We arranged a Grab taxi to the port which cost about $1 before catching the fast ferry to Koh Lipe. It was different to the last ferry and felt like the inside of a coffin! There were no windows to look out at but luckily they showed Ferdinand the cartoon movie and I was glad of it as it was quite a bumpy ride.
It felt strange clearing immigration into Koh Lipe, Thailand on the beach!
Koh Lipe, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao
We were staying at Gypsy Resort, a lovely beach bungalow complete with hammock! Time to unwind…
We found the main eating, drinking and shopping area called Walking Street. A lot of south east Asia has areas like this. We found some yummy Thai food to eat.
The island is divided into two main areas of Sunrise and Sunset beaches. We were staying in Sunrise beach. It was lovely.
We only booked 2 nights in each place as we’re not really ‘beach’ people. Maybe when we were younger. We use the website ‘12goAsia.’ They do everything and we found all our transfers from songthaews, (shared taxi or bus) to trishaws to minivans, buses and ferries pretty easy. Maybe we were lucky. Some hotels will send a driver to the port/bus station free of charge. We always ask.
We had an early start to our journey to Koh Samui. We used a coach, ferry and taxi van before arriving at our hotel, Nora Beach Resort and Spa. We had booked a garden view villa (as this was cheaper.)
When we arrived it felt a bit special. We had spent a bit more on our ‘island hotels’ and hoped it would be worth it. It certainly felt like it here. When we arrived we were greeted with cold towels and a cool refreshing drink. The hotel lobby was huge with a mix of dark wood, high ceilings and little cascading waterfalls. The kind Thai lady welcomed us with the usual ‘sawasdee ka.’ She informed us we had been upgraded to an ‘oceanview’ villa! It was lovely.
Koh Samui is like most other resorts in Thailand. Laid back during he day and as crazy as you want it to be at night. There were the usual bars and restaurants with young and not so young people having a good time. Our hotel was in a quiet area and we were happy with that. We spent time swimming in the warm pool but didn’t go into the sea as there were signs warning of jellyfish!
Koh Pha Ngan
Arriving in Koh Pha Ngan pier was a bit crazy with people shouting at you offering transport. We shared a songthaew with a few other people. We stayed at Rung Arun Beach Resort. It was no Nora Beach but we did have lovely views of the beach from our little bungalow. Koh Pha Ngan felt a lot quieter than Koh Samui. This is where they hold the famous Full Moon Party. As it wasn’t full moon it felt quiet and a little less touristy, still, a nice place to spend a couple of days. The weather changed and became cloudy with a few drops of rain. We found a little night market.
Koh Tao is popular for its diving. There are dive schools everywhere. Our beach front villa at Sairee Cottages was a little gem. The sunset views were amazing. We found a great place to have some Pad Thai at Su Chilli.
You can explore a lot of the island on foot as it is small and very pretty.
We booked the free shuttle back to the pier to catch our ferry to Chumphon on the mainland.
We took the Lompraya ferry which took 2 hours. It was a large smoothe catamaran where there was a coach waiting to take us the half hour journey to the train station. We then took the overnight train north to Bangkok.
We paid a little extra for lower berths on the train, which rattled and chugged its way north. Every so often, when it stopped at a station, food vendors would rush on board selling their wares noisily, getting off before the train doors closed and slowly we made our way north into Bangkok!