Koh Lanta.

Today we were off to Koh Lanta. We had seen a place that offered a transfer for 350 Bht. It included a pick up from our current accommodation and drop off in Koh Lanta as well as the boat over.  So great value.  We got picked up and taken to a tourist and ticket place. We would then be picked up from here to be taken over to Koh Lanta. There were other people being dropped off here.  Some were heading to Bangkok or even as far as Singapore and others were heading to Koh Lanta as well. There was one guy who was travelling with his girlfriend, who seemed lovely. The guy on the other hand was one of the biggest C U Next Tuesdays I’ve ever come across, and believe me I’ve met a fair few. We were just happy waiting for the connecting bus over. Chilling and reading our kindles. About 3 minutes after the rough leaving time we had been given, he got up picked up his bags and asked when we would be leaving. The happy man who worked there said it would be soon. He was huffing and puffing. Who cares if you run a bit late. It’s not like he had a flight to catch. We are in a beautiful country, no need to get wound up about running a few minutes late. The longer we had to wait the more frustrated he got.  He really wound us up. For the first time since we have been away something has annoyed us.  At one point he even said the following “I’ve seen 5 year olds run a  better ship than this”. Eughh I wish I had said something. We literally left 30 minutes late. I’d been speaking with his girlfriend before and she said they had already been to Cambodia and Vietnam. So he will have been going around being this much of a tit in all these other incredible places. I feel bad for anyone else who had had to encounter that vile human.  Even when we set off he was moaning that the driver was going too slowly. We couldn’t take any more so put our headphones in and drowned him out with Ricky Gervais podcasts. This not only managed to block him out, but made the journey go much faster.

We then took the car ferry over and got dropped off on the main road close to where our Bungalows were. Luckily the douche was staying on different part of the island. I hope we never meet him or anyone else like him again on our travels.

Our home for the next few days was a place called Lanta new Bungalows. It was  on the beach, had two pools, one which overlooked the ocean and only set us back £11 a night. Once we had dumped our bags we grabbed a beer from the bar and watched the sun set.  We couldn’t be bothered to venture too far for food, so just went to the nearest place. I had the best beef in oyster sauce I’ve ever had. I actually just want to bathe in Thai food!

 

The next day we got up and went to the pool to relax and do nothing all day. We haven’t really had much time out yet, as we are either arriving, exploring or leaving somewhere. We were only by the pool from about 10am until 12.30pm and we had both really badly caught the sun. As I have NF1 my skin is quite sensitive and can get really patchy sun burn. I had a wavy pattern down my leg, even though it had been covered in sun cream.  We then went for a walk along the beach to look for some shade and lunch. It’s absolutely blissful to enjoy a meal looking out on to the ocean.  After lunch we went back to the bungalows and went to the other pool which was more in the shade. That evening we didn’t do much. After having some food, we just drank beer and watched Sex And The City in bed.

 

After checking out of our bungalow we took a Tuk Tuk down to Saladan, which is near the pier. Which has easy access to Phi Phi.  The place we had booked for the night only cost us £6. We had a basic room with fan and shared bathroom. The woman who ran it was so lovely and helpful and helped us arrange moped hire. While we waited for the bike to be dropped off we went to take our laundry to be done. When we came back our bike was waiting for us. I was Feeling slightly nervous, as  I am a massive wimp.   We set off for an explore around the island. It was lovely to see the non touristy parts.

When we reached the old town, which is the East part of the island. We realised how hot it was. Driving in the breeze you can’t tell. I knew then I would come away with a red part of my body by the end of the day. (It was my shoulders!) The old town was lovely and much quieter than the other parts we had seen. There were loads of restaurants which were on the water front. The original plan was to just stop by for a cold drink, but as we are massive fatties we had some food as well. After the meal we jumped back on the bike and drove around the island some more. We drove down to the South West part of the Island, where we stopped and had a drink on the beach. We then headed back to the North part of the Island, where we were staying. We past some street food stalls so stopped by for a look and something (else) to eat.

We then drove back and chilled before collecting our laundry. Washed, dried and folded for around £2! We then grabbed some food and encountered our first bad meal while away. The food was bland and the rice was all stuck together. Definitely not fresh like all the other food. I would learn later in the night, that this food did not agree with me!! How lucky I was that this was the first place we were staying with a shared toilet. Lp1020636

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Bangkok to Krabi… A 12 hour bus and breath taking sights.

It was another restless, jet lag filled night. Maybe it was because we knew we couldn’t sleep in until 2pm. We were both awake and watching episodes of The Office at 2am. Michael Scott was our saving grace to the pain that was jet lag.

When the alarm went off it felt like we had just fallen asleep. Luckily we had packed the night before so we could easily check out and leave our bags for the day. We logged  on the Wifi to get ideas of what to do for the day. We narrowed it down to heading to the river or going to Koh San Road. We decided on the latter. We started walking to the bus stop and gave up. We were just too hot and sleepy. Anything that involved even the slightest bit of effort was just too much for us. We thought we would jump on a Sky train and head to Chit Lom as there was lots going on there. Turns out it was just more shopping malls. Hunger got the best of us (This won’t be the last time I use this phrase) so we tried to find some street food. We found a place outside one of the malls and bought some chicken and pork skewers.

 

I started to feel a bit sick, the combination of the heat, walking and round and lack of sleep had gotten to me. We went to look for a toilet for me to vom in (This won’t be the last time I mention being sick either). After a delightful vom, we decided we just needed to kill some time before the 12 hour bus to Krabi. We hopped back on the sky train, but by this point I was ready to be sick on a small child’s head, so we went back to our stop called Nana. We found a Starbucks so Sam could have a coffee and I could have a sick. I bet you’re thinking what a delightful Blog this is!

 

We decided to just head to the bus station and wait for the bus there, rather than in a Starbucks. Sam logged on the wifi and ordered an Uber. After a bit of confusion to where we were going, the Uber started taking us to the Southern Bud Terminal. We drove though loads of parts of Bangkok we hadn’t seen yet. Mostly more shopping malls. The driver took quite a while so I was worried to how much it was going to cost. Turns out about £4.

When we arrived we had to walk through more market stalls. It’s a shame we weren’t here to shop. We then found the ticket hall. We booked the next bus to Krabi with the first booth we found. The bus was leaving in less than an hour and only cost us around £14 each. As we walked past the other ticket booths we realised there were many other operators to choose from. We thought we had made a huge mistake as the price was so cheap. When we got on the bus we were surprised to good it was. We had a decent amount of space. However the guy sat in front of me pushed his chair so far back I thought he wanted me to perform a dental procedure on him. I didn’t fancy checking out his moulers. Just after setting off we were given a bottle of water, a snack and a blanket. For £14 this was turning out to be a bargain. The journey wasn’t too bad. We had a few small naps between us. Around midnight we told, well more like shouted at, to get up. We were at what I guess is a Thai service station. We got off the bus and were told “Free food” then were guided in a large room full or round tables. There were a few other backpackers on our bus but none of them had ventured in this room. We sat with some of the Thai people from our bus at one of the tables. There was  a lazy Susan with food on and a bowl of glupy rice in the middle. If you’ve seen the Hangover 2 it’s the kind of Rice Stu is described as in the wedding speech from his Father in law. We have no idea what we ate, but it was pretty tasty. We just looked at what everyone else was eating and followed suit. For £14 this was totally top trumping The Mega bus.

Once back on the bus we watched some more of The Office before finally getting some sleep. For a 12 hour bus journey it wasn’t so bad. We woke up about an hour outside Krabi. We were too excited to go back to sleep. We arrived at the bust station and got a bus to Ao Nang. It was similar to the Colectivo we used in Mexico. You sit in the back of a lorry and they try sqeeze as many people in.

As we were getting closer to Ao Nang we could see the limestone mountains and cliffs, they were amazing. When we pulled up to the ocean it really did take my breath away. It felt like a different universe compared to Bangkok.  It was how I had imagined Thailand to look.

We got off the bus and went to look for a place to call home for the next few nights. Sam spotted a place called Adam Bungalow, which he thought we had seen online. So we headed there. It was the right decision as we had a Bungalow. Now we have stayed in many more I guess it’s not that incredible, but as it was my first one of our travels I was over the moon to be staying in one. We had a stunning view of the limestone cliffs.

After a small nap we went for a wonder and a bite to eat. As we were exhausted from the journey down, we just chilled out. That was the night we finally said goodbye to the bitch that is jet lag.

 

 

The next day. The 12th December to be precise. We  decided to head to Railay Beach. We had read so many great things and been recommended by many people to visit. We would have loved to have stayed there but accommodation that part of Krabi was out of our Budget. We caught a longtail boat over to Railay. The journey over felt unreal. At one point I actually pitched myself. Do people even do that?! It just felt so unreal. The lime stones cliffs coming out the water are just beautiful.

Once we arrived at West Railay we had a bit of a wonder. We past bars that sold “magic shakes”.  We wanted to find the view point as we had read there are amazing views from there. So we followed some signs, but couldn’t seem to find it. We kept wondering which was a good thing as it probably meant we saw more of the place than we normally would. On the way to the East side of Railay we saw some monkeys. My first encounter with them. I can see why Michael Jackson was best friends with one.

The East side is so beautiful. I was deeply in love with this place. They had some of the longtail boats that were selling food. So we had lunch on the beach with an ice cold Singah. It was the best setting we’ve ever eaten lunch in. Any stress we had from work before had literally melted away. I will always treasure that lunch on Railay.

We never did find the view point. The only thing close was a point, but you  had to do a two hour climb up a cliff to get to. We can barely climb stairs let alone a cliff.

Before heading back we decided to do some scrambling along the beach. Not the best idea in sandals.

It was a sad moment to say goodbye to Railay, It was such a beautiful place. The highlight of our adventure so far.  As our day on Railay was coming to an end so was our time in Ao Nang, as the next day we were off to our first island, Koh Lanta.p1020591p1020596

Manchester to Bangkok -The adventure begins

First up. Sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Spell checker can only help me get so far. So here it is. The first of our travel blogs. We left Manchester Tuesday evening, not arriving in Bangkok until the following night.

The first leg of the journey was Manchester to Dubai. We flew with Emirates.  It’s probably the best flight I’ve ever been on. Loads of leg room.  Sadly Jennifer Andison didn’t come by and ask me to swap seats. I’ve always wanted to know what a spa shower looks like on an aeroplane. Maybe the next flight….. We were well fed and watered the full flight and the entertainment selection was vast. As we were leaving the plan the woman sat next to Sam was asking us about our journey and what we had planed. She asked if it was our gap year. God bless that woman for thinking we hadn’t started uni yet.

We then hit Dubai airport where we would take the second flight over to Bangkok. If you’ve never been to Dubai airport the only way I can describe it, is as some epic shopping center/futuristic theme park/the entrance to West world. I’ve never seen so many shops in one place. It was like the Trafford centre x 50. If this was the airport I’m not sure if I’d get on well with the rest of Dubai.

We had 1.45 mins till our next flight. Of which we spent almost an hour walking to our gate. By the time we had reached it. Our plane had already begun boarding. We even had to get a train at one point!

Once we had shown our boarding passes we took to our seats. This flight was half full so we had plenty of spare space. Again well fed and watered. Emirates are bloody great to fly with. After a 40 min nap and a viewing of Aladin. We were ready to land. Almost 24 hours after setting off.

Getting through immigration was really straight forward of but a bit slow. Once we had collected the largest rucksacks known to man we headed to the train for the last leg of the journey.

A train then a swap to the sky train and we were finally there. Sukhumvit! Is it bad that I laughed when I found out the name of the area we were staying in? Our hostel was less than 3 minutes from the sky strain station called Nana.

Suk 11 would be our resting point for the next few days. Our room was cheap. In a great location. Clean and private. All you could need as a traveler on a budget. After a quick cold shower  we headed for an explore.

If your ever in the need for a knuckle duster, a fake Chanel bag, Bridget Jones baby on DVD, some viagra and some incense then Bangkok is the place for you! Seeing all these lined up on one stall could solve all your problems.

Ahh my favourite part of the day and our trip so far. I encountered real Thai street food for the first time. I’m a huge fan of food full stop, but thai is up there as one of not my favourite kind of food. We found a little stall and pointed a photo on the menu of what we thought looked good. Moments later our soup arrived. I’ve ever eaten a soup with so many flavours before.  Less than  £1. I was already in love. I was already thinking when we could come back for more. However by this point we had already been awake over 38 hours. So we went back to try and tackle the jet lag…. which we failed miserably at as we were still awake at 1am. Then once sleep hit us. It hit us hard as we woke up at 2pm the next day.