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Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.

Travelling in Thailand; Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Yao Noi, and Ao Nang

Written by Joshua Fuglsang on .

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AsiaThailandTravel
Tuk Tuk lying in wait amongst the backstreets of Bangkok
Tuk Tuk lying in wait amongst the backstreets of Bangkok - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

My time in Nepal was done. I had spent 3 months in the moun­tain coun­try vis­it­ing the spec­tac­u­lar Mt. Ever­est trekking re­gion, med­i­tat­ed in the serene Kopan Monastery, worked on my web­site in Boud­ha, and even con­tract­ed pneu­mo­nia.

My next stop was to be the trop­i­cal south of Thai­land with Julie.

This ar­ti­cle comes with an ac­com­pa­ny­ing pho­to al­bum on Flickr. Find it here.

Bangkok

First up was Bangkok. I had vis­it­ed the me­trop­o­lis 8 years ago and the changes wrought to the city over the past near-decade were im­me­di­ate­ly ap­par­ent; the city had grown re­mark­ably. Catch­ing the train from the Air­port I felt like I could have been in Tokyo.

Bangkok development is a site to behold
Bangkok de­vel­op­ment rate in the last 8 years has been as­ton­ish­ing - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Over the next two days Julie and I ex­plored the city; we vis­it­ed some lo­cal mar­kets, for what trip to Bangkok would be com­plete with­out Thai mar­ket food? First we sam­pled de­li­cious trop­i­cal fruits and Thai cook­ing from Or Tor Kor mar­ket, and then we vis­it­ed Chatuchak mar­ket look­ing for a bar­gain, but alas found none.

Un­for­tu­nate­ly we didn’t get much time to ex­plore the city, but I was im­pressed by what I saw and I doubt it’ll be too long be­fore I re­turn.

Phuket Old Town

From Bangkok we jet­ted down to Phuket, and were im­me­di­ate­ly knocked back by a wall of hu­mid­i­ty, such was the dif­fer­ence. In Phuket we hired scoot­ers and cruised around the is­land; we strolled down the Por­tuguese in­flu­enced Old Town, once more en­joyed lo­cal cuisines at var­i­ous night mar­kets, and fi­nal­ly swam in the trop­i­cal warm wa­ters of Cape Promthep.

Be­ing in the top­ics there was an abun­dance of de­li­cious fruit. We could buy co­conut on the street for around $1 AUD each, and it was so fresh you wouldn’t be­lieve it; the flesh would just melt in your mouth like jel­ly. From one of the night mar­kets we bought a Duri­an fruit and stole it away in to our ho­tel room, for the fruit is in­fa­mous­ly pun­gent, yet ir­re­sistibly de­li­cious. It is al­so quite ex­pen­sive, cost­ing $12 AUD for a few hun­dred grams.

Portuguese style buildings and scooters in Phuket Old Town
Por­tuguese style build­ings and scoot­ers in Phuket Old Town - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
Backstreets of Old Town
Walk­ing down the back­streets of Old Town - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
Live music at the Chillva night markets
Live mu­sic at the Chill­va night mar­kets - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
View of the coast from the Promthep Cape
View of the coast from the Promthep Cape - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Koh Yao Noi

In Phuket town we got a tip from a lo­cal that Koh Yao Noi was an awe­some some place to vis­it, so vis­it we did. We found out about a lo­cal bus and a fer­ry ser­vice that would take us there for a frac­tion of the cost of the tour agents, and found a bun­ga­low where we could spend our New Year Eve. Ar­riv­ing at our Bun­ga­low, we were de­light­ed to be shown a flock of Horn­bills by the young girl who man­aged our Bun­ga­low.

Coastline of Koh Yao Noi
Coast­line of Koh Yao Noi - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Over the next three days we toured the Is­land by scoot­er, and hired a pri­vate wa­ter taxi (or long tail boat) to take us around the near­by Lime­stone is­lands. We had a won­der­ful day on the wa­ter, look­ing up at the ma­jes­tic is­lands soar­ing out of the An­daman sea and swim­ming in their pro­tect­ed bays. The is­lands we vis­it­ed were Koh Hong, Koh Lao La Ding, and Koh Phak­bia. They were all spe­cial in their own right, but to me Koh Lao La Ding was the most beau­ti­ful.

Limestone islands between Koh Yao Noi and Krabi
Lime­stone is­lands be­tween Koh Yao Noi and Kra­bi - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
Long tails used to ferry tourists through the limestone islands
Long tails used to fer­ry tourists through the lime­stone is­lands - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Ao Nang & Tiger Cave Temple

The fi­nal por­tion of our trip was to vis­it Ao Nang and Tiger Cave Tem­ple. We ar­rived at Ao Nang just be­fore lunch with­out any or­gan­ised ac­com­mo­da­tion, yet found some as soon as we ar­rived with a spec­tac­u­lar view of the ocean and the lime­stone cliffs pro­tect­ing the bay. As a fi­nal bonus, our ho­tel came with an at­tached mas­sage par­lour, so we could get a Thai mas­sage for a great price.

Main road feeding traffic down to Ao Nang beach
Main road feed­ing traf­fic down to Ao Nang beach - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

From Ao Nang we hired a scoot­er and rode it by scenic route through the coun­try side to Tiger Cave Tem­ple. At the tem­ple we watched teams of tourists feed ba­nanas to teams of monkies, and sweat­ed the 1,237 steps to the plateau of the moun­tain. Poised on top of the moun­tain was a gi­ant gold­en bud­dha, cast­ing his gaze out across the sur­round­ing coun­try side.

The stunning Tiger Cave temple built on top of a Limestone mountain
The stun­ning Tiger Cave tem­ple built on top of a Lime­stone moun­tain - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Return

Af­ter Ao Nang we re­turned to Phuket via Phi Phi is­land, which was a must for Julie on this trip. On the way over we went snorkelling at a few spe­cial bays, in­clud­ing the fa­mous Maya bay from the Leonar­do Di­Caprio movie The Beach. The lev­el of tourism in Maya bay was at the next lev­el; the bay was com­plete­ly full of boats each cram-packed with tourists, it’s amaz­ing the im­pact that one film can have on such a place.

The fol­low­ing day Julie took her flight back to Syd­ney to re­turn to work, and I made the short flight up to Chi­ang Mai.

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Tags

AsiaThailandTravel

About

Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.