Despite spending a brilliant 28 days in Thailand, it seemed to consist predominately of socialising and drinking so rather than a series of short blogs describing the hazy memory I had inflicted on myself I figured it's easier to summarise my time in Thailand in two blogs; the first being Bangkok and the southern islands and the second being the journey back up to Bangkok.
I flew to Bangkok from Myanmar with Christine on 25th November and we were to meet Laura at the hostel in Bangkok as she followed on a different flight. And it was a bit of a faff at Old Town Hostel as they were having a soft opening and hadn't managed to allocate the rooms properly. Instead trying to put us in a room that was already full. Anyway finally allocated a bed it was so good to do laundry. It's the small things when travelling that you appreciate. As it was our first evening in Bangkok we celebrated with a Pizza Hut and a bottle of local rum (Sangsom). Which lead to heading out to the infamous Khao San Road, the popular backpackers drinking hangout, with a few others from the hostel. It has classy establishments such as 'golf bar cocktails very strong we do not check ID car and restaurant' - I kid you not. I think we all finally split off to head to bed around 7am. Needless to say the next day was somewhat unproductive and didn't involve leaving the hostel except to get food.
So the day after that we had booked ourselves on to a rice barge cruise so at least we were doing something cultural. I don't think it was what any of us expected as you didn't see too much of the city from the river or canals and the guide seemed to have more fun and interest in pointing out expensive hotels the entire time. But the free fruit platter was decent and it was something different to do with our afternoon in Bangkok, before heading for a few drinks in the hostel with a few from the hostel.
On 28th November it was time to fly down to Krabi, in the south to find some much needed beaches. I was genuinely impressed that the plane on the way down to Krabi had wifi, I'm easily amused. Sadly when we arrived the rain was pouring as it was the end of the monsoon season so Laura, Christine and myself got drenched walking to JP Mansions where we were staying the night. The rain stopped us exploring Krabi properly so we grabbed some tasty Massuman curry and booked ourselves on to 7 island sunset tour, fingers crossed the sun comes out!!!
Before the island tour started we changed locations and moved to Pac Up Hostel, an awesome hostel. Don't think many hostels would be able to beat the set up here. We got picked up for the tour and met Neto and Claire who were also on the tour and staying at the same hostel. The rains had stopped and the tour was brilliant and consisted of jumping on to a Thai long boat and visiting Tup island to explore the crystal blue sea and powdery white sand over a can of Chang. Perfect. Followed by some snorkelling over at Chicken Island, named after a rock looking like a chickens head. Being terrified of the sea (when you can't touch the bottom) it took a bit of courage to get myself over the edge of the boat and into the sea. Over on Poda Island we had a really tasty BBQ dinner and sat and watched the sunset which casted some beautiful colours into the sky. Albeit our boat disappeared and left us on this island and everyone else had gone!! About 15 minutes our boat and driver casually comes back and collects us to take us to Tang Ming Island to get in the sea and see plankton that lights up in the sea when you move. This was pretty cool. And then it was time to head back to the hostel for a couple more beers at the hostel.
The next two days were spent in Krabi with Neto and Claire joining us heading over to Railay Beach for the day and just jumping between the packed beach and the warm sea. Just want I needed after 2 months of constant and packed travelling. Again followed by an evening of eating, drinking and a few drinking games with a good group of us from the hostel. The other day was a chilled one in Krabi and I joined Claire and two Aussies we had met - Emi and Matt for a brief sightseeing trip of Krabi which doesn't consist of much except the funky traffic lights that are inserted into Neanderthal statutes...random.
Time to move on to Koh Phi Phi for the next two nights with Christine, Laura and Claire. Koh Phi Phi is a typical party island and as soon as you get off the ferry you are hit with the carnage of it. We managed to find a hostel that wasn't booked up - Aleena's and went to hit he beach. My friend, Adrian, also happened to be on the island that day so that evening we headed out for a few drinks around the island's crazy bar scene but a cracking time and with Adrian you know you'll be laughing the entire time. Was hilarious to hear him squeal when they tried to put a poor gibbon on him (sorry Adrian). Not sure Koh Phi Phi is quite me, well maybe when I was 18, so the next day we joined an island tour to see the Maya beach where 'The Beach' was filmed and compared to the island tour we did off the Krabi, this one was average but did explore a few of the smaller islands off Koh Phi Phi. Maya beach itself was nice and at the snorkelling points we did get to swim with the colourful parrot fish. Unfortunately our broke down at Maya beach and we had to be towed by another long boat back to Koh Phi Phi, which would have been great except the sea was so choppy. It was nerve racking journey slowly watching the lights of Koh Phi Phi creep up. Needless to say a few beers were had once we had landed. Our hostel that night - Blancos, was one of the main party venues on the island so sleeping was not the easiest until the party stopped in the early hours. I was looking forward to heading to Koh Lanta the next day.
On 4th December Claire, Christine, Laura and I hopped on the ferry to Koh Lanta, but first we found a little English cafe for a well deserved proper bacon and egg English muffin...yes please. We arrived to all had to pile into a motorbikes side trailer with all our rucksacks. It must have looked hilarious the way we were packed in, was like a game of Tetris getting in and out. We checked into Funky Fish and instantly Koh Lanta felt more relaxed and perfect for a few chilled out days. I spent three nights on Koh Lanta mainly just moving from the hostel to the beautiful chilled out beach. I also met some great people here and at the hostel and spent the days with them on the beach playing cards, eating and a few beers or watching the odd thunder shower from outside our hostel. But always with great chat. In one of these thunderstorms I decided to go get a Thai massage which was relaxing and I could have easily slept but this was undone when I was waking back to meet everyone at the hostel when a lightning bolt decides to strike a few meters from me. s***! My whole body and heart were shaking but had to laugh at the way I reacted and when I told the others how close it was to hitting me. In the evenings we could be found having a few beers at the hostel before heading out for a group meal and few more drinks. On the last night in Koh Lanta a good group of us headed to a bar for the full moon and was the first time I had really seen so many ladyboys. So we developed the yes, no, maybe game as to what we thought each person was. A cracking last night out in Koh Lanta. Shame to be leaving as the beach and people, both locals and travellers, make it very hard to want to leave. I also said goodbye to Claire here who was going back to the States after travelling with her for the last 8 days.
But time to slowly start making my way back to Bangkok.