Khoa Sok-get ready for amazing views

I have been a bit laxed since getting to Thailand. I have been either chilling out in cool areas like Pii or partying on the Islands. So it was amazing to get back to one of my passions, hiking.

Khoa Sok National Park for those not planning a multi-day hike can be split into two sections

Section 1: The National Park forest trails-these are accessible via Surat Thani town. They can broadly be split into three parts.

  1. Main paths via the main entrance in town- this section is super accessible and although the forums say you need a guide they are so well laid out both in terms of the path and signage, even if you haven’t hiked before you will be fine.
  2. Advanced path via the main entrance in town-these trails are a follow through from the first section-you will see signs once you hit the restaurant. You may read on forums that you get fined without a guide-this is bullshit. It is true that the paths are more difficult and the signs are limited but if you are a semi-experienced hiker you will be fine. If however you haven’t hiked before this is where a guide will come in handy.
  3. The forgotten path via motorway 401 near the Khao Sok Valley viewpoint. This path leads to a beautiful waterfall and flora. However the paths are confusing. I went with another experienced hiker and we got very lost. Lucky we used logic and eventually made it back to a waterfall we recognised from a previous day hike. Please don’t attempt this on your own, you will need someone with experience as there is no real information online about the geography of this trial.

Section 2: The National Park lake and caves-this is accessible via the Phang Kan region.

Broadly speaking there are two ways to do this:

  1. Good old fashioned tour (please note the park entrance is 300, cave entrance 200 on top of the price you pay). From what I could see you can do a day trip or a two day with an overnight stay.
  2. Do it yourself-Really you need 4 or more people to make this work. In essence you need to get to the pier of Phang Kan. Personally I hired a scooter with a friend and drove from Surat Thani as the views are amazing. Once you get to the pier you need to negotiate a price for a private boat-don’t pay more than 2000BHT in total (500 each if four). Then sit back and enjoy a private tour for a friction of the price.

Enjoy your trip to this amazing park. Also Jungle Hut Hostel has the best beds in Thailand.

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Full Moon Party, Thailand-stripped back

So a couple of days ago I went to the full moon party on the Thai island of Koh Pha Ngan. Instead of sharing my experiences as this blog is purely PG 😉 I wanted to explain what’s it all about outside of all the hype.

Format

In its bare form its about a mile of beach, which 40k plus people descend on to have a party. The beach hosts a number of bars/clubs. From what I could tell the beach could be broken into around 4 sections.

  1. Techno/ drum & base
  2. Food stations
  3. Pop music
  4. Old school 70/80’s remixed

People

The majority of people will be tourist on the younger side, covered in body paint and will be wasted or chemically altered.

People go to have a good time, so expect people to be partying hard, and if your foot is stepped on only a few times that’s a great night.

Drinks and food

So drink prices vary a lot between bars and side streets, so if your on a budget shop around. To the most part people will be drinking buckets. Just a caveat these are super strong so unless you don’t want to remember the night pace yourself because they hit hard.

Food is a crap take on western classics e.g. pizza’s/burgers, but when your altered you don’t really care.

If substances are your thing look for locals in the side streets outside of the bars.

That’s all folks- just a piece of advice if you are older and don’t bounce back like the youngsters don’t hit the Jungle party the night before….I made that mistake.

 

Koh Tao, Thailand-Paradise

I have spent about a week in Koh Tao (island on the East coast of Thailand). I have heard from a number of expats describing it as paradise, but i’m afraid I have been to nicer islands e.g. the Fiji islands. However lets not get negative because Koh Tao is definitely a place to visit.

Geography– lets start by explaining that you can ride across the island in around 15 minutes. Therefore the island activities are limited.

So in my opinion if you are not a scuba diver don’t spend more than a few days here. Those days should roughly consist of:

  • The Koh Tao bar crawl (Mon, Wed, Fri.)
  • Scooter round the island
  • Go to a beach I recommend Ao Tanote (there a cool rock jump)
  • Hike up to ‘two views’ viewpoint
  • Snorkerling trip
  • Try the amazing 995 roasted duck (so good and soooo cheap) and try the best Pad Thai I have had in Thailand at Mama’s

Now the real crown of Koh Toa is SCUBA diving. You will see endless Scuba schools and I’m told that Koh Tao is the cheapest place in the world to learn. So try something new and learn, I did and loved it. My awesome school was Roctopus.

Chiang Mai, Thailand in two days

There are some excellent guides on what to do at Chiang Mai in Thailand, the city/town has a lot to offer after all. However when you have limited time how can you choose? After eight days these are my recommendations.

Chiang Mai in two days

Day 1-AM: Tan Pra Maha Kajjana followed by some frozen yoghurt on Rachadamnoen Road.

Day 1-Afternoon:some much needed lunch at Aroy Dee, then off to Grand Canyon Waterpark (not my normal suggestion but its the best one I’ve been to).

Day 1-PM: Book on one of the many great Thai cooking classes.

Day 2-AM/Afternoon: You have to go to one of the elephant sanctuaries (please go to one of these rather than the cheaper alternatives, the elephants are so much more happy)-I personally had the best time at Elephant Land.

Day 2-PM: Hit the night market along Changklang Road, then off for some much needed food at Ploen Ruedee Night Market.

Enjoy and if you have any questions please ask