realised it was their Friday afternoon beach party with a free BBQ and happy '6' Hours! So of course being hungry travellers, we took full advantage and stayed on the beach until after sunset. We were surrounded by beautiful fairy lights and loud music, not to mention the constant hassling from people putting monkeys and giant lizards on our heads in the hope that we would take a photo and pay them. Of course we got sucked into this!!

We got a relatively early night in preparation for our early boat ride to the next Island; Kho Phangan.

Posted by pjr6 22:05 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Week 2 - Pattaya

Party Week!

Pattaya; not the usual destination for backpackers but we were fortunate enough to check it out and spend 5 nights there courtesy of Uncle Jim.

IMG_6812_1_.jpg

It is the most westernised city we have visited so far which was a nice change from Bangkok and the north and we soon worked out that every day is a weekend (which we quickly adapted to!)

The first few nights were pretty heavy. We went to a party, bar crawls, local bar games including 'Jackpot' and 'connect 4' and the 3 of us ended up pole dancing on a bar until the early hours! Lots of pool games were also played against each other, the bar girls and of course the Lady-boys!!
IMG_6857_1_.jpg
The days were pretty lazy, usually waking up around lunch time.

Jim leant us one of his peds to get around on which came in very handy and saved us haggling with the sontail (taxi) men.
There is a huge beach running along the whole coast line and at one end is a place called Walking Street.

IMG_6809_1_.jpg

This is pedestrianised after 7pm, hence the name. It gets incredibly lively after dark with contortionist acts, loads of seafront bars and even a Macdonalds! Walking Street has a pier at the far end and one day we took a 45minute ferry to a small island (Koh Larn) for 60p each way! On the island we found a nice beach and just relaxed here for the next few hours.

In general Pattaya is a great lively place with lots to do and we both look forward to coming back one day.

Jim told us that Pattaya military airport recently started commercial flights so we got straight on the internet researching flights to our next destination; Koh Samui. It was either a 50minute flight or 15 hour coach & ferry. We found a reasonable flight and after a lively 5 days in Uncle Jims world we were on our way. The airport was tiny and our plane was a little propeller powered one which even took off 10 minutes early! 50 minutes later we arrived at an even smaller airport which was basically a series of small huts with thatched roofs. After about 10 steps off the plane we had our luggage..... We had arrived in Koh Samui.

IMG_6865_1_.jpg

Posted by pjr6 22:38 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 20) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 »