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Our Last Day on Ko Phayam

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We had one simple task set for today, our last full day on Ko Phayam. Buy new sunglasses.

Last night once we were back at the hut we thought it strange that we could only find the one cockroach roaming around. Chelsea plucked up the courage to go to the toilet, only for the largest cockroach to be sat in the toilet once she lifted the seat. As if she wasn't scared enough this really tipped her over the edge.

We had another restless night partly due to animal noises but it was also incrediby hot. There is no fan or air flow through the hut so it was stifling. We were slow to leave the hut as we were so tired but we set off into the little village around the corner to find us some sunglasses. There is a little hut on the way in that sells clothes and accessories and after a look around we decided to buy some there. We now each own a pair of genuine fake Ray-bans for £3 each. We went to a cafe that we have visited before for breakfast called 'Forget me not' that is ran by a very nice Thai lady. We both had boiled rice soup with pork, washed down with a mango shake as the day was already getting hot.

Whilst we were waiting for our breakfast we heard some commotion on the street and there was a local man holding a snake by the neck. The nice Thai lady thought he was playng a trick on her as she diidn't like snakes but it was real, he had grabbed the snake and was walking it away from the path. He didn't seem too phased but both locals and tourists (in between taking pictures) were running away.

For the afternoon of our last day we decided to get the last bit of beach time as we do not know when we will next see one. Only one minor problem with this as there usually is with us two, we are running extremely low on sun cream. The only place we have seen selling it here is ridiculously expensive so we scraped every last drop we could out of the factor 50 and walked down onto the beach.

We sat on the beach for a long time, reading in the sun, until we were too hot. We then retreated to the bar and had a drink in the shade to cool off. Chelsea, working her way through the variety of shakes on offer, had pineapple. We then made our way to a slightly shaded section of the beach and we sat there until the sun started to go down. It has been a very lazy afternoon, and we appreciate it does not make for good reading, but it has been the relaxing day we need before moving on tomorrow.

Tonight we tried a new place to eat. We walked further up the beach than we have any night before and settled on a tiny place that was decorated with lights and candle light tables. We shared, fried shrimp in chilli and basil and fried chicken in chilli sauce with some rice. Both were delicious and we got a selection of nuts with out beer. Cashew nuts are grown on the island so they are always yummy. We walked back down the beach in the dark. We have not noticed before but there are so many stars in the sky at night. We assume it is to do with the little light on the ground, We have never seen so many stars. We ended our night in the bar of our resort sharing a beer and writing this.

We have loved our week on Ko Phayam, it has been really peacful and a little too eventful at times but it has been fun. We both feel like we are going home after a holiday and think we are in for a shock come Monday. Our plan is to get the afternoon ferry tomorrow at 2pm off the island back to Ranong and then the overnight bus to Bangkok. This leaves at 7.30pm and takes about 10 hours. On the plus side it saves us money for a nights accomadation, Bring on Bangkok.

Posted by Chelsandliam 05:04 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand ko_phayam Comments (3)

Kayaking and capsizing on Ko Phayam

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Today we got up early because we could hear noises inside and outside our hut. Inside was a giant lizard and outside was a dog digging. We need a sign on our door which says 'wildlife not welcome'. Anyway we had some breakfast at our place, Chelsea had pancakes and honey and Liam had museli with yoghurt and banana whilst we did some research on moving on to Bangkok and made a reservation at a guest house with good reviews. The Wi-Fi is powered by solar power in the morning and is slow so it took a while but we are a little more prepared for the shock that will be Bangkok.

For the rest of the day we decided to rent a kayak and a snorkel and explore the sea further out. Yesterday's snorkel experience was not great as the water was murky from the sand so we thought further out where there are no waves it would be clearer. We set off shakily in our little kayak which we think in hindsight might be a one person kayak. Once we got past the waves it was really calm and deep but really clear. We paddled north to the rocky outcrop as that apparently has the best snorkelling. It was quite rocky and rougher so we didn't get out of the boat, even though Liam stuck his head under with the mask on and nearly tipped us over near the rocks. We paddled back along the coast to where we could see the seabed was sandy and decided to go for a swim. Liam tried to get out of the kayak first, needless to say it capsized which meant we were both in the water, the boat was upside down and all our things were floating around. We managed to gather up our T-shirts, Liam's hat, our sun cream and snorkel mask and turn the boat the right way up. Chelsea got back in but when Liam tried to get back onboard we capsized again. We turned the boat but after a third time capsizing we realised we had both lost our sunglasses.

Chelsea got in the boat and Liam tried to find them with the snorkel mask on but we had drifted and had no idea where they had gone.... They are lost so we will both need to invest in some new ones but there will be some really cool fish swimming about around Ko Phayam.

Liam decided he couldn't get in the boat without making it capsize so we decided for Chelsea to row and Liam hold on and swim along side back to shore. All the while this was happening just bear in mind that we were being repeatedly stung by jellyfish. We got back to where we could stand up and got back in but every time a big wave came we capsized and got stung repeatedly again until we gave it up as a bad job. Anyone on the beach watching would have had a right laugh! We kayaked for about and hour and a half and then decided to get our towels and sit in the sun reading our books for the rest of the afternoon. We have decided that we are not expert kayakers and it is probably best we don't turn pro. It was really fun when we were capsizing and paddling but when we saw how big the jellyfish were we we're a little scared.

We went back to the hut to get our beach stuff and when we were climbing our stairs Liam swore loudly and ran off. He had seen a snake on our banister, red white and blue apparently. We couldn't find it and daren't go in our hut so went to console ourselves with a drink at our bar extremely alarmed. We sat in the sun for the rest of the day, Liam swing in a hammock and Chelsea found a deck chair.

When we were ready to go back we crept into our hut and we couldn't see any snakes. We went out early to the next place on called Friends again. One of their specialities are pizzas, they have a pizza oven and make them to order. We shared a pepperoni, salami and mushroom pizza and some chips. It was amazing and the chips were real chip pan chips like mums make.... A real treat.

We came back and had a beer and a slow night. Tomorrow is our last day so we are planning on having a beach day all day (once we buy some sunglasses from the village) so it might be another boring read.

Posted by Chelsandliam 04:40 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand ko_phayam Comments (2)

An uneventful day on Ko Phayam

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After the kind of day we had yesterday we decided to have a relaxing day today and recuperate. We have also given up chasing around our cockroach friends and decided to just let them have residence in our bathroom. It appears we have a two large ones, a medium sized one who is slighty more curious than the others (hence the medikit incident) and a couple of babies. It goes without sayig that they are all discusting especially now Chelsea knows they can fly!!!

Once we were up we came to the bar area of our resort to write our blog from the previous day as the wifi and electricty here are only on for part of the day and then went to the cafe in the little village area for a slow lunch. It was really hot today, almost too hot so we sat in the shade of the cafe until the midday sun had eased off. The cafe usually takes a long time to be served as they cook everything from scratch but they wre also short staffed so it took up most of the day. The lady who cooks Burmese food was off today so we both ordered a vegetable burger with cheese. They were amazing, they make their own burgers and bread and it is the first time we have had cheese since leaving the UK. We stocked up on insect repellent from the shop as we have been going through about a bottle a day and made our way back to the beach.

We decided to borrow some snorkels from our resort as the snorkelling is supposed to be good in our bay. We walked down the beach to the end and then started to swim but we noticed that the goggles had a hole in them. Chelsea had to walk all the way back to our resort to change them. Once she was back we headed into the water. There are quite large waves on this beach so the very shallow water is murky where the sand is kicked up. We waded in until it was a bit clearer and had a swim around. There was not much to see, a few fish and little coral, we don't think we were far enough out, plus everytime we swam we were kicking up sand and made the water murky. Once we were fed up on getting stung by jellyfish and Liam had inhaled several litres of sea water we gave up. We have decided tomorrow to rent a kayak and go further out to see if the snorkelling is any better.

We had a steady stroll back and sat on the veranda of our resort and had a drink, Liam tried a coconut which was a little disapointing as it was warm and not really refreshing, but it was tasty and Chelsea had a watermelon shake. By the time we had finished it was 5 oclock so we decided to head back to the hut and read a bit on our balcony before getting changed to go back out again.

Whist walking up and down the beach today we have seen a couple of chalk boards stating that King Mackerel was a special. We assume that a catch must have come in this morning and several resorts have bought some, including ours. That made what to have for dinner and easy decision so we shared a King Mackerel with spicy Thai Papaya salad. The fish was BBQ'd and came with a spicy dressing, we both agreed it was the best fish we have ever eaten. We still had a couple of beers left at our hut from yesterday so after our meal we bought some ice and went back to sit on our balcony.

The day has been uneventful really but we have enjoyed lazily strolling and relaxing in the sea and beach. We have two more nights left and will be glad to go back to enclosed rooms without animal and insect friends. The bamboo huts are a good cheap option for people on a budget but for people afraid of bugs and spiders they are alarming. We love the island though, it is an unspoilt paradise.

Posted by Chelsandliam 20:49 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand ko_phayam Comments (0)

An eventful day in Ko Phayam

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This morning we got up early to return the badminton rackets to the Burmese cafe in the little village but when we got there it was closed as they were hungover from last nights concert. We were planning on having breakfast there so we went into a small place next door. The lovely Thai lady was really happy she had some customers and fussed over us. After 20 miuntes the place was getting busy and she was on her own. She kept apologising and everyone said it was no problem. She brought us our food and drinks (she couldn't find any of her knives so Chelsea got a fork and spoon to butter her toast) and she was so nice we think we might go back for breakfast another day. We noticed that there were some bicycles for rent in the village so rented some for 60 baht each for the day. We followed the road north where the concrete ended and was replaced by a dirt path. This was ok at first but it soon started to climb and go through some quite rough terrain where we often had to get off and walk.

We ended up at a village near the sea called Moken Village that was just a collection of houses and some fishing boats. There were lots of children laid in the shade and only a few people who smiled at us. One way was a dead end with peoples houses and the other just went to a river with a scary raft and rope system to cross so we thought we had gone the wrong way. We climbed back up the hill and Chelsea walked upto a house and asked two men the way. None spoke English but they looked at our map and pointed the direction back down the hill. One man set off in front and motioned for us to follow. He took us back to the village and to the scary raft and started to pull it. The raft was basically 4 empty barrels with some wood on top. He signaled the water depth was thigh high and said 'ok' and Liam said no. It was too late to turn back. He put our bikes on the raft and signaled that we should help push and pull the raft. All the children from the village came to help push but it took a lot of effort as the ground was very muddy and so the raft (as well as our feet and flip flops) sunk. We got the raft in the water and Chelsea sat on it while the man and Liam waded it through the water. About half way the water was too shallow so Chelsea got off and we all had to wade through the muddy mangrove water and push the raft up the other side.... it was beyond unpleasent and crocodiles kept running through our minds. When we got to the otherside we were really muddy up to our knees but the man carried on walking, motioning us to follow him. He led us to a road through the mangroves and to a small cafe where pointed to some coffee and water. We were both realy thirsty and hot and had some water but the lady wouldn't let us pay. We were a little bit scared of the man at first but he helped us loads and even offered Liam his cigarette/joint which he politely declined.

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We set of riding on the newly found concrete road and Liam realised his chain had come off in all the raft commotion. We tried to get it back on but it was in an enclosed case that was screwed in so we had to push our bikes. We came to some bungalow resorts and Chelsea spotted a man with some motorcycles which she thought might help with the chain. She asked the man if he knew anywhere that could help with the bike and showed him the chain as he didnt speak English and he just got out a tool kit and fixed it himself. He was really kind as we would have been stuck on the other side of the island with no bike without him and we decided to give him some money to say thank you.

We rode down the road to Khao-Kwai beach and parked up our bikes at one of the low key bungalow reorts. We were really dirty and hot and got changed into our swimware. We swam in the sea for ages to cool and clean off and the sea at this end of the island is crystal clear. It is the clearest water we have seen on our trip so far. There were some rocks and seawead but we found a patch without any and swam until we thought we should start making our way back. We walked up through a resort and had a much needed drink on their veranda on the beach, Chelsea had a lemon juice and Liam a beer and we set off back.

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The journey back was really hard. There were a lot of hills and we somehow missed the crossroads to get home and ended up right down at the port. We rode back up and called at the shop on the way home for some beer for later. When we got home we were totally done in! We had cold showers and got ready to go out. The island is a lot more hilly than we expected and there are lots of different areas of vegiation. Sometimes it was really long grass up to our waists, other times it was woods and then it was mangroves and beach. There are no big resorts, just small shops and small collections of bungalows to stay in around the coast. It is a real paradise island what we expect Thailand was like before the big tourist boom. You can relax here no one hassles you, there are no touts and we have experienced the true friendlyness of the people of this island who have been happy to help us whenever we have bumbled ourselves into a problem.

We did some blog writing at our bar when the wifi and electricity comes on at 6pm and then once we were really hungry went to the place next door called Friends for some tea. We both chose a Thai curry called masaman which was delicous. They cook it from scratch on order so we had to wait a long time but we played backgamon (as best we could making up some of our own rules) and had a beer and the wait was worth it.

It was quite late when we got back so we sat on our veranda on our beach mat with some tealights and mosquito coils and had some beers. We bought some ice from Friends bar but our beers were still warmish as it melted too fast. We sat as long as we could stand the bugs and when Chelsea found a cockroach in her medical kit it was the last straw and we went into the net. We are not built for these open huts in the dark....

Posted by Chelsandliam 19:55 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand ko_phayam Comments (3)

Beach Life and Reggae in Ko Phayam

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Last night when we got back we had our first unwanted guests into the hut. Two rather large cockroaches. Liam was happy to leave them roaming the bathroom but Chelsea wanted them moving. So Liam had to catch them and take them outside. While this was happening we had the bathroom light on and when we finished with the cockroaches we had a massive wasp in the room. We left that and jumped into the mosquito net.

Apart from that we slept well, we were up quite early and decided to try somewhere new for breakfasts. We walked into an area near our hut a little inland that has a couple of shops and café’s and went to a Burmese vegetarian place. It is a sort of tiny hamlet on a cross road that had developed. There is one clothes shop, one shop with supplies, a few places to rent bikes, a diving shop and three or four quirky café’s. All are little bamboo huts either side of a small road. The place we went was very laid back and the food was amazing, we both had a Burmese noodle salad. We had to wait quite a while as everything is cooked fresh to order but it was worth it. They have a little library and games to play while you wait so we played connect four for a while.

We noticed that the café also hired badminton sets for 50B, so we decided to rent one and take it with us on the beach. The rest of the afternoon was spent pretty much the same as yesterday, laid on the beach. We played badminton for a while although it was too windy really, swam a bit in the sea and when we had had too much sun sat in the shade and read.

We didn’t go back to hut until nearly six and our plan was to go to a concert that we had seen advertised further up the beach and that everyone has been talking about since we arrived on Ko Phayam. We had a quick dinner at our huts bar, we both had a rice dish and watched the sun go down then made our way up beach. We were a little shocked when we got there because the entry fee was £7 each, which would easily take us over our budget, but in the end we decided there is no point coming all this way to not do things we want to do and went in.

It was a large area of the beach that had been cornered off and inside there was a stage for the band, a DJ, a stall selling t-shirts and jewellery and a couple of bars. The whole place was surrounded by multi-coloured lights. The band themselves ‘Job 2 Do’ were a Reggae band and they were good, they played a mixture of Reggae hits and popular songs that they had changed into the Reggae style. We enjoyed it and it was worth the money. The band played for a while and by midnight we were ready to go back (too many hours of Reggae and every song starts to sound the same) so we made our way back down the beach in the pitch black with our tiny torch.

When we got back to our hut we were greeted by two cockroaches that look suspiciously like the ones we had evicted yesterday. Liam chased them around the bathroom for a while until they creept under the sink and we could not get them, so this time we left them be and ran for the safety of our net again.

Posted by Chelsandliam 03:20 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand ko_phayam Comments (2)

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