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Thailand by Kt
So there hasn’t been a blog for quite a while now. That’s partly because we’ve been quite boring and have been doing lots of work and stuff.
We stayed in Krabi for almost 2 weeks and really did virtually no exploring. This was largely due to the weather, it being the wet season it would likely at least once a day get pretty stormy. We also took the opportunity of staying somewhere nice to get organised and work and stuff. We were staying at a home stay type arrangement about 20 minutes walk up the hill from the beach in Ao Nang. This suited us perfectly. The guy who ran it, Mr Chang, was lovely, the wifi was good, we had TV, air con, fridge and the place was really homely. It was a real bonus to be so far back from town as the food was better and much cheaper. There was a little cafe 2 doors from Mr Changs which had the best food ever. We have now set this as the bar of food appreciation in Thailand and it’s tough to beat. We also had a 7-Eleven round the corner to pick up bits and pieces. It did feel like a little home for a while and has had us yearning for a bit of our own space for a bit.
Krabi, although not much explored by us, is undeniably a beautiful province.
In season I’m sure we’d venture out more – there are beaches you can only get to by long boat and the rock formations really are a bit special, but we never really liked Ao Nang that much. Down into town/near the beach it was a bit like Kata had been, a bit touristy hassly and overpriced the further you go to the beach. It wasn’t hassly in any kind of aggressive way, it’s jut boring walking past it everyday, someone trying to get you into their restaurant, to by a suit or have a massage. We ended up spending most of our time up our, less interesting, but much more enjoyable end of town. There was a big mosque not far away and the call to prayers was always a nice sound to here as we sat at our balcony and worked. Actually, Mark mainly sat on the balcony and worked. I sat on the bed in the air con and worked. It tends to work us not working in the same room for many hours.
That really is it – I can’t think of anything interesting about our time there. The rickshaw type things there were motorbikes and side-cars – they were hair-raisingly fun. There were some cute little bars, but most of the ones you thought looked appealing, in the bamboo streets were what seems to be disguised as girly bars. They aren’t remotely seedy, just a bit boring and sad I think. They always have a pool table, a TV with football on and a scattering of Thai girls hanging about. Suits a lot of blokes I guess. It’s not like it’s weird or anything if you go in as a couple or as a girl, it’s just that they’re not much fun. I’m sick of the sight of football on the television. I hate it at home and I hate it here where it’s bizarrely more prevalent.
We spent a lot of nights in, living our quiet life, enjoying the limited TV available. There were 3 English channels and they repeated stuff A LOT!!!!!! We did while away many an hour, getting quite addicted to programs like Inpsector Murdoch Mysteries, Intervention and Storage Wars. I even ended up watching Monk which is dreadful but I kind of liked it once I got used to it’s awfulness. A bit Murder She Wrote. An episode with Snoop Dog in had be nearly pass out with the joy of the cheesiness!
We tried a new fruit (I’ve forgotten the name!)
I also got some bug repellent which protects against mosquitoes and SNAILS! I was slightly concerned there were some killer snails out there waiting to get us.
And, so we decided not to wimp out and get an easy option of flying or getting a driver to our next destination. Partly because it was really far and that would have been super expensive. We (or rather I) had originally intended on spending some time in South Thailand at the national parks and up the west coast for some diving but the weather was really not going to make that worth it so we decided to go to an island off the east coast, nearing the more central area of Thailand – Ko Samui. This is a well known tourist destination but it’s a bit of a pain to get to if you’re coming from Europe as you need to change planes at Bangkok. It’s worth it though. The island has finally had me fall in love with Thailand. In particular, we lucked out (well, that and I did a fair bit of research) on where we were staying. Bophut, the old french (never worked out why it was french) fishing village was an amazing place to be. It was made up of streets of Chinese shop houses, overlooking a pretty beach with gorgeous restaurants and not any of the ‘girly’ bars we’d seen everywhere so far. It had a rickety old pier in the middle and lots of places to sit and stare at the gorgeous views. You were barely hassled and as a little bonus, because of it’s french history there was a bit of nice french food around too. The only thing we found disappointing food wise was that most places didn’t make it very spicy. I guess they just played safe but we did miss a bit of kick a lot of the time.
The place we were staying was the best by far in Thailand. We got a great last minute deal too and when we wanted to stay on were able to extend that deal so that was happy days – we ended up staying there for 12 days too. The hotel had inherited the previous owner’s name – Cocooning (yes made me think of the old folk in the film too) was one road back from the beach, there was a little pool – rooms were really nice and big – tv n air con etc. Little cafe/bar downstairs and best of all was the owners, Andrew (New Zealand born) and Rut(Thai) who we ended up hanging around with/bothering a lot by the time we left. We had a very good and funny time with those guys and the stray kitten that came down from the abandoned construction site next door. I’m not usually a cat lady but Spotty was soo tiny and silly, I did end up being sappy and playing with her and after a while we were joined by her even more tiny sister. They are naturally long legged, the cats on the island, so it makes them seem even more scrawny. The dogs however are often bizarrely shaped – big long bodies, small heads and squat legs. There’s one with a stocky body and a chihuahua head that Mark said looked like a pig.
Cocooning ended up being like a home from home. Yummy food courtesy of Rut – the golden bags and squid is beyond to die for and we had some really good old natters and giggles. Best thing about traveling for sure is making friends along the way! We’ll definitely catch up with those guys somewhere along the line.
We hired a car one day to have a drive around the island. It’s fairly small. You can get to the furthest opposite point in a couple of hours. We missed our turning and so cut of a big corner of the island and zoomed past one of the places we wanted to stop as it’s really difficult to map read. V few streets signs in English and the Thai script is so tricky to recognise. We did get to a Wat on the east coast which was situated near a waterfall which unfortunately was dry. We also got to see the mummified monk which I really wanted to see.
The monk died only 20ish years ago but it was his wish to be mummified and displayed in this position. I guess they carried out his wishes and then thought that his missing eyes looked a bit creepy, so they put (fake of course) Raybans on him. It just adds to his overall coolness. He was clearly a dude, as so many monks are! The gold leaf monk statue in front of him was gorgeous. The Buddhists who were making offerings/blessings there had little squares of gold leaf to add to it which was interesting. They also burned incense, placed flowers and a ton of other stuff- clearly need to make the most of it and get the most luck/blessings possible. It was just a really chilled out, calm place.
We drove through the islands two main resorts Lamai and Chaweng. Had wanted to stop at Chaweng but once got there realised had no idea of parking rules (we later learned from Andrew that there are none!) so we couldn’t find anywhere to stop without fear of getting clamped or ticketed. So we drove on up the coast and accidentally stumbled upon a Wat that I’d wanted to see but hadn’t realised the extent of. Wat Plai Leam was amazing. It’s fairly new and it’s huge and colourful and just all round brilliant. Huge statues sit out into the lake which has big fish and turtles and, I kid you not, swan pedalos!! It was just gorgeous and photography heaven.
In a search for a bit of wifi and a quick drink we spent an interesting evening in a restaurant run by a crazy french guy. He had a big screen setup where he played live gig dvds. Mark was in heaven – Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits. The guy has 71 concerts apparently. He has his french regulars and from what I can tell they generally get quite drunk and have a sing song. They were even having Creme de Menthe and Cognac – how 70s Francais. Was quite nice, felt a bit homely, but the music was my worst nightmare and I consoled myself with decent wine.
While sat at the bar we started to hear some really odd noises coming from down the street. People were walking past and looking down the drains. The noise got louder and louder and sounded like cows mooing. Upon investigation, we discovered that there were tons of big old frogs down all the drains on the road. How they had got there and why it was just that one night, I don’t know. Perhaps due to the heavy rain we’d had. How they were going to get out was also a mystery. You have never heard anything so odd or so loud. Frogs really are the noisiest things in Asia with all kinds of tones and styles but always making a racket!
Every Friday, the road parallel to the sea along the whole stretch of Bophut becomes a ‘walking street’. Not that there’s actually much traffic usually to be honest. A night market is setup selling all sorts and best of all some amazing food. The market was setup right outside our hotel and down our end was definitely where all the best food was. We tried all kinds of things, although we didn’t brave the big scary bug looking things, which we later discovered were a kind of crab.
Golden Coconut bar
I don’t know what this place was actually called but was a cute little beach bar – all flowers and fairylights, day beds and lounging cushions on the beach, with golden coconuts. Best of all they had a few swinging chairs. Sitting in a couple of those with fairy lights entwined around the edges with a cool drink, looking out over the white sand to the watch the boats as the sun goes down – dreamy!!!
The french really old guy with two beaded long hairs as a fringe and not much other hair, quietly zipping along the streets on his electric scooter. This just made me laugh every time I saw him, he was like a Little Britain character – gutted we didn’t manage to get a pic of him.
Run by a British guy Martin and his Thai partner. Super friendly and fun place. Playing music videos instead of football – a nice treat. Martin also kindly let Mark use his mobile to phone his mum, which Mark did for about an hour. Top guy! Also met his cousin and his partner Jo who are just beginning their traveling experience too.
The weather – we had a crazy lunch one day – we’d walked down out of town to a more remote area of the beach. We sat on a little covered wicker table and chowed down on some lovely grub. The sun was shining, there was barely a person about, it was lovely. Then Mark mentioned that right over the bay it looked like the weather had turned bad. 2 minutes later this bad weather had swept across the bay, not taking an hour or so as we’d suspected and we were getting poured on. There was no visibility of anything around us. We had to take shelter pretty quickly but it was raining so hard it was like someone was throwing buckets of water at us. Was quite funny really. Mark wasn’t so impressed with his cold noodles though.
Weather and season in Krabi a bit annoying. Nothing you can do but felt missed out a bit there.
More stray dogs.
Power cuts on Ko Samui – barely any but bit of a pain when trying to get stuff done.
All in all our favourtie place in Thailand has definitely been Ko Samui. It’s a lovely island, has a gorgeous laid back vibe to it, stunning beaches and interesting things to see and do. Mark would have stayed of course. I am sure we will go back.