Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Southern Thailand #2

Date: 20 Oct 09 until 26 Oct 09 [6D/6N]
Route: Kayu Hitam - HadYai – Surat Thani – Don Sak – Koh Phangan – Koh Tao – Don Sak – Nai Plao – Kayu Hitam 
Camera: Canon Powershot G10
My reason to go there: Just follow the group there since I’m free and have never been there.

From 20 Oct 09 until 26 Oct 09 [6D/6N], we drove from my home(Butterworth) to Koh Tao and places around there and than back home…
I have never been to Koh Tao or Koh Phangan or Koh Samui before this… all I know about Koh Samui was it is a place like Phuket, so Samui .. out of my list.
Koh Phangan is pretty and famous for its fullmoon party, alrite can take a look
Koh Tao is all for diving, but diving quality there is so so, only good for new divers, alrite no harm to take a look…

With two 4x4 automobile, a CRV belonging to KL Tan and a X-Trail belonging to Kah Fai, 8 of us took the road up north on 20 Oct 09, 6:00pm. it was a Tuesday, I had to rush home rite after work to meet up with the rest of the gang. Everyone was on time, we headed north and reached Bukit Kayu Hitam around, errr 9:00pm I think. To get into Thailand, we had to pay bribe the tugs/samseng who now controls all entry/departure cards and the immigration officer who verifies our passport, both asked for RM2 or 20bath. Ridiculous! What the hell… anyway we got thru smooth.
Reach Haadyai around 10:00pm, get into this hotel I think called New World, for 500bath per night, I think so … had supper near Lee Garden area. Haadyai was unusually quiet, not like the Haadyai I knew many years ago. I think Air Asia and those Muslim extremist contributed to the situation now.
Day 2, we woke up early, had breakfast at Haadyai and headed directly for Surat Thani, had lunch there, roasted pork and chicken rice, fantastic!
After lunch, it was another 40 minutes drive to the pier (Don Sak), got our tickets, parked our cars and boarded the ferry, no problem.
It was a 2-3 hours ferry ride, the ferry is huge and open air, so it was pretty good, I slept most of the way. Around 2-3pm, we where there at Phangan, got a van driver, got us to the other side of the island, stopped by several resorts and found the one that suite us best. The rest of the evening was in the resort, dinner, pool, beach etc etc…
Day 3, morning at Phangan, I went snorkeling, it was very good, I enjoyed my 1-2 hours out there. While the rest of the gang went out of the resort in search of a lake, some lake. 
Then just before lunch we checked out and headed to the pier again, had lunch near there and boarded the next ferry to Koh Tao. Reached Koh Tao hours later, walking along Sairee beach in search of a hotel, took us quite sometime. Then finally found one very nice one, clean room with a dive operator attached. We asked about the dive packages later, it was 160baht with equipment for 2 morning boat dives. And another 160baht with equipment for 2 afternoon boat dives. So we signed up for 2 morning dives, coz they were heading for Chumpon Pinnacle, which is supposed to be a very nice dive site with high sightings of Whale sharks. But the second dive site was White rock, heard that it is just a so so dive site. The evening was a relaxing one strolling the streets of Koh Tao on rented motorbikes.
Day 4, time to dive, 1st dive site Chumpon Pinnacle. Verdict: it was just below average. I hardly even see the most common fish like a puffer or lion. 2nd dive site White Rock. Verdict: even worst, there were some Yellow tail barracuda, and that was about it. Because of that, we have decided not to dive in the afternoon. I took my rented bike and wondered all over Koh Tao alone until 6:00pm that afternoon, not bad, lots to see. Dinner was along Sairee beach again, the food were good as usual.
Day 5, had breakfast and headed to the pier, boarded a ferry back to Don Sak(Surat Thani), but this ferry had to stop by Phangan and we had to be transferred to another ferry there. When we got to Don Sak, it was the wrong pier. We were stranded; there were no public transport there. Then we found a nice Thai guy with a pick-up truck, he offered to transfer all 8 of us to the other pier, he would not take any $, but we made him take 200baht in the end. From Don Sak, we drove to Khanom, had our late lunch there at an open market place, the food was really good there. After that we drove further south to Nai Plao beach, found a resort there with nice palm trees, and beach, just for 600baht / night / 2 beds. Had a nice swim at the beach there, met a group of Malaysians, they are from a group called LROM(Land rover club Malaysia), there were there for a holiday like us. At night we drove out to the town of Sichon, found a place with excellent song-tham salad, krap-pow, pad-thai, etc..
Day 6, We left Nai Plao, drove south toward Songkla, stopped by Thale Noi lake, which is the largest natural lake in Thailand, took some pictures and left. We stopped by several petrol stations for breaks, 7x11 sausage hunting and toilets. :P ….. bla bla bla, we got home around 10pm that night.


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