Thailand - Koh Tao & Koh Phangan

Everyone that we have met who's been to Thailand/is in Thailand, raves about the South and it's beauty... and there's no wonder why! With over tonnes of islands to choose from, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to explore! So this presented us with the first question, 'what island do we want to visit first?'. After hours of being totally useless at making a decision, we came to the conclusion that we'd visit Koh Tao on the east coast. Being one of the first islands that you come to on the descent of Thailand, this seemed like the best idea. We were right! 

Koh Tao is a very small island and is incredibly beautiful! With not long to explore, we had to choose wisely the things that we wanted to do whilst we were there. There are 4 different view points on Koh Tao, which was an obvious choice for us. We walked half way across the island in 40 degree heat (we really should have take a taxi but we're stingy) and ended up at the John Suwan view point. Absolutely drenched in sweat and having a bit of a moan at being so exhausted already, Ryan eventually persuaded me that going up the view point would be a good idea. Of course, it was the best idea! The views at the top were incredible and this made it totally worth the climb. Unfortunately for us, we were both in flip flops and getting up to the top wasn't easy. There was a rope that you could hold on to as you pulled yourself up various boulders that you came across. Due to the sun doing what it does best, this made the rocks very hot to touch so was very difficult when you had to use your hand to help pull you up. It really burnt! If I can give you any advice, DON'T climb up to a view point at mid day, it's too hot and makes it so much harder, and DON'T wear flip flops... You'll regret it. Our feet got so sweaty that our flip flops were just slipping off our feet and gave us no grip what so ever. It was probably quite dangerous actually, but we're alive so it's all good! 

As well as the stunning view points, there are loads of beautiful beaches to explore all over the island! We went to freedom beach as we wanted something less touristy. It was perfect. It was so small and really adorable, in a little alcove in the island. We spent lots of time just enjoying the gorgeous views and splashing around in the sea (which must have been like 30 degrees and felt like a hot bath I'd have at home). If you love diving, then Koh Tao is your place! There are lots of companies who will take you for dives and if you've never dived before, you can try it out for the first time or even get your PADI here! 

Koh Phangan was another island that we visited, and loved just as much! It's bigger than Koh Tao, but still just as beautiful. Again, you can dive here and there are a number of amazingly stunning beaches. This is more of a party Island and is home to the famous full moon party. Unfortunately, we were not there at the time of the full moon party, however we were there for a half moon party! You can get a taxi to take you there, and they drive right into the heart of the jungle. It's such a stunning location and feels quite surreal when you're there. There are people there selling various fluorescent gadgets, and also people who will paint your body in neon paint! We couldn't resist... It's about 300TBH to get painted which is only £6ish! You get some free drinks included in your ticket at the entrance which is a huge bonus. The parties go on until sunrise, we were a bit poo and left at about 3am because we were so drunk we couldn't hack it anymore! Boo to us. There are tonnes of parties to choose from on this island though, so you'll definitely be able to find something that suits you! 

From Koh Phangan you can see Ang Thong Marine National Park. We couldn't resist taking a boat trip over, and I do not regret this one bit. The trip cost us 1900TBH which is about £38, so it's quite pricey, but absolutely worth it! All food is included (even vegan green curry woo) and they're forever offering fresh fruit to you on the boat. The whole day consists of snorkelling, kayaking, seeing the emerald lagoon, hiking, viewing caves and chilling on the beach! It was incredible, and I really recommend this whole trip! The best bit for me was definitely the hike up the mountain to see the whole of the national park from the highest point. They give you a choice if you want to participate and you really need good shoes, as the climb is just scrambling over huge rocks and hoping you don't fall... Very scary! Out of a group of about 60, only 5 people went up (Ryan and I included), and it was hard but one of the best things I've ever done in my life! Do it do it do it, and don't let the fact the it's a hard climb put you off! With went with the company called 'Orion Tours', and I highly recommend them. 

The islands are beautiful and I wish that we had time to visit more, but it just means that I have to come back one day which I don't mind! 

Sasha x


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