All pictures by Santi & I
Hello there! Ok so, sadly, we're getting there. We're getting to the end of this Thailand trip as this is the one before last post about it. Today I'll tell you all about the south of the country, where all the islands and paradisiac spots are and, to do so, I'll divide this speech into the different places we went. Ready for some crystalline water, palm trees and sun? If so, just keep reading in between the images!
First place where we stopped in south, Ao Nang itself is not amazing but just worth it to experience the local ambience and some party if you're into it (it wasn't our plan), also it's a good place to just base yourself and then take tours from there. We flew from Bangkok to Krabi and arrived at night so we went straight to Ao Nang for a good sleep, the next day we went on The Four Islands Tour and it was... great. Don't get me wrong, it was very beautiful but I think we saw even more beautiful things later on. Also it's the kind of tour everyone knows about as everything is organized by agencies, food included, etc. so we knew we were going to find lots of people taking pictures everywhere but anyway, we sat on the outside part of the boat with only 3 more people from India who became our friends, it was cloudy but we still burnt our backs after 4 hours sailing around the islands, although we used sun protection. Then back in the hotel we applied lots of aloe vera and then all our skin pealed off. On that first day in the south we learned the sun there is very aggressive so yeah, pls be careful and use lots of the higher protection. The next day we woke up early and went on a boat straight to Phi Phi, which brings me to the next location.
PHI PHI ISLANDI'd say that's like the most popular island in Thailand. We knew it was going to be beautiful - actually everything ended up being as much as beautiful... but hey, before we went we just thought some places were going to be more worth it than others - so we decided to spend a bit more money on this stay and payed for a room in a resort with infinity pool overseeing the sea. Still very cheap tho, and stunning. On the same day we arrived, we decided to just make the most of the swimming pool and relaxed, also because we wanted to do all our exploring from early in the morning, although you could also find afternoon or evening tours. Anyway, it rained. A lot, but, like, tropical storm. It only lasted for 30 minutes aprox. and it was actually and refreshing. Before we went on the trip we checked the weather every single day and apparently it was supposed to rain nonstop around the islands even tho it's not rainy season. But that was actually the only day we saw water from above. After the relaxing day by the pool we went down to the beach to meet our friend Zisi, or Sizi... anyways he was the nicest guy on the beach. We actually went down and found him the day we arrived and arranged to meet 8am by his boat; he took us four around on his private boat. And again, amazing views... we visited Maya Bay which is so famous because of the film "The Beach", but we actually didn't go off the boat cause you had to pay and it was already overcrowded so we didn't think it was worth it. Then off to Blue Lagoon: so peaceful and immense, we spent almost an hour swimming and floating in the blue/green water before heading to a couple more spots and then finally back to the hotel. Had time for another dip in the pool and then rushed to the pier to get on a boat heading to Koh Lanta.
The place where we stayed was, by far, my favourite. We slept under a net in a bamboo cabin and, by that point it was also the night I had the best sleep. The place is called Rann Chalet, in case you want to check it out... it's located next to the beach and on the day we arrived we enjoyed fresh juices on the bar/restaurant while watching the sun set,. The next day we also had breakfast on the sand, literally. We just relaxed and enjoyed the beach and the sun, there's honestly not much to see, but the landscape is obviously amazing too; so I'm sure if we had gone around we would've seen a lot, also I'm aware there's a National Park and a Lighthouse which must look amazing, but both located on the south so, for less the 24 hours, we just decided to chill.
After our brief sunbathing in Koh Lanta we headed up to Koh Tao, right on the other side of the peninsula. So the journey there was a bit of a pain, we actually had to first go back to Krabi, spend one night there in order to wake up 6am next morning and take a 4 hour bus and a 1 hour ferry to finally reach our destination. We didn't have much time to do anything the first day but we got to know the area and get some info about the island. We knew lots of people take bikes and go around to explore so we had the intention to do so, but we were told that's actually dangerous as there's no proper roads and everything is wild hills up and down, so yeah didn't want to spend the day pushing a bike up a hill. So the next morning we just went down to the beach to find a private longtail which would take us all around the island. First stop was Freedom Beach and it was beyond beautiful, crystalline water and trees growing up just where the waves meet the sand. Then we got to do a bit of snorkelling in Mango Beach (it was my first time) and I swear to you I could've stayed in the water the whole day. We finished our tour in the amazing Island of Nang Yuan which is kind of divided in three islands united by sand, so you can actually walk from one to another, so cool and a beautiful view (packed with tourists tho, obvs). On our last night in Koh Tao we went to a ladyboy's show, it's just amazing how transsexuality is so visible and accepted in their culture... or at least that's what it seems to be. Anyway, that was a fun experience of course for someone like Santi and I who lived it as if it was a Drag show.
After Koh Tao we took a night train from Chumphon and woke up in Bangkok again. This trip was just what I needed to charge batteries. Definitely going on more winter breaks like this. Don't mean to sound superficial but just the fact to get a bit of a tan and experience the summer by this time of the year feels amazing. Thailand has been a great experience and has definitely nurtured me in many ways. My last recommendation would be to really take a few more days than we did. 13 were not enough, we would've liked to go north as well to see Chiang Mai and visit an Elephant Sanctuary but it's just impossible (I hate this word but had to use it now) to do all this in that period of time. So yeah it's definitely worth it to do it in maybe 15 to 20 days... or just go for a whole year, that'd be fun too!