A Travellerspoint blog

Finally moved on!

sunny 35 °C
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Wow, quite a bit of slackness in my blogging over the last few days so apologies for that! We finally made our way off Ko Phi Phi early on tuesday morning. Since we'd only seen the Andaman coast up until then we decided to head for Ko Pha Ngan in the Gulf of Thailand, so we booked a mammoth ferry-bus-bus-ferry trip through an agent on Phi Phi. Absolute bargain at 750 baht each! Trust me - it's a very good deal.

Caught our first ferry at 9am which took us to Krabi on the mainland. That took us past Ko Lanta, which looked very impressive on the horizon - much bigger than PP too. It's apparently wonderful for its beaches but not much else - so no big urges to stop there although it did look nice.

Arrived in Krabi and transferred to a bus which took us to some little hut with a cafe in the middle of nowhere. Imagine something out of The Lone Ranger - tumbleweed across the road, and little more! Just as we were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get there, another (equally shit!) bus turned up and we all piled on and got going after a bit of verbal abuse from the thai bus man because nobody knew what was going on! Amusing all the same :)

I don't know what it is about buses in Thailand but none of the ones that I have been on (and I have been on a few) have had working speedometers. As we were driving along we were either doing 0mph or 140mph - quite smooth for such a speed! After travelling for about 3hrs at 140mph with no fuel and an engine that was cooler than a cornetto, we arrived at Surat Thani on the Gulf Coast.

From there we caught yet another bus to the port, and boarded a ferry to Ko Pha Ngan. Schools of flying fish flanked the ferry, incredible to watch - I'd never seen them before. Jumping a good 50cm out of the water, if not more.

Got to KPN and jumped into the back of a Toyota Hilux along with 9 other people(!!) . We were taken to a set of bungalows on the beach in a place called Ban Tai, very cheap at 600 baht with aircon but that's about all! Met up with a lot of really nice people - some aussies and some brits, and we ended up going to Had Rin for the night. Had Rin is where they hold the famous Full Moon parties and it was a pretty crazy place - people dancing to really loud music on the beach, all having a wonderful time! Really good night :)

The next day we decided to leave KPN as it didn't seem too great other than the nightlife, and we didn't have too much time to explore to give the island a fair shot. So we got a high speed catamaran (3 quid!) to Ko Samui, where we were transferred to Chaweng beach and checked into a simple hotel which seems fine.

That was yesterday - today we made the most of our time by the sea as we're heading back to BKK tomorrow. Nice relax on the beach after visiting a (very disappointing, badly run) crocodile farm and a huge buddha temple (the latter of which was impressive). Jez and I hired jetskis with 750cc engines and bombed around the bay for half an hour and then had a final swim in the sea before coming here. And here we are!

So tomorrow we fly to BKK on a tiny propeller plane at 9am so an early night tonight. Off for dinner now - next update probably from BKK. Watch this space!

Posted by cde3879 19:33 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Still on Phi Phi!

sunny 34 °C
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As I write this I'm still on Phi Phi. It's so nice that we can't be bothered to move on from it as it has everything - you could day trip from here for well over 6 months without any problems! So we're going to stay at least another night or two.

Yesterday we did a fantastic day trip around Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Ley, Bamboo Island, and Monkey Beach - got a bit burnt on my back where I couldn't reach but other than that it was a brilliant day. First off we got a boat to Ko Phi Phi Ley, the island that has the fabled Maya Bay. Maya Bay boasts the beach where The Beach was filmed back in 1999 - and was surprisingly quiet as we got there quite early. Did some snorkelling there too - saw some amazing looking fish - no idea what they were but they were yellow and blue striped, and some parrot fish too.

Our next stop was on the other side of Phi Phi Ley - a lovely little cove with a beautiful beach. However there were tonnes of jellyfish so I didn't brave the water here! Had a nice relax on the boat and it was time to move on shortly afterwards.

We then went to Shark Point, just off Phi Phi Don (the island we're staying on), passing Phi Phi Ley's viking caves on the way. They looked impressive but you couldn't go in - still good to see. At Shark Point you are supposedly able to swim with Black-Tip Reef Sharks, but alas there were none about. Still saw some beautiful fish, and Jez saw a sea snake! The coral was littered with sea cucumbers and sea slugs - some of them really brightly coloured.

After Shark Point we had lunch on the boat and then went to Bamboo Island. Bamboo Island is just north of Phi Phi and really beautiful - did some more snorkelling here. There were some huge parrot fish (the really shiny multicoloured fish with little beaks) - as I dived down to get a closer look you could actually hear their beaks scratching the coral as they picked the plankton off it, incredible!

Our last stop before returning to Phi Phi Don was Monkey Beach. This was one of the most surreal experiences of the holiday - we got in a kayak and paddled to shore. On the beach there were loads of wild monkeys running around! Some were just sitting on rocks about two feet away so we got a really good view - alas I wasn't brave enough to take my camera in the kayak so no pictures, but an amazing experience nonetheless!

We got back to port and just had a nice chill after that. Ate at a lovely restaurant right on the beach - what more could you ask for. Had a beer and then went to bed.

Today is just going to be a(nother!) day for relaxing and doing nothing - it's a hard life eh!

Posted by cde3879 12:36 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Ko Phi Phi

sunny 34 °C
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I'm currently sat in an internet cafe right by the sea on Phi Phi island. It's about 34 degrees outside hence why I'm in here as it's nice and air conditioned!

Had a drink last night in one of the beachside bars next to my bungalow and got chatting to the swedish barman called Michael who was looking after the bar for one of his friends. Had rather too much to drink (though not as much as Jez!) and as a result woke up this morning with a bit of a bad head - self inflicted though so no sympathy expected!

Got some brekkie at the same place we ate last night which helped, and then Muk and I made our way into town. And here we are in the internet cafe! The connection here is really really good so I'm taking the opportunity to upload my pictures - check out the gallery to see what we've been up to!

We're probably going to stay here for another couple of days as it is so so relaxing but lively at the same time - just the right balance of fun and rest. Next stop will be Krabi - seen somewhere on Ao Nang beach (Krabi's main area) that looks promising - probably book that today at some point.

Enjoy the pics - the next update will probably be from Krabi.

Posted by cde3879 13:52 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Patong Beach & Phi Phi Islands

sunny 33 °C

This is the life. I'm currently lying down in my Phi Phi island bungalow having just spent the afternoon on the beach and in the sea. More on that later, I'll go over the last couple of days first.

After our Kata beach experience we decided it was time to head to somewhere a bit more lively so took a taxi to Patong beach. We had booked into a hotel just a bit out from the centre called QVC holiday resort (nothing to do with the shopping channel!) so were dropped off there and checked in.

Initially we had booked into standard rooms (which were absolutely fine) but Muk and I decided to upgrade to deluxe rooms with a sea view - these rooms are fantastic. Big balcony overlooking the Andaman Sea - not much can beat a view like that.

Anyway the first night in Patong was quite interesting to say the least! We went to a thai boxing match - not as gory as I had anticipated it to be, but the categories include kids and it was a little disturbing seeing eleven year olds in the ring. The highlight of the match had to be this south african dude with a name very similar to Simon Cowell who KO'd his opponent in one swing! Good fun to watch for the most part.

Patong is full of both old and young western men walking around with hookers which is also quite sad to see, but then again this area is famous for that too. Still makes you cringe when you see it though as no doubt that's the only reason some of these people have come here. What makes it okay here if it's not at home beats me...

Our second day in Patong was a major chillout day. I fell asleep in my room around 10am and woke up at about 4 so by that time it was time to go and meet Jez who'd wandered into town. Had some dinner after booking a ferry to Phi Phi for the next morning.

We ate in "Mr Good's Seafood Restaurant" and it lived up to its name - I had crab which I had to choose myself from a big tank of them out the front. Very tasty!

After dinner we wandered down Soi Bangla, Patong's main street. I had to get some tshirts as I had discovered the hard way that breathable berghaus tshirts provide absolutely no protection against the sun (my chest was like a tomato after a day in the sun even though it was covered up - all my exposed but suncreamed bits were fine!). Managed to pick up three very decent fake designer tshirts for 500 baht, around £8. Had a drink and then went to bed.

Early start today - we were picked up from the hotel at 7.15am and taken to Rassada pier in Phuket town to catch the ferry to Phi Phi. Very pleasant ferry ride - took about an hour and a half and we docked at the main port in Phi Phi Don at about 10 o'clock.

Found some accommodation - I've got a beautiful air conditioned bungalow right by the sea and the beach - couldn't ask for any better really. After walking through town we dumped our stuff in the bungalows and then took to the beach where we spent most of the afternoon. Going to head back into the main bit in a little while after having a bit of a kip - must be getting old :)

Walking around here it's very obvious that the place was totally obliterated by the tsunami - lots of rubble in a lot of places and foundations on open ground where bungalows etc used to be. The cleanup is is full force though and although bits are still looking pretty bad there is absolutely no reason not to come here as the island still has a great atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

Next stop is probably going to be Krabi in a couple of days. Just vegging out here for a while - why not eh :)

Posted by cde3879 08:03 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Don't go to Sugar Palm Resort in Kata Beach!

sunny 32 °C

After another pleasant Air Asia flight we arrived in Phuket and headed for Kata Beach. On arrival we went to what appeared to be a very nice hotel indeed - featured on all the websites and looked really nice. And reasonably priced too so we were onto a winner - or so we thought....

After taking 2 hours to get checked in by the biggest drunk imbecile in the world, we went to our rooms. The rooms themselves were okay - clean and reasonably comfortable - but the service was absolutely abysmal. The best way to describe it was probably "3.5 star room, less than no stars service". Appalling - don't EVER consider going there if you're wanting a stressless holiday.

Anyway checked out this morning and headed to the beach itself. Spent a good few hours on a sun lounger under a parasol - very, very relaxing. The beach was pretty deserted - don't know whether it's just because it's off season or because of the tsunami, or maybe a mixture of both.

Speaking of the tsunami some of the damage is still pretty obvious however they are doing an absolutely sterling job of getting it back to normal again. Huge tsunami detection towers have been built and signs put up to show you where to go when there's a tsunami warning - it's all a bit odd to think that there was so much death and destruction here less than 18 months ago - quite spooky in a way, but life goes on.

Heading to Patong Beach now - hopefully it'll be a bit more lively than Kata and have a better hotel :)

Next update, soon - as long as the beach doesn't suck us in :)

Posted by cde3879 07:10 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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