Thursday, 9 February 2017

A guide to Thailand - The Islands

The Islands
Thailand is famous for it's crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches , it does not disappoint.

Koh Pha Ngan 

Travel
To reach Koh Pha Ngan you can fly into Koh Samui and get a bus followed by a boat trip over to Koh Pha Ngan, the boat takes about an hour. You don't need to book the boat in advance but it is good to get there early to get your tickets in case a big group turns up.

Accommodation
We stayed at the Malibu beach bungalows which were located at the opposite side of the Island to the full moon party , although it takes a bit longer to get to the full moon party than most resorts it was definitely worth it. The beach bungalows are around £25 per night , the resort is really clean and modern with an amazing pool , private beach and restaurant!-What more could you ask for?!
Check out the Malibu beach bungalow resort Koh Pha Ngan here:http://malibubeachbungalows.com/

Full Moon Party
You can pay on entry and pick up a bucket (a spirit , mixer and sand bucket) on your way to Ton Sai beach.
The beach is lined with bars and nightclubs plus there are stalls all over the beach selling buckets.
Throughout the night fire throwers dance along the beach entertaining the crowds and the music goes on into the morning.
To check the full moon party schedule here http://www.fullmoonparty-thailand.com/schedules.html

Phuket

Travel

After Koh Pha Ngan we made our way to Phuket , the largest island. We got a ferry off the island then hopped on a bus to Phuket but the bus came to a surprise stop 2 hours later in Surathani where everyone was taken off the bus. After waiting half an hour not sure what was going on a guy came out from an office to tell us everyone had to pay 200baht more to get back on the bus to Phuket. 200 baht works at just £5 but nobody appreciated being ripped off , after disputing the extra charge we finally got back on the bus free of charge. (Although anyone who paid were now annoyed too). After all that the bus broke down an hour later and the driver had nothing but a birthday candle as a torch. - ...A lesson learnt to pay a little extra for a better coach for longer coach trips , it is common in thailand to have normal and VIP coaches. - Go VIP for the extra few pounds.
The coach trip to Phuket takes around 6-7 hours it's best to splash out on the VIP coach for the added reassurance and comfort. The 'VIP' bus experience includes pimped out seats , air conditioning , blankets,window curtains and extra leg room and sometimes even a snack box. : )

Accommodation
We stayed at the little mermaid hotel which is right next to the Patong beach , it is budget accommodation but it was clean , the staff were friendly and the location was perfect. - It is right next to the beach and strip of restaurants and bars. It is around £30 per night , book online via booking.com here http://bit.ly/2jUXMF7

Shopping
Phuket is a tourist haven as it offers cheap food , clean beaches , affordable clothing plus tailors and spas on just about every corner!

You will find more tourists than locals in Phuket and it is quite saturated with the same types of bars , clothing shops , nail bars , etc so if your more interested in seeing the real Thailand 1-2 days is plenty of time for staying here.



Koh Phi Phi

Travel
We caught the ferry from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi , you can book the ferry at any local tour operator office around Phuket. It is an open top ferry so the trip over to Phi Phi offers some stunning views!
Accommodation
We stayed at The Tropical Bungalows which offers rooms from £11per night , it is located up the hill and offers amazing views , a pool , a pool bar and lovely restaurant. It is a steep walk up so if you are carrying lots of luggage you can pay for it to be chartered up on a bike or put your best foot forward and go for it. Book online directly through the hotel here : http://www.thailandphiphitravel.com/roomrates_booking.htm
It is a great serene location and incredible value for money!

Food
Koh Phi Phi has a fantastic selection of restaurants you can choose to dine at the beach front restaurants with sea view, little gems along the back streets or pick something up from a street vendor.

Breakfast is really cheap in Thailand and if you are staying in the centre of Phi Phi it is nice to enjoy breakfast by the beach in the mornings for less than £3.



Pum's cookery school
Pum's located in the centre of Phi Phi and is a must visit during your stay! Pum no longer teaches the class herself but she has past her years of expertise down to her staff.
They offer authentic thai cooking classes at 11am , 4pm and 6pm every day , we tried the 'Pum's little shoes' course which worked out at around £35 / 1500 baht for a 3 hour course and the chance to make 3 courses of our choice.
The class is brilliant they talk you through all the basics of thai cooking and give you full reign to try out the recipes who pick whilst guiding you along the way. - Then afterwards you get to try them all!
View all the different courses and book online directly with Pum's here: http://th.pumthaifoodchain.com/cookingschool.html


The Beach
From Phi Phi you can book onto an island tour which includes Maya Bay which is where Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Beach' was filmed, it can be quite busy so you will be pleasantly surprised that the other islands on the tour offer better views plus peace to snorkel and explore. The island tour from Phi Phi includes :
  • A free lunch (Fried rice , green chilli's and fish sauce with some fresh fruit for dessert)
  • Shark point - where you can snorkel with baby sharks!
  • Viking Cave 
  • Mosquito Island - stunning and the best for snorkelling
  • Phi Leh Bay - You can kayak around the island
  • Maya Bay - 'The beach'


Koh Phi Phi view point
It is a short 20-30 minute hike up to the view point in Phi Phi where you can see both sides of the island. The walk is short and intense but totally worth it! It's best to trek first thing in the morning or in the evening when it is not as hot.



Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta was probably one of the quietest resorts that we visited. We stayed at the Katiang bay view resort which sits right on the beach on first appearance it looked perfect , the views were great and it had all the basic amenities needed. It was pretty cheap but possibly for a reason- it had bed bugs , cats that did their thing on the doorstep and the staff seemed like they didn't want to be there. - Would advise to book somewhere else.

Koh Samui 

Koh Samui is a little piece of paradise ,the island is full romantic luxury resorts that make the island perfect for a relaxing.  We didn't stay overnight but on looking The Banyan tree in Koh Samui offers guests an unforgettable stay with breathtaking views and your very own private villa , find out more and book online here : http://www.banyantree.com/en/ap-thailand-koh-samui


Visiting mainland Thailand? Read our guide to mainland Thailand here https://daintykane.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/a-guide-to-thailand.html 


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