A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

Krabi

Paradise!

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Our last stop in Thailand was Krabi. We planned to stay on Railay Beach but we met some people on the bus on the way there who recommended we stayed at a place called Ton Sai just next to it. Ton Sai is a really nice chilled out place with loads of limestone cliffs everywhere, perfect for rock climbers! We turned up and checked out a cheapy bungalow but it looked a bit dodgy and after our last bad experience we decided to spend a bit more and stay in something that looked a bit secure. After checking in we chilled out on the beach for a bit and practised playing the ukelele which a guy we met from Hawaii had brought along!
The next day we decided to have a look around the beaches of Krabi. We walked to Railay east and west beaches and a lovely beach called Phranang which had a cave on the beach. 4391187633_f3e98dc92e.jpgIn the evening we met up with the people we'd met on the bus. One of the guys we met used to be a tour guide round Krabi and he was taking his friends parents on a tour of the islands the next day and invited us to come along.
So the next day 8 of us went off on a longtail boat to check out the islands. The first stop was beautiful, we went for a snorkel and saw loads of brightly coloured fish and also some ugly thing called a sea cucumber! We went to an island called Chicken Island (called cos the mountains on it are in the shape of a chicken) and Poda Island. We went to an amazing beach which was the best beach I've ever seen in my life! 4391282569_41051c050c.jpgIt was a great day and a great end to our Thailand trip. After the boat trip we got dropped off at Ao Nang to catch the bus to Langkawi (malaysia), ready for our next adventure!

Posted by palmer830 05:52 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Ko Chang

Land of Elephants...saw about 3.

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Adam's passport was gonna take 10 days before it was ready so we decided to check out an island called Ko Chang while we waited. We stayed at a place called Lonely Beach which was the backpacker part of Ko Chang. We found a lovely bungalow called Jaegon Huts and the people who ran it were really lovely and friendly. The first day we took a tour of the west coast of the island and found lots of lovely beaches, but we found the further north we went the more expensive it got so we decided to stay down the southern part for the rest of our stay.
The next day we explored the eastern side of the island which is undeveloped. We headed down to some mangrove forests where you could go kayaking. It was pretty exhausting stuff and me and Adam soon found out neither of us are cut out for kayaking, especially not in 30 degree heat! P1000221

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However it was pretty cool to do cos there was no-one else around and we felt like we had the place all to ourselves. The next few days were spent chilling out on the beach (you can see a pattern emerging) but Adam quickly got itchy feet. He'd been after a bamboo tattoo for ages and decided one night just to get it done. He already had an idea of what he wanted (an eagle on his arm) so the guy draw it for him to see if he liked it first. He was a really nice guy and did the whole tattoo for about 140 quid, it was about 8 hours worth of work. Adam's really pleased with it and glad he got a bamboo one cos they look much better than machine and you can go in the water straight away with them. 4391863548_f7cac54219.jpg
After a few more days on Ko Chang we headed back to Bangkok (trip number 4) to get Adam's passport, we were pretty beached out by this time and were looking forward to getting on with the rest of our trip. Back in Bangkok we did a fair bit of shopping (think we've been to every single shopping mall in Bangkok now) and had a look round Chinatown (not that great - all the Chinese have moved out cos its too expensive). We said our goodbyes to Jenny and Steve who were heading straight for Malaysia then we headed down to Krabi so Adam could see the Andaman coast before we left Thailand for Malaysia.

Posted by palmer830 05:50 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Ko Tao

Wife Swap Island

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This is where it all goes a bit weird. Jenny and Steve bought a scuba diving package which included free accommodation. The guy who sold it to them said he would write on the forms that Jenny was with Adam and I was with Steve so that all 4 of us could get free accommodation. Sounded alright on paper, but Ko Tao's a pretty small place so for the next 4 nights the four of us had to put on a pretty poor show of 'wife swapping'. All got a bit weird, especially when Jenny and Steve said everyone on their diving course knew they were together so we ended up looking like a bunch of swingers. On the plus side we got free accommodation, which was much needed after 'the great robbery'!
While Jenny and Steve were diving, me, Adam, Katie and Sam hired scooters to explore Ko Tao. Was, once again, beautiful and, once again, we have no photos! We went snorkelling on some lovely beaches and attempted to head up to a place called Mango Bay but it was so ridiculously steep me and Katie had to get off the bikes! Didn't do too much on Ko Tao just chilled out on the beaches and ate a lot of food!
After four nights on Ko Tao we headed back to Bangkok to sort out getting Adam a new passport (this is now the 3rd time we've been to Bangkok so far on this trip argh!)

Posted by palmer830 04:52 Archived in Thailand Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Ko Phang-nan

Where it all went a bit downhill...

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Here's the story you've all been waiting for...
We got a flight from Hanoi back to Bangkok and meet up with Jenny and Steve before heading to Ko Phang-nan for the infamous full moon party. On the bus on the way over we got about 160 quid stolen somehow, we think it was some little local kid running around the bus late at night that might have done it. Not a good start. We didn't have a clue where to stay on Ko Phangnan cos we'd left it pretty last minute and had heard that it gets booked up pretty fast. On the boat over we met another couple (Katie and Sam) and they told us about a place near the party where the rooms are cheap and most importantly: available. So we all jumped into a taxi and headed straight for LEELA BEACH BUNGALOWS (dont ever forget NOT to go to this place should you ever find yourself in Ko Phang-nan). The rooms seemed very basic but they were central and pretty cheap so we snapped them up.
The next day we all hired scooters and had a tour of the island, it was a beautiful island, wish we had the pictures to show you! After a great day we went back to the bungalows to get glammed up for the party. Not long after there was a pretty heavy rainfall followed by a power cut...not a good sign! Eventually the rain stopped and the power came back on so we headed into town to get the party started. This quickly involved covering each other in flourescent paint which looked pretty horrendous cos we were all too tight to pay out to get it done by a professional! 28110004.jpgThen we headed down to the beach to check out the party.28110013.jpg We attempted to stay till sunrise but me and Adam were too knackered so headed back to the room. This is the part of the story where it starts to go horribly wrong...
We got to our bungalow and Adam noticed the window was open, he looked in and saw all our stuff spread out all over the floor. We checked Jenny and Steve's bungalow next door to ours and their room had been broken into aswell. We'd lost our laptop, camera, jewellery, board shorts, trainers, phone, ipods and most importantly Adam's passport. The bastards had even stolen my tampons. It was horrible, especially because we had to wait for everyone else to come back from the party to tell them. We told the hotel staff straight away and they were pretty unhelpful to say the least. Four bungalows had been broken into in total and it was looking a bit suspect. We had to cancel cards, inform the police and the embassy and buy new bags as ours had been slashed and stolen. Adam went down to the police station with Steve to get a report, they weren't really interested, I think it happens a fair bit around the Full Moon Party but we just wanted our report so we could claim it on our insurance. Luckily we had a boat to Ko Tao already booked for 11 that morning so we packed up our stuff and got the hell out of that hole. We were all absolutely exhausted after being up all night and slept like babies that night! Next stop Ko Tao aka Wifeswap island!

Posted by palmer830 04:29 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Chiang Mai

Trekking, Andy, Opium

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We booked a ‘vip’ bus to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. It was a long and tiring trip, made easier by watching monsters vs aliens on our netbook! We had planned not to do a trek and see Pai instead cos it was meant to be beautiful but the bus driver had other plans. They drop you off at ‘not so’ nice place in Chiang Mai at 5 in the morning when you are knackered and just want to sleep and try to sell you their rooms and treks. We were sold. Booked a 2 night trip up to Pai with some guy who called himself ‘Crazyman’...The next day we set off on our trek with Beej and Sav who we met on the way up, an American couple called Cass and Bridget, a Canadian called Clarissa and ‘Andrew’ (who you will hear more about later) we still don’t know if he was a genuine trekker or worked secretly for ‘nice place’. We set off and the pace was pretty fast...little did we know we were just heading back to Crazyman’s hometown for the night. The views were amazing however, and we went to a local village where a woman cooked us a lovely lunch. IMG_1587.jpgWe got to the town we would be staying at for the night and found our room which was a bamboo hut to fit 10 of us in. Then the boys played football with the locals where they got their arses kicked! Adam being Adam managed to cut his knee but he’s doing ok ;-)In the evening we had dinner around candlelight and then some local people came and joined us to sing and dance which was really nice.DSC_1668.jpg Then the evening took a dark turn...The locals decided to try and make some cash off of us by trying to sell some opium. Andrew (if that was his real name) was straight in there puffing away and trying to encourage us to try some. At £6 a go and us not being druggies we declined but ‘Crazyman’ (meant to be our tour guide) and his sidekick Andrew had finished off most of it and retreated to bed, leaving us with the locals all getting high. It was a very weird, surreal night which we won’t forget in a hurry. We woke up early the next day for what would be one of the hardest days trekking known to man!! We left at 7:30am (way too early for us) and the first 20 minutes were up a steep hill that never seemed to end!! We walked constantly for 1hr 30min by which time we were ready for a break, and this came in the form of a cute little waterfall. If it hadn’t been so cold we would have jumped in, however we were soon back on our feet climbing more hills, which was made difficult by slippery mud and Anna wearing trainers with little to no grip!! Typical. So me being a gentleman I helped her along!!! After another hour or so we came to an open field where we saw 3 elephants. 2 adults and a little baby. The 2 adults were our ride for a while, but we weren’t comfortable doing this. We had to get onto them by standing on their head and climbing onto the seat. I had originally been asked to sit on the mums head for the journey but it was a little awkward so I instead went into one of the seats which was a little more comfortable. We did this for about 40 minutes and then it was the final stretch of our walk. The guide had told us it was a short distance but 50 mins later I definitely disagreed with him. We had some lunch and then did some rafting. Now we had thought this was gonna be a nice relaxing end to the day, but no. I had to steer the raft along with a bamboo stick whilst Anna spent most of her time falling into the river!! All in all it was a good but tiring experience. We got to see some awesome views and see how a tribe lived as well as some extreme exercise. We had fun but were ready to get to our hotel and decide if Laos was for us or not!

Posted by palmer830 01:13 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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