Bangkok

Trip Start Nov 02, 2005
1
7
Trip End Apr 30, 2006


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

...and so to the final instalment of this trip:

After more than two months in India, we flew back to Bangkok. It is amazing how much more developed Thailand is, you can get pretty much anything you want here and it is cleaner, more hygienic and not that much more expensive. Each time you come here you find new things, and this months great discovery was the largest food court we have ever seen in our lives (at the newly opened Siam Paragon) and we've seen a few....

After a couple of nights in the capital we caught the overnight train down to southwest Thailand and Krabi. Met up with our mate Hilton in Ao Nang who we have not seen in six years and also by pure fluke bumped in to our long lost friend Di after more than eight years. Great to see them both and we spent a few days catching up on all the gossip.

The rest of the month we spent island hopping, starting with Koh Jum which was a stunning, untouched little island, nothing to do apart from chilling out in the various hammocks, reading and sleeping. Could have spent even longer here, but felt the need to move on. Jumped on the boat to Koh Lanta which is a lot bigger but still beautiful and not as exploited as many other beaches. From here we did an island trip around Koh Phi Phi and the famous Maya bay where they filmed "The Beach". Phi Phi was very badly hit by the tsunami, and it's hard to imagine that over 2000 people died on this gorgeous beach just over a year ago. The region has now recovered well and most hotels and restaurants are back up and running - business as usual.

Next stop was Railay Bay where sandy beaches sheltered by enormous limestone rocks makes you feel like you're in a James Bond movie. It was easy to pass a few days here and Darren especially liked it as he got to play volleyball with the local lady boys.

Leaving the west coast we headed to the eastern province of Surathani and Koh Samui. This is where we first fell in love ten years ago... aaahhh. Although we have been back a couple of time since then, the place has dramatically changed in just a few years. We wont go on about how great it was "in those days" but it used to be more of a travellers beach, nice atmosphere, great parties at night and little dirt roads running through the island. Today you have local shops lining every inch of the (paved) road side: Starbucks, Mc Donald's and a Tesco hypermarket fighting for space with go-go bars, western owned restaurants and overprices souvenir stalls.

From Samui, the ferry took us via Koh Pha Ngan (famous for the full moon parties, but again, it was much better before...) to Koh Tao. This relaxed island reminded us of the good old days, and as with all the other islands in Thailand- the palm fringed white beaches surrounded by crystal clear water are really outstanding! On a day trip around the island we were snorkelling with colourful tropical fish and one of the highlights was coming eye to eye with a few black tipped reef sharks, although it was a little scary.

Our last dinner on the beach: grilled tiger prawns in garlic butter and a masaman curry almost concludes our story. As you can see from this mail, there has not been much cultural stuff been going on in the last month but we OD'd on temples and markets in the beginning.

Kuwait Airways flew us back to Heathrow Wednesday night without any major incidents and we are now sitting in Dom's house back in England suffering from post-holiday-depression, trying desperately to maintain our suntan..... The heating is on full blast and we are afraid of going outside because it is so cold and the amount of money we are spending in a day in London is a whole weeks budget in Asia. I wonder where our next trip will take us????

Hope we have not bored you to death over the last five months. A big thanks to all of you that have mailed us, keeping us amused and in touch with the "real world" - it means a lot to hear from you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN MARCH TO:

1st Sophie 1- Bonne anniversaire Soso
5th Hanna N- Grattis stora kusinen!!!
7th Hanna M- Happy B-day from T-shirt body
12th Linn- Grattis Linsan
16th Mum- Don't expect a present!!!
Jane- See you soon!!
22nd Antoine- A la prochaine
29th Viktoria R- Grattis Vickan
Gabriella- tank att min favorit tjej blivit sa stor!!!
30th Anna Hak- moj moj muukulat
Andree- Gros bisous Dede et a bientot
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