THAILAND

November 2017

I spent nice days in Thailand more than I suggest as most people said. My stops were;

  • Koh Lanta
  • Koh Phi Phi
  • Phuket
  • Bangkok

By the way; “KOH” means “Island” and “WAT” is “Temple”.

  • KOH LANTA

I spent 12 days in Slacklines Hostel in Koh Lanta. The friendly enviroment, friends and English owner Jon played an important role on this. Koh Lanta is a silent island when compared the south Thailand’s islands. The beaches in the west side of the island were nice. Just after the beach there are hundreds of different places to stay. Ranging from 250 Baht to thousands depending upon the quality you look for. The roads are nice and if you know to use scooter Koh Lanta is a super easy and nice spots to visit. You may swim in a couple of beaches in a day.

Transportation in Island…

Koh Lanta and scooter is quite perfect. But I hitchhiked without difficulty everytime. The people were very friendly. You may have tuk-tuk as well.

 

SLACKLINES Hostel…

It was a new hostel that has some minor construction and setting to work issues during my stay. The progress was enormous in this period. You may reach this beautiful hostel from the main road from the Long Beach that connects to the east of the island and Old Town. The rare traffic is a little bit annoying sometimes but the location is in the nature, mostly peaceful and really nice.

It was very reasonable and comfortable stay in terms of money-quality comparison. Jon (owner) is very nice and doing his best for the best backpackers choice. The bungalows and the dormitory were good. Mosquito nets were available. I stayed both in bungalow and dorm. All were good and clean.

I was “Sooo Goood” there. Most probably they remember me with my legendary saying “I am sooo Good!” 🙂

Slack-lines were everywhere. It is an amazing balance and sports activity. Especially the one on top of the pool was for me.

 

Thai and Chinese Buddhism…

There may be slight difference or big that I do not know much but they were living wisdom and peace equally. I came across one Chinese Buddhist ceremony in old town. Drums and percussion were sounding as enthusiastic as the participants. I told the moments in my radio program in Turkish internet radio “Borusan Klasik”.

 

Silent Koh Lanta…

You need no extra time to cope with slow life in Koh Lnta. Just go to a beach, lean on the sands or just sit under the shade of a cafe nearby the beach. You read your book. You will see that it is not that hard.

I chose street food which is very tasty and cheap. If you want to eat western food there are lots of varieties. I think the island is in a transformation phase to a touristic place in the last 20 years. But it is still said to be silent. There are lots of construction works around. The cement constructions and the buildings are so antipathetic. For vacation you may still find nice spots out there.

 

  • KOH PHI PHI

Koh Phi Phi is a very small party island. Mostly for youngsters. I generally express these sort of places as “Circus”. This sort of places is not for me and I just wanted to observe the circus for one day.

There are ferry services (two times a day) from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi. The same boats are going on their way to Phuket. Ticket price is 300 Baht from Koh Lanta to Pi Phi. It takes around 1,5 hours.

With the nice beaches around the island including Maya Beach where the “The Beach” movie is shot are nice spots. The small Thai Boxing arena gives you the opportunity to watch some seemingly fighting. Lots of restaurants and shops in narrow lanes…

In the first day I was together with a lovely German couple Jessica and Uwe. We spend a very good day together. We went to Maya beach and lots of nice talks. When they left I wandered around the island. I got fish therapy. I met a nice couple from Brasil. The lady was a travel blogger. I paid my hostel 400 Baht. You may find very wide range of accommodations that can reach tens or hundreds of dollars for one night as well.

It was enough for one night two days for me. More is for party animals.

 

  • PHUKET

The next day I went to Phuket by a ferry service that takes approximately two hours.

I chose to stay in Patong region. “Patong Studio Apartments” was very cheap, really nice, clean and has very good service. I met very nice friends in our dorm room. Young Russian couple Kirill and Lily, Japanese Totsue, French (gipsy) Kenzo, young Argentinian traveler (writer to be) Pablo, Italian Robert who took courses to be a bar-tender Robert are some of them. We had long hours of chats with them.

Phuket is so touristic and again a circus to me but I was here to observe another big circus. Phuket is a centre for modern (!) tourism. You may find everything for western habits. You may find lots of Thai food as well. The range of choices are huge from the dirty cheap, moderate to expensive.

I went to Patong and Karon beaches. I spent a day in (a sort of) historical Phuket old town.

I met some Turkish people out there. Maksat is the manager of the Sultan’s Restaurant, Volkan is the manager an hotel nearby and Tolga, Adil and İbrahim in the “Phuket Turk” restaurant.

Another annoying appearance was (very) old European guys hanging out Thai women.

There is a great number of Russian society in Phuket. Most of the places have Russian menus as well.

One of the best attraction for me was to play beach volley with an old German and a Russian couple. My German beach volley partner tested my volleyball ability even though I said “I am a volleyball player”. After the first set when I wanted to leave he kept me for another set. Funny… The scenery for cultures and countries.

That much Phuket was more than enough. I am sure that this place ws a very nice spot one upon a time in the past.

 

  • BANGKOK

“One night in Bangkok, na na na nay, na na na na na na na” Yeah I know it does not work. Then listen to Murray Head and start to read the Bangkok part with the song background.

I was so happy in Bangkok. If you ask me why? I can say that I felt as if I am in İstanbul. The 20-30 years ago there were similar places in İstanbul reflecting exactly the same spirit. I found İstanbul in Bangkok. Lately, neither I  like big cities or crowds. But the Bangkok was different to me even though I was in the crowds. Sure I was her for a short time (5 days) but I like Bangkok so much.

The places I visited;

  • Crematorium of the King (who passed away in 2016 October)
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Budha Temple),
  • Royal Palace,
  • Skybar (scenic view of Bangkok from the roof of 64th floor),
  • Lumpini Park,
  • Chinatown,
  • River Cruises,
  • Local Bus trips, nehirde tekne ile ulaşım, uzuuuun otobüs yolculuklarıyla şehri film gibi izleme, Sukhumwit…

I read some blogs telling about the bad smell in the city. It may be their personal perception and observations. I do not agree with this. Bangkok is Bangkok even the global winds try to shake it. I like the smell whatever it is.

I was in Reclining Budha Temple when everybody is about to leave that I enjoy a lot. The night illumination of towers were great to watch.

I had so many photos in Bangkok, I plan to make another photo Gallery for Bangkok, hopefully.

The long boat cruises in blurry waters of “Chao Phraya” gave me great pleasure as well. Even they say the weather is not that high the humidity and the heat was not my best option to visit especially midday, but just before the evening and night weather and some breeze made me comfortable in my visit.

I will definitely remember my lovely days. My song was “5 nights in Bangkok” and I want to taste more in this beautiful city.

I headed Siem Reap, Cambodia from Bangkok. After Cambodia I plan to see some spots in north Thailand like Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Pai. The next countries to visit will include Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Hope to meet with my Cambodia story next.

(08 December 2017)