Monday, June 24, 2013

Thailand 2013 (Krabi, Phi Phi, Koh Samui & Phuket)


" LIFE teaches us to make good use of time, while time teaches us the value of LIFE " 

" Live every moment, love everyday. Cause before you know it, precious time slips away " 

" Everybody has to go through birth, aging, sickness & death. There is no exception. That is LIFE " \

" My 8 days solo visit to major beach resorts in Southern Thailand (Hatyai, Krabi, Koh Samui, Phi Phi Islands & Phuket ) from 15-22/6/2013 - bussing all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Southern Thailand & walking like a mud crab on the white sandy & magnificent beaches of Krabi, Koh Samui, Phi Phi islands & Phuket " 

Total expenses incurred in Southern Thailand 
( 8 days ) : Rm880 ( US$290 )

Bus: KL>Hatyai: Rm50
Inter city bus, pick-up trucks & ferry : 2,332 Bht
Tuktuk: 470 Bht
Hostels (Dorms-6 nights) : 1,690 Bht
Food: 1,840 Bht
Day tours (Phi Phi & Koh Samui): 1,350 Bht
Exchange Rate: Rm1=9.67 Bht; US$1=Rm3.00

Travel itinerary: Kuala Lumpur>Hatyai>Krabi>Koh Samui>Phuket>Hatyai>Kuala Lumpur

After my Nepal visit in March this year, I was aiming to visit USA/Canada in April/May but put on hold this travel plan due mainly to a forthcoming General Election which was to be held on 5th May 2013. Now that the election is over, so what's next ? After some thought, I picked Southern Thailand for a short visit due to her close proximity to Malaysia & also due to the reason that I have yet to visit their renowned beach resort places ie Krabi, Koh Samui, Phi Phi islands & Phuket. In 2010, I had visited Pattaya. 

Though Air Asia, MAS & other local & regional airlines have regular flights to Hatyai, Phuket, Krabi & Koh Samui but for this trip, I took the long winded route ie by coach from Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai (Rm50-8hr) and then a connecting bus from Hatyai to Krabi (239bht-5hrs). After Krabi, I took a bus,ferry & taxi package (600bht-4hr) to Donsak Pier for a ferry crossing to Nathon Pier, Koh Samui. As for Koh Samui to Phuket (via Surat Thani & Phang-nga), I took a similar taxi, ferry & bus package (700bht-8hr) from a local travel agent. The bus ticket from Phuket town to Hatyai costs 293bht (7hr)

In Krabi, I signed up for a day tour (900bht) to the James Bond island (by longtail boat) but due to a bad weather, the trip was cancelled and I opted for a day tour (1,000bht) to the Phi Phi islands instead. I paid 350bht for a half day tour for a round the island trip in Koh Samui.

For this trip. I spent two night each in Krabi, Koh Samui & Phuket and two nights in the bus. I had a brief stopover visit in Hatyai for my return trip to Kuala Lumpur. 

I went to Southern Thailand in high spirit (too blessed to be stressed) but have to face a dreaded haze / smog upon my return to Kuala Lumpur ! Life is not a bed of roses but that's life ! But for the next few weeks, my mind will be hazy and pray hard for the rain to come !

Here are some pictures & a little story on my island hopping visit in Southern Thailand.



Hatyai



Krabi


Phi Phi Islands



Koh Samui


Phuket



A Super Moon vs The Dreaded Haze - what a swing in mood !

A banner promoting a Full Moon Party at Koh Samui Chaweng Beach - Saturday 22 June 2013, organized by the Cha Cha Moon Beach Club. No Luck for me to participate as I left Koh Samui on 20th June. Otherwise, we could do cha cha, twist, rock & roll and have fun till the wee hours !


In contrast, upon my return to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday 23 June, I was greeted with a thick haze / smog caused by open burning to clear land for plantations in Indonesia - the API index has reached a very unhealthy level ! No escape for me, we are all smogged up & we are choking. So shall I make a return to Koh Samui in June 2014 to enjoy the sea breeze there or stay at home to face the brunt year after year ? 


" LIFE always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow "

Hat Yai, Thailand (2013)

Total cost incurred (stopover) : 600bht
Bus: 500bht (Hatyai>Kuala Lumpur 20.00>05.00)
Food: 100bht

Hatyai Town Centre - favorite shopping place for Malaysians especially during school holiday season


Hatyai/Malaysian bus service companies serving the Kuala Lumpur routes - Konsortium Bus Ekspress (KKK Bus) at 17/1 Chee Uthit Rd & Davis Tours (Sri Maju & Alisan bus) at 32, Prachathipat Road, Hatyai


I had a plate of chicken rice & a plate of braised pork leg (50bht each) as dinner at a road side food stall in Hatyai - a simple dinner meal before the start of my 10 hr overnight bus journey heading home !


 Sri Maju bus from Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai (10 hrs)



" Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It means you have to accept what happened and continued living "

Krabi, Thailand (2013)

Total cost incurred (3 days): 1,206bht (Rm124=US$41)

Bus: Hatyai>Krabi - 239bht
Hostel: Pak Up Hostel (2 nights, dorm) - 220bht x 2 
Pick-up trucks: 130bht
Food: 368bht
Sundries: 29bht

2nd class aircond bus from Hatyai to Krabi (239bht - 5 hrs)


Krabi Town - once upon a time, the town is infested with mud crabs & crap; a sleepy fishing village; pleasant & laid back; 5 hrs by bus from Hatyai ; the sea eagle monument had inscribed the following words of encouragement " fly high, look far and reach our goal " & the 2 alphabets KM on it ! Yes, KM is ambitious, will travel far and strive hard to achieve his travel goals !


Ao Nang Bay ( 20km from Krabi town, longtail boats, 4 island tour, Phi Phi Don, snorkeling, nightlife, Thai massage, The Beach )


Grab a bite , the food I adored in Krabi - a pancake with honey, banana & mango mixed (40bht=US$1.33); the worms in my stomach smiled at me when I placed an order for it !


Massage in Ao Nang - 200bht (US7) for an one hour of gentle Thai massage (no hanky panky) but if you have 11 ladyfinger nail, the manicure service is only 100bht (US$3.50) - cheap cheap !!!


" Everything in your LIFE is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make different choices "

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand (2013)

Total cost incurred (Day Tour from Krabi - 08.00>16.30): 1,000bht (Rm97; US$32)

Speed boat departing from Ao Nang to Phi Phi Islands (what a bumpy drive, rock & roll style !)


1) Bamboo Island (all the bamboo trees totally wiped out during the 2004 tsunami, crystal clear water, powder-soft sand)


2) Hin Pae (20 minutes for open sea snorkelling)


3) Viking Cave (any Viking sunken ships buried under the water ?)


4) Monkey Bay (monkeys behaving like mafia roaming the island)


5) Pi Leh Bay (snorkeling in the lagoon) 

 

6) Phi Phi Don (buffet lunch ready to be served)


The Dec 2004 tsunami that destroyed every standing structure in Phi Phi Don islands. The Indian Ocean tsunami caused an overall death of 227,898 people ( Thailand's casualty was 5,295 deaths and 2,817 missing ! ). The word "Tsunami" originates from Japan ie Tsu (harbour) & nami (wave). A Tsunami evacuation route sign hung on to a pole giving direction to tourists in case of another tsunami strike - no body can tell when the next tsunami will greet you on this white sandy beach ! But it is never too late to start practicing your marathon run at least for the first 600m !


" LIFE is precious. Time is priceless "