Thursday, 16 April 2009
Ok so after a few more days relaxing with the pup and enjoying chilled out Lanta, Lek and Malay, (who owned the place we were staying at and became good friends of ours) were kind enough to drive us all the way to Hat Yai. It was a new take on stopping at a service station - stopping by the side of the road at a shack and having ant soup - literally whole ants and their eggs... surprisingly tasty! Anyway it was an adventure and so kind of them to take us, as soon as we arrived however Claudia and I were whisked away by private taxi to the Malaysian border... surreal stepping into a country for 2 seconds, but it got us the free visa we needed... When we returned to Hat Yai we knocked for Lek and George and were treated to a night out on the town, I think we almost ate Hat Yai itself with the amount of food Lek kindly bought us! Weird and wonderful dishes, flavours I cannot describe!
We sadly said our goodbyes to Lek the next morning, we were so thankful for her kindness to us, she treated us like family and we will always remember her and the family! A long journey - mini van, coach, boat, sangthaw....and we were back!!! Koh Pan Gnan was ours for 10 days - and we embraced it!! Over the week we built up a fabulous crew of people to party with - firstly Mariane, Claudia and Emily joined us, then Juliet, India, Dominique and Hamish...then we met a few others along the way..Dana and Graham in particular, our lovely neighbourghs.... there was a nice big group of us, and everyone was fabulous and fun, we spent our days by the pool, or biking around the island or lazing in lazyhouse! In the evening we rocked it out into the early hours, good memories of mushroom mountain night, never laughed so much before!! Dancing on the beach like duracell bunnies, buckets in hand!! Over the course of the week the island got busier and busier and the energy was growing every day, by the time it hit full moon party everyone was amped! We spent the begining of the night consuming many a beverage and painting ourselves up, then hitting the beach and enjoying the madness that is full moon party... great night and dancing till the sun rose with thousands of people in a good mood, is definitely the way to party!
A day to recover and reflect and sadly we were on our way to Bangkok, luckily we went out with a bang enjoying the Thai new year - Song Kran (huge continuous water fight, all day and night) which was a blast and plenty of shopping whilst avoiding the riots that were going on...we were fine, although did keep ending up a little to close for comfort whilst on tuk tuk journeys! We sadly had to say goodbye to our friends and Thailand...it really was heart breaking and we almost didn't get on the plane! I don't think this is the end of it...we'll be back soon!! Thanks for reading and hope to see all of you soon!
All our love,
Soph and Claud xx
Friday, 27 March 2009
Ok so it's been 2 weeks and we are still here, we can't leave and we now call this place home - we found a great palce to stay were the owners have welcomed us here with open arms. Every night they let us try some of the strangest and tasty meals - bitter wild mushrooms, pepper beans, pigs tongue, asian jelly, mini mangoes...you name it we have tried it! Also they have been teaching us to cook these wacky and wild dishes...as well as letting us cook whatever we like, it has been nice to have a kitchen. We also set up a little pancake stall one day outside the front and did a great job of cooking, advertising and... eating the pancakes! We learnt from scratch how to pick, cut open and remove the insides of a coconut. Much harder than you would imagine.
Half way through we were joined by Oli and George, two close friends from London, it was nice to have a familiar face about and we did some nights out on the beach drinking buckets and buckets literally :) We made a visit to the market and bought tones of prawns, squid and fish and cooked up a magnificent feast for us and the owners! As well as singing the night away with guitar and harmonicas in hand, we think they enjoyed it...
A few days were spent exploring the island on motorbikes - riding over dirt tracks to the national park where we were literally attacked by monkeys...they nicked our food and didn't like the look of Claud in particular...she ran for her life! The beach was worth it and the amazing view from the bar we stopped at on the way back was exceptionally stunning!
Sadly we had to say our goodbyes to Oli but George is still with us and we are chilling out here before heading off to Koh Pan Gnan to finish off our trip with a bang!
Last but not least Sophie has fallen madly in love with the owners chihuaha called 'Pizza', they are very rarely seen apart and Claudia is expressing some jealousy all ready... feel free to browse the pics on facebook to see the love blossoming!
See you soon!!
Thursday, 12 March 2009
So our first few nights in Koh Phi Phi we spent in a gorgeous but noisy hut literally in the beach bar!! So we embraced and partied through the night and passed out on the beach or in our room in the day! We then found a fab new room, far from the noise, and with a bathroom which literally looked like a jungle, it truly was like being at one with nature!! It's definitely the way to shower! The people were crazy and great and we enjoyed chilling out with them and the other people staying there...
Some nights we partied on the beach, some on the roof top bar...and made a lot of new Thai, Swedish, Finnish friends....We had a little adventure kayaking around the island and stopping off in little bays that were just crazily beautiful! And we gave in and decided to do a group tour of another island which was actually great fun: kayaking, snorkeling with the most bizarre fish, the famous 'Beach' from the movie, and then dinner on the boat as the sunset...and an added bonus there was an incredible storm over the ocean as we headed back to the main land!
Koh Phi Phi and the people were great to us and it was sad to say goodbye, but we are now in peaceful Koh Lanta, exploring and adventuring!!
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Since we have done a lot we are just going to write small snippets of what we have done to give you an idea of the crazy journey we have been on...
Koh Pang: Drove around the island for 2 days - first day by quad bike, to a "waterfall" it was acctually a trickle...but we had hope and climbed for 2 hours yes that was 2 hours!! no water in mid day heat...to find more trickle!!!!!!!! Lets just say the view from the top was good, even better was the 2 gallons of water we consumed at the bottom of the blooming mountain! Second day we took motorbikes and rode to beaches, saw elephants and ended up at a nice thai food fair...yum yum!
Koh Samui: Hmmm...more Koh Poohui!! Busy, smelly, building packed together, everythign you don't need or want in paradise...plus the L.A / Ibiza wannabes showing off in ridiculously tight bathing suits, seriously put it away!! So we escaped on motorbikes and drove around the entire island...stopped off at beaches, another slightly better waterfall, fishing village, big buddah and decided to be bad and had a Mc Donalds...don't judge us, we havent had western food for like 2 months!! Yet the best bit of Koh Samui was still to come that evening....knock knock....on our door...'hello who is it?'....oh great a crazy phsyco on the other side of the door!! they jsut kept knocking and saying nothing then they started to try and unlock the door, we held it shut and grabbed weapons (spray cans and snorkel tube!) and they acctually managed to unlock the door and we panicked pushed it shut and then nothing...they were gone and we hearrd nothing more!!
Railay: Nice room, beach by day, coffee shack (looking over the sea, read books)... bars by night, met and partied with some good thai people! Bad hangover, evil buckets!!! Saw lots of monkeys...LOTS!!! we fed some and even came accross a whole family in the jungle, with an adorable bright orange baby!! Great adventure...lagoon treck, literally rock climbing (vertical drops) through the jungle, no equipment but you reach the most gorgeous lagoon!!
Phi Phi: We are here! Yay! Lovely place...a lot has changed but it is still great, and we were treated to the most incredibly loud and intensley powerful thunder storm! Scary but amazing....
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Well it's been a little while and we have packed a lot in...the rest of Koh Tao we spent visiting different beaches, view points and of course restaurants! Oh yeah Claudia almost got attacked by a monkey in Koh Tao - it was huge and on the back of a bike, we went to look at it and it literally almost gauged her eyes out! Never seen anyone so scared before!! Relaxed and prepared for a week of partying in Koh Phan Gan! The boat ride over was gorgeous, calm seas and perfect weather. We arrived and booked into our little bungalow and went to enjoy the sun by the pool. Lots has happened while we have been here:
> First night beach and a mad pool party - watched some fire throwing on the beach with a bucket of alcohol, headed to the pool party with a random entourage of people who followed us there - lots of dancing and meeting new and bizarre people!
> Spending lots of time by the pool or on the beach in the day listening to good music, enjoying fresh fruit shakes and reading lots of good books.
> Valentine's Day - great meal - seafood platter, everything you could imagine from the sea barbecued to perfection! Followed by lots of dancing on the beach - fireworks, lanterns, fire dancing!
> Half moon party! blooming amazing, party in the middle of the jungle, loads of great people, U.V. everywhere you look, the best fire dancing we have ever seen! Great music and partying into the night! Managed to get home at 4am...
All in all Koh Phan Gan has been good to us...next stop Koh Samui!!
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Well well we are staring at pure lucious white.....SAND, ha ha oh well we are sure it's fun in the pure lucious white snow! Anyway back to our adventures...
Last few days in Laos were perfect, sun, tubing, good cheap food, music and fun...We hung out a lot with the Sakurah girls JoJo and Amy and bid them a fond farewell before we headed off...destination Vientianne(the capital of laos) which is on the border of thailand. We had a supprisingly quick journey and ended up in this bizarre place. We spent the next couple of days at the Thai embassy and it took 4 hours to hand in and pay for our 2 month visas, but at least it will mean we wont have to do any border runs. It only cost 20 pounds which is not to bad. It is so annoying now they have changed the law - if you travel into Thailand by plane you get 30 days but if you go by land you only get 15 days so if we wanted to spend 2 months there we would have to do about 3 visa runs....
Vientianne is not the most inspiring of places, quite unappealing in terms of architecture and not much to do - as you would normally find in a capital city, so we wanted to leave there and get down south as soon as poss....
So visas in hand we literally travelled for days...travel to Bangkok stayed for the day (swimming pool and stocked up on some retail therapy) and then more travel to get down south....so all in all 48 hours of travelling, no sleep!! But we are here now and it is beautiful...koh tao, it really is such a gorgeous little island. We found a great place to stay, its got its own little beach at the end of the long beach and its this great fancy hut on stilts, we managed to haggle the price down to half as we said we are staying till next wednesday...so we are paying 600 baht a night instead of 1200... the people are really nice who own it and they help out with anything and the food is ridiculously cheap and amazingly fresh, so in all we are paying 3 pound a night each for this luxury place in the perfect location and to make it even better meals are about 80p its a pretty quiet island as most people who come here go scuba diving, so they are all out in the day and then to tired to go out at night, its so nice and relaxed and just what we needed after 4 days of pretty much no sleep....
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Our last days in Luang Probang we spent exploring the town and around, we went to see the pak ou caves but enjoyed the journey there more than the acctual caves!! fun dirt track, passed 3 elephants on the way, life is bizarre here! Good food and night markets rounded off our Luang visit....
Following a not so long but equally as bumpy and beautiful journey through Laos we reached Vang Vieng. We have been here 5 days now and staying till sunday...we've met some great people to enjoy the night life with, they are all a bit mad and we have steered clear of sharing that mad concoctions in their buckets! I had a fantastic birthday, tubing down the river and we went to a bar where we had made some friends the night before and they had made me a birthday cake and the whole bar sang happy birthday!!! :) was a perfect day!
The day that folloiwed was not so relaxing, (except for the lovely cycle there) we will keep the memories in our minds for a long time....PITCH BLACK CAVE!!! crazy weird Laos tour guide....40 minutes trek in the dark with a measily flash light...finally reach this so called lagoon...not what you are picturing, it is a massive pool completely dark, freezing, sat in a dingy...and the guy thought it was hilarious to turn off the flashlight....we didnt stay long, lets say I think he got the hint we werent really enjoying the horror...just imagine The Descent...we lived it! 40 minutes stumbling trek out of our worst nightmare...(yet we laugh now) we reached daylight....evening partying away the madness and more sunbathing and here we are half way through our Vang Vieng visit....
The sun is shining, the river is fantstic, good cheap food, always something to do, even if it is just sunbathing in a hamock over the river...the scenery around us is fab! We really recomend a visit!! Much cheaper than luang probang also...