*We're on the West Coast
*Weather is amazing
*Going to Ko Phi Phi tomorrow
We've made it down to the West Coast of Thailand, very much where the Tsunami was back on Boxing Day last year. Truthfully - the place is amazing, with everything now put back together and looking fantastic. The sad part of the tale is that there are no tourists around. Not a drop of it. When we're walking down the streets the locals are begging us to go in their shops. It's clear they've had a disasterous year. We decided long ago that we were going to come over to the west-coast. After the tragedy we knew that we had to support the area and surely the best way to do that is through actually turning up and spending cash.
We knew that something was not right when we got off the train (* as featured in film - The Beach!!) at Surat Thani (pronounced SURATANI). Of the hundred or so backpackers that got off the sleeper train (1000km - £7, bargain), about 90 of them promptly got on 4 buses to Ko Somui / Ko Phan Ngan. We found a bus that was going to Krabi for 180 Baht each (less than £3) and that took another 5 hours! Krabi is a hectic place, but we then found a Sawnthaew (umm pick up / taxi where you sit in the back of the truck) that would take us to Ao Nang, where we were booked.
So here we are at one of the most amazing coastal areas we've been to this year. We're blown away by the price / weather and atmosphere. It's not touristy or Go Go bar'd up here. There seems to be a lot of Italians here though... ?
Today we took a boat ride around four of the local islands. Wow. It's so beautiful here. Please take a peek at our photos of the area, they're amazing (when I get round to whacking them on).
We've been so lucky with the weather. Blue skies and 30C+. Incredible! We've both topped our tans up, so some of you may be a bit bitter when we get back ;-)
We're off to Ko Phi Phi tomorrow. We think we've found a boat that will take us for 300 Baht each. We'll have to see!!
Phi Phi was smashed by the Tsunami. It was perhaps one of the hardest hit places. We thought long and hard about it, but we've heard good reports from other travellers who have been in the area since (thanks Kerin!) and besides, life is too short!
We'll get back to you about that when we are there.
If you seen the film The Beach (yay we watched it last night!!), it is all filmed in the area we are in now and Phi Phi. Wahay! It looks great. Don't worry though, because we're not going to start our own tree hugging hippie utopia, just yet :-)
Two weeks until we go home.
Happy and sad! We were both saying tonight that it's been the best year of our lives. If you haven't travelled before. Just do it. Don't ask too many questions, they're boring!
Lots of love from a slightly sunburnt (just joking Lynda ;-))Gareth and Helen x x x