We flew from Chiang mai into Surat Thani, got on a bus from outside the airport and then on the ferry to Koh Samui. This was all pretty easy, we had booked our bus/boat combo to koh samui online but there were a few travel desks at the airport offering the same service for 400B. The airport is tiny and we got our bags and out of customs all in about 20 mins.
At the ferry port in samui we then got a beemo (local bus) to our hotel near Big Buddha. We paid 100B each which was much cheaper than the 700B the taxis wanted. Just keep walking to the very end of the pier and you’ll see them. Koh samui was a nice couple of chilled days mostly sat by the pool and a couple of walks along the beach. The hotel pool was lovely but thats about it, we were in a fan room which is a huge error in Thailand. Unless you are a great sleeper or completely broke don’t do it! Also a word of warning, samui mermaid where we stayed was right underneath the flight path so it felt like planes were landing in the bed.
From koh samui we got the ferry, from big Buddha pier, to koh pha ngan (200B) each. Already the vibe had switched, everyone was drinking on the boat and getting in the full moon mood! Our hostel was called Fellinis, a 2 min walk from Haad Rin pier, above a pizza restaurant. The hostel was really small but we met a few nice people :). As it was full moon accommodation was really expensive and hard to book, a lot of places had a 5 night min. So if your planning on going to a full moon book asap!
That night we went for some food and drinks with a couple of people from the hostel, a girl from Spain and a guy from Pakistan. We then headed to the beach for the pre full moon party,, lots of music and fire throwing!
Next day we didn’t we chilled out before getting ready for the full moon. There were more people in the hostel we joined up with to paint ourselves in bright colours and head to the beach, a girl from Sweden and a boy from India. The full moon was awesome, the beach was manic, packed full of people. Dancing, swimming, skipping in fire. Only in Thailand! We were lucky and had no bad experiences but had been warned about thefts etc so left most stuff in our room. We stayed up all night and climbed over the the rocks on the west side of the beach to watch the sun rise. Collapsing in bed shortly after we woke up at check out and got a beemo straight to our next hotel where we were staying the night before going to Phuket. We didn’t fancy making the 8 hour journey today. The hostel, lime and soda, was in a great location just on the beach, however we again made the stupid error of booking a fan room ( we are slowly learning now don’t worry!). So we relaxed for the day and then in the morning walked to Tonsai pier which was about 15 mins away. The ferry was simple enough…but then came the start of the journey from hell. Some really bad planning on our part meant that we were travelling on Songkran. This is Thai new year and the day that they all forget about work, school etc and decide to engage in a massive water fight. No one is safe. So the traffic was awful. Anyway we got the the bus station in Phuket not too late. However, we then had a 40 min journey to get to paying, the only transport on offer was 450B for a beemo….the sides are completely open. Needless to stay we and our stuff got completely soaked,,,as we couldn’t get our phones out the driver then dropped us at the wrong place and even though we asked him to wait, by the time the reception had told us this wasn’t our hostel, he had disappeared. Lara ran down the street but nothing, bastard!!! So after a meltdown, and realising there were no taxis on duty as they were all in the water fight, we decided it was time to walk. We had been calling taxis for 3.5 hours by this point! The walk was only 30 mins but with all our stuff and water carnage going on things weren’t looking good. We stared walking and by the time we got to the end of the road a scooter stopped to ask if we needed a ride. In desperation we paid him the 250B and proceeded to balance myself, Danielle, x3 massive bags and a Thai man onto a small scooter. I wish someone had a picture! So we made our way through the soaked streets of Patong. As I said before no one is safe…the driver tried his best to tell people to not wet our bags, and a lot of people were respectful of this, but Songkran almost reminded me of reading lord of the flies and with that we got completely soaked.
So anyway sadly we missed getting involved in the new year celebrations and just got pissed off! Travelling lesson 1 million: make sure to know dates of all festivals and public holidays!
The next couple of days we hired a moped and explored the beaches to the south of the island. Firstly Karon beach where we sat for a lovely sunset. We’ve managed to see loads of stunning sunsets on the west side of Thailand. Karon beach is really busy with loads of water sports, however it’s still a nice spot with great soft sand and blue seas for swimming.
The next day we went a bit further south to Nai Harn beach and Karon view point. We managed to get lost and find a small deserted beach with just a few fishing boats and a great cheap place to have lunch.
From Phuket we got a ferry to Koh Phi Phi, this was 350B which included the transfer from our hostel to the Pier in Phuket.
Phi phi is a tiny island and our hostel was only a couple mins walk from the pier …which unfortunately was about the only good thing about it! It was the cheapest things we could find for a reason. Two nights was definately enough! The best were way too hard for granny Lara and we both got chewed to bits! Anyway phi phi was lovely, there’s a great view point to walk to on the north of the island and every night there’s beach parties with lots of fire throwing!
We took one of the boat tours to maya bay, bamboo beach, shark point snorkelling spot, and the plankton at night (which we didn’t get to see). This was 900B including the tax to go to bamboo and maya bay. Pretty expensive for what it was but it’s the only way to get to ‘The Beach’ maya bay which is truly stunning, just ignore the hundreds of other people. I think I actually preferred bamboo beach as it was much quieter with perfect, blindingly white sand!
From phi phi we got another ferry to koh lanta, 250B and took about an hour. At koh lanta we stayed right by the ferry pier so was only a 2 min walk to the hostel. Was a nice small hostel, clean and comfortable. Not great for meeting people tho. On the day we arrived we walked to the closest beach and stayed to wAtch a beautiful sunset.
Next morning we hired a scooter to explore the south of the island. We fell in love with koh lanta, was such a great island. Much quieter than the others we had been on with some beautiful beaches. Also accommodation was really cheap. For the next three nights we stayed in a private room with air con, a balcony looking over the jungle and sea, and a great swimming pool! We felt like we were on holiday from our travelling life. We could sit on the balcony eating lunch and watch the monkeys and lizards roam about. While we stayed here we explored Nui beach which was a small rocky beach. Good for swimming just have to avoid the obvious rocks. We loved it here As was so quiet only a couple other people on the beach and it had little bamboo sun shelters. We also went to bamboo bay which is right at the bottom and sat and watched another beautiful sunset from here. This beach is bigger but was still fairly quiet when we were there. The other beach we explored was the more famous long beach. This wasn’t as nice unfortunately, there was lots of litter and the water was quite murky. We still got to see a great sun set though and had a nice walk on the soft white sand!
On our last day we headed back up to near the ferry port to get our bus to krabi town. This was 300B and took 2 hours. We only stayed in krabi town one night as there isn’t too much to do here. There is a good night market and a boots so a great chance to stock up on decently priced sun cream!! From krabi town we got a local bus, 50B, to Ao Nang, and stayed the next 3 nights in a lovely little guest house. The mother and son owners were very friendly. Ao nang is quite small but has a nice beach and some good night market shopping.
On one day we got a small boat, from Ao Nang beach, to Railay beach. Costing 200B return. Railay beach is on a small peninsula which is only accessible by boat. It’s a really beautiful boat ride across and beach to explore. We just about managed to have a quick swim and relax before a storm set in! Not the best timing but it meant we had a chance to explore and dani decided to get a bamboo tattoo from a placed called ‘bamboo bar’. She literally sat at the bar while the guy proded her ankle with a bamboo needle 😳. When in Thailand eh!!
So our last day in Thailand came around pretty quickly and on the 26th we got the bus and ferry to start our Malaysian adventure in Langkawi. We bought the bus and ferry ticket from our hostel for 800B each.
We left at 0600 and got to Langkawi about 1600 so was a pretty long day!