Guide to Krabi, Thailand..

Sitting down and looking back at photo’s of Krabi has me daydreaming of travel an how much I absolutely LOVED every second of my trip to Thailand. Krabi was not only the last destination of our Asia trip, but it was one of my favourite! We were so incredibly sad to be leaving this place behind as we positively enjoyed every moment there.

Krabi is the capital of Southern Thailand’s Krabi Province and is a large town which hosts amazing foods, cookery classes, pristine beaches, phenomenal viewpoints and endless excursions. Some of the best views are seen at The Tiger Cave Temple which sadly we missed. I was hit with a dose of sunstroke and whatever else, so we had to cut that from our itinerary. Boohoo, I know! 

Thousands of people visit here every year; some to stay and others as a quick stop off point to go on to other islands such as Koh Phi Phi, which is incredibly easy to get to via ferry.

Where did we stay?

Krabi is FULL of options for accomodation. Depending on the time of year you visit will determine the price you will pay for a room. The best time to visit is during the months November through to March as the weather is not as humid and the rainfall is much less. We were there during the beginning of March and it was just perfect!

Having done so well with our budget we were able to ‘splash out’ a little more and book ourselves a beautiful, modern room in Fahsai Bay Villa, 10 minutes from Ao Nang. This cost a total of 520 baht for five nights. It was a family run business with breakfast included.

The family could not do enough for you, and if that wasn’t enough they had two of the sweetest daughters that made our time there so special. They were adorable and LOVED to sit with us and play with our hair, do my makeup and make us laugh. It was also a two minute walk from the port, so extremely easy to catch a ferry to Railey Beach and other islands. A shuttle bus passed by every 15 minutes, stopping off at Ao Nang Beach for about 30 baht; if I remember correctly. You could also hire a scooter or a car to get around yourself.

Krabi town was also accessible via the shuttle bus, so really, we were not too far from anything. The food was surprisingly cheap too AND delicious! As usual, we found our favourite restaurant and ate there most nights for next to nothing! 7eleven and family mart were also a 2 minute walk away! So yes…clearly, I could not recommend this place more.

As for Ao Nang the cost of hotels are much steeper, so staying a little further out saved us alot! 

What to do in Krabi? 

With only five days left we were determined to see and experience everything we had set out to do. We had seen and read so many incredible things that we just could not wait to get going!

Railey Beach..

Oh Railey, Railey, Railey… So many friends and fellow travellers recommended this place to us along the way, so we expected great things!

Railey beach is only accessible via boat due to the hugely immense limestone mountains, making it impossible to get to in any other way. But not to worry, because most boats leave for every 30 minutes making it super easy! You can even book your tickets the morning you leave, we had no problem! 😀☀

The ONLY negative I will throw in about Railey Beach was that it was incredibly busy! I know, it is a touristy place AND it should be expected, but we felt that it took away from its charm. Particularly by Phra Nang beach and cave- visually, the surrounding are breathtaking, but it was difficult to relax and take it all in when we were having to watch where we stepped and where we swam all afternoon 🙈. 

However, there is so much to do here so if you have time I would suggest you book a night here to make the most of what Railey has to offer! 🐒

Railey Beach – Well this is one of the sole reasons people come to visit year in, year out; to relax on the beautiful Railey beach.

Surrounded by imposing limestone mountains, the large sandy beach is perfect for setting up your beach towels, buying yourself a delicious coconut and basking in the glorious sunshine.

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Phra Nang Beach – It is often debated which is the best beach, Phra Nang or Railey. If it wasnt for the crowds I would have chosen Phra Nang beach! Again, surrounded by limestone mountains, the ocean is much more pristine and is juxtaposed to Phra Nang Cave. From beautiful sands to rocky caves, it is such a great contrast and so much fun to explore. The beach also showcased what some people might find extremely strange; a collection of phalluses, penis calvings that are placed there by fisherman as an offering to the princess of the cave, who is then believed to bring them prosperity. Take a look, it took us a while to figure out why on earth these calving’s were there.

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Caves

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Phra Nang Beach


Monekys! – See if you can spot a monkey or ten hanging from the telephone lines and trees! 🐒 We did not see any until about 5pm on our way back to the boat; they were so tame! They will grab anything they can from you so be careful, but we loved watching them as they tried to balance along telephone wires and played with each other by the footpaths. This one was adorable!

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What else is there to do at Railey Beach?

  • Magnificent viewpoints – We were unable to get to the viewpoint because I hurt my foot and the climb looked less than inviting. You literally have to climb steep rock face to get there, so be extremely cautious if you decide to give it a go. There are two viewpoints and they are said to be stunning!
  • Rock Climbing – We did not do this either, but if you fancy a bit of action then rock climbing is brilliant for the more adventurous. In fact, we saw one elderly man rock climbing at Phra Nang Beach completely on his own! No equipment in site – I definitely would not recommend this AT ALL! But he gave a great show and had been doing it for years! 🌟
  • Kayaking – explore the waters with an hour or two of kayaking. Again, we did not have time to do this, however, we do love a trip out in the kayak and it is a great way of splitting the day up of relaxation and activity.

Four Island Tour..

The famous four island tour…where do I begin? I know that different companies offered varying prices and companies can visit slightly different areas, but the main reason we went on this trip was to see Hong Island and its breathtaking lagoon.

It is hard for the south of Thailand to not be pretty and each place we visited during this tour was unforgettable…

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I cannot for the life of me remember what this island was called! I have searched everywhere! BUT wherever it was, was a great place to start our day! 😃 We got here via longtail boat and we’re able to spend an hour here, snorkeling, relaxing and monkey spotting! Two islands meet by a long stretch of sandy beach, just breathtaking. We did meet one rather large male money but he wasn’t in the best of moods so we spent our hour in the warm sea!

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Koh Lao La Ding
We could not believe our eyes when we arrived at Koh Lao La Ding. How lucky are we! Possibly one of the most picturesque places we had been we took up every opportunity to get ‘snappy happy’ to create some beautiful image memories! They also have a swing here! It fits two people! We were in our element!

We stayed here for about 2 hours, plenty of time to relax, swim in the stunning ocean and have a look around the small island. Here we also stopped for lunch. Not a bad backdrop for lunch, hey?

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Hong Island
Now for what we had been waiting for! HONG ISLAND! After seeing pictures from here in travel leaflets we could not wait to jump in that emerald colour ocean and splash about. We saw hundreds of bright colourful schools of fish and jellyfish, it was a great snorkeling spot! The beach was also outstanding with limestone mountains and huge trees to hide you from the sun if you wished.

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Hong Island Lagoon
There she is, Hong Island Lagoon, the one and only! I could have spent much longer here but we had one more special place to visit.

The next place we visited was a lagoon, surrounded by tall limestone cliffs. The water was so shallow that people were walking through it; the water so clear! But we were honestly disappointed by our time at this Lagoon because they did not let us off the boat! So with one quick 5 minute loop of the lagoon on the boat we left! 🙁 ah well, it didn’t ruin the day by any means, we were still in awe of what we had seen at Hong Island. 🌴

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Ao Nang Beach

Only staying ten minutes away from here we wanted to spend a day exploring this popular beach. The town itself has a great number of markets, restaurants, ice cream shops and beach bars. It is no surprise that staying here is more pricey!

The beach bars looked lovely and don’t be alarmed by the large number of women who approach you asking if you would like a massage. There is a section of the beach that is solely for Thai masseuses AND at such good rates! 🌸

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Ao Nang Beach

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Hidden Ao Nang Beach
Now, if you stay or visit Ao Nang Beach then make sure to venture over to the ‘other side’ of the beach. Continue walking East along the beach front until you can not walk anymore. You will be stopped by mounds of rock. However, on your left you will see a wooden stairway and bridge that, when you follow, will take you up and down and over the rocks to a more beautiful, more pristine area of Ao Nang Beach. We were so happy we stumbled across this.

Ao Thalane Kayaking

As I mentioned earlier, Danny’s and I love taking out a kayak at any opportunity! Here at Ao Thalane you are able to do just that-but even better! Here’s why…
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Kayaking in a small group, staying close to the lush green limestones you enter lagoons, caves, canyons and tangled forestry until you meet the most friendly monkeys. Amongst the mangrove trees are monkeys waiting for your arrival. If you get close enough the monkeys jump on board your kayak in hope to find something tasty in your bag! Keep everything closed and we were told not to touch them under any circumstances. But just watching them they were so tame and cute! They seemed to like our kayak, perhaps of our hordes of water bottles, but I managed to quickly snap a picture on our GoPro of this mother and her baby perched on the end of our Kayak. It was such an unforgettable experience!

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Such a beautiful day to Kayak!

We ended our four hour Kayak trip with an hour swimming in the Crystal Pools not far from Ao Thalane.

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Like swimming in bath water, you are able to walk along the windy pool, tube or swim. There are also a number of tarzy swings to jump into the water from; it was so much fun! If only I could have captured a true likeness of what we saw through my photograph. It is a must visit!!

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Believe me, there is so much more to see and do in Krabi. The Krabi Town Markets, hiking to see some beautiful lookout points and endless islands, you will be spoilt for choice and will wish you had all the time in the world to spend here. But, like us, I am sure you will return. 

We left Asia with the fondest memories and huge love for the countries we visited. But onwards we go to…

New Zealand..

 

The Pommie Brunette…x

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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

 

Koh Tao Travel Guide

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, which we are shortly going to visit! I am super excited to explore Thailand’s stunning islands, but to start off we arrived in Koh Tao!

I visited Koh Tao about 5 years ago and absolutely loved it, so I already knew we were in for an amazing three days! This island offers something for everyone with a mix off cheap to luxurious accomodations, long stretches of white sandy beaches and hidden coves, sensational coral reefs for snorkelling and scuba diving, unbelievable lookout points and funky beach bars to watch the sun set with a cocktail in hand, it is easy to believe why people enjoy this island so much and return year after year!

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In this blog I am going to splurge all about our three jam packed days in Koh Tao and of those things we did, you must do when you visit! We had a BLAST and for sure three days is not enough, but with only 3.5 weeks to spare, we have a lot to see!

The best way around the island is by motobike/scotter, which cost anything from 150-250 baht/day. The island is small but to see everything we did in such a short time, it was a perfect option! There are taxi’s on the island but they charge A LOT!

Our first full day was fairly relaxed, we took a long boat to Nang Yuan island, which is a short 10 minutes away and a must see! The long boat cost 350 baht per person and to access the island you are to pay a further 100 baht per person. Getting there nice and early means you can grab yourself a nice spot on the beach and spend the day there, as the last boat back to Koh Tao is around 5pm. This island is basically two islands, joined together by a bay of sand, with turquoise sea either side; it really is breathtaking. Bring your snorkels along too because this is one of the most visited sites for divers, with plenty of coral close by. There is also a beautiful lookout point on one side, which is definitely worth the visit.

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By night there are so many tasty restaurants to indulge in anything from fish, Western food and Thai delicacies. There is also a small street stall close to Sairee Beach, here does some AMAZING Thai food, the lady who cooks is called MAMA P! Cooked fresh as you order, cheap and always busy!

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You are not short of beach bars to relax in either (with many happy hour deals). The sun sets perfectly along the western side of the island so get there early and set yourself up in the best spot to watch the sun go down. Lotus bar is a popular one and you cannot miss it with its iconic ‘bendy’ palm tree. Every night Thai fire dancers set on stage for a show with booming music and happy travellers dancing away. Be careful of the fire skipping rope though, people get burnt! Fizz bar is another popular bar to watch sunset and although one of the most pricey bars on the island it has such a good vibe there and the food is something else!

Our second day was filled up by scuba diving! Danny and I went on a ‘fun dive’ to Nang Yuan. The scuba company we used was ‘Davey Jones’ Locker’ and they were brilliant. We asked a few places for prices and got a feel for the instructors but here everyone was so warm and welcoming. Koh Tao is renowned for its scuba diving and is the cheapest place to do it and become a certified diver. I already have my PADI and Danny would have loved to get his but unfortunately we did not have enough time! Next time Dan – because we will definitely be back! The only thing I wished was that we had been taken somewhere else on the island as we had visited Nang Yuan the day before; we really wanted to see some reef sharks or even push our luck and swim with whale sharks!!

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Our last day was our favourite. We got up bright and early, jumped on our scooter and spent the whole day exploring the island, discovering the best beaches, snorkelling and relaxing on rocks overlooking the whole island!

Parts of the island are hard to get to on bike or by car, so many people opt for a day trip by long boat to hard – to – reach beaches and coves. However, the cost was approximately 100GBP and we do not have that amount of money per day (budget problems hey..). 

Danny and I were desperate to see some black tip reef sharks, so of course, our first stop was to be Shark Bay, although we took a wrong turn (surprise, surprise) and ended up on the other side of the bay at a stunning beach called Sai Daeng beach resort. This was not a bad mistake to make because the beach was pristine and FREE, yes, some beaches, including Shark Bay charge a fee to enter! We spent so long here in the water looking for sharks, and funnily enough we did not see any! We were told to swim out about 200 meters, but no luck! We did, however, see some of the most beautiful coral and SO MANY fish, it was AMAZING!

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We could have spent all day there but off we went to venture to our next destination, which was Freedom Beach. You are to pay 50 baht per person to get to this beach but, come on, thats nothing and it is sensational! Fairly busy on the beach itself we dumped our bags and headed back for the water to do some more snorkelling; this place was better than the last; so many hypnotic schools of fish, we were in awe! I feel like the whole day was based around snorkelling because we got so lost in time enjoying ourselves we did not manage to visit another beach!

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After leaving Freedom Beach it was the perfect time to hike up to John- Suwan Viewpoint, which is literally next to Freedom beach. This was told to be the best viewpoint on the island and who even said this was not wrong; we were blown away, it was magnificent. We were able to see the whole island, both Easy and West of Koh Tao, so green and pretty. We spent about two hours here watching the world go by before heading to Sairee Beach for sunset and a few drinks to say goodbye to this phenomenal place.

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There are so many beaches, coves and lookout points to discover here and we wished we had longer, but I guess we will say that in each island we visit! The guidebooks are brilliant here to gather together a few places you would like to visit and speaking with the locals is also a great way of learning of hidden places. What we managed to see made our stay there better than I could imagine, so get yourself there and visit these wonderful places!!

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Next Stop Koh Phangan!…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and please share with me your thoughts and if you have visited Koh Tao, where did you love? I would love to know for our next visit! 

Love Sarah xxx

Find me by the palm trees… 

We decided to stop off in Da Nang for a couple of days as our flight to Phu Quoc was departing from here.

For three days we did absolutely sweet nothing! It was complete bliss, and why not start early? Because soon we will land on the glorious white sands of Phu Quoc – I’m super excited!

We stayed in a motel for three nights called ‘scorpion motel’, which was standard and only $9 per night! Other than being bitten alive by mosquitos, *Danny can lie there naked and get one bite & I lie there covered head to toe and still wake up with 5 fresh bites – how is this?!* it’s pretty clean, the staff are friendly AND it is a two minute walk from the beach! Oh, I’d missed the beach!

Spending three days here was also a great way of saving some money 💰 as Vietnam has certainly set us back ALOT. Let’s put it this way … the New Year meant to get from Ninh Binh to Hoi An, it would cost $100AUD for a night bus, which we paid. In Hoi An all trains and buses were fully booked up until the 16th of February – our visa runs out on the 22nd. Danny and I reluctantly had to pay $400 for a flight out of Hoi An, even after waiting there for an extra 5 days for prices to go down. Absolute killer, right?
With our budget we have been shot so are unable to do some of the things we really wanted to do here in Vietnam; such a shame and it’s fairly irritating that prices can go up so much!

However, we have managed to spend as little as 300,000dong a day (approximately $17) between two of us! Thank goodness for the beach! We also found a super cheap place to eat and the food wasn’t too shabby!

40,000dong – about $1.50 got us this beautiful dish of spring rolls and noodles. It blew our caps off with spice but it’s so tasty! We have even been saving money by buying cereal from the MiniMarts for breakfast! 😂💰🙈


The beach is really pretty too with golden sand and an alignment of palm trees to set up next to for the day. The beach is surrounded by mountains in the distance and you can spot the ‘Lady Buddha’ sat in the mountains – bold and white.

You can arrange visiting the Marble Mountains and My Son etc here too, but I see most people rent a motorcycle and drive there themselves, rather than with a tour – guess this would save a lot of money too.


‘Find me by the palm trees’ 🌴👙 

It has been a perfect few days here and we are now ready to see some real paradise! Helloooo Phu Quoc and we will see you very soon!

Love Sarah xxx

Hello Vietnam!

After a speedy two days in Hanoi we set off towards Cat Ba Island for a day around Ha Long Bay.

Vietnam First Impressions

As soon as we arrived in Hanoi it was crazy. Horns tooting, roads manic, people shouting and taxi men trying to collar us for an overpriced ride to our guesthouse. Luckily we met a Vietnamese girl in the airport who has been living in New Zealand for 8 years; she helped us get to where we needed to be without being ripped off. We quite liked Hanoi as first, the centre was fairly clean and the locals were friendly.

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Hanoi Hustling City
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Halong City Bridge

Hanoi city itself, from our experience, was just a place to stop off before moving on to somewhere we really wanted to be. We stayed two nights in a guesthouse called ‘North No.2’, it was down a dark alley way and was pretty decent inside and the staff were super helpful. We wanted to leave for Cat Ba the following day and decided to organise our own way to Ha Long Bay and do it as the locals would, and we also didn’t want to spend more and go through a tourist hub.

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Happy Snapper

Up early after our two night stay in Hanoi, we made our way to the bus station – not sure it was the one we asked the taxi driver for but we made it non-the-less, costing 200,000 dong, way too much for the distance, but its so difficult to reason with them and barter to a reasonable price. At the station the ticket office refused to give us tickets to Cat Ba, but gladly gave out tickets to the locals. We sat there so frustrated and worried that we were going to miss the 07:20am bus. FINALLY we were pointed towards a bus, after numerous attempts to get a ticket, and were told to pay on there, so we did, after some distrust.

We have found it so hard with the language barrier since then, and feel as though the locals are constantly trying to rip us off. We soon started to think that maybe booking through a tour company or pre-booking our tickets online was maybe the better option. But, hey, you live and learn ALOT when travelling. 

It cost us 200,000dong to get a bus, then fast boat, then second bus to Cat Ba Island centre. The drive was also crazy, with bikes, buses and cars all swerving in and out of each others way; gripping onto Danny the whole way, we finally made it to Cat Ba after about 4 hours.

Cat Ba was beautiful.

The largest island on Ha Long Bay, it prides itself in its sensational views and national park. We definitely could have stayed a day or two longer to really venture out around the island.

We decided to go to Cat Ba rather than Halong City because we wanted to 1) see the island, and 2) we wanted to get a nice quiet boat to see Halong Bay, rather than a party boat. It really just depends on what you want out of your day.

We booked our boat tour through our guesthouse for 350, 000 dong per person. This included our pick up from the hotel, visiting the monkey island, kayaking in and around the caves of Ha Long Bay, Vietnamese lunch, an afternoon swim and a visit to the old fishing villages. It was honestly such an awesome day, we loved every second of it and we met some lovely people on the boat. The sun turned out nice for us too, so it was perfect.

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Romantic Ha Long Bay

Monkey Island

Money Island was really beautiful, we had an hour here and the monkeys were not shy! They came out from the trees straight away to snoop around our bags *keep everything away! They took my sock!* haha. Also don’t get too close to them because they can get vicious if they think you are going to take something from them or they don’t get what they want. They were amazing to watch though, and there was a small climb up the hill to see an outstanding view of the surrounding islands.

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Monkey Island Sensational Hilltop Views
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Cheeky Monkey
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Standard rock photo

Ha Long Bay

People tell me that Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit – and they are not wrong! I haven’t been everywhere, but it is definitely one of the most sensational things I have ever seen.

I didn’t even realise it was Ha Long Bay at first, until later when I asked, ‘when are we seeing Halong Bay’. But we stopped off there for an hour or so and jumped into a kayak to explore the stunning caves. We loved every second of this, the water is so still and at times, when no one else was around, we felt as though we were the only two people in the water; it was so peaceful and pretty. There are so many caves to explore but we went through two small caves, which led us to a gorgeous rock cove. We sat there in awe for about ten minutes just looking around us; we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to see and experience this natural beauty. An hour flew by and I know we could have stayed for so much longer but it was getting busier with more crowds of people, so we had lunch on the boat and sped off to another bay where you could jump off the boat and go for a swim to one of the small beachy islands.

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Kayaking through the Ha Long Caves
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Ha Long Bay

Fishing Villiages

We stayed on the boat for the rest of the afternoon, cruising around and admiring our surroundings. We were then taken to the fishing villages before being dropped back off at the port, which we nice to see, there were so many of them, like a tiny little community of fishermen and their dogs out for the day to catch dinner for everyone else.

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Fishing Villiages

It was such a lovely day and worth every penny! You can pay for so many different tours, such as an overnight stay on a boat and two day tour, or stay in one of the island beach huts, which looked incredible! It is so easy to book through your hostel or hotel or even a tourist information shop. Tick it off your bucket list 🙂

Next stop.. Ninh Binh.

Love Sarah xxxx

 

Chaing Mai Elephant Sanctuary…

Chaing Mai is known in Thailand for its stunning‘Old City’, picturesque temples and exciting trekking experiences. However, the main reason Danny and I went was to spend a day with our favourite animals; the beautiful elephants.

I wanted to write a blog post solely on our day at the sanctuary because it was honestly one of the best days of my life! I could have cried with happiness all day!

We researched carefully into which elephant sanctuary to visit because we know that there are many con sanctuaries in Thailand. When I say this, I mean that many of the owners have realised that tourists are more ethical and educated about elephant cruelty these days and will advertise their camps as being a sanctuary, when really, the elephants are still treat badly, chained and neglected.

I don’t like to preach too much, as there is still so much I do not know myself. But I do know that elephants are not meant to be ridden, their spine is not designed for huge amounts of weight. All day every day elephants made to walk in circles with tourists on their backs, on wooden chairs. It breaks my hearts that they look so sad. Please, please, look into true sanctuaries and avoid riding elephants. I assure you, your day will be so much more fulfilling and animal-friendly if you see these animals happy, in a natural habitat, with NO cruelty.

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This was my face all day long – a permanent smile!

We booked our trip through ‘Elephant Jungle Sanctuary’ online. You could book it in the office if you preferred, which is situated in Chiang Mai. The cost for two people for a whole day was 4,800BHT (www.xe.com). And it was worth every penny! The Karen tribe are responsible for rescuing the elephants we met from riding camps. Many others are rescued from circuses and cages. We met 7 elephants, however, over a few camps they have many more elephants.

We were collected from our hostel at 08:30am and in the back of a pick-up truck with 6 other people, off we went. I won’t lie .. the majority of the ride was fine, but the last 30 minutes were pretty scary! You cannot expect much from a country with limited health and safety, but we sped through the dirt tracks up and down a mountain and finally got to our destination. Wow, stunning! Green, open and mountainous.

After being given our tribal top, we spent a short amount of time learning about the elephants, how they were saved, how to feed them and what to expect from the day. We then spent a couple of hours getting to know the elephants; feeding them, cuddling them and playing! I had the hugest smile plastered all over my face the whole day. They are huge! Even the babies are ginormous, but so gentle and friendly.

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“give me my banana”

After this we had a beautiful lunch of traditional Thai foods and reflected on how amazing our experience with the elephants was! I couldn’t stop watching them! After lunch we made an elephant ‘delicacy’ of rice, banana and twigs! Sounds odd, but a small amount of rice helps with their digestion and the banana gives it the sweet taste. We squished it all into tennis sized balls and walked down to feed them again. Then watched as they one by one walked into the mud pit, where we splashed and rubbed mud all over their trunks. They looked so happy!

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The guides are brilliant. They are very clued-up on what they are doing, as I watched them. They are so gentle with the elephants and constantly watched what we were doing to make sure we did not stand behind them and ensured we were safe at all times. They knew the elephants well and could predict what they were going to do. They were not only clued-up, but so lovely to everyone all day and you could tell they loved being there and helping these animals.

The elephants had bells around their necks so that in the mornings, once the guides wake up, they wander the land and listen for the elephants bells so that can get them and bring them to the camp. It was so nice to hear that they are able to roam the land safely and freely. Each elephant had one guide, it seemed, so at all times we felt safe.

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Another thing I liked to see was that once the elephants had had enough of being in the mud or the water, they just left. There was no order to make them stay in the water for our benefit, they were free to do as they pleased, and that was such a lovely thing to know.

Once the mud mess had finished, we walked over to the river and washed them down. They played games with us when we were not looking; spraying water all over our faces. It was such an incredible day. There was one baby elephants called Peta, who was apparently a little terror and hated leaving the water, so it was hilarious to watch as he fell about in the water having the time of his life as all the others left.

They all dried themselves with the dry dirt in the fields afterwards and made their way back to the hill top to laze in the sun.

We left the day by drinking some thai tea and relaxing in the sun, watching the elephants in the distance. I could have watched them all day, I did not want to leave!

I am totally aware of how cheesy this blog post is, but I couldn’t have written it any other way. It breaks my heart seeing these beautiful giants unhappy and to see what they can have makes it slightly harder to see those who are still in captivity. I hope you read this and I inspire you to take the non-cruelty route when seeing these lovely animals. I will 100% be visiting the Karen Tribe in Chiang Mai again!

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Love Sarah xxx

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Festive Makeup..

Hey guys!

So I thought I would do a spin off of my Christmas Eve night out and show you beauty lovers what I used to create this makeup look below.

*side note* I also have a YouTube channel you can follow if you please, for makeup tutorials! 

Festive Makeup

Face – First thing first with my face is to always moisturise and prime my skin. I usually have fairly oily/combination skin, however, I am not sure if it is the weather but lately It has been quite dry..so I have been using my Clinique moisturiser for dry to dry combination skin. After this, I prime my face using the Mac Prep and Prime in Natural Radiance. This stuff is incredible! It leaves my face feeling so revitalised and fresh, without leaving a oil-like layer over my face.

Foundation – For this look I used a mix of my Estee Lauder Double Wear Cushion Stick in ivory beige with my Revlon ColourStay foundation in 320 True Beige. These combined give me that full coverage I want, as well as leaving me with a slight glow from the Estee Lauder. Its perfect for a fresh, night out glam look!

Concealer – Moving on! The concealer I am in love with lately is the Maybelline eraser eye concealer in ‘light’. I place this in a triangle under each eye, a circle on my chin, a triangle between my eyebrows and forehead and then down the centre of my nose. This will help highlight these points on your face, whilst erasing any dark circles under your eyes!

Next I ‘bake’..For this look I wanted a flawless finish, so using my Maybelline Loose Powder in ‘light’ with a damp beauty blender, I layer over the concealed areas of my face and leave it there for a good five minutes before wiping it off. This not only brightens these areas further, it makes my face look much more smooth and flawless.

Contour – Now for contour.. wow this sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? But honesty it doesn’t take me long at all! :D. To contour for this look, I used my Revlon Contour stick, which is a cream contour. Drawing a line on the outside areas of my forehead, underneath my cheek bones, in a line stopping in the middle of my cheek, under my jaw line and down the outer sides of my nose. I then blend this out using my ‘Makeup Geek’ Face Buffer brush until it is evenly blended with no lines visible.

Bronzer – Using my all time favourite bronzer, ‘Hoola Benefit Bronzer’ by Benefit cosmetics I warm up those contoured areas further to enhance the contour and give me a warm tanned glow!

Blusher – I cannot go without my blush, so I used my ‘Fratboy’ by The Balm pinky blush and brushed it onto the apples of my cheeks! It makes such a difference!

Highlighter- My favourite part! Using my Champagne highlighter from Mac, I gently brush this over the upper area of my cheek bone, where the light would usually catch, a small amount on the tip of my nose and above the middle areas of the top of my eyebrows! I hope this all makes sense! 😀

Lips – Lately I have been absolutely adoring a beautiful, bold lip colour! Its my go to lately and my favourite colours switch between red, deep plumb and raspberry colour I feel like these colours are so festive and add a bit of warmth to my face! The colour I opted for here is called ‘Dark Raspberry’ from ‘NewLook’; this store has branched out to a beauty sector and has some lovely products, which I have really appreciated as they are super affordable. If I remember correctly, this was approximately 3.50 pounds! So creamy and vibrant, it is a must for these colder months!

That is it for my face, after a quick spray of my Loreal makeup setting spray!

Eyes – Lately, I have been loving experimenting with different colours on my eyes. For this look I wanted to use warm colours, with a splash of gold! I went a little crazy with the colours, but I think it worked.. or at least I hoped it did! 😀 Firstly i went in with a burnt orange colour by Makeup Geek, called ‘Morocco’. This shade was used for the transition shade (along the upper side of my crease). Once I was happy with the density of the colour, I moved onto another shade by Makeup Geek called ‘Anarchy’, which is a plumb/purple shade. I worked this colour into the crease of my eye and dragged it out to the outer corners of my eye to deepen my eyes. Finally, for the inter corners and lids of my eyes I went in with ‘Magic Act’ from Makeup geek, a foiled eyeshadow to give them a gold pop! Once happy, I made sure I blended very well so that each colour blended into each other and it really created a warm, but sexy colour. Using the transition and crease shade together, I lined my under eyes.

Eyeliner – I just had to add a ‘winged eyeliner’ to this look; using my Nyx Black Liquid Liner.

Mascara – I love my thick, long, black mascara to give that false lash effect! Here I used a brilliant mascara, which does all of these things! Loreal Telescopic Mascara! 

To finish, using the same highlighter I used for my face, I popped a splash of colour in the tear ducts of my eyes and under my eye brow bones! And voilà DONE!

Festive Makeup

I hope you enjoyed my talk through makeup look here! If you did, please let me know and comment below so I can do more for you!

Love Sarah

xxx

Enjoy your New Year!