To finish off our month around Thailand, we ended up visiting some of the islands down south.
We started off by flying from Siem Reap to Phuket (via Kuala Lumpa!) and stayed near to Patong beach in a modern hotel called Indigo Patong. Our room was really big and came with a plasma screen TV and free computer/internet included, which was just as well as we still had food poisoning from Cambodia at this point and couldn’t really leave the room!
Phuket is a crazy place, full of ladyboys, knock off designer gear, loads of clubs/bars and weirdly, lots of people carrying lizards, monkeys and slow lorises for you to have a picture with. It’s definitely a great place to come if you are in a party group, looking for a dirty weekend or wanting a stash of Beats by Dre headphones/Obey caps.
It gets a little quieter away from the main strip; the beach is beautiful and the restaurants along here are a lot more ‘family friendly’, though a little more expensive than the rest of Thailand.
Ko Phi Phi
About a 2 hour boat ride away from Phuket is Ko Phi Phi, a beautiful little island with no cars or motorbikes allowed. Accommodation is quite limited on the island; we stayed in a complex called P.P. Casita with a fabulous pool and where you get given your own hut. The huts were quite basic but apparently were one of the best places to stay on the island! The beach comes alive at night and there are often fire shows for free! *Unfortunately my food poisoning was at its worst here so I didn’t get to see as much as Phi Phi as I would have liked, though a shout out to the doctor here who cured me!*
Our final stop was Ko Samui which felt like the most ‘holiday’ destination out of all of Thailand, with lots of rich American families staying at the luxurious hotels along the beach front. It was one of the most expensive places on our trip but for most of our stay we managed to stay in a great, modern hotel called Hotel FX for £12 each a night and which was only about a 15 minute walk to the town/beach. In the town there are plenty of markets to get designer lookalikes, lots of bars and some romantic restaurants along the beach, including a private table in the sea!
Whilst there, we hired a motorbike to explore more of the island itself which was super cheap (about £6 a day). You do have to top up the fuel but there are so many shops on the sides of the roads selling ‘gasoline’ bottles which are about 8p! We saw the famous phallic shaped rock, went on a 4 x 4 up to a waterfall and visited another town further down the coast line. If you want to ride a motorbike for the day, Ko Samui is probably the safest place as it is much quieter on the roads than the rest of Thailand.
Samui is an ideal place to stay if you want to head over to a Full Moon party at Ko Phang Nang as there are plenty of boat services that do return trips every hour, though we didn’t get to go as we were still a bit fragile from the food poisoning. We did, however, get to go on an amazing trip to Ko Tao! Ko Tao is a group of protected desert islands/rocks about 1 hour boat ride away and they really are beautiful. We did a package trip which I would definitely recommend; it includes the boat ride over to Ko Tao, the chance to see a secluded lagoon, kayak around the cliffs and snorkel/relax on a deserted beach, with lunch and snacks too.
For the last couple of days, we paid a little bit more (about £20 each a night) to stay at Ark Bar, a huge party hotel right on the beach front with 3 pools. The ‘party pool’ facing the beach does have an Ibiza vibe about it but the amount of testosterone kicking about was quite annoying so we went to the pool at the side which was much more relaxed.
And then it was time to come home! Have you ever been to the islands? How did you find them?