The Andaman Coast (West Thailand)
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!
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)
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.
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.