After the flight back from Siem Reap to Bangkok we transferred immediately for a short flight directly to Koh Samui and in the evening we checked into our bungalow on the Chaweng beach. Koh Samui is one of the famous beach destinations in Thailand and we had big expectations. To our disappointment it turned out to be a bit of a s*** hole (quite literally as the smell of the wastage under the street was unbearable. The traffic was very heavy, streets lined up with dodgy shops and restaurants and busy with people. Our disappointment was confirmed by a below average seafood meal at a fairly expensive restaurant – a far cry from Bali’s Jimbaran. The beach was sandy and nice enough with nice warm water, but along the coast zipping up and down were many Jet-Skis, which made swimming quite tricky and dangerous. After nights on Koh Samui we had enough of the touristy atmosphere and decided to head over across west to Koh Phi Phi. We also considered taking a boat to Koh Tao but that would have meant having to come back again to Koh Samui and we didn’t really want to be wasting any more time here.
Surprisingly the boat-bus-boat journey to Koh Phi Phi only took a few hours and in the afternoon we were already checked into our bungalow at the JJ resort. We were on the Phi Phi island 10 years ago and we were curious how the place looked like after being destroyed by the 2004 tsunami and subsequently rebuilt. To our relief it’s still is as much of a backpackers paradise as it had been before. Since the movie “The Beach” was filmed on one of the Phi Phi islands backpackers have been flooding here and the travelers atmosphere still remains. The island is a little more built up than it used to be and there are more hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and dive shops, but still no cars and no roads. One difference was that unlike 10 years ago we were amongst some of the oldest backpackers. LOL.
The next day we found a great local yoga class run every evening and our days were spent on the beach, swimming, relaxing and attending the evening open air yoga class with an added bonus of a lovely sunset view.
Of course after a couple of days we needed some action so I went for a full day snorkeling tour.
… and after another couple of days we both did a half day rock climbing trip.
On the last day we trekked up to the viewpoint for a panoramic view of the paradise.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end and it was time to leave the island.
On the way back to Bangkok we had 2 more days on the beach, this time in Phuket. Phuket turned out to be much nicer than Koh Samui and we were staying at the lovely Best Western resort on the Bangtao beach, not far from the laguna where the international triathlon takes place each year in November. Beside spending some time on the beach and improving Alex’s swim technique and record to 20 meters we rented a small scoter and went to check out the British International School as a potential venue for a triathlon training camp. The swim facilities are impressive.
After another short flight we are now in Bangkok doing some last minute shopping and bracing ourselves to go back to the cold and rainy London…