Dates: From 05/02/2017 to 03/03/2017
After two weeks in northern Vietnam, I arrived in Thailand. My expectations were clear, it would be a great but crowded place, full of tourists. The idea was to visit the southern part of the country for around a month, basically, the islands and its capital Bangkok, leaving the northern part of the country for later on the trip.
Thailand is one of the most tourist destinations in the world, it offers an impressive culture that combines with its beautiful islands and dream places where rest and live magnificent experiences. Its tourist offer is immense, suitable for all budgets and public, from the most austere to those who are looking for a more luxurious and comfortable experience.
I arrived at Krabi airport at the afternoon, then taking a minibus (100 baths) to my hostel which was in the village of Krabi.
The day after my arrival, I went with a tour organized by the hostel to visit the major islands near Krabi. Paradisiacal islands of white sand and crystal water that we have all seen, at least in photos. It was here where I began to understand why Thailand is one of the most visited destinations in the world.
The next day, and on my own, I rented a scooter to discover the surroundings of Krabi. Among them, the most famous is the Tiger Cave, which is basically a large golden buddha located high, very high, of a mountain. In order to reach it, it is necessary to climb exactly 1236 steps. It took me time and several stops to rest but at the end I got it and it was worth it. After the big effort, it was time to rest on the beach, so I went to Nang Beach. It is a beautiful beach, but crowded with tourists and street markets. It’s not my style, so a little bit of sunshine for the body and back to the hostel.
Koh Phi Phi
After a 2 hour by ferry from Krabi, I arrived at the famous Koh Phi Phi. I found what it was expected, a small beautiful island exploited for tourism. The hostels are basic and there is not much to do other than party and sunbathe on the beach.
Its crystal waters make a beach day perfect for relaxing, but I needed more action, and partying was not what I was looking for. So I decided to dive, and I do not regret it. Koh Phi Phi has been one of the best places I’ve seen to dive so far. Lots of banks of fish, morays, nemos and even leopard sharks. For sample, the following video:
Another option for Phi Phi is to go to the top of the the island, to watch the sunset from the view point.
About an hour by ferry from Phi Phi is Koh Lanta, a much less touristy island and one of my favourites on this trip and where I spent some time more than expected. That is why I stayed six nights instead of the two that were initially planned.
The best option to enjoy Koh Lanta is to rent a scooter and go through its beaches. The most famous and longest, hence its name, is Long Beach, but there are many other smaller and hidden ones where to enjoy a good day relaxed in the sun. One of my favourites was Bamboo Beach, in south of the island.
In Koh Lanta the sunsets are spectacular and there are several places along the island where you can enjoy them with a beer in hand.
Koh Phangan is known for the famous Full Moon Party, which makes the island fill up completely being almost impossible to find accommodation during the full moon even when sometimes the price triples its normal price. I went there a week after the party and I found a nice island, with very good atmosphere and affordable prices. To give you an example, the hostel that had pool, gym and soccer court only cost me € 3.5 a night. ¡Woaw!
As in Koh Lanta, it is best to rent a scooter to visit the island properly and see the different beaches that it has. In addition, Koh Phangan has several waterfalls in which to stick a bath in more than cool waters. Just watch out for the mosquitoes if you go at sunset, they will be waiting for your clean body for do their job.
Koh Tao is the island for diving, who goes there is to dive. It is packed with dive schools that offer more affordable prices than any other place, so it is a suitable place to take the license at a very competitive price. My goal was clear, I wanted to get my advanced diver license to reach 30 meters. For this I had to do five dives, among which one of them was nocturnal, which was a great experience to dive only seeing what your flashlight comes to light.
That said, my days in Koh Tao were basically diving, walking around the island and some party. Ah! I also got a good thai massage. At a very affordable price I could suffer one of these hard massages where it seems that the masseuse has something against you and decide to use their hard hands without mercy, yes, the result is gratifying.
My last step in southern Thailand was its capital, Bangkok. A few days to explore the city visiting the most important places:
- Wat Traimit Temple: It has the world’s largest golden seated Buddha, nearly five feet high. The entrance fee is 10 Baths.
- Wat Pho Temple: It is one of the most famous temples in Thailand, a temple complex with hundreds of buddhas of all kinds, which main attraction is its reclining Buddha with a length of 46 meters. Amazing!
- Wat Arun Temple: Buddhist temple located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
- Grand Royal Palace: It was the official residence of the kings of Thailand, although now it only serves tourist functions as well as other important events of the royal family.
- Lumpini Park: One of the most important parks in the city. A place of peace within this noisy city. On the shores of its lake, and even swimming, you can see numerous lizards that walk at their widest, even some of them are quite large.
- Khao San Road: This is the most popular street for backpackers. In the center of the city is this street full of hostels, bars, restaurants, massage centers and everything you need to enjoy the party and nightlife of Bangkok.
In addition to the main attractions of the city, the best option is to walk around the city through its streets. It is a city with a lot of life, where you can enjoy their street stalls offering food of all kinds, from basic and tasty Pad Thai to fried scorpions.
From Bangkok, it was time to change countries because the 30 days of visa were about to expire, so I was heading for Cambodia. I was missing a lot of Thailand to discover, but I would leave it for later.