Koh Lipe was the island I was most looking forward too. In the very south of thailand, many people miss it in favor of other more northern islands. Unfortunately, Koh Lipe turned out to be quite expensive, but fun nonetheless. We arrived, walked across the island (less than a mile) booked diving, and then found ourselves another small shack on the beach.
While on Lipe, we went on one dive, but the visibility was not very good unfortunately (we did see one giant moray which was awesome, it was huge!) . After two nights we headed to Langkawi, Malaysia.
After a one day trip to Koh Phi Phi V and I decided to take a vacation from travel and spent three nights in a little bungalow by the beach.
We spent the first day at the beach, and then decided to rent a motorcycle to travel around the island. Unfortunately our plans were disrupted right after our lovely lunch on the hill side when power on the island went out, and it started to rain. We spent the rest of the day reading before going into town after dinner.
I have never experienced the kind of kindness I did on Koh Lanta. That night when we went out my friend V had a minor accident on the motorbike. Essentially she tried to turn and fell over. Two locals immediately ran to help her. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt, but the brake handle had broken. The two locals helped upright the bike and then spent the next ten minutes looking at the bike, giving us driving advice, and told us how much to expect to pay to fix the bike. Later we walked down to beach with a beer and sat down on the ledge of a sign for a beach side resort. About two minutes after sitting down a security guard approached us. I thought for sure that he was going to ask us to leave. Instead he not only tells us to sit on the beach chairs, he opens our beers and then comes back with a glass full of ice for said beer AND a plater of fresh cut pineapple; all for free. Later on he again comes back with blankets for us. This would never happen in the states, never.
The next day was spent driving around island trying to find the bike part. I am so glad this was how we spent our day. Even though we drove around for five hours in the sun, we met so many locals. I felt we truly got a feel for the island. After we finally found a shop with the brake handle, we went and had lunch on the beach.
Oh, and a cat adopted us; I named her pumpkin.
Visiting Koh Phi Phi was the most thoughtout, spontaneous decisions. One moment we would decide to skip the island, the next we would decide to go. We vacillated for over 24 hours finally deciding and booking the ferry to Koh Phi Phi one hour for it was set to leave.
We were unsure if we wanted to go because even though it was supposed to be beautiful it was also supposed to be full of drunk tourists; both notions were correct. The island was beautiful. We did a half day tour that I would have regretted missing had we not come. However, there was an incredible party atmosphere which did not fit with my mood.
My friend V and I stayed in Koh Phi Phi one night and caught the 3 pm ferry to Koh Lanta the next day.
After my amazing week on Koh Tao, three of my dive group members and myself headed to Krabi on the west coast of Thailand. The move from Koh Tao to Krabi involved a sketchy night boat and a bus driver who almost kicked myself and another passenger out of the van for false crimes. Yay for Southeast Asia travel! In Krabi we got incredibly lucky because even though both the guesthouse and hostel we wanted were booked we got an amazing room, right next to the beach for a very good price because it was “unfinished”.
While on Krabi I received some bad news about a friend I had met a couple of weeks ago on Koh Rong. I spent a majority of my time with him and another girl while on Koh Rong and we really bonded, always joking that we were a travel family.
I learned my friend had missed his flight home and was missing. We did some work to try and track his movements and the more we learned the more worried I became. Two days later we learned he had passed away. How are you supposed to act when a friend passes? I can’t seem to stop thinking about all the plans we made and all the goals he talked about. One of the most frustrating aspects of the whole situation is the general feeling of prevention. “This could have all be prevented”, is the mantra that keeps running through my head; combined with the worry and sadness I feel for him and his mom.
The same day we started looking for him I also learned a close family friend had relapsed in his brain cancer. Processing all this all while visiting picture- perfect island straight out of a dream was all a bit confusing. One minute I would forget it all and enjoy life in the moment, and the next I was brought back down to worry and sadness. I am very lucky I was traveling with good friends who loved and supported me even when it was a challenge.
While in Krabi a group of us went on an island tour that was pretty good. Some parts were very touristy but I got to try deep water soloing. This involves jumping out of a boat, swimming over to a ladder, climbing said ladder, and then free climbing as high as you can up a rock face. Props to the dad for making me go climbing all those years ago. We also got to visit a stunning island called Tub island where I could have stayed all day.
“One day baby we’ll be old think of all the stories that we could have told” R.I.P ❤
After taking a flight from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, spending the night in Bangkok then taking a night train to Chumphon, I arrived in Koh Tao. The ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao was an unpleasant experience full of sick bags and big waves. Thankfully years of changing diapers has honed my skill for breathing without smelling, and I managed to survive the trip sans motion sickness. That very night I began my open water dive course.
The open water course consisted of two theory/ pool days and four dives. I wasn’t sure how I would handle diving because I have never been and I had heard many stories of bad experiences. I am not one for moderation, however, so following a life long pattern I jumped right in.
I got incredibly lucky with my dive instructor and group. My group consisted of two guys from Australia, one girl from Germany, a guy from Ireland, a guy from Canada, and myself. Our group were not only good divers, but we got along incredibly well. I think I spent more time laughing than breathing. We all enjoyed the experience so much that we decided to do the advance open water course as well. Without a doubt the week spent diving, laughing, drinking, and joking around with this group has been the best part of my trip so far.
As I spent most of my trip diving I didn’t see much of Koh Tao, but I liked what I saw.
Went to the bellingham version of thailand. Over hippy, over white, and over hyped. It was still very beautiful and stuck high in general north western mountains. I happened to arrive at the end of a festival, and caught a parade. Today I rented motor bikes (only $4/24hr including gas) and visited all the major sights including a waterfall.