So I am jumping back a little here, we have now been home for close to two months (and I have not even posted 1/4 of the posts of our travel that I should have by now) and yes I have been a little slack in the posting department but this is all due to good cause. We have built a vegetable garden (not just any vege garden, it’s a pretty neat one, it looks great thanks to Daves amazing building skills and my staining skills) and been getting our home to be just the way we like it. So that’s my excuse anyway 😉
Back to the story at hand, I am taking you back to Thailand, Kho Tao to be exact, where we had a really nice 8 days of unwinding, swimming, reading, eating, drinking and exploring. We stayed at a great little place called Samatha Bed and Breakfast which was newly built and a nice place to retreat to during the peak heat of the day and at the end of an evening out.
I really like this photo for some particular reason. We ate at this little place several times, their Thai Green Curry and Red Curry were to die for and the cheapest we found anywhere on the Island.
After catching the Ferry from Koh Tao to the mainland and a very uncomfortable mini van ride (I would like to point out there were no seat belts and our driver seemed to think he was invincible behind the wheel and thought it was best to pass only on blind corners and directly in-front of on coming traffic) to Chumphon followed by a 16 hour train ride, we arrived in Penang.
Penang was just a short stop over of two nights for us on our way back to Singapore to then get to Vietnam (where we are currently still). This was plenty of time for us to try plenty of street food and to explore Georgetown and even get up Penang hill. The Cable car up Penang hill was extremely impressive and no photo that I was able to get through the window did it any justice. Here is a little bit of what we saw in just under 48 hours.
After a bus ride from Surathani (only one of two short bus rides while in Thailand… I have been wanting to avoid them like the plague) and a pleasant boat ride we arrived in Koh Phanang. Once again to be honest it was not what I had expected, like I said before I was expecting more from the beaches. So much so in fact that while there for 7 nights we didn’t swim in the sea once… Just in the pool!
This aside we still enjoyed our time in Koh Phanang, sunbathing by the pool, reading our books, eating plenty of Thai food along with walking around and renting a scooter for a day.
So I am jumping the gun a little with this post! After our adventurous train ride up through the south of Thailand to Surathani we caught the Ferry across to Koh Phanang. Where we had a very relaxing time for 7 nights… Making a clean get away to Koh Tao a day before the chaos of the infamous Full Moon Party! Koh Tao is a pretty small Island itself but right next to it is an even smaller island Koh Nang-Yuan which is fantastic for a spot of snorkeling or diving. Unfortunately I was still getting over a cold so diving was not on the cards for us but snorkeling was all good! After a fifteen minute water taxi ride, we made it and our taxi driver would pick us up again at three. Service with a smile for only 400 Baht return!
Before being able to step foot on the Island we were asked to hand in our water bottles… It was refreshing to say the least, seeing no rubbish on the beach unlike in Koh Phanang and Koh Tao.
Before spending some time on the beach, we decided to climb one of the two peaks on the Island. I didn’t realise how unfit I was!
After our walk back down it was time for a well deserved fresh coconut shake, before hitting the beach for a spot of snorkeling and some sunbathing.
The water here was crystal clear as well as clean and there were plenty of fish all shapes and sizes to keep oneself occupied for hours! Up until we came here we had been really disappointed with the beaches on both Koh Phanang and Koh Tao. Maybe we were expecting too much I am not really sure, but I half imagined the two Islands to have waters like the Caribbean. This of course set me up for a big let down, and I realised I was expecting to much and that this is not the Caribbean! However on this little island the water was just as nice and the snorkeling was just as good.
After leaving Italy in June our adventure through SE Asia began. First stop was Singapore for a couple of nights to get ourselves slightly acclimatised (as a friend of mine put it, “Singapore is Asia for beginners”). After a short flight from Singapore we arrived in Hatyai (Southern Thailand) where we jumped on our first train which was heading to Suratthani! It was an eye opener yet enjoyable experience and one to be had when in Thailand. We were in a carriage that looked like it was from the 1950’s, the seats were soft and reclined a little and the windows opened right up which made for a very noisy 7 hour train ride! But considering it was a non air-conditioned van the windows and fans were a must! There were plenty of friendly locals trying to sell all kinds of foods that we didn’t dare put in our mouths!!!
There is only one track in Thailand for trains going both North and South, so the train often came to a stop (for what seemed like a very long time) in the passing bay to let another train go by that was coming the other way, this causes the trains to often run behind time and normally extends an already long train ride by a couple of hours.