Part II - Thailand

December 22nd, 2013

Hello, Thailand

Part II: Thailand is a continuation of our travels through Southeast Asia.

From Bali (Part I), we made our way to Thailand. The itinerary included: Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Le, Ko Lanta, Ko Rok, and Ko Klang. Our scheduled flight to Krabi arrived too late in the evening to catch a ferry to Phi Phi Don, so we stayed a night at the Krabi Sheraton and coordinated our ferry ride for the morning.

Our top deck ferry seats provided little protection from the sun, but did provided for some nice scenery.

Railay Beach Long-tail boat dropping passengers Koh Kai in the distance Arriving in Ton Sai Bay

Ko Phi Phi Don

In 2004, Phi Phi Don was one of many landmasses devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami which affected 14 countries. Much of the islands infrastructure was destroyed. Had we not heard of the storm in the news prior, neither of us would have been able to guess the island had been recently rebuilt.

Ton Sai Village

The majority of restaurants, bars, and businesses on the island are located inside Ton Sai Village. Our hotel, Paradise Resort, was located on a much quieter part of the island in Long Beach. Primary mode of transportation on the island is by foot (direct) or longboat (indirect). Getting to our resort from Ton Sai Village was a 30-minute walk through the trees or 10-minute long-tail boat for 200 baht.

Breakfast at Paradise Resort

Deep Water Soloing

We booked a day of deep water soloing with Ibex Climbing on Ko Phi Phi Le. Deep water soloing is climbing with the only safety being the body of water below you. We both boulder for fun, but the exhilaration of deep water soloing is unlike anything we’ve experienced in the climbing gym or outdoors in the Northwest.

Enroute to climbing Our climbing shoes

What goes up must come down. And the only way down in deep water solo is to jump. The opening route ended 10-meters above sea level—the equivalent of jumping off the roof of a 3-story building.

Ko Lanta

From Ko Phi Phi Don, we caught a ferry to Ko Lanta. The best Thai food of all of our Thailand destinations was had at May’s Kitchen, a 2-minute walk from our lodging at the Lanta Castaway Beach Resort. The food & atmosphere was so great we visited twice. Ko Lanta was great, but our main reason for visiting was to use the island as a base for our Ko Rok excursion.

Syl feeding an elephant Exploring Lanta by scooter Thai street food Derek feeding an elephant

Ko Rok

Ko Rok sees very little traffic—relative to sites like Maya Bay—thanks to its designation as a National Park. It’s protected from development with no direct roads or ferry transfers. Visits are done through one of a handful of companies who organize excursions to the tiny islands. Our boat ride out was nearly 2-hours.

Our small group (5) was guided by Freedom Adventures. It’s hard to find any faults with beautiful snorkeling sites, fresh lunch prepared on the boat, and plenty of time to lounge on an empty beach.

Calm glass ocean in the warm water Our little sand man


We spent our last two days in Thailand on Ko Klang. We stayed at the Islanda Village Resort surrounded my low wetlands, mangrove trees, and goats. We were exhausted. The secluded location of the resort didn’t provide much of an option other than lounging—which we used to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Our luggage for the duration of the trip Goats along the scooter road Refueling Koh Klang sunset

A bucket of confiscated items taken from travelers leaving Thailand.

Confiscated sea shells

Next stop, Hong Kong

We’re fortunate to have had an opportunity to visit many different islands while in Thailand. At times, the number of tourists (in some areas) was overwhelming and detracted from the beauty of the area. For example, while deep water soloing on Ko Phi Phi Le, we did not see a single fish in the water around us. No doubt caused by the noise pollution of 30+ tourist speedboats across the bay from us.

Thailand is a beautiful country, but we probably won’t be visiting for awhile. If given the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia again, we’ll be booking our flight to Bali (Part I).

Photos were taken using an Panasonic Lumix GF1, iPhone 5s, or GoPro Hero3+. Post processing done in VSCO CAM & Aperture.

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