25/10/2016 – 02/11/2016
Although we both thoroughly enjoyed Chiang Mai, we both agreed it was time to escape the hustle and bustle of cities and jet off to the islands. After our experiences heading from Bangkok to Chiang Mai via train, it seemed easiest and less stressful to fly.
Rather than flying direct to Koh Samui, we instead flew to Surat Thani as it worked out considerably cheaper. The very short flight compared to our history with train journeys was absolute heaven, especially since we somehow ended up in first class?!
In just one day we managed to travel by car, plane, bus, ferry and mini bus. Our first impression, as always, wasn’t the best of Koh Samui. Rather than being greeted by tropical blue seas and clear skies on the ferry journey over, we were instead traveling into a storm. It was at this point we realised just how harsh the conditions can be during a tropical storm and became thankful for our waterproof covers that stopped our only belongings being soaked.
However, despite this rather rude introduction to Koh Samui, upon waking up to this view the following morning, it was fair to say we had found paradise.
For five nights we stayed in a ridiculously cheap, but amazing, beach bungalow just steps from the tropical waters and white sand of Big Buddah Beach.
The following days were spent sight seeing and relaxing in the sun, which resulted in Adam going a lovely shade of red,despite factor fifty sun cream.
We walked along the beach to see the Big Buddah – However, this experience wasn’t as painless as it may sound. In order to enter any area of religious practise in Thailand, you must always remove your shoes – even if the pavement is blistering hot. Therefore, we threw off our flip flops and hobbled up the stairs as quickly as possible, trying not to stand too long on one foot.
After a quick recovery, our next stop was fisherman’s village. A location that was jam packed with restaurants and bars, which we couldn’t financially justify eating in. But this didn’t stop us, we explored the stalls on route to burning our skin even more on the beach.
After cooling off in the sea, we both agreed to walk home in order to save money. We soon realised, however, that this short distance may as well have been a marathon due to the blistering heat and the added panic after walking past multiple signs that warned against dangerous dogs and pick pockets.
Our final day trip whilst on the island was to Chaweng beach, a touristy destination full of resorts and shops that didn’t feel much different to being in the UK. We led on the beach, politely declined the offer of inflatable dinosaurs from beach sellers, and after swimming in the sea with multiple fish Karis discovered her new fear.
Although Koh Samui really was paradise we couldn’t wait to move onto Koh Phangan.
It won’t come as a surprise when we tell you that our journey to Koh Phangan, an island famous for full moon parties, didn’t go as planned. The hostel we had booked turned out to be at the opposite side of the island, so in thirty minutes – a new record – we were able to find a place to stay for the night.
This place, although very convient and cheap, was questionable. It prided itself on winning an award in 2008, which despite being midly impressive, eight years of paint parties and binge filled holidays had taken its toll.
The first room we were shown too had two showers in the bathroom – one of which was a leak from the room above. This leak according to one of the workers “was fine” despite being obviously not … this short conversation was followed by a room change and a situation all to similiar to our initial experience in Chiang Mai.
Our next room, although improved, was far from perfect. After an evening meal we headed back to the room and turned on the lights – it sounds safe enough right? Wrong. In order to power the room, we had to insert a small plug that was attached to our key. Upon doing so, in the dark may we add, a massive pop and a spark lit up the room, which illuminated the white socket made black with singe marks. We would love to include a picture, but we were slightly preoccupied with our own safety.
All in all, with the sparking plug and the fans that made it sound like we were sleeping on a helipad, we were glad to leave the following morning.
Our next hostel, Goodtime Backpackers, turned out to be our favourite place of the trip so far. The location, people and food was unbeatable, plus with this view just steps from our room we fell in love instantly.
Our time here was far from action packed, but it was exactly what was needed. Despite the weather not always being on our side, our days were spent exploring the coastline, renting paddle boards and sampling the local food at a nearby market.
When it was time to say goodbye, neither of us felt ready to leave what can only be described as paradise – but our Thailand adventure was coming to a close and Camodia was just around the corner.