Thailand
Changwat Surat Thani

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405 travelers at this place:

  • Day17

    8. Kapitel

    January 3 in Thailand ⋅ 🌬 27 °C

    Moin allerseits

    Ja ihr seht richtig. Ich konnte mich doch noch dazu aufraffen etwas über meine Reise zu berichten. Die letzten Tage beziehungsweise Wochen vergingen für mich wie im Fluge. Nach meiner Ankunft in Bangkok erholte ich mich zuerst von den Reisestrapazen. Schliesslich war ich ungefähr 26 Stunden unterwegs. Wer günstig fliegen will, muss dementsprechend auch viel umsteigen. Thailand ist wie schon erwähnt ein sehr heisser Ort mit hoher Luftfeuchtigkeit. Nach meinem Dornröschenschlaf merkte ich dann auch gleich den Einfluss der hier sehr beliebten Klimaanlagen. Ich fing mir eine starke Erkältung inklusive leichtem Fieber ein. Dies setzte mich für weitere zwei Tage ausser Kraft. Ok, vielleicht war auch der erste Abend an der berühmt berüchtigten Khaosan road Schuld. Nichtsdestotrotz war meine Zeit in Bangkok somit stark beschränkt. Da die Einkaufszentren um die Ecke lagen, kaufte ich mir dort mal die nötigen Sachen für einen Inselurlaub ein. Dazu kam noch eine neue Powerbank. Airasia fand meine bisherige dermassen cool, dass sie diese gleich behielten. Bemerkt hatte ich das leider erst als ich im Hostel ankam. Mit Elefantenhosen, Powerbank und kleinem Lautsprecher ausgestattet, war ich bereit meine Weiterreise anzutreten. Zuerst mit dem Bus von Bangkok nach Chumphon und danach mit der Fähre nach Koh Tao. Auf der Insel angekommen fand ich dann auch ohne weitere Probleme mein im voraus gebuchtes Hostel. Ein toller Ort der mich gleich mit wummernder elektronischer Musik begrüsste. Die Leute waren super nett und hilfsbereit. Ich fühlte mich geborgen und beschloss meinen Aufenthalt hier bis nach Neujahr zu verlängern. Schliesslich wollte ich ja auch noch zum neuen Tauchprofi ausgebildet werden. Da ich nun Zeit im überfluss hatte, genoss ich zuerst mal das nichtstun, lesen, Strand besuchen, trinken, neue Freunde finden, trinken, Schnorchelausflug und weiteres feiern. Nach dem schnorcheln beschloss ich eine Tauchschule aufzusuchen und mich für einen Probetag einzuschreiben. Beim ausfüllen des Fragebogens kam dann die Stelle ob ich schon mal Probleme mit meinem Trommelfell hatte oder dieses schon mal beschädigt wurde. Als ehrlicher Schweizer Bürger beantwortete ich diese natürlich Wahrheitsgetreu mit Ja. Damit starben jedoch auch gleichzeitig meine letzten Hoffnungen auf einen Tauchschein. Die Tauchlehrer gaben mir zu Verstehen das ich es zwar probieren könnte, jedoch immer die Gefahr besteht einen erneuten Riss zu riskieren. Auf gut Deutsch, vergiss es! Da ich mich noch allzu gut an die Schmerzen erinnern konnte, löschte ich auch diesen Traum aus meinem Kopf. Wie ihr seht ist meine Reise nicht gerade von Glück überhäuft. Aber naja, kann man halt nichts machen.

    Weihnachten und Silvester feierte ich feuchtfröhlich in unserem Hostel. Mit den neugewonnen Freunden konnte ich auf ein hoffentlich erfolgreiches Neujahr anstossen. Das sind dann auch die Momente in welchen man seine Familie und Freunde am meisten vermisst. Trotzdem fühle ich mich immer noch bereit die Welt alleine zu erkunden. Mittlerweile habe ich mich auch prima ans alleine Rumreisen gewöhnt. Viele lustige Storys gab es leider nicht beziehungsweise sind nicht für die Öffentlichkeit gedacht. Diese werde ich gerne mal bei einem Bier mit euch austauschen. Ach ja, am 2. Januar verliess ich Koh Tao gerade noch rechtzeitig vor dem eintreffen des grossen Sturm. Bin somit doch noch vom Glück verfolgt.

    Derzeit befinde ich mich in Siem Reap, Kambodscha. Hier werde ich die nächsten Tage die Stadt und die umliegenden Tempel von Angkor Wat erkunden bevor es mich nach Thailand zurück verschlägt. Auf Koh Samet treffe ich dann Freunde und Familienangehörige aus der Schweiz. Ich freue mich jetzt schon auf lustige Abende und das Geschichten austauschen.

    Bis dahin,
    Sili
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  • Day6

    Elephant Hills

    December 7, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    Today we are off on a 4 day adventure into the depths of Khao Sok National Park. Our transfer arrived right on time and handed us a bottle of water and an envelope containing our itinerary for the next 4 days as we boarded the mini bus. We are staying at a place called Elephant Hills which is around 2 hours from Ao Nang with a quick stop at a services where I had to naviagte my way around a Thai toilet. I obviously dont have the right technique as I definately peed on my foot!

    As we pulled up to Elephant Hills, a man opened up the large metal gates and we knew instantly that this was going to be a lovely place. After our briefing on the camp and the days activities with our guide for the day, Pond, we were given a padlock and directed to our luxury safari tent where we will be staying for the next 3 nights. It's absolutely amazing, with a huge bed and loads of cute wooden elephants everywhere, from the stool to the light switches and the walls of the bathroom.

    After dropping off our stuff we headed up to lunch which was Thai buffet style and absolutely delicious. You get so much choice and there is loads of it. As I am veggie / awkward they make me my own personal vegetarian options of all the dishes which is great! I am struggling a little bit with the spice though even though apparently it is foreigner hot and not Thai hot!

    After lunch we headed off to see the elephants which has been one of the things we have been most looking forward to on our trip to Thailand. The elephants were a short 15 minute drive away so we jumped into the safari truck and headed off. There are 12 elephants living at Elephant Hills all of which are retired from the logging trade after it was banned in 1989. Elephants need to eat a LOT of food a day which can be very expensive and following the ban, many unemployed elephants and their mahouts ended up begging on the streets. A mahout is the name given to the elephants keeper. The same man will look after the elephant throughout their lifetime so they grow old together.

    When we arrived Pond told us about the elephants and we got to stroke one of the elephants whose name was Shampoo. 3 of the elephants then took a bath in their big muddy pool so we sat and watched them have a muddy bath. It was then our turn to give them a hose down. Our elephant was very friendly and patiently stood there whilst we hosed her down and rubbed her trunk with coconut husk. She liked us to fill up her trunk with water which she would then drink. After around 15 minutes she got bored and wandered off. Elephants are such graceful creatures. You imagine that you would be able to hear them stomping around but they are so light on their feet (I am definately more heavy footed than they are).

    Next up, dinner time! For dinner, the elephants had an assortment of pineapple, banana and tamrind balls rolled in sea salt and seeds and wrapped in a banana leaf which we got to make ourselves. As soon as it was dinner time all of the elephants were there with their trunks stretched out trying to get a cheeky bite. To feed them you had to tuck the food behind the end of their trunk which they curled over for you. You had to be quick otherwise they would grab your hand as well. They really are strong!

    Saddly that was the end of our time with the elephants. I could have sat and watched them all day. Before we left, we got to sit up on a high platform and watch them mooch around and do there own thing.

    Our second activity of the afternoon was canoeing along the Khao Sok river. We didn't have to canoe though so we could just sit back, relax and enjoy the view which was pretty incredible. Along the way we saw a mangrove snake wrapped around the branch of a tree, a giant frog, lots of fish and some monkeys which was pretty cool.

    Back at the camp we had a couple of hours before dinner so we had a quick dip in the pool before jumping in the shower and getting ready for dinner. Before dinner we watched a documentary on elephants, followed by a Thai dancing performance by a local school. We then got to watch a Pad Thai cooking demonstration before tucking into dinner which was once again delicous.

    Back in our safari tent we tucked in for the night listening to the sounds of the jungle. We had forgotten how loud the jungle could be and were reminded of the caravan we stayed in in the Daintree in Australia. Surprisingly our tent is considerably more secure than the caravan was so I didnt have any concerns about any creepy crawlies getting in!
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  • Day5

    To Koh Samui

    January 2 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    A little fresher this morning but bright and sunny for our final breakfast by the pool. It’s a shame to be leaving such a lovely spot. We just had time for Janet to visit the big temple complex opposite Poppy’s and see the Buddha that has been covered with gold leaf and the reclining Buddha.
    Our taxi driver was pessimistic about the traffic, but it only took us ten minutes to get to the airport. Bag drop etc were easy and the flight left on time. Once again Bangkok Airways service was excellent.
    Landing over the beach the airport was reminiscent of Maui. A short transfer and we were installed in our very well equipped chalet room. I write this reclining on the balcony listening to the birdsongs with Shanghi beer in hand while the sun sets.
    Our attempts to book a boat trip tomorrow scuppered by poor weather forecast as a storm is due.
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  • Day6

    Preparing for Pabuk

    January 3 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Unable to do anything water based, after breakfast by the beach we took an uninspiring walk down the road to Chaweng Beach, had coffee and walked back.
    The infinity pool was a better option, cooling us down, then a lazy afternoon on the beach, painting and reading. This evening our meal at the Larder, was a little more upmarket, and delicious, 50m across the street.
    Returning we are advised breakfast tomorrow has been moved from the beach due to impending tropical storm Pabuk the first at this time of year fir 68 years. If the Daily Mirror is to be believed, the Island is evacuating. We will see.
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  • Day9

    Day 4 - Elephant Hills

    December 10, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    With our bamboo sticks and safari shirts (which we got for free for booking online - lucky us!) we were ready for our morning trek through the jungle with Ant. There was meant to be 10 of us but due to various aches, pains and lack of appropriate footwear only 5 of us set off into the jungle.

    Before we could start we had a very quick trip across the river in a canoe. As we walked throught the jungle, trying to avoid getting wet feet in the jungle stream, Ant pointed out various jungle flora and fauna including jungle palm with its dreadlock like fruits, rubber trees in which the locals were collecting rubber and bamboo. The walk was a little tricky in places, having to clamber over sharp rocks and steep inclines. The 3 older ladies in our group found it a little difficult but we were happy to mooch along at the back.

    Lunch today would be served jungle style so after around an hour and a half we stopped at a bamboo hut where a man was preparing our lunch over an open fire. On the fire was some pork and tofu and mushrooms for me (being the only veggie and after he went to the trouble to cook it over a fire I had to eat some mushrooms which wasn't pleasant). They then set about making a coconut chicken curry and a delicious dip for the pork and tofu and showed us how to make it. To start with the man showed us how they traditionally make coconut milk by scraping out the inside of the coconut, adding water and squeezing out the pulp before putting in through a sieve. This would form the basis of the curry. This was then added to a pan with tumeric, thai ginger, chilli (always lots of chilli), kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and garlic and brought to the boil over the fire before adding in the chicken. Lunch was serviced out of coconut bowls which was really nice! After lunch it was a short 20 minute walk back to camp.

    It was then back to our tent for a shower (we were ridiculously sweaty) and pack our bags as our jungle adventure is sadly over. After checking out we were taken back to Ao Nang in the mini bus for another night at the iRest before heading to Koh Lanta in the morning.

    We arrived back in Ao Nang around 5pm so grabbed a couple of Changs to enjoy on the balcony whilst playing Monopoly cards. For dinner we consulted Trip Advisor and decided upon a Thai restaurant called KoDam Kitchen which was around a 20 minute walk from our hotel. It was a little off the main street down a very long and dark side road so not something you would have easily stumbled across just walking around. Despite that it was really busy but they managed to squeeze us in. For starter we shared some roti and peanut sauce, very closey followed by a whole red talapia and pineapple fried rice. Now the name should have given it away really but it really was a whole fish, head, flippers and all. I saw it and thought no way was Simon going to eat that but fair play to the boy he gave it a good go! My pineapple fried rice came in a hollowed out pineapple which looked very impressive, all of which was delicious!
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  • Day8

    Day 3 - Elephant Hills - Cheow Larn Lake

    December 9, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    We woke again to the three gongs and made our way to breakfast before we left for our day trip to the lake. We were particularly looking forward to this as the pictures looked incredible however we were a bit sad when we realised you don’t actually stay in the floating bungalows on the tour we booked.

    We all set out on a big open sided truck nicknamed the ‘Bone Shaker’ by DD and Julie to our first stop was another market in a village called Takhun. Much of the same hippy elephant trousers and dry bags for phones but we walked around all the same. Back on the truck our second stop was the very impressive Rajjaprabha Dam look out. Rajjaprabha Dam creates a man-made lake of 185sq km’s otherwise known as Cheow Larn Lake. Its purpose is electricity generation, irrigation, flood control, and fishing. To flood this large area 385 families were resettled and set up with rubber farms, land and money to help get them going. There were two viewpoints at the lookout, the first we went to was a great view of the lake. What we could see was only a very small fraction we found out later once on the lake. There are more than one hundred islands in the lake and it stretches over 60km from North to South. The other view point was of the dam and electric city.

    Next stop was the pier where we all hoped on a traditional long-tail boat for about an hours trip to Elephant Hill's very own Rainforest. Apart from getting pretty soaked every so often the views on the lake and the sheer size of it were incredible. Once at the floating camp we stocked up on a yummy Thai spread for lunch.

    Lunch over we had some free time to chill at the camp. We decided to take a kayak out to explore the lake in our own time and a little closer to the edge where we hoped to see some monkeys and other animals. Unfortunately the first couple to see monkeys got a bit too close and scared them off so we only saw the back of one retreating deeper into the trees. It was nice paddling around the edge of the lake for an hour or so though. We were also allowed to go for a swim off the end of the bar so once we were done feeding some HUGE fish from the back of the bar we took a quick dip in the gorgeous and surprisingly warm emerald water.

    All done for the day we hoped back in the long-tail boat. This time it was my turn to get wet, sitting close to the side and soaking I got. So much so it looked like I had an accident when I got back on dry land. Back on the Bone Shaker we headed back to camp. For the evening we were done with documentaries and school kids dancing so we chilled until the cooking demo which today was a Papaya Salad and dinner.
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  • Day16

    Haad Yuan, my home away from home!

    December 28, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Woke up today at 6, packing and off to speed boat to Thong Sala. Thought Marie is going on same bay, but mixed Haad Tian with Haad Yao 😃 So, taxi, long-tail and... HERE I AM! So nice, hot, beach, sea, good food, chilled around during the day, some nap a now it's Guy's Bar time 🕺 See you on the other side 🙃Read more

  • Day8

    Koh Phangan

    September 14, 2016 in Thailand ⋅

    We ir noo on wir nixt Thai island- Koh Phangan. Daday we hiv been scuba diving at a plice caaed sail rock- unbelievable! Crystal clear water and thousands o colourful fish. Felt like we wir pert o finding nemo 😂

  • Day11

    Day 11/72: Elephant Hills!!!

    November 7, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 32 °C

    So. Today we woke up early in Phuket, got a rushed breakfast from a cafe (although reeeally nice bacon omelette) and got picked up by a man and a minivan from outside our hostel at 7:45 sharp. We then drove the 3.5 hours to Khao Sok national park, where we reached Elephant Hills Jungle Lodges (which I booked for Tom's 21st birthday). Having been greeted with a welcome drink, we found our luxury tent (complete with bathroom, shower, electricity and WiFi, but completely open besides a Mosquito net to the jungle outside).

    At 12 o'clock the lunch gong sounded and we headed to get a lovely meal of rice, stir fries and fresh fruit. Then we headed over to the elephant camp. That was where we met the lovely elephants, and we spent the next few hours watching them swim, learning about them, washing them down with hoses and coconut hair scrubbing brushes, and preparing food for them and feeding them! (And also hoping you weren't too close when they decided to throw mud over themselves). It was an absolutely incredible experience; one that we will never ever forget.

    The elephants have one mahout each; the mahout is the man who looks after one elephant all his life. Since elephants live to be about 80-90 years old, they will grow old together. At elephant Hills you can watch the mahout follow the elephant around, and the elephants in turn follow the mahout when the mahout wants.

    These elephants live in the very best conditions possible: open fields to roam in, lots of swimming holes for them to swim in, and muddy pits for them to fling mud over themselves in. They use the mud on their skin as sun protection.

    While we were washing one of the elephants, we could only wash her for as long as she wanted to be washed for, they stand still for about 10-15 minutes and then start to walk away as they have learnt that this is long enough!

    The food for the elephants consisted of pineapples, bananas, grasses/leaves tied into bundles, sugarcane, and their vitamins which had to be hidden in a banana leaf parcel to get the elephants to eat it. The elephants then take the food straight out of your hands with their trunks, and start searching around for more when it's all gone! It was great to see because even if you gave one the vitamin parcel and a couple of bananas in the same trunkful, they'd eat the bananas and carefully drop the parcel on the floor!

    Interestingly (and if you don't want to learn more about elephants skip this paragraph), Asian elephants are much easier to train than African, and have been used in the logging industry for years. When Thailand put a ban on logging due to deforestation, it left many elephants unemployed, so Elephant Hills takes them in and have won many awards for their sustainable and humane approach to keeping elephants. African elephants have 4 toes on their front legs and 3 on their back legs, while Asian elephants have 5 at the front and 4 at the back. They also have a much more love heart shaped head. Elephants communicate to each other using sounds too low for humans to hear up to 70% of the time.

    We were both very sad to say goodbye to the elephants, however we walked 100m down a dirt track and all got into kayaks with a guide paddling us down the river while we sat and looked around the rainforest and the dramatic hills towered overhead. Our guide pointed out all kinds of wildlife- a sleeping (thankfully) mangrove snake, which our guide ensured us was only a little bit venomous, lots of big frogs, a tiny squirrel, and 3 white monkeys! (the monkeys are apparently quite rare to see and on our return to the camp this evening every other group was very jealous to know we had seen them).
    From the river we had an amazing view of the elephant hills of Khao Sok Park, thus named because they look slightly like the humped backs of elephants... The sounds of sicadas washed us down the river.

    This evening was filled with traditional Thai dances from the local schools in the area, a cooking demonstration on how to make Pad Thai (seemingly you should already know exactly what you're doing and put all the right ingredients in the wok in the right amounts at the right moments...) and a delicious buffet style dinner of rice, curries, stir fries, chicken wings (and tiramisu for dessert!!!).

    Right now, we are writing this blog post lying on the King sized bed, listening to the sounds of a tropical rainstorm on our tent, and the sounds of the river and the jungle outside, agreeing it was probably one of the best days ever, and hoping that no mosquitos manage to find their way in.
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  • Day13

    Koh Tao Diving

    May 31, 2017 in Thailand ⋅

    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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You might also know this place by the following names:

Changwat Surat Thani, จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี

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