Friday, 27 April 2012

A month in Koh Lanta, Krabi and Koh Tao

Just back to Nakhon Pathom after a month in the islands of Thailand. I had a couple of weeks in Koh Lanta, my first time on this lovely island, which was very quiet, with very few tourists but had charms all of its own, such as monkeys on the beach and the slow pace of life, etc. Then I went to Krabi, which I had not been to for about 20 years, but it hadn't changed at all. I stayed in some bungalows a little outside of Aonang Bay which came with a free motorbike. It had a swimming pool and lovely gardens. It was called Baan Suan, which means garden home, and was a great place to stay. Krabi seems to have been taken over by Scandinavians and every accent you hear seems to be from that part of the world. I then moved to Koh Tao to finish my holiday, thinking I might just stay two days, but it was really hard to leave.
I first stayed in a room above a travel agents in Sairee Beach, the liveliest area, opposite a 7 11, but it was far too noisy. It had the best TV I have had in Thailand, but who wants to watch TV when you are in paradise? There was a bar downstairs too which played music til 2am and building work going on opposite, which started at 8.30am, so I moved further back in the resort. AJP guesthouse was 350 baht a night and very easygoing. This room was above a plumber's merchants, but very quiet as they all went home around 6pm. There was no sink in the bathroom, which was a bit odd, but liveable with. The TV was mainly Thai, but the bed was comfortable and the balcony was good (although no chair). It was a good base for renting a motorbike and seeing the island.
I first rented a bike for 250 baht for a couple of days. It was a lovely, brand new bike, automatic, but with lots of power. But they carefully check every mark on bikes there, with big prices for any damage, so it made me nervous knowing I could have a big bill. The first unmade road I got to I stubbed my toe on a rock and had several near misses trying to navigate the atrocious 'roads'! It was fun but a less expensive bike would be better, so I rented a different one for 150 baht a day. It was a heap of shit and felt like the bearings had gone on the steering, but it was useable..
So every day I went to a different beach with my snorkel (also a piece of shit). Both the mask and snorkel filled with water in seconds, but it meant I had to learn to use them and blow the water out, but did mean I had to take care as I'm not a great swimmer. Hin Wong Bay, Tanote Bay and Aow Leuk Bay all had great snorkeling, with some fantastic fish right from the beach and some reasonable colours of the coral. The coral was not as good as out on some islands I have visited, but was pretty impressive for close to land. The seafood on the island was wonderful and not expensive and big Chang beers could be bought for less than 100 baht in all restaurants, so not an expensive island to spend a week. All this made it very difficult to leave Koh Tao but leave I had to.

Now back in Nakhon Pathom and hope to meet up with my policeman friend and his two wives, then maybe move out of my apartment into a house, as a bit fed up with their choice of Internet and TV. I also hope to play some sport with my new friend Thanya and am looking forward to meeting her British boyfriend who comes over to live in NP after quitting his job, in a few days time. She has recently completed a PHd in the UK and seems to be finding it difficult to get back into Thai life.
If anyone is reading this do leave a comment. Been a long while since I blogged as hardly anyone seemed to be reading it, that and was too busy, either with studies or work.


Doug Rice said...

I took a shot at the islands about a year ago but had to cut it short - plagued with problems - everything from girl friend leaving to loosing my wallet.

Another time as after your story I'm motivated to try again, thanks.

Hey man keep it up, fun read.


ManinVietnam said...

Thanks Doug

Glad you like it and good to see you are still blogging :)

Losing the wallet can be a terrible thing when travelling so I always ask about safe boxes. This time I carried a lot of pounds I brought over from UK and didn't want to leave in my flat.

I left my money belt at every hotel in some dodgy drawer and always worried about it. But hotel owners seem honest and never had any problems.

As for Thai g/f no great loss probably. Lost my ex-wife about 10 years ago and have never looked back :)

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