At this very moment I am lying in bed feeling sorry for myself having yet another stomach bug 🙁 yes yes I can hear you all now saying “poor little Paula, stuck in paradise but with a little stomach ache!” … Well I can sort of see where you’re coming from but nonetheless I’m sick and feeling crap, and the only place you really want to be on a day like today is at home with a duvet and being looked after by your family…. Not in a grungy guesthouse room in Luang Prabang (Laos) dreading the looming 18hr coach journey back to Thailand in T minus 7 hours 🙁 right rant over!!!!!
What I guess you’re more interested in is what I’ve been up to the last month (well I hope so otherwise why are you reading my bloody blog!!) 😉 ok so after the den that was Pattaya – it’s a bit like going to see a freak show, one night of ‘viewing’ was enough for my lifetime! – we decided to check out Hua Hin (just down from Bangkok towards the Islands) … Now I can’t really say why we did this, the guidebooks basically describe it as a less seedy version of Pattaya, and without the seediness Pattaya would be a Russian overloaded, nasty beach lacklustre town (!!) … So why wouldn’t we do Hua Hin?! Anyway it was actually a good fun couple of days… Not that we even got on the beach as Greg gets far too bored and our nights were so heavy (never felt so unwelcome in a tranny bar!!!!! – not a story for here 😉 that we basically slept all day!
After Hua Hin we decided we hadn’t partied enough (!!) and Full Moon was only a week away so off to Koh Phangan we went (second time for me 😉 now the journey took a little longer than planned as we managed to miss the bus from Surat Thani train station to the dock where the boat leaves for Koh Phangan, so ended up having to spend the night in Surat Thani (well we worked out, after the fact (!) that we weren’t actually in the town centre which explained the shear shitness of the place!). Anyway once on the boat and then back on Koh Phangan it was a bit like déjà vu, having done the exact same journey at the very start of my time here in January, only this time I was a little more wise and we stayed a bit further away from Haad Rin (full moon beach) and I actually managed to get to some pre-parties this time and explore a bit more of the island! We also managed to pick up a 21 year old American tag along under the name Nico who was a bit weird & intense to say the least…. We luckily managed to lose him…. Sorry, part ways 😉 at full moon, it’s ok though he found some other victims… I mean friends 😉
So, I have managed to do the east coast of Thailand twice now in the space of 4 months and still hadn’t made it over to the west side which I was dying to see! So I was more that excited to catch the bus over to Krabi and onto Phi Phi….. Unfortunately Phi Phi was…. How can I say…. Oversold to me a little and therefore mostly a huge disappointment 🙁 now there were a few other things at play – Greg was sick plus it was low season plus the weather was crap – but I just couldn’t work out why everyone raves about it so much. The beaches were average (save Maya beach which was Phi Phi’s saving grace) and the town was like Malaga! Anyway apart from one amazing day on a yacht trip that finished up on ‘The Beach’ (and actually played Pure Shores from the film!!!!!! Loved it) I think Phi Phi comes a lot further down my list of favourite places than I was expecting.
It took us 3 days to work out where to go next… I think this was mostly down to our different priorities, I wanted beach & sunbathing (which I hadn’t really managed to do properly since I got back to Thailand) and Greg wanted more stimulation. Anyway I won and we ended up in Railey for a day (should have done longer!), it was so beautiful and the weather was gorgeous and, well definitely one of my fav places and somewhere I’d go back to. Greg was so bored of beaches by this point we decided to take a few days away from each other where I went to Koh Lanta and he went to Phuket. Finally a full day sunbathing and boom the tan was back 😉
I sort of wish I’d done the west side of Thailand in high season as it was so dead everywhere… Koh lanta particularly, which I think took away from my enjoyment of the places… But hey, it just means I’ll have to go back one day 😉
Thanks to my lovely Facebook friends recommendations we decided to do Laos next…. Not somewhere I was really planning to do but we had the time so though why not! So we both flew back to Bangkok and got straight on the night train to the Laos/Thai border near Vientiene.
Laos = 50% fun filled hedonism + 50% boredom
Again I must point out its low season so this won’t have helped but Vientiene, despite how pretty it was, was the quietest town ever- we sat at a bar and kept seeing the same bored looking tourists passing us over and over again from different directions lol ….so we got drunk! Vang Vieng on the other hand – well I don’t really need to tell most of you how fun that place is – although getting there at 3 in the afternoon and the place is basically a ghost town confused the hell out of me until all the tubers rolled drunk back into town around 7pm! I also realised Tubing in VV is basically a pub crawl down a river! Despite the full on shut down by the authorities a while ago due to 20+ deaths a year on things like ‘death slides’!!!! The place is still banging and 4 bars are still allowed to operate and operate they well and truly do!
And now Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage site with a night life that rivals Vang Vieng! Technically everything shuts down at 11:30 but you then get ferried off by Tuk Tuk to the ‘bowling alley’ … Which is actually a bowling alley but I guess not much bowling happens! Sadly we didn’t quite make it bowling after the amazing Utopia (riverside MASSIVE bar) but maybe next time.
And back to the present hour…. 6pm coach awaits back to the land of Thai and Gregs home from home; Chiang Mai for a few days (here’s hoping the curfew doesn’t affect us too much!) and then we fly down to BALI!!!!!!!! I can’t bloody wait! I’ve been looking forward to Bali & the Gilli Islands since this whole idea was conceived over 8 months ago (!!) PLUS it’s high season down there so the place should be well and truly buzzing 🙂
Not sure what to do after that though, got about 5 months left (can’t believe I’m half way through already!!!!) and think I want to spend 6 weeks in Indonesia… Still have Malaysia I’d like to do but then maybe Phillippeans, Borneo or Australia… Decisions decisions!!