3rd November - Lonely Beach, Koh Chang
Well, due to our flight times and a lot of jet lag I didn't get to update you on Bangkok. To be honest, there's not much to tell! It's as cliche and predictable as you imagine - hellishly humid, crowded and dirty. The city that never sleeps, every street is a cramped market and they have a million forms of transport to choose from. There's the sky train, tuk tuks, motorbike taxis and even river buses. All reasonably priced too. My highlight was Wat Pho, one of Thailand's most famous temples. It was so peaceful and calm ( not sure how this is achieved in the middle of the city but it was) with beautiful gardens and courtyards, and definitely the most Buddhas I've ever seen. We're going bank in a few days so if I have any more feelings on Bangkok I will report them here.
But where we are now is our favourite place so far, in a complete league of its own. Koh Chang gave me my first 'Wow' moment, as soon as we climbed into the 'taxi' off the ferry. I write 'taxi' because it was more of a safari jeep, with 10 people squashed in the back and our bags on the roof. The vehicles have to be like that to navigate the roads....the island is pure jungle, and the roads are so steep and winding to make way through the difficult terrain. There are mountains full of trees as far as the eye can see, laced with breathtaking beaches. We have settled in Lonely Beach, which is quite small and secluded and the area has plenty of cool wooden restaurants and bars. They're so authentic and chilled out, most of them just have cushions on the floor to eat and drink on. We are staying in a bungalow which is a few seconds walk to the sea, and a 10 minute secret jungle path to the sandy beach. It really is breathtaking to do a 360 degree look around the spot we are; a beautiful sandy beach overlooked by a lush, hilly rainforest. Paradise! Part of me wants to just stay here for te rest of our 3 weeks but I know there are plenty more islands to explore.
I write this on our balcony terrace as a tropical rainstorm pounds the leaves surrounding us. Peaceful yet quite surreal. Another amazing new experience I tried today...Thai massage on a beach! It wasn't exactly relaxing but it was pleasant in a...different way! They certainly make you crack, let's put it that way. One to tick off the list! We're going to stay 2 more nights here before we have to say a teary goodbye. But before we do...we're going elephant trekking tomorrow! Far too excited. Just hope all this rain doesn't turn it into a Glastonbury-esque mudfest for us.
Well, bye for now, because Rik is making me go and watch the football. Here we are in paradise, and all he wants to do is find out what's going on back home in the Premier League! Men.