It’s coming up to exam season for the first semester so the last two weeks have been about preparing myself for them. The first week was filled with studying, training (lifesaving and training for the Standard Charter Half Marathon which I signed up for) and volunteering with the Welfare Service Club. Then the second week was spent relaxing and sunbathing in Thailand… because I can’t sit exams if I’m not fully relaxed right, no point being Thai-erd out!?
I still can’t believe how easy and cheap it is to get flights to so many cool places in South East Asia from Singapore, my return flight to Krabi (Southern Thailand) was equivalent to me getting a train in the UK from my home to uni! My school friend who is in KL studying also wanted to go on a quick jaunt to Thailand so on Tuesday we both caught flights from our respective countries and a few hours later we were sat in our very lovely hotel room on the coast at Ao Nang to dump our bags. We headed out to get a ‘snack’ and ended up eating and drinking cocktails for the rest of the day and looking out at the sunset over the spectacular coastline!
The next day I had the compulsory Thai massage before we hopped on the ferry to Kho Phi Phi! Thai massages are not for the fainthearted, be prepared to be stretched and folded in ways you didn’t think possible. The ferry takes 1 and 1/2 hours to Phi Phi from Krabi and although packed with people a very easy journey. What I hadn’t realise about Phi Phi is that there isn’t that much there. Our hotel was about a 25 minute walk through the centre of the completely pedestrian town and that felt like the outskirts. I would go back to the Cobble Beach resort any time, it is beautiful and the infinity pool with the view out is like something from a dream!
The whole of Phi Phi felt very backpacker oriented with lots of bars being advertised by young westerners who clearly fell in love and just didn’t leave. There are lots of places to eat cheap food and as many tacky touristy tat shops as you could fit into such a small area.
Despite all the studenty feel the catastrophe that Phi Phi experienced in the tsunami is still very evident, there is a tsunami village and countless tsunami evacuation route signs around. You are never far from feeling just how much devastation was caused!
After realising how compact Phi Phi is we found a day boat trip which was how we spent all of Thursday. The boat trip was perfect and I would recommend you go out and see the islands including Maya bay where The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. We stopped to snokel at several of the most idyllic spots I have ever been to. Being an avid snorkeler and biology student I was in heaven, I even took my own snorkel and mask just in case the opportunity cropped up, and I was not disappointed!! We saw loads of angelfish, butterflyfish and massive parrotfish… before I was stung by a jellyfish… typical me!
Sun burnt and perfectly happy Nikki and I got off the boat, rushed ot our hotel, changed and went to try our first buckets of cocktails. You can buy buckets of cocktails or spirits and mixers for about 150 baht (approx £3.50) and you probably don’t need a second bucket. Safe to say it was a brilliant evening!
Friday was the end to Phi Phi and return to the mainland, we breakfasted and boated back to Krabi. Two of my flatmates were flying out to Krabi on Friday so while waiting for them to turn up the only logical thing to do was for Nikki and I to spend 2 hours have manicures, pedicure and foot massages! Upon being joined by the boys we went to explore Krabi Town,
and upon finding little to actually see we somehow ended up on a river boat to the 4 of us to go to a cave and fish farms. That’s one of my favourite things about travelling, somehow if you are open to opportunities you can end up doing something really interesting and random! Friday night food was eaten in vast quantities in Walking Street which is a big and very lively night market where we stuffed ourselves silly on local delicacies. Mango sticky rice, Chinese chard dumplings, spicy mango salad, pad thai, brownies (not sure that’s local but they were good) and fresh coconuts! Followed by a couple of hours consuming a tower of beer at a bar round the corner. Another lovely evening with amazing company.
Nikki went back to KL on Saturday and the boys headed to Phi Phi so I was left to my own
devices in a new hotel. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy being at that hotel I found a beach bar with bean bags and settled myself down for a couple of hours and that was a pretty decent end to a brilliant week of travel!
Now its exam study time so I have to stay in Singapore for 4 weeks… I might not be able to cope. I think now I’ve started travelling so regularly to such incredible places I’m struggling to be content being in one place, it’s lucky I’m here for a year and not just one semester! There is still so much out there to explore and I’ve just begun.