Monday, 7 February 2011

Malaysia - Thailand

We decided that the best way to get from Penang to Thailand would be to travel in a mini bus or what we'd call a van. To be honest it wasn't that bad and 12 hours later we had crossed the border and where now in Krabi in southern Thailand.

We managed to find a guest house that was pretty good for Baht 350 (£7.50). Later that evening we ate dinner in our guest house restaurant and had a little wander around the town, having a few beers along the way.


The following day we decided to rent a scooter so we could explore the surrounding area and eventually found the Tiger Temple that we had been looking for. The temple was on top of a mountain, which would have been great if it had some sort of lift to get you up there but unfortunately there was only steps, 1239 very steep steps that seemed like they would never end. A good 30 mins later we made it to the top. The view made the climb well worth it and you could actually see the surrounding islands out at sea. After getting our energy back we started the decent which would have been easy if we hadn't just climbed up, jelly legs had set in, we made it though. Later in the day we headed off to Ao Nang which is the closest beach to Krabi town, the wasn't that much to do there and we both felt shattered so we decided to buy some snorkeling gear and head back for a shower and something to eat. We had dinner that night in the Krabi night market which was great, satay chicken skewers with peanut sauce and chicken pad Thai - which is is a spicy noodle dish with beansprouts, mmh. A few beers to top the day off and it was bedtime.

We decided to keep the bike for one more day so we could visit emerald pond which was in a national park about 65Km east of Krabi. The weather was really hot and it was nice to be cruising along with the breeze to cool us down. We eventually found the park and had a little walk through the jungle to the Emerald Pond. It was pretty amazing and was basically a small natural lake filled with crystal clear mountain water, after a lovely dip we continued through the jungle to find the Blue Pond. This pond was only very small but was so blue, hence the name, it was sort of bubbling in the middle which was some sort of gas caused by the magma rising to the surface, or something like that? there were two Thai boys there that were clapping to make it bubble even more. It was getting on a bit in the day by this time and we decided to get back to Krabi before it went dark. That evening we ate in the night market again as the food was really tasty and cheap. We decided to make a move the following day and were up early to catch our ferry to Phuket.

Phuket / Patong Beach

The ferry boat was really relaxing and in no time at all we arrived on the island of Phuket and set off with our bags to find somewhere to sleep. We decide to stay in Patong which we had heard was one of the cheaper resorts on the island. Well if this was cheap then the rest of the island must be soooo expensive because we were both shocked at cost of things. We found a reasonably cheap hotel to stay in which was worth paying the little bit extra for because it was clean and right in the middle of town. That evening we decided to forget about our budget and went out to have a few beers and loads and loads of tequila slammers. Needless to say the next morning when we eventually woke up at 2pm we both felt pretty rough and decided that we should move on the following day heading for Koh Samui.

Koh Samui

We booked a bus, coach, ferry combo to get to Koh Samui island which took all day, When we arrived on the island we headed to Mae Nam which was described in our lonely planet book as the best beach. We weren't disappointed by the beach or our little beach bungalow just the weather. After speaking to a few regular visitor to the island we found out that this was the first time it had rained in Samui during January for years? Well it wasn't just a little shower, it was full on by the bucket load. Not letting this get us down we decided to rent a scooter and find somewhere to go snorkeling but after travelling around the whole island we found ourselves back where we started and decided to have a few mid afternoon beers with some of the people staying at our bungalows, including a crazy, drunk, 72 year old Scottish poet.  The few afternoon beers turned into many many more.  The next day we slept in until the sun came out for about an hour in the afternoon and got to lie on the beach for a while. 

Chinese New Year is celebrated in January for about a week and there's a lot going on in the evenings, a huge food market was set up, drums and fire crackers going off every few minutes.  We went the food market for tea where there was loads to choose from including offal stew, pigs trotters, deep fried insects and spicy salad.  We opted for the salad.  The next day was our last on Koh Samui and luckily the sun was out all day so we lay in it, stupidly thinking we didn't need sun cream anymore.  Needless to say we were both pretty sun burnt and Tracey now has a Zorro mask. That evening we went out drinking with the people staying at the bungalows again and were treated to some poetry readings from our new Scottish friend. Crazy!!!

We left Ko Samui at 6.30 the next morning and after a 6 hour ferry followed by a 6 hour bus we finally arrived at our next stop Hua Hin.