Island hopping in Thailand II
If you missed the first half of my island travels, you can read about it here. As I mentioned before, the first few Island hops were quite relaxing (minus the monkey incident). For the second half of my trip I went to the most relaxed island, Koh Lanta. After arriving at the ferry port, there were a slew of people offering taxi's, hotel accommodations, and vacation activities. Being the Exploress that I am, this part of my trip was unplanned and I found hotel accommodations with someone offering at the port. I spent the next week in hammocks, on the beach, trekking the jungle, and riding elephants!
This certainly is the relaxation destination. Oil massages were between 200 – 300 BAHT per hour. The food is delicious, the fresh fruit smoothies and juices are in abundance – coconut, banana, and pineapple was a favorite of mine. I met some incredible people here, there was a girl putting crabs back in the water as they had lost their way – such a kind soul.
Moped for hire is a great way to explore the islands (pretty economical too). Make sure to wear your helmet though, not only for the obvious safety reasons, but to avoid the fine you’ll get if you’re found driving without one.
After a few days in Koh Lanta, I hopped over to Railey and ended up renting a bungalow with a few travelers from Canada. Here in Railey I saw my first Mui Thai – Thai boxing match! You’ll find these boxing rings all over the islands as a popular sport. It wasn’t something I thought I’d enjoy, as I am not a fan of boxing and violence, but it was a great experience.
Koh Phangyan was my final destination on this month long vacation. Although it is known as the party island, I visited Koh Phangyan to find peace and zen during a yoga retreat. Koh Phangyan is such a beautiful island. I arrived at Haad rin after the ferry ride from Koh Samui, in order to get to the part of the island where I would be staying you must access it by either boat or 4x4! The roads on the island (in some parts) aren’t that safe, it’s extremely hilly. Even though a 4x4 would be my last resort depending on the road, it could be necessary.
I found the yoga retreat online; it was everything I hoped for and so much more. I stayed on the bay of Haad Yuan in Bamboo huts which over looked the ocean. The retreat was a great way to reconnect with my yoga practice. We learned about meditation exercises, Ayurveda medicine, and had the privilege of learning from the amazing life coach, Francie. We spent our mornings meditating and learning with free time each afternoon to explore the island before returning to another yoga class in the evening. I really enjoyed the community spirit here, most people knew each other and all had an interesting story to tell.
What a great way to end my month long excursion. Life is great when we are feeling balanced, here I found that balance and learned techniques to remember as I continue my busy life in London. I can honestly say this experience was life altering; it was overwhelming to meet such beautiful people all with one goal – to be happy!