Sitting in the UK dreaming and planning a trip to Thailand was great fun. Waking up with the realisation that you are now in Thailand was a whole other level of incredible excitement, and after long nights/days sleep in Bangkok our adventure begun with a 4am plane journey.
We arrived in the mist of the rainforest, quickly stashed our bags in our room and ventured out into the jungle, it was incredible. I’ve never seen so many trees and flowers and so much water! A moment of not looking where I was going ended up with a leach clinging on to my big toe, lucky a quick reflex and determined not to end up having to have it burnt off, enabled me to shake the little bugger off! We trekked to a waterfall which was stunning.
On the way back from the waterfall two Thai boys on mopeds roared up to us and stopped to ask if we wanted a lift. Deciding the walk seemed rather far, we went for it and hopped on, I shot off into the rainforest on the back of a moped as I watched Martyn’s (my partner) moped slowly drift from view as we were going much faster. I thought about what I learnt at school about not talking to strangers, now I’m on the back of some guy’s bike in a foreign country, probably not the best idea in the world!
Arriving safely back to two feet again the language barrier didn’t seem to stop my new Thai friend and I chatting whilst we waited for the others to catch up.
The next day we went elephant trekking, elephants are mystical creatures, so big and awkward looking and yet graceful and friendly at the same time. Sitting on top of our new elephant friend we trekked through the plantations of rubber plants and bananas. The elephant’s master walked alongside and shouted things at the elephant who responded accordingly, very well trained elephants!
No More Jungle Adventures
Leaving the jungle was a sad day, we had made some great friends both human and animal! But our adventure went on as we now traveled to Koh Yao Noi which means Little Long Island (I will let you work out why) Arriving at the jetty from Phuket we rented a scooter to get around, this was a new learning curve for me having not really ever been on and never driven a scooter, Martyn picked one with gears and assured me he would ‘teach’ me how to ride it!
Ulmars nature lodge was a picturesque yoga retreat on the side of the island. The huts were made of bamboo and inside there was just enough room to walk down the side of the bed to the ‘ensuite’ by ‘ensuite’ I mean a toilet sink and shower in a concreted area out the back!
We had come to Koh Yao Noi to deep water solo, which is where you climb and then when you get tired or as high as you can go you jump into the water. Frustratingly the first two days on the island the rain had held us up and although we were enjoying the tranquility of the island, where there seemed to be only a handful of people, the need to adventure was starting to make our paradise island a little too small.
I woke the next morning half expecting to hear the pitter patter of rain drops on the roof of our hut but there was nothing, silence, I peaked out of the curtain to see beautiful blue sky and not a cloud in sight.
Wolfing down breakfast and jumping on our bike after checking twice that we had packed everything, we made it to the jetty in time to grab some lunch (fried chicken on rice with some kind of vegetable, pineapple made into handy to eat sticks and soup in a plastic bag). The long tail boat chugged out into the calm, inky blue water. The scenery was breath taking in every direction there was lush green islands and sandy beaches.
Rock Climbing and Diving
After a while the boat slowed and we helped to pull sit on kayaks off the roof of the boat and paddled up to the first climb. Staring up it didn’t look like much and I felt confident about climbing. It wasn’t until I watched Martyn try and balance between the wall and moving kayak which kept getting picked up by the swell and pushed into the wall that I realised this was no walk in the park. The rocks up close where gnarly and sharp from years of sea crashing into them. Finally he made the leap and shouted back that he was okay so I got out the camera to film him, he made it look so easy, but then he tended to make everything look easy. He traversed across and up about 8 -9 metres and then shouted to me to take a picture as he jumped.
My turn! As the kayak got closer to the wall I pulled on my climbing shoes and assessed the wall in front for the best route up, suddenly staring up at the wall it looked huge and I couldn’t see how on earth I couldn’t make the jump Martyn had, standing up on the kayak nose and touching the rock it was wet as well as sharp. “Oh great! what a barrel of laughs this is going to be ! ” I thought, as the swell made me practice the splits as my hands were perched on the rock. With one foot below and the other tantalisingly close to taking a dip I made the decision to go for it and with a leap jumped to the rocks.
Scaling the wall was a lot easier now and I quickly progressed around and up where I had seen Martyn go. I decided not to go so high, with my Dads voice in my head saying “just remember once you have climbed up you have to jump off”. Not being a fan of usual abseiling when climbing this was sound advice as when I turned to jump off, even from around 3 metres up it looked scary! I decided to traverse a little further round and down slightly, this seemed a lot less scary but still I couldn’t bring myself to let go of the rock. Now with an audience of Martyn, the captain of the boat we arrived on and our guide, and with lots of encouragement I shut my eyes, held my nose and jumped.
Overall Thailand gets an A from me. It’s such an epic country and there’s a whole load of things to see and do. The people were also so, so friendly and always seem eager to help where they can.
If anyone has any questions or would like some insights into arranging a trip to Thailand and what to do when getting there please let me know in the comments below.