A 27-day adventure by Zoe
  • Day27

    Bluerama, Koh Phanghan

    June 14, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    The next day, our final day together as a three after 6 weeks (very sad occasion), we headed to a hotel known as Bluerama to use their pool and spectate the views of Koh Phanghan from their viewpoint. Doesite the horrendous hill to get up there that we had to climb which I'm certain was at a 90 degree angle upwards, we made it. The location was absolutely incredible and to this day one of the most stunning beach views I think I've ever experienced, and throughout my 4 months I've been to some pretty amazing places. The infinity pool looked over the bay and off to the next island in the distance. We spent the whole day here, soaking up plenty of sun and I even treated myself to a yummy mango smoothie. Safe to say it was the perfect last day in Thailand and with Luisa and Corrie.

    On the way back to our hostel we even stumbled across an English pub. Seeing this in the middle of Thailand was by far the most exciting thing that had happened to us in a very long time. I can't express my happiness when I got served a big plate of sausages and mash for dinner and it was even better when it didn't disappoint. I honestly felt I was back in England and it certainly felt comforting.

    Heading back to the hostel we packed up everything, all three of us with early mornings to catch ferries off to our various destinations. We finished the day off with a movie, Taken 3, and a reasonably early night as well as big hugs goodbye.

    Leaving on my flight from Krabi to Singapore it dawned on me that my trip was speedily coming to end and despite making me sad I was excited for what the rest of my trip would bring me. I can honestly say Thailand was a dream and I will definitely be returning.
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    Chris Ross-Roberts

    From a very hot London that pool looks fab . Glad you having fun chris

    Trish Dundas

    what a glorious pool...Lots o love Fammy and Dee

  • Day26

    Haad Yuan & 360 Bar

    June 13, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Having done very little exploring of the island due to late nights we decided to stay extra few days and see what the place had to offer and it did not disappoint.

    With Corrie not feeling well, me and Luisa decided to go on an adventure to a small bay around the corner of the main Haad Rin beach, known as Haad Yuan bay. We had the place pretty much to ourselves apart from some others wondering through the beach. It was a stunning location, hidden away from the main beach and a lovely place to spend the day. Having brought a little picnic with us, it was the set up for a relaxing day.

    Having spent most the day there, we made it back in time to watch the sunset at a bar called Three Sixty, which gave you a full 360 degree view (kind of in the name) of the island and islands off the coast of it. It was so beautiful and one of the best sunsets I've on my travels. It was certainly a perfect setting to enjoy a drink and meal.
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    Trish Dundas

    Looks wonderful Love you Fammy and Dee xx

  • Day22

    Full Moon build up

    June 9, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    3 days prior to the Full Moon Party we excitedly boarded the ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phanghan with the crowds of others heading over to Koh Phanghan for the same reason. You could sense the excitement in the air, everyone buzzed for the few days ahead. Despite being low season the ferry was still rammed with people.

    We got to our hostel called Dancing Elephant, which is renowned party hostel close to the full moon beach. Our dorm was the biggest I've stayed in yet, sleeping 41 people in just one room. I presumed sleeping was an unlikely acitivity in the next few days. Nevertheless the vibe was very cool and buzzed for event if the month. With the lead up to full moon there are events on each night, the first night we arrived was the waterfall party which was lots of fun and set in the scene of a waterfall. We bumped into friends from home; Alex, Ollie, Tom and Giancomo who we would be with for the next few days. They were an absolute laugh and really good company, making the few days all the more interesting.

    With the late nights or should I say early mornings, not much happened in the day, only having time to recover then start to get ready for the next night ahead. The jungle party was up next, which was so much fun and set in the jungle, hence the name. This was a heaving event, with lots of people and had a very festival vibe. Personally, I preferred this to the actual full moon party because it was less spread out and more confined.

    The big day of the full moon party arrived and the island was buzzing. Everyone was out and about buying their paint and luminous outfits for the night ahead. At 8pm the drinking started, and being happy hour it meant one thing, lots of buckets. The pre's at Dancing Elephant was lots of fun, meeting new people from all over the place getting ready to head to the beach. At 12am it was time to go and hit up the beach. The whole beach was flooded with people with bars all along the beach, it was certainly a sight.
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    Trish Dundas

    Loved the outfit, darling. Party antics, remind me very much of your Dad!!!! Miss you Fammy and Deexxx

  • Day19

    Koh Tao

    June 6, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Having had my few days being on my own again, Luisa and Corrie came over to join me in Koh Tao after our break of each other whilst they went to go visit Koh Phi Phi.

    The first two day's were absolutely beautiful, the sky was blue and the beaches looked stunning. After my intense couple of days it was finally nice to enjoy some time relaxing on the beach and topping up the tan.

    However, unfortunately the next few days weren't so great with rain and overcast weather which sadly ruined our plans to go to a famous viewpoint over Koh Tao. We also wanted to visit another beach on the island called Shark Bay to go snorkelling, as apparently the sea life there is amazing. But, despite this we still had a fun time and enjoyed the night life the island had to offer, finishing the evening with a mandatory ham and cheese toastie.

    Through our lack of activities, we resorted to food as per. We discovered THE best burger restaurant called Hungry Hippo and after that meal I was certainly put in to a food coma. It was one of the biggest burgers I have ever eaten, unable to finish it was something for me, seeing as I am usually someone who can demolish anything put in front of her.
    On our last day, Luisa even took the plunge and got herself the tattoo she had wanted which turned out great and looked very good on her. Me and Corrie however only spectated, having heard the sound of the needle I was certain I would never be able to get a tattoo myself.

    So despite not having the best weather, we still occupied ourselves with food, tattoos and shopping. I even treated myself to a new bikini. 8 days later I was finally leaving Koh Tao, an island I had become very fond of and was very sad to leave. However I was extremely excited for Koh Phanghan where the full moon party was awaiting us.
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    Caroline Bennfors

    Fab time in Koh Tao. Mx

    Trish Dundas

    Sounds as though you made the most of the bad weather (glad you are tattoo-less though!!) Lots of love Fammy and Dee xxxx

  • Day13

    Koh Tao Diving

    May 31, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Arriving to Koh tao after a sleepless night bus and ferry I immediately signed myself up to do the PADI Open Water Diving course which I had been recommended by so many people. Koh Tao is the cheapest place in the world to go this, the island itself having over 100 diving schools. I went with Ban's diving school, the biggest one in the world for diving. The first day consisted of theory and in the afternoon training to use all our equipment in the pool. Despite being quite tricky to get the hang of and taking on a lot of information at one time, it made me extremely excited for the next day when we would do it or at sea. The next morning was our first two dives. I was extremely nervous for the first dive, having only had 4 hours in a pool the day before and now doing it for real. These two dives we only went to depths of around 8 metres and was a way of easing us into things. The coral at the second site, called the Japanese Gardens were stunning and the tome really flies when you're under the water, being so absorbed in what you see. It really is a completely different world, beautiful nevertheless. The third day consisted of two more dives, the last ones before we got our certification. Both of these were amazing, seeing an array of colourful fish as well as coral.
    By midday we all had our certifications and I can certainly see why people get stuck on Koh Tao diving and never want to leave, it truly is an incredible experience.

    After the exhaustion of the 3 days of diving, the afternoon was spent by the diving resort infinity pool and soaking up the last sun of the day. The pool overlooked the jungle like landscape of Koh Tao and was a lovely backdrop. In the evening, the whole diving group, including our instructor enjoyed a dinner together and then went out for a fun evening of drinking, having not been able to do so during the diving process.

    Having loved it so much 2 days later me and two Irish girls from my diving group did a night dive. Our instructor claims it was his first night dive that convinced him he wanted to be an instructor, therefore I thought it was something I had to do. We all headed out at sunset and it was a surreal experience. Being quite daunting not being able to see further than your torch, I still got to witness a sting ray, sleeping turtle and squids. For a period of time we all turned off our torches and then were able to see all the luminous plankton around us, it looked as though we were swimming in glitter, truly magical.

    I feel very lucky I was able to do such an amazing experience and I loved my group, spending a lot of my time outside of diving with them as well, all being very good company. Needless to say it was sad to say goodbye to them as well as my instructor Atip who couldn't have been a better teacher.
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    Jennifer Ross-Roberts

    The diving sounds a wonderful experience. How wonderful to see the coral and fish so close and the night-time dive sounds exceptional.

    Jennifer Ross-Roberts

    Catching up after being on holiday without wi fi connection. We are visiting friends across Wiltshire ,Dorset and Somerset. Moving on to Somerset tomorrow for 7 days. Love from Granny and Papa

    Trish Dundas

    You are having such a wonderful time, Woking will feel a tad strange after all these wonderful experiences - BUT there is nothing like your own bed. Love you Fammy and Dee xxxx

  • Day11


    May 29, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Arriving at 6am, the day ahead was a relatively relaxed one and seeing as it was pouring with rain it we decided it as a perfect time to have a movie day. The hostel having a 'chill' room with beanbags and cushions was our saviour, as well as having a selection of movies to watch. It was definitely a remedy for our tired selves.

    Having stayed inside the whole day we decided to hit up the famous and well known Koh San Road. On first impressions it was a lot to take in. The whole street was packed with people in the street and bars, the whole road full of bright lights, loud music and promotion from bars left right and centre, all in competition to get you the cheapest deal. Eventually we found a bar and enjoy our buckets (only £2!) and bar hopped ending the night when all the bars shut at 12am.

    The next day we got up and found a cafe for breakfast, which was a much needed fry up of bacon, eggs and sausages. Being in Bangkok on weekend means one thing, the weekend market which is meant to be the biggest market that goes on in Thailand. With our purses loaded with cash we headed to the market.

    And woweee was the market big. There were so many stalls outside and inside, the area like a complete maze and extremely easy to get lost. However, I had success and bought some knock off Adidas trainers which cost me £8, usually being £70 in the UK. The only issue I now have is fitting in my backpack that's currently bursting at the seams. After a couple of hours the heat got too much and we thought it was time to make our way back. However, we did make one last stop at one of Bangkok's biggest shopping centres and treated ourselves to a big pizza which was delightful and rightfully deserved after being on our feet all day.

    Full up and having literally shopped until we dropped we went back to the hostel and had a nap before getting ready to head back out to Koh San Road for night 2 in Bangkok.

    Exhausted from the previous day and night, the last day in Bangkok was another chill day before leaving to the islands that evening and on to our next part of Thailand.
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    Caroline Bennfors

    No temples or going on river boats?

    Chris Bennfors

    In 'our day' (I know how much you like us saying that) Koh San Road was the back packing hub, quiet and mainly populated with hostels. It sounds like like it has very much changed, which I guess is to be expected after 30years (feeling old all of a sudden!)

    Jennifer Ross-Roberts

    Lovely to speak to you on Papa's birthday. We did miss you. We hope to take you out to a special lunch when you return to uk. Papa had a great day with family plus Sue, Pammy and John and Gilly. Plenty of talk as you can imagine. Your Mum's photo album was a huge success. Back home now for a few days before Nigel's 50'th then on to Dorset and Somerset for 2 weeks! A long holiday for us. Good luck with your next destination. Lots of love Granny and Papa

    Trish Dundas

    Just lots of love Fammy and Dee xxxx

  • Day8

    Chiang Mai to Bangkok

    May 26, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    For the last two days in Chiang Mai we took it very easy and enjoyed some needed RnR.

    After enjoying a yummy breakfast we headed to a shopping centre we had been recommended and decided to treat ourselves. However, compared to the markets the shopping was far more expensive to what I was used to experiencing so therefore there weren't as many purchases as usual. On the way back to the hostel we stopped off at a lovely cafe called the Free Bird which was actually vegan and vegetarian friendly (been inspired by Simona). I had the best banana smoothie there as well as some yummy potato fry up.

    For the evening and our last night in Chiang Mai we decided to make a return to Zoe in Yellow having been so good the first time, ending the night with a quesadilla from a Mexican stool outside of the bar.
    For our last full day in Chiang Mai we enjoyed a nice sleep in and then headed out for breakfast and on to getting our nails done. After only deciding I wanted a pedicure, when the price of a manicure was only another £4 I couldn't resist, totalling my spend of £8 (bargain? I think so).

    With not much time to spare and feeling very relaxed it was back to the hostel to collect our things and endure our first experience on the night train! My seat was opposite the sweetest Thai lady who couldn't stop smiling and even shared her bag of crisps with me. Despite being a small king gesture I felt very touched by it. The beds on the train were surprisingly comfy, however the noise of the train meant my sleep wasn't as good as usual, but oh well it's all part of the experience.

    Arriving at 6am to the hustle and bustle in Bangkok we headed to our hostel for some much needed rest.
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    Trish Dundas

    Loved your description of the little ~Thai lady and her crisps. So often when I'm abroad, i wish I could communicate in all languages, although a lot can be achieved by smiling!! Big hugs Fammy and Dee xx

  • Day6

    Thai Farm Cooking

    May 24, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

    Today was a full on day of cooking and learning. It was an early rise at 7.30am and needless to say it was a struggle getting up as I haven't seen that time on my clock in a while.

    Picked up at 8.30am by our cooking instructor for the day, her name Garnet, we set on our way collecting others from the group along the way. Our first stop was at a local food market which Garnet toured us around explaining about various foods such as rice (the difference between sticky rice and normal rice) as well as the variety of coconut products such as the cream, milk and shavings and their different purposes. Garnet was so enthusiastic this whole time, so excited by the food and from then on I knew it would be a good day. Before leaving the market we were allowed 10 minutes to wonder around for ourselves and pick up any food or drink we wanted then headed on our way to the Thai Farm Cooking School.

    The cooking school was a good half hour drive from the main centre of Chiang Mai but was in a beautiful rural location, their farm surrounding the buildings.

    First up was preparing our curry paste from scratch. I had chosen yellow curry and using a pestle and mortar crushed all the ingredients to make an amazing smelling paste which would later go in my curry. Our first dish was coconut soup, being slightly apprehensive about how good mine would taste I was pleasantly surprised and it was absolutely delicious.

    Next up was the spring rolls, and I have to admit I thought I did a pretty great job of them. As well as looking good they tasted amazing. It was accompanied as well by home made chilli sauce which too was incredible.

    Already feeling stuffed, we still had two other dishes to make, the curry and stir fry. For the stir fry I used to learn the wok and felt pretty proud of myself when I managed not to spill everything everywhere or burn any of my ingredients. Both the curry and stir fry took no time at all and soon it was time to eat them. Being so tasty, it was still a struggle to eat them both having already been so full. Nevertheless I powered on through and managed to eat most of what I made.

    Then, last up was the mango sticky rice and my oh my was it delicious. Having never tried this dish it was so yummy. We even got to turn our rice blue, which I thought was pretty funky.

    With bellies bursting at the seams, it was time to head back to the hostel after a great day. With happy food baby's we settled in for an early night.
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    Jennifer Ross-Roberts

    Your cooking looks amazing. You will have to give me some lessons when you get back. I am not sure I fancy eating blue rice. The spring rolls looked gorgeous. Lots of love granny and Papa

    Caroline Bennfors

    Looks colourful, attractive . Glad it was delicious. Fancy making fresh chilli sauce as bought one has high sugar content. Look forward to your Thai cooking when home. Mx

    Chris Bennfors

    Top job, Zoe. Mouth watering at the thought of you cooking Thai when you get home. 😋

    Trish Dundas

    Ditto here - looking forward to having a Thai meal cooked for us!!

  • Day5

    Grand Canyon Waterpark

    May 23, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Got up and had a yummy breakfast to fuel myself for the day ahead. At midday we headed out to the water park for the day. It's called the Grand Canyon and wow is it grand.

    The water park assault course is situated in the base of a canyon and is no short of anyone's water dream. Expecting it to be heaving when we got there we arrived and the whole park was practically empty. Excited we payed our £6 for the day and got started.

    We spent the whole afternoon here and with so much to do I still left feeling like I hadn't completed it all. The assault course was hilarious and I felt as though I was on total wipeout slip and sliding everywhere. There was everything from rock climbing inflatable objects, slides into the water, jumping off trampolines into the water and even cliff jumping. Being surrounded by the canyon made the whole experience even better and it's definitely the coolest water park I've ever been to. I certainly know who would of loved it, my two brothers would have been in absolute heaven.

    As the sun started to set we decided to call it a day and head back to the hostel. After an exhausting day we collapsed on our beds for an early night.
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    Trish Dundas

    The water park sounds an absolutely wonderful experience. I know Ross and Callum would have been in 7th heaven and I think I would be a close second or third. Love you and miss you Fammy and Dee xx

  • Day4

    Chiang Mai

    May 22, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Having arrived exhausted from Pai after our long bus ride and late night of birthday celebrations we took it easy and decided to head out for food asap in order to get a decent nights sleep.

    Being a Sunday however, it was the weekly massive market. Now I've seen markets before but this one was overwhelmingly big I didn't know where to look, I felt as though it never ended. Grabbing food and enjoying my first Thai green curry we browsed the market for a while longer but due to being so tired it was hard to appreciate what was there. We decided it would probably be best to head back and rest up for the next day.

    Waking up in reasonable time we headed to the hostels pool to catch some rays and have some relaxation time after our busy few days. Next up, having to pay a deposit for our cooking course on Wednesday we headed to their office and chose our menu for the day which is very exciting (hopefully I don't poison myself). Watch out Mum and Dad there will be a new chef in the house.

    Taking a detour back to the hostel we stopped off at a spa / message place recommended to me by Simona. Its not just a regular one it was one that's run by ex convicts and is to help support the lives of newly released inmates in society. The business is an effort in to bridging the gap between a non accepting public, and the problems released inmates encounter adapting to a new community. Prior to their release, the inmates go through an extensive training program which allows them to make a living and contribute to society. I believe this is a very good cause and felt happy my money was contributing to this business, and the massage was great too!

    After feeling extremely relaxed and oiled up we ate at a yummy place called the Salad Concept which did the best make your own wraps and smoothies.

    Back to the hostel we got ready and joined others in the bar for a drink, heading out later to a bar called Zoe in Yellow and wow did it exceed expectations. Definitely was great name for a great place, just a shame I wasn't wearing yellow.
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    Caroline Bennfors

    Looking forward to chef Zoe at home - Thai food market in Woking & Guildford! Proud of you supporting the inmates. Still seem to be having fun - not bored of markets yet? Mx

    Trish Dundas

    What a superb idea, to aid prisoners getting back into society.