Southern Thailand. 16 August – 7 October 2016
Places visited: Bangkok, Koh Phangan – full moon party, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Phuket, Phi Phi Island, Ao Nang, Khao Lak, Krabi
Total of 53 days.
Most favourite place:
Charlie: This has to be Tonsai and Railay! The landscape alone is amazing, beaches secluded by impassable mountains and jungle. It’s got a real hippy, laid back vibe I’ve not seen anywhere else in such a genuine way.
Lisa: I also loved Tonsai but I’m going to pick Koh Tao. It’s the one place that although we went there twice (for 5 and 4 days respectively) I would still go back again tomorrow. It was so chilled, easy and beautiful. It also probably helped that we had great accommodation, it is where our favourite little food lady was and there was just a great vibe all round.
Least favourite place:
Charlie: Khao Lak, for no other reason than that the weather was against us. The area has plenty to do, but with bad weather it limits you massively. The area was quiet and peaceful and a one road town which is ideal for slow paced days.
Lisa: It is Phuket for me. Don’t get me wrong, I had such a great time while we were there as we had a lot of fun times with friends. However without the pool days spent chilling out with all our friends and the funny nights out, as a place it really doesn’t do it for me.
Most favourite dish:
Charlie: My go-to dish throughout was the trusty chicken fried rice, swamped in soy sauce and chilli but the tastiest was the chilli and basil fried chicken and rice. The hotter the better!
Lisa: My go-to was either a vegetable pad Thai or a tofu tom yum soup! I had at least one if not both of them each day!
Charlie: Learning to dive in Koh Tao was pretty special, I’m looking forward to comparing it other places too! My single best experience has to be a toss up between this and a day in the sun with friends exploring Railay and Tonsai. Even if we did get stranded on a broken long tail along the way!
Lisa: Being reunited with my family and my bestie! Performing the blessing at my brothers wedding. Diving in Koh Tao! Where do I even start!
Charlie: Worst experience is a tough one. Nothing we’ve done has been especially horrendous but there’s been times I wish I could fast forward! I’d have to say being sick the day before Jaimee and Lolly’s wedding sucked the most. Having held in the urge to throw up so long, it really stockpiled!
Lisa: It’s got to be when I had a tummy bug for 3-4 days. Luckily we were staying in a villa at the time (thanks Sarah) but during the night when I was having one of the awful cold shiver spells that came with the bug I decided to put one of the bathrobes on. So whilst going to the toilet I sadly hadn’t realised the wrap around ties on the robe were in the toilet… until I was done. It was quite an embarrassing conversation that followed with housekeeping.
Something you will miss:
Charlie: I will miss the ease to travel, everywhere you want to go is a simple visit to an on-street vendor away, within minutes you can organise travel to the opposite side of the country from door to door.
Lisa: The food! I have to say I did get a little bit sick of having noodles or rice for breakfast towards the 5 – 6 week mark but I was still more than happy to eat Thai for lunch and dinner! It’s 100% my favourite cuisine!
Something you won’t miss:
Charlie: Ferries. Ferries. A thousand times, Ferries. This is more of a pet hate than anything, the ferries themselves are great, comfortable and easy to figure out. The thing that bugged me was the way that as soon as large amounts of people enter them, they leave their civility at the door! Along with the constant offers of suits, taxi’s and massages, there’s not a lot else to deal with that’ll be more annoying.
Lisa: The discrepancies between tuk tuks/taxi’s and the prices they charge. In Bangkok we paid off a metre and everything was super cheap. Get to Koh Phangan and the prices were non negotiable and extortionate for short journeys, worse for long journeys and everything in between. There’s no regulation and each island/mainland town runs differently.