Koh Lanta adventures

Still have sea legs as I write this from a whole-day longtail boating trip full of snorkelling, jellyfish and coconut slushies.

Last night ended with monkeys on our balcony and some sleeping pills so we could get to sleep early and get up early for the boat trip. The morning started with monkeys banging on the rooftop of our bungalow! I can watch these gorgeous spider monkeys for hours, they are quite amazing and sometimes only a few metres away. The bats, bush birds, geckos, tiny running crabs on the beach, ants and cicadas are also amazing and cuteness is added by the cats of the resort.

Our resort is magnificent, fits in with bushland organically with cute bungalows overlooking the bay. Great bar, music and chilled out atmosphere coupled with great food and good service generally. Oh and I just scored some free internet somehow (and noticed the first link I couldn’t download, yes Thailand has internet censorship).

Snorkelling was amazing, the tropic fish are so beautiful and floating around in warm azure seas is wonderful. But on both prime snorkelling spots we had to battle a million tiny jellyfish that made the water almost opaque! On the first I sustained a lot of tiny stings, they add up. It’s not ‘spicy’ as the Thai fishermen put it, unless by spicy you mean a hot yum salad with an extra dozen or so chillies added!! Ouch. Fortunately had some pawpaw ointment on hand but had to leave the waters urgently.

Second time around we got luckier, jellyfish were reasonably few for a little while and we could snorkel around looking at chorals and gorgeous fish. Then the jellyfish moved in again and we had to leave, but got to see some amazing things down there! I want to snorkel more though not sure if I’ll find an Australian spot that’s this warm, clear and reasonably calm (ie not too choppy). Maybe at the Barrier Reef, I definitely want to go there! πŸ™‚

We then went to the Emerald Cave (Marakot) which is an 80m long winding dark cave you can swim through and at the end, in the middle of the island, you reach the tiny locked-away emerald beach. Pretty damn magical! I tried to imagine how pirates used to hide their treasures here hundreds of years ago.

I’ve been eating so much nice food… coconut slushies, pineapple juice, yum salads, stir fries, pad thais, tom ka soup, spicy green papaya salads and curries. I could eat Thai non-stop for a very long time πŸ™‚

Still no photos, will have to wait a bit longer..

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta

Hot hot hot weather!! Thankfully there are slushies and a hammock in shade.

On our last day in Koh Phi Phi I learnt to snorkel which was a liberating experience, lots of gorgeous tropical fish around in shallow waters there.

Then we cought boats and ferries to Koh Lanta. This is a bigger island but a bit less busy except for the Northern bit, but fortunately we are in the South. Just the right balance of freedom, space, beauty and services here. Craig booked the best place on the beach, we have a cute wooden bungalow on stilts overlooking the bay, with a cute balcony replete with hammock and awesome views. Great food and mood here and lots of Swedish tourists.

Internet’s patchy and expensive but this means I can relax instead which is nice! I’m really getting used to the organised chaos of Thai people, combined with a general sense of ease, a relaxed attitude and general slowness.

Tomorrow we are going on another boat tour to 4 more remote islands for lots of snorkelling and sightseeing. I’m pretty excited about the Emerald Cave where you float through a cave before you hit a tiny gorgeous remote beach. The day after I might go elephant trekking, that’s our last day here.

Lots of photos but little time or opportunity to edit them, so that’ll have to be later.

Today I’m finishing an article and sending it off… then… lots more relaxing and reading…

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi

Humidity, laziness and sublime beauty on a gorgeous South Andaman island!

Phi Phi is pretty well known so we booked into a less well-known corner of Long Beach, to Phi Phi Hill. Yep you have to climb some crazy stairs to get to the bungalows, but it’s worth it. You come in by longtail boat from the main port. We got in yesterday just minutes before a torrential downpour, it was breathtaking both aesthetically and physically! πŸ˜›

This part of the island is hippy chic with late-night drinks, lanterns, fire twirling and a laid-back lazy attitude. This side of Long Beach is like a little island village with great food, sublime views onto the ocean and the other side of the bay, and generally great service without you feeling like you are being served. Thai here are chatty, smiling and decidedly chilled (only some of it is aided by ganja).

Yesterday we hung out at Buddha Bar. Today we swam (Craig snorkelled), hung out reading and drinking, got a Thai massage and generally lazed around. I’m now really chilled, it’s fantastic!! πŸ™‚

Tomorrow we’ll go around Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lay with a longtail, swimming, snorkelling and having lunch on the way. Hope to make it to Monkey Bay where there’s a big cave with a golden lying Buddha inside.

Later I’ll post some photos… breathtaking views, longtail boats with owners, Craig and I chilling and the best ever green papaya salad I ever had… juicy, zesty and mean hot!

Internet’s expensive so I’ll get off now! In any case I have more lazing to do! πŸ˜›

Phuket

Phuket

Craig and I arrived to Phuket last night… about 12 hours on planes via Singapore and over an hour in a rickety taxi to Kata Beach. Craig booked a luxurious hotel for a quarter of its price for 2 nights, it’s gorgeous!! πŸ™‚

We are in the side of the hill with cascading pools, great service and amazing views. At the top of the mountain, Thai style, a big white Buddha sits and looks down on us all. The beach is packed with European tourists. Beautiful but very crowded.

Which is why we are off to Koh Phi Phi tomorrow by ferry. It’s sooooo humid and very hot, really takes it out of you. The water is shallow and there are no waves which lures me in. We had a great day on the beach today.

Now I gotta get some calories. It’s proving more difficult than I imagined. I also really need to catch up on sleep!! (on the way here I had a bit of a seizure in the taxi plus asthma from humidity on top of nausea, headache and dizziness, it was awful… no more of that!!)