Chiang Mai, Krabi, Ao Nang, Railay, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Phangan

It’s Christmas Eve already, and I’m sitting watching people outside our hostel, listening to the rowdy music being blared out in the bar across the road. It’s 30 degrees and humid, and it couldn’t feel less like Christmas. In fact, the only thing that reminds that it’s that time of the year is the fact that there’s a hint of rain in the grey sky, and various measly bits of tinsel adorn our hostel.

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We’ve had awful luck with the weather since arriving at Ko Phangan two days ago. We’d come from a hot and sticky Krabi, enduring a nightmarish, bumpy three hour bus ride during which our bus broke down and we had to wait at a supermarket for an hour. We then drove at a breakneck speed to the waiting ferry, at which point it started to downpour and the boat lolled up and down and from side to side on humongous waves. Luckily, I don’t get sea sick, but Lizzy had turned a delicate shade of green and was holding the sick bag she’d been given in a vice like grip.

Lizzy joined us the day after we returned from Ko Phi Phi, which we’d arrived at after spending a day in Ao Nang and Railay Beach. Before that, we’d biked back a hideous four hours on the 1095 highway from Pai to Chiang Mai, spent the day in Chiang Mai eating from our favourite food stalls, and then flown the next day to Krabi.

imageimageOur time on Ko Phi Phi was spent in a wonderful grass hut overlooking the beach. We did a ‘booze cruise’- which is a must on a party island like Ko Phi Phi. We spent the day drinking rum, blaring out loud music, snorkelling, kayaking, going on a flying fish and paddle boarding. We also visited Maya Bay, where the film ‘The Beach’ was set, but it cost 400 baht to get onto the actual beach! As you can probably guess, we didn’t opt to pay that absurd amount, snorkelling around the area instead (for free).

We opted to leave Ko Phi Phi early because we had a craving for the cinema, and headed back to Krabi. However, to our immense disappointment, the cinema in Krabi was only in Thai, so we resorted to wandering despondently around the Krabi night market buying clothes and fruit shakes.

The following day, our friend Lizzy arrived. After a minor mishap at the airport, April managed to pick up Lizzy, and following a terrified motorbike ride during which Lizzy was sure she was going to die, they arrived back at the hostel. The first thing we did was to go to the local, very shiny mall and try on bras. At 199 baht a piece, they seemed too good to miss, and we proceeded to all cram into the smallest changing room known to man, free our nipples and try on the bras. We were in such a fit of hysterics that it was difficult to even get the bras on, and by the time we had, the temperature in the small cubic changing room had risen so much both April and Lizzy darted out- or tried to, as in order to open the door, you had to squeeze through a minuscule gap. I actually rather liked my bra, and managed to barter her down to 150 baht.
The rest of the day was spent wandering the streets, the film of sweat on our bodies gradually increasing, and sampling some delicious street food. We had our dinner in a restaurant that was due to close in five minutes, but they still allowed us to order. However, people had evidently seen how much fun we were having, and so in fifteen minutes, about ten people had crammed into this tiny restaurant, forcing them to stay open even longer. Whoops. At least we brought them customers!

Our time in Ko Phangan so far has been spent hiding in restaurants avoiding the rain, getting a hilarious massage during which we couldn’t even manage to stifle our giggles, swimming topless in the sewage-ridden Ocean in the rain, and hitting the local bars. Last night we went to a beach bar and watched the fire dancers, before wading back through nearly knee deep water in the torrential rain to get back to the hostel!
I also got mistaken for the Thai owner of the hostel, which was rather amusing. And as it turns out, the bar at the hostel is a gay bar- a fact we managed to overlook despite the fact that the walls are pink and there are playboy bunnies everywhere…

And so, happy Christmas Eve everyone! Our festivities have involved buying overpriced Santa hats, blaring out Christmas songs through tinny speakers, and making a DIY gingerbread house out of wafers, mini oreos, pockys, and Nutella as glue. We’ve spent our evening nursing our hangovers, and watching ‘My 600lb life’ and ‘Strange Addictions’. One woman is addicted to eating tape, which certainly makes me seem normal. This is certainly the strangest Christmas Eve I’ve ever had!

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