South Thailand - Island Hopper 2018

Discussion in 'South Thailand Motorbike Trip Reports Forum' started by hellcoder, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Hello fellow riders,

    I've got a few weeks time to explore the South with my Honda CRF250L.
    The idea is to check a few islands here and there so i can finally recommend something to my visiting friends when they ask me. I personally don't like beaches/sand, but i can appreciate from a bar with an ice cold beer.
    This is my first ride report of this sort, hope you enjoy it.

    First, i had to get out of Bangkok, done it before, sucks every time, this time i decided to take the train to Surathani to skip the worst of traffic. Checked the rough train schedule online, loaded the bike and went to Hua Lampong Station in Bangkok.
    gbpoLoB.

    Everything straight forward, air-con sleeper ticket for me (~700 bath), additional ticket for the bike (~1120 bath). You can't leave luggage on the bike, but as i'm not able to take mine off easily i removed most content and convinced him it was okay, worked. 40 bath tip for the guy that loaded the bike.
    fE8vcay.
    Train left on time @19:30 and arrived 7:00am in Surathani, nice time to start a ride.
    SMmQlLRh.
    around 6am shot from the back of the train.

    A quick map of the first day, 170km, to give you an idea about the route
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    Now the mosquitoes are attacking, i have to wrap this up, just a few pics of today...
    dvbapjUh.
    Hin Pad (like stone fan)

    XXjPKPoh.
    Nearby waterfall

    PGriz76h.

    98xHsnyh.

    l2JOmmQh.

    2mTDc8mh.

    a0S2QHHh.

    yV1Qkaxh.

    36xB6sLh.


    Hot but very nice day, now in a 600bath guesthouse in khao sok, i will try to stay on a budget with 600bath hopefully being over average, we shall see...

    tomorrow Kao Lak area, all recommendations welcome :)
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. Koh Phra Thong is said to be an interesting and nice remote island, although I havent been there myself (its on my list however), just north if Kao Lak.

    Koh Phayam - is in my opinion a really nice island, no cars, just motorbikes, two main beaches, very relaxed, some bars, cheap bungalows on the beach (I had one for 400 baht a day) You can bring your bike on the boat. Boats from Ranong. Ranong is also worth spending a day or two in.

    Phuket - dont go there, its ruined years ago.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. That's an interesting location, one I've never explored myself. Lovely photographs!!! Especially this one... Mother Nature's balancing acts are sometimes miraculous!

    dvbapjuh-.

    Keep them coming, it is likely to inspire others to explore that area too! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. #4 hellcoder, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    @Dodraugen, Koh Phra Thong has no roads from what i can tell, on this trip i try to stick to places that have at least a way to get my bike there. i read up on it though and it sounds really nice, let me know when you made it there.
    Koh Phayam is on the list, but towards the end of the trip...
    I'm just before the Phuket bridge now, and i think i won't like it there (again), but i've been telling people for so long now that they shouldn't go to Phuket that i feel i need a bit more proof to accompany this warning. I want to visit the beach where the airplanes fly over your head west of the airport, how much further in i go i will decide when i see the traffic and people...

    @Ben, thanks, the location should be 9.073946, 98.848390. From what i understand it's a very new "attraction", they built a modern 100m concrete bath to there but the rock itself is still very much accessible and not fenced. I wonder when they gonna paint it gold :D ?!

    next post coming tonight, camped at the beach yesterday, hard to get stuff done there :)
     
  5. Well that took a bit longer, couldn't find enough time to prepare all the pictures+map.

    Wygpvbch.
    Not sure why there is a piece of track missing, will check on the next update.

    When i left Kao Sok the other morning i went to see some Raflesias that were rumored to be fully open right now.
    They did not lie..
    J8Cg2Rrh.
    P6Cx5d4h.

    Also had a quick stop at the Monkey temple in Kao Sok...
    2fK6cGkh.

    First island i went to: Ko Kho Khao
    Relatively undiscovered island north of Kao Lak, some interesting biking, an overgrown airfield used by the Japanese in WWII, buffaloes and one bar with a really nice atmosphere at Hapia Beach. Heavily hit by the Tsunami in 2004. Many locals decided not to rebuild on the island, but now resorts are popping up rapidly.

    A small car ferry took me over from Baan Nam Kem Pier, before boarding the ferry i had a look at the local fishing that is happen all over the area...
    VLQjpkWh.
    NyisPPOh.
    nvSeE91h.

    Didn't shoot many pics on the island itself, just this one destroyed house, i don't know the story, i highly doubt it's still tsunami related but it could be.
    JNzXb20h.

    oh and this one to warn you about the dangers here...
    w3b55rBh.

    ...back on the mainland somewhere along the coast on the way to Kao Lak
    E3C79fSh.
    Local fixing up a boat

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    mad pumping system run by 3 engines, everything rattles, everything leaks, but it runs!

    HP7qKdqh.

    sbAJ8Dqh.

    In9fHmDh.

    9NSUo5Dh.
    Sunset at an old broken wooden bridge a little north of Phuket.

    Island Nr. 2: Phuket
    I decided to go in at least a little bit (see map) and have to admit i had a really great time, in a day i found 4! abandoned hotels/resorts and went to the plane landing beach which is very cool too.

    YFe1QRyh.
    Nai Yang Beach, Phuket

    hAReuMhh.
    Photobombed by two little girls!

    sU2KeQKh.
    Tsunami damaged hotel that after all these years will get some makeover or new structure in 3 months time.

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    A really lucky find (because i didn't do my homework), a huge abandoned resort, story is there was a fire during the construction, then when authorities investigated the fire they found out the national park land it was built on was illegally taken. Unfortunate for the owner this was when the military was in power and they put an immediate stop to the constructions. Most interior that was already finished had been taken out by the locals but many of the rooms you can imagine how they must have looked like.

    N5fLgsqh.

    j2BuWbjh.

    Q9SiMoph.
    Would have been a nice resort i guess.
    Location: 8.084833,98.286715 (be careful, lots of options to hurt yourself)

    5CjB6KZh.
    Another abandoned place, different story here, for decades there were plans/rumors Phuket might get a train connection. When some plans were made public a quick investor grabbed this spot to be as close to the planned train station as possible and get the business from there. As it happens often in Thailand the project never happened.
    Funding stopped and there you have this abandoned half-finished resort standing in the middle of nowhere.

    Although a bit off the beaten track, the location is amazing, maybe not back then but now it would make sense to have a resort there. 300m up the hill Sheraton is building a new high-class hotel.

    UWhn9Mwh.
    Nature is taking over.

    I didn't go further South in Phuket as traffic picked up and i had no intention to ruin my nice day of exploring Phuket's North.

    On to Phang Nga...

    tGJvIe3h.

    IkYcB61h.
    I found this incredible campsite.
    Would not want to go up (well down) that steep dirtroad with anything bigger than a CRF250. Usually everyone parks at the parking at the bottom and a 4x4 sends you up. Some locals with a Kawasaki Versys did so. You can rent a tent or bring your own and borrow stuff like a matress. there is a restaurant on top too, open till 9pm sometimes has cold beer :)
    paid 240 for mixed things (not sure what but seemed legit and they could have charged me anything for that spot really).
    Location: 8.238799, 98.445439

    wGDqnD1h.
    MjQJObOh.
    Sunrise from the camp

    Vk018O9h.
    Tham Ta Pan Temple, symbolizing heaven (stupa on rock) and hell (cave), very cool even for people that have seen enough temples!
    Location: 8.454319, 98.528010

    Time for Island Nr. 3, Ko Yao Noi, that's where i'm now, was quite a "ride" to get here :)
    QtytyKwh.

    sMkCYEMh.

    DRu4DLsh.
    From the Tha Dan Pier in Phang Nga, cost me 250bath for me and 350 bath for the bike, about 1 1/2 ride.
    Again, would not want to have anything bigger than a 250cc bike for this stuff, but i'm not saying it's not possbile :p

    Next days i will slow down a bit, explore Ko Yao Noi (again) and see if i can get to Ko Yao Yai.

    so long...
     
    • Like Like x 5
  6. Wow - thats some magnificent photos! Thanks for sharing. I particularly loved the one with the Crf on the roof of the boats wheelhouse, so extraordinary cool...keep em coming.

    Ko Phra Thong - as mentioned I havent been there, but there must be some roads out there as one cant rent motorbikes on the island and also arrange transport with a pick up from the the pier. How to get to Ko Phra Thong | Travelfish
     
  7. Brilliant Photos and Report. Great Job.
     
  8. Island Nr. 3: Ko Yao Noi

    This island has been my all time favorite since i visited 3 years ago. When i came back this time, i saw how rapid this place has developed in such short time, the bungalow i stayed last visit doubled the prices, more foreigners on scooters than locals, my favorite beach-side grill turned into a full-blown restaurant with foreign pricing and some cultural no-goes seem not to exist anymore.

    When i was here last, the predominately Muslim population was proud how they preserved the flare of the island by limiting the amount of tourists and not going crazy like all the other islands. Nothing of that i can see anymore, but after the initial shock i realized that the kind of places i like are still around, i just had to move out of the now popular area a little bit.

    For people that want some unspoiled nature/culture while still having a beer in company of the expat/winter crowd,
    this is a great place. Check Charlies bar and La Luna.
    Visit while it's still good!

    Here's a little map, note that the northern island is Ko Yao Noi and the bigger one to the south is Ko Yao Yai (which i will write about in the next report)
    bgLafQ8h.

    AZxeqURh.
    the occasional lizard crossing the road

    KV9Xww7h.
    cruising along the east side of the island with spectacular views of Phang Nga Bay (not on the picture)

    8IZYw13h.
    i spent my afternoon in a hammock doing nothing when this kid came along and started building "a house" with everything that was available, coconuts, ropes, grills, wood...


    6Frqrzdh.
    ...and a white flag, i guess growing up on an island involves a lot of pirate stories.

    JGC1tZQh.
    villager burning trash

    fvTJeoYh.
    Kid selling tickets to Phuket, i tried to get the CRF to Ko Yao Yai, but the captain that was there at the time refused to do it for a normal price, he said it's so heavy and difficult, for 500 bath he would have done it (instead of 150bath for a scooter). But he clearly didn't want to do it, so he recommended me a big car ferry that leaves once a day around 3pm, 100 bath, quick and easy.

    NnnuHcjh.
    On the west side of the island, far less tourism infrastructure here

    Bwl5piOh.
    Sunset at the fisherman's pier

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    What if you live on an Island and have sunsets like this every day, it seems they didn't get bored of it yet, just sitting there at sunset hour doing nothing.

    sMmGPbCh.
    This is the Six Senses Resort, one of the most exclusive Resorts Thailand has to offer. prices start at around a 1000$ and go up to at least 10 times of that. Some customers, mostly those that arrive by their luxury-yachts will be flown in by helicopter.

    When i tried to visit the restaurant they wouldn't let me in with the excuse "the restaurant is full", fair enough, i probably wouldn't want a dirty and sweaty biker sit with my hi-so customers either.

    cs1AX76h.
    ...that didn't stop me from using their private cycle path along the beach though :)

    iRodopeh.

    rFus4IZh.
    Went on a little boat ride, the typical stuff of cruising between the limestone karst of Phang Nga Bay but the guide had something special/secret in mind at the end of the trip...

    bycFZ9dh.
    ...a cave that all the tours don't go to because it's very difficult to anchor a boat...

    py2jXush.
    ...in it were these human bones, the remains of sea gypsies that lived in the area long time ago.




     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Great posting and photos again. Koh Yao Noi is definetively going to be on my list for the future.
    What about Koh Libong out of Trang? Any plans to go there? Its also a place I have on my list...
     
  10. Never heard of Koh Libong, but now that you mentioned it @Dograugen, I've put it on my list :)

    Island Nr. 4: Ko Yao Yai

    This is the bigger island to the south on this trip-map
    bgLafQ8h.

    The bigger one of the two Ko Yao islands, probably one of Thailand's last unspoiled paradises, real fishing villages, deserted beaches with hordes of monkeys, miles of dirt tracks to follow to unknown locations and genuinely friendly + interested people.

    It's less than a year ago that the first backpacker style hostel opened it's doors on the Island, before that there were only exclusive resorts and day-trippers.
    The island has two popular spots that are filled with Chinese and other Tourists, as well as some restaurants here and there, but overall maintains a very high level of virginity. I think the reason is that there is no road going around the island, just one crossing it from north to south and from there it's mostly narrow slightly sandy dirt-tracks going to the beaches, quite a few of them...

    For exploring a bit of original thai muslim island culture this is an amazing place, some people might miss a bit of the bar atmosphere, but Ko Yao Noi is not far away...

    Co6rXc1h.

    Zg2kqNhh.

    IK4ERNgh.
    Taking care of these fishing nets must be a lot of work.

    7bhJXSZh.
    Helping his mum to collect mussels at an otherwise deserted beach with hordes of monkeys, i think i saw close to a hundred. Some were using big rocks to smash some fruit, funny to watch.

    vujOFdlh.
    this is what he got out from there.

    ta5sAqFh.
    While many Bangkokians cannot swim, these kids of a local fishing village grow up with the water from young age.

    ukDl3Oph.
    In Bangkok you mostly get your Roti from migrated Indians, here it's part of the Thai food culture.


    78ZsJhzh.
    A group of local ladies invited me for lunch, some very tasty dishes that are hard to find on any restaurant menu.
    The dark one being squid without the ink removed, or at least used for coloring the dish.

    8zp0IxLh.
    snails, needs a bit of practice to get their meat out with a toothpick.

    bERuH7uh.
    the catch of two hours fishing as the two fisherman told me, i have a feeling some days you can make pretty good money as a fisherman. Apart from this basket full of mixed fish they also had 7 giant shrimps and a few other things.


    izUTCB0h.
    Engine overheated, i assume they will get it going again, with the few tools they have quite an achievement.

    ppTPB89h.
    Sunset at ISAN Tawandaeng

    DaEagxEh.
    I love the sunrises here in the South, getting up early almost every day now.


    4FZAKMFh.
    Random viewpoint in the middle of nowhere.

    U9Vimxeh.
    Random dirt-road, brought me nowhere but at least there were only cows and not aggressive dogs like on the other one i took a bit later

    cuZ9CENh.
    the danger from above, one more reason to wear a helmet?

    I really loved this island, but it was already time to take the 7am car ferry to Krabi...

    aGAnXn9h.
    Dragon Crest in Krabi province, another beautiful spot that I didn't know about till recently.

    Got up at 3am, a short motorbike ride to the national park and a rather steep hike up the mountain with a 7/11 flashlight, arrived at the top around 5am, more than two hours before anybody else would show up.

    Had plenty of time to fool around, did the run from camera to ledge about 15 times, it doesn't help that my self-timer has a maximum value of 20 seconds *haha*.

    jeOwuWqh.

    d1p6v8Ih.

    cHbzeYqh.


    I'm on Ko Lanta now and will do a week long break from traveling, so don't expect any new posts for a while :)
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Great trip report. Amazing photos!!! Thanks a lot. What kind of camera do you have?
     
  12. Thanks, i use a Nikon D3300, cheap and simple but can do almost anything.
     
  13. Amazing images & a fantastic report.

    You are on an incredible journey that should inspire others to get out there & tackle the islands & beaches.

    Mega thanks for the report.

    Please keep it coming.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Sorry for the long wait, I haven't been idle the whole time, but exploring and not so fast internet make it hard to actually update this report. In other words, I was having a great time.

    Here is the damage of the last weeks:

    i99A47Qh.

    about 2500 km so far on this trip.


    Island Nr. 5: Ko Lanta

    Surely not my favorite, it's a fairly large island with lots of people living there, huge amount of tourism and traffic, traffic, traffic. Hundreds of bars, restaurants and hotels/resorts scattered over the 25 km long west coast.
    There is a bit of an expat/digital nomad community here which is nice if you wanna stay longer. People are still very friendly.
    First time that I've seen double-pricing in a restaurant, walking out of a highly rated and recommended place because I wasn't happy with the prices, the nice owner told me i could also pay the Thai-price, haha.

    There is also Ko Lanta Noi which is completely local without any tourism infrastructure worth mentioning, very nice riding and beautiful/interesting views.

    RYdIAvdh.
    n7AHZPPh.
    Nice guy, originally from the first island that i visited on this trip, Ko Koh Khao. Dreadlocks to the knees.

    Nr7NEr9h.
    walk of death, the concrete planks are of so bad quality that they bend (and collapse) if you stand in the middle. this guy just walked the full length by always putting his feet close to the edge and two planks at once.

    egjcCgSh.
    many workshops on islands fix boat engines, not cars/bikes

    MIgyB36h.
    Fisherman on Ko Lanta Noi having no luck with his net.

    pm3pKjBh.
    A friend came to join my trip for a week, he got a scooter and met me in Ko Lanta...

    Pj3mGHHh.
    Deserted beaches, limestone karst formations and lots of caves, that is what Krabi area is all about.

    Close to this spot was also a small Zoo, we didn't visit but saw a bigger monkey that had escaped from it's cage, the employees tried to catch him, but as long as we watched they had no chance.

    PjXkm6xh.
    trying to sort out the transfer to the next island...

    Ljonedch.
    waiting for the boat in some local family's wooden house

    IbHa6gAh.

    hMmqPrCh.

    Other passengers waiting for the boat.

    Island Nr. 6: Ko Libong

    A rather unknown island close to Trang, from all the islands that i visited on this trip so far this was the most quiet one. Not much tourism here, organizing boats that take bikes can be interesting. When you ride across the island on the perfect cobblestone track you see jungle to your left and to your right, not many buildings have been built along the road, it's really nice. Unfortunately the lack of tourism also means the beaches that don't have a resort nearby are full of trash, not only the trash that the sea spits out, also from the locals that spend their evenings there.
    It's very worrying to see how much trash gets swept up at the beaches all around Thailand.
    The island is also famous for the Dugongs that can be seen here (if you are very lucky).

    My friend and I camped next to the beach in a beautiful resort called Libong Sunset Beach resort for two nights, delicious food, a nice bar (mostly beer) and cool people.

    4MpUKfIh.
    on the way to Ko Libong.

    found a local lorry transport boat that leaves once a day, these are easier than using small long tail boats where you often have to lift the whole bike.

    86YgNKWh.
    El Capitan

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    the resort had around 8 cats, all but one were nice, the nasty one would constantly do things to anger me, jump on my bike-seat, use my tire as a scratch tree, jump up and down my tent...

    pUSW7PRh.
    D'arcy at the bar.

    mekf4C4h.
    After exploring most roads on the island we wanted to go for a last spot, we had no idea that we were in for a ~1 hour hike through a cave full of bats and a steep partially broken path up sharp rocks to a viewpoint to spot the Dugongs (Sea cows).

    AZQhXoCh.
    view from the difficult to reach Dugong spotting point on another spotting point that is not quite finished yet or at least under repair right now. Look at the length of that pier.

    It was low tide so no way for us to spot the Dugongs.

    MIRNU9lh.
    This friendly guy came out of nowhere and gave us two fresh coconuts.

    RG6LmeAh.
    Rocky beaches don't look too nice in low-tide.

    euQyeqAh.
    Camping spot in the resort. beautiful, 150 bath with access to toilets showers...

    jegQ5Wgh.
    Dad watching the new pier constructions, kid watching the farang with his camera.

    3XYiqCkh.
    the captain of the earlier picture wouldn't leave the island on this day, so we had to find another transport, the longtail boat on the left.
    A bit tricky to load, but worked out fine with the help of 5 people.

    Just to give you an idea, most of the
    [FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]shippings[/FONT] so far cost me around 300-400 bath one-way. bigger vessels usually much cheaper...


    TIdmhAXh.
    fresh sea urchin, that was a first for me too, didn't like the taste much, but exciting to watch how you can actually open and eat these.


    Island Nr. 7: Ko Jum

    My friend first spotted this island on the map, then some Austrian tourists on Ko Libong mentioned it as being very quiet and nice. We sorted out the transport, which meant lifting the bikes on a small long-tail boat (again) that took 35 minutes to reach the Island.
    I didn't like the island at first, having much more tourism and traffic than expected, but the places we found were so great that I now think this is one of the best islands to come to for a relaxed few-day holiday. One place specifically comes closest to the word "Paradise" on this trip so far. Check out "Freedom Huts Koh Jum" if you plan to come here (in season).


    cY1fJJnh.
    Love "exploring" here in Krabi, whereever you end up, there is something interesting/nice.

    wt0O68Vh.
    On Ko Jum, being that asshole that rides past you while relaxing on a beach chair 1f642.png

    To my defense, I tried to find a route to connect back to the main road and I saw that car track.
    Dead end after 1km, here he comes again....

    whxHZVYh.
    We hardly got any rain, but there were always a few clouds around, so unfortunately the sunsets weren't so great.

    AuvLxO4h.
    with bars like these even I get into an island mood.

    acTrz5ah.
    This is Freedom Beach, the resort that i recommended in the beginning, that bungalow on the rock costs about 2000 bath /night (~60usd) at this time of the year.
    We stayed somewhere else because we only found this paradise on our way out from the island.
    They also have fancy tree houses and normal bungalows.

    ysad7rjh.
    Leaving the island, this time a nice loading ramp instead of 5 people lifting the bike.

    I still have a bunch of pictures of beautiful Krabi in the backlog, but enough for today, trying to catch a boat to Ko Phangan or Ko Tao tonight, anyone has recommendations what to do/ where to stay on these islands? Fan flew in to join for 3 days, Songkran coming up fast, better hide somewhere nice and stay off the road!












     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. 55 I'm just catching up in between my 320 kms house move, unpacking & setting up again.

    This is image is sensational

    mjqjoboh-.

    Stunning. Thanks for putting an even bigger smile on my face.
     
  16. Man, that's been an epic journey and I've enjoyed EVERY location and photograph! It's almost 9 years since I've seen the ocean, and this series of posts has fueled my enthusiasm to travel south as soon as the worst of the heat dissipates.

    I do love the north of Thailand, but having grown up in New Zealand - where its almost impossible to be more than 160 kilometres from a beach - the smell of salt water is definitely something you miss!

    The water clarity is enticing in the places you've been - I've been to Cha Am, Hua Hin and Pattaya etc years ago but those beaches are not at all attractive! Even Koh Chang - which I did enjoy - did not have waters that clear.

    Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to post your trip report - we know only too well how long it takes!
     
  17. Amazing report mate. Really enjoyed your interesting and detailed write up.
    So many great photos.

    Just love this one. This is living.
    dru4dlsh-.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this report together.
    Great resource for anyone planning a ride in this area.

    Moto-Rex
     
  18. The trip is over, 5:40am today i arrived by train from Surathani in Hua Lampong where i had started about a month ago.

    Some stats:

    Timeframe: 1 Month (13.03.2018 - 15.04.2018)
    Total distance: 2800km
    Islands: 8
    Ferries/Boats used: 11
    Avg. accommodation cost: 500 bath (more a guess than calculated, paid anything between 150 bath and 800 bath)
    Camped: 4 nights
    Dangerous road situations: 0! (I think this is because I rarely drove on any road with traffic, mostly small back roads or dirt-tracks)
    Stopped by police: 2 times (1 time standard check when I entered Surathani Airport, 1 time yesterday when riding from ferry pier to Surathani train station, very friendly, just briefly checked the bike's license)
    Bike dropped: 0 times (that just means i didn't ride hard enough roads :] )

    Maintenance: a week ago i felt the bike wasn't running so great anymore, uneven idling, went to a Honda shop and got a new air-filter for 300bath + 100bath service, fixed the problem (which is weird as the filter didn't look so bad and had only 2500km on it), but I made that stupid mistake again, I let someone else touch my bike, while I was busy reattaching my soft luggage one mechanic just blindly refilled oil while yet another one just filled the water reservoir to full. It all happened in less than a minute and I was distracted enough to not scream stop. Only checked/fixed it after 100km of riding, oil ~200ml over maximum, good that it's a Honda, shouldn't have done any damage but these mechanics here really make me angry. Honda Krabi (or any other Honda shop that you don't know/trust for a long time), stay away!


    this is the final GPS track (for a high resolution version use this link):
    xPDUHyOh.


    And here come the last images from Krabi and Koh Phangan

    TgREIGOh.
    At the end of one of the many dead-end roads to the coast I came out at a little fishing village, what was different here was that they don't seem to get any tourists, kids came in safe distance to look who that white guy was who just turned up in their village. Adults smiled but were shy to be photographed, luckily this guy was happy to have his picture taken.

    Some of the adults told me that everyone in the Village is collecting a specific kind of mussel, selling those is what they live from. I saw the piles of mussels but couldn't tell what kind they are, they did not seem to be for typical restaurant food, too small.

    fFUcYBXh.
    I found a little sticker shop along the road, this girl opened the shop doors and invited me in.
    Her mum turned up and told me the sticker i had chosen is free for me.

    Really lovely people.

    Yfh8I98h.
    Young boy and his friend, I asked what his name was, he answered "Gai", that means chicken, i hope he understood me wrong.

    6z0I53Ph.
    9 months old kid

    sZ61Vvbh.
    Backroads

    IOMRZooh.
    A really cool find in yet another little village, these happy people have a little greenhouse, lots of cats and a mynah that can speak some Thai (too funny).

    They invited me to come back and teach the kids some English, a place to sleep and good food provided. Hope i can keep my promise and come back next year.

    INteN1Qh.
    a wide steep road up a hill leading to...
    ...nowhere

    maybe they planned to build some hotel here, the road is abandoned now.

    22uG0Ioh.
    When staying in Krabi town, there was a little fair going on, I shot this photo in the morning without him noticing, not much going on yet.

    113loo0h.
    ...later in the day, a guy on a motorbike doing crazy stuff

    oHT0ujOh.
    centrifugal force is a weird thing.
    These guys seem to know the limits very well.

    Still, go two pictures back and look at the state of the wooden planks. When standing up there the whole thing was moving in the direction of the car.


    wysRzKbh.
    Reminded me of Mexico, it's saltwater mixed with freshwater, beautiful colors and at one spot you were allowed to swim in there.

    k5MqWh3h.
    my cheap rooms usually don't have a nice view, for 600 bath I got this one which wasn't so bad 1f642.png

    LYzLp93h.
    There was an amazing looking dirt track between the big limestone karst in the middle and the one to the right, half way between there was a fence that I could not pass, it looked like the garden Eden behind it, have to come back and find the owner.

    W5BmJrGh.

    zsZrLDLh.
    yes he is sawing this 'not so thick' wood into two pieces by chainsaw?!?

    7i71vpnh.
    Back in Surathani, time for some breakfast.

    GB2jeHYh.
    On the way to the airport I got a bit lost.

    Island Nr. 8: Koh Phangan

    One of Thailand's most popular islands and the first one in the gulf of Thailand on this trip.
    I was here with the fan who flew in from Bangkok for 3 days, so less riding more relaxing as you can see on the GPS track.
    It's a busy and big island and I really dislike that everything is foreign-owned or at least managed, even the staff is mostly Burmese, i basically had to switch to speak English to everyone as nobody could speak Thai.
    Drugs (not just weed) are the big thing on the island and obviously attract a lot of people looking for this, It's not my thing so I dislike this part of it as well.
    Overall there were many things to dislike for me, but the island has admittedly some really fantastic nature and because it's so hilly, there are very cool steep roads with views.
    I should have definitely explored a bit more.

    crYpdJrh.
    Night boat from Surathani, leaves 11pm arrives 6am. CRF -> 500 bath (scooter 400), passenger 400 bath

    RanS4jMh.
    I love boats like this! very good sleep with fresh breeze from outside.

    lVoLweUh.

    w1PXslgh.

    TIXtVUIh.
    Our home for 2 nights, 1300 bath for a rather basic wooden beach bungalow, but with this view it's hard to complain.

    FMz7hX5h.
    The speed ferry (passenger only) takes off to Surathani

    GswboZih.
    A good thing that comes with all the tourism is that they clean the beaches several times per day, which makes them look really nice.


    uhMCEdch.
    Songkran friday, the fisherman and his two kids can't be bothered.

    AZW2Qyih.
    In other parts of the island the party is on...

    T77GdBQh.
    The bike that allowed me to make this cool trip, long live the CRF!

    zfE7t4jh.
    Goodbye Koh Phangan

    naVe96zh.
    Took a big car ferry back to the port 100km east of Surathani, rode to the Train station and got really lucky with the timing, 30min later I was back on the way to Bangkok.
    This "bike on train" thing is awesome, it would have been a partially boring and surely dangerous ride back to Bangkok in Songkran time.
    Paid ~600 bath for the aircon sleeper and this time ~1350 bath for the bike (I learned the price depends on the weight, so you better tell them your bike weights 120kg not 170kg!)

    1ApE5VVh.
    5:40am, back in Bangkok Hua Lampong station, painless. Empty roads on the way back home, Bangkok is deserted right now.


    Well, this is it, i hope you enjoyed following this little trip report, I know I got lazy writing down the details of where I stayed and where exactly some of these pictures are, but feel free to ask me, i might still remember :)

    Cheers and happy new year to everyone,
    Moritz





     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. 5-star report Moritz.

    Absolutely fantastic.
    This report should be the bible for island adventure in the south.

    Many thanks for taking the time to contribute.
    cleardot.gif
     
  20. A brilliant trip report indeed! I have enjoyed reading it and it has surely inspired me to do something similar in the future - hopefully.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  21. Fantastic report, love it from the beginning till the end.
    Actually what is missing during my trips is time, I envy you for having time to do a journey like that.
    Btw, could you resend the location of this camping site.
    MjQJObOh.
    Thanks again
    Fred
     
  22. Thanks Fred, the camp-spot is called "Samet Nangshe Viewpoint" and located here: 8.238765, 98.445443
    As i mentioned in the post, this is not an easy one, very steep dirt road, problematic when it rained or your bike is very heavy or underpowered (scooter?).
    But worst case you leave the bike at the parking and take the 4x4 up like all the others :p

    Cheers,
    Moritz
     
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Thank you, I saved the GPS point for my next trip south
    Good plan to try my new tkc80 and mitas 07dakar :p:p
     

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