So Chribella have been away for almost 4 weeks now, and I know I promised a blog, but I basically haven't done one haha.
All this time I thought I would have, I just haven't! I've only read 3 chapters of one book, and I'm a fast reader.
So I figured I could write a monthly update to give you a quick run down on what we've been up too. (Although this is quite lengthy so allow a good 15 mins reading time here)
I have obviously created quite a large picture blog as well- via facebook and Instagram. So here are the words that go along with the pictures.
Oh my goodness I'm thinking back to when we first arrived and it feels like so long ago. Visited the island of Koh Phangan firstly and did lots of drinking as it's the 'party' island, both Chris and I had friends coincidently on the same island at the same time so we had more of a holiday the first 10 days. Stayed in a lovely hotel paid for by our parents and my brothers and sisters for Christmas.
We went to Jungle experience which is like zoo project ibiza- in a jungle, with my Josie and her lot. It wasn't as good as It was the last time I came tho. Absolutely rammed full of American EDM heads looking like they had just found out Steve Oaky had died!
We spent New Year's Eve with our boy Leeroy and his gang! And again Josie met Us as well. So big crowd of us on New Year's Eve, watching the most beautiful firework display I have ever seen! Chris and I saw in 2015 extremely happy with an emotional cuddle.
After spending the day with Josie And loosing my cash card, We sadly said our goodbyes! Only to welcome our dear Katie Clark, for those that don't know Katie. She has been travelling since November and it was seriously so exciting to see her face.
We met in Baan Tai and ate in the fisherman's, voted top restaurant on the island - FOOD SNOBS.
Whilst we ate our crab curry we discussed the evenings forecasted events.
Chris and I desperately wanted to go to this place called Guys bar in Haad Tian. I was told about this place when I left the island 3 years ago and knew there was a party there every Friday. This place is only accessed by boat from Haad Rin or 4 by 4 through the ban tai jungle. It's one of those party's that isn't advertised and if you know then you know. D'ya know what I mean?
Any way Chris and I were off to a dismal start with this party. We had booked a hotel on Haad Tian beach checking in on the friday after New Years ready for the party. We actually booked this months prior when we were back in England just to make-sure we got a room. Only to be taken to the other end of the island when it came to finally check into our hotel, and discover that Guys bar's own page had miss spelt Haad Tian- and it was Infact Haad Thian beach !!!! Ahhhhhhhh! So pissed off, even further away from Haad Rin now and then get told that guys bar was shut down in August and hadn't reopened since! NO GUYS BAR? Why are we still on this island!!!!!
Anyway after sufficient stalking on facebook page and messaging anyone that look like they knew, (if you know then you know) finally an announcement came on there page that guys bar would be open that night! So we walked to the 7 eleven meeting point where the special 4by4s would take us and found a bundle of people all waiting for pick up.
The journey it's self was the most horrific journey in my entire life, (until the 7am 4by4 home with the 7 Irish boys) it was off road track so steep that you were basically at a 170 degree angle going up and back down hills for the entire hour journey - and let Katie and Chris be my witness's I am NOT exaggerating!
Guys bar was everything and more we had hoped for! Full to the brim of hippies and odd balls. A wonderful collection of weirdos in the most beautiful setting.
For once in our lives- we were the normal ones. I was also one of small percentage of people that invested in a razor lol!
We went to Anthong national marine park whilst we were on Koh Phangan snorkelling, kayaking and seeing some stunning beaches. Climbing some dangerous view points in ridiculous footwear was all worth it for the views.
There was a particular beach named 'Bottle beach' we went to only accessed by boat. We arrived and had lunch spent 5 mins relaxing before Chris was bored so thought we would trek up to the view point, the problem is there is no information given on the wooden planks pointing in the upward direction of the view point- so no idea how high it is or how long it will take. Cut a long story short- we ended up being stranded on this beach, the weather turned cold, the sea was rough, there was tears and lots of swearing! Haha all part of the fun. We made it home eventually.
Next stop Koh Samui. Not one of my favourite places on previous visit to Thailand but a good client immigrated here 4 years ago. So much for 'backpacker' accommodation, in exchange for a hair cut we were put up in a villa in the hills, with pool and Ensuite room, given a car to use (although we didn't actually use it through fear of thai drivers) and even shown around some amazing local spots and restaurants. We saw the big buddah temple on this island and a few other temples and done some elephant riding! It was really fun and they really did look after the elephants well. The lady we stayed with (her name is Claire) owns a diving school on the island with her partner Paul and after a lot of persuasion managed to get me into the pool again for a try dive! (For those of you that don't know I had a panic attack12 meters deep on my final dive of my open water PADI course 5 years ago in Egypt, but after that I swore I would never do it again and scuba diving 'wasn't' for me)
Anyway it went okay- not smoothly but okay and reminded me how much I'd enjoyed it the last time. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time on this island to do a course with Claire although I would have loved too, she was extremely busy and after 5 nights staying with her, she hand delivered us on there speed boat to the next island....
Koh Tao (the diving island of the world) so after the pool session with Claire and some encouragement from Chris, I booked to do my open water PADI course along with Chris the day we arrived at Koh Tao. It was a 4 day course and was with the Bans diving resort, it also came with free accommodation- so once again Chris and I managed to wriggle out of any backpacking horrors haha.
I explained my past with diving and was given a personal instructor for Chris and myself. Patrick the legend. He done extremely well, so much so that not only am I a certified open water diver- but after a 3 day extension on Koh Tao Chris and I both left PADI advanced divers, having done a night dive, a ship wreck and a deep dive! Chris was a complete natural at diving, which isn't suprising because he's good at everything but I'm still utterly shocked with myself but proud as well, and we want to dive wherever we can now on the way to Oz.
Aside from one semi crazy night with 6 Canadians not much else went on on the island of Koh Tao- as dedication to our diving prevailed.
I must mention that Chris had his beloved Havianas I'm Koh Tao- stolen.
On the last day we had some free time before our boat to chumpon so got a taxi boat to another stunning set of Islands. We had seen the islands a few times as a lot of the dive sites we had visited were based around them but we were still taken back by the beauty of this place Asoon as we set foot on the pier.
Koh Nan-Yaun is the only collection of 3 islands in the world connected by sand. And it's often used in advertisements to visit thailand.
We obviously went to the view point- (Chris's favourite past time) and wow was it breathtaking.
From riches to rags.
If ever we needed a reminder that we were backpackers rather then holiday makers, it came in the form of the night train to Bangkok!
Carriages packed out with bunk beds, with a green curtain for privacy and what felt like hundreds of thai people marching up and down continually trying to sell God knows what screaming and shouting. Chris and I were on top bunks and weren't opposite each other which I didn't like but I just invaded his space until we wanted to sleep.
Although pretty grim, it was truly hilarious 16 hour journey and We actually slept really well!
So Bangkok, I hated this place when I came before, and I'm not going to lie. It's still not my favourite. We arrived at 5am and then came the search for a bed, of the few places open, an hour after searching we were glad to find what seemed to be the only hostel not full- and after we saw our room we realised why! Haha.
Hello backpacker hell hole!
We grabbed a few hours kip then set off to see Bangkok. Went all about town done some markets, went down Koh San road where Chris ate grasshoppers and I considered getting dreads. Then we found a nice hostel with a travel agent attached and booked a 3 day tour to Kanchanaburi to leave the next day! YIPEE- BYE BYE BANGKOK!
We also booked the hostel for wen we came back from the tour. s***!
So We are on the way back from the tour now, (a lovely 4 hour drive) and it's been eventful to say the least. We went to the bridge over the river Kwai, (made famous by a film in 1956) i didn't know the history of our soilders in world war 2 and it was really moving to learn about it all and have the honour of being there. In short the Japenese held 12,000 men as prisoners of war in 1941 Australians, Dutch and British built a 450km railway from thailand to Burma by hand. As Well as walking down 'Hell fire pass', We went on death railway, on the last remaining original wooden bridge from WW2. It was named death railway as so many men perished building this part of the track, working 18 hours a day with little food or water.
'When you go back tell them of us, tell them we gave our tomorrow for your today'
I Feel enriched with knowledge now. I can't believe all this stuff about the war I had no idea even happened. Why do we only learn about Germany in school? And how come Chris knew about it? Lol
As well as the above we also done bamboo rafting, played with elephants, and went to tiger temple.
Now there's another tiger temple in Chang mai which Chris and I will Definitely visit as this one seemed to be a derelict rip off of the original- tons of space in what looked like it could of been an amazing place 20 years ago, but abandoned enclosures with probably about 10 tigers all in all in a very large spanned tired park. Tigers chained up, kept in small cages pacing up and down, NOT NICE. Hardly any monks, which confused me as its apparently 'tiger temple' and horses, cows, goats, pigs, deer and chickens just literally running around the whole place loose. It reminded me of the book 'animal farm' it was like they were in charge of the place lol. I secretly hoped they would turn on the staff one day and probably live happier lives there!
Oh not to forget the cage of grizzly bears- again Ill treated and not pleasant. Although they did look plump so maybe they fed the Bears any girls that turnt up in short skirts with bare shoulders haha!
One of the best things we did on this tour was Erawan national park. An amazing park with a 7 tier waterfall!
It was a 2km climb to the top to see the first waterfall but it was well worth it. There were huge pools at the bottom of some of waterfalls with crystal blue water just like the films. We jumped in a few but I wasn't too keen on the fresh water fish that lived in the pools which nibbled the dead skin off your feet. Some say free pedicure- but I'm not that desperate yet and it totally grossed me out all these fish sucking my feet I got straight out every time haha!
Oh I forgot to mention the accommodation on this tour, it was included in the package so we obviously didn't have much choice, actually we had no choice whats so ever lol. But when I learnt that we were staying in a floating villa on the actual river Kwai you can imagine how excited I was!
We arrived- and to put it nicely, it was more sinking shed then floating villa- and to add salt to the wound directly next to our ram shackle home was the most stunning floating villas, with private decking and hot tubs into the river- I'm also sure they had hot water and AC haha! Our shower was outside on planks of wood and I won't go into too much detail but wen you used the toilet you could see the fishes in the river indulging in a wonderful supper! Haha. It was good fun however and I adopted a cat we found climbing into my rucksack one day. She reminded me of Pierre, and how much I miss him. I normally dislike cats but she was comforting and she gave me cuddles.
The only part of that hotel I will miss is 'Kwai' my adopted thai gypsy cat! Lol.
So I think I've covered it all for now- apart from the weather which I've skilfully left out.
Let's just say out of 25 days away we have only had 7 days of sun! But as you can tell we haven't let it spoil our trip- after all we have another 6 months!
Until feb edition.
Ciao from The Chribella Team