I have to apologize for not having written much lately, but we've been hop scotching islands like crazy and the internet is suddenly not so cheap on this side of the country :/
We are now in Phuket, where Vern's mom got us a very sweet deal in an extremely nice resort. So this is our time to relax and enjoy having air con and a hot shower and tv and all those things we forgot about. So thanks again Jane for that :)
The last few weeks have flown by! Asfter Samui we headed to Koh Pagnang where I had gone for the full moon party. We found a cheap room that fit all 4 of us (with 2 beds this time :) ). The island was MUCH quieter without the full moon crowd around, so it was a good relaxed 4 days where we could unwind from Samui and Brandon could heal from his accident. At night they still had parties on the beach, but much smaller, and just as fun. The second day on Pagnang, our friend Bam actually took the ferry over and came to stay with us. I had forgotten a pair of shoes at Chuchi and she was so nice to bring them over, plus she used the shoe excuse to come and see Vern, whom she's grown quite fond of :) And just when we were departing mentally from Samui, our friend Dee Dee showed up the next day to surpirse us as well. We really left our mark in that place haha. But it was a good 4 days that we got to spend with some friends. Dee Dee's birthday happened to be the next day so we rented motorbikes and went exploring around the island that day. It is a much smaller island than Koh Samui, but still has a lot to see and lies on lush steep hills that are a little scary to drive on, but worth the drive. We went to Koh Ma, a tiny little island right off the north western coast, which has a sandbar connecting it to the main island. It was such a quiet, beautiful little spot. Brandon couldn't get his foot wet so he had stop hop on one foot across the sandbar haha. We spent a good couple hours there enjoying the sun and peacefulness. After Koh Ma we figured since we had bikes we should explore a little more, so Bam got a map and decided we should go see some waterfalls. We failed at finding the first, and when we found the second, we had to drive up this rocky, steep, crazy little trail for 10 minutes just to find out at the top that the waterfall was dry because it's not the right season. We decided to 86 the waterfall idea, and went to a viepoint park, where there's another very dry waterfall and apparently an amazing view at the top of the mountain. When we got a good way into the trail to the viewpoint, I was following Brandon and realized that no one was following me anymore. We kept going for about 30/40 more minutes and climbed through rocks and sticks and who knows how many bugs and spiders and we did this all barefoot because both our flip flops broke. We pretty much reached the very top where it was such thick jungle that you couldn't see anything and we started to hear noises and see interesting looking webs, so we turned around and headed back. I almost died 5 or 6 times on the way down, but hey! no worries because I'm clearly alive and well telling you all about it :)
So it was definitely a good day, we stopped on a cliff on the way back to watch the sunset on the island and then took DeeDee out for a nice dinner. Later we danced on the beach all night and savoured our last night on Koh Pagnang.
So the next day we decided we were ready for a new area, so we booked a combined package with ferries, taxis and buses that would take us to Krabi where we could have a few days before we had to reach Phuket. We started off with the overnight ferry that was pretty neat, this ferry has 2 levels and the top level was laid out with tiny mattresses and pillows all the way through. We slept like babies being rocked by the waves. Sadly after the ferry it was a nightmare! We arrived in Suratthani, a big city on the mainland that we had heard a lot about, but the place was trashed (at least what we saw of it) it was worse than Bangkok I would say. It was about 5am when we got there and it took us an hours or so to get to this soup kitchen where we had to wait with many other travelers for like 2 hours. We were tired and dirty and didn't know what was going on, but they were playing Jackass on tv so that kept us entertained. Our cab driver that took us there and later took us to our bus was on some serious drugs and was wide awake and strung out at 5 am, singing and laughing the entire time. We got to the busand on it before the bus driver even got there, so we were starting to get worried, and you should've seen this bus. Half the lights were missing, the body was all rusty and bruised and some of the windows were cracked. Anyway, after forever, we made it to Krabi where we took a longtail boat to Tonsai...a climbing village secluded on a beach that's closed in by gorgeous limestone rocks that shoot miles into the sky. If that place didn't look like paradise, I don't know what does. Beautiful, but far removed from anything, Tonsai doesn't have much going on if you're not a climber, which was lucky for Vern who climbed for 4 straight days. Us on the other hand...haha I got sick and Brandon still had stitches that couldn't get wet, so while Vern climbed, the 3 of us would pretty much sit outside our bungalow while Bran and Tre played guitar and eat twice a day and that's about it. Good times haha. No, it wasn't bad really, but I don't think we could've stayed longer than we did. And that was definitely the most we've roughed it out of this entire trip. Our bungalows were little bamboo shacks with a fan and a light (which only work at night because the electricity is turned off during the day), and a mattress with a mosquito net. There's a community bathroom with a sad little drip they called a shower and two toilets that you had to manually flush with a water bucket. We were high rollers in Tonsai, let me tell you! haha But it was a fun experiennce, and the views were amazing! next to us was Railay...another village which is a bit bigger and more popular, so there's much more going on over there. To get there however you have 3 options: a short, but sketchy hike through some very steep rocks, which can be risky when the lights go out...you can walk around the beach during low tide where there are also many pointy rocks and it's slippery and muddy...or a back mountain trek through the jungle that we tried the last day there, that is a 30 minute power workout with cool trees and lizards the size of medium dogs (no kidding, we encountered one)....so we only made it to Railay twice hahaha. We saw some cool monkeys and made a couple atm transactions. There wasn't much out there, but we made a couple more good friends and then got on a ferry to Phuket.
Which brings us here! The resort is amazing and such a crazy contrast from the last place we stayed, but it's like a gated community and the occupants fit the agenda. It's all rich old people and families. But we're enjoying the relaxation and pampering very much! And tomorrow is Than's birthday! Get excited!!! We're gonna rent some bikes and head to a busier side of the island where we can have some fun because here we're pretty isolated from anything. Should be fun! We leave in 3 days and are heading down to Koh Phi Phi, which is pricey but we've heard great things. That's close to where they filmed "The Beach", so we're thinking about doing an overnight camping tour out there where it's supposedly jaw-dropping beauty in natural form. That's also gonna be around Bran's birthday so if any of you who may read this are friends with either him or Than, make sure you send bday wishes! :)
As for me, I'm doing better, and I'm still loving Thailand and I'm still missing you all like crazy and I'll make sure to get back on here sooner next time!
Raiti Sawa! (Good night)