Two weeks in Southern Thailand.
Wednesday 26 January 2011 - Sunday 6 February 2011
After expending much sweat, tears, coffee, internet connection time and countless changes of mind, I am on my way again.
The flights from NZ to Thailand on Emirates were very good. They had some dramas with the meals but otherwise it was smooth, with a good selection of movies and other entertainment.
Wednesday 26th January to Tuesday 1 February - Seven days in Phuket:
Eating - Lots of Thai food, the occasional takeaway and ice cream.
Drinking - I think that Tiger beer is the best of the beers available in Phuket. It is better tasting than Heineken and not as strong as Singha.
Swimming - The hotel had a very nice pool area. Swimming at midnight is also good fun.
Shopping - Not much of this thankfully. I have lots of shirts and clothes from previous trips.
Walking - Just around the area, along the beach and to and from various bars and restaurants.
Hotel review: The Expat Hotel is a great place. It has friendly staff who do not mind if you swim at midnight, a great location, good food, clean and tidy rooms, and mad guests who ring the shout bell at every chance.
Wednesday 2 February to Saturday 5 February - Phuket to Krabi.
Instead of catching a boring bus around from Phuket to Krabi, I used the ferry service. This leaves from the port near Phuket Town and takes about two hours or so to cross the Andaman Sea. The crossing was uneventful. The boat stopped at Railay Beach first and dropped off a large number of passengers. This looks like the typical Thai beach, white sands, palm trees, sheer cliffs, blue seas and so on.
The Ao Nang area is much different from Phuket. It is nowhere near as busy and has a lot more families and couples rather than single travellers. You can also cross the main road with a much smaller chance of being mowed over by buses, tuk-tuks, scooters etc. The four days were spent doing the same as Phuket, but not necessarily in the same order (and even less shopping).
Hotel review: The Haleeva Resort (although it is not really a resort) was about 800 metres along the main road back from the beach. It had friendly staff, a nice pool area (although the green colour of the tiles is a bit odd, blue being the normal colour), but no restaurant. The unlimited free wifi is also appreciated.
The ferry port at Phuket town. Ferries from here go to Krabi and to Ko Phi Phi.
Great. The staff have bought my boat around.
And then that little fantasy disappeared.
Dropping the tourists off at Railay Beach. This is what you expect a Thai beach to look like.
The Krabi River marina where the ferry ties up.
The cliff face to the south of Ao Nang. It looks like someone has carved away the whole mountain side, leaving half of it there. Looks like about 600 feet straight down from the top.
Sunset over the Andaman Sea.
The top end of Ao Nang beach.
Nopparat Thara beach. This is just north of Ao Nang beach.
Sunday 6 February - Krabi to Hat Yai.
This was your typical Thai minivan ride. The driver was a great guy, but an interesting driver. The lines down the middle of road are just for decoration and do not have any meaning at all. Hat Yai was very busy with bus loads of Malaysians crossing over for the Chinese New Year holidays.
Hotel review: The Sakura Grand View does indeed have a grand view from the 12th floor, or would have if the windows were ever washed.