Posts Tagged With: Thai language

The Night Boat to Ko Tao

Chelsea and I left Railay in the afternoon for Krabi, on what would be another memorable journey across Thailand from West to East coasts.  In Krabi we met up with some friends I had made in Railay, three lovely Brits who we would end up hanging out with quite a bit when we got to our final destination РKo Tao!

British Sardines in a Can ūüėõ

We wanted to spend another few days beaching it up and relaxing before another round of full moon shenanigans, and Ko Tao seemed like the place to do it. ¬†Our friends suggested we skip Ko Lanta (too quiet) and Ko Samui (too touristy) in favour of a tiny island famous for diving and sunny beaches. So that’s where we set our sights!

A big happy hippie bus took us on the three-hour journey from Krabi to the pier in Surat thani, and we arrived during the early evening ready to board the night boat. ¬†We had been warned against taking the boat, due to its interesting (sketchy) condition, but decided it would be an adventure and did it anyways.¬†I’m glad we did but I’m not sure I would do it again!

We saw the boat that would take us over and seriously doubted it would be able to make the trip..bad sign! ¬†As we killed time on the pier, Chelsea and I hung out and I practiced fire spinning, which brought the curiosity and attention of tourists and locals alike (“whats that?” “what are you doing?” – “Oh, it’s just my fire spinning stick, I’m practicing” – “Ooooh. cool” ) ūüėÄ ¬†We met some cute girls from NZ and realized we would be bunking next to them for the night.

On boarding the boat, I soon found that this journey would be unlike any other I had ever taken in my life….the beds were pallets on the floor Рabout a hundred beds crammed into the deck that was literally a cargo ship underneath.  They were laid out in numbered rows and as we all packed on, populated with tons of young tourists, Thai ladies with their large Caucasian boyfriends, and some locals, too.

I plopped down on my bed, looked around and thought – hey, this isn’t too bad! ¬†Until a disgruntled Thai lady and her (large, old, Caucasian) boyfriend plopped down beside me and informed me I was on her bed. ¬†I looked over – the numbers were spaced out so that every person only gets half a bed!! I apologized and moved down – almost on top of Chelsea! ¬†How was this gonna work?? It was a very long, rocky, uncomfortable night – I spent most of it spooned around my backpack at the end of my ‘bed’, afraid of inciting the Thai lady’s wrath by placing my feet pointing at her (a very rude thing to do in T-land) and also of having my things stolen, something I had been warned about.

Our ship of dreams (nightmares)

The night passed eventually, amongst the hundred or so tourists crammed into the boat.  People would get up and walk over you as there was nowhere to sleep, the fan relentlessly pounded cold air at me and I had to see out a blanket (there was none) and Chelsea woke up to discover she was spooning with Hannah (our new NZ friend) in a very friendly way!

Our boat rolled into Ko Tao around 6am, and we had to figure out where to stay and find a place that was open…A feat that left us standing around, very tired, at our chosen resort, until the reception opened at 8am.  We snapped up a little jungle hut (consisting of a bed, hose for a shower and about a thousand mosquitoes) and started to explore the island РOur Sairee Beach adventure had just begun!!

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Misty Mountains

We arrived in Khao Sok and boarded the raddest hippie bus I have ever seen, it was straight out of a movie, brightly colored, broken down looking, and generally awesome. 3 working fans = not awesome though!

We also met up with the other 24-day tour group at this point, making 40 people or so in total. We would be travelling with them for the next eight days, doing the lake house, full moon and Ko Phangan together.

We arrived at the Smile guesthouse in Khao Sok, a gorgeous guesthouse in the middle of the mountains of a national park.  It literally looked like Jurassic Park, with mist rolling through the mountains, elevated jungle huts and a gorgeous lobby full of heavy dark furniture and little fountains.

Our first order of business was to buy booze for the river tubing adventure.¬† We bought delicious boozies then loaded up the floating coolers for our trip down the river.¬† We grabbed a tube each and walked down the road to the river, jumping into the shallow water and letting the current float us for a blissful, tipsy two hours of fun…

Until I looked down and realized the waterproof camera I had brought had somehow unlocked its “airtight” compartment and was now full of water…I was not impressed. It was such a crap thing to happen on an otherwise great day, I tried not to let it get to me. Back to the guesthouse after to prep for the monkey temple.

Once the cam was safely in a bag of rice drying out, I grabbed my stuff and headed out with the rest to check out the  monkey temple.

Monkeys are the greediest little jerks you have ever seen. Just sayin. We got to the temple and paid for some peanuts and bananas to feed the seemingly cute little guys, they were super grabby and even though it was cute to see them running around, they were actually a little scary….haha. Disney films have it all wrong. I’m not sure I’d want to be alone around a bunch of monkeys now.

My day ended pretty early, on account of me being pretty sauced on the river cruise. After dinner I decided to sleep for an hour to be fresh for the evening, aaaand woke up the next morning instead. Whoops!

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The Night Train Adventure


The bus took us to a little town, very very authentic Thailand. My friend Lindsay and I decided to take a walk and check out this busy lil’ town. There were schoolchildren giggling and plying, a super rad Thai skate shop complete with crazy pierced dude with a handlebar moustache, his store also sold t-shirts with moustaches on them, how fitting.

Our best find, though, was an outdoor Thai aerobics class ( which we may have or have not joined in on;)  ) it was superfun, the ladies doing the class were just as amused as us to have some new people in the class!

Back at the train station, our group gathered and we boarded for what would be an eleven hour train ride to Khao¬†Sok, our next stop.¬† We boarded around eight, so there was lots of time to sleep and “enjoy” the very long ride.

Each of us had a little bunk with a bed and curtain, pillow, blanket and not much else. The walls in the train were a beautiful puke green and everything you touched was immediately covered in a layer of soot.



I had a top bunk, so I climbed up and got comfy, locking my bag to the rack provided (good traveller!) And failing to realize that my lock had somehow reset itself to a new code in the process without me noticing (dumb traveller!)

After noticing this and trying a bunch of codes around my old one, I had to tell my guide what I’d done (haha!). Me and Jon puzzled over this for a while, thinking where we could find bolt cutters or heavy-duty scissors to eventually unlock my bag….we thought about this for waaaay too long, until realizing that we could just cut the strap holding my bag to the rack without too much trouble…duh.

Sooo¬†Maia, sis, your backpack has some new…modifications….nothing that can’t be fixed by an expert mom and a sewing machine though!! It was not one of my prouder moments, but makes for a funny story!

The night train was not fun, to sum it up.  It was dirty, smelly, loud and full of vendors crowding the aisles trying to sell you stuff.

I managed to sleep with a combo of beer and motion sickness pills (the ultimate knockout method I have discovered, good for long bus and ferry rides!) I woke up feeling pretty fresh, actually, but was sooo ready to get off by the time we arrived in the south.

Not looking forward to the night train back to Bangkok, after that journey.

Good thing I was feeling peppy, it was going to be another awesome day in paradise!

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