Phuket- Bangkok at the beach

Just like Bangkok, Patong is a place where you can find almost anything. The city is centrally located by the beach, with shopping malls, cinemas, wine bars and clubs within walking distance. During the day the city is full of tourists laying on the beach, or shopping along the many markeds along the main road, and in the night the city turns into the party capital of Asia with dozens of strip clubs and locals dragging tourists into so called “ping pong shows”. We got to see one of these, where the entertainer pulled razorblades, scarfs, live frogs, eels and birds out of their private parts. Even though the thought of it might be sickening, it was quite interesting to watch, and is something we will probably never forget.

Since Phuket was our last destination in Thailand we picked up lots of souvenirs such as fake jewelry, make up and sunglasses, which is a speciality of Patong. Since it was probably the most touristy place of the whole country, we were looking forward to moving on to the next country on our list: Cambodia. 

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The Islands of Phi Phi and Krabi

Because there are so many islands in the Krabi/ Phi Phi area, we have decided only to show a few pictures and give a short description of the ones we thought was worth mentioning.
Maya Bay was probably the beach we had been looking forward to the most, as it is famous from the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo Di Caprio. The beach itself was not less magnificent than in the movies, but it was the circumstances made the visit disappointing. The beach was overcrowded with boats carrying over eager tourists running around with cameras, just like us.
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An island the Thai people seemed very proud of was their chicken island. When we passed this island, we were told a few chicken jokes while we got to snap a couple of photos of this funny shaped island.
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Poda island got a full score from us, as the beach was much less crowded, with pearl white sand and a huge rock standing in the middle of the water in front of it. Here there was only one hotel, and a a small beach restaurant. At the beach you could also buy freshly grilled corn on the cob with ice cold beverages of your choice.

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Coming from what we thought was the land of the most beautiful fjords (Norway) we were proven otherwise when entering the Blue Lagoon, part of the Phi Phi Leh. Here the green covered mountain walls went straight into the clear turquoise water, with small steams of fish following every move of the boat.

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Tup Island (we just called them the twin islands) are two small islands connected to each other with a small sand bar. The path between the two, seems almost invisible, as it is covered with only 2-3 centimeters of water.

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Phi Phi and Krabi, on the West coast, have some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, so if this is what you are looking for, you can be sure to find something you will like.

Railay Beach in Krabi

From the mainland in Krabi we took a longtail boat over to Railay, famous for it’s beaches, caves, rock climbing in the limestone mountains. All in all this is backpackers paradise, with a variety of cheap backpacker bungalows and fancy five star hotels. We found a really cheap and good place to stay, but to get there we had to climb to climb a huge, steep flight of stairs and then hike to get to our cabin. The hike was well worth the view we had from there, over the mountains and the crystal clear ocean.

Every evening, there was a free thai- boxing and flame show, and food such as shark and crocodile (tasted like chicken) was served fresh along the beach promenade. But we had to watch out for the thunderstorms that were brewing as the darkness had approached. We soon learned that one drop of rain meant that a storm was coming, and that it was coming fast. By knowing this, we could easily find a good table at the restaurants, before the rest of the tourists came sprinting for shelter. Railay was a quick trip with longtail boat from the mainland. Many backpackers came for the Bob Marley vibe, something we soon learned to love.
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Victoria Point (Kawthaung), Burma

Since we had entered Thailand through overland borders, we only got a 15 day visa, instead of the 30 days you would get from entering by air. 14 of these, we had already spent on the East- Coast of Thailand, so we had to make a quick trip to the neighbor country Burma.
Since travelling in Thailand is so convenient, we could easily book a visa run package that would take us from Koh Pangan to a Burmese border, and on to Krabi, where we had planned to spend the next few days. The trip went hassle free, even though we had to change from boat to bus, to boat, to bus, to boat, to bus, to boat before we reached our goal. All this in one day! Overland travels in Thailand can sometimes be the easiest thing in the world.
Here is a guide that helped us a lot to plan our visa run step-by-step.
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Diving at Koh Tao

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If there is one thing Koh Tao is famous for, it is for its diving conditions. Even though there are thousands of people getting their diving license there every year, the underwater scene is absolutely stunning. 
I booked my PADI Open Water course with Crystal Dive, and got my accommodation for five days, two free barbecue buffets, one free t-shirt and got free rent of books and equipment included in the course package. Koh Tao is also known for being one of the cheapest places in the world to do the Open Water course.

The price is also not the only reason why Koh Tao is a good place to take the diving license, but because of the fact that everything and everyone on the island are there because of the diving possibilities. People come from all over the world to work as instructors, or just to make their hobby into a fulltime lifestyle.

For those who are not interested in scuba diving, there are also some quality beaches, and good restaurants that would work for a quiet vacation, but I would mainly recommend the place for people who are interested in seeing the underwater wildlife, either fully equipped with scuba gear or just with a snorkel and a mask.
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