A year ago I did my first trip to Thailand, it was a two weeks trip just before Christmas. It was a really relaxing and a needed holiday and a good finish for the year of hard working. I went of course with my best man Mr. Kareinen. The trip was a success and we could have stayed over Christmas (especially when this year it was dark and snowless Christmas in Finland). Before going to Thailand, we found it tricky to find an island/s, which wasn’t too developed and less touristy, but we managed!
Koh Ngai – peaceful island in Thailand
The little piece of heaven was called Koh Ngai. We got there by flying first to Bangkok and then taking a cheap Nok Air flight to Trang, from where we continued with a one-hour car ride and half an hour boat drive to our island. The family run hotel had organised the ride and the boat. Everything went smooth and easy. We were on Koh Ngai in the same afternoon, as we had landed in Bangkok the same morning. We had arrived to a lovely place called Coco Cottage.
It was really a bungalow cottage and a real holiday experience. Just by the turquoise beach, having a lovely shower under the starry night sky outside, having a great terrace in front of the sea and to fall in sleep when hearing the waves. Just perfect. Even though sometimes it felt a bit scary and sad when I started to think about the ten years back. But my motto in life is something like we can’t do anything if we’re scared of something that we don’t see coming. Have to be brave and just go and see how it goes.
One night was special on our terrace. I have to share this unbelievable experience in life: once when chilling there and when I was telling about my grandma that had passed away earlier that year I saw the biggest shooting star I’ve ever seen. Even bigger than in New Zealand once, which I had thought, was big already! It felt unbelievable. Like grandma was there listening. Crazy but true…
In addition to the previous tick points there was some really good food at the Coco Cottage and of course the perfect Thai hospitality. A lovely young boy Nu was making the best omelettes ever on every morning for us. We surely remembered him for that when we left.
Koh Ngai was a small island. There weren’t many activities besides normal sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking. But it was a great place for just relaxing for one week. Mmmm reading books in a perfect peace and drinking some cheap fruit lassis and smoothies. I remember it like yesterday. That much I enjoyed it. When we got slightly bored with the menu of our place we just walked a bit on the beach to some of the other restaurants of maybe 6 accommodations that there were on the island. The silence was perfect. Well we had a good timing – because we were there just before the holiday season that becomes wild just on Christmas and afterwards.
Koh Lipe – not that good
After one-week pure relaxation we changed the island. We went by speedboat to Koh Lipe, which we had also read to be still ok when it comes to the amount of the tourists. But No. It was an island hell on earth. We hated it. The only good thing was our great accommodation – Jacks Jungle – where the food was really nice and the experience literally in the small jungle was interesting – if forgetting the mosquitos!
But we could not really stay there on Lipe. Immediately when we got there we noticed that Lipe was full of tourists, marks that tourists had left behind – like glass on the beach, other wastes, stupid partys and touristy shops. We started looking at the map and surfing the search engines to see where to escape. We noticed that there were some national parks close by. So we left. Took our small back bags, left the big ones in the Jack’s Jungle (which luckily was a really reasonable price) and went to Adang National Park. There were some really cheap bungalows to stay in. But still clean and in a good condition. It was so nice in the national park. Hardly no one there and we felt to be the owners of the whole beach. Just swimming there by ourselves. And laying in the hammocks that we hung up. Having a perfect silence – if not counting the noisy engines of the Thai boats that very seldom passed by. Such good times.
After enjoying this national park. We went back to Jacks Jungle, stayed a night enjoying the great food. And then in the next morning we hired a private boat driver to take us to another national park, Koh Rawi. Really nice place as well. Well there happened to be some noisy group visiting when we got there but after they left, once again we had the place on us. Repeating the words: great swimming, beautiful sand beach and even a cute monkey greeting us! That was a perfect last day on the islands.
Bangkok – the dirty city
Next day we left to Hat Yai airport to take the cheap Air Asian flight to Bangkok. I didn’t like Bangkok. It smelled so bad, pollution everywhere. It was horrible to drive on a tuktuk when it smelled so bad and you had to cover your mouth not to breath all the pollution. A rat ran through Antti’s feet – after that Mr. “Dj Tautinen rotta” didn’t like them anymore hahhaa. Well there were something good, the shopping and the nice and luxurious, high Marriot building we stayed in, but otherwise we were happy to leave home after the Big Bangkok.
I feel that Thailand is unfortunately getting more and more crowded but still beautiful place to visit when remembering some things.
My Thailand note list:
– Unless you like tourist traps, do enough searching and try to go on the less developed, eco islands and try to support the small family businesses.
– Of course like everywhere, behave! Be a smart tourist not like too many of the idiots leaving traces. Consider what you support – do you want to have a selfie with the tiger that is fully toxicated?
– Go before the tourist season that it’s more peaceful.
– From Thailand it’s really easy and cheap to continue to other places like Cambodia, Malaysia etc. If you have a longer holiday, definitely worth a thought!
– Leave tip. Make the friendly, nice and hospitable locals even more smiley by leaving some reward. It’s small money for us but a big joy for them.
– Think what kind of holiday are you after. We just wanted to relax. But there are great islands for different activities and inner land for hikes and culture.
“Eternal waves, eternal skies, everlasting souls”