Monday, 6 June 2016

MY GUIDE TO THAILAND » PART II


So after neglecting posting due to my uni workload and as it's been just over two months since the first installment of my three part guide to Thailand, I thought it was about time I follow up with Part II! If you missed my post on Part I you can read it here - it gives you the lowdown on the Northern parts and includes elephants, temples and lots of great places to stay. I'd advise you read that before reading this so you get the jist of my travel itinerary and plans.

Now nearing the mid-point, this post will focus on the first part of my journey around Southern Thailand visiting Krabi - Koh Phi Phi - Koh Lanta - Phuket.. think endless amounts of beaches, ped's and boat rides. As you may have gathered if you follow my blog, I travelled for a total of 6 weeks so my guides can get quite lengthy however they're loaded full of places you must go to, things you must see and helpful tips. So have a read if your're thinking of travelling to Thailand yourself!

- KRABI -
4th June - 5th June

So with my last installment finishing up in Chiang Rai, we took a flight to Bangkok and then from Bangkok to Krabi we flew again. I think the flights cost around £30 each booked in advance with Air Asia, which is nothing for two short flights compared to the ridiculous buses! When we arrived in Krabi, the weather wasn't great but we expected that so we decided to make our visit to Krabi a short one. We stayed in the Pak Up Hostel, which cost us 350baht each (£7), I'd say this was the best shared hostel we stayed in throughout the trip - it's extremely modern, central, full of travellers and has loads of activities and events held there. The night we stayed we played giant jenga, beer pong and karaoke with over 20 travellers from all walks of life - that's the hostel's main selling point as we met such an ecelectic bunch of people!

The hostel had a common area with loads of English DVD's, vending machines, food, washing machines and a bar. It exceeded my sister and I's expectations as it had endless facilities but was so cheap - I would definitely recommend staying here! We bought a bus/boat ticket from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi for the early hours of the morning which cost us 450baht (£9) for both the bus and boat ticket. The ferry took an hour and a half which wasn't too bad but the weather was shocking which made the boat feel like a theme park ride (I get extremely sea sick so you can only imagine..)

Looking back I'm pretty gutted that the weather played up so much in Krabi as I didn't see as much as I would've liked. It felt as though we were just stopping through so I would love to go back this year!

TIP | we stayed in a 10 person same sex dorm which was surprisingly fun. its the cheaper option to a private room but if you opt for a dorm remember to buy a little padlock for your backpack/locker space - it was my saviour in hostels like this.


- KOH PHI PHI -
5th June - 10th June

Now this is when our trip really stepped up a notch. Phi Phi is such a beautiful island - it was the first time that I was met with the beautiful sandy white beaches and clear blue oceans you see on pictures! Coming into the Phi Phi pier, we were lucky enough to know someone working in the accommodation booth. My sisters friend sorted us out with a private room at Sandsea Resort (its not online as it's a small family run place) and it was just what we needed. With twin beds, a private bathroom and balcony it cost us 400baht (£8) a night for the both of us however we did got a slight discount so the price could be slightly higher. The location was in a quiet place near Phi Phi viewpoint which was a nice surprise and within 3 minutes walk we were in the centre of the nightlife.

My favourite thing my sister and I did when on the beach islands was hire a longtail boat to Loh Moo Dee Beach (map below from 'Pier' to 'Loh Moo Dee'). It's definitely not the cheapest thing to do as it cost us 1500-1800baht (£30+) for a return journey with 2 hours of sunbathing but it was something we always wanted to do! We had a little rasta boat man who was hilarious, he made a day trip out of it and allowed us to snorkel for a good half hour en route! Loh Moo Dee itself had a total of about 7 people on it as the only way to reach it was by longtail boat. IT WAS AMAZING, scorching hot, peaceful and just breathtaking - I've attached a fair few pictures of it for you to gaze at!

The main beach on Phi Phi has great areas to chill out in the day, we found so many bars however by night time they turned into an EDM frenzy - not good! This is what set's Phi Phi apart from the other Thai islands, its incredibly party focused and reminds me of a girls/lads holiday destination at nightfall. Despite this my sister and I had a fair few funny nights out, one consisted of me walking bare foot in a storm just to get a slice of pizza. If partying is for you then I'd definitely put Phi Phi to the top of your list!

The Viewpoint is also a must however I would advise wearing sports/activewear as it is quite an intense and steep climb - especially in the heat. The trek begins with the steepest steps I've ever seen in my life... and there's over 300 of them!! The entry fee is 30baht (£0.59) and the view is just beautiful, there are 3 points as you climb to the top, all with different views. At the top you get to see the entire scope of Phi Phi so clearly and it was just perfect during the sunset!

Phi Phi is also famous for Maya Bay - why? - the film The Beach was filmed directly on Maya in 1999 so you can imagine the hoards of people it ropes in. We hired another longtail boat, again at the price of 1500-1800baht (£30+), however it was a longer journey in comparison to that of Loh Moo Dee and the views were well worth it. We went late afternoon and it was CRAZY busy - the beach is encased with cliffs on three sides and only stretches to 200m in length so you can imagine how many boats and people were there. It was beautiful though, and well worth the visit (pics below!)

TIP | if you decide to visit Maya Bay get up at dawn, hire a longtail boat and get there before the crowds - something we wish we'd decided to do to avoid the people, noise and distractions! (there's also a 200baht entry fee (£4) which we didn't know about until we got there)




- KOH LANTA -
10th June - 12th June

From Phi Phi we took the ferry to Koh Lanta which cost us 450baht each (£9) and took around 2 hours. Koh Lanta is less famous and mainstream in comparison to the more congested islands however it was top of my sisters list so we squeezed a 2 day trip into our schedule! It was SO peaceful, sometimes maybe a bit too quiet? There was just nothing major going on but it was nice to have a break from the nonstop hustle and bustle of Phi Phi.

We treated ourselves (again) and stayed at Relax Bay Resort (click the link its beautiful!!) and after bartering the price down we spent 1300baht for both nights - extremely steep compared to the previous places we stayed at.. but it had a private beach and pool so we couldn't resist! We were given a private bungalow with a double bed, single bed, bathroom and balcony with hammock - it was so cute and the staff were lovely, I'd definitely recommend this as a treat!

Koh Lanta is mostly flat so we took it upon ourselves to get a ped whilst the roads were quiet. We hired one from our resort which was so much fun. We took the ped 15-20km down a long, windy, road/highway to Koh Lanta National Park which was hilarious (we fell off the ped a good few times when met with steep hills!).

The park has an entry fee, like most places, charging 400baht (£8) each which I thought was slightly excessive. The place is humongous so you could easily spend the entire day there and it was completely dead when we went which was really surprising! There are heaps of wildlife there which scared the shit out of my sister as monkeys were running around after us on the beach.

TIP | if you want to get familiar with a ped in Asia head to Lanta like we did, plus the rental price for ped's was considerably cheaper than the mainstream islands - I think we spent £3 for our ped hire for an entire day!



- PHUKET -
12th June - 14th June

Our visit to Phuket was a quick one as we wanted to head to Koh Tao for their annual festival (more on this in the next installment!). The weather was shocking in Phuket - humid and wet which ruined our time there. We stayed at the Balcony Hostel just down from Patong beach which was really cute and only cost us just under 250baht (£5) each per night. We stayed in a same-sex dorm room with 3 bunk beds, however the rooms were sooooo small and only ideal if you're looking for a place to get your head down as it was impossible to chill out! They did have a funky communal area with pool table, bar, internet and TV's so there definitely is room to relax here.

We did a fair bit of shopping in Phuket as there's much greater access to home favourites - we're talking McDonalds, Starbucks, cinemas and UK high street shops! This was a nice change as we had gone nearly three weeks without anything comforting or familiar to us. The malls are similar to those of Bangkok although not as extravagant in size. We went to the SFX Cinema on our second day as it was constantly raining, all the films are aired in English with Thai subtitles and the tickets were cheaper than what you'd pay in the UK - win win.

There was a street food market close by to our hostel which literally had every type of Thai street food you could imagine. Pad Thai quickly became my favourite dish so I made sure I tried it in every place we visited, street food is so cheap too so don't get roped into the overpriced restaurants lovated on Patong beach front.

There's a main strip in Phuket called Bangla Road. During the day time this is a road accessible only to cars but when nightfalls it turns into the loudest, party street I think I've ever been on. I will add its full of 'ladyboys' who tend to annoy the shit out of you at any given time, so do your best to avoid eye contact/any contact, or if that's your thing then go for it? haha..

I would love to go back to Phuket, hopefully when the weathers a little better! Next on my list would hands down be the James Bond Island. We didn't have the time, weather or money to go last year but from what I've heard and researched, the place is incredible although situated off the central island.so it can cost quite a bit to get out there!

TIP | sadly, the weather isn't always going to be on your side - plan everything day by day and as it comes to keep your trip spontaneous and exciting, this is what I loved about travelling!


Thanks for taking the time to read (yet another) of my long winded guides to Thailand. You can read all about my adventures around Northern Thailand here if you haven't already or you can watch the vlog I created here which includes the highlights from my trip! Keep your eyes peeled for my next and last instalment coming very soon...

Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

Blog Design Created by pipdig