This blog is kind of a diary of our trip to Thailand. It is no longer updated, as we are already home :-( Please note, we have created an online photo-album with google's picassa, check it out for a lot of our photos from Thailand!.
Snorkling Trip to Koh Rok
17:41 | damen Thailand one comment |Tuesday
Today Martijn had his birthday, so we celebrated this with a nice speedboat trip to the Island of Koh Rok, which is south of Koh Lanta and famous for it's snorkeling. For this we had to get up early and were picked up with the speedboat from our beach at 8h30. After picking up several other people we headed for Koh Rok and arrived there around 10 for the first 40 minutes snorkeling. The water was nice warm (30 degrees celcius) and the visibility also ok (>10 meter). We had in total three 40 minute snorkeling sessions, so we were able to see a lot.
After the first two times snorkeling we had already seen lot's of clown fish, moray eels (very big one swimming and a tiny one in the rocks), porcupine fish, trumpet fish, parrot fish, too many trigger fish for my comfort etc. It was also a nice way for Martijn to do some apnea diving again, because it really had been a long time After seeing all these nice creatures under water it was time for lunch, and our captain of the speedboat turned out to be also a good cook and host, so we got fine food on the Island of Koh Rok. Here we discovered that it was also possbile to camp here under the supervision of the Koh Rok National Park Rangers, who lived permanently on the island.
After the refreshing lunch we had some time to look around on the island and enjoyed the fabalous beach. It was really amazing, the sand was extremely soft and 10 meters from the waterline the coral began. Here we also did some snorkeling and were even lucky enough to see a stone fish. Furthermore there were again lot's of Clown Fish. What did irritate us was some Thai or Korean people who were walking on the coral. These were the same ones in the photo above with the life jackets. Manu made clear that they should not do that, and after that they seemed to keep in line.
There were also a lot of hermit crabs (Pagurus Bernhardus) on the beach, which were very funny as they run away and hide if you come near.
After this we had our last snorkeling, this time is a place where again there were lot's of moray eels. After three times 40 minutes snorkeling it was enough and we went back to Koh Lanta. We just put the first persons on the beach and had some miles to do as a big rainstorm started Thus we were completely soaked as we arrived at our beach and were really very happy that our bungalow had warm water
So, due to the rain we could not enjoy the nice sea food bbq that we had planned for tonight, so we decided to have diner at the Coffee Asylum where we normally took our lunch. Somehow we missed the sign at the entrance saying they were closed for the evening, and as May and Michael knew that I had my birthday and I told them that some people were coming over they decided that they were open anyway I must say, of the 10 people that came only one noticed the closed sign We had some food and then we did something very cool, we let balloons up for luck. This is an old tradition on Koh Lanta and Michal and May had two balloons organized for me, so Manu and I both had one airborne. The perfect thing to do on a birthday, ain't it?
As you can see it is an almost magical sight to see the balloons go up in the sky. As soon as they gain hight you don't see the balloon as is anymore, just a golden light that slowly ascends into the sky. Really cool! After this we enjoyed the rest of the evening with drinks (if you make it to Koh Lanta try the "Blender Medley"... quite a drink!).
Beach Time and more diving
12:03 | damen Thailand eight comments |Saturday
On Saturday we took the day to relax and do absolutely nothing. In the evening there were several parties where we were invited and we went to the one at Irie's. They had live music and later on a dj turned the tables, but by then we were already gone. Further we enjoyed a nice thai massage, which is great when you have a slight breeze from over the beach and the view on the sea
We started the day with a nice breakfast at the Coffee Asylum, which kind of is our standard place to go to for breakfast and May and Michael are great hosts. There we spend the better part of the afternoon in hammocks reading.... very relaxed.
After that we walked a bit up and down the beach and had some thai food probably .... not too sure anymore what we did, but it took kind of the whole day Oh and by the way, the sunsets are beautiful here !
On Sunday Martijn went diving again, this time to the King Cruiser Wreck, Sharks Point and Anemone Reef. Great visibility, great stuff to see:
Sea snake, again a sea turtle but this time swimming, boxfish, lot's of baracuda, lot's of moray eels, again a leopard shark, beautifill srimps, soft corals, hard corals, anemones all the eye could sea
Manu spended the day on the beach again, enjoyed a nice coconut oil massage and in the evening we sat on the beach with a american-german couple we met. Very relaxed, again
We slept in and in the afternoon we took a taxi to Lanta Old Town, where we had a look around. Then we went on to a remote beach where there were less than 10 people, including us, and enjoyed the water and small crabs.
08:18 | damen Thailand No comments |Yesterday evening they had tiger prawn here at the bbq place, so we decided to go wild and have some. Just check the photo's guys, it is really great
Koh Lanta and diving
07:20 | damen Thailand one comment |We arrived on Lanta Island on Wednesday after running away from Koh Phi Phi and found us a really nice place here at long beach. There are a lot of small bars and restaurants and they have the most delicious fresh fish from the bbq here.
Ofcourse Martijn has been diving two times since then, on Thursday and Friday:
Two dives at Koh Ha, there we saw lots of moray eel, porqupine fish, trumpet fish, baracuda, Tuna, sea turtle, and during the first dive a big leopard shark
The second dive we saw the same, but also 2 very nice sea snakes.
1: 49 min / 25 meter
2: 60 min / 17,6 meter
Two dives, one at Hin Muang and the second at Hin Daeng. We went out in the speedboat, and say Mantas with both dives!!!! Great animals, we saw 4 of them. Further lots of other stuff, great diving spot.
1: 45 min / 30 meter
2: 58 min / 20 meter
The speedboat is supposedly the fastest boat on the island and was really good in getting us to the dive spot, which is a 50km trip.
Today is a dive free day and we are both lying around in hammocks, enjoying the fresh fruit shakes and the weather.Perhaps we will do some snorkling on Monday and Tuesday, before leaving for Bangkok again. Tomorrow is another dive day for Martijn, 3 more dives near a wreck.
Check also ourphoto album for more pictures of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta
koh phi phi was terrible, we moved to Koh Lanta
10:23 | damen Thailand one comment |We arrived in Koh Phi Phi yesterday and had much trouble finding a room, the one we found was much to expensive, very dirty and had no water. On top of it Manu got very nasty stinged by bedbugs, causing big itchy blisters on her right leg Further the island is not so nice, due to the large amount of 'Ibiza-Tourist" No more dream destination!
Therefore we decided to move straight on to Koh Lanta, were we are now staying in the Koh Lanta Palm Beach Resort. Much better, and here we can get a real beach time. Martijn can do some diving here with Palm Beach divers, much more expensive but worth it!
Preparing for Island & Beaches
07:09 | damen Thailand three comments |We are still so happy here in the Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort, but we did came to Thailand to try some of the best beaches in the World so that is what we are preparing for currently. Fortunately they have a good (free!) internet connection here, funny enough via satelite and it works good so we can search for the best places to stay.
As we started our journey we were keen on Koh Lanta, but while talking to some of the people who run the place over here we got another idea of the place. It is apperently quite big and there are really long ways between the nice spots, further it is crowded with the kind of tourists that only speak their own language and want to eat their own countries food while on holiday, no offense of course.
Then we got really enthausiastic about going to Koh Jum, which is a small rather undeveloped island where the atmosphere is not too crowded. Unfortunately the new diving center that should have started there (Blue Juice Divers) are still closed, as they wrote in an email. So there is not much sense going there as Martijn really wants to do some diving while here.
So currently we are focussing on Koh Phi Phi Don, the famous island. The following resorts we have in focus and requested some infomation:
General Information by TravelFish on Koh PhiPhi housing
Important, a map of the place
Tropical Garden Bungalows
Harlequin Diving Center
Mosquito Diving Center
Phi Phi diving
Paradise Diving, Long Beach
Most dive centers ask 2200 bath for a two dive trip, which is about 50 Euro and therefore a very reasonable price.
06:46 | damen Thailand No comments |We had a great night sleep here in the Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort, the food in the evening was great and after a cold beer we went to our cabin. There we enjoyed the concert of the jungle, it is really amazing how loud this can be, but it is really relaxing.
The next morning we enjoyed the pool a bit and after a quick tour of the garden we found out that our camera was really broken (see previous posts). So we decided to combine buying a new camera at the local Tesco supermall with a visit to the Tiger temple and got a pickup with driver, because here you really don't want to drive a motercycle!
After we got our new Canon Powershot 570 we were happy again and could take photo's of our trip again.
The visit to the tiger temple was really very impressive, we'll just let the photo's speak for themselves but after climbing to the top we really got some problems the day after... ouch!
Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort
06:44 | damen Thailand No comments |I already wrote that we found our little paradise, and just to stretch the fact here a couple of photos. The resort is really magnificent, the people are really friendly, the food is the best we had so far and best of all, the prices are so ok. We pay only 800Bath a night for the bungalow with warm water and the food is also not more expensive than 50-80Bath a meal. So no reason to complain. So far we were the only ones here, but now a Australian-Danisch Couple also came. Still, with 100rai room for all of us we have our peace and quiet.
Here is our little bungalow, in the middle of a beatifull garden:
Then we had a nice garden with ponds and lots of fruit and cocosnuts:
And of course we needed a nice pool, all for ourselves with a stunning view:
Chiang Mai to Krabi
06:35 | damen Thailand No comments |This time we really had a very good ride in the train, exactly what you can expect when travelling first class We got our wake up call somewhere around 5:30 am and shortly afterward we received our cup of coffee to get up and awake. The train did arrive in Bangkok really good in time, so we were at the train station Hualamphong around 7am. This allowed us to do some travelling in Bangkok, and we decided to take the new subway and the sky train to see a bit of the city. Therefore we dropped of our bags at the left luggage cloak room, and were unpleasently suprised by the fact that they did not want 10bath a piece but 50, somehow referencing to a non-official looking paper telling us it had changed. As the prices on the wall were still the old prices I still don't believe them, but there was no way to argue and also 50bath a piece isn't worth the anger and discussion.
After this we took the new metro of Bangkok to get onto the sky train, and we were quite suprised because the subway is really empty, and costs a lot compared to the rest in Thailand. Funny enough they have the driverless system we are still trying to get working in Nuremberg Good work Siemens
We soon decided that both the subway and the sky train were much too cold and got out somewhere behind the Victoria Monument, for breakfast and coffee. Amazingly the coffee is much better in Thailand than I remembered, it seems that since 2001 they all switched from nescafe to great coffee houses.
After the small breakfast we went to the river again to take a express boat to Tha Ratchawong, the pier where Chinatown is starting. And ok, just to get things straight: Chinatown in Bangkok is just way too busy, filthy and busy busy busy to enjoy it. Martijn did enjoyed a great noodle soup there, but we soon fled the place and after discovering a very nice temple that for once was not in the LP we went back to the train station to pick up our stuff and (so we thought) get the train to Don Muang Airport. One bad thing that happened is that our camera started to act funny during our walk through China Town, we thought it was just the batteries, but it did not respond anymore at all. bad bad news!
After we bought a train ticket we just missed the train of 11h40, and the next one was due to leave at 12h45. because it was an hours ride with the train we decided that we did not want to take the risk and miss our flight, so we took a taxi meter and drove to the airport. Ok, we could easily have made it with the train, but who takes the risk when flying to one of the best beach areas in the world
After we got to Krabi we got picked up by the resort and finally arrived there. It is just great and lies back in the forest, lovely place. We seem to be the only guests, but that is ok.
Chiang Mai second day
06:14 | damen Thailand No comments |After we returned from the trekking tour we were quite tired and kept the afternoon near the pool in the guesthouse relaxing a bit.
In the evening we visited the famous night bazaar, but somehow it was not really that much fun, but we did found a shop with some beautifull temple dancer figures carved out of wood... We got a quick bite and then went home.
The last day in Chiang may was planned for doing a biking tour, but we were both quite tired and decided against it. Then we just enjoyed the time near the pool, and after breakfast we went into town again and bought the two dancing figures we found the day before. After packing them very well and sending them home we finally got our Thai present for Christmas.
In the afternoon we had to leave already and took the night train back to Bangkok, this time it was much better with the airconditioning We also had a small meal in the train, amazingly good and that was true luxery: