South Thailand & Koh.
Trip Start Apr 16, 2013
17Trip End Dec 20, 2013
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After telling a few lies about our plans for South Thailand, we headed towards Bangkok to surprise Laura's Mum and Dad. We were excited to be meeting up with family and friends half way through our 8 months globe trotting.
Arriving the night before her Mum and Dad, Laura designed a beautiful welcome to Thailand sign. The next day we headed to the airport on the skytrain and waited in eager anticipation. As Andrew and Sheila walked through the gates we were so excited and nervous. Laura was jogging on the spot and waving her arms but they did not see us. A bit closer up and still they were still oblivious until about 5 metres away when Laura hot footed at them with open arms
Back in The Big Mango with rents in tow we took them to Cabbages and Condoms, a restaurant supporting sexual health charity and awareness, for a celebratory dinner. The next day we cruised along on the river boat and Andrew and Sheila headed to The Grand Palace while we explored Chinatown. Chinatown was mental, lots of packed markets full of tacky wares and not so much chinese architecture. After escaping the mad alleys we got some street food. Jim tried Durian (a stinky fruit delicacy) with sticky cocunut rice sat next to a lovely old Chinese lady but wasn't so impressed with its gone off fruit taste. We met Andrew and Sheila at Khao San Road for some beers and people watching which escalated quickly into Chang Towers and Pad Thai. We had a fantastic night and it was great to catch up with them. After a banana and nutella pancake and happily drunk the four of us squeezed into one of the pimped tuk-tuks to head back to our hotels.
The next day Laura and Jim went to the new shopping centre 'Terminal 21,' which has themed floors including a London one before heading to meet Andrew and Sheila at Siam Square for a bit more browsing and a last supper (for now) at a Tepinyake bar - yum!
After a pretty horrendous overnight train journey (mini cockroaches) and a 4 hour wait for the afternoon ferry we eventually arrived on to the beautiful island of Koh Tao
The next day we awoke to the news that Jim had become an Uncle for the 3rd time - Happy Birthday baby Reuben Henry! We were very excited as Annie and Sarah (Laura's friends from University) were arriving so went to meet them off the ferry - amazing to see them and to catch up on all the news from home. We spent the day on Sairee beach before going for a lovely meal on the seafront where we were joined by Conrad and Jenny - a couple Annie and Sarah had met on the train down. Great night rounded off by beers on the beach.
One of the highlights of Koh Tao was the snorkling trip we took the following day which took us out to 6 snorkling sites. We saw loads of amazing fish and Laura, Sarah and Annie saw a black tipped reef shark!! (Unfortunately Jim missed it as he was playing with an underwater camera)
Our final day on Koh Tao was spent back at Sai Nuan snorkling and sunbathing before going for a lovely Tapas meal with Jess and Josh. We were sad to say our final goodbyes to them and hope to see them again back in the UK.
Caught the ferry to Koh Phangan where we were picked up and taken to our amazing accommodation - we had an infinity pool!! Unfortunately Annie wasn't feeling too good so we spent the day chilling by the pool looking out over the incredible sea view. The rest of our time on Koh Phangan was spent exploring the island by scooters and checking out various paradise beaches. Our hotel was renowned for its location for sunset and we weren't disappointed, they were breathtaking. Hopefully the photos do them justice
Our final island destination was Koh Samui where we had three days with the girls and another week with Laura's parents. We stayed on Lamai beach with Annie and Sarah which was a pretty good location but unfortunately a little seedy at night - we had fun spotting ladyboys and checking out the local live music scene. It was on the night of the full moon that Jim's beard finally left us (in several stages) - Laura was pleased! We hired scooters again and decided to go across the island on a very scenic but very hilly road. This was Annie's first time on a scooter and Sarah's second so they did amazingly well despite Jim accidentally cutting them up on a super steep uphill and Annie nearly collapsing under her scooter. Fun times. Laura and Jim also went to visit the famous and rude 'Grandfather and Grandmother' rocks. It is incredible that they are naturally formed and we had fun taking silly photos. On our final night with the girls, Laura's Mum and Dad took everyone out for a delicious meal where we sampled lots of amazing fresh fish before going to a ladyboy cabaret show! It was lots of fun - lots of cover acts and the ladyboys were pretty scary up close (especially for Dad and Jim). A fab end to a great 10 days with Annie and Sarah - we were sad to see them go
For our week on Koh Samui with Laura's parents we stayed in our own apartment in the lovely fisherman's village of Bophut on the north of the island. It was a real novelty for us to have a kitchen and cook for ourselves for the first time in 4 months! We had a fantastic 6 days spending lots of time with Mum and Dad, scootering around the island, eating amazing food, visiting spectacular beaches (playing bat & ball and Frisbee!) and shopping at local markets together. On the final night we had a gorgeous meal overlooking an amazing deep red sunset, it really felt like a little holiday on our big travelling trip. Tears were shed as we said our goodbyes and scooted off into the night. We were so glad that we could share some of our travels with them.
Our time in South Thailand has been incredible and completely made by our fabulous friends and family - thank you so much for coming out to visit!
Next up - 5 countries in 5 days . . .