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Weeks 13-17 - South Islands, Thailand (Christmas & New Year)

Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Railay Bay, Krabbi, Koh Phangan & Koh Tao

We flew into Bangkok from Hanoi and got a bus and ferry down to Kh Phi Phi, a small Island off the coast of Krabbi. Here we spent a week or so relaxing on the beaches and enjoying the rowdy beach front night life.
We had a few good nights here at the beach parties where there were fire shows and several eager girls climbing totem poles revealing their assets to the crowds cheers. There was an interesting bar with a Muay Thai boxing ring in the centre where people in the bar could fight each other to entertain the crowd and in exchange get free buckets of Sangsom (Thai whisky)!
We also visited the viewpoint, which looked over the whole island which was pretty impressive! This is the highest point in the island, where people fled to during the 2004 tsunami.
On another day we went on a boat trip to maya bay (the bay made famous by the film 'The Beach'). Whilst on the trip we stopped at monkey beach and did some snorkelling just off the coast.

After Koh Phi Phi we got a boat to the island of Koh Lanta. The island was really chilled out and was a nice contrast to the crowdedness of Phi Phi. Here we spent a few days on the beach and by the pool and had some highly competetive games of volleyball with some Malaysian holiday makers and massage girls from the beach which was a good laugh. We also hired scooters and explored the coastal roads and beaches. We spent our evenings eating fresh fish and seafood on the barbeque and chilling by an open fire.

After Koh Lanta we took a ferry over to Railay Bay, which was a beautiful place and had some amazing scenery, however the weather was pretty poor whilst we were there so we took a longtail boat to the mainland to Krabbi where we caught a bus from the South West coast over to the South East coast. Here we jumped on a boat to the Island Koh Phangan where we were for Christmas and New year.
Our first stop in Koh Phangan was to the North of the island, at Had Salad Bay where we stayed at Salad Beach Resort. It was here we joined up with Lewis again and we stayed here for 4 nights until boxing day.
The resort was really nice, with good rooms and a lively restaurant overlloking the beach. It had a private pool and beach that we spent our days on.
It wasn't the average Christmas day, after breakfast in the sunshine we spent Christmas morning on the beach with our santa hats on and after a quick dip in the sea, we made our way to the masons arms. This was a traditional English pub which was an exact replica of a pub in Southampton. It looked bizarre amoungst the palm trees and shacks that surrounded it.
We started off our festivities with a D.I.Y bucks fizz...it turns out white wine with fanta tastes nothing like it! So we washed it down with Guiness, ales, whiskys and baileys throughout the day!
Some questionable christmas presents were exchanged including a christmas cock and some strap on breasts (see photos for amusement). The Christmas cock now sits behind the bar as a token of our appreciation for an amazing christmas dinner they served us! We were pleasantly surprised with the standard of our xmas dinner and we never thought we would find one with all the trimmings in south east Asia!
Most of the afternoon was spent playing pool, killer darts and table tennis with the losers drinking shots of the victors choice. Needless to say our aim got progressively worse as the day went on and it became a very Merry Christmas.
Unfortunately the pace was too much for Shia Khan (Lewis) who started to show his age (estimated to be between 38 and 45!) and he couldn't keep up with the young guns! It's safe to say 'Old Man Ryan's' glory days are behind him!
In preparation for the big day we had bought a variety of cheese and crackers we had managed to unearth after an afternoons search round the island. By about 7pm we felt it was time to feast on our cheeseboard which was chilling in the pub's fridge. However we we mortified to find out they had 'misplaced' the cheese and it's whereabouts was 'unknown'. Rob delicately questioned how the chese had vanished, with one direct quote being "You stole our cheese you b*stards!". Thankfully Robs way with words promted the cheese to be found intact and it was fantastic!
At aprroximately midnight when we realised we were the only 4 remaining in the bar and we were refused a lock in, we carried Lewis out the door into a taxi and made our way to the Reggae bar next to our hotel. It was here that Rob and Josh convinced the management they were talented musicians and took to the stage for an inpromptue gig, Rob on drums and Josh on vocals. This lasted all of one questionable rendition of Folsom prison blues by Johnny Cash before an angry and misinformed owner pulled the plug. If only Lewis was awake to see it....
We spent our boxing day on the beach with a cold beer nursing a few heavy heads!

We moved down to the south of the island for New Years at Haad Rin, where we attended the infamous full moon party and met up with loads of people we had met on our trip so far, having a couple of nights out with them warming up for New Years Celebrations. Here we met up with a few of Robs mates from home and spent New Years with them and 30,000 others on the beach watching the fireworks as 2013 rolled in.
Before we left Koh Phangan, we went to watch some professional Muay Thai boxing. This was brutal and the loser was often seen being carried out the ring.

After a crazy couple of weeks in Koh Phangan, we looked forward to relaxing in Koh Tao. Here Rob, Ben and Lewis did their open water scuba divers qualification which took 4 days and we went on 4 dives down to a depth of 18metres. The highlight was the final day where we got up at 5am for 2 fun dives, it was so peaceful watching the sun come up on the boat and the water was so clear and calm. Diving was amazing and has made us want to do more of it on our trip and in the future. Josh did a refresh course and went on some fun dives whilst the rest of us did our course.
We really enjoyed Koh Tao, its a really chilled out and beautiful island and we spent a couple of days post diving soaking up the rays on the beach watching the sun go down.

Our next stop is Malaysia,

Untill next time,

The Cheese Bandits
x

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Posted by Ben-Rob-Josh 19:17 Archived in Thailand

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