why you should visit my favourite Thai Island

Koh Tao! Ahhh those luxurious blue water, bendy palmtrees, unbelievable food and even better atmosphere…there are so many reasons I would return here again and again!

Being my favourite Thai Island I have decided to share with you all you need to know about this exquisite, fun filled place… here we go!

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Where is Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a small island positioned on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand and wow, is it beautiful! Its neighbouring islands are Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, also two very popular islands for holiday goers and backpackers.

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How do you get there

There are various different ways to get to Koh Tao, which can sometimes be confusing. I found that the easiest way to get there was to buy a combo ticket, which includes an overnight train from Bangkok (Lamphong trainstaion) to Chumphon port. From here you can catch a connecting fast boat direct to Koh Tao; this takes a total of about 13 hours, which was no problem for me as you can sleep through most of the journey on the night train, so it is perfect! This costs around 1,200 baht. It is hassle free and a cheap option for those of you wanting to stick to a budget. If your budget stretches a little further you can catch a flight to Koh Samui airport and then jump on a ferry/fast boat to Koh Tao.

Where is there to stay

Accommodation is easy to come by. You can chose to book online prior to your visit or rock up and find one on the day. I know by doing this you can barter a much better price than booking online! Koh Tao caters for everyone and that is why I absolutely adore this island. You can stay anywhere from luxury hotels and apartments, cosy guesthouses to cool hostels where you meet the nicest of people! Like myself, most backpackers tend to stay in the Sairee Beach region where there are endless beach bars, night life, beautiful restaurants and dive schools.

How much time do you need to spend there

Koh Tao has grown to be my favourite island for many reasons. With so much to do and see for such a small island, you could easily spend five days here, maybe longer if you decide to get your open water certificate.

When is the best time to go

Koh Tao offers a 10 month high season for travellers to visit, which is great! The best times of the year to go are February to April and July to September as these months the weather is mostly hot with little rain.

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What should you do here?

Where do I begin?! Koh Tao can be as relaxed or as adventurous as you want it to be. First of all I must start with scuba diving. This island is renowned for its sensational scuba diving and is the CHEAPEST place to do it and become a certified diver! Gaining your PADI certificate takes three days, so can take up a bit of your time, but is 100% worth it! If that is not for you then you can opt for an ‘adventure dive’ or ‘discover scuba dive’.  The scuba company we used was ‘Davey Jones’ Locker’ and they were brilliant. I would recommend you shop around the dive shops and ask for prices as they do vary very slightly and get a feel for which dive school you would like to dive with.

This then brings me to snorkelling. Koh Tao has some of the most amazing coral I have ever seen so you are spoilt for choice as of where to go. You can get lost for hours watching the beautiful schools of fish and turtles swim around the crystal clear waters. Get a map from your hotel or tourist information hub and it will point out the best snorkel spots. We particularly enjoyed Shark Bay and Freedom Beach – keep an eye out for black tip reef sharks, you may be lucky enough to see one! You must pay a small fee of 50 baht per person to enter both of these beaches.

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Parts of the island are hard to get to via bike or car, so you can chose to rent a private long-tail boat to get to those hard-to- reach beaches and coves. This is slightly more expensive but I think it is worth paying a little more if you want to discover beaches that are quieter and untouched. Private long-tail boats are usually charged by the hour and based on the number of passengers.

Hire a scooter for the day and venture around the island to different viewpoints and beaches. To hire a bike for the day costs around 200baht and makes getting around the island so much easier. Make sure you head to John- Suwan Viewpoint, which is literally next to Freedom beach. This is said to be the best viewpoint on the island and who ever said this was not wrong; we were blown away, it was magnificent. You are able to see the whole island, both the East and West side of Koh Tao. It looks so green and pretty.

Visiting Nang Yuan Island is an absolute must! The island can be accessed by long tail boat (or taxi boat as the locals call them) for 100-150 baht + 50 baht entrance fee to get onto the island. Nang Yuan is made up of two adjacent islands which are connected by stunning white sand and crystal blue ocean. Do not forget to visit the viewpoint here too, it is beautiful!

Why should it be on my bucket list?

Koh Tao has something for everyone who visits. Families, couples, backpackers, the elderly and the young; it really is such a diverse island. This island must be on your bucket list when visiting Thailand. It will give you amazing memories and endless amounts of fun. From relaxed days on the stunning beaches, sipping cocktails in one of the many beach bars, enjoying the delicious thai foods, partying through the night, discovering the underwater world and exploring the island, you are in for a treat!

 ThePommieBrunette xx

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settling into Queenstown, NewZealand

Danny and I arrived in New Zealand in March and initially planned to settle and work in Auckland, where we flew into. However, five days passed and we soon decided that Auckland was not the place we wanted to be. We wanted the mountains, the valleys, the lakes, the unbelievable scenery, outdoor activities and the snow! I mean, we are in New Zealand – that is how everyone pictures it, right? And although Auckland was its own beautiful, we knew what we needed to do to get what we wanted – move to the South Island. We then had our vision set on Queenstown, ‘it is the place to be’ – everyone was telling us and it looked like a dreamy little Christmas town on photos and that is the experience we wanted to live!

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Now having lived in Queenstown for just over three months I can confidently say that it was the best decision we made. We are completely and utterly in love with this little, yet fun – filled town. I love how busy and touristy it is; it allows you to meet new and interesting people every day! It does not surprise me why thousands of people return here year after year.

 

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There are so many reasons why I love Queenstown and why I have found it so easy to settle here for the majority of my Working Holiday Visa. Let me start by telling you a little bit more about this town…

Queenstown is a small town that sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and it surrounded by the most beautiful Southern Alps. It is particularly stunning in the winter when the snow settles on the mountain peaks. 

The town is renowned for its adventure-filled activities and sports such as mountain biking, bungee jumping, Luge riding, paragliding, skiing at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables and numerous water sports. You can wander aimlessly around the quaint town and enjoy eating at one of the many exquisite restaurants, or indulge in a $5 dominos pizza – great for the budget travellers. Or you can sit by Lake Wakatipu and admire the surrounding scenery with a cup of hot chocolate from the famous Cookie Time (its a must). 

I always though I was the beach type and nothing would ever beat it. I mean, it is hard to beat. But this definitely comes close; NewZealand has its own slice of paradise. 

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The People here are also so friendly. Since day one we have found that no one can do enough for you here- the locals, the travellers, expats and tourists alike. With such a welcoming and great atmosphere about the own it is so easy to settle in and call it home.

What I have found so amazing is how backpacker friendly it is! Aside from the cost of everything, the town has plenty of hostels, tourist information on your doorstep and some amazing happy hour deals – 1876 is always a good start to your night – with $5 drinks!

BUT there is nothing I adore more about this place than the fact you do not have to go far to find yourself surrounded by immense scenery and mountains. I have a few favourite spots already – Glenorchy is one of them.

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Danny and I can spend a whole day happily driving through Glenorchy, appreciate the breathtaking scenery scenery.

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‘Paradise’ – Glenorchy

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Queenstown Hill Walk
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Lake Hayes
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Queenstown

ThePommieBrunette xx

Exploring Queenstown Hill

Winter is just around the corner and I’m slowly preparing myself for some freezing cold weather! Im not usually the biggest fan of the winter months; with the short days and icy cold nights. But here in New Zealand I am getting more and more excited as the days go by. The surrounding scenery is changing drastically as Autumn transitions to winter and it is absolutely breathtaking. 

However, before the thick of winter hits, Danny and I are trying to make the most of the Autumn colours and are spending our days off exploring the Queenstown area.

This week we climbed up Queenstown Hill to find the most stunning panoramic views of Queenstown and its snowy mountain tops. 

Queenstown Hill is easily accessible to the public from Belfast Street, Queenstown. It is an easy walk which takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how fast you are. You can also take the loop track to the top, which adds on another 15 minutes onto your walk, but is so much nicer. We stopped every 10 minutes to take pictures, so for us, it was much longer! The walk is so peaceful.

I would definitely recommend visiting later on in the afternoon to capture the beautiful sunset, it is out of this world!! 

Here are some of our pictures …

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Finally at the top of the hill, you surround yourself with gigantic mountains. We are constantly in awe with this country and it never ceases to amaze us with its natural beauty.

If you fancy a longer walk, there are plenty of paths situated around the hilltops…where they take you to I am not quite sure yet. But I will find out soon no doubt!

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The forested walk to the top is so eerie and magical; so be sure to take your time.

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Get there before sunset. The colours are breathtaking!

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The views are just as amazing from start to finish. I love this little town!

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AND It is beautiful no matter the weather!


Enjoy your visit!

ThePommieBrunette..

10 ways to budget your travels.

Who doesn’t like to save money? Im sure even the rich and famous would not turn down a bargain if given the chance! 

Travelling can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. But when choosing to travel on a budget, sometimes, you just have to go without.

Along the way Danny and I have learnt some simple tricks and great ways to can save our precious pennies so that we are able to make our travels last longer, and some extra’s that could be a must for our next trip.

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  • Always choose a hostel.

I know, living in a hostel can be daunting, especially if you are travelling solo. But seriously, its your best option if you are travelling on a budget.

Perhaps you could stay at a guesthouse in countries such as Thailand, as some are surprisingly cheap. BUT, when in need of those extra coins, I would highly recommend hostel living.

Staying at a hostel can get the better of you at times, what, with the smelly toilets, lumpy beds and noisy guests (definitely not cool when you are undergoing some serious jetlag), but it is a great way of meeting fellow travellers and making friends! The social aspect of staying in a hostel outweighs the cons and with those newly saved pennies and a new group of friends, you are one happy traveller.

  • Working for accommodation

Otherwise known as ‘woofing’, many travellers opt for working in a hostel for free accommodation. We did that at one point and it was great, for a while. The perfect thing about this is that you usually only need to clean for a couple of hours in the morning and then are able to go to work for the afternoon/night. You are able to save money so much easier.

  • Raid that ‘Free cupboard’

In most hostels, particularly Western hostels, you will find yourself a nice little cupboard with FREE stamped all over it.

When travellers move from hostel to hostel, can’t be bothered to carry the extra weight or are leaving the country, they often leave behind their left-over food and I am not going to pretend we did not love it when we found a full bag of pasta waiting to be cooked.

Times can get hard when you are travelling on a budget and when eating two-minute noodles every day and night becomes too much, I am telling you now, that free cupboard will become your best friend too.

Get raiding!

  • Walk, walk, walk.

Walking is underrated. Danny and I would save SO much money by walking EVERYWHERE.

Paying for a taxi, Uber or even the local public transport can soon eat away at your wallet when you can just use the legs God gave you. We would sometimes walk for hours to get where we wanted to be, but, it was not only great exercise, but you get to see beautiful things that you would miss out on if you were sat on a bus or in a taxi. You find yourself wandering down little streets that sell amazing food at local prices and see the reality of a country away from the tourist areas.

I have found that a lot of travellers also ‘hitch-hike’ since being in New Zealand. Now, I do not particularly recommend this option and I don’t think we will ever do it again, yes, we did it once. But, many travellers and locals tell me they feel completely safe, and it is the ‘done thing’ here in New Zealand. That is something I will let you decide. I feel like you can never be too safe so I say, lets walk!

  • Relocation Car

If you need to go the distance then you can rent a car from as little as $1 per day with the relocation services alot of companies offer, for example, imover.com and apollo car relocation. We have used this option twice now and have found it really great, although there are a couple of things that would defer us from maybe using it again. I think I will write another blog post on this subject.

In short, the relocation car/van services ask for vehicles to be brought back to them after other tourists have used them. For example, a car was rented and driven from Brisbane to Cairns and now the car rental hub needs it back, but the cost of paying someone to fly to Cairns, get the car and drive it back are an expense they would rather go without. So, they ask for other tourists to drive the car back themselves at a very small cost. Win – win. They get the car and you get to your chosen destination, whilst saving a huge lump of cash and arriving safe and sound.

  • Camping

Not only does camping save you a hell of a lot of money, compared to hostel living and other accommodations, but it is so much fun!

Finding the perfect spot to pitch up your tent, surrounded by breathtaking views is unbelievable and in most cases, at no cost at all.

Obviously, this option is seasonal, I would not fancy sleeping through the height of winter in a tent. But you catch my drift.

  • Couch Surf

We have never tried this one. Something about it sends off warning signals in my brain. But I have actually heard some good reviews on this option, so I wanted to include it and you can actually find some legit houses through online websites such as couchsurfing.com to make yourself feel safer.

Couch surfing is basically a temporary stay in other peoples homes and making use of improvised sleeping arrangements. Its free, a great way to meet locals and it is of somewhat a more comfortable.

  • Find things to do for FREE

You want to make the most of the country you are in but everything costs money! SO have a look online for local scenic hikes and walks where you are able to stretch your legs and experience the true nature and beauty of a place.

As a blogger you can also find local blog supporting restaurants or excursions that may offer you free or discounted trips. This way you are not missing out and you are again, saving money.

Danny and I have often found ourselves packing a small bag full of budget made sandwiches and fruit and going for walks to stunning parks, beaches and lookout points. It is so much more fun!

  • Create a daily budget

This is really important. Making a daily budget after calculating your overall funds can help in saving money in the long run. If you spend carelessly, your money will soon whittle down to nothing and you will be booking a one way ticket back home.

Danny and I always made sure we set ourselves a daily budget and recalculated our budget often if we found we had to spend over our daily amount for reasons we could not control.

You can even split your daily budget into categories to make things easier for yourselves. ‘This is for food’, ‘this is for accommodation’ and this is for ‘spending’. That was you have more control over what you are spending.

  • Go without

No one likes the thought of ‘going without’ but sometimes it is the only way of sticking to a budget.

It is the things that we think we need but in reality we really don’t.

Sorry girls, but no buying of clothes, even that dress you fell in love with at the market, no makeup shopping, no conditioner – shampoo will have to do. You will have to say no to that ice cream on a boiling hot day and a no to that extra drink on a night out with your new friends. Because when you wake up the next day and have that extra money to book a trip and make amazing memories, to book a ticket to your next destination, then ‘going without’ is all the more worth it.

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Leave a comment if you found any more ways of saving money along your travels. I would love to hear them!

ThePommieBrunette

What a Beautiful Anniversary..

Hey everyone!

Today I am blogging about something a little different to my usual blog posts BECAUSE Danny and I recently celebrated another wonderful year together and it was made extra special by a lovely photographer called, Kate Roberge.

Kate is a local love and lifestyle photographer who captures some of the most special moments between people. We loved her work as soon as we saw it and we were lucky enough to spend part of our anniversary running around in fields, throwing leaves at each other and enjoying the beautiful surrounding scenery that Queenstown offers.

I really wanted to dedicate a blog post to her because she honestly made our day so memorable and gave us some incredible images that we both actually like – It is very rare, believe me! But you cracked it, Kate – AND you were a dream to work with!

If you are in Queenstown and are a couple, family, planning an engagement or wedding, then I could not recommend Kate enough! She is not only extremely talented but makes you feel at ease and really captures the moment with each click!

Check out her website here: www.katerobergephotography.com

AND her great Instagram page @katerobergephotography

Thanks Kate, here are some of our favourites!

New Zealand Working Holiday: what you need to know

New Zealand is by far the most beautiful country I have ever been to and totally different to what I have seen and experienced before… 

So! You’ve been granted your working holiday visa, you’ve hopped onto a flight and landed in New Zealand! Hurray! But what now?! 

You are probably going to have to settle for a few months at some point during your travels; when funding has whittled down to a few dollars and you still have so much you want to see and do…after all New Zealand is a very expensive country to travel BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT! 

So I am here to help you with your first steps in settling down and finding a job, a place to live AND important must do’s as soon as you arrive!

1. Travel Insurance 🏥

If you hadn’t already organized this before boarding your flight then now is a good time to do it. New Zealand is a very outdoor, active place  and god forbid something happens and you need to fork out on an extortionate amount of money. 

You’re probably going to be hiking, skiing and driving in some unusual conditions; so, organize some travel insurance to let a load off your mind – sooner rather than later. 

2. IRD Number 💰

Without your IRD number you will be taxed shed loads on your wage when you start working. 

Your IRD number is easy to apply for; just pop to your local post office and ask for the form, fill it out and they will send it off for you- free of charge! Try to do this as soon as possible because it could take a couple of weeks to process. 

3. Bank Account 💰 

Now it’s time to open up a NewZealand bank account to avoid those nasty overseas charges AND so your work can pay you! 

There are so many banks to chose from. Please research to your heart contents if you wish. 

Danny and I went with BNZ for the simple fact that we could get a next day appointment, compared to the three-four week waiting list in all other banks! 

Some banks won’t even book an appointment with you until you have your IRD and a job! Talk about making life difficult! 

4. Getting a car/campervan 🚐

New Zealand is definitely a country where a car is a necessity. Public transport is poor in each city we visited and sometimes you just want to wake up one day, get in your car and go for a drive! There are so many beautiful places to visit here in New Zealand and you will feel so restricted without a car. 

Having said that, we still haven’t got a car and are itching for one to venture further out of Queenstown to adventure its surroundings! 

There are many ways of finding a car. You’ll most probably see cars parked on the streets with sale advertisement on them, or your hostel will likely hold a magazine or newspaper with ‘cars for sale’ in them. Also, http://www.trademe.co.nz is a great website to look at for second, third hand cars etc. 

If you are in Queenstown then join the Facebook group ‘Queenstown Trading’, (message the admin and ask to be approved) to find locals who are selling up. Most of the time they are in a rush to sell so you can get some great deals! 

Also ‘Lakeside Weekly’ is a magazine in Queenstown FULL of car and camper ads. So grab yours for free! 

5. Finding a job 💰

These next two are ‘the hard part’, according to a lot of travelers. BUT with a lot of determination and persistance you should have no problem! 

Depending on the time of year you are looking for work will increase or decrease your chances of getting a quick fix. Summer periods and winter periods and more difficult. 

Try for jobs with quick turn overs like, tourist hubs, Hackett Bungy, Au Pairing, farm work, bar work etc. 

If you want to do the ski season in Queenstown, apply early, very early at http://www.nzski.com fill out your application form and fingers crossed they will invite you to an interview! 

We got lucky and bagged ourselves jobs within two weeks! Get yourself to the local library, update your CV, send them out everywhere and anywhere and apply for jobs online. Don’t be too picky and VOILA something will be sure to pop up! 

Other great ways of finding jobs are through websites such as these; 

6. Finding a home 🏡 

I have to admit, this is the tougher one out of the two. Finding a share house is your best bet but finding one that meets your budget is quite difficult. 

For a single person, in Queenstown, you’re looking at approximately $250-300/week. Maybe more the closer to the city you choose to live. 

In those cases, maybe living long term in a hostel would be cheaper. But that is entirely up to you. We like our own space at times so a house share was a great option. We chose to live 10 minutes out of the city and pay $350/week between us in a beautiful three bedroom house share. And that view! Wow, it is out of this world! 🌏 

A few people I know live long-term in their hostel. This basically means that the hostel gives them a room at a cheaper rate and they share with all their friends! They absolutely love it! 

Other people meet a group of friends and then decide to move into a house together. But honestly, there are not THAT MANY houses on offer and you don’t want to live too far out! Taxis are very very expensive! But keep your search going strong and do not give up – you will find somewhere 😀🏡. 

Google ‘flat/house shares in…’ and then the town you are wanting to live in. So many different websites appear. 

Otherwise, trade me, again, is an option. Or, again, lakeside weekly. That is where we found ours! 😀 

You could always sleep in your car or campervan too! There are aplenty campsites about. But brrr, it’s cold during those winter months ❄️. Just avoid sleeping by roadsides or in towns or parking lots – police are hot when it comes to that! No hefty fines wanted, thankyou! 

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Now you are well and truly settled into your Working Holiday Visa and ready to take on the MAGICAL New Zealand 🇳🇿 🌏

Thanks for reading 🍀🌸 leave me a comment, I love hearing your thoughts! 

The Pommie Brunette 🐿🍂🍁 xxx

Planning your East Coast Australia trip..

Have you ever dreamt of walking along some of the most stunning beaches in the world? Trekking through rainforests filled with the peaceful sounds of native birds singing in the trees? Or finally meeting the infamous kangaroo and koala? Or ride through the red, dusty outback for an exciting road trip?
Yes? Then Australia should definitely be on your bucket list!

But the country is so BIG?! Where do you start?! How about we start with the East Coast of Australia?

In this blog post I am going to spill EVERYTHING about our East Coast adventure; the good, the bad AND the ugly! This will help you decide where to go and what to do!

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Skippy!
Why the East Coast? 

If you have ever had a conversation with someone who has travelled Australia, then 9 times out of 10 they will have travelled up OR down the East Coast! ☀

The East Coast is definitely a great way to experience an action packed visit to Australia, especially if you don’t have time on your side. There is SO much to SEE and DO! From pure relaxation to mad jungle treks, there is something for everyone. Families, teens, couples and friends equally enjoy visiting here year after year.

How long should I travel the East Coast for? 

Danny and I travelled the east coast in one month. It was an action packed month with barely a day spare to relax BUT that is exactly how we wanted it. Our budget was tight, very, very tight. So spending any longer would have well and truly left us homeless. But honestly, you can spend as much or as little time on the East Coast as you wish. A shorter length of time would mean missing certain destinations but a longer time frame would mean you could see more and spend more time in the places you love.

How to travel the East Coast 

  • Rent a camper van – one of the pricier options but an absolutely EPIC way to travel the East Coast. We really wanted to do it this way but with such a tight budget it was impossible! Renting or buying a campervan gives you so much freedom to do as you please. You are able to spend longer in individual places, experience the fun of camping at some phenomenal campsites; visit places that no other tourist has seen and where tourist buses do not go. I heard some people actually followed tourist buses to each destination to save themselves getting lost!
  • ‘Hop-on-hop-off bus’ – buy yourself a reasonably priced ticket for one of these buses from any travel agency in Australia or online before you arrive. These buses have specific destinations that they will drop off and pick up; at certain times of the day, and you can decide whether or not you want to jump on or stay an extra day or two at different destinations. The beauty of this option is that you have a little more flexibility on your time frame. If you end up loving a place, you are not made to leave earlier than you would have liked. However, I have heard from other travelers that if they do want to leave and the bus was full, they had to pay for another night in a hostel or hotel and spend another day in a place they felt they had finished with.
  • Route by itinerary– this is what we did. Having planned out and perfected our itinerary with Peterpan travel, our bus was booked from start to finish. We were given a time, date and destination as to where we would get on the bus and off it; with no hasstle at all! The driver has a list of names for those who are to be on the bus. We went with Premier Bus and had no problems at all. This was the cheapest option for us. Another bus company is Greyhound; more expensive and the only difference was that it had wifi, and even then we heard it didn’t work well!

Here are the two most popular buses and websites you can click on and get a rough estimate of the cost.

http://www.greyhouse.com.au/passes 

http://www.onestopadventures.com.au/tour-premier-bus-passes/  

How much did the whole trip cost?

Depending on the time of year you want to go will determine the cost. We went in January which is one of the busiest months, so prices rocketed.

Like I mentioned earlier, we booked our entire trip through peterpan travel. Other companies will give you various prices. For us, peterpan were just amazing. We rocked up at the Sydney office and walked away with a full itinerary for an exciting month-long trip. We paid approximately $1200AUD per person and this included the bus, all accommodation, some food and breakfasts with certain trips and hostels, two sky dives, one bungy jump, scuba diving, a 3 day boat cruise and all excursions! Good deal, ey?! Basically all we needed to fund during our trip was food and extra fun!

Oh, it actually cost a little more for Danny. I bagged myself a free ticket to Fraser Island during a pub crawl raffle in Sydney! 

We really liked that everything was planned for us because it meant no stress, no worries – just pure excitement!

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So without further ado, let me tell you all about the places my boyfriend and I visited and why they were so epic! 

Byron Bay 

Ok, so. Byron Bay wasn’t actually on our east coast trip but I really wanted to mention it to you quickly as an ‘extra’ if you wish.

Before heading on our east coast adventure we spent two weeks in Byron for Christmas 🎄

The nightlife is good here too and caters for both, a quiet night watching locals sing and play music by the beach, to low key drinks in some cool bars and then partying the night away in ‘cheeky monkeys’, which is where we often found ourselves. Making the most of those free wristbands you are constantly being given for free drinks! 

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Byron Bay is the ultimate ‘chill out’ destination – full of care free – shoe free people. It has that hippie vibe that we absolutely loved!

The shopping here is great too! Although I could not buy one thing due to our tight budget, it was nice to window shop and try on the lovely boho dresses that I told myself I would definitely be coming back for!

In terms of your budget, it is a place that is really hard to control your spending. Whilst our friends ate and drank at the tasty bars and restaurants, we were limited to ‘two minute noodles’ and water most nights!

If you don’t have the money, I would suggest you either visit here at a time you do or spend two/ three days here so you are able to do everything you want! I know we will be back one day that’s for sure!

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Mojo Surf Camp

Now you can’t come to Australia and not try to surf?! We booked ourselves onto a three day surf course to see if we had what it takes to ride those Aussie waves!

… that we didnt, but it was so much fun non-the-less! I even forgot about the sharks in the ocean!

Mojo surf were a great company to try this with! Don’t worry about booking anything in advance either. You can book extra excursions etc here. There is a Peter Pan in most places you go – as well as other travel companies! 


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Walk to Lighthouse

Definitely make sure you take time to walk up to the Lighthouse. The walk is relatively easy and the views are just stunning! It is such a lovely walk for a morning or afternoon when you want to stretch legs and leave the sandy beaches for a while.

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Kayaking with dolphins

Now for ‘kayaking with dolphins’. DONT DO IT! I can’t sit here and possibly lie about this experience. Not only did the majority of the group get incredibly sea sick, including me, but we did not see ONE dolphin, not one! You are guaranteed to see a group of dolphins and if not – all your money back. We did not get our money back, or a free ticket to return for a second chance. All we left with was a pale face 🤢 and disappointment. It was a lot of money to throw away. We had been so excited about this but I guess I wouldn’t swim with a group of 30 people around me if I were a dolphin either!

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Brisbane & The Gold Coast

This is where the trip begins, or ends, if you start up in Cairns. Brisbane is a beautiful and fresh city in Queensland and luckily we have family that live there so we were able to see things that only a local would know about.

The Gold Coast we absolutely LOVED! Surfers Paradise is probably the city you have heard of and this is where the bus will drop you off. Surfers, to me, was incredibly disappointing. So touristy and a little tacky. I suppose if you want to go for a drink and party then you’ll have a good night but that is as far as it goes. If you venture a little further down along the beach you will come to Broad Beach. This is the place to be!

Not only is the beach lovely but the food there is too! We could actually see ourselves living there!

Noosa 

Oh Noosa, Noosa, Noosa – you are simply magical

I could totally picture myself retiring here with a house by the lake, my own boat and spending my days brunching and swimming in the lake. Here’s to dreaming, hey?!

It is so so so pretty and quaint here.

With only two days here we spent our first day canoeing the Everglades. One of the only two in the world! It was a perfect day for it and so enjoyable! You finish off your long canoe with a tasty BBQ – true Aussie style!

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The national park and beach at Noosa are amazing too! Noosa Heads in another great place to cycle too and explore.

In terms of nightlife- there isn’t much. We spent our nights at our hostel bar with our lovely friends; cheap drink vouchers at the ready!

But having met the people we did made every night so memorable.

*drinking goon before a night out is always a good option to save money. However, beware of the unusual behavior that then follows and the brutal head the next day*.

Fraser Island 

THIS place was my absolute favourite!

We stayed at Dingos backpackers on Rainbow Beach, which was lovely. Here we spent two days before actually arriving on Fraser Island.

*Bring food from Noosa to Rainbow. You will save yourself so much money as there are few and far between in terms of supernarks here and they are EXPENSIVE!*  – or you can raid the ‘free cupboard’ at your hostel and hope it supplies you with a decent meal! 

Day one was spent on Rainbow Beach itself, which was absolutely pristine!! Day two was spent organizing Fraser Island!!
Basically, on the second day ‘Dingos’ had to talk you through the safety procedures of driving on sand, the precautions around the Dingo dogs that live on the island… and everything in between. It can be dangerous if you’re not careful

You are also put into groups and these are the people you will spend your three days with, they will be in your 4×4 car each day!

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I won’t spoil it for you and tell you everything you will do and see whilst on Fraser, but, it was truly the best, most EPIC three days of my life and it will be yours too! We were even lucky enough to see some Dingos ourselves!

What I will tell you is:

• look up at the stars at night – I promise you, you will have never seen something so clear and breathtaking in your whole life!

• make the most of your goon and party the night away with the most amazing people you will ever meet! Try to remember everything the next day though!

• cherish every thing you see and do because it is so special!

You are catered for ALL of your food during this trip. The food is AMAZING TOO! You must bring your own alcohol- but are only allowed one bag of goon per person. 

You will be sure to leave Fraser with a huge smile on your face and a new AMAZING group of friends!

Whitsundays 

Definitely my second favourite trip of the East Coast. We had already made so many great friends during our trip so far which made everything so much more fun!

The bus drops you off at ‘Airlie Beach’ and this is where you will stay before embarking on your crazy three day boat cruise to ‘Whitsundays’. 

Whilst on Airlie, make the most of the lagoon. You cannot swim in the sea because of the jelly fish, so a man made Beach/Lagoon has been developed. There are also outdoor BBQ’s situated all around the Lagoon so we all bought an item of food each and had a great night drinking and eating here before heading out!

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If you can, book yourself onto ‘The Clipper’. It’s one of the boat companies you can go through when organizing your three day cruise.

You don’t have to do a three day cruise, there are various options for a one day, two day cruise etc. it all depends on how much time you have.

‘The Clipper’ is best known as ‘the party boat’. There are other boats to suit your preference, but, although Danny and I are not huge party animals, we definitely wanted to make the most of our trip here and go all out! I mean, the boat has a jacuzzi AND a slide! Come on!

But in all honesty, it’s not as you think. Through the day the alcohol is locked away and you are only able to drink it after 6pm. 

All food and water is provided on the boat, included in the price too!

Each day we were able to snorkel, scuba dive and chill. During the night we could drink, listen to music and party! We were so lucky as everyone on our boat got on so well and they were all so lovely! Each night we slept under the stars on bean bags, it was perfect! The crew were awesome too!

On our last night the whole boat couldn’t believe their eyes as we all watched sharks swim around our boat as the crew fed them fish! It was so surreal, I will never forget it! 🦈

As for Whitsundays, we couldn’t believe our luck, it was cloudy and rained all day! BUT it was still absolutely breathtaking. The water was so clear and blue. Keep a look out for lemon sharks and sting rays too! We were lucky enough to see them both!

You must walk to the viewpoint too, where you can see panoramic views of The Whitsundays. It is a sight you will never forget!

Magnetic Island 

After a crazy few days you will be happy to arrive on Magnetic Island where you can fully enjoy the Aussie weather.

The island is so small, which we loved!

We only had two full days here so we got ourselves a map from our hostel, rented a ‘Barbie Car’, and explored the island (this is an extra cost). 

There are some glorious beaches here and lookout points. You also have the option of renting a 4×4 car to visit those harder to reach beaches. But the Barbie car was so much fun!

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Watch the sunset one night or every night! It is a short hike that is organized through your hostel. We stayed at ‘base’, which I also highly recommend. You stay in gorgeous little beach huts, they are just perfect!

ALSO don’t miss out on seeing the Rock Wallabies. Ask someone to point you in the right direction and get there at around 5pm. A local feeds them every night with fruit, so we were able to get close to them and watch as they devoured all of the food! They were so tame and gentle. We enjoyed every second!



Mission Beach 

Mission beach really is a place you go to solely for the sky dive and white water rafting. There is nothing else there and nothing to do at night! For two nights we sat and watched movies and played scrabble – pretty dull, right? But the sky dive, on the other hand was EPIC!

I have never don’t something so exillerating in my life – throwing yourself out of a plane is pretty crazy! You can see the Great Barrier Reef from up there! We all left on such a high, I just wished we had that extra money to film our experience…Next time!

The white water rafting was really cool too! Although, there were some hidden costs that we weren’t told about!

Being about 1 hour from Cairnes, you can completely skip this destination and arrange to do your sky dive from Cairnes instead! 

I would suggest you do this; it will save you some money and you still get to do your sky dive at Mission. The special thing about sky diving here is that it is the only place where you actually land on a beach! AND the views are spectacular, of course! 😀☀

Cairns 

This is where the trip ends and the thought makes you so sad! It’s been a trip of a lifetime and you have seen and experienced so much in such a short space of time.

Most travelers stay at Gilligan’s, which is where we stayed. I hear varying things about people’s experiences here but we really enjoyed it.

We had a lot planned for our final days here, including Australia Day. For Australia Day Gilligans hosted a pool party; it was such an awesome day!

What I loved most about Cairnes was that everyone you met along the East Coast ends up here. So it is one big family and you spend your final days with the best people!

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The Great Barrier Reef – One of the main reasons people visit Cairns is to also visit the famous Great Barrier Reef. I learnt that over time the corals will be destroyed and there will be a possibility of the REEF being closed down to the public . This made me feel incredibly sad. Partly because the beautiful corals were being destroyed by careless people but also because the beauty of this underwater world will no longer be shared. It was magnificent and an unforgettable scuba experience. I swam alongside a turtle! I saw beautifully coloured fish and manta rays swim beneath me – it was magical!

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Cape Tribulation and Mila Mila Waterfall. 

We spent three days between Cape Tribulation and it’s stunning surrounding areas.

On a tour bus we were taken to towering waterfalls, hidden covers, on jungle treks and much more! The tour guides were brilliant too, they were so informative. We were extremely lucky to see two mummy Cassowary birds and a baby – these birds are the third tallest and second heaviest birds in the world AND sadly close to extinction. Please drive slowly and carefully around these areas – many of these majestic birds are killed by cars. 

If you know of Peter Andre’s song, ‘Misterious Girl’, you will be delighted to know that the music video was filmed at Mila Mila Waterfall. It is fun to flip your and reinact the video – I’m sure your tour guide will be the first to suggest it!

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Cape Tribulation was another trip I could have trimmed down to a single day trip. There is no difference in what you will see or do other than sleeping in the resort. The beach is glorious, however, so incredibly hot! So I would suggest shaving this down to one day and using the spare time to do something else!

Danny also did his bungy jump here! I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but for those of you who are adrenaline seekers – make sure you add it to your itinerary! 

Oh my gosh! That certainly had me racking my brains to remember everything! ☀🌏😀

Here the East Coast ends! Remember that this was only my experience and there is so much more you are able to see and do 😀 Please leave a comment with any questions! I thoroughly enjoy sharing my travel tips with you all.

                   Enjoy your East Coast trip! 

Below is a little video we made from our unforgettable trip up the East Coast! Make sure you set the video to watch on desktop for it to work. It is so funny watching it back! Enjoy…!

Thanks for reading … 💛😀

ThePommieBrunette xxx

Guide to a short stay in Koh Phi Phi..

The next leg of our adventure took us to Koh Phi Phi. This is the second time I have visited the island but this time round I enjoyed so much more!

Koh Phi Phi is another island known for its party scene with endless boat party options, great bars and beach bars. However, there is also a very much relaxed side of the island that takes you to hidden beaches, private longtail boat trips and small group excursions to breathtaking places.

From Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi it cost us 150baht per person; depending on who you book the tickets through, the price varies. The ferry took 1.5 hours so we were there before we knew it!

What MUST you do in your short stay? 

With no time to spare we booked our trip to Maya Bay as soon as we got there. You are not short of places to book through and all prices vary – just introduce some bartering techniques to lower the price to one that suits your budget.

Our trip cost a total of 2000baht between us; 1200baht for the trip + 400baht for Maya Bay entry. The cost did not bother us because it was hands down the best day we had experienced so far on the islands.

What the trip included? 

• Sorkeling at shark point

We started off the day with a short longtail boat ride to Shark Point where we were able to snorkel around the beautiful corals and watch the hundreds of fish. No sharks were seen this time but our boat driver mentioned the reason was because it was busy! So fingers crossed you are lucky enough to see some friendly sharks!

• Monkey island

Next we spent about 30 minutes on monkey island, where we were greeted by friendly monkeys and their babies! They were all so placid and gentle; not bothered in the slightest by the GoPro in their faces!

• Pileh Bay

This place has got to be up there in the most breathtakingly stunning sceneries I have ever seen in my life! Pulling into the bay was like a dream! The water is crystal blue and is surrounded by huge limestone rock formations. We anchored up in the center of the bay and jumped in for a swim and the water was divine! I could have stayed here for the rest of the day it was THAT beautiful, but only having 45 minutes meant we had to take it in as much as we could before moving on. * this is one good reason why a private longtail boat is a great idea as you are able to stay in places that you love for much longer*. Lunch was also included in the package, a tasty fried rice dish and as much water/coca cola as you pleased. Great place to stop for lunch!

Snorkelling around Maya Bay

Around the corner from Pileh Bay is Maya Bay, which is the famous location of where ‘The Beach’ was filmed with Leonardo Decaprio. Oh, and it is sensational. Entering the bay is filled with such excitement and awe as you see it’s natural beauty.

Before setting foot on the glorious beach we had 30 minutes to snorkel in the water close to the entrance. The boat driver helped attract the dozens of colourful fish by feeding them left over rice from lunch, so you are not short of great underwater pictures surrounded by fish!

• 3 hours on Maya Bay beach

Now for the BEST part! MAYA BAY! This is the most popular place to visit in Koh Phi Phi Don. Daily, hundreds of thousands of crowds pass through to take in the beautiful scenery, waters and sandy beach of this unforgettable island. Crowds come from surrounding islands so it can get extremely busy! Luckily, we were there for THREE HOURS so we watched the crowds come and go and eventually it quietened down and we were able to enjoy it even more.

If you fancy a short hike you can venture up to the Maya Bay viewpoint and take a look from above the trees!

• Watch the sunset at Sunset Point 

After getting your fill of Maya Bay you are then taken to a perfect spot in the ocean to watch the sun go down! It’s magical! By then you’re pretty friendly with the other people on your boat so it feels so relaxed; everyone is having fun and enjoying the moment. What a way to end a brilliant day!

• Swimming with the illuminated plankton 

Unfortunately it was near enough impossible to get any photographs of the plankton, so I took this opportunity to leave everything on board and jumped in the sea to experience the electric blue illuminations! It was so much fun to see and an experience you are sure not to forget!

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Beaches…

Now for those glorious white sands!

If you have longer here then great! But, for those of you who don’t, here are two of the beaches you must visit! 😀☀

As Phi Phi is considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful island in Thailand, you are not short of incredible beaches. Some more accessible than others. You will not be able to get enough of the limestone mountains, caves and paradise beaches.

LONG BEACH

On the SouthWest side of this small island is Long Beach. You can get here one of  two ways;  Longtail boat – 5 minute ride or have a leisurely walk over rocks between beaches or via short jungle trails. It is be-you-tiful!!! 💛

LOH DALUM BEACH – main beach

I chose this beach because, although it may not be the best in terms of idellic, it is the main beach, so, that means it’s easily accessible for those who only have a couple of days here. As I mentioned before Phi Phi has some AMAZING beaches, but, can require quite a walk or the need for a taxi boat which can use a full day up!

DALUM beach is situated perfectly and is beautiful in its own right! With many many beach bars to chose from, white sands, crystal ocean, picturesque landscapes, you can’t help but relax here for a couple of hours. Not to mention the sunset 🌅 ! Spectacular!

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ViewPoint!

Whether you want to check out the view point through the day or for sunset is entirely up to you but it does get busy at night! It is a rewarding 20-30 minute steep climb to the top and a mission of preventing mosquitos from attacking you, but, yes, totally worth it!

We went for sunset and managed to find ourself a great spot to perch on whilst watching the sun go down with some lovely German friends we had met along the way! The view is fantastic! You are able to see both the East and West sides of the island in a panoramic view. The sunset was not to shabby either!

I also heard the sunrise view is something special! 

Phi Phi, you are a dream! 🙌🏻💛🌅🌏
I hope you got something useful from this blog post and I also hope it’s reaches your expectations as it did mine!

Thanks for reading my lovelies!

Love Sarah 😀 xxx

5 things to do in Koh Lanta

When people talk of the Thai Islands I rarely hear anyone mention Koh Lanta, why? I have no idea! The Island was right up there amongst my favourite.

How to get there?

Koh Lanta is an island district in Krabi Province and the way to get there is pretty simple. We went from Koh Samui to Krabi to Koh Lanta via boat and bus which cost a total price of 600-700baht per person. This entirely depends on which company you book your tickets through as they all give different quotes (don’t forget to barter with them!). The trip was comfortable and took around 12 hours in total.

Where to Stay?

There are plentiful options of places to stay here in Lanta. Get yourself there and rock up at a hostel/guesthouse and negotiate a price, you are sure to get a good deal! We stayed in Lanta Sabai Hotel and Bungalows, which is on the Western side of the island, perfect location – close to some beautiful beaches and everything you need on your doorstep! There are some great restaurants right on your doorstep too, at such cheap prices. We ate practically every night in a place right next door to our hotel and the thai food was BEAUTIFUL! I would recommend that you stay on the western side of the island also as there is much more to see here, in my opinion.

5 Thing to do in Koh Lanta…

The island isn’t huge but you definitely need to organise some transportation if you want to get around. You can pay for a tuc tuc or taxi to get you where you want to be, but, again, it is much more expensive that renting a scooter. We rented a scooter from our hotel costing us 200 baht/day.

So what should you do to pack your days full of fun?!

  1. Mu Ko Lanta National Park

The National Park is situated at the Southern end of the island and is a wonderful day out. The park is open daily from 08:00 to 17:00 and to enter you must pay an entry fee of 200 baht per person + 20 baht extra to park your motorbike/scooter.

The park is home to some very cheeky monkeys that you can watch swim and play in the lake (be aware of your belongings – they will take anything!).

There is a beautiful lighthouse which sits on a high rocky peninsular cliff named Ta Noad Cape, you can walk up to and experience some impressive views.

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The park also has two picturesque beaches that stretch out on either side of this peninsular which are perfect for snorkelling, relaxing and swimming. The sand is glorious and its surroundings are breathtaking.

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If you fancy a bit of exercise then make your way to the 2km long nature walk. An easy walk with amazing surroundings, trees and lookouts.

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2. Khlong Chak Waterfall.

Depending on the time of year you visit the waterfall will either be full-bodied or fairly dry. As we visited in February it was very warm with little rainfall so there was not much water, however, at the right time of year this waterfall is said to be magnificent.

Also situated further south on the island it can be easily missed. The maps are not brilliant, but if you head toward the elephant camps the waterfall is along that same road. To avoid paying for parking, park your bike a little further away and walk 5 minutes to the entry of the waterfall track. The walk takes about 20-25 minutes depending on how slow you take it, and the walk itself is not too tasking at all!

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See! No Water! 

3. Lanta Animal Welfare

Whilst in Koh Lanta you MUST visit this animal shelter. It is a non – profitable organisation, however, they do appreciate a donation if you are able to give one. Here, you can spend time playing with or walking the dogs. You can cuddle into the cute kittens and cats and leave feeling so happy! There are so many stray dogs and cats in Thailand, we wanted to take them all home with us, so seeing such an amazing organisation that does some wonderful things for these animals was such a breath of fresh air! The shelter closes at 5pm, so get there in good time!

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Meet ‘Minty’ She was adorable!

4. Four Island Day Trip

You may want to spend the day off of the island and see some of the gorgeous islands surrounding Koh Lanta. Easily booked through your hotel or nearest tourist information shop, you are picked up from your guesthouse and taken to the port where a longtail boat takes you to four different islands.

The day trip includes snorkelling on the reef at Koh Chuek, enjoying a Thai lunch at the beach of Koh Ngai, more snorkelling at Koh Maa and exploring the famous Emerald Cave and lagoon at Koh Mook – now THAT was insane!

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We paid 600 baht each for this trip. *The only downside to this trip was the lack of time we were able to spend in each place. If you can, hire a private longtail boat as you are able to take as much or as little time as you please in each place*.

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Busy Busy Lagoon

5. Beach Hopping.

You are spoilt for choice for which beach to visit here in Koh Lanta, so why not make a day of it and go beach hopping and enjoy each and every one?!

Other than the breathtaking beaches at the National Park, our other favourites were Klong Klong Beach, Klong jark Beach, Bamboo Bay and Kantiang Bay Beach. With so many more to see, these were the closest to our hotel, but spread your wings are venture further and I assure you, you will not be disappointed! many of the beaches host chilled out beach bars where you can watch picturesque sunsets with a cocktail or two in hand, sitting on bean bags and cushions on the glorious sand – it is something that can never be beaten!

Put Koh Lanta on your bucket list for the South Islands AND enjoy! 

 

Love Sarah xxx

Guide to: Thai Islands

With our 30 day visa to hand, we have explored Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi and finally Krabi! It has been action packed and full of fun, hence the lack of blogging…but here I am, sat in Krabi, and ready to spill all I know about these stunning islands.

In this particular blog I will only write about Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, otherwise it will be the longest blog post ever! Look out for my following posts – I just have so many exciting stories to tell you!
*Please check my previous post if you want to know all about Koh Tao*

Koh Phangan

With only two full days to spare in Koh Phangan we planned everything we wanted to see before we arrived. A slow boat from Koh Tao to Phangan cost us 350 baht per person and was a short two hour journey, which was lovely relaxing on the top deck with the sunshine blazing!

We stayed in the Ban Haad Rin district as the bottom of the island, which was a short 15 minute walk to Had Rin Nok where all of the full moon parties take place. This area is full of bars, restaurants and has such a good vibe. However, our side of the island was much quieter and has the most amaaazing sunsets I have ever seen. Had Rin Nok is known for it sensational sunrises, which, unfortunately we were too lazy to get up to see..oops!

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There is so much more to Koh Phangan than the ‘party island’ I always thought it was. I was actually hesitant to visit there as I believed it would be full of party-goers, but I am so thankful that Danny persuaded me to give it a go. Yes, it does host a great party, but the island itself is breathtaking and has so much to see and do.

What to do in Phangan in two days?

Danny and I love a good waterfall so we rented a scooter for two days at 250 baht/day and ventured up to Phaeng waterfall. This waterfall is the first you come across and depending on the time of year you visit you will see little or a huge amount of water. We visited in the dry season, therefore, the waterfall was pretty dry, but non-the-less beautiful. We clambered the rocks to get a closer look and found a lovely little rock pool at the foot of the waterfall, where we relaxed for a little while before moving on.

It feels almost like a small national park here, but it isnt, and it is free to enter. With more than one waterfall to find, stunning viewpoints and trekking we were spoilt for choice and ended up spending hours there without realising!

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Phaeng Waterfall

We found a stunning view point in this area called ‘Dom Sila’. The walk up to the viewpoint is not too tasking at all taking approximately 20 minutes and felt fairly safe. Bring trainers, just incase. Because the viewpoint was quiet we were able to get the best seats in the house and perched ourselves on the large rocks and admired the view for an hour. The photograph doesn’t do it justice! You can see the beaches and ocean in the distance and it the colours you see are dreamy!

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Dom Sila Viewpoint
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Phaeng Waterfall Rockpool

The beaches here are plentiful and after visiting the waterfall we were able to drive down the coastline and see so many of them. Be careful with the maps as they are not brilliant and we managed to get lost … again! Each beach had its own little characteristics, which I loved, you are spoilt for choice. The sunset on Haad RIn Nai was something else too, I have never seen such beautiful shades of pink and purples in the sky before, it lit up the whole beach! As for sunset bars, try Amsterdam bar too for a memorable sunset and don’t forget your bottle of Chang beer!

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Stunning sunset

Day Two

If you are more of a beach person, you will find so many gems on this island, some hidden, some hard to get to. On our second day we planned to bike upto Bottle Beach in the morning and then make our way to Lod beach for a spot of snorkelling, which we heard was brilliant there. Although we didn’t make it to Lod beach…and here is why…

Bottle Beach is difficult to get to, infact, you can only get there by boat or by foot. Longtail boats are pricey but much more of a convenient route, whereas by foot you get to hike 5k through the jungle to find it. The road to bottle beach abruptly ends and it is here where visitors park their vehicles and hike through the jungle. This route is definitely for the more adventurous and it will definitely get your heart racing. Wear hiking boots/trainers…we didn’t, and oh how our little toes suffered! The 5k walk definitely feels much longer as it is up and down steep tracks; the route is marked by yellow and blue markings on rocks as it is easy to lose your way, but believe me when I tell you, the hike is so so so worth it! When we finally made it to the shores we couldn’t believe our eyes, it was exactly as we imagined. The beach was fairly big, with little beach bars and beach huts around the sides, huge rock formations create a cove, the water turquoise, the sand white. It was glorious and known as one of the best beaches in Koh Phangan.

The drive to bottle beach was nothing short of stunning too, with beaches on one side, quaint little settlements on the other, mountains, greenery and markets. So much to look at and it is difficult to not stop off along the way.

So with the hike taking 2 hours each way, we barely had time to relax on the beach before having to head back, so unfortunately missed our opportunity to visit Son Beach. But if you love to snorkel, give it a whirl, its meant to be beautiful!

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Bottle Beach, you are stunning!

Two days go too quickly don’t they? Before we knew it, it was time to move on AGAIN! Koh Phangan was a pleasant surprise and if you decided to stop here, another day or two would not go amiss!  

Koh Samui 

To get from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui it cost us a small price of 200 baht/pp on a slow boat and only took one hour. The islands are so close to each other, you can see the other one from the coastline.

Here we stayed in the Bo Phut district, which was quiet, but still had restaurants and bars a short walk from our hotel. The main reason we came to Koh Samui was to visit Ang Thong Marine National Park for my birthday and with only two day spare we wanted to sit back and relax. Travelling from place to place can get so tiring, so relaxation was well overdue. Koh Samui has a ‘resort’ feel to it, with fancy hotels and apartments, holiday goers relaxing by the pool and lots of tourist attractions. Each island is completely different to the last, we love it!

We stayed in the ‘Mermaid Resort Hotel’, which cost $27AUD per night. It was slightly over our budget but as it was my birthday we splashed out…a little! It was a great hotel though and the staff could not do more for you. There were two swimming pools, one facing the beach and the other amongst the accommodation. This is where we stayed for one of the days and my, did we need it!

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Happy birthday to me!

Ang Thong – Add this to your list of excursions when visiting Koh Samui because it was a wonderful day and a great way to spend my 26th birthday. Costing 1,600baht per person, including the National Park entrance fee, food and drink, we were picked up bright and early from our hotel and taken to the port.

Ahg Thong is a short boat ride of approximately 1.5 hours. We first arrived at Anh Thong beach and I have to say it is probably amongst the best beaches I have ever seen. Here we were able to spend time snorkelling, monkey spotting and taking in the beautiful view point they have here. The path upto the view point is paved and fairly easy to get to, although steep! We did not manage to get up to the very top, which was a 500m walk uphill; we settled for the 300m viewpoint – because it was pretty exhausting and who wants to be exhausted on their birthday, ey?! The view was still sensational!!

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Viewpoint of the 40 something islands

Watch out on the beach for those ‘Dusky Leaf Monkeys’, they are so placid and lovely. We spotted them chilling in the trees on the beach front and were not bothered by us coming up for a closer look.

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Dusky Leaf Monkeys

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This price also included kayaking, which is what we did next. Following our guide we kayaked from one island to another, exiting and entering stunning caves. One cave we entered opened at the top allowing rays sunshine to enter the cave, making the water glisten a gorgeous blue. It really was something. There was not rush either, which is so nice when you are on an excursion, also for the mere fact that Danny and I cannot for the life of us sync our rowing abilities and end up in all sorts of directions!

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Once we made it back to shore we climbed up and down some wooden stairs to check out the Emerald Lagoon. There are about three different areas of the lagoon you can get to, to see various different views; all of which were breathtaking. You cannot swim in the lagoon but standing and watching from afar was good enough for us.

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We ended our day with a refreshing swim in the beach cove, a snorkel and relaxed on the beach. We are so happy we did this trip and what a birthday it was! It was a highlight for us that we will never forget! Make sure you don’t miss out on seeing these beautiful places 🙂

What else can you do in Koh Samui..

Visit Wat Phra Yai Buddha on the West side of the island, a giant golden buddha.

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Spend your day beach hopping at some of the stunning white sandy beaches such as, Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach.

Set your sights on natural rock formations at Hin Ta Hin Yai and spend the day surrounded by stunning scenery.

For you adventurous people, ride up to one or two of the waterfalls Samui has to offer, such as Na Mueang waterfall and Hin Lat Waterfall.

Although Samui is a great place to relax, there is much more to do and you could easily spend your whole holiday here. Another day here, as per usual, would have been great for us… but with no time to waste, off we went to Koh Lanta…

Next Blog Post will be on the best things to do in Koh Lanta…keep a look out!

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Love Sarah xxx