The beautiful islands of Southern Thailand are one thing that should definitely be visited. If you like clear water, sun, freediving, and fishes then BAM go to the south.
I arrived in the south from Chiang Mai by bus. It took 2 days and a lot of unnecessary stops. I first took a night bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok then spent the day there and another bus to Phuket. I thought it was a direct bus from Bangkok to Phuket…nope. I stopped in Surat Thanithen took another bus to Phuket from there. That was only supposed to take around 2.5 hours…but ended up taking 5 because the driver kept stopping for people on the road waving money in their hands. That mothafuka. That’s a common thing in Southeast Asia after speaking with other travellers. Even if it’s a reserved seat bus they’ll always stop for more money. Also mind you that this driver was all over the dam road. I digress…anyways I got to Phuket after a crazy bus ride.
In Phuket I had met up my friends from Taiwan who had come to Phuket for NYE celebration and two secret proposals.
The same shenanigans I had with them in Taiwan continued in Thailand except even more amped up because they were on vacation in a foreign country and on their holiday.
It felt like I was just picking up where I left off with my Taiwan friends.
We hit up the Similan Islands for a day trip with a company called WOW Andaman. They were really cool and it was a fun trip with the whole crew. I’d say that an excursion like that has to be done with a group.
We took a speedboat about an hour out towards the Similan Islands and visited 3 of the 9 islands. The water there was absolutely spectacular. The clarity of that water was incredible. I haven’t seen water that clear since the springs back home. You don’t get much time at each island as it’s only a day excursion, but I guess you wouldn’t be able to do everything else otherwise. Personally I like a more chill and relaxed vibe. I don’t like rushing around doing a bunch of crazy things, unless I have no choice. So for me this excursion was a little bit mixed. I loved the snorkeling around the islands which also allowed me to do some freediving. Everyone including the crew were like WTF?!? How is he down for so long? One of my Taiwanese friends jokingly asked if I was part fish.
Included in the day is lunch and a cool view from the top of a view point on Similan Island. If I could’ve done it my way I would’ve liked to stay on Similan for a few days, but when you’re with a group and limited on time…not much you can do.
About an hour north of Phuket is the city of Khao Lak. What drew me there was what I heard by word of mouth. That it was a small chill city with some beautiful waterfalls. When I got there I was shocked to see that I was surrounded by more farangs(Thai words for foreigners) than I had seen yet. They were all from either Europe or Russia. I was questioning if I was still in Thailand when I was walking along the beach there.
The waterfall there was a bit underwhelming. Nothing could compare to the waterfalls I had seen in Bali. That sounds pretty stuck up, but it’s simply the truth. It was not what I was expecting to see. The water was quite refreshing to jump into because it was so dam hot.
One thing that has to be mentioned is that everything in Southern Thailand is way more expensive that the northern half, due to the tourists. For example a Pad Thai costs 100 Baht when in Chiang Mai it cost 30 Baht. That’s just how it is.
There was one cheap restaurant I found in Khao Lak called Go Pong it was the only cheap place I found in the entire south. It was actually pretty too, granted the portion sizes were extremely small and I had to order like 3 dishes to satisfy my hunger. It was still cheaper than going to another restaurant.
Koh Phi Phi
Personally my favorite place I found in Thailand. It’s considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It definitely lives up to that status. The views there are amazing! The sea is great and the freediving is awesome!
With all those great things comes an incredible amount of people. This place was totally packed with young Englishmen that were a bunch of “U wot m8?” All they wanted to do was drink and party. I booked a place last minute along the beach thinking it would be a nice place to be…was I wrong. It’s called party beach and doesn’t stop partying till like 3AM. Now that’s good if you came for that, but not for me since I prefer a more relaxed vibe. Also since I wanted to partake in the freediving there I wasn’t gonna stay up all night partying wasting my energy.
Koh Phi Phi has this great viewpoint from where you can view the sunset and see the entire island. It’s pretty nice and great way to relax. It costs about 30 Baht to enter, but it was very worth it for me.
I had the wonderful opportunity to go out for two training sessions with MAYA Freediving out on Koh Phi Phi. I didn’t want to take a course with them, just go out and do some dives. I was able to do so and each session was 1500 Baht. It was the best diving I had ever done yet. We hit up a wreck the first day and the amount of fish that were there was incredible. The second day we went out to a deeper spot for some depth. I was able to hit 109’ and was averaging 1:45 for my dives.