As I sit here writing this wide awake at 5am due the jet lag from my recent 3 week trip to Thailand, I thought it would be a good idea to reminisce and reflect on what was a mixed-bag of a trip. If you follow me on Instagram you may already have the impression that this Thailand trip looked amazing and that everyone got along and had such a great time...well I wish that were true. I have a pair of Gucci tortoiseshell sunglasses that when worn makes everything and everyone look like they are in HD with a better tan than what they actually have, its fake, unreal - much like social media and in particular Instagram.
I didn't post one picture without some sort of filter applied. It made me think, why does everything have to be perfect? The perfect holiday, the perfect job, the perfect relationship...why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect or perceiving the perfect life and if everything was perfect, would you still find fault, can something be too perfect that it becomes faulty? I mean take the below for example, is anything really wrong with the first picture? No, not really, in fact it is probably better and more natural than the second edited one. My point being: in relationships we sometimes fall into the trap of trying to mould your girlfriend/boyfriends/Jobs/Friends into perfection for you. However take a step back, remove the filter and you'll probably find that they are perfect just the way they are.
My Thailand trip started of with a long journey from London to Koh Phi Phi where we were spending New Year. An eleven hour flight to Bangkok, followed by an internal flight to Phuket, taxi to the port then a two hour boat to Koh Phi Phi...actually it wasn't that bad!
We stayed in Princess Resort on Phi Phi which was a very nice modern resort in the island. The only thing with it is that they are still expanding so there is quite a lot of building works going on. We were here for 5 nights and in hindsight far too long.
You see, Phi Phi used to be one of those places where backpackers sought paradise, natural beauty and a good level of nightlife. Whereas now the beaches are packed and the nightlife has taken over. I never thought I would see the day when Phi Phi would have 'beer pong' bars with gap-year students touting you into their bars with free shots and 2-4-1 buckets, I mean what is this, Magaluf? It certainly felt like it on a night time.
Nightlife aside, which really wasn't my scene...there are still pockets of beauty. Like Maya Bay, where Sophie and I got a long-tail boat early one morning to see the national park in its unspoilt self with only a handful of people on The Beach.
On to Koh Lanta for two nights. Not too far from Phi Phi and much more chilled out. The beaches seem to go on forever and the vibe is very much - chill out on the beach, have dinner and a few drinks whilst watching fire displays.
RaiLay beach was our next stop. To get here you have to get a boat to Ao Nang which is the main town in Krabi and from there RaiLay is a short 10 minute long-tail tax boat ride. When you get to RaiLay, you arrive at RaiLay West, this is where all the expensive resorts are - take a short 10 minute walk to RaiLay East which is where the more affordable guesthouses are.
I loved this place, the beach is over looked either side by two large limestone cliffs and the town has a chilled out 'Bob Marley' vibe to it. If you love great food, a bit of rock climbing, beachlife and time to reflect - this is your place.
At this point I had to goodbye to Sophie who was flying back to London, whereas I had another week in the sun! So we took the boat to Phuket, stayed one night in the best ever hotel I have ever set foot in, called The Shore. There was a massive LOL moment, as when we arrived the staff assumed we were on our honeymoon hahahahaha, we should have milked it a little more than just the free bottle of champagne we got!
From 5 star luxury to the seedy but intriguing night life of the Patong - we headed out to have a few drinks and visit Thailand's notorious Ping-Pong bars and looking back it has to be one of the funniest and enjoyable nights of the holiday.
Up at the crack of dawn to head to the airport where Sophie go on a flight back to Bangkok then London and I flew to Koh Samui and got a boat straight to Koh Phangan.
I never thought I would say it but Haad Rin (the Full Moon Party Beach) on Koh Phangan was totally dead, quiet and eery. I guess everyone vacates the island after the New Years parties and we were a week too late.
Saying that, we stayed in Coco Huts which is one of the best places to stay in Haad Rin. Its only a 5 minute walk to the Full Moon beach and all of the nightlife, but you are far enough away to get a good night sleep (gosh I'm old!). Coco Hut Villas is on Haad Leela, which is quiet and much nicer during the day to relax on rather than Haad Rin, where tourists piss in the sea all night long!
After a lot of island hoping we made it to Koh Tao, where we spend 5 nights. Koh Tao is great, it is the best mix between island beach life and night life. Good food with plenty to keep you occupied.
Lee and myself did a spot of sea fishing and ended up catching dinner that night. We also met up with lots of friends from back home and people we have met along the way plus went sunset paddle-boarding.
Another must do if you are on the island is to visit Koh Nangyuan which is a 5 minute long-tail boat ride from Koh Tao but is a national park (closes at 5pm) and offers the most stunning viewpoint of the island.
I do hope you have enjoyed this brief insight into my trip to Thailand. If you have any questions or want travel advice, I have been many times and visited a lot of places above and beyond what I have explained here. So comment below and I'll reply to your messages.