Nepal · 13 Days · 9 Moments · March 2017

The Thai Islands, Penang and KL

18 March 2017

9. Our last night day in SE Asia was spent being very touristy in KL. After checking into our large flat, there was only one place to go, straight to the Petronas Towers. Of course the dodgy weather had re-located us, so most of the pictures are even of cloud or rain, but they were still fairly incredible. I hadn't realised that there was the largest shopping mall I've ever seen inside the towers as well. Dan finally decided to buy some shoes after not having since Da Lat in Vietnam as someone had taken his from the Hostel (the only thing that we had lost/had stolen from staying in hostels) before we spent the evening taking in the night views of KL from the rooftop pool. A classy way to spend our last night before the inevitable madness of Kathmandu. Role on Mount Everest!!
8. Despite a spontaneously late night, we managed to make the most of our one day in Penang. I actually could have spent a lot longer in what was a genuinely nice city. Georgetown is famous for its street art and after walking around for a few hours it's easy to see why. We took in a few of the sites, went to the worst 3D art museum I've ever seen - please refer to the last few pictures, (although to be fair, I've only been to one!) and walked around the gigantic shopping mall. Funnily enough we spent that enough back at the cinema, this time accompanied by hundreds of locals. A be sensible way to prepare for our morning flight to Kuala Lumpur, where I had let Gluten take charge of booking the accommodation for the first time in 2 months. He obviously opted for the 49th floor of a swanky skyscraper apartment block, complete with rooftop pool!

17 March 2017

7. 4 days in Koh Lanta, and I still couldn't really tell you much about the place, only that it was incredibly laid back. I spent all 4 evenings in the exact same position, half asleep on the beach until the sun was completely set. I did virtually nothing, yet the time flew by. Our flight to Nepal was fast approaching though and we had to figure out how to get to Kuala Lumpur...for cheap! The plan was take the hour bus to Krabi, spend a night or two there then fly. This idea was quickly discarded when we looked at the flight prices and they had trebled over the last two weeks. Instead we completely changed our plans, as is so often the way while travelling and decided to take the very long bus to Penang. What could be better than a spontaneous trip to Malaysia!? After 3 buses and 11 hours, we got to Georgetown and immediately got stuck into the brilliant selection of street food. We only had one full day in Penang, so it probably wasn't smart staying out until 4am that night!!
6. Similarly to Phi Phi, we decided to take an organised boat trip around a few of the islands surrounding Koh Lanta on our penultimate day. We met two completely crazy, but hilariously funny girls and went onto to have a brilliant day. Once again, words won't be able to do any of the places we saw justice, especially the emerald beach which you could only access via a short swim through a cave. It was bizarre, but like nothing I've seen before and it was absolutely worth taking the trip just for it. After more snorkelling and sunbathing, we were treated to a delicious late lunch and dropped back to the Hostel by early evening. That night was spent having a beer on the beach wall with some of the group from the days trip, before we all went our own ways. It couldn't be more cliched backpacker!!
5. I loved Phi Phi, but after 3 nights I have to admit I was looking forward to sleeping while it was still dark. Not that 25 is old by any stretch of the imagination (despite what Glutes keeps telling me), but I definitely don't enjoy the all night partying, everyday like I did a few years ago, God forbid I might actually be growing up. I was ready to move onto to Koh Lanta and honestly just wanted to enjoy the peace and quiet of the more relaxed beaches. The next 4 days were the most chilled of the entire trip so far. We stayed in a nice Hostel, seconds from Long beach on one of the quietest islands you'll ever find. One day we rented bikes and drove around the entire place, stopping at the many many beaches for the odd photo. Phi Phi may have had monkeys on their beach, but Koh Lanta had a herd of cows on one of theirs!
3. Day two on Phi Phi and we decided to cure our hangovers by taking a boat tour around the surrounding islands. Basically we just slowly drifted from one tropical island to another, snorkelling for a bit, relaxing on different beaches, falling asleep on the boat and generally taking it easy along the way. It was one of those days where you have to just sit back and tell yourself, 'wow, I'm really here and these places really do look better than they do in the travel brochures'. We had another couple of days on Phi Phi, enjoying the nightly fire shows while drinking with our Hostel mates and not having to care about the real world at all. Another bonus to being back in Thailand was that we could tuck into Thai food again. Massaman chicken curry and Pad Thai everywhere! Perfect.
2. After a manic week we decided to do nothing for a day in the Old Town area of Phuket. It was a strange place and there wasn't much happening, which was great for me as we decided to go to the cinema and watch Logan! I think about 10 weeks without going to the cinema is a new record, and it was a fairly strange new experience being the only people in a Thai subtitled cinema. After another chilled night we took the morning ferry to the Phi Phi Islands. Now this was an incredible place. A proper paradise island surrounded by beautiful beaches with a small, but well built up area full of shops and bars connecting the two sides of the island. We arrived anticipating a few days of relaxation on the beach with a steady stream of drinks, however managed to check ourselves into the biggest party Hostel on the island. Getting to sleep before 5am was not an option! Fortunately we had a room full of great people and a selection of beaches to sleep the day away on 👌

7 March 2017

4. I could honestly upload about 300 photos of Phi Phi (don't worry, I won't!). There were so many amazing views and islands to see. One beach happened to be inhabited by feral monkeys that were actually able to steal people's water, unscrew the top and drink it with the help of their feet - picture attached. We snorkelled a couple of times and failed miserably trying to get a good shot of the fish. Oh and every time we stopped on our boat tour, the driver would put his flippers and snorkel on, pick up his mini harpoon and go off for a swim, leaving us to chill until it was time to move on. This worked pretty well until we stopped miles away from anything to watch the sunset. One hour later, 20 minutes after the sun was long gone and we were still waiting for our guide! Fortunately we didn't have to spend a night at sea and made it back just in time for the nightly fire show (again!).

6 March 2017

1. We were heading to the beaches of Thailand. After 2 months of very hectic travelling, we were ready to chill in the sun and do nothing. First of all though we had to get there. The cheapest way of doing this was by getting the bus across the border to Bangkok, then to fly from there to Phuket. We were told the night bus would get us to Bangkok by 9am, however knowing the reliability of the bus timetables we decided to book our flight at 4.30pm. Thank god we did! Instead of taking 9 hours, the bus took 15 and we still weren't there! By 3 we demanded the bus driver open the door and let us off, we jumped straight into a taxi and headed to the airport. I've never cut a flight that close, but we still managed to get to check in as the plane was starting to board. After a very stressful day, we made it to Phuket and more importantly, bed!