Phuket to Ko Tao
20.05.2011 - 31.05.2011
From an island paradise of Phi Phi we then moved on to the island of Phuket, the biggest island in Thailand. We decided to opt for a hostel with a good review and a bit lively, right in the centre of the goings on, Patong beach. Way more touristy and way more busy than phi phi. We checked out the main beach and Bangla road. Lots of bar's/clubs full of young ladies just standing around, oh and some Australians in vests watching rugby league. It was only 5ish so probably just about to get started! The following day we decided to escape and so in search of the THE James Bond island. Early start and carted off to the other side of island, and delivered sticker's and all to a biggish river Boat!!? Other stops included canoeing through/under and around limestone islands and also got stuck a bit in a mini cave. The main attraction and our last stop of the day (Due to rain) was James bond Island! I couldn't say we were disappointed but i'm pretty sure it looked bigger, when the big mirror comes out the top and reflects the light. The food on the boat on the other hand was amazing, fish, rice, chicken, salad, dips, and some sort of chilli kebab with fruit for pudding. We got back early due to the weather so ended up going out for food and finally back in the hostel for drinks. Games were included - downing larger mixed with mainly paprika and tequila playing fives till the early morning. Sian sneaked off & was later found sprawled across the bed!
Tactically missed the rain in the morning in bed, and then escaped the town by tuk tuk to a lovely quiet beach on the west coast and relaxed! The next evening/morning was spent experiencing night life the extreme Thailand way, including a Japanese all you can eat buffet for dinner, definitely interesting!
I now also have a Bet with a South African living in Melbourn, Will, that of course Wales WILL beat South Africa in the World Cup! (That's a guaranteed couple of pints coming my way)..... But with a little help of red bull and some jager bombs we were able to see 7am ready for our mini bus out to Koh Samui, the East cost!
Lucky enough for me... I was able to sleep through most of the long mini bus + bus journey but unfortunately Sian didn't have the same luck (some laughing eastern European right next to here) .
But following the gentle boat journey we arrive in Ko Samui and eventually, the resort on Hat Bo Phut beach. Really nice beach hut with a beach side pool and bar all located within a “tropical garden”. Not a massive amount to see on the island so the next 3 days where spent on the beach, in the pool or visiting Chaweng beach and the fisherman's village down the road/beach where the night market presented us with mass of street food, and a nice beach side restaurant where we had a humongous seafood platter on the final night.
Three nights later, we caught a boat for the short journey to Ko Pan-ngan and the location of the infamous full moon parties, Hat Rin Beach! Unfortunately we missed the full moon party by about 4 days so the place was a bit of a ghost town, so after a quick stop for lunch we decided to hop on long boat and head up the east coast to a set 3 isolated cut off beaches Hat Yuan, Hat Thian and Hat Wai Nam! Our digs was a hut on stilts with a beach view in the Barcelona resort, Hat Yuan! It was a resort in the loosest sense, but was a nice friendly family business with a restaurant that had amazing Squid Pad Thai (A classic veg noodle nutty stir fry) which I must of eaten every day we where there. The three beaches linked by small hilly tracks had their individual community feeling to them.
The most southern Hat Yuan had a more resorty feeling with huts and bars strewn across beach and rocky outreaches with rickety weathered timber pathways running along connecting each building (a bit pirates of the Caribbean, except without pirates and obviously not in the Caribbean).
The second middle beach Hat Thian was a bit smaller and rocker with a hippy alternative feeling with activities like yoga and meditation with aged timber cabins and huts, (where apparently the beach the book was written) and it also has a pontoon in the bay to swim out too.
The final smaller northern beach Hat Wai Nam had a real sanctuary feeling, one bar/resort and an open yoga floor constructed into the cliff with a view of the amazing beach, which we where lucky enough to have all by our selves :o) . We ended up staying here for four night by the end, and at night you could see one of the coolest things, luminescent Bacteria in the sea (again apparently in the beach film) i.e. if you wondered out into the water you could see glowing streaks in the movement of the water, not just one or two either, like clouds we didn’t really believe it at first but was amazing!
Hesitantly we continued on to the final Island in the south east,Koh Tao! Not a big island but it is massive on diving, only one other place in the world hands out more diving qualifications, but unfortunately as were on a budget we decided to stay on top of the water and adventure out on another snorkelling trip. And the trip didn't disappoint, visibility under water must have been 10 -15m easy with colourful coral, pink nemo fish, small barracuda and other weird and wonderful fishy creatures. Again couldn’t keep Sian's head out of the water (apparently we are now buying wet suites and snorkelling gear when we get back, look out welsh nemo fish). Unfortunately we still haven’t seen any sharks (small one's, harmless apparently) even though there always seems to be a shark point or shark bay on the tour map, and the guide insisted they are always normally there. (I'll send Sian in a snorkel out in Australia with the camera, I think they've got big ones there)
Again the beaches here are picture perfect and there was even a small island with a triple beach, and with the crystal clear water its just lovely!
But next inland and off to the bustling city of Bangkok, so the end of the beaches, for now! About time really, I'm starting to feel a bit fried but the seafood will definitely be missed!