Day Trip: Nang Yuan Island 

A couple of days ago we decided to take a taxi boat over to Nang Yuan Island as its a mere 10 minute ride away from Koh Tao. I would definitely recommend a day trip here! 

  
Koh Nang Yuan is actually made up of three little areas of land connected by sandbanks. Its absolutely stunning; a picture perfect paradise where post-card dreams are made. I have the photos to prove it!

  
  
Have you ever seen clearer waters?!

  
We headed straight to the viewpoint from the pier.. Lots of steps and lots of giant mosquitos were awaiting us, but we made it! (Well almost to the top, the rocks to get to the top were too dangerous and had all blood over them,no thanks!)

We made it high enough to see all 3 islands connecting: 

  
  
  
Then we went to relax and swim..

 
  
  
To preserve the island you aren’t allowed to bring in plastic bottles and you have to pay 100 baht on entry but it’s definitely worth it, even if just to get a photo like this..

  
LwL x 
 

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Koh Tao: Chillin’ on Sairee Beach 

(I’ve added some more photos from my xp camera)

So we’ve just had our introduction to our open water course.It turns out that our course is SSI and not PADI. The only difference is the agency but it’s the same qualification so it’s ok. 

This evening consisted of lots of video watching on risk awareness, important but not the most exciting information, a bit scary actually but hey, safety first! 

Early start tomorrow – training starts at 7am!

In the meantime I thought I would post some pics of our last couple of chilled days in Koh Tao: Sairee Beach 

 
    

 
  
 There are lots of swings along the beach, this makes me very happy!  
   

 
   

  

  

  I’ll be posting about today’s trip to Nang Yuan Island soon 😊

LwL X 

Diving in Koh Tao: which school to choose? 

Koh Tao, the Divers paradise. As many like minded backpackers before me I have came to this island as a traveller to do one specific thing, my Open Water PADI course.
Did you know that this place, famously known as ‘Turtle Island’ is second in the world when it comes to the number of annual certifications per year? For an island that spans over only 8 square miles that’s pretty impressive! 

  
There are over 50 dive schools here which means choosing the right place for you can be quite daunting, so I’ve decided to break it down a bit. 
After days of researching, asking around and weighing up pros and cons we finally came to a decision. Please note that I have only booked our course today, and we start tomorrow afternoon so feedback on the course itself will follow. 
Sairee beach is where it’s at in Koh Tao for nightlife and restaurants. It’s quieter in most parts of the island with some bays in the south west being non existent to nightlife. So if you’re coming to Koh Tao just to do your OW or SSI course, or just want to stay somewhere that’s a bit lively, I’d highly recommend finding a place along Sairee beach, most of the best dive schools are at the North end.   

After trip advisor, nomadic Matt and lonely planet, I decided on a top three that we wanted to go and have a chat with: 

Scuba Junction (great reviews on lots of blogs)

Simple Life – professional and organised looking school

Roctopus (no. 2 trip advisor)
Frequently mentioned also includes DJL, blue ban, crystal dive and Impian Divers But o believe these are all big dive groups. This means that the schools take up to 16 people to teach at a time. As a completely inexperienced diver who is not 100% confident, I feel much safer learning in a small group where more attention is focused on each individual, hence why I chose to look at three that do the courses in groups of 4.
So here’s my personal low down:

  

Simple life

A friendly woman welcomed us in and showed us a clear itinerary of the 3.5 day course. She explained it well. Unfortunately there was a bit of pressure to book because of the new year and she couldnt promise any accommodation for us because of how busy it is this week being new year and all.

–  8,600 baht includes all material and online manual instead of the dive book (saves backpack space and more Eco friendly)

  Scuba junction

Liam and I were greeted by a friendly young lady who gave us a very fast and brief low down of what the 3 and a half days entails. (yes I’m aware you’ve told 1000 people before me but hey it’s the first time I’m hearing it from you please slow down)

They dive in small groups, your initial training is in the sea and not a swimming pool for practice dives. It was the most expensive at 10,800 baht. Though because ‘it’s Christmas’ it is discounted to 9800. 
Apparently the reason this is more expensive than other schools is because Scuba Junctions OW course includes diving insurance, and a computer watch while your diving to show how deep you’re going. 

There is also accommodation options that SJ can put discounts on for divers. 
I read on Nomadic Matt that Scuba Junction requires a medical check up letter if you have a medical condition. I was pretty sure I wanted to go with this school after reading some good things but was worried about the doctor sign off requirement. This is true but please note; all the diving schools here require a medical note if you have a medical condition not just Scuba Junction. 

Fear not my iller friends, all you have to do is go the a diving consultation clinic and get your blood pressure taken. 

  It cost me 200 baht and I had a note 4 minutes later. Romeo Done. 

Last stop on the map..

  Roctopus

We were greeted by two lovely guys as we walked in, Nick and Dante, one American, one English, both of which shook our hand and introduced themselves, and started chatting away asking about our holiday etc (this had not happened in our previous encounters at the other two schools..I couldn’t even tell you their names.)

Everyone seemed really nice and friendly, it was explained to us why schools dive in different places dependant on weather etc. and there was a clear explanation of the itinerary. Roctopus even have their own hotel as accommodation 5 minutes up the road. It’s only 600 baht for a double room. 

We’ll be staying there as of the 1st Jan, but as we start our course tomorrow, there going to pick us up from our hotel for free until then. How lovely?! 
Better still, the 3 and a half day course was the cheapest at 8,500 baht. 

To be honest after all this, the choice was easy. It’s true what they say, it’s not the school you go with, it’s the instructors you connect with. 
So let’s hope that Roctopus lives up to our expectations! 
Did you do your open water course on Koh Tao? 

Would you recommend it? 
LwL x 

Christmas Eve Jungle Experience: Koh Panghan

Every 1 & 10 days before the Full Moon, a Jungle Experience Festival takes place in Baan Nai Wok. Conveniently for us this happened to be Christmas Eve this year, so off we went, DEETed up. 

Welcome to the jungle.. Time for fun and games 

    
With an impressive line up including ibizas Marco Loco, we was in for a great night of underground house music, something we haven’t really heard yet in Thailand. 

Open air jungle, fire breathers, a 3D stage that can be confused as the head of either a cat or dog (I’m still not sure) and a circle of bars serving the famous Thai buckets. 

Let the fun begin..

There were still tropical downpours, Hense my beautifully fashionable Anorak in all the pictures, but hey that just added to the craziness. 

  
At 600 baht entry fee it was pricey but I would say worth the experience as ive never raved in a jungle before! 

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.. 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

  

 
Have any of you been to one of these parties before? 

LwL x 

Koh Samui in the rain

All we’ve done in Koh Samui the past couple of days is witness Thailands tropical thunderstorms at its finest. Our second day consisted of table tennis and pool at our hotel, with the odd run out to get food. To be honest it was perfect as we was all hungover after our 6am Samui turn out the night before. Ark bar was a great shout, and Samuis Ko Sahn Road.

Here’s some pics of the night: 

   

   
  
   

  

 
  
Yesterday we decided not to let the rain defeat us and went on a 12km walk down the East coast of Samui to find ‘Hinyai and Hintai'(Grandfather and Grandmother rock). Named as this,I assume, simply because one formation looks like a giant penis, and the other like a vagina.

  

I have to say after trekking for 2 hours the result was quite disppointing.. 

Can you see the vagina?

 On the plus side we see 4 different beaches and lots of boats.

   
  I got in some good exercise and I feel ok today so I don’t think I caught pneumonia either. Oh and I found another swing.Winning. 

  
We’ve woke up this morning to sunshine, hurrah! We’ve just arrived at our beach resort in Koh Panghan for Christmas. And it’s beautiful! 

Merry Christmas Eve everyone 

LwL x 

The Riviera Resort: Koh Lanta

This is the hotel we stayed in Koh lanta. I have to say, after 2 weeks of hostels and guest houses this was a bit of a treat!

  
Riviera is located in the north of Koh Lanta along Kong Khlong beach. As mentioned in my previous post we didn’t do much on this island, just spent most days in the hotel and here’s why..

  
  We stayed in small huts and credit to the designers I loved our purple feature wall!
  
And look, so much space for activities! (Yes we watched step brothers). We had a flat screen tv in our room! I almost forgot what one of these looked like as I feel like I’ve been away so much longer than two weeks. The TV was perfect for popping in our USB for group movie nights in. 

The swimming pool was big and had a waterfall  

The restaurant was amazing!   

A great big selection from French fries with cheese and peppercorn sauce, to a lovely chicken Chinese style noodles dish.   

Rivieras ‘Freedom bar’ was the best and busiest around, with potentially the most random selection of music genres compiled together each night. I think that’s what made it so appealing.

Did I mention that the beach was a 10 second walk from our room?   

You can sip ice tea by day overlooking the beach, and cocktails by night watching the sunset. Need you go anywhere else?  

The only thing the resort doesn’t have is a swing, but it’s ok, I found one of those further down the beach 😊

I’m not surprised that this was the priciest place we’ve stayed so far. Though I think it was worth the treat. Unfortunately I don’t have an exact figure how much it was as we booked as part of our month package, however, speaking to someone who stayed here, I think it’s from 800-1200 baht a night. 

Have you ever been to Koh Lanta before? 

LwL x 

Chillin’ in Koh Lanta

Hi all, to be honest for the last 3 days and nights we’ve done absolutely nothing here in Koh Lanta. Though after 2 weeks of full on activities I think it was definitely overdue!

We’re staying in the Riviera Resort which I will post about tomorrow.

  Koh Lanta is a lovely chilled place. It has a beautiful beach, bars and restaurants along the beach front and a lot less tourists than the other places we’ve been.

  To be honest though that’s about it. Koh Lanta is somewhere you come to do absolutely nothing. All we’ve done is eat, sunbathe and swim. I got a bit carried away today though and burnt my forehead

  
Bad times. Oh and I found a swing..

    This place is full of beach huts and reggae bars creating some seriously cool vibes. 

Here’s the great sunset we witnessed last night  while sipping on a Caribbean sunset (de-lic-ious  by the way, grab yourself one from Freedom Bar)

  
 

  
 
  For our last night tonight we went out for a lovely dinner along the beach. I ate this..

  A real fish staring at me on a plate and I didn’t even scream, haven’t I progressed?! 

Then we went to, yes you guessed it, a reggae bar.

 All the pretty lights make it feel quite christmassy, we even found a Christmas tree yayy!

   
  I have this wicked app called maps.me which pinpoints everywhere you go.. So here’s my Koh Lanta trip

  Next stop, Krabi! 

LwL x 

Phi Phi Nightlife 

The nightlife in Phi Phi is great for such a small island. There are bars/clubs stretching out across the beach, and lots of fire shows. 

  
  
Further in and around the markets there are bars that do deals on buckets, free beer pong and good music.
I would recommend that you grab a bucket from the street stalls first to walk around with as they are a lot cheaper for travellers. You only need one or two to get super drunk as they empty a whole bottle of spirit into one! 

  
My favourite bar was Slimky, they played a great mix of music it was so much fun! 

I’m so glad we stayed an extra night. We done the first and third night out, and the second night we all stayed on and had a good sleep! 

Lucky we weren’t hungover as we Trekked to the Phi Phi viewpoint on our third morning.

It was such hard work but well worth it. I’ve only been here 2 weeks and I’m definitely a lot more unfit. Too much drink and sun.

Check out this view though! 

  

  
LwL x 

Koh Phi Phi: So many activities! 

On our second day in Koh Phi Phi we booked onto a sunset tour that started at 2pm to see the best of what’s around the island. So many activities! 

Our package included Monkey Island, cliff jumping, Maya Bay,  (where The Beach was filmed), lunch and free water, Snorkelling, Viking Cave, watchig the sunset on the boat, then hit a cave to see glowing plankton before getting back for 7.30pm.

I would 100% recommend this tour, you can get normal sunset tours for 350 or so baht but they don’t do cliff jumping or the plankton. We paid 500 baht our package. (About £10).

I’m going to show you our day in pictures 😊 

Monkey Island   
  
A baby monkey! Too cute..  
We met 2 lovely Ozzie girls too, April and Amelia. This monkey really wanted Aprils sunglasses..

   Monkey selfie..

    

Cliff jumping   

  
It went up to 15mtrs but I only jumped at 3 was too scared haha. All the boys went off the top though! 

Viking Caves

Apparently Chinese lease this protected area at 2 million baht per year! They make special soup out of bird nests that people pay lots of money for.

  
Snorkelling   

     

Maya Bay (The Beach)

After lunch we headed to the island where the famous Leonardo DiCaprio movie was filmed. Now just to warn you, to swim in this area of water and step foot on the island, you have to pay 400 baht.  

 The agencies don’t take it the Government do and it’s compulsory. If you don’t pay this you have to stay on the boat. Of course we paid and went on the island  

  
  
  
  

  

How amazing is this natural formation of this mountain.. Can you see the Elephant?

  
Sunset in the water 

  

  
  
After dark we went to a cave to see the glowing plankton. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures as the flash ruins the glow.

Unfortunately, sunset on the boat in open water resulted in lots of pain for me.. The mozzies annialated me, so if you ever do a sunset tour, trust me DEET up!

  

  
I have at least 30, itchy times! I have now bought tiger balm and incense to keep them at bay and I’ve turns into a mozzie paranoid maniac. 

LwL x 

Good morning Koh Phi Phi

It was another  7am start for us I’m afraid. But it was ok because this guy was taking me to Koh Phi Phi, the place i’d been most looking forward to. A short bus ride and a 1 hour and 45 minute boat ride later..

    .. we touched down on the Phi Phi Pier

 Hello Heaven..

  
  

 We’ve had an amazing few days here. So much so that we stayed an extra night, so 3 nights in total. I’ll be posting about my time here over the next day or two as we’re in Koh Lanta now and the wifi is great.yayy. 

On our first day in Phi Phi, we came across a pool party on the way down the beach at the Princess and Charlie resort. It had an infinity pool and some great old tunes playing. Apparently they have pool parties there every Friday. With special guest djs between 1-8pm. I’d recommend it if your ever in Phi Phi on a Friday.

  
The tide had gone right out by the afternoon and left little pools of water with lots of fish and crabs. 

  

We then had a lovely meal on the beach in a place called Beacha Restaurant. 

 The food and setting was amazing! 

I even had a pancake dessert, it was more like a cake!    
 The only downside to the day is that i didn’t shut my waterproof camera properly after charging. All water has now got into the non-water compartment. Let’s hope my memory card works at least! I put them all in a packet of rice for the night but the camera is refusing to work. RIP camera. Now you can see why I overpack, lucky I bought 2 cameras with me aye! 
I arrived in Koh Lanta today and we have great wifi so I can post all about Phi Phi over the next couple of days 😊

LwL X