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. On to Malaysia we go!
We left at 0600 and got to Langkawi about 1600 so was a pretty long day! So… after reading all of the blogs, it is possible to go from Thailand to Langkawi in one day, however check your tickets, the timings, and the season before you try this.
From Phi Phi we got another ferry to Koh Lanta, 250B which took about an hour. In Koh Lanta, for our first night 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 called… Not great for meeting people though. We arrived about lunchtime so we walked to the closest beach (about 30 mins walk) and stayed to watch a beautiful sunset with a little sun downer.
The 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 to in Thailand and had some really beautiful beaches. The accommodation was also 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 massive rocks. We loved it here as it was so quiet, there was only a couple of other people on the beach and it had little bamboo sun shelters too.
We also went to bamboo bay which is right at the bottom of the island, we 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 on Koh Lanta was the more famous long beach. This wasn’t as nice unfortunately, there was a lot 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. The bus was 300B and took 2 hours.
Koh 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 thing we could find for a reason. Two nights was definitely enough! The beds 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.
Some really bad planning on our part meant that we were travelling on Songkran. This is Thai New Year, a national holiday and the day to engage in a massive water fight. No one is safe! So unfortunately the traffic was awful. Anyway we got to the bus station in Phuket not too late. However, we then had a 40 min journey and the only transport on offer was a 450B 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… b*&^rd!!! 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 and 1: make sure you 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.
We also made sure to have a little explore of patong at night time….don’t worry we did not go to a ping pong show!
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.
From Koh Samui we got the ferry, from Big Buddha Pier, to Koh Phangan (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 stay. 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!
The next day we chilled out before getting ready for the full moon party. 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. Onto Phuket.
We then made our way to Penang airport, a nice 0430 start to the day! We boarded the tiny little propellor plane ✈️ …both slightly nervous! But got to Kota Baru in no time. It then took us an hour drive in a Grab taxi to the Kuala besut ferry terminal. This cost 65 MYR. The ferry ticket to the perhentian kecil island is 70 MYR return, there are also some extra costs; island entrance fee: 30 MYR and another little taxi from the speed boat to the beach: 2 MYR. From the boat we trudged along the beach, now in the swealtering sun, and found a little shady area to dump our bags whilst we wondered around looking for accommodation and dive schools. We eventually ended up going to ‘Oh lala’ dive centre and chalet. After a boiling swim in the 30deg water and our classic vegetable fried rice lunch, we passed out for the rest of the day after having only a couple hours sleep the night before. 😴
The next day we started out PADI open water course. We were really lucky as it was only Dani and I in the group, our instructor was a lovely girl called Lucy who was from Buckinghamshire. She was really great and calmed us (me) down a lot….Danielle will probably remember my sobbing the night before about getting a PE or having to go into a decompression chamber. But I’m still here to tell the tale! and have definitely caught the diving bug. We did all our skills tests not far from kecil island and then we got to do a few bigger dives; lots of reef, and an artificial wreck (three sunken police boats).
On our last day we got to explore the island a bit more which we hadnt had time to do yet so busy with the course. We walked across to the other side of the island…after getting lost and passing through what seemed to be the islands dumping ground! One big lesson we have learnt this trip is things are not always how you imagine,, and when your looking at peoples instagram getting jealous the photo will not always represent whats going on.
Anyway we eventually did manage to cross the island and reach the beach and much more expensive resorts and found a lovely little cove to have a swimbo.
The day then came when we had to leave the lovely perhentians, say goodbye to Lucy and everyone at ‘oh lala’, the tasty ‘no name’ we had had everyday for lunch and elly a lady who worked at one of the front restaurants who was always looking after us!
Someone obviously didn’t want us to leave as the heavens suddenly opened, the storm was so rough the boats were about to be cancelled…but in true asian style they thought they’d give it a go. So we all crammed onto one of the speed boats, buckled up a life jacket and clung onto each other making man over board plans, but credit to our driver, who had been on the phone most of the journey he got us there in one piece! That night we stayed in a lovely little guest house run by a malaysian couple who gave us lunch and took us to a local restaurant for dinner. In the morning we got a flight from Kota Baru to Kinabalu, Borneo. Now this part of our trip was a bit if a surprise addition so we hadn’t planned it quite yet!
Next to Borneo…
We took the ferry which took about 3 hours and cost 70MYR each. We then could walk from the pier to Georgetown where all the hostels are. For the first two nights we stayed at art hostel 1921, the third night at love lane in 54 and for the last one an air bnb near the airport. The hostels were both pretty shitty but the cheapest we could find! The reason we changed was because the second one was slightly cheaper but we wish we hadn’t! It was so bad. If you’re ever in Penang don’t go to love lane inn 54 whatever you do, it was so dirty and the owner was an arse.
Georgetown is a really nice relaxed place, there isn’t tonnes to do here but have a good walk around and enjoy all the street art and great local food! If you like Indian you’re in luck.
There are a few day trips you can do from town, one day we went to Penang hill and the botanical gardens. You can either get the furnicular up to the top of the hill or walk. We decided to walk, take water with you and be prepared for a decent hike. It took us about 1 1/2 hours up and an hour down and was pretty much vertical the whole way. There are places to rest along the way, in the Malaysian heat you really need these. It’s worth it to get to the top though and it felt good to have achieved the climb!
After getting down we had a lovely cool down walk around the botanical gardens which are free to get in to. We also saw a few white eyed monkeys outside the gardens which was really cool as we hadn’t seen these anywhere else in Asia!
The other day trip you can do from Georgetown is Taman Negara, unfortunately we didn’t have time for this but heard good things about it from lots of different travellers.
Next stop the Perhentians…