A Travellerspoint blog

Koh Samui

Hello Lisa... Goodbye Terry!!

rain 20 °C

So Terry and I made our way to Koh Samui, the largest and most touristic of the 3 islands that we had left to visit!
We made do in a cheap hostel for a couple of nights whilst we explored the islands and waited for the arrival of Miss Frost.
We stayed in a tiny hostel around the Chaweng lake.. you can see a few bars along the river!

Koh Samui in our opinion was the most touristy, most expensive and un-impressive place in Thailand!
The main road...

After 2 nights we checked into a more acceptable resort Nids Bungalows) or when Lisa arrived... unfortunately the weather was probably the worst in our whole 2 months in Thailand... which was great as Lisa was expecting sun! So as I headed to the airport to meet Lisa I had everything crossed that the pouring rain would stop!!!

Nids Bungalows may have been more expensive than Terry and I were used to but it was also one of the strangest....
The pool was spotless, however the communal areas were covered in animal fur... the bungalows were run by local people and their pets...there were guinea pigs (dead and alive), rabbits, dogs and even a pig!!
Our triple room and the pool..

Unfortunately the first few days were over cast and although Lisa was sleepy and wanted to get over the long journey - she was not impressed with the lack of sunshine!
Despite the weather the first evening we had a stroll along the built up tourist beach and toasted to her arrival with a few 2 for 1 cocktails!!

Followed by some more along the strip before dinner..

Next day we couldn't do much because the rain poured down most of the day... but it stopped in time for the night market.... we introduced Lisa to Asian night markets and market food...

And 70bath cocktails...

And then buckets....

And then what happens after buckets...
DSC03713.jpg DSC03695.jpg

After a few days in over-cast/ rainy Samui Terry left us for Pai Boxing Camp and the girls were left to their own devices!!
The last supper... we treated ourselves to a good meal and said our goodbyes (18 months of 24 hours together come to an end)!!

Unfortunately for Lisa the nights events had left her with a grotty hang-over... perfect for a rocky 3 hour boat trip to Koh Phang-Nan...
I on the other hand was just keeping my fingers crossed that we would find some sunshine!

Posted by becs and terry 12:53 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Krabi Province and the South Islands

Beeches Beaches and More Beaches....... Railay, Phi Phi Island, Trang Islands Koh Lanta and Phuket

sunny 32 °C

After being blasted by freezing cold air conditioning for a 12 hour night bus, we were pleased to arrive at Krabi.

Although it has no beaches or real tourist attractions, we used Krabi Town as our base to explore some of the neighbouring islands and beaches. Most tourists it seems stay at Ao Nang which is 17km from Krabi Town, but being peak season we decided to try and avoid the crowds and take the cheaper option of Krabi Town.

Krabi is actually a pleasant and quiet little city despite being the capital of Krabi Province. Its set along the river, where you can see some of the limestone karst mountains and mangroves...

Also a few little temples and local parks...

And like most places in Thailand - a night market:

Kayaking in Thalane Bay (Ao Thalane)
Apparently Ao Thalane is one of the most beautiful mangrove forests in the whole of Thailand. About 20km from Krabi Town this section of the coast is covered in dense foliage that wraps all the caves cliffs and amazing shaped Karsts as well as small inlets, caves and hidden lagoons!
And what better way form us to explore this area than by Kayak....

The famous Karst mountains provide the backdrop for this area with its complex network of channels than meander through the dense mangroves.

Mud crawlers - covered the muddy banks of the mangroves..

Kayaking through the mangroves... and steep cliffs..

And then heading out to the Andaman Sea..


We came across this beautiful little hideaway... small beach, in a little cave..

with monkeys who will keep you company and apparently try to hitch a ride on your kayak.

What a beautiful way to spend the morning ... tranquil, peaceful and relaxing (especially if your the one taking the photos, not doing the paddling)!

On the ride back to Krabi Town you can see the how the mountains surrounds the islands..

Rai Leh (Railay)
As Rai Leh is a peninsula surrounded by ocean and mountains and can only be accessed by boat. SO we took a Longtail boat from Krabi Town to East Railay.

East Railay: the mangrove side of the peninsula:

3 main parts to Railay: East, West, and Phra Nang:

Phra Nang Beach and Cave
A short walk from East Railay we walk through caves:
Phranang_B..nd_Cave__2_.jpg Phranang_B..nd_Cave__1_.jpg

And find a fine white sandy beach on the other side....

This lovely beach, has actually recently been voted one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. It has spectacular scenery and you can also watch the rock climbers climbing the caves right off the beach!

Phra Nang Cave also has some wierd Shrine... Dedicated to the spirit of the drowned princess who gave the beach her name.
This shrine consists of dozens of carved red-tipped penis's donated by fishermen seeking her favour!!! Probably the oddest shrine ever seen...
Willy Shrine!!

Railay West.
Again only a few mins walk the west seemed to be where most of the resorts and tourists hand out and long-tails arrive from Ao Nang.

The Lagoon & View point is also a worth while, but steep and somewhat dangerous path trek.......
Look out...

Hidden Lagoon..

Phi Phi Islands
So after much research and debate, we decided rather than to stay on Phi Phi Island paying peak prices and competing with herds of other tourists we would do a speed boat trip from Krabi to see the main spots.... and boy were there some great spots to see and snorkel!!

First Stop Bamboo Island (North of Phi Phi Don).
Beautiful crystal clear waters, perfect white beach and hardly any people!

Next Maya Bay
Location of Hollywood famous film "The Beach"

Absolutely stunning....

Although Terry was not impressed by the shear amount of other boats and tourists - ruining the postcard perfect pictures!!!

Beautiful as it was - you could still imagine Leonardo Decaprio swimming in the water!!

Netx stop the Hin Klarng Experience - snorkeling in the fantastic open sea.

Proabably my favourite spot was Pileh Bay. A simple beautiful and fantastic lagoon. The colours of the water changed with the depth, dropping from 2 meters to 30 meters in a second!

Close to the Lagoon is the Viking Cave....

Water so clear you could see hundreds of fish from the boat..

We eventually reached Phi Phi Don (the main island) where we enjoyed a snorkel,

followed by a really good buffet lunch and sunbathing on the beach....

We also stopped at Monkey Bay and the other a few other spots to snorkel and appreciate the colorful corals and fishes in shallow water.
The speedboat journey its self was so beautiful...

What a great Trip!

Trang Islands
From Krabi Town we headed south to make a quick stop at the Trang Islands...
We stayed on Koh Muk home of the beautiful Emerald Cave, but also got to see some of the other islands too as we passed on the Ferry!!

Koh Mook (or Koh Muk)

We took a log tail boat from Trang to and arrived at Koh Mook.

Easily one of the smallest places we have stayed. There must have been only a handful or places to stay on the island... to keep it cheap we were forced to downgrade from a bungalow on the beach.... to a tent!!! (although it did have a fan so not too bad)!!

The beach was spotless with crystal blue waters..

Next day we took another a long tail boat to the Emerald Cave...
The Emerald Cave is an amazing natural lagoon, hidden in the middle of an island! We arrived and parked up the boat!

The entrance .....

The only way in to this amazing place is to swim (or canoe) about 80m through the cave.... (torches needed - pitch black for a few mins)
Once you reach the inside it opens out into the secret bay with limestone cliffs soaring high above you on all sides.

Its a bit like being inside a big, green volcano. As we relaxed on the beach - we wondered how this little hide away was first found!! Apparently pirates used to use the cave to hide their treasures.... you can see why!

Our ferry ride from Koh Mook to Koh Lanta picked up passengers from surrounding Koh Kraden and Koh Ngai......
longboat to the ferry...

Ferry journey..

Koh Kraden..

Koh Ngai

Koh Lanta
Next stop - 3 nights in Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta like all the other islands we have been to so far.. beautiful beaches and great sports for snorkeling and diving.

Our hostel provided free bikes for guests so we took the bikes for a ride around the island... basically a jungle surrounded by long white beaches and bays.

We stayed in Saladan - the main ferry port. Was a good spot for shopping and had a little night market for a good feed..
it was here we found the best noodles and noodle soup in the whole of Thailand - so tasty, freshly cooked in seconds, for 40 Bath - so under an English pound!!

After cycling, relaxing and eating street food every night we headed to Phuket.... more specifically Patong beach!!!


Patong is a just beach resort, with a massive night life!! Bars, Clubs, Lady shows Galore!

Bangla Road - the main strip... I have never seen so many bars and bright lights packed into one street!! Thai women out front of all the bars... trying to lure men in to buy them drinks...

If you walk from one end to the other you will be asked at least 8 times if you want to see a 'Ping Pong & Lady show' - which only the naive would think means watching table tennis!!! Pretty much anything goes here... people selling cocktails from the sides of the roads and all sorts of different bars!

We decided to sit in a bar of the main strip and people watch... and believe me the safest place to people watch is definitely inside the bar...

So with most of the Thailand and the southern islands done - we head over to Koh Samui for the final leg of our journey...
and await the arrival of Lisa Frost.....

Posted by becs and terry 07:37 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)


What a way to see in the new year!!

sunny 32 °C
View South East Asia on becs and terry's travel map.

So last time we were in Bangkok I couldn't wait to get out... the city seemed so big, but nowhere big enough for all the people and cars.. Traffic at a stand still despite all the motorways flying over and around the city, taxi drivers speaking little English it was difficult for any foreigner to get around!!

So when Terry suggested Bangkok for NYE's you can imagine my response...! However, we found some good deals on Hotels and eventually booked a 4 Star hotel at 50% discount for 4 nights to celebrate the New Year in style after backpacking for 18 months!!!

The Prince Palace Hotel lived up to expectations.... and Terry has done his homework and so after catching the sky train and a river taxi we found our way in no time....

The Prince Place Hotel is made up of 4 towers, with a swimming pool of the 11th floor terrace, 8 restaurants and a fitness center.
Our Deluxe Suite..... the most standard room in the hotel...

We were on the 24th floor, and on a corner so a brilliant view
View from the room....

First day Terry was desperate to make me less scared of this massive, dirty, busy city.... we took another river taxi out from our Hotel...
The river is so dirty.... you didnt want to get splashed!

We took the skytrain (air conditioned) to Siam Square, Central World, Nana Plaza and a few other places to see the Christmas decorations and preparations for NYE..

The police lining the streets before NYE celebrations..

We couldn't afford the prices of food or drinks in the Hotel, so for 4 nights we bought in food from outside, (street food and supermarkets)... and alcohol for NYE from 7Eleven !!

Sunrise and breakfast from our hotel room...

STarted with running Terry a bath (first one in like 18 months)!!

Chicken and salad for dinner with a lovely view of the city from our room...

The NYE celebrations in our Hotel...

We could overlook the celebrations and hear the show put on the hotel paying guests....
so we joined the count down from our room...!!

And watched everyone else's fireworks going off all over the city..

New Years Day we relaxed by the pool and enjoyed the views over the city.

Visa Run to Burmer.....our 30 days visa ran out on the 2nd.... so another reason for staying in Bangkok over NYE was to get our border run out of the way. This was probably the most pointless exercise we have ever been through... in order to get another 30 days we had to cross over the Thai border and get a stamp in our passports for another 30 days on the way back in.... We booked a company to go with.... the journey was 4 hours each way to and from the border. At the border we drove for 10 mins around the countryside before crossing back over the same border and receiving our stamp (hence 30 days visa)!! So a whole day on a bus and ($60) each, but we got more days to spend in Thailand!!

After our last night in the Lovely Hotel we got a taxi to the bus station and hoped to get on a bus that evening to Krabi!

Posted by becs and terry 01:22 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Samet

Christmas at our Private Resort.... who would have believed we were backpackers!!!

sunny 32 °C
View South East Asia on becs and terry's travel map.

so after a noisy 4 nights sleep in Koh Chang we were so looking forward to our 4 nights booked into a resort with a private beach in neighboring island Koh Samet.... we hoped the resort lived up to expectations... as we had upped the budget for a few days luxury over Christmas!
The Samet Ville Resort and its private beach at Ao Wai...

Having practically passed the ferry point for Koh Samet on the way to Koh Chang – we thought this would be a quicker journey…. How wrong can you be! Firstly our minibus arrived late… causing us to miss the ferry to the Mainland, then we waited and waited for a second minibus to Ban Phe (the ferry port for Koh Samet). What could have taken a maximum of 4 hours took 8 1/2!

Our resort has its own ferry and speed boats from the mainland but arriving so late we had to make our own way taking the usually ferry and then taxi down the island… this in fact was not an issue.. and the taxi along the un-surfaced roads was an experience!

But boy we were pleased when we arrived at our resort... set along the bay, with a very natural setting, very green and lots of trees surrounding the buildings.

The Samet Ville Resort

Our little apartment at the Samet Ville Resort...

The Restaurant

Our private pool, overlooking the beach.

The private bay and beach were so quiet, the white sand squeaky clean and the crystal waters so beautiful...

A Christmas tree decorated on the beach and a few carols were as christmassy as it got.... Terry said he is never having fried rice for Christmas lunch ever again!!!

However we made up for it in the evening... The resort put on a BBQ.... yum yum!!

We even treated ourselves to a few drinks to toast everyone back home..

Boxing day dinner - a hot pot of chicken curry.... another first!!

After our 4 days of luxury... we headed north up the Island for a more standard hotel, back to the busy beaches, full of Russian families and other tourists escaping for the Christmas holidays..

Relaxing on Sai Keaw Beach...

After 10 days of beaches over Christmas we headed for the CITY... Bangkok here we come for NYE...

Posted by becs and terry 00:26 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Chang

The Island of Koh Chang with a little stop via Pattaya!!

sunny 30 °C
View South East Asia on becs and terry's travel map.

We stopped at Pattaya on the way to our Christmas destinations of Koh Chang and Koh Samet… Terry wanted to show me what’s known as Thailand’s seediest City!! Needless to say we didn’t get many photos but it was an eye opener!
So many Old, White, Fat, Men with young Thai women, or leering after them! In restaurants we were the only couple of same nationality and under 40. Many men dining alone, some in groups of men, and the others with their Thai Lady. We reckoned about 95% of non-locals in Pattaya were male, the only females being the occasional Russian wife! As Terry called it a ‘massive sausage fest’!!
Typical sights...
Obviously the tourist streets were packed with Go Go bars where you could pay hourly, daily, monthly and we are not talking rooms!
As you walk down the streets you know what’s behind closed doors, but actually it’s not pushed in your face, and as a couple we were left well alone!!

Even the beaches were full of 'just men' sitting around...
2 nights in Pattaya was enough to get a good feel for the place and then we swiftly moved on the Islands!

Koh Chang
Koh Chang is Thailand's second largest island, situated in Eastern Thailand. Despite its size the island only has about 5,000 permanent residents. Although the "discovery" of the island as a tourist destination since 2000 has brought on a large amount of rapid development, its still far quieter than places like Phuket or Ko Samui, so we decided to head here rather than the southern islands for a quiet build up to christmas... or so we thought!!

The journey from Pattaya consisted of 3 subotaxi, 3 minibuses and a ferry crossing all in all taking us 7 hours to do probably less than 250km!!

But finally we arrived at our Hostel… and what a spot we picked….

Terry enjoying a dip in our Private Pool..

Koh Chang is definitely one of the most beautiful islands we have come accross so far... with long white sandy beaches, most half deserted.

We had picked the pack backer beach (Lonely Beach) which by day had a chilled out atmosphere and great vibe on the beach…
Sun set on the beach bars was pretty cool..

However lonely beach is not lonely at night…. Our little huts made of wood… failed to keep out any of the pumping base in the next street, that played till 6am every night… Its times like this we realise we are no longer 18 and respect our sleep!!!

Boat trip – Rock the Boat….
We get sucked in to a boat party on our first full day, with apparently FREE Rum, lunch, dinner, drinking games – visiting 3 islands, snorkelling, fishing and monkey feeding. Sounds good you may think…!
So we arrive at the Meeting point on time and loaded into several taxis’s. Once on the boat we waited at least an hour in the port because quite frankly the staff couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery!
When at last we set sail… and the bar finally opened… we were informed to take our ticket to the bar and exchange it for our ONE FREE DRINK!!!! Apparently it was only the staff getting free booze and after an hour or so they were lagging leaving the paying customers thirsty, once the over-priced bar rang out of drink!
As for the drinking games… well musical chairs (life jackets) was hardly that entertaining - but I made Terry join in anyway!!

There were no monkeys, no fishing and we only go to stop at one island. However it was quite beautiful…. But we suspected the clam of Secret Beach – was not so secret as other tours were pulling up too!

Despite Rock the Boat failing to live up to its expectations… we made some friends, had a few drinks and had a giggle……

Bec's (apparently dancing).

A little pole dancing...
The next few days were spent relaxing by the pool and beach, dozing in attempt to make up for lack of sleep due to the Base making our pillows jump up and down!

However despite our bad choice of boat trip at least we got to see the beautiful islands and Koh Chang coastline..

Koh Chang was beautiful island and I think if we were to return we would choose our spot carefully… maybe another, slightly quieter beach!

Posted by becs and terry 23:28 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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