After one week in Chiang Mai I was craving for some beach time in South Thailand. Maggie wanted to continue her travels further up north into the mountains so we went separate ways and I hopped on a bus southwards. Avoiding busy Bangkok I opted for a bus directly to Hua Hin, a beach town three hours south of Bangkok. An excellent choice as I found out on that bus – no tourists at all and plenty of empty seats to stretch out during the night.
I arrived well rested at eight in the morning, sorted out my travel plans for the coming night and thus ended up with a full day in Hua Hin at my hands. Perfect, since Hua Hin is well known for its brilliant Kite surfing conditions.
I spent three hours splashing around in the lukewarm Gulf of Thailand – no wetsuit, no freezing, staying in the water for ages. Another side effect: Kite surfing got me perfectly tired for the next night bus ride – this time down to Chumphon from where I took the catamaran over to Koh Pha-Ngan.
The three hour catamaran ride from main land Thailand to Koh Pha-Ngan turned out a nightmare for most of the passengers: High waves got half of the boat seasick and vomiting. The smell inside was unbearable and I was lucky to get one of the outside seats. Free salt water showers included but at least no vomiting on or for me.
Koh Pha-Ngan was a huge disappointment to me: The island itself is pretty but to me lacked any charm or ambiance. As a traveller I did not feel very welcome at the place I stayed at for the first night on the northern tip of the island. I continued my way down along the west coast southwards, spent another night in a more welcoming place and although the place was pretty I didn’t feel like staying any longer on what seemed like a mass tourism island. The fellow travelers I met seemed to love it though and recommended some other places on the opposite cost, down Krabi and Koh Phi-Phi. I didn’t want to have another disappointing experience though, plus invest a lot of travel time to get there so I decided to skip that part of Thailand and head directly to my last destination: an island off the western coast in the Andaman Sea.