On our first night in Bangkok Jess and I met up with a couple of my friends from Borneo and explored the Khoa San road area where we were staying. It was very very busy and loud but had a good atmosphere.
On Saturday Jess and I had a lie in before heading to the Chatuchak weekend market. I bought 5 fake pairs of ray-bans for Chris to take back; not a cultural present but I thought I may as well get my family something useful and I got another pair too because I preferred the pair I got for Jess and Mum to the pair I bought in Borneo! It was an absolutely massive market and Jess and I got lost several times unsurprisingly.
In the evening Jess got the night bus down to Koh Tao and I headed to the airport to surprise Chris. The airport is a bit of a way out of the city so Chris and I had previously agreed that I would wait for him at our hotel. Unfortunately it didn't go to plan and Chris didn't come through the arrivals door that I was waiting at so by the time he text me he was already on the tram link. Not like in the films! Our first evening we had pad Thai from a street stall (Chris was shocked that it cost the equivalent of about 35p) and walked up and down Khoa San road while Chris adjusted to the heat.
The following day we walked down the river (taking frequent breaks in the air-conditioned buildings) to Wat Pho. This temple is also known as the temple of the reclining Buddha and the reclining Buddha is covered in gold leaf and HUGE; 15m high and 43m long and pictures don't do it justice. I hadn't seen anything like that and it was Chris' first temple so we both really enjoyed it.
On Monday we booked a tour to Kanchanaburi. The first stop was at the allied prisoners off war cemetery and the JEATH War Museum which told us about the construction of this war time railway and the history and lives of the prisoners who constructed it. We then walked to the Bridge Over The River Kwai, took some pictures and caught the train which traveled along the scenic Death railway and the curving bridge which was constructed by the allied prisoners of war. It was a long trip on a non-air-conditioned train so we were both quite reieved to get off. We were given a traditional Thai lunch with plenty of dishes to share between us all. After lunch was the best bit- the elephant ride! The elephants were lovely and I asked if Chris could sit on our elephants neck like I had in Chaing Mai and he really enjoyed that! We then went bamboo rafting down the river and the final stop was the Sai Yok Noi waterfall where we had time for a swim. It was a very good but tiring day!
We attempted to go to the Grand palace the next morning but the Princess was visiting so we were told that, although you could still walk around the rest of the grounds, you could not enter the Temple of the Emerald Buddha so we returned to the hotel and sunbathed by the rooftop pool for a few hours. Chris was very conscious of how pale he was in comparison to me (I was relishing this because he tans so easily that usually I am the white one!) and so was happy to start on his tan. We went back mid afternoon and it was very impressive and gold! There were magnificent buildings and lots of small temples set in beautiful grounds and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha was overwhelming; full of gold, colourful mosaics, artworks and statues. Overall, we both really liked Bangkok!
In the evening we got the bus down to Koh Toa. It was the worst bus so far; the toilet at the back stank and it spread through the coach every time someone opened its door. We got to the ferry pier at 2.30am and waited on benches until we boarded the ferry at 7am. Chris was fine for the first couple of hours because they had a small room showing the champions league football on an old TV! Arriving in Koh Toa it was very sunny and when we got to our hotel I went to explore a bit and find out about diving. We were very tired so took it easy for the rest of the day and ventured as far as the hotel restaurant for all-you-can-eat pizza for dinner, not exactly a Thai delicacy and I don't know if I have ever been so full!
The following morning I dived at Chumphon dive site. There was a possibility of seeing a whale shark but unfortunately none made an appearance. I did see barracuda, giant grouper and hundred of scholars of fish, went down to 22m which is my deepest dive so far, and the visibility was about 20m which even the dive leaders were impressed with! In the afternoon Chris did his discovery scuba where the instructor taught him the important skills and went down to 6m to see lots of colourful coral and fish while I snorkelled at the surface. I joined him on his second dive to 12m and we saw some nemo fish and 3 moray eels. I'm not sure Chris liked scuba diving quite as much as I do but he was pleased to have done it.
In the evening we went for dinner at the beach and I had barbecued barracuda! It was so delicious that I had it again at another restaurant the following night while Chris had squid in a sweet and sour sauce. I was revelling in the choice of fresh seafood!
The next day we just sunbathed by the pool and then went down to the beach for a drink and to watch the sunset.
On Saturday we went on a snorkeling trip but because of the storms we only got to go to 2 of the 5 points which was disappointing and unfortunately we also had a very rude tour guide so I won't go into that (Chris has left a very bad review on trip adviser).
We traveled by ferry to Koh Phangan on Sunday. Chris wanted to have a view so we went to the second deck and sat on the only seats left, plastic stools that were not attached to the floor. Because of the storms there were gigantic waves and it also started to pour down! I managed to hold on to the side but Chris had nothing to hold on to so his stool was skating everywhere and tipping on each wave. It was hilarious for me to watch but the waves were quite scary!! Once we got there we were taken to our hotel which was very nice; the rooms were chalets on stilts and it had its own private beach. We were only on Koh Phangan for a couple of nights and spent our days on the hotel beach and had dinner both evenings along Haad Rin beach. The island is known for it moon parties but we there between parties so it was quite empty. We both enjoyed Thai curries for dinner but on the last evening my curry was quite spicy so Chris offered to swap. I think he regretted that decision soon after but powered through and kept up his bravado "no, no I'm fine".
The rain was so heavy on Tuesday that we were worried our ferry to Koh Samui would be not running but it did and was a surprisingly calm crossing. Our hotel on Samui was on Lamai beach and we had paid a bit extra for a beachfront bungalow which was worth it :). Once the rain had slowed we walked along the beach to explore Lamai and have dinner- more fish for me with the added bonus of mango and sticky rice for pudding. I will have to learn how to make that dessert at home!
The next day was very bad weather and we couldn't really leave our room so we rented a few dvd's from reception and read our books. I received an email from Ernst and Young informing me that 2nd September was my confirmed start date, Im sure it will come around very quickly!
We woke up to sun shining into our room on Thursday and were both very excited. We were on the beach until 3pm and then went to football golf which is an 18 hole course with big holes. Chris took it very seriously and wore his sports top and Astro football boots while I wore a sarong and flip flops! I lost (I don't think Chris' ego could have taken if I had beaten him) but it was a very fun afternoon. In the evening we walked along the Lamai strip to the square with lots of street stalls. We had chicken and pork skewers, baked potato, satay chicken, tempura prawns, salad and corn on the cob for the equivalent of about £5 for the both of us!!! It was probably my favorite day of Chris' trip. The next couple of days were cloudless sky so we just sunbathed and read our kindles. On our last evening we splashed out on Lobster as a treat.
The taxi picked both of us up 3.30pm on Saturday and dropped me in Chaweng while Chris carried on to the airport. I was so sad to say goodbye and was sitting in my room upset when Jess (my uni friend that I was travelling with previously) got back from the beach and gave me a big hug. She took me to Chaweng beach and we caught up on the past couple of weeks. Chaweng is the more popular town with lots of bars so the beach was very crowded; we definitely made the right decision to stay on Lamai. When I went back to my room my friend Caz from Borneo was there. I had no idea that she was on Samui already and she knew that I was with Chris so hadn't emailed me. It was a very nice surprise and we stayed up late chatting. I really enjoyed the Thai islands, although we were quite unlucky with the weather, and it was so good to spend a couple of weeks with Chris after 3 and a half months apart. Samui was probably my favourite island but that was definitely due to having the best weather there (and possibly the amazing omelettes for breakfast at the hotel)!
Jess and I got up early on Sunday and got the long bus down to Penang, Malaysia.
Lots of love xxx
The link to the facebook album with my Thailand pictures (and some Malaysia) is
If you just copy and paste it into your address bar it should come up xx