Well after we left the Philippines we flew into KL and first thing you notice here is the civilisation of the place. Queue’s for bus tickets and everything. We hopped on a brilliant coach that dropped us at the train station shortly after and then we soared into KL city in relative luxury! In true Malaysia style it was sweltering and bright when we landed at the airport, but things changed quickly! We spent a night at a lovely 4* in KL called the Vivatel. But they weren’t fully open and after 1 night they moved all guests to the Ibis Styles down the road which thankfully was just as nice! We technically didn’t do a lot besides walk around shopping centers and visit a brilliant indoor climbing place called “camp5” which is the best indoor climbing facility that I’ve ever been to (www.camp5.com) as it was too wet to climb at the Batu Caves as planned.
Out and about in KL…
Sarah is my best friend from home, since high school and came to visit on our trip to Thailand 4 years ago. This time Sarah came again and brought her lovely cousin Laura too. I have only met Laura once previously and it was nice to get to know her properly over the next week. Sarah and Laura had spent a couple of nights in Bangkok, Koh Lanta and Phi Phi before we met up for a week starting in Ao Nang. We got the bus straight to Ao Nang from Krabi airport after the flight from KL, and met the girls for a laze and a Chang (or 2) on the beach! We had a crazy night out dancing at a live band place and playing connect 4 (sarah beat everybody, everytime).
We spent the next day on Pranang beach and apart from walking to a moored longtail for a BBQ we stayed til sunset doing nothing. It’s possibly the most relaxing day of the trip so far…
Going away travelling just wouldn’t be the same without a trip to a tattoo shop for Sarah!
We moved on to Koh Tao after 2 nights in Ao Nang, we set off at 8am, 2/3 buses and a ferry and we arrived on the island at around 7pm, checked into the hotel and went out to the Castle party with Craig and Doerthe. Samsong buckets all round, free shots etc and things get messy!
There were some adventures to be had on Koh Tao. With 2 rented scooters, Taz, Sarah, Laura and myself explored many beaches. The roads were mostly concrete but around the edges as you approached most beaches they were dirt and steep. VERY steep… A bike’s the best way to get around in our opinion, beats haggling a taxi every time you want to go anywhere. 4 quid per bike per day and the island’s your own! I saw approximately 10 people with motorbike accident related injuries though whilst I was there. Many people rent bikes that don’t have much or any experience (like me) and crash on the dirt roads, steep hills or fall off when going really slow through crowded narrow streets where really, bikes shouldn’t be going! Met people that think it’s funny that they can rent a bike here with no experience. But they keep your passport as a deposit, and their charges for damage are extreme.
There was the best night out I’ve had in a long time on this Island. It was random and unplanned. It involved two for one Vodka red bull buckets, limbo’ing a fire pole on the beach, Sarah doing herself some injuries trying to do handstands, Sarah abusing someone’s swimming pool and then the 4 of us walking about 3-4 miles back to the hotel but stopping at every shop along the way for various things including more alcohol, sausages with mustard on and dishes of pork noodle soup.
The night after was a little bit more gentle but an eye opener for Laura who’d never been to a lady boy show before. Click here for a short video of it. We headed down to Queen’s lady boy place, had a drink and have a relatively early one, after a couple more from the 7/11 on the deserted beach near our hotel.
After I think 3 nights, Sarah and Laura caught the ferry to Chumphon and bussed it up to Bangkok for their flight to Dubai for a couple of nights of luxury before flying home.
We had a great time being with a big group of other people. Meeting groups of other travellers doesn’t always happen, all the time, so it was nice to have new company and also be with friends we knew from back home!
I think we spent 7 nights on Koh Tao and everyday was ridiculously relaxing. The vibe is so different to the South of Thailand. Nice. Koh Tao is exactly the way a trip should end.
Koh Tao is one of those places that restores faith in you that you don’t hate Thailand, after the crap that happens to you in Southern Thailand. There’s such a big difference in the way people treat you. The south is saturated with tourists and the service is shit. On Koh Tao it was nice, Chiang Mai was nice and Ranong is still just a lovely hideaway. And I think we’ll always love Bangkok. We’ll be avoiding the South as and when we return to this part of the world (as I’ve mentioned many times!)
We said our good bye’s to Craig and Doerthe and hopped on the ferry to Chumphon 10.30 Thursday morning. We got on a bus to Hua Hin and arrived there, checked in and got seafood noodle soup. It was just as amazing as last time and I hope I can make soup like this at home because I’m going to miss it! We went briefly down the night market, to a few bars and had a relatively early night, 2am?
The following day we headed around to the minibus place that we used last time, hopped on the 12.30 bus to Bangkok and were at monument square in the centre by 3.30pm! Smooth.
When we were travelling in 2009 and Taz got a tattoo I didn’t get on because I thought I’d regret it. So after nearly 4 years I had firmly made up my mind that I wanted a tattoo from this trip. I chose something that describes me well so it’s ok that it’s stuck on my foot forever…
“Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world”
And then of course what would your last night on Koh San Road be like without eating scorpions, drinking Chang by the jug, watching men with no legs shuffle past, playing thumb war, eating great food and getting on the shishas…
Video of Taz eating the scorpion, with a lovely message for my sister: http://youtu.be/3QKNYpnlHyM
And then we do a bit of shopping the morning after, gifts, and check out late from the hotel. At 4pm we hop in a taxi and that’s that. 80 days. Over… 😦
But it’s amazing to be home. My super organised wonderful sister in law makes sure the house is beautifully clean for our return so all we have to do is get home and hop in the bath with a brew 🙂 Thanks Sueanne! There’s even milk, bacon and eggs in the fridge. Eek, yummy!
It’s lovely to be home. Last night my sister and baby niece Lily was round, and my brother Harry. Taz’s brother Tom came round too for a catchup and a beer in our local pub (nothings changed) and today Taz’s friend Rick’s round with his 2 kids. It’s so nice to have the people around you that you’ve missed. And I’ve already knocked up a roast chicken dinner, a lambs liver lunch and a fish pie. I’ve missed my kitchen! It’s nice to be home 🙂
This morning I woke up and it was silent and peaceful. No thai high pitched voices or slamming doors or cockerels or realising their’s no electric and it’s boiling. Just silence. And it was ace. And what’s even better – it’s snowing and it actually feels like the Christmas that didn’t really happen in the Philippines.
I hope you enjoyed the blog of our 80 day adventures.
Back to work on Monday, so until next time, goodbye 🙂
Jem and Taz x