Towards Bangkok Via A Full Moon

DSCF3366 (Copy)From Koh Samui, the boat plodded to the north in the evening, leaving the lights of the larger island behind while heading to the infamous island of hedonism, Koh Phangan. Chatting to some Canadian girls on the ferry, I began to worry about my own choice of accommodation on the island. While they sensibly plumped for a place on a quiet beach, I was in the lion’s den as I thought it would be easier to get to (and more importantly, from) the largest party in the region. The Full Moon Party. Continue reading

Bad Tats And Backwards Baseball Caps

DSCF3300 (Copy)Stepping from the boat on to the pier at Phi Phi’s main jetty, you suddenly realise what people are talking about when they turn their noses up at southern Thailand. I met a guy working on Langkawi who¬†hated southern Thailand, and all the while I was on Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta and Tonsai, I had his comments in my mind, all the while thinking “Why?” Continue reading

Same Same, But Different: Island To Island In Thailand – Part 2

DSCF3143 (Copy)Koh Lanta lies on the opposite side of the Andaman coast to Phuket and its opposite to that place in almost every fashion. Where Phuket is rash and loud, Lanta is calm and sedate. You can drive up the entire western side in half an hour on a scooter and while Phuket is awash with luxury resorts and backpacker digs, most of Lanta is occupied by bungalows and low key affairs draped along the beach. Continue reading

Hop It. Island To Island In Thailand

DSCF2608 (Copy)Imagine, if you will, a border crossing between two countries that in many ways do not get along. There are bouts of violence between ethnic groups in Malaysia and Thailand, and the Foreign Office recommend that people do not travel across land borders here. I gave myself a free pass given I’ve moved from Ecuador to Colombia so everything that comes after that is easy.¬†Nevertheless, there’s always an easier (and classier) way to do things and so I took a boat to Thailand. 200 horsepower jetted us from Langkawi to the southern island of Koh Lipe, preserve of honeymooners and young families. This is not a backpacker classic, but it was on the way north and by all accounts a beautiful place. Passport control was a dread-locked Thai-Rasta (a staple of southern Thailand) who took all our documents behind the cafe that served as immigration and after ten minutes sunning ourselves on a white sand beach, cooling our toes in the Andaman sea, we were all stamped and ready to go. Heathrow could learn a thing or two about convenience. Continue reading