Mar
27
2013

The Islands

So this blog is going to be fairly short as we really haven’t done anything for the last 3-4 weeks except, sunbath, swim and sweat!

Ko Tao

So a plane, bus and boat later we arrived at our first island, Ko Tao! It’s a really small island in the middle of the gulf of Thailand next to the two main famous party islands Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Samui. We stayed well clear of these as we weren’t interested in the Full Moon parties and just wanted a nice place to relax and chill out.

We met a cool German couple on the boat that we got talking to and ended up following them to Freedom beach as Antya had been there 5 years ago. We hung around with them for a couple of days before they continued on with their travels.

Ko Tao was definitely the place we were looking for with a couple of lovely quiet beaches and a couple of really nice but cheap restaurants. There were a few bars a short walk away so you weren’t completely away from nightlife. The snorkelling was amazing and Abby even strayed too close to a reef with a very protective fish that tried to nibble her leg!


Railay

After 6 nights in Ko Tap we got an overnight ‘Slow boat’ to Krabi and then a Long-tail boat to Railay beach. I got a couple of pictures of a squid boat that we passed around 3am which looked cool with all its green glowing lights.

We had met loads of people that said Railay was like the new paradise island in Thailand. Railay is strictly not an island as its part of Krabi mainland but completely inaccessible by road because of its mountains. There are two sides to Railay, East which is pretty rough still after the tsunami in 2004 and doesn’t have any real beach area. A few bars have sprung up and it has quite a bit of cheap accommodation perfect for us backpackers.

The West of Railay is a different story with 2 beaches (a really big one and a supposedly really beautiful one) with a few big and expensive resorts separating them. The bigger of the beaches was quite busy but it didn’t seem overcrowded as it was a fairly long stretch of sand. Railay is also perfect for rock climbing fanatics and offers a lot of beginner and advanced climbs so it attracts a lot of people and it is littered with rock climbing schools offering half or a full day climbs.

We decided to go to the better of the two beaches on the second day but we must have only been there for 45 minutes before we left. There was just boat after boat load of tourists arriving for a day trip and Abby got quite naggy with people walking past kicking sand over her, purely by accident of course. We decided Railay wasn’t what we were looking for so left on the third day.


Ko Lanta

We had heard good things about Ko Lanta which is a fairly big island located on the Andama coast. People we had met said it was lovely and probably just what we were looking for, but after being disappointed with Railay, we weren’t getting our hopes up too much!

When we got there we headed for Long beach which really was ‘Long’ and it seemed fairly empty at times. We found a perfect little bungalow on the beach for £12 a night, complete with hammock hanging from the porch and fan in the room. A good selection of restaurants and bars along the beach meant we had plenty of choice when it came to eating.

We quickly found our favourite place and spent quite a few nights dining on the beach, eating Barracuda and Shark cooked on the BBQ while watching the odd lightning storm out to sea. Abby has got a bit obsessed with fish and prawns which is a good thing considering she left home nearly 7 months ago not really liking anything like that!

We did hire a scooter for a day and explored the island and found a lovely little beach we had pretty much all to ourselves!

Before we knew it we had spent 13 nights here so decided to move on for our last few days. This is definitely a place I would recommend for people from the UK looking to see what Thailand is like. Flights into Phuket and then a 1.5 hour ferry to Ko Lanta! Easy! We will most certainly be returning here at some point in the future!


Ko Phi Phi

We left beautiful Ko Lanta for Ko Phi Phi famous for having ‘The Beach’ and for supposedly being paradise. We had been warned by many other travellers that it wasn’t a great place anymore and so expensive for what it was but we went anyway. I would advise people not to bother. We stayed for one night and left! If you are in your late teens or early twenties looking for 24 hour parties on the beach then yes, it would be a good choice!

Over-developed, dozens of bars and ruined beaches by just the amount of people present, empty beer bottles, litteretc … not our idea of paradise. We got a couple of nice pictures of Abby the beach but it was due to clever photography from me cutting out everyone else around us!


Phuket – Nai Yang

We left the spoilt Ko Phi Phi hoping our last few days in Phuket would be better. Again we had heard that south Phuket was like a mini Bangkok so we headed right up north (all Abby’s doing) and headed for Nai Yang beach! The beach was massive with some very expensive resorts along the edge. We found a nice little place 5 minutes from the beach with a pool and it turned out that we had the hotel all to ourselves except another couple that arrived on our last day.

Lots of seafood restaurants on the beach and a few bars meant that there is quite a bit to do. Again another place I would certainly come back to in the future!

So that’s pretty much it for this trip. Flying home tonight via Dubai so looking forward to the snow waiting for us back home!

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