Having the best time in Phuket, Krabi, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan
18.06.2011 35 °C
We've had a lovely couple of weeks chilling out and relaxing on various beaches in Southern Thailand, so here's an update of where we've been since the end of May....
From the Vietnam capital we took a quick flight to Bangkok and then another onto Phuket on the South Western coast of Thailand. It only took a short 45 minute taxi ride from the airport to reach Patong Bay, one of the main populated areas of the Island. We were staying at Square One, a cheap but nice hotel at the end of the main strip. On arriving we did the usual, dump the bags and go out exploring!
Patong had a lovely long beach with all the main bars and restaurants stretched out along the sea front. It was much more touristy than recent places we had visited, but it was actually a nice change as it felt like being away on holiday for real. We were chuffed to go into an Irish bar called Molly Malone's and have Magners, as we haven't seen Cider anywhere since leaving the UK. Result! :-)
We ended up staying in Phuket for 5 nights, with most of the days being spent on the beach as the weather was gorgeous and we just had to top up our tans (of course, we both got burnt on the first of those days!) One of the highlights of Phuket was when we went to the Jungceylon Shopping Centre for the day, a huge, modern and air-conditioned complex with shops of all kinds and more importantly, a cinema. As the Hangover 2 had just come out, we couldn't resist going to see it! The whole experience was totally different to at home, we had to stand for the Thai national anthem before the film, the cinema was completely spotless and they even sold BBQ flavoured popcorn! Oh, and the film was pretty damn good too!
With so many bars and clubs in Patong, a proper night out was always on the cards. Phuket is famous for not having many (if any) boundaries when it comes to the whole lady-boy / cabaret scene, so when we headed out we were pretty taken back by what we saw, although Phil was A LOT more scared than Kayleigh! We're talking pole dancers in most of the bars, and the ones who had had more money spent on them stripping completely naked and showing off what they had, or no longer had should we say!
The best part of the night out in Patong was going to Seduction, an awesome nightclub with 3 different rooms with different music in each. Needless to say, we ended up getting nice and drunk and dancing the night away until about 4am!
After nearly a week in Phuket we decided to go to Krabi next, which is on the coast of Thailand as opposed to being an island on its own. A quick 4 hour bus journey was all it took, but unfortunately we ended up being dropped off in the middle of nowhere and had to get a taxi then motos to our resort at Klong Muang beach.
We chose to stay at Koh Kwang Resort as it was literally the complete opposite of Phuket, much more remote and laid-back. We had a nice little bungalow to stay in, and got to spend some quality time on the most deserted beach we've come across so far. That being said, the whole beach was crawling with crabs who were scurrying around climbing into tiny holes in the sand, very funny to watch.
During our stay in Krabi we met a lovely Irish couple, Rob and Jody, who were the only other people at our resort. They showed us the way to nearby Ao Nang on bikes, and we also went to Krabi Town to check out the local night markets with all 4 of us trying some interesting local foods (some of it good, some of it pretty bad – in particular, pancakes with sausage, cheese and some sort of fruit filling – yuk!)
The drive to Krabi Town had the most amazing scenery, with massive rock formations and even Elephants relaxing under trees on the roadside. Check out the video to take a ride with us....
On the night of England playing Switzerland at Wembley, we all headed to the best local restaurant we had been to and stayed until about 4am watching the game. We got through a case full of large Chang beers, and were all nicely wasted by the end, even the owner, Lou, got involved and we had an amazing night.
Next up we decided to head for Koh Tao, a small island at just 21 km in the Gulf of Thailand. We left Krabi at 6:30am and then after a taxi, a bus ride and two ferries later we finally reached Koh Tao and headed for our Asia Divers resort. It was a lovely place with an incredible pool. We inquired about doing our Open Water course while we were there but were advised not to with Kayleigh not having a medical note (damn asthma). Another time though.
Altogether we spent 6 nights in Koh Tao, 3 at Asia Divers and another 3 in a bungalow closer to the beach that was a bit cheaper. How did we spend our time here?? On the beach of course! Koh Tao beach was lush, with a long stretch of sand and warm shallow, beautiful blue sea for you to cool down in from the blistering heat. The night life was pretty good to, although we spent most of our evenings relaxing with a few drinks, having BBQ's and watching pirate films showing on big screens. It's a tough life we know!
On our 3rd night here we were lucky enough to run in to 'Ali the Pancake Man' who served us up the most amazing banana and chocolate pancakes. Soooo good. He's pretty famous to, check out this link on YouTube here. And this is him taking it slow.
We also decided to indulge a little while we were here and treat ourselves to a Thai massaaaaage. It was an experience to say the least, Kayleigh found it quite good but from Phil's facial expressions and winces throughout I doubt we will be rushing for another one any time soon. HA. The more Phil winced the more further she pushed him into some very awkward positions and giggled while doing so. Lol.
After the six nights we were ready to leave for Koh Phangan, already anticipating the upcoming Full Moon Party. We had booked 5 nights at the incredible Dew Shore Bungalows in Ban Thai, which upon arriving pictures really did not do the resort justice. Upgraded on arrival to a swish bungalow with a pool view we were loving it. In the lead up to the Full Moon we continued to take it easy sunbathing by the pool, going for a swim, enjoying tasty food – you know, all the good stuff.
The day before the party we decided to rent a bike again and go for a ride up to Haad Rin to have a look around. The journey there was a bit of an effort, trying to make it up some very steep hills on a lil' scooter holding the two of us was something else. As expected it was a lot busier and more commercialised than Baan Thai but it definitely tantilized the taste buds for the next night.
And then, the night was upon us. Looking forward to the full night of partying ahead of us we left our resort around 9:30pm, flagged a taxi and we were on our way. Neon paint? Check. Vodka bucket? Check. Whiskey Bucket? Check. And we are on our way, we had a frikkin awesome night! The first few hours we were loving it dancing in Drop In bar and Cactus bar, watching the fire dancers, singing at the the top of our voices to anthems and then munching on pizza and chicken pittas, we had blinked and it was 4:00am. Where had that time gone? Usually at home it would be time to go home. But no, dust yourself off and keep on going!!!!
After more drinks and dancing the sun started to come up, we were loving every second. It wasn't until around 7:30am that we got back to our bungalow, buzzing from an outstanding night (and morning) out.
Phew, that was quite a lot for us to cover! We are now taking it easy in Koh Phangan for another few days before deciding our route through Malaysia. We'll keep you posted on our whereabouts when we next get chance.
Kayleigh & Phil