Tired of saving money so decided to go on trip (1800B down to 1250 each)- elephant trekking, tiger cave temple, emerald pool, hot springs and rubber plantation. We were the only ones on the trip with our guide Ne na and had a good laugh. During our trek in the jungle we had to stop suddenly for a snake to pass. Afterwards locals looked at photos and made a right fuss- apparantly it was venemous! Ne na was from Phi Phi and lost her nan and friends in the tsunami. She reckons she sees many goats (ghosts) since then.
From Ao Nang visied Railay by longtail boat (100B each- another price increase). The place is supposed to be amazing- We disagree! It’s not cheap as stated and lack of amenities means we had to endure inflated prices and dirty surroundings. Had to clamber over sharp rocks with our backpacks (some places over 3 m high – no joke) to get to a better beach, stayed in dirty room for 600B wuth 3 inch gap under the door and when we eventually got someone to take us from here by longtail boat (as you have to wait for boat to fill and get fare for a non- ridiculous price) he took us to Krabi town instead but this was fine because we found a decent hotel for 500B and ate at the very cheap night market! Not many dogs here.( Ne na reckons if community is Muslim there won’t be as they don’t like dogs.)
Caught bus and ferry to Ko Samui (850B for both). Bus took double time (no change there then) so had to find digs in dark. In our fourth hotel here. Prices higher for everything here especially for ferang (foreigner). Thais get everything cheaper (perhaps they have the right idea?) Feeling tired, up every day looking for decent places on a budget, last hotel had rat, cockroach nest under bed and spider bigger than my palm. When we told the lady she said ‘oh you have a safari in your room ‘and laughed! Guide book shite as usual. Would of been in some right dives if we hadn’t put the work in and looked around loads. Some travellers may think it’s ok to pay 1000B to stay in a 40 year old greenhouse but for the same price we are in a clean room by the beach wth a proper roof and kettle and everything! Staying on Chaweng beach (Lamei isn’t nicer or cheaper) Weather and beach is nice-lots of vndors but these can be amusing at times. Ice cream men serenade in bad English. When i said ‘no on a diet’ (really on a bugdet) he replied “i know , you buy, i eat!’ You can get hot food and drink from 7/11 to save money as it is not cheap. If you were on hols here it would appear very affordable and you would probably be treated well but unfortunately everything here revolves around getting money from you and people aren’t always as nice as you imagine. Guide prices are just not comparable as lots of things have appear to have increased. The high season changes according to how they feel (prices increase here mid July as people visit in school hols but official high season is usually Nov- April). There are generally no fixed prices they just look at you and see what they can get. (We got 900B off our room as we went back in our swimming stuff and looked more scruffy). If only the hotels were kept cleaner ( which we feel has nothing to do with wealth here) it would be far better, but we are sure there will be many other times when we can’t comprehend things fully, but surely this is what travelling is all about and makes for an interesting journey.
We had a hairdressing session last night as a tube of colour exploded in our bag (i know i know you all thought my hair was natural) as we didn’t want to sleep due to the un-invited wildlife in our room.
LESSON-always carry loo roll with you (not sure how they woosh water from hose afterwards or spoon from the nearby bucket which also looks like a toilet)
LESSON-Don’t stay in wicker bungalow however authentic and sweet it looks!
(have updated photos)