Next, I headed out from Krabi towards the islands in the south of Thailand!
So, I'm sort of pushing hard to get these blog posts rolled out (this was almost a month ago!) because I'm currently in Sydney and 1. it's beautiful here and I really want to share it with you, and 2. I've had a lot more free time now that I'm staying in one place and can take the time to properly blog all these amazing places.
I was SO excited to finally get to the islands and spend what I thought was the end of my trip lounging on beaches in the sun getting tan, but that didn't quite happen right away. Bex and Scarlett and I took the ferry out to Koh Phi Phi, after an adventurous and unruly night out in Ao Nang. (Ferry + a hangover = not so good, ahem.) Our first night there was somewhat clear and we actually saw the sun set, but after that it was just days and days of nonstop rain. In retrospect we wish we had left the island a little sooner, but we thought all the islands were just as bad and so we decided to stay put for a bit.
Most of our days were spent wandering through shops in rain ponchos, sweating to death in our bungalow with cheap Chang beers from 7-Eleven, taking a chance on the one hour of no rain and hiking up to a viewpoint, surviving an immediate deluge once we got to the top and hiking down in the mud and rain an hour later, taking lots of naps, eating lots of toasties, and dancing on the beach late into the night. Despite the rain, it was quite a cozy and fun few days and we finally headed off the island.
I'm keeping the islands all to one post but have separated them out, so scroll down to read more about the next two: Koh Tao and Koh Phangan :)
Koh Tao! Honestly, my favorite of the islands.
Bex and Scarlett headed out to Krabi, which I had already been to, so I made my way to Koh Tao solo. I spent one night in a little hostel by the ferry, excited to spend a full day on my own, and even more excited to finally see sun. I had big plans to wake up early, rent a motorbike, go to a yoga class by the ocean, write in my journal, and just explore in general. As soon as I rented the bike though, I had a bad feeling about it. I felt nervous about driving on Koh Tao's bad roads and almost turned around as soon as I left the shop. It was a good lesson in listening to my gut, because the day went horribly -- yoga was cancelled, I got lost and drove in circles, and I ended up falling off the bike in the middle of the road. I wasn't really hurt and it wasn't a bad accident, but the bike was damaged and returned it right away, shaken.
The day got better though, as I headed to the other side of the island to a little resort on the coast. I met my friend Will there, who flew in from Vietnam, and we had the best time -- we ate good food, drank cocktails on the beach, I even went snorkeling for the first time ever in the most beautiful area. To this day that resort is fixed in my mind as one of my favorite places ever. I wish we spent more time there, but we headed back to the main part of the island to meet up with Bex and Scarlett.
Altogether I spent almost a week on Koh Tao and didn't want to leave. We laid on the beach, went swimming, ate amazing pizzas, did the island bar crawl, slept in, did a snorkel boat tour, and just had so much fun. Besides my one night of terror in which a strange man came into my room while I was sleeping (heh), and besides all the history of murders of foreigners on the island (heh), it was my favorite week in Thailand, perhaps.
Reluctantly, we left Koh Tao to make our way to Koh Phangan. I really didn't want to leave, but at this point I still didn't know what my plans were and thought I might need to head home soon. Koh Phangan is home to the Full Moon Party, which is a crazy monthly party on the beach filled with drugs and lots of drinking and people getting injured, which I was happy to miss. However, there wasn't much going on on the island in the meantime. Being low season, without the full moon parties the island is pretty quiet. Coming from busy, fun Koh Tao, we were a little bummed!
We hopped from a bunch of hostels and resorts, spending time at a pool club, lying on the beach, swimming in the ocean, watching the sun sets, and stuffing ourselves full of the last Thai food we'd be eating. (This obviously included many 7-Eleven toasties.) In retrospect I wish we'd spent more time on the other side of the island away from all the hostels, but it was still a relaxing few days. Definitely not my favorite island though!
On Koh Phangan, I accepted a job in Sydney and made the solid decision to move there! We tearfully said goodbye to Scarlett, who was flying off to Australia a week before us. From there, Bex and I made our way back to Bangkok, and then were off to visit the friends I'd made in Vietnam who lived just outside of the city. Last Asia post coming soon!