Sunday, 18 February 2007

Peneng, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket, Ko Chang, Hua Hin.

I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand after a tremendous journey up the Malay peninsular.

We explored the beaches, tropical fruit farms and fishing villages of Penang Island by motorbike. Took a train up Penang hill for stunning views of the city. Saw a Hindu festival where the Indian lads put metal spikes through their bodies! Ate Laksa and other exotic Asian food - the food's brilliant here. Got drunk in a Sailors pub before heading to Hat Yai across the Thai border where we partied in Thai discos.

Onward to Krabi and the Railay peninsula which is inaccessible by road so we took a long-tail boat to Ton Sai beach. These beaches are fantastic, surrounded by dramatic limestone karsts attracting hordes of rock climbers. One downside to all this natural beauty is that the place gets packed and rooms are scarce. Ao Nang felt like Benidorm with thousands of package tourists. Not really my scene.

Next we headed to Phuket, the jewel in Thailand's tourism crown. The main areas were overcrowded and overpriced but with a motorbike you can find little bits of paradise. We spent a night boozing in Patong at the Bangla Road girlie bars where we took in a cultural pussy show, carefully avoiding ping pong balls as we drank our beers.

My favourite Thai place so far was Ko Chang Island near the Burmese border. A boat from Ranong delivers you to the bamboo hut of your dreams. Our place had no electricity and the shower was a trough where you scoop cold water over yourself. We walked, swam, chilled, ate and witnessed breathtaking sunsets every evening on this diminutive island. Sadly, we left this idyllic island and took the world's slowest bus to Hua Hin.

Hua Hin is a place where Thai families come to escape Bangkok. We found a cheap room in Mod Guesthouse before proceeding to get drunk on Chang beer in the bars. Chang beer is lethal man - 6.4%. I can only handle a few of these 640ml bottles. The beaches were packed with fully-clothed Thai families enjoying picnics under massive umbrellas. Tomorrow we catch a train to Bangkok where another personal goal will be fulfilled; to travel by land up the Malay peninsula from Singapore to Bangkok.

Live the dream.

No comments:

Post a comment

Please be nice.