Our journey to Thailand came about last year when we had the amazing opportunity to visit there for 3 weeks. We were excited to say the least. We were googling the country constantly and the anticipation was almost too much to bare.
The time came around and our first stop was Bangkok and if you want a good first impression of Thailand, this is your place to be. It is your typical city; it’s busy, it’s crowded but it is full of culture and wonderful people. We stayed in the Baiyoke Sky Hotel (please Google, it is a must when staying in Bangkok!) It has its own observation deck to view the city; breathtaking.
After a day or so in Bangkok, we travelled down to Koh Samui and began our tour of the islands. The Thai islands are seriously something to put on your bucket list. They are the most spectacular and amazing place we have ever viewed and would 100% recommend them. Here, we hired mopeds and drove around the city seeing all the amazing wonders that the island had to offer. If you are ever in Koh Samui, we would recommend seeing the Hin Ta & Hin Yai Rocks, also named the ‘grandmother and grandfather rocks’. Walking down to the beachfront to these sights is beautiful and there is a good stretch of market and cafes for the walk. We stayed just by Lamai beach, which was perfect. We were out of the way in a modern hotel run by some French individuals and it was a great distance to the centre.
After Koh Samui, we went to Koh Tao, which is well known for its diving. We stayed in a resort called Ao Muong Beach Resort, which was off of the mainland and only reachable by a long tailed boat twice a day, so it was incredibly quiet and peaceful. Although we did not do diving here, the beach was always full of diving groups who came here on trips. We did decide to do a bit of snorkelling here, to test ourselves. All in all, we saw some sweet fish, but decided not to venture out as far as the divers, as we weren’t as well prepped but diving is definitely something we want to experience in the near future. Our little hotel was perfect for being out of the way, although if staying in Koh Tao again, we think we would stay on the mainland in order to experience a little more of the city.
Our next island hop took us to Koh Phangan. We have to say, it was incredible here and probably one of our favourite islands to stay on. We stayed at the Sunrise Resort on Haad Rin, which is famous for the Full Moon Party. We chose to visit Koh Phangan a few days after the FMP because we really were not that fussed for the party and just wanted to relax. The beach itself is beautiful and really long, so you can take romantic walks along the sand. When the sun sets, it comes alive! Restaurants have their seating outside with little seats and lights; it’s spectacular really.
Our last island was Koh Phi Phi and here we stayed at the Phi Phi Villa Resort (really worth a look at by the way!) Unfortunately, it rained probably the whole time we were here so we did not get to experience that much. It is such a shame because its probably up there with one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen. It would have been nice to go out on kayaks or boat trips but the weather really didn’t permit it. If we were to recommend anything, it would be to get out on the water and experience as much of this island as you can because it is truly breathtaking. Koh Phi Phi shopping tip: always haggle!
So by now, we’ve left the islands and are on our way back to the mainland. As discussed before, the weather was terrible and this got even worse when we made our way to the ferry. Imagine this: you’re on a boat, and the waves are so big, they are crashing over the top of it. The boat is rocking and people are clinging on for their lives… yes, that was our nightmare. It was terrible and we had to endure it for around 2-3 hours.
When we did make it back onto the mainland, we went from Surat Thani over to Krabi and stayed at the Lada Krabi Residence. It was only a small hotel but the people were really friendly and helped us out whenever they could. We only stayed here over night before we made our way on to Patong Beach, so we decided to make the most of it and head to the Chao Fah night market: the biggest in Krabi. Night markets are really fun. They had live music and food stalls everywhere (heaven!) but we would definitely recommend the crepes there (so good, no word of a lie!). We could have spent hours trailing those stalls trying everything on the menu and sampling the goods but we did have to be up early so it had to end at some point (not happy about that)
After Krabi, we made our way up to Patong Beach, where we stayed at the Horizon Patong Beach Resort & Spa. We’d heard things about Patong before we had arrived there, some good and some bad but from our experience, it was good for a couple of nights but way to much for a holiday. We would recommend going there and living it for a day or so to see what the fuss is about but for us, it was way too much and in your face for what we wanted. It’s another culture and something for us to tick off our bucket list.
The one thing that stood out on our trip here was Bangla Road. If you experience it in the day time, then you have no idea what it’s like come dusk: completely different. We have never felt so intimidated walking down that street at night; it has bars and clubs and promoters at every turn. This isn’t always a bad thing, its just different, especially when that is something you haven’t experienced on that level before. We can only give advice if visiting here: be carefree, be open-minded and enjoy it. It is probably somewhere you won’t visit again and its best to enjoy it to its full potential.
Thailand has such a vast culture that can be enjoyed by all. Yes, it may be different from what you’ve ever experienced and some situations may bring you out of your comfort zone. That is what travelling is all about: doing something out of the ordinary, stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing new cultures.
Even as we write this now, we want to go back! .. Perhaps one day us and Thailand will meet again, stay tuned.