We said goodbye to Bangkok and hit the road where drivers changed lanes more often than we’ve had hot dinners combined. Three hours later we arrived in Rayong and after a slightly foolish walk allied with incredibly poor signage we made it, albeit a little sweaty, to the hotel. One night in Rayong saw us see more mass fitness taking place in a nearby park and everyone was very friendly.
The next day was the start of our island adventure, first stop… Koh Samet.
After a smooth taxi ride and ferry crossing, we disembarked and hit the main island beach almost immediately! White sand and clear blue sea, a stark contrast from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. On our first night, we went to Olly’s Bar across from our hostel and met a flamboyant Cambodian barman however after a disappointingly early 11pm closure we made our way to the beach where we found ‘our local’ the aptly name Friendly Bar.
Here we met… Mr Lollipop! Who is best described as a 39-year-old Bob Marley enthusiast with a penchant for anything except Chinese people it seemed. Anyway, he was generally being the life and soul of the bar on the sand before he introduced us to another couple from the UK. After spending some time with them they took us to Audi Bar where they’d been promised a lock in.
As the Chang flowed the hours gradually got smaller and smaller. We met Audi of Audi Bar fame and some other members of the lock in then I proceeded to beat a Thai lady at blind pool (no blindfold was involved), who was less than impressed and said Thai words aggressively at me… sore loser!
Day two of Koh Samet was understandably subdued and rejuvenation was found in the form of a deserted beach followed by an ice-cold smoothie and hammock overlooking the ocean!
More Mr Lollipop antics at Friendly Bar followed in the evening and we had the pleasure of meeting his dog with eyebrows… seriously!
Mr Lollipop then introduced us to another couple, however this time it was much more restrained and we sloped off. Day three = ditto!
From Koh Samet we hit the water to the mainland and picked up a minibus to head for Koh Chang. After getting in with only 4 other people it promised to be relaxing journey. However, 20 seconds after leaving we stopped at another pick up point followed by another. Soon we were crammed in with the whole of Germany it seemed and only one spare seat. Of course, the man next to me decided not to use it but sit right next to me. Leg hairs touched far too much as he lorded the space over me!
After a ferry to our second island, we hit the roads of Koh Chang and we were in for a shock. As we drove, we could hardly comprehend the nature of these roads. Unimaginable, double bending, slopping roads that appeared to defy gravity, physics and logic.
Twenty minutes later we arrived at our bed for three nights and this…
We spent the rest of the day here. Francesca was a little poorly so we only managed an afternoon Kayak in the sea on day two but it did give her the opportunity to lose her hat in the sea to go with the flip flop in Tenerife. Someone, somewhere, is gradually getting a whole new outfit!
Kayaking also led us to meeting someone from Chichester. The man, whose name we forgot to get, owned the resort where we hired the kayaks and had a daughter who studied Fine Art at Chichester Uni and moved to Brighton afterwards, which is weirdly exactly what Francesca did. That night we had one of the best curries we’ve ever eaten at Taste of India!
With Koh Chang being to the third biggest island in Thailand there is only one way to get around cheaply. So, on our final day on the island we did something we didn’t think we’d ever do… hire a moped. I’ve written this so we survived. Ok, Francesca did accidentally push my helmet over my eyes at one point and we did commit one minor hit and run on a parked moped. Also, we saw elephants up close and playing in the sea, which was incredible but we didn’t particularly agree with people riding them!
Anyway, if a black hat washes up in the UK you’ll know whose it is!
Thailand was amazing… Cambodia here we come!