Xmas and New Year in Thailand

Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
Trip End Apr 16, 2007

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hi all! How's it going?

So after the crazy evening events with Andy and Nat in Puckett, we decided to stay around for another few days. Found a fairly cheap guest house and basically just chilled on the beach. Not a cheap place to be for backpackers, as it's very much a holiday destination.
The place consists of a lot of bars, lady boys and dirty old western men with young Thai women. But least there was a decent beach. We had a pretty relaxing time though, but can't say we started Thailand off in any form of cultural experiences. After realising we were in fact wasting much precious time, we decided to get ourselves off to an Island called 'Koh Phi Phi Don'. But as it happens, this turned out to be more or less another week of doing sod all. It's just too easy to get into doing very little. Having said that, the island being pretty small as it was, didn't allow for much else to do. The walk to the view point was very nice and having a look around at the reconstruction, from where the Tsunami had practically wiped everything out. Oh yeah!... We also did a trip. This in the end was well worth it and would recommend. The 4 hour boat trip was to the neighboring island called 'Koh Phi Phi Lay'. This island is more or less uninhabited and is in part, famous for its crystal clear sea and corals etc. But more so for it's (or at least one of its beaches) appearance in the film 'The Beach'. The beach and lagoon is actually called Maya Bay and is really as beautiful as the film/pictures. The tour started with quite a funny visit to 'monkey beach!' Yes, there were numerous monkeys occupying the beach and lower cliffs. They were also wild, although very used to visitors and the inevitable treats they receive daily! Although they didn't seem that grateful the way they acted.. Lou was attacked by 6 of the little swine's and Dan had to fight them off with a kayak paddle, which we had from paddling to shore from the tour boat. The attack on us ceased for a time and other members of the tour party got smaller attacks from the beasts. Then Dan, having turned his back for a second, also got pounced. Again a few thrusts (but mainly strong threats) with the paddle led to the monkey's retreat. The photos taken were nervous ones after that and we left soon after.... The tour then took us to a couple of great reefs for snorkeling, then finally a visit to the famous Maya Bay. Now at least we felt like we joined in a bit!
It seemed for the moment that we were still on the beaten track and wondered if we were ever going to get into the 'cheap' Thailand we heard so much about....

We headed off by boat to an Island called Koh Lanta. This place was a fair bit cheaper and a bit less visited!! Christmas was spent here and had a good time on this relaxed Island. We had a few days on a moped, just checking the island out and you guessed it...... Just relaxing by the pool and beach etc...Again the island didn't have a massive selection of activities that were cheap, so we felt less inclined to participate (hey have you ever tried to live off 7000 a year each!!!) We got involved in some late night beach parties and played cards with fellow travelers. Xmas day was very upsetting for Dan, as there was neither a roast dinner, nor any form of traditional Christmas offerings to be found!! He settled for a pitta with some form of potato allo inside! The face showed how unpleased he was for this lack of a feast. The Island was generally Muslim, so a lack of Xmas spirit was in the air. We just grabbed a bottle of Champagne and headed for the sand. So all was well!

Our next brief stop was to the mainland, to a beach town called Ao Nang. Afraid our luck of finding the overpriced resorts had continued. We got totally fleeced here and was like walking around on a Spanish holiday. Needless to say we were out of there pretty fast. All we wanted was to find a place where we could experience a bit of culture and have places to go other than 'Johns' British bar etc etc... . How plans can change and our proposed stay here for New Year, ended up with a last minute decision to fly to Bangkok! Come 8pm on New Years Eve we were hundreds of miles away and in this crazy city. All the festivities were going well, until some bombs went off around the city. This resulted in the police and military shutting off the proceedings (luckily after midnight). You'll be happy to hear we have had a good look around the city and explored! We are departing Bangkok on the 6th and making for the town of Konchanburi, where the real ' Bridge over the river kwai is located......
Well hope you are all well and getting into the swing of 2007!! Love Lou and Dan x x
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