After a quick 1 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket, we arrived at about 8.30pm where we met an English friend Emily with whom we had met in South America and hoped into a taxi towards our hostel in downtown Phuket. To be honest there is not a whole lot to see in Phuket apart from some red light districts and very seedy middle aged men. We still have a few years to go! We checked in, organised our boat for the following morning and hit the hay for an early night.
We were up early the following day for some breakfast at the hostel followed by a short bus trip to the pier to board the boat. The boat itself was jam packed with mid-twenties travellers with many nursing severe hangovers across the rocky seas. Once we arrived we met up with a friend from DCU, Gough, who had organised our accommodation in the centre of the town. Kev and I became roomies for the few days and managed to hike the 300 steps to our room on the mountains, showered, grabbed a bite to eat and went straight out for a night on the town with the rest.
The following day we got a day boat out to Maya Bay, made infamous from the movie The Beach, and did some snorkelling before having a nice beer on the beach itself. On the way back we stopped off at Monkey Island, took some snaps with the little lads and headed back to Phi Phi just in time for some dinner (Pad Thai of course). As it was our final night in Phi Phi, we did what we do best: got some buckets and partied on the beach all night!
Finally we arrived on the island of Koh Phanang at about 8pm and made our way to the hotel cabins located right on the party beach: Serious spot! A quick spag bol later and we were fast asleep in our beds as we knew what lay ahead over the coming days: lots of cultural walks and tours of course (that’s just for the Mammies).
The following day a number of friends we had made in Phi Phi had arrived on the island and our crew was properly assembled. We chilled on the beach for the day playing some tag rugby and in the evening went for a few buckets on the beach, but nothing too wild as the following day was the infamous Full Moon Beach Football Tournament. Rumour has it this is where Messi actually learned his trade. Due to the fact that Chris had suffered a career threatening injury with his old man knees and Kev had recently pulled a muscle in his back while summersaulting through a ring of fire, I was the only Wirld member able to take part in the tournament. Once we got a team together with Gough, our eccentric goalie, we kicked off. After a shaky first game ended in a draw, we managed to grind out 3 very big wins against decent teams and qualify for the quarter finals the following day. We actually looked to Big Jack Charlton for some tactical inspiration: “Just kick it up to the big man up front!”. An unbeatable formula! We kept up the Paul McGrath soccer diet and went out celebrating that night on the beach! Not a great idea really.
The following day was full moon party so we just chilled on the beach, grabbed some Pad Thai and got our illuminous clothes ready for the big night. The party itself also coincided with Ireland’s final Six Nations game to win the championship which kicked off at 12 midnight! Not really a tough choice though! After a few drinks on the packed full moon beach, we ran to the nearest bar which had the game on and watched the amazing game unfold. Thank Jesus we won! Queue an unreal full moon party.
We had an easy first night on Koh Tao in preparation for St Patrick’s Day. We managed to find a pub crawl, donned our glad rags and painted ourselves green before hitting the town. On the pub crawl we stopped off at a ladyboy show which was an experience to say the least. Not everyone’s cup of tea. We even made some mates to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with!
The next few days we spent chilling by the beach and taking in some rehab on the beautiful island. One of the days we grabbed a taxi boat out to a remote islands did some cliff jumping which was great craic altogether. As we departed for Bangkok, en route to Cambodia, we said goodbye to an awesome crew of lads we had made while travelling through Thailand and got back on the road…well boat first!
We made it to Bangkok after another nightmarish journey and arrived at 3am with nowhere to stay so headed central and booked in for a night at a hotel. Only downside was that we had to wait until 6am to check in so killed time on the streets of Bangkok. Once in the hotel we grabbed a few hours’ sleep before getting up just before midday to see some of the city. As it was an election day BK was pretty quiet so we headed to a local market for some bargains before heading back to the ranch for some dinner.
After dinner we booked a bus for the following morning to Cambodia. As we were due to leave at 7am the smart option would have been to have a quiet night in. Scrap that! We had a few beers on Koo San road and it was a mad night all round with people dancing in streets. We were off to bed just after midnight so got some shut eye before arising to catch the bus.
We have probably been at our culture discovering lowest while in the south of Thailand, but we had already kind of known what lay in store before we arrived. But without doubt it has been a seriously fun 3 weeks. We met some really sound lads and had probably the most fun over the whole of our trip. We will be back before the end of the trip so hopefully we will be a little more culturally aware next time and not just stick to the Pad Thai!