The days remaining in the trip are ticking down very quickly now. In some respects it’s quite refreshing to feel like a traveler with limited time; we’ve regained that sense of urgency to see, feel and do stuff. As in Central America we’ve been striking toward the equator, but this time we’re aiming for home.
To fill in the gaps since the last update:
Phi Phi Island in Thailand was looking like it might be a one-day destination; such was the dearth of available accommodation. The place was full.
But through a combination of good luck – finding places to stay and a surprise visit from Melbournites Katie & Sam – and bad luck: Jess contracting Dengue fever – we ended up staying for two weeks.
We made the single day boat-bus-bus-bus-boat scramble across the peninsula to Koh Phangnan with Jess still recovering, and in hindsight we should have tried to find a flight. Our backpacks were raided during the bus trip (inside the baggage compartment) and although we didn’t have any valuables in there, they lifted (or lost?) some clothes and a cheap (but very useful) bag. They also slashed a hole in mine to access a section with a stuck zipper. Hopefully they cut themselves on my uncapped razor blades in there.
KPN is a very picturesque place with reasonably low key development (by Thai standards) and we quite enjoyed a few days there in proper jungle-garden-resort-ocean-view-pool style. No full moon parties for us though. It’s a big island, though, and doesn’t have the walk-ability of Phi Phi. You really need scooters to get around.
We took our final (rough) boat trip from KPN onto Koh Samui where we flew out of possible the world’s most picturesque airport, thinking 52 straight days in Thailand was possibly overdoing things a tad.
A few days in Kuala Lumpur made for a nice city break from the endless sand and oceans of Southern Thailand – we enjoyed the city even more than on our last visit four years ago and noted how much our perceptions have changed since then. As much as we adore Thai food, a change in cuisine was also welcome.
We’ve since jetted out of KL for our first visit to Bali – starting with Ubud. At first glance the tourism operation is much slicker here than in Thailand, and right now the air is thick with monsoon
humidity. It’s a very beautiful place, and the rain is bucketing down.