After Ko Tao we headed to Krabi where Gordon’s brother Callum & his wife Ree had bought us a belated wedding/early 30th present of three days in a beautiful boutique resort - he’d mentioned it was a wedding present and they’d assumed it was our honeymoon so we all agreed not to set them straight
. We’ll spare you too many cheesey pictures but it was amazing. We spent all three days revelling in luxury torn between sitting on bean bags on the private beach or lounging inside to enjoy the AC, gorging ourselves in the fabulous restaurant (trying not to laugh every time someone congratulated us on being married during our 4 course private "honeymoon dinner" surrounding by lanterns and roses on the beach) and nicking all the toiletries and hand towels.
After Krabi we decided we couldn’t face getting back to reality with quite such a bump as another long bus journey so instead we went on to Railay beach to do some more climbing. The climbing was out of this world (the routes and scenery that is, sadly not our technique). We were climbing straight off the beach up cliffs and as the tide came in landing in water. Another favourite was a climb that took us up into a cave that you then walked through and came out at the top of a 50m wall in the next bay that you then abseiled down.
Having thoroughly battered ourselves on the rocks we went for another change of pace and went to the super-touristy but stunning Ko Phi Phi where we decided to spend Gordon’s 30th birthday. He chose to spend the day cliff jumping (for fun, not as an over-reaction to turning 30) which Sarah found terrifying but the birthday boy loved
. Sarah managed about a 6m jump but Gordon made it off a 20m high bit that had Sarah scared just watching from the boat. We did spend the rest of the afternoon eating crab and drinking beer though which was much more to her taste. The plus side of the massive tourism on the island is that it means there's loads of competition between the bars so in the evening we went on a pub crawl seeing how many freebies we could get. Our best was the place that gave us each a free bucket of vodka red bull (yes, that’s right, a bucket each, not a measly glass), resulting in some ludicrous shapes being thrown on the dancefloor on the beach and some monster hangovers the next morning. Thailand was another complete change from Vietnam or China and whilst yes it is totally touristy, it’s for good reason as the scenery is stunning, the beaches are amazing, travelling around is easy and there are plenty of fun people around. Not a bad place to spend your 30th!
Despite having heard horror stories about the buses in Thailand we arrived into Bangkok after an incredibly smooth journey; every time we had to change bus someone would put a colour coded sticker on our shirts and we would be herded to the appropriate new bus and at no point did we get dropped at a closed border or shoved into a tuk-tuk for a panicked ride to another bus station; guess they see more tourists here! We decided to head straight down south for a bit of beaching and plumped for Ko Tao to do some diving and because we'd heard rumours you can get a Sunday roast. We never found the roast but did have a great few days with a bit of diving, some stupid off-road mopeding and some sampling of the Ko Tao nightlife.