Well well well.. Two weeks in Thailand have flown by that’s for sure. Slowly becoming accustomed to Asia’s culture and way of life and it’s fair to say, I am enjoying it mostly.
Although severely out of my comfort zone and having the occasional wobble, the last week has been an unforgettable experience. Big shoutout to Mumma B and Darc !
As we left Phuket and headed out to the Island of Koh Phi Phi, we were ready to see what life is like on these islands and whether it lives up to the huge reputation is has got!
As we sat on top deck of the ferry on a plastic deck chair, we thought we had prime position to enjoy the journey out to sea…. Little did we consider the wind and sea water that was about to pepper us… Haha safe to say as we sat there gunning it over to Phi Phi, we couldn’t speak to each other as the wind was so loud and strong against us! We ended up getting off the boat nice and sunburnt! Haha
The first day we got there, we really were not in the mood or state to party .. So typically we checked into a hostel that had its first line of its description on trip advisor as “IF YOU WANT TO SLEEP BEFORE 2AM, DO NOT STAY HERE” – fantastic news. They weren’t wrong either, think I got an hour in at about 6am and we didn’t even go out!
The next day I managed to join marcus and Matty in their room and decided to not let it dampen our spirits any longer – we booked onto a boat trip around the whole of islands and took in some amazing views… We started out of the port and headed to many coves, maya bay in particular – commonly known as the location from a certain Leo DiCaprio film ‘The Beach’ – we then continued on to Monkey Island and other amazing spots to take a dip in the clear blue sea with golden sand. Giving competition to the Whitsunday Islands in Australia with the best beach I’ve ever been on. We spent about an hour on the beach and in the sea… Approximately 45 minutes of that was spent underwater trying to catch the perfect group selfie haha.. We didn’t even succeed massively!
The island itself is so small you can walk across in minutes and to show the size of the island, they have pictures showing how the Tsunami came and completely wiped over the whole mainland and everything in its path from one side to the other.. Incredibly sad but also a part of history they don’t shy away from. No vehicles on the island, just small skinny streets full of stalls set up by locals selling local food and clothes. We eventually got besotted with the island and what it had to offer, a fantastic vibe with lots to do and see! Myself and Matty went for a wonder whilst Marcus slept (shock) and we found our self ordering a Thai green curry from a small little stall.. As it was presented to us the chef said ‘little spicy’ – yeah he was definitely wrong there – easily the spiciest food I’ve ever eaten but surprisingly still enjoyable even when sweating and sniffling profusely! Haha a great experience overall, I really am loving the food here – although there are sme things I definitely won’t be touching!!
We obviously couldn’t miss out on watching a Muay Thai match, one which was particular gruesome which I won’t go into detail with! Also, they love the Premier League here so a showing of Chelsea was obligatory, shock they still couldn’t win though!
One of the main reasons we went to Phi Phi was the obligatory viewpoint shot that every seems to get whilst travelling… The sunset drops perfectly behind the mountains over Phi Phi and everyone gathers at the top of the adjacent mountain to watch. Me and matt ran 3km to get there against all odds (our hostel owner said we wouldn’t make it in time) but as it was our last night I knew we had to make it, I couldn’t miss it! Turns out there was a much quicker route but we made it anyway, absolutely dripping with sweat and on the brink of being sick, but we did make it and boy was it worth it. A spectacle that I won’t forget.
After 4 days or so on Phi Phi, we headed to a bigger island but less popular place called Koh Lanta – we hadn’t known much about this island but it was conveniently in our path back to the mainland and so we decided we had to take in another island on our way to Krabi.
What a result, arguably our favourite place. A hidden gem – more of a chill out location rather than the exuberant party scene on Phi Phi so it was welcoming! We picked up a bargain in a nice hotel with ensuite and private room for the same price of a hostel so it began very well…
Now this place had views.. Amazing beaches, food and vibe. We were able to relax and chill out more at our own leisure in our own room. We headed out to eat at some great little restaurants, devoured copious amounts of Thai Green Curry and Massaman curry. Not that I will complain about that as it tastes incredible out here.
We ate in restaurants on the beach overlooking the sunset and for me those are the memories I wanted to make whilst travelling. Things that could quite easily pass you by. Sitting at the back of the boats looking out to the sea, blazing sun, outlines of islands on the horizons, taking it all in, it’s incredible.
Now here’s one to tell the fans back home.. Lanta had one disadvantage.. Transport around the island seemed to come at quite a cost – for Thai prices anyway! The cheapest way to do things was to go round on Scooters.. I vowed I wouldn’t do one but we spoke to the owner of our hotel and he had bikes we could use for £5 for a whole day.. Knowing we were getting it from the hotel and the owners we knew they wouldn’t fleece us. We had so much we could do and see and this opened up all kinds of avenues plus the roads here were in great condition and not busy at all – we took up the offer, very very slowly haha at snails pace, helmets on and wouldn’t get up enough speed to hurt ourselves.
We left about 11am and didn’t get home til 6pm! We must have travelled 40km at least all over the island and was possibly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We began by driving to a cave adventure where we went on a guided tour of some local caves, voted #1 thing to do – it was pretty epic. I’m not talking big caves, the opening we had to crawl in and through some points we had to go through on our stomachs to get through, a true adventure and well worth going too. An hour long tour left us covered in sweat due to the humidity, gasping for more water and I even saw the biggest spider in the cave that I’ve seen along my whole travels.
Next we decided to go for lunch in ‘Old Town’ where a local festival was going on, just more stalls than usual ! Very cute and cultural, everyone is so receptive to westerners and embrace the tourism! Off we were back on the scooters, the favourite part of the day.. We took the coastal road along the whole side of the island, beaches on one side of us with empty roads and some absolutely stunning viewpoints. We were even joined along the way by monkeys sat on the side of the road!
One saddening part we came across was an Elephant Sanctuary, obviously we didn’t give them any of our money but we stood and watched as an elephant played around with a small girl who was feeding him a bottle of water into his trunk and he was loving it. Not the ideal surroundings for it, it wasn’t tied up and was free to roam but still had a seat tied to its back which is never good to see!
We continued on our amazing route – thankfully Matty and Marcus got some photos as I turned up to the caves to find out my GoPro was dead… Cheers! So annoying.
Overall an incredible adventure which ended with a beautiful sunset on the beach where the sun dropped down into ocean within a matter of minutes and our Koh Lanta time was coming to an end (Sadly).
Up next is Krabi.. Back to mainland til Saturday (12th) where myself and Matty fly to Kuala Lumpur for a couple days to meet Alex and head off to Vietnam – marcus leaves us to continue his venture in Burma and Myanmar!
Krabi has started very very well… Myself and Matt have just climbed the ‘Tiger Cave Temple’ – all 1237 steps of it which was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done but the sense of achieving at reaching the top from such a steep incline, in the ridicukous heat and sweating ridiculous amounts but worth every single moment to see the views and amazing sunset from the top sat on a ledge overlooking Krabi.