So I haven’t written about our travels in about a week, strange I know but the reason is that we have been island hopping so much that they would be half hearted posts or just full of nonsense. Since the last post we have been to Koh Samui and Krabi.
We arrived in koh samui with all our transfers to our hostel sorted, this made a nice change as usually we spend a good hour trying haggle the cab or tuk tuk drivers price down. We get to the hostel and find we are smack bang in the middle of the popular night strip. I know some of you are thinking, YES, don’t need to walk far to get out to somewhere nice! This is true but let me also explain why this is one of the worst things. Our hostel was above a bar (Which I don’t think ever closed), Next door and opposite were Lady Boy clubs which consists of Lady boys screaming as loud as they could whenever a man walked past to try to get him in. Not only that but on the other side of us we had a nightclub that only opened at one in the morning and was going till breakfast time! So between the lady boys having a screaming contest we had all the bars having a competition to see who had the loudest speakers and who could play them for the longest! Not bad if you’re on a night out but not so great when you’re in bed wanting some shut eye.
We stayed in the Chaweng beach area as all reviews online had this down as the nicest spot for beaches, GREAT! We wake up the next morning and the weather is in the mid thirties with sun, we step out, grab breakfast and start walking to the beach. Now i’ll point out the beach is only a minute or two walk from our hostel but by the time we get there the sky is now filled with clouds but its still quite warm. It’s not quite sunbathing weather anymore so we decide to explore the beach and the Chaweng beach area for the day. We find that here, like Bangkok and Chiang Mai before, you can buy anything you want. Unfortunately for us the weather doesn’t brighten up anymore so we see as much as we can of the area and hope for better weather the following day.
Wake up the following morning and you can see its been raining and everyone now and again it starts up again. We know we aren’t going to be able to head to the beach so we starting finding other things to do. We read online of a big buddha temple and a night market. With a new found spring in our step we decide were going to head to the big buddha which isn’t too far from the night market so we make a day off it. Now getting there proves to be a problem as every taxi wants a minimum of 300 baht to get there and will not drop the price any further. 300 to the temple, another 300 to the market and another 300 back… no thanks we’ll rent a scooter for 200… Helmets on people!! We get to the buddha you get some amazing views, from the temple itself including the buddha to the views across the river with the sunset. The area around the temple including the lower floors of the temple are in desperate need of restoration and they also let you know this with the various “tip” boxes around.
After the temple we scoot over to the night market where every bar is offering drink promotions so we find one that offering buy one get one free on beers on cocktails… If we have too!! We have our drinks relax on the beach with the water literally coming up to our feet. In my personal opinion the greatest thing about night markets is the fact you can get food for very very very very cheap from stalls and stands. We decide on three large spring rolls, a large thai sausage and a big portion of chicken pad thai for less than £1.50, yummy! We stay there for as long as we can until the sky remind us its still monsoon season and it pisses down on us.
The following day and I don’t think its stopped raining so we spend the day people watching from cafes and bars and then decide we need to get out, raining or not. We google “things to do in koh samui when it rains” and read the results. The main thing that kept coming up was go to the cinema and with me and cassie being avid film fanatics we decide it sounds like a good idea. The price of a ticket for the cinema in London is ridiculous with most places charging a minimum of £10 not including the popcorn and drink! The price of a ticket here… £2.79!! We watch expendables 3 and spend a chilled evening before an early morning trip to krabi!
Our journey from koh samui started at 7 am, We get picked up from our hotel in a mini van and make the hour long journey straight to the pier. From here we get on a ferry which is only another hour or so, no problem. The next bit is where it gets a bit difficult, We get on the minivan at the other side and get drive an hour to a random cafe where we are told we wait for 15 minutes before we get on another mini van to krabi… LIES! We get picked up in a pick up truck and driven for about half an hour to what ends up being a local bus. We get on and notice that along with me and cassie there are only three other tourists on the bus, all the rest are thai. The journey begins and the bus makes a lot of stops with people getting on and off, more people getting on than off, and the air con not being ale to keep up every one is uncomfortable and sweaty! I read online that when you get on these buses all the locals will get off at one stop, the ACTUAL bust station in Krabi and all the tourists won’t be told to get off, be taken to an old bus station where the prices of taxis to whatever destination is in excess of 600 baht. There are even stories of people being taken back to where all the locals had gotten off for silly money. About 5, sweaty hours later the conductor comes along and starts speaking thai to all the locals but didn’t say a word to any of us tourists. I started reading as many signs as I could but nothing said bus station, only when the bus had finally stopped and most of the locals had gotten off the bus that I saw the sign and knew we had to get off. We rushed to the front but the bus driver wouldn’t let us out so we kept insisting and eventually he let us out. We got our luggage and were advised by a local thai to get on another bus that would take us straight to our hostel for 60 baht. She was right, we got on paid a lot less than if we had gotten in a taxi!
Our first full day in Krabi is spent taking in the sights, for those of you that don’t know, one side of Krabi is clear blue ocean and on the other side are mountains which make for amazing back drops when taking picture
We head down to the local beach but due to the weather it’s not the cleanest or nicest of beaches at the moment so we explore the town and make our plans to head to Railay, a beach only reachable by boat from Ao Nang where we are staying. The next morning we get on one of these boats and make our way over to Railay. I instantly fell in love with the beaches and the waters. We walk around and familiarise ourselves with the area. We relax on the beach and explore a cave full of wooden dicks… no that isn’t a typo, there is a cave with just wooden dicks!
See!! We then have lunch on the beach from a boat that is serving bbq food and thai food. After lunch we start to head to the other side of the island and notice a sign up to a view point and a hidden lagoon. We know our boat back to the mainland is an hour and a half away and people are telling us that the climb is hard but we go for it anyway. Now when I say climb I don’t mean a hill, I mean there are ropes because most of it is a vertical climb up rocks and mud. We finally make it to the view point and is a great view! We look at the time, we only have an hour left so we decide to try to make it to the lagoon. The lagoon is at sea level but in the middle of the mountain so we start our descent down mud and rock, again with more rope to help you! Its hard and we get half way down and realise its taken us half an hour already so we admit defeat unfortunately (people who made it to the lagoon said it was amazing) and climb up the mud and back down the rock to get to our boat in time.
We make it back to the mainland, shower and head out for some dinner. All the restaurant in Ao Nang have promotions for all types of food. From pizza and pasta, thai to indian so no matter what you are in the mood for, look for a restaurant with that on offer! We have dinner and i remember that Arsenal are playing so we head to a sports bar. We ask if they are going to show the game and they weren’t but agree to stream it for me on their big screen, great. A few beers, a glass of wine and an Arsenal win later we call it a night as we have another early morning transfer to koh Lanta!!