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Curious what backpackers do in Thailand? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Matt was feeling well enough this morning luckily to come out for a trip on Mr Chet's longtail boat which would take us around the nearby island of Koh Phi Phi Ley. He tried to time it so it wouldn't be at peak busy-ness at the various bays and lagoons (it is always a level of busy as pretty much everyone who visits Koh Phi Phi Don where we're staying will go there) There was 7 of us in the group, plus Mr Chet, his brother and a driver. We started by going to a little lagoon. One of Mr Chet's USPs is that he takes loads of pictures of the scenery and of you to upload on to Facebook and as he's done this tour hundreds of times he knows the best pictures to take so there was a lot of posing in front of various rocks etc. Post-lagoon we went to Maya Bay where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach was filmed. Even when we were there at about 9am it was very busy. It is a beautiful beach, the sand is like flour and the water is so blue, but you couldn't spend a relaxing day here simply due to the volume of boats going in and out with more people.

    After Maya Bay we went to our first snorkelling spot. As discussed in a previous blog post I'm not fantastic in open water. I also struggle with having something like a snorkel mouthpiece in my mouth cause it makes me panic and gag (I was once sick on a dentist who was takin dental impressions) so I was very anxious about the snorkelling to the point I wasn't sure I'd be able to get in but Mr Chet was very patient with me and helped to calm me (and another person who was afraid) down. He suggested I go in without the mouthpiece first and just focus on being in the water and holding my breath if I wanted to look down. It really helped and as I'd missed the first appearance Mr Chet's brother took my hand and swam me to find a turtle. He swam to the bottom and nudged it for me which was very kind (less kind for the turtle I suppose). It was amazing!

    We went back to the first lagoon for more snorkelling. Mr C was confident that as it was much shallower and calmer I'd be able to relax more and use the snorkel mouth piece - he was determined I should start using it so I could 'Find Nemo' later on. I found the technique of pretending to be Darth Vader and channeling his breathing really worked for me. We saw so many beautiful and colourful fish plus a baby shark! Apparently baby sharks are not dangerous but surely there's a transition between them being harmless babies and harmful adults and I'm not sure how you identify that point... I was loving snorkelling by now and didn't want to get out but get out we did for some time drying off on the beach and eating lunch. Mr Chet's brother (we never learnt his name, I guess he was also Mr Chet but he could have been a brother in law) found a dead crab and brought it over to us looking just as excited as when he gave us our pineapple i.e. thrilled.

    Next stop was trying to find Nemo. It was back in the more open sea so that freaked me out a bit but it was actually much easier to deal with the waves when your head was in the water. I didn't attempt to dive below the surface but Matt did a few times which meant we got some great videos and pictures. It's so weird to realise how close to fish you are all the time when you're in the water, a bit creepy really. We did find Nemo after MC's B went poking around at the bottom again. I've got the snorkelling bug now, but not sure I'll ever making diving.

    Once we were out and wrapped in in towels to try and avoid the heat we went briefly to Monkey Beach. As the name suggests it's a beach with monkeys on it. Mr Chet was very very clear with us not to go too close to the monkeys, not to feed them and not to tease them as they can get angry very quickly and bite you. Of course there were big groups of idiots doing all of those things plus picking them up like cats. Is it wrong we really wanted someone to get bitten?

    All that was done by 1.30 and we grabbed a quick lunch. Unfortunately Matt started to feel a bit worse again. We stayed in for a couple of hours and then ventured up to the Phi Phi viewpoint at his insistence. I don't think I've ever sweated so much and this was at 5pm. By the end I could wring out all my clothes and hair, it was gross. You start off with about 300 steps then get to View Point 1, not a bad view but you could go higher. To get to VP2 you go up a big steep slope which was horrific. Luckily there was a drink stand there but unluckily it was also very crowded for sunset. Luckily I had heard that VP3 has an apparently slightly lesser view but is quieter so we headed up an uneven and steep dirt track to get there. (And even more luckily there was a geocache which of course had nothing to do with my decision to go up there). In fact the view was amazing, it was very quiet and we timed it just perfectly to enjoy a fresh coconut as the sun set.

    Sadly that's where our, well Matt's, luck ended. We managed to make it down but since then he's not been well at all. The worst he's been. I slipped out for a late dinner but Matt had to stay in bed. Poor him.
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  • Urgh, I regretted the last round of drinks when the alarm went off at 6am this morning. We tuk tuk'd to the one of the nicest airport's I've ever been in - clean, nice shops, excellent signage - and got our flight to Phuket with a dismal in flight meal of plastic cheese slice sandwiches. Arriving to Phuket and figuring out onward transport is a chaotic experience. We ended up in a crammed full mini van with no idea how it worked. We asked the driver where we'd be dropped off and he just said 'hotel'. Seeing as none of us had told him where our hotel was I didn't really get how that'd would work but on our way we went. What it turns out actually happens is you drive way past Phuket Town (where we were staying) first to the pier. Lose half the passengers there then give the driver your hotel names. He has to make some calls to figure out where they are and then you're driven to them. We got there in the end!

    We went straight for lunch as the hanger was setting in. I went for a classic Pad Thai and Matt had a green curry. It's been a while since we were in Thailand so Matt forgot that saying you don't mind medium spice is a grave error and he had to sweat his way through dinner determined not to let the chillis win.

    There's not an awful lot in Phuket Town to do except wander around and after having to play the 'is this overpriced sun cream real?' game since we left Thailand last month we took a pilgrimage to Boots and spent a small fortune on toiletries. The Boots just happened to be at a huge shopping centre with a cinema and Beauty and the Beast, my childhood favourite, just happened to be on so with little else planned to do we watched it. Matt tolerated it, I loved it obviously. The cinema was very nice, and cheap. Just £3 for comfy seats with lots of leg room. I forgot though that they play an anthem to the King before the film though nestled between Coca Cola and car adverts so everyone has to stand up and pay their respects.

    We walked back through the sweaty evening humidity and had a late dinner at Surf and Turf where they'd run out of prawns, fish and pork limiting our selections somewhat but the food we did manage to get was great. We're off to Koh Phi Phi island tomorrow so Phuket was more of a stop over from us to get us near the pier in the morning.

    Thinking of all my friends back in London, and the whole UK, today x
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  • After something that definitely was not a Croque Monsieur (erm, chicken?!) we caught the boat to Koh Phi Phi from Phuket. A fairly uneventful 2 hour trip though again with seats designed for narrower people. I've felt many times on this trip that I could improve the way businesses run and today's situation was unloading the bag from the boat. No one knew if you retrieved your own bag or waited for it to be chucked on the pier so a couple of hundred people were just milling around trying to go through the bags whilst staff were trying to chuck them off but no one had any space to do either activity. We got ours in the end and headed to try and find our guesthouse via a bar with wifi.

    Koh Phi Phi is a beautiful island which over the years has become a full on party island. There's a lot of debate about if the island is now ruined and if the government should do more to rein it in but since I was last here 6 years it actually seems a bit quieter. Where we're staying is certainly the tourist focused bit with bar after bar down the narrow streets. There's no vehicles here so that makes walking around easier though. It's again very hot though and it's tempting to stay inside in the air con. Our guesthouse is not far from the pier luckily so not too far to shift the bags and it's also full of cats so I'm happy. We managed to tear ourselves out and found an amazing grilled cheese sandwich that made up for the breakfast then we walked to the beach and spent a short amount of time there.

    Unfortunately Matt isn't very well so other than going out for a really delicious dinner (well mine was, I think all food to Matt is currently a struggle), we spent the rest of the evening in the guesthouse. It's nothing seemingly too serious, just a stomach ache, but it's not nice for him. Hopefully he'll feel better tomorrow and we can go and explore more of the island.
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  • Matt's feeling a bit better today but still not great so we had a pretty relaxing day. We started with breakfast where I ate my body weight in bread and Matt forced some muesli down then headed to the beach. Sun loungers and beach chairs are outlawed here. Apparently the army came and cleared them all a few years ago as part of a way to control businesses and declutter the beach so you have to lie on the sand. Not the comfiest but adequate when all you're doing is listening to podcasts. When the discomfort got too much we went for a swim. Or attempted a swim. The tide goes out quickly and really far here so you have to go a long way to even get to knee deep. In the end we made do with that and balanced on a couple of rocks. As it's so shallow you can see all the little fish swimming about which is a big creepy, it's also the same temperate as a bath.

    Our eating patterns are all out of whack so we had lunch at about 3. In a break from rice we had Turkish food so hummus and chicken kebabs. And chips. We were going to attempt a pool party but decided against it for fear we'd be surrounded by flat stomached 18 year olds drinking buckets of cocktail at 4 in the afternoon. Instead we went to a roof top bar called Banana bar for their 4.20-6.20 happy hour and sunset. Neither of us were very hungry as we ate lunch so late so we walked on the beach. There was a storm somewhere close by, but crucially not over us, and we could see lightening in the clouds. It was very cool. I could have sat mesmerised for hours but we decided instead to have a wander and grab some nachos. With Matt still not 100% we had another early night. We've got a pre-7am start tomorrow for a boat trip so hopefully he'll be feeling better.
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  • Today was my last full day in Bangkok. All the other group members aside from Jessica, Erin, and Kayla had caught their flights to go home so the four of us took the time to relax a bit together. We went for lunch to McDonalds of all places lol. Nothing too crazy on that menu, the only things that really stood out were the taro and corn pies you could get ;)

    Afterwards we went to get foot massages near the hotel which was a nice treat. Holly joined us there and afterwards we walked her to a cab so she could catch her flight home.

    When I woke up in the morning I had wanted to see some of the city because I feel like all we've done here is socialize, but I quickly decided that I didn't want to wear temple attire in the scorching heat, especially since we've already seen some great temples and I wanted to spend the last day with the girls! And we did do a bunch of driving through the city so I got a glimpse of it. Have to say that Bangkok doesn't really appeal to me very much architecturally or culturally. It's just full of tourists and people trying to sell you things. I'm sure that we there are good parts to it just like any city, but when you just want some quiet time it's not the place to be ;)

    So anyway, we went to the mall instead... We ended up in Siam Paragon mall which is a very high end, ritzy mall. There were stores like Gucci and the mall employees kept eyeing us like we didn't belong lol. There was an H&M in the mall though which is what we were going for. We were all hoping for new swim suits! I only have one and in Vietnam we'll be spending a lot of time on beaches..

    We had sushi for dinner in the mall! That was delicious, definitely one food that I miss from home. It was expensive though, well comparable to home anyway!

    There was a movie theatre in the mall so afterwards we ended up going to see beauty and the beast! What a great show. And what a great low key day, I needed that... Tomorrow we meet up with the next group of travellers in Vietnam! We met some of them last night and were supposed to meet them tonight as well to go to a sky bar but I just wanted to sleep. We have plenty of time to get to know one another!
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  • Der Tiger Kingdom liegt ca 20 Minuten außerhalb von Chiang Mai. Falls man nicht selbst mit dem Roller anreist, sollte der Fahrer unbedingt warten, da es dort keine tuktuks oder Taxis gibt.

    Im Vorfeld habe ich mir unterschiedliche Meinungen im Netz durch gelesen.
    Ich las von nicht artgerechter Haltung, Betäubung und zu kleinen Käfigen.
    Da dies wohl eine einmalige Gelegenheit ist wollte ist wollte ich der Anlage dennoch eine Chance geben und mir einen eigenen Eindruck verschaffen.

    Am Eingang wählt man zwischen den verschiedenen Größen und unterschreibt anschließend dass das betreten auf eigene Gefahr ist. - Sprich für den Fall dass der Tiger einen zerfleischt ;)

    Preise liegen bei 500-1200 Baht je nach Größe . Ein persönlicher Fotograf kann auch gebucht werden. Dieser liegt bei 300 Baht für einen Käfig bzw 500 für mehrere.

    Von den Mitarbeitern wird man zuerst eingewiesen wie man sich bei den Tigern verhalten soll (unter anderem darf man nie zu nahe an die Vorderseite kommen) und betritt dann mit einem Tierwärter das Gehege.

    Ich konnte die Tiger dann hautnah erleben, streicheln und anfassen. Ich hatte die Pfote vor meiner Nase. In Echtgröße. Ziemlich einschüchternd. Ebenso die muskulösen Vorderläufe. - und das obwohl ich die derzeit kleinste Variante gewählt habe.
    Am Ende kann man sich alle Tiger noch von außerhalb der Käfige ansehen.

    Fazit :
    Das Fell der Tiere war in einem guten und gepflegten Zustand.
    Ich hatte nicht das Gefühl dass sie sediert waren. Ein paar haben im Schatten gedöst, aber die meisten sind herum gelaufen und waren sehr aktiv. Sobald wir uns ihnen genähert haben wurden sie aufmerksam.
    Die Großen sind sogar im Wasserbecken herum gesprungen und haben gespielt.
    Zu jedem Käfig gibt es einen Aussenbereich mit einem Wasserbecken.
    Auf keinen Fall hatte ich das Gefühl dass es Ihnen schlecht geht.

    Der Pfleger erklärte, dass die Tiere aus eigener Züchtung zur Arterhaltung stammen und von klein auf an den Menschen gewöhnt werden. - Ein Restrisiko besteht natürlich.
    Die hohen Preise sind dadurch zu erklären, das ein Tiger locker 10 kg Fleisch am Tag vertilgt und außerdem Impfungen, die Pfleger bezahlt werden müssen.
    Es ist sicher nicht artgerecht aber ohne Besucher könnten sich solche Einrichtungen nun mal nicht finanzieren.
    Ohne Touristen- bzw. andere Zoos, Wildgehege, würde es viele Tiere gar nicht mehr geben.

    Wie gesagt, bereut habe ich es nicht und hatte die Haltung der Tiere weit schlimmer erwartet (wahrscheinlich auch durch Diskussionen im Netz von Leuten, die noch nicht da waren), kann allerdings nur für Chiang Mai sprechen.
    Ich finde es bei diesem Thema sehr schwer, es zu beurteilen, ohne eigene Erfahrungen gemacht zu haben.
    Keine artgerechte Haltung? Mag sein.. Ich bezweifle aber das dies in Gefangenschaft überhaupt möglich ist.
    Alles in allem vom Zustand auch nichts anderes, wie wenn man bei uns einen Zoo besucht.
    Wer das schon nicht mag dem würde ich abraten.
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  • Das Hotel liegt direkt am feinen Sandstrand.
    Die gesamte Anlage liegt in sattem grün mit vielen Bäumen und Pflanzen und Infinity Pool.

    Das Frühstück ist grandios und sehr abwechslungsreich.
    Mein Cocktail zur Ankunft - ein White Sangria, war ein Traum <3 Preis lag bei 190 Baht.

    Das Personal ist wie überall in Thailand äußerst freundlich und zuvorkommend.
    Wir hatten ein Zimmer direkt vorne am Strand. Es gab jede Menge Platz ein Kingsize Bett sowie zusätzlich zur Dusche innen eine draußen im freien und eine Badewanne :)

    In lauflage befinden sich jede Menge Bars, Restaurants, Geschäfte und Supermärkte.

    Roller haben wir ca. 300 Meter entfernt bei Udo's Massage Studio angemietet. Udo ist ein deutscher und die Roller sind neu. Preis 250 Baht für 24 Stunden.
    Wunderschönes Hotel - jederzeit gerne wieder :)
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  • Es ist traumhaft schön,aber leider sehr überlaufen.
    Die Anreise mit dem Speedboat ab Khao Lak dauert ca. 1,5 Std.
    Auf unserer Tour haben wir besucht :
    - Insel #8 (Mittagessen und View Point) ca. 1,5h
    - Insel #9 (schnorcheln) ca. 30 Minuten
    - Insel #7 (schnorcheln) ca. 30 Minuten
    - Insel #4 (Strand) ca. 1 Std
    Rückkunft am Pier ca 16:30 bzw 17:30 im Hotel

    Zum schnorcheln war es okay. Wenig bunt aber es gab große Korallen Riffe und einige Fische. Wenn man Glück hat auch Schildkröten. Die Strände sind Puderzucker fein und hell.

    Wir haben den Ausflug über Asia Tours in Khao Lak gebucht. Hier kostet er die Hälfte (1700 Baht ) im Vergleich zu den anderen Anbietern. Die Tour war sehr gut organisiert. Inklusive Transfer vom / zum Hotel, Getränken, Mittagessen, kleinen Snacks zwischendurch und noch einmal essen am Pier bei Rückkunft.

    Uuuunbedingt die Schuhe im Rucksack mitnehmen!!! Die Toiletten auf den Inseln sind grauenhaft.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Thailand, Thailand, Taeland, ታይላንድ, Tailandia, تايلند, Thailandia, Tailand, Тайланд, Tayilandi, থাইল্যান্ড, ཐའི་ལེན།, Tajland, Tailàndia, Thajsko, Gwlad Thai, ཐཱའི་ལེནཌ, Tailand nutome, Ταϊλάνδη, Tajlando, Tai, تایلند, Taylannda, Thaimaa, Teiland, Thaïlande, Tayilande, Tailân, An Téalainn, થાઇલેંડ, Tailan, תאילנד, थाईलैण्ड, Thailandska, Thaiföld, Թաիլանդ, Tailando, Taíland, タイ, ტაილანდი, Tailandi, Thailandi, ថៃ, ಥೈಲ್ಯಾಂಡ್, 태국, थाइलैंड, تایلەند, Pow Tay, Tayirandi, Tailandɛ, ປະເທດໄທ, Tailandas, Tayilanda, Taizeme, Thailandy, Тајланд, തായ്‌ലാന്‍ഡ്, थायलंड, Tajlandja, ထိုင်း, Thayilandi, थाइल्याण्ड, ଥାଇଲାଣ୍ଡ, Tailandya, Tajlandia, تايلنډ, Tailândia, Thaysuyu, Tailanda, थैलेण्ड्, Thaieana, Tailânde, තායිලන්තය, Tajska, Taylaand, Tajlanda, தாய்லாந்து, థాయ్ లాండ్, Таиланд, ไทย, Taýland, Taylandiya, Taileni, Tayland, تھائی لینڈ, Thái Lan, Tayän, Taylandya, Orílẹ́ède Tailandi, 泰国, i-Thailand