Thailand – somewhere over the rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Hello everybody!!

Hard to believe (especially for me!), but now I’m also back in Europe… The last 8 months past by so fast, incredible how time flies when you’re enjoying it!
But no complaining, I still owe you Thailand… Hope that writing about it from cold Warsaw will warm me up a little. πŸ˜‰

Friendly and fun loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples and tropical beaches to the ever-comforting Thai smile. It was a perfect place to finish the trip, a real cherry on top of the cake!!
I stayed 4 weeks in Thailand, in this post will tell you abut the first two…

I started the route in Chiang Mai (point A) where I arrived from Taiwan, then followed by 6 hours and 308km bus ride to Sukothai (point B), later on arrived to Ko Lanta (point C) after a very long 1250km trip by bus, train, tuk tuk, another bus and minivan (yet another one of more than 24hours journey) and finished in Krabi (point D), just 3 hours and around 50km away from Ko Lanta.

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CHIANG MAI

As you might remember we visited Chiang Mai already in June and therefore this time I could skip all the touristic sites and just enjoy walking through the very pleasant streets of the old town, getting my first of many mango sticky rice (famous and delicious thai dessert) and of course a proper thai massage.

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SUKOTHAI

I stayed in Chiang Mai only one night and next morning continued to Sukothai.

The Sukhothai (Rising of Happiness) Kingdom flourished from the mid-13th century to the late 14th century. This period is often viewed as the golden age of Thai civilization, and the religious art and architecture of the era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles. The remains of the kingdom, today known as meuang gΓ²w (old city), are scattered around 45 sq km and consist of 21 sites within the old city walls plus another 70 in the surroundings.
The best way to go around the sites is by bike. I rented mine already in New Sukothai (new market town where most travelers stay due to better and cheaper accommodation options) located 12km away from the park. It only took me half an hour to get to the historical park and was a nice exercise.
The park is divided into 3 zones: Central, Northern and Western. Probably the best way is to start from the Western Part, continue to the Northern one and leave the most impressive Central zone for the end. Shame I wasn’t so smart before and did exactly the opposite ;). Still I enjoyed it a lot, especially the fact that, unlike other famous parks, in this one you can often find yourself alone (guess the big size of the park helps)!

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KO LANTA

After 2 days in Sukothai I started my very long journey to the island of Ko Lanta.
It took more than 24 hours but was definitely worth it!

Long and thin, covered with white sand beaches Ko Lanta is often referred to as Thailand’s ‘sexy beach babe’. The largest of more than 50 islands of the archipelago welcomes all budget travelers. Northern part is home to more economic accommodation and more nightlife (still rather chilled out beach bars, no crazy parties here), Southern part on the other hand offers much nicer beaches, peace, quiet and relaxation. Following the recommendations of David and Oliver (thank you guys!) I stayed a few days north and another few south… Either way, wherever you set up your base the best thing to do is to rent a scouter and visit all the beaches. They are very easily accessible and each one is nicer the previous one. Just see the photos… now, isn’t it a paradise?! πŸ™‚

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And when you get hungry and want to rest a bit from the sun head to Narima Beach Resort, they have an amazing green curry and papaya salad, definitely not to be missed!

There are also plenty of day trips you can do from the island. I decided for two:

4 islands trip – to visit Ko Chuek, Ko Mook, Ko Ngai and Ko Ma.
Ko Mook and Ko Ngai looked really beautiful, might be worth a deeper exploration during my next (hopefully sooner than later ;)) Thailand trip. The only problem was that I decided for a traditional slow boat trip… and the boat was sloooooow (duh ?! :)). That meant we spent most of the day sailing rather then enjoying the islands and on top of it the sea was quite rough that day!

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Koh Rok trip – snorkeling and sunbathing around the two Ko Rok islands.
Turquoise water, amazing colorful fish, white sand beaches, lunch on the island… it was just a perfect day. And this time I took a fast boat, lesson learned! πŸ™‚

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KRABI

After 9 amazing days on Ko Lanta I headed to Krabi Town. It’s a very small town beautifully located amongst limestone karsts. I stayed there just for one night which I think is more than enough.

There are actually only two things worth a visit in Krabi: Tiger Cave Temple and Night Market.

Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple) is a 600m high hill with a temple on top. There are 1237 steep stairs that lead to the top, a pretty exhausting hike (felt my muscles even a few days later) but, as usual, with some spectacular views and many buddha images and statues to see all along the way and on top.

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After the hike, night market was an ideal place to recover my energy and get back lost calories. Turned out there was additionally some festival that day which meant even more food stalls and even more local specialties to try, perfeeeect! πŸ™‚

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And this is where, my dear family, this post ends. The following day JJ and Miriam joined me in Krabi and we took off to Railay. We spent my last two crazy weeks in Asia together but, more about it to come in the next post.

Hugs and kisses!
Maja (from Warsaw) and Andrej (from Madrid)

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