As I stand in the sticky, morning furnace air, fresh off an air conditioned night train, I can still longingly imagine the gentle sway of the ocean.
After a ferry, bus and night train, all of which were delayed by a couple hours (in classic Thailand fashion) I am back in the City of Angels, wasting away the day before I head into northern Thailand.
I gave my heart to the lazy island/coastal life, so it will be difficult to put the beach behind me.
Following my last update I did a tour of southern Thailand islands and beaches, starting in Railay Beach, Krabi province.
Only accessible by longtail boat, the journey was made even more dramatic by a greeting from soaring karst cliffs with palm trees nestled in their shade. The unique rock makes it a haven for climbers, so I obviously had to try my hand at it. I love climbing things on any ordinary day, so properly rock climbing in a place with such views was phenomenal.
Three nights was definitely enough to spend in Railay, gorgeous as it is, as you can literally walk the remote boat-access only area of the coast in under 20 minutes. It also has more of an upper class, family resort vibe to it. Although low tide made venturing out further possible, and I discovered kind of a secret hippy beach called Tonsai just around the coast.
After Railay I met up with a guy who stayed at my hostel on my way to the island Ko Lanta, which I was very thankful for in the end. It was a tad bit monsoony during our time there, so it was relieving having a friend to hang out with. Instead of lounging at the beach, my new friend from Denmark, Anders, showed me how to ride a scooter. In return I showed him what being skunked in cribbage is.
While the scenery did not change a whole lot bumping between islands, I found each place had a very unique vibe.
Ko Phanagn, famous for its full moon party, was for sure a place for having a good time.
The full moon party didn’t line up with my stay there, but in Ko Phanagn they find ways to have some sort of moon party almost once a week. So I was surprised to find after arriving from a long journey the ‘half moon party’ was that very night. Obviously, I couldn’t say no to that. What a crazy party in the jungle – thousands of people swaying to the same beat, glo painted faces lit by strobe lights and fire dancers.
I only stayed two nights before I made the short jaunt to neighbouring Koh Tao, where I stayed for five nights. I could’ve easily stayed much longer on this island paradise, which has a strong scuba diving vibe to it.
In the night time I learned to cook local food, went for moon lit swims or had a few drinks and shot some pool, followed by lady boy cabaret with new friends. During the day it was exploring the little island via scooter, diving or just losing myself in a good book on the beach.
Tao is one of the most famous spots in the world for getting certified in scuba diving, because it’s so cheap and the marine life is plentiful. While I didn’t do my certification, I did do the one day diving program, and I can easily see why people get addicted. When you dive it’s the only place on earth you can feel zero gravity naturally, as my instructor told me. It was so neat to dive into a new part of the world I’d never seen before, and discovering the vibrancy of marine life. There was an unusual occurance of jelly fish at my dive site though, so on top of learning to manage my buoyancy I was also trying to dodge the jellies.
I just arrived this morning in northern Chiang Mai (there was a delay between writing the above and being able to post) after a second night train, where I’ll spend my last week or so in Thailand. Here I hope to dig a bit more into the culture of Thailand and hit the yoga mat.