Archive for the ‘Travel Blog – Thailand and Singapore’ Category

Day 16 – Phuket – Phi Phi Island

Friday, April 25th, 2008

We caught a ferry to Phi Phi which was a pretty smooth ride. We stopped at Phi Phi Leh (the smaller island) and saw Viking Cave and went snorkeling in Maya Bay(where ‘The Beach’ was filmed). There were a lot more colourful fish and coral than Chicken Island and they swam up really close to you. We were able to take photos underwater with a special waterpoof camera case that Si bought. We stopped on Long Beach (Hat Yai?) for a buffet lunch, a quiet beautiful beach with a really relaxed feel. Next we WALKED to Ton Sai to find some accommodation. I felt really sick, I think it was heat stroke?

After having a long nana nap we ventured out into the town. The food was a lot cheaper than I thought. It was rather nice not to have taxis, tuk tuks or motocycles. The locals all ride bicycles and go around warning people with their bells…if they don’t have bells they go around saying "beep beep!!!!". People are a lot relaxed and they are younger. They are so many tattoo parlors!!! I would of loved to stay here for a week.

Hmm they really promote the Beach movie here..

Day 15 – Karon, Phuket

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Today was much more relaxed. We swam and sunbathed at the beach today and not a soul pestered us, it was great! After the beach we swam and sunbathed at our resort…ohh this is the life. We had a drink at the bar in the middle of the pool, a bit pricey but we felt pretty cool. We got a little burnt today, pure aloe vera gel is the best! There are a fewer older European topless women at our pools, even though it says it’s rude to in our hotel guide hmmmm.

After our lazy day we walked to the market sfor dinner. We had 50B pad thai, by the the cheapest food in Phuket we’ve seen so far. On the way from walking back we got pedicures done for 100B ($4)

I’m so excited to go to PhiPhi Island hehe

Day 14 – Karon, Phuket

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

We started off the day with our buffet included in our accommodation. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! It is so good!!! They have everything! If you want eggs they cook it fresh right in front of you e.g. if you want an omelet you can choose what you want in it. 

With our big bellies we jumped in the pool, swam around for a couple hours and splashed out on massage next to the pool (which is pretty much next to the beach). Si got a foot scrap and massage and I got a Thai Massage. Hmmmm I can’t say I’ll be having another one of those anytime soon. They use their knees and elbows and even stand on you!!!.

Next we caught the blue bus to Phuket town (25B). It was quite boring there…won’t go back. Then we caught another bus to Patong…a different story!!! I’m soooooooooooooo glad I’m not staying there. All they want is your money. You walk passed in they’re like "Gidday mate", or "kia ora bro". They ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL put on perfect accents to try pull you into their shops. Some even knew how to say "haere mai" and kei te pehea koe!" They started their prices ridiculously high there. One of the  reasons I like Karon more than Patong is the amount of loungers on the beach. I couldn’t believe seeing 4 rows on loungers whereas in Karon there is generally just the one row along the wall.

P.S. There are topless swimmers in Thailand, even when it’s really rude to do so in their culture. 80% of men wear speedos. I feel overdressed wearing a tankini. 

We got a tuk tuk back to Karon 500B > 300B. Probably could of got it for 250B.  Transport is so much more expensive here, I can’t wait to lounge around tomorrow. 

Day 13 – Krabi – Phuket

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

We got an AC van to Phuket, luckily we got the front seats so we were pretty comfortable. The journey took us about 3 hours. Our resort in Karon Phuket is a shock to the system after our bungalow in Krabi. It had a massive long drive, GARDENERS, and we were greeted at the entrance and escorted to a comfy booth where we sipped on juice upon arrival. Our resort has the perfect location, you can’t get any closer to the beach! I love our room and it’s great to get free stuff in the bathroom because it means I don’t have to go out and buy any toiletries. We’re on the 2nd floor and can see the beach from our balcony. After settling in we swam around in the FIVE SWIMMING POOLS and swam up to the bar in the middle of one of the pools! I love this place!

After a shower (oh my goodness the shower pressure is heaven) we caught a tuk tuk to the temple market. The tuk tuks arn’t as cute looking down here (they’re little red vans). They had some pretty cheap stuff there. P.S. tuk tuk prices here are ridiculously stupid. I bought some cheap nail polish. We walked back from the market which took quite a while. On the way back we found some markets in Karon. I find it really annoying when you try to look at something when you have shop owners breathing down your neck.

Day 12 – Krabi (island tour)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Our tour picked us up from our hotel and took us to Ao Nang to meet with other people on our tour group. There with about 20 other Thais and an Australian, at least we felt like we were more in Asia today! Today we visited 4 islands in a speed boat…

1st – Sand bars – beautiful water/sand, but too many tourists
2nd – Forgot the name – snorkling, had really colourful fish…and I saw finding nemo!!!
3nd – Chicken Island (because a rock is shaped like a chicken’s head – had lunch there
4th Poda Island – pefect clear, blue water and nice sand. I would definitely recommend staying a day there!


Day 11 – Krabi

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

After a big sleep in our bungalow (more like a run down little brick house) we caught a long tail boat to Railey beach from Ao Nang which cost 80B. The beach is a stunning beach, clear green waters and big limestone cliffs. The only thing that let the beach down was small rocks when walking into the beach and the number of tourists (not too many, it’s just I didn’t feel like I was in Thaland! Only a couple old ladies bugged us about buying sarongs or massages while little kids carried around plastic bags with overpriced cold drinks.

There are so many beautiful islands close to Krabi and I wish we could stay in Krabi longer! Because the Songkhran festival is still happening in Krabi we had to walk back to our place as the traffic was one way. Luckily we still had our togs on because we got really drenched with water and talcum powder…I love this festival!!!

On the way back I found the magical pancakes Kirsty went on about…THEY ARE SO TASTY. We had banana and chocolate and they cost 30B. When we got back to our bungalows they didn’t have any clean towels, ours were of course soaked from bringing them through the gauntlet of water fights. We were so annoyed so we got our banana fruit shakes from the restaurant next door instead hehehe.

After we had finally dried off from our drip-dry shower we ventured out to Ao Nang. On the way we had pinacoladas on the beach. We had dinner at a really nice restaurant and we sat in our little bamboo hut on the beach. With our wee bellies full we ventured out to do some shopping, they mainly have surf shops there.

Day 10 – Chiang Mai – Krabi

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

After packing up for Krabi Si and I treated ourselves to a foot/leg and shoulder massage. While the woman was massaging my legs I fell asleep, I’m not actually sure how that happened considering she was ramming a stick hard into the pressure points of my foot. After she whacked me to wake me up (Si told her to!) she massage my shoulders. For a little woman she inflicted a lot of pain on my shoulders. She was using the boney part of her forearm. Funny enough I came out with my shoulders feeling soooooooo relaxed. 

We went back to our guest house, dipped our feet in the pool and off we went to the airport. The flight was pretty good. Krabi airport seemed a long away from our bungalows in Hat Noppharat Thora (next to Ao Nang beach). Our A/C bus cost 150B each, much better than the 800B van. We arrived at our bungalows and they were  ****. It made our guesthouse in Chiang Mai look really good. There are dozens of cats hanging around and ants in our room. Hmmm.

Anyway our place was only a couple minutes to the beach and a short 40B tuk tuk to Ao Nang (I can’t believe we trust these guys after the crazy men in Bangkok). Ao Nang beach is more of an esplanade with lots of restaurants than a luxurious beach, but its the place to go to take your on short long tail boats to the really nice beaches. 

Day 9 – Chiang Mai

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Today we had a much more relaxing day. We went to a beautiful temple at the top of the mountains. We walked into a temple, sat down (with our feet facing away from the Bhudda of course!) while the monk splashed holy water at us. He asked us to come forward and he tied a white string around our wrists and said a good luck prayer. How enlightening!

After we visited a beautiful umbrella factory, thai silk factory and an Indian rug factory (he was the only boring one, as if I’m going to fork out $70 for the smallest rug!!) Next Si got his teeth whitened in town. The Songkhran Festival was really in full swing!!!

When we arrived at our guest house we had another swim, had a couple drinks with our trek group and went to Mu Thai boxing. The first fighters looked like they were only 10!!! We had good seats but unfortunately I didn’t see any knock outs 🙁

I’ve decided I really like Chiang Mai and wished I’d spent less time in Bangkok and more time here. It is realllllyyy cheap here, a good feed in a restaurant for $2, I love good Pad Thai!!! 

Day 8 – Chiang Mai

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

After an average sleep that was awoken by the sounds of roosters from the local village going off at between 3.30am and 6am and geckos chirping we had a big feed of toast, eggs and bananas. We split up from the rest of our group (because they were doing the three day trek). We walked back down the way we came (because the other way was much longer and the heat was too much). We stopped at the waterfall again for a swim and went back to the restaurant, where we got soaked again. On the way down our hungover guide put leaf branches in buffalo dung and said it was good luck.

After our well deserved lunch we walked down to the elephant jungle walk. By this point Si didn’t have much battery in his camera left so we only got a few photos, but paid 100B for an awesome framed photo. The elephant ride was awesome, our elephant was so hungry!!!! We bought 3 bags of bananas (20B each) and she scoffed them down. It was really scary when the elephant walked downhill because I thought we would tip forward. The elephant also kept getting itchy and rubbing itself against the tree. 

After our ride we got a ride back with another group, arrived at our guesthouse, bought a 10B cold chocolate milkshake and jumped in the pool. I must of spent 2 hours just relaxing. After having a shower we went to Night Bazaar to grab dinner and a 50B foot/leg massage. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh $2 for a for a foot massage

Day 7 – Chiang Mai

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Today was the first day of our 2 day trek. We started off our day by going bamboo rafting down the river. It was soooooo much fun. All the locals were lined up along the river banks splashing water at the rafts. It was awesome going down the river rapids too. I think today was the first day of the ‘Songkhran Festival’ (Thai New Year). Chiang Mai is supposed to be the best place to go. It’s when the whole town has a massage water fight for a week!!!

 We drove to a restaurant in an open van (with locals drenching us with water on the way) and had some yummy fried rice. After our tummies had settled we started our trek to the jungle. A few of us were a little behind the group (putting on our shoes) and we went to catch up and ended up lost in the first couple minutes!! We had to explain to a local we were looking for our guide and he zipped away on a motorcycle and told us to wait. Our trek was rather difficult, going up and down hills in temperatures over 30  degrees. I was the slowest and not a happy camper being left at the back the with Thai guide who didn’t exactly have the most fluent English. Our first proper stop was at a waterfall at it was the first time in the whole trip that I actually felt cold!

After a couple hours of walking (which seemed like days) we arrived at our bamboo hut in the mountains, the whole thing was made of bamboo. It had awesome views of the jungle. Our bed consisted of a bamboo mat with a 3 cm thick mattress on top, surrounded by a mosquito nett. After relaxing our feet, a few villagers came in one by one trying to sell us stuff. First the scarves and jewelry followed by the flute man. He was like "I know sing song, you know sing song?!" Si bought a flute for 100B. We ate green curry, vegetables and rice and drank beer by candle light. I forgot to mention one of our tour guides had been on the booze all day (but he was still faster than me!!!) and he was hilarious. He showed us stick games and one memorable quote from the trek was "Same same… but different". To put this saying in context a man might be trying to sell you a Gucci watch and say "same same but different" (same as a Gucci but fake). While yarning to our other 10 trekkers we tried smoking banana leaves and tobacco (he told us it keeps the mosquitoes away?) 

After a looooooooooong day we got ready to go to bed. I went to go to the bathroom but got too scared because there was a big shiney black spider in the squat toilets so I got the Colombian girl to watch over me with her torch.  I had a relatively good sleep, mainly because I was so tired.

P.S. I had to climb out of the hut to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and was sooooooooo scared I had to get Simon to come with me. Kiwis are like wimps when it comes to big spiders and snakes!