From Bangkok we headed South, our first stop on the way to Kuala Lumpur was Koh Tao. We resisted the urge to go diving as it's well known for being the cheapest place in the world to achieve your certifications but we weren't that interested so gave it a miss. Koh Tao was beautiful, white sandy beaches completely clear sea and coral just 10m or so from the shore for you to explore with just a snorkel. We stumbled across some accidental luxury whilst we were there having checked ourselves in to a small beach bungalow it turned out that our bargain room also cam complete with a swimming pool, pool bar and private beach. Were not quite sure how it happened but it was nice, we spent most of our time on Koh Tao sunbathing but we did take a day away from the sand to go snorkelling. We were part of a group on a large boat and we had a wicked day and saw some amazing things. Beautiful undisturbed coral and loads and loads of fish, Ellie even came face to face with a baby shark.
We spent four nights in Koh Tao before heading to Koh Phanagan, the next island down and home to the famous full moon party. We decided that we'd give the party a miss due to the stupidly high prices of boats, hotels and drinks and arrived the next morning to find an island that was seriously hungover. We hadn't realised that the main beach area for full moon was going to be so dirty and full of mancunians. We got a taxi out as quickly as we got one in and found a beach a couple of bays down and another bungalow. The beaches in Koh Phanagan weren't as nice as previous ones but still lovely and we spent the next two days soaking up some rays. We decided that we were running out of days in Thailand if we wanted to reach Langkawi and spend some time there so we gave Koh Samui a miss and headed across land and to Koh Phi Phi on the west side. Typically speaking it's low season on that side due to the monsoon rains but we chanced it in anyway in hope of seeing some good beaches and to see maya bay famous for its role in Leo DiCap's The Beach.
As it turned out we had little over 24 hours in Phi Phi which was a shame because it was beautiful. We arrived late afternoon and headed to view point to watch the sun set. At the top of the hill you could see over both beaches and also see how the island was devastated by the 2004 Tsunami. It was very crowded at the top so we saw what we came to see and walked back down to the beach with a couple of Chang's to watch the rest of the sun set. It was pink, purple and green and in between the two huge limestone rocks it looked incredible. The next day we spent on an island hopping tour and was robbed in broad daylight by some crafty monkeys visited a working cave and went to Maya Bay. We were dropped off about 20ft from a rope wall which we had to swim to in scarily choppy sea conditions and scramble up and down the other side to get to the bay and when we arrived although it was beautiful it has been ruined. There was about 20/25 speedboats lined in the bay and you couldn't see the sand beneath the hundreds and hundreds of tourists around.
We left Phi Phi the same afternoon to go to Krabi where we would have to spend one night before leaving for Langkawi the next morning. What we saw of Krabi Town wasn't anything great and some people we had met said the beaches weren't anything to write home about. We arose early the next morning and waited for our 7am collection for our drive to Satun, a thai border port town. Arriving in Satun we had 2 minutes (literally) to make the boat but they held it for us which was really nice and saved us a 3 hour wait for the next one. When we got off the boat we were in Malaysia.
Langkawi is beautiful the beaches are lined with super soft sand and although the sea isn't as clear as that in the Thai Islands it's still beautiful. We've spent the last two days on the beach and stumbled across a jellyfish yesterday on the shore that was absolutely ginormous but dead (oops). We've also been parasailing and are going to the cable car today as well some waterfalls before flying to KL tomorrow morning and then on to Tokyo 24 hours later.
The last 10 days or so have just been spent on the beaches so not much to report but were building up on our tans and full of energy for Tokyo.