Blowing Bubbles in Thailand
You’ll never be in Bangkok only once – is what they said.
So were we. But this time we decided to stay a little further away from all the trouble going on in Thailand’s capital city. We didn’t really notice the presence of the military which took over the country. The only thing that felt a little alien in Bangkok was the curfew. Everyone had to be inside by midnight. The street which is usually packed with party folks were deserted. Since we heard stories about tourists being arrested because of parting out late, we got a little scared and went back to our hostel around 11.30pm. We didn’t want to risk it since we were there for only one night and still had the rest of Thailand ahead of us.
Well rested we had a packed program for the following day. We had to bring our postcards to the post office and after a quick lunch went to get a Thai massage. Now, before you think we went for one of those infamous happy, special or whatever you want to call them messages… we actually had a real Thai massage and it was faaaaaaan…tastic (and only cost us 3USD for 60 minutes)!!
The same day, we left crazy Bangkok behind and headed to Ko Tao by night bus and boat. It was a pretty long journey but we made it there in one piece and with all our luggage.
Ko Tao was quiet and hot, the occasional meltdown in the afternoon was standard since the sea didn’t really help cooling down (it felt like bathing in an oversized bathtub with water-temperatures over 33 degrees). The first thing we did on the island was looking for a diving school for Toby. It wasn’t hard to find one. Literally, every couple of meters was another diving school. Due to the great number of diving schools, the prices for diving were unbelievably low (Toby eventually found one that suited all of his many expectations). This meant two days off for Chris, just laying on the beach and doing absolutely nothing. It was fantastic… for both of us. We stayed for three wonderful days.
Next stop was Ko Phangan. From the stories we’ve heard, we expected the island to be full of party people. But once we arrived it was very quiet. We (or better Toby, since Chris tends to get ripped off due to the lack of his bargaining skills) bargained with some motorbike taxi drivers to get us to our hotel. There were barely any people staying at our hotel as it was an absolute low season due to the monsoon coming in. We had most the island to ourselves. It was quiet but we enjoyed it. We were able to do some snorkeling and cruised around the island with a motorbike. We started to get used to the honeymoon atmosphere and all the couples around us, so it was definitely time to leave this island.
The next island on our itinerary was Ko Lanta. Apparently, Ko Lanta is a lovely and quiet island. Well, it was quiet. A little too quiet. Most of the resorts were closed because it was off-season and the monsoon was hitting the island – BIG TIME. We managed to find a really nice hotel was Toby managed to get a room for almost half the usual price. We weren’t as lucky with the weather. It rained pretty much the whole day. So we decided to leave the island already the next day and hoping for better weather at Ko Phi Phi.
The party folks we expected to meet in Ko Phangan, we met on Ko Phi Phi. The island was very crowded, a little too crowded for our taste. And this was during off-season. Besides the crowds, places around the island were beautiful. We went on a boat trip to different sights around Ko Phi Phi. One of those sights was Maya Beach, or in other words “the beach from the movie the beach“. It was B-E-A-utifull! Ever since Leonardo DiCaprio smoked a spliff at Maya Beach, this beautiful place although has become somewhat of a pilgrimage site. Hundreds of long-tail boats, packed with tourists visit this famous beach. Due to the increasing tourism, many places in Thailand are losing their natural beauty – just like Maya Beach… Which is very unfortunate.
But after two days we had enough of the trashy party crowd at Ko Phi Phi we decided to leave early and head off to Penang Malaysia two days earlier than intended, the food capital of South East Asia. Our expectations were accordingly high – and we weren’t disappointed.