Friday, 30 October 2009

Day 3 – Koh Lanta, Thailand Sunshine and Arnee

Weather – Extremely Sunny

Day three and while it would be nice to wake naturally to the sound of tropical birds soft calling out from the distance, it was not to be. Violently shaken from my dreams and sounds that reminded me of “hello kitty” alarm clocks, the voice was squeaking “the sun is out, the sun is out”. And sure it was out, curtains being drawn and the brightness of the morning sun blinding my eyes.

After a stretch and shower to wash away the sleep, outside for a look at Koh Lanta revealing all its beauty. The Monsoon had gone for now and clear blue skies dotted with a few fluffy white clouds was all that was left.

Kaw Kwang HotelThe pool at the Kaw Kwang resort was a welcome place to settle for a few hours. Exposing our somewhat un-tanned bodies to a bit of sun and a lashing of suntan oil we lay enjoying the heat and it was a bit more than we realized. After a few minutes we dragged the sun loungers under a tree to get a bit of shade. The sun seemed to being out a few more residents, well one couple, to the pool side.

O.H sunbathing by the poolKaw K wang had a large beachfront mostly to itself and here the slope is extremely gentle. The down side is here you have to walk a little way into the sea to get a depth that might reach your knees when the tide is in. When it decides to go out then the walk to actually get your toes wet is a bit longer. The waves were gentle in this part of the beach and ideal for just sitting out in the bay cooling off in the water without the fear of going over your depth or getting swamped in the surf.

Kaw Kwang Beach Breakfast was being served but we were too lazy to tear ourselves away from the pool side. Eventually the hunger got to us and the search for food was on again. This would mean a walk along the beach which was our plan all along, really.

KAw Kwang Beach Low TideSuitably dressed in swimming gear and T-shirts and shorts to cover our exposed flesh. Partly to keep some that bleating sun off our bodies and partly not to offend the locals. The camera was left behind here as the water looked too inviting and electronics and water do not mix very well. A slow walk along around the curve of the beach and then up onto “the strip” to find some breakfast/lunch was the plan. There was a bit more activity today, a few more people venturing out onto the sand but still relatively deserted. A few of the resorts were making starts of cleaning up ready for the high season visitors and a little construction work was noticed. But still peaceful and quiet.

Passing Sanuk Bar on Klong Dao Beach we were greeted by a friendly wave from yesterday’s hosts, but we wouldn't be dining there today. A few paddles in the water to cool off our feet and feeling like kids again hoping over the waves we came to our exit and landed on “the strip”. The restaurants were patched up and down this road along with various shops. We chose a street restaurant called “Arnee” which would turn out to be not one but two places we would frequent as the food was out of this world.

Hi-class it was not, exposed brick walls, hello kitty table cloths (oh my god) and plastic chairs. But all that did not matter we were not going to eat the furniture. The food was the attraction here and while I am sure if we looked we could find better, but this was probably the best Thai food we had tasted for quite some time and all prepared before our eyes.

It was back to the beach for some more childlike fun in the waves, the slope on Klong Dao was similar to Kaw Kwang but the waves were a bit more stronger here. We were not the only ones enjoying the clear cool water, by now a few heads could be seen bobbing up and down in the water along with quite a few locals taking advantage of a cooling off.

This was repeated along the slow walk back along the beach, a cooling off followed by a few 100 meters walk followed by another cooling off. By now the salt of the water was taking its effect and a bit of refreshment was needed. Luckily our oasis, Sanuk Bar was close and our dryness quenched by beer, 1 large, 2 glasses. This whole beach is ideal to relax while watching the sunset but there was still a few hours before that happened , so we were on our way again back towards Kaw Kwang.

There was a rumour of a secret beach, a hidden secret beach. The hotel staff never mentioned it, I guess it was too secret to tell. At the end of Kaw Kwang there is a rocky headland and perhaps the beach was around there, so putting suitable foot wear on, flip-flops we scrambled over the rock in search of “the beach” while doing our Leonardo Dicaprio impressions.

Kaw KWang Headland Did we find it, well no. The rocks got the better of us and back we went. Or maybe we did but want to keep the secret safe.

Sun Setting LantaKlong Dao Beack Evening A freshen up washing off the sand and salt of the day and a little relaxing as the sun went down. Then we were off for the evening again. The distance along the beach seemed to take up a lot of time but this was not really noticeable, but now it seems like we were just going back and forward each day. But the beach was there and every bit of it was enjoyed.

Klong Dao Beach Night It was a little bit difficult finding a beach restaurant, a few looked open but were not open for food others still closed for the season. Luckily after a few no`s we found one yes, although no other customers than ourselves. We were adventurous here and while the O.H savoured the exotic burger and chips I forced myself to try the Thai special, Deep fried chicken and chips. How strange, all the way to Thailand and we end up eating western style food. The wind was getting a little bit fresh now, still warm but we decided to pack up after our snack and head back inland to “the strip”.

This is where we came across the “Arnee” street side restaurant, the name didn't register with us and I don't think we really noticed, but this wasn't the same place we dines this afternoon. Going all Thai again, we asked for two large bowls of Tom Yum Koong. There is just something addictive about this soup that makes up keep wanting it. So it might be the attraction to the spice but sometimes things might be a little too hot for some people.

Tom yum Koong SoupTom yum Soup Keeon 2 hot While sitting satisfied and sipping our beer watching the world outside pass the interesting part of the evening happened. A motorcycle drove up (Everybody has a moped in Koh Lanta, even the kids) and off stepped a face that looked familiar. This was the great cook from the afternoon’s restaurant. With the friendliness of the people an exchange back of forth was made and as it turns out, this was mother and daughter. A bit of a coincidence but a nice one for us as both places had great food. We called the mother “mum” affectionately and in the following days , “are we going to mums” was heard quite often.

Beer bottle empty it was time to wander back home, this time we hailed a taxi thinking the walk would be too long.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Day 2 – Wet First day on Lanta, Thailand and Food

Weather Still Cloudy…

Hunger getting the better of us, we never really had breakfast yet. we set off into the unknown in the search of food. Well it was really a walk along the beach. Kaw Kwang sits in a bay at the top of Klong Dao so we had a good view all the way down the beach, it looked like it was miles long.

Kaw Kwang Resort Leaving our resort behind we walked along the shore in our flip-flops, the sand seemed quite hard and looked very fine. Following the curve and getting our feet a little bit wet as we paddled in the warm water, we passed and area what we would come to call “the darkness”. A stretch of beach practically devoid of hotels, with Jungle right up the edge of the sand. In day time we could see our way easily but come night then it was a different story.

On one side the sound of the waves lapping on the shore and on the other side the sounds of the Jungle sending shivers down your spine. A total lack of lighting added quite a lot to the effect here with the occasional and near collision of strangers coming in the opposite direction. Only guidance was flickering light of Kaw Kwang guiding your home in the distance.

In reality most of the strangers were quite often a family group, complete with pram trekking along the sand, and the only wildlife were the abundance of little sand crabs scurrying away hoping not to get stepped on.

So onward for feed, signs of civilization started to appear as we moved along the beach. Hotels and resorts, most of them still looked devoid of life and protected from the sea with windbreaks were passed by. We thought we would starve to death until we came across a palace which would become a frequent stopping off place in the days to come.

Sanuk Bar emerged as an oasis for us, indicating “food food” with our now under-nourished bodies we were welcomed inside as the heavens again started to open and Monsoon came down. The place looked like it had been here for years and had been constructed from whatever was washed up on the shore but that just added to the ambience of the place. Nourishment here was a plate of noodles for the O.H and vegetable fried rice for myself along with a soon to be customary bottle of beer, large, and two glasses.

Rain off…

With the hunger famished and a little rest while we chatted with the hosts and their dogs we were ready to go on our way again. Further down the beach we went passing nobody else and looking for some road or track to get off the beach. Actually exists are all along the beach but not really noticeable as all the hotels and restaurants are crammed close together to try and get a patch of sand.

Finding a little passage we headed inland and hoped to exit on the road that runs down the island. It wasn't a long walk and relatively easy after trekking through the sand. The sounds of traffic were heard and no sooner we were on the road. It stretched into the distance in each direction and abundantly patched along each side with restaurants, shops and markets. The name we gave this was “The Stip”. In the distance we spotted what we had been looking for. Perched high calling to us was the “7-11” sign.

Passing down the road, paved on one side and scattered with puddles and red mud washed down form the hills with the seasons Monsoon. We reached out destination and stocked up with supplies to keep ourselves well snacked and quenched during our stay. Realizing the weight of our greed and the distance back to the hotel along with the potential downpour we hailed down the Lanta form of a taxi. The same style as in Krabi, a motorcycle with a sidecar bolted on the side. The price here was 50THB for each of us to get back to the hotel.

Lanta, Road to Saldan A quick storage of the supplies and we were off again, another walk this time along the road that leads into Saladan. running along the coast at the north of the island with more Jungle on the other side and like “The Darkness” quite devoid of streetlights. Daylight was still penetrating through the clouds to show our way but by the time we got to Saladan the night came quick. We had a look around the town which is really really quite small so that was short and along with it being dark we wandered in the direction of food again.

Having Beer in Saladan I can`t remember exactly what we had here but the food must have been good as we returned later in the holiday for some more. Needless to say we had beer again, large, 2 glasses. This restaurant was deserted, just the two of us here again. People were going back and forth outside but most of them must have been locals going about their business. Entertainment here was supplied by the Optical Girls across the road, all dressed in white looking very pretty. When I said entertainment, I mean watching them trying to keep busy with no customers around. Like some of the hotels , quite a few of the shops seem to have given in and closed down for a length of time.

Reaxing at Kaw Kwang After a satisfying meal ( i`m sure it was Thai style food) it was an another taxi ride back to the hotel 40THB each from Saladan and the last part of the evening was spent relaxing on the balcony sipping something cold and listening to the sounds of the Jungle. Frogs croaking out to each other and the occasional buzz of a mosquito as it passes your ear. Other than that complete silence of the human kind.

Lions and Tigers Lurk in the Darkness The first days weather was not ideal and we were more than surprised at the lack of other holidaymakers here. If we had realized this we might have chosen a resort further along the beach for the quiet season. Kaw Kwang resort itself was more than we could have asked for, a nice quite place but not too remote to be stuck there.

Tomorrow I confidently predict the sun will shine.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Day 2 – Krabi Town to Kaw Kwang, Koh Lanta

Weather – Cloudy and wet…

Still Monsoon season in Thailand….

Breakfast was not included in the hotel stay, it was still low season so I guess it was not worth opening the kitchens for only a few guests. So after a quick shower and getting dressed we headed down stairs, checkout was quick.

Last night we spotted the location of our transport to Koh Lanta a few blocks down with departure times around every hour. It was getting near the top of the hour so having a long breakfast would probably mean waiting for the next departure.

Breakfast in Krabi, Trailand Breakfast showed itself before us in the form of a quick cup of coffee, getting a few sips as we walked over to the bus station. Not really a bus station more of a parking spot with a desk. The price from Krabi Town to Koh Lanta was 200 THB each / under US$6 and that included the fares for the two ferries that we would use.

Our hotel could have actually arranges the whole thing for us along with a pickup at the hotel door. If the station was a bit further away we would have probably taken this option.

Coffee half sipped and it was time to go, looking around for a place to dispose of our waste nothing was to be seen. This seems quite normal not to have places to deposit your trash but luckily a nice woman who we had just given 400 THB indicated she would take the cups off our hands.

Bus departed and after a little windy route around Krabi Town to pick up a few more passengers looking for paradise we were on our way.

By the time we got back to the airport to pick up a few more travellers the skies were starting to clear up a little bit and the sun started to beam.

The journey down was not too long or uncomfortable, most of the time we had the shades pulled to keep out the shine of the sun and did not really get much of a look at the scenery. Our view was mainly little glimpses of what was in front between the other passengers heads.

Minibus View Reached the first ferry terminal and practically drove straight on without much waiting. Here we had a chance to get out and stretch our legs and have a little look around.

Lanta Noi Ferry Lanta Noi is the first island crossing, the whole area looked like it has not been touched since it was created. A few bits of human developments poked through but mostly it looked quite pristine.

Lanta Noi Ferry Two or three ferries seemed to be in operation here, back and forth when they have a full load and they seemed to be busy enough with the locals that I was wondering how long a wait would be in the more busy high season.

Saladan, Lanta On our way again and across the top of the island we caught our first glimpse of Lanta Yai, our holiday island. The channel here was not as wide as the first one and the second ferry trip was even quicker. The town of Saladan was spotted half perched in the water and half on land just to the north. This is where the passenger ferries arrive during the months that they operate.

Our resort was on the north of the island and after one stop for dropping off a much needed bit of equipment for one of the hotels we were deposited at the front of our hotel. The other passengers probably had the same treatment but some may have had a longer trip than we had.

The whole trip must have taken less than 3 hours including the slight waits for the ferry and the occasional pickup and drop off for passengers. But it never really seemed so long, I guess if you were doing it every day you might grow to tire from it.

We choose our hotel for the location. It`s not too far from town and may have been a bit quieter than some of the other resorts further down our beach and the other beaches. The theory of this was sound, but only failed by the complete quietness of the whole island. During the coming days we were to realize that this little bit of paradise seems to have been overlooked by the masses and hopefully will continue to be.

Kaw Kwang Beach Resort was the name of the hotel and from what I gather was the first resort established here. Situated at the top of the island on Kaw kwang beach which runs into the longer Khlong Dao beach where there is a slight more mass of resorts each try to grab a little bit of beachfront.

IMG_2760 So hotel check in and the normal complementary drinks of fruit juice. In fact it was so quick that the O.H nudged me and said “they are waiting for us”, I was too engrossed in sipping my drink and peering over at the sea trying to catch a glimpse of the waves.

Kaw Kwang Hotel Room We had a second row room/hut, garden view, the huts were well space out and enough foliage to create the ambience. Inside was clean with just the occasional bit of wear and tear showing through. Just one cockroach was found lurking in the bathroom, as it was the only one found the whole holiday. I could presume it was left behind by the previous guests but I doubt it. The hotel was running really on maintenance during the low season, still open but not running at full capacity. The Kitchens were closed but the staff said that they could source food from other places if we wanted to eat in.

Kaw Kwang Hotel Garden Good sized garden with tall coconut filled trees between the huts and beach all mostly surrounded by untamed jungle. The pool was more than enough for the two of us and frequented often for a refreshing cooling off

Weather – Back to cloudy and some light rain

Monday, 26 October 2009

Day 1 – First Night in Krabi Town, Thailand

We stayed at The City Hotel in Krabi town, right in the center of the town. Situated between two markets, across the road was the night market with looked more food and vegetable style and behind the hotel, a currently empty space, which became bustling with a more fairground type market on our return trip. The room was quite basic, more of a stay over room than a stay in room. But the essentials had to be checked, while the O.H examined in close detail the quality of what was behind the bathroom door, I checked out the important things like the television. Enough south East Asian channels and a few feeds for the Europeans. As for the bathroom, the toilet flushed so I was satisfied.

Showered and then headed out on the town for a look around and something to eat. Night market across the road which we`d think about checking later and 7-11 next door to the hotel (Always a big plus).

“Taxi Sir”, shouts were coming from a little group men standing at their taxis -motorcycle with bolted sidecar type taxis. These calls for custom were regular and often, but not too pushy to be an annoyance. Walking around town, the time might have been about 7.30 to 8pm, the place was still quite busy and the rain was off.

Weather Monsoon…..

The heavens opened and the streets cleared, luckily most of the pavements (sidewalks) are covered, fortunately we had an umbrella for crossing the road. We decided to stick it out for a while at a corner and wait for the rains to ease. We were not the only ones, sometimes it is tempting to try and strike up a conversation with the locals but the tugging on my arm persuaded me that this would not be a good idea.

IMG_2689 The rains eased and we headed back to the night market which by now seemed to be closing, either the time was late or the rains had driven them away. Passing by the hotel again and heading in the opposite direction towards the river side hunger was starting to become more important than exploration. We came across a IMG_2698 little place, with the front open to the world and what looked like the family living room in the back with mom, dad and the kids sitting watching TV. I can`t remember the restaurant name, but the d├ęcor was quite homely – tables, chairs, flower pots, book shelves, pictures, sofas, rugs – it could have really been somebody’s home and they were too polite to tell us to leave.
Well the menu on the table indicated otherwise and we sat down for what was to become a growing trend in the coming days. Great locations, great food, polite, friendly hosts and virtually no other customers.

IMG_2700 Well no customers but we were not alone; the little animals of Krabi came to visit on occasions. First up was a mass of ants that appeared out of no place, streamed along the wall to our table, turning around and went back to wherever they originated and completely vanished. The second visitor was a little lizard, he or she was probably hiding there all along, I may have heard it say “taxi sir” but that could have been the beer affecting me.

Tom Yum koong, again, was on order with a bowl of chicken green curry, some kind of vegetables stir fry with chestnuts and beer. It appears that in Thailand plates with rice are usually used and the two of us prefer bowls and sometimes confusion arises. Life would be much easier is we learned to speak some Thai. But the meal was just as we had expected, great tasting and spicy, and finished it off with another beer (just in case we never realized the warmth of the country and were getting a bit dehydrated). In total the price came in around 400 THB / US$10 for the three courses and two beers. For that price we could sit there and eat all night but I don’t think our bellies would manage to take much more…..

To finish off the evening we took a walk down to the water front. Came across another food market and from the style of dress we fathomed that this might be a Muslim orientated area. Despite the fact that we were not Muslim, and why should that stop us from something tasty:), we went over. Spied a stall and ordered our first pancake roti for this trip. I was still quite stuffed from the meal but the O.H jumped at the chance but was not adventurous enough and just went for the banana roti.

IMG_2707 Deciding it was late we headed back up the waterfront towards the hotel. The place was dark and quiet then suddenly a voice came out of the darkness “where are you from…”. We replied and have a few more back and forth conversation but talking to the darkness IMG_2706is a bit silly so we preceded a bit closer to find a fisherman sitting on his boat coming ashore to meet us. We had a bit of a talk but he was really hoping we would hire him to take us sightseeing up the river the next morning. Just in case we forget what he looked like he suggested we take a photograph which I did, he and the O.H looked a perfect couple.

So ended the evening with a quiet walk in the darkness and back to the hotel. From the quick look we had Krabi town was nice, clean, extremely quiet and friendly and the trip up the river would have been a nice sightseeing trip, the limestone cliff and the mangrove swamps were promised alone with a look as his cows for some reason.

Tomorrow we head for Koh Lanta and the beach.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Day 1 – Traveling to Krabi, Thailand

The first day arrived with the sound of the alarm going off at 6 am. Some sounds are annoying and some are intolerable to wake up too. A happy “hello kitty” jingle chimed out from the other side of the bed. It`s at these times you wonder if murdering an alarm clock is a crime or justified.

Yawned, showered, dressed and coffee – as a 10 plus cup of coffee a day drinker, I did not realize this might be the last ever taste of the delicious liquid for quite some time to come. Grabbed our bags, two small backpacks full of as little as possible. We were travelling light this time after I manage to convince the O.H. that a full wardrobe with matching handbags and shoes were not really required on a remote island beach.

So last check around the house, door locked, pushed the elevator button while somebody else checked the door was locked again, then held the elevator door open for somebody ( I refuse to mention who) checked the door was locked finally.

Weather a bit cloudy….

First bit of transport, apart our sets of white and yellow legs, was catching the bus to the airport. Quite a long trip especially when you have to stand up but watching the faces of those seated with glum faces going to work and some trying to catch a few more minutes of snooze time broke up the journey. Airport arrived and after a walk to Terminal 2 ( yes we are travelling in the cheap seats), checked in and back to Terminal 1 for breakfast.

The foody places seemed to be more busy than usual and not many places to grab a seat. So we ended up in Burger King, now fast food is not the best food in the world and fast food breakfast is something you wouldn't give your worst enemy. The tomato ketchup and heaps of salt helped disguise the flavour but I only managed half. I was sure that when I accidentally dropped a bit of scrambled egg on the floor it bounced, but maybe I was still half asleep.

AirAsia Airbus

Time to board and yes it’s a cheap budget airline, Air Asia, where every little extra costs more and usually the price adds up to more than a traditional fair. No luggage so we saved a few $$s there, no food on the plane, so saved even more $$. Looking at the prices they were actually quite fair, a few 100%`s mark-up compared to buying for the cheapest places ever. Seating was better then I had expected too, enough leg-room for me and it was a short 2 hour-ish flight to Bangkok.

Arrived in Bangkok with a few hours to spare before our next leg of the journey, the flight to Krabi.

Weather even more cloudy, rain……

Had some lunch at the airport food mart. Now it seems handling money is too tempting in Thailand so all the mart used a voucher system. We handed over 100 THB and got our tickets back and after a wander around inside looking at what was on offer we spotted something we just love.

Tom Yum Soup, we are both a bit addicted to this and go out of our way to have it as often as possible. Two large bowls of Tom Yum Fish Noodle soup for a total of 70 THB. Along with 3 bottles of water for the other 30 and our vouchers spent. All spiced up and all for the cost of around US$3, not bad for airport food much better than the breakfast.

Waiting around and doing a bit of people watching, apparently somebody famous was - I have no idea who – in the terminal and I managed to catch a picture through the dirty glass.

Famous Thai star?

Monk at airportIt seems we were not the only ones going on holiday, I wonder what retreat this chappie was off too.

Passengers waiting at airporI expect it will not be the same destination as this group of people who probably have quite different thoughts on their minds.

Through airport security and a last bite of food. More can’t be trusted with money situation here. This took less than 10 seconds in total

  • Order 2 donuts and 2 drinks
  • Tried to pay cash but was asked to use electronic money
  • Took 2 steps and handed over 500 THB and got an electronic filled tab
  • Walked 2 steps and Handed tab to cashier
  • Took 2 steps back and returned Tab and got refund
  • Grabbed donuts

It’s not a problem but will not be doing that again, the cost was a bit too high, around 400 THB.

Short flight to Krabi, just over an hour and a bit but it was already getting near to dark time (6 pm) and there wouldn't be much to see on our first night of our holiday. Krabi airport was small but smart and this would be really the first contact with the people living there.

Tourist Touting, well it is their business and be prepared for lots of touting for your custom. It was quite light actually, just two booths inside the airport were trying to attract my attention here, one for taxi to Krabi town for around 300THB and next to it mini bus for I think 80 THB each. Needless to say we chose the economical transport. Went outside for a, um smoke, and really unnoticed the attention paid to us. The whole process was taken care off, somebody glanced at our ticket and soon a mini bus arrived without us even attempting to find one. People came and went were picked up and driven off to their locations, it was just two of us in a quite luxurious mini bus and soon we would be off to Krabi, and driven right to the door of our hotel.

It was a nice start, no stress of wondering where to go, wondering about connections or problems with language (English) especially when its your first time at that location.

Check in at the hotel was quick, we had booked one night here and after a quick shower we were going to head out for a look around Krabi town and find some delicious Thai food.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Lanta, Kbrabi – Lead up to the Holiday

It was vacation time again and the Other Half and I getting itchy. The thoughts of previous holiday locations seemed like distant memories even although they were only months ago. In reality I think we just need to justify an excuse to be lazy for a few days.

Gates of Ko Lanta

Where do we go? It`s usually a long process of the O.H. checking flights, hotels and beaches trying to narrow down a location which can last for days and usually ends up with more options than before we started. I just leave Her to it and pretend I have something more important to do, like watching a program on television.

Somehow Koh Lanta in Krabi, Thailand seemed to be at the head of the queue and that is where we decided to go. The big world wide web was full of links but most of them were for hotels and resorts. Information on the actual place was quite limited. So we really never knew what to expect, just that it was full of long sandy beaches, dirt roads and motorcycles.

We knew how to get there but were just not sure on the connection times so we played safe and made bookings for hotels and flights leaving enough time to work out any connection problems as they arrived. This actually turned out to be much easier than we had expected due to the kindness and helpful people of Krabi.

Our search process includes looking for other people holiday snaps on Flickr and Picasso, thinking that will be us soon, along with a delve in to YouTube.

Warning, video may contain strong language and scenes that may distress.

This is where we found a few videos of the Tsunami of 2004, waves rolling into the beach we were going to stay on. The day it happened, I had noticed the report of an earthquake on the BBC news website in the morning before we headed out for the day. When we came back the news was reporting the catastrophe that had just happened. Our daytrip was at sea, but fortunately we were not affected by the wave.

Not put off, we looked forward to the date of departure and tried to ignore the weather reports of Monsoon rain and hoping typhoon Parma would not come close to cause any delays.

Typhoon Parma Closing In

In the following blog posts, I will try to describe our trip and the wonderful area of Krabi and the Island of Koh Lanta full of very amateurish photographs that I happen to take. The friendly people we met (and named in our own particular style), the tasty food (which we love) and the beach we walked on (a lot) and a few little unexpected events that took place.

Comments are most welcome if you have been there, planning to go or know of any other similar paradises in South-East Asia.