Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2009

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, April 17, 2009

We decided to spend only a few nights on Langkawi, which was beautiful, but I really wanted to head to the next island, a short one hour boat ride north, as I heard that it was absolute paradise. The island is called Koh Lipeh and is actually part of Thailand. When we arrived on shore there was an "immigration office" or more along the lines of immigration hut. Very funny. Very handy actually. The only thing that sucks is that if you travel to Thailand by land or sea you only get a 15 day visa as opposed to 1 month. We were not aware of this till after they sold us our boat ticket. So as a side note to travellers, be aware of this fact. If you want you can cross over to Malaysia again and then immediately after cross back to Thailand and get a visa renewal.  Its still only for 15 days though. Royal pain in the ass. A lot of people that we met were quite annoyed with this as well.
So anyhoo, we spent about a week hanging out on the fabulous Lipeh. It was so nice to be back in Thailand again. We had a little hut set just back from the main beach (Pattaya), which was beautiful.  Unfortunately, there were so many incredibly loud long-tail boats running supplies from the larger boats offshore, that it was not exactly the relaxing time we were hoping for. Funnily enough, this was also the busiest beach?  We decided to walk to the other end of the island to check out "Sunrise" beach. Once we got there we immediately realised that this is where we should be staying.  We went back to get our backpacks and moved in to our new room on this much quieter and even more beautiful side of the island. This place is what postcards are made of. I can't even describe how clear the water was or how beautiful the beach.  I'll just post some pictures and you'll get the drift. We met another couple from Germany with whom we had many dinners and pancake lunches. It was really quite a hard week if you must know. Wake up, eat breakfast, snorkel. Eat lunch, read, snorkel. Eat dinner, have a bevie, go to bed. Then we had to wake up the next day and repeat the whole scenario. It was torture. Seriously though, there was one downside, the mosquitoes. Of course they never touched Tone, but were all over me. I was completely covered in bites, which did make it a lot easier to say "goodbye" to paradise when we had to leave for Bangkok to sort out our Vietnam visas. We love you Lipeh but we're ready to go.
We began traveling at 9 in the morning and arrived in Bangkok at something like 4am. Who knows what time it was. It was all a blur. Another aside to travellers coming from Lipeh to Bangkok: the bus is NOT a sleeper bus, they lie. They also play loud Thai music for most of the ride. Oy vey. But either way we got there. It was nice to be back in Bangkok, like seeing an old friend. We hung out mostly in the tourist area for the week that we were there, but we did manage to see a few wats and temples that we missed the first time around. There is great shopping to be had in Bangkok. We took the opportunity to update the old wardrobe a bit as it was looking a bit grungy. I also wanted to get a new tattoo for my birthday and knew that this was a great spot for it. Thailand knows their tattoo art. After some internet research and popping into some studios, I finally decided on Mr. Yai on Khaosan road. I just got a good vibe from his shop. They don't try to push you into anything like some of the studios there. He is a great artist who uses only new needles (this is good, this is good) and he is very clean. Doesn't speak much English but his partner can translate. He is a real artist and even did part of my tat free hand. Overall a great experience. If you're in Bangkok for some work go and see Mr.Yai 133 Khaosan rd.
On the night before my birthday we joined up with our friend Claire, a Brit that we met in Australia. We had a great night out sharing travel stories and advice. She had just come from Vietnam which is where we were heading next, so that was good help for us.
The next day I was woken up with chocolate cake and fresh orange juice with Tony singing "happy birthday". We then went out for lunch to Mc Donald's. It was my naughty birthday indulgence. Sounds kinda gross but you crave western junk sometimes after eating rice dishes so regularly. We then watched movies in the room for the rest of the day on my request. In Bangkok for my birthday and that's what we do. I know, pathetic but that was a nice treat too. I must admit that I did get pretty depressed though. Holidays and special occasions are the times when you get homesick for your family and friends. I did get cards from all the important people online so that was really nice. I just happened to go on skype and who was there but Jodi and Meliss and the girls from the salon. Then my mom pops into the picture and the all start singing. Well that was it. Waterworks! It was so great I can't tell you.
The next day we got ready for our flight to Vietnam. Very exciting. New country, new people, new landscape. Onward and forward. Take it away Tony.
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