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Thailand – its wonderful to be back

Thailand – its wonderful to be back

it’s wonderful to be warm again!

Spent today island hoping out to Koh Phi Phi island and around some beautiful bays. Only problem is everybody else seemed to have the same idea, it was busy with about 30 boats all full of visitors to some of the main islands.

I can see that tourism is a great thing for Thailand but wonder how long it can sustain the numbers of visitors to these islands before it they are ruined. You don’t need to look far to see the impact already, with rubbish in the beaches and in the seas. It’s sad. Being here are also part of the problem but have seen it work better in other places in Thailand.

I was disappointed to see the tour boat staff showing little respect for the already damaged reef and fish life by feeding and ‘playing’ with them.

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Last day in Koh Tao

Last day in Koh Tao

We had a lovely time here in Koh Tao, it’s sad to have to say good bye.

Tomorrow we head back to Bangkok on a late bus, then off to Hong Kong the day after.

We had such an amazing time here both in Thailand and on Koh Tao.

Who would have thought we would have passed our dive exam whilst here!

Hard day on Dive Course

Hard day on Dive Course

We had a very hard day today on day 2 of our Open Water Dive Course with Stu at Dive @ Charm Churee Villa.  We had a classroom session this morning, and then hit the ocean after lunch.

We did some skill work, then a 200 Meter swim test, followed by a 10 minute tread water exercise. Need-less to say, this was our most amount of exercise all holidays and I was certainly feeling it! I came out of the water pretty well exhausted, that and an upset tummy, didn’t make me feel that great. After a short spell, we were out on our second dive. This time we did some more drills in the open water, like removing the regulator and replacing it, breathing using someone else’s alternate reg, removing our masks underwater etc. I had trouble with removing my mask under-water and need to practice this.

We did a nice dive around 3 rocks, off Jan Som Bay, looking at some fish life. It is certainly a wonderful world underwater, and even off the beach at our resort, there is plenty to see.

I must say sorry for not following the “do not feed the fish” policy as I left most of Lunch and part of Breakfast in the bay around the corner!

 

Tomorrow we sit our test and go out on a boat to do 2 open water dives. We are both looking forward to these as then we will have passed our Open Water Diver Certificate!

 

Arrived at Koh Tao Island.

Arrived at Koh Tao Island.

We are at Koh Tao Island, about 3 hour ferry ride from the mainland of Thailand. It’s a beautiful island. We will upload some photos in a few days. Tomorrow we both start our PADI course, open water dive. It’s a 3 day dive course here on the island, with 2 dives out in the open ocean. We went snorkeling this afternoon on the beach, which is about 10 meters from our front door. It’s a hard life!!!!

Arrived at Koh Phangan

Arrived at Koh Phangan

We spent over 24 hour travelling, but we have made it to our resort, for tonight only. We took a long bus ride, which arrived at Chumpton at 3am this morning, then a 3 hour wait, before boarding a 5 hour ferry ride to Koh Phangan. We are hear for 1 night, then off to Koh Toa tomorrow morning.

We are both exhausted, but pleased to be on the islands. We are having a swim at the pool.

Photos from Sukhothai Historic Park

Photos from Sukhothai Historic Park

We had a very hot, but adventurous day in Sukhothai Historic Park today. We are staying about 13 Km from the Old City, and took a public bus to the Historic Park.

From there we rented bicycles to travel around the area (30 Baht per day). It was a very hot day, especially walking around the historic monuments. It’s amazing to think most of these date  1238 till 1438.  Most have been restored, others are complete ruins.

You can read more here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhothai_Kingdom

Entry to the Park is 100 Baht per person. (about $3 AU)

We were going to explore more ruins, but my bicycle had a flat tire, and we thought it was a good place to end our trip.

 

On the road to Sukhothai this morning

On the road to Sukhothai this morning

We are well rested after our long day trekking yesterday and are off on the bus this morning to Sukhothai this morning, about a 4-5 hour drive south of Chiang Mai.

Sukhothai Province

Sukhothai province is most famous for its historical city of Sukhothai, the first capital of Siam, founded by King Ramkhamhaeng.

The province’s temples and monuments have been restored well and Sukhothai Historical Park – a place with numerous sites of historical interest – has been made into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other interesting places include Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, Ramkhamhaeng National Park, Sri Satchanalai National Park, and The Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat.

We are hoping to take part in cycle tourism, taking bicycles around the ancient city.

Photos from 2 Day over-night trekking

Photos from 2 Day over-night trekking

We had a great time with our 2 day trekking. The walking wasn’t too bad, and the guides were very good. The place were we spent the night was very cool, right in the middle of a village.

The only thing is I didn’t like the elephant camp, where we rode an elephant for an hour. It was cruel and horrible to watch these animals being mis-treated by their owners.

I have uploaded over 100 photos below