Monday, 17 October 2011

Trang, Had Yao, and Ko Lanta!

So Thailand is good so far. The language is proving to be a hassle in some places, I'm going to have to learn some of it quick. I can spot the word for chicken or squid on a menu now! A lot of the roads and some of the scenery remind me of north Queensland for some reason. The layout of the roads and towns seem to have the same basic idea here. It's very easy to find the tourist spots as there will be about a hundred signs before you get there. On the way to Had Yao beach there was a sign every km or two to confirm that you were indeed going in the right direction, even though there was nowhere else to go.


Trang is a busy little town in the south. Seems to be one of the southernmost stops for tourists, although, many didn't seem to stray past the train station area when I was there. A lot of people were staring at me and honking as they went by, I assumed I looked different :)

I was following the Lonely Planet guide around the town as it had a small map. The main place I wanted to get to was the Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) office to get some more maps of the area. But the TAT office had moved since the Lonely Plane guidebook was published... Oh well. I eventually found it on my way out of the town.

My recommendations for Trang:

  • S2S Queen Trang Hotel: Moderatly cheap. Pretty good inside, my only complaint was that the sink had a leak so you ended up standing in whatever you put down the sink. You can book this one on Agoda. It's on the north side of Thanon Pratta Lung, here's the map link.
  • J'Dang Espresso: I just spotted this one on the main road while wandering around looking for the TAT. I had the strongest Iced Espresso ever created. For the rest of the day I was out of it. To get your crackcoffee go here.
  • Richley Station: On the main road to the train station, near where all the other places recommended by LP and wikitravel are. If you get off the train and head towards the clock tower it's on your right in the first block. English menu, awesome crab curry.
  • Wunderbar: This one has a website here. They do salami and cheese and pork. I had a wienerschnitzel, so awesome, I missed you, Pork :D
  • Night Market: This one is infront of the railway station. Lots of food and goods of questionable authenticity. They said it is on every Friday Saturday and Sunday. I didn't get to the night markets that LP and wikitravel refer too, I'm not sure if this is different to them now.
  • Sin Ocha Bakery: Right next to the train station. LP recommends, so there where a few other foreigners in there too. One of them was on his third beer by 10am (they may have cleared away more bottles...). This will be forever known as the place where I one again had bacon, after 7 weeks in Malaysia I was starting to miss it. Not bad value at 100baht ($3ish) for 2 eggs, bacon, toast,  ham (luncheon meat), sausages (hot dog) and salad (HAHAHA WHAT'S THAT?).
Mmm Weiner. From Wunderbar.

When you fill up with 95RON petrol (or gasahol?) you get a free box of tissues! FREE!

Had Yao Beach

The spelling for this place seems to vary between Had and Hat, I don't know what's correct. I went here to look at the cliffs on the beach mainly. There's a place to stay written about in LP that they give a great review too, but if you search around a bit you'll find a lot more negative reviews about it. The blog gives some more information on the area and a few other places on the road just before on Had Yao Beach. I turned up wanting to stay in one of the bungalows for 500baht, but they were all full, they offered a bamboo bungalow for 200baht a night ($6AU), but I wasn't too fussed with it. Across the dirt road is another place with some much newer accommodation. It's a row of 8 rooms, quite large, all with air conditioning, western style toilets, etc. I studied my options on my phone for a while and eventually picked the fancy place for one night at 700baht, not too bad considering the normal rate is 1200baht.
Some of the shops, and the cliffs behind them.

The front of where I was staying. The beach is 50m ^ that way.
It looks like a small Muslim community here, but there is one shop selling beer (Large bottle of Leo for 50baht!) so the beach often has a lot of bottles scattered about it.

When It came time for food, I went out to what looked like a small restaurant, but then someone asked if I'm hungry and I said yes. Then there was a lot of discussion with the Thai word for fish (pla!) and then out came the owner of the accommodation I was staying in on a little tuktuk thing and he drove me down the road to another resorts restaurant. That was unexpected, lucky I bought my wallet! He said he'd be back at 8 to pick me up. The food there was good, but lots of mosquitoes, and all through eating they were looking at me for some reason. I was just taking my time, enjoying a beer too, then they turn off some of the lights. Right. I get it. But I'm going to sit there for longer! After another five minutes or so they finally they come over and said they are closing soon. So I go off to pay, and since I left my phone back in the room I asked the time, It was only 7:30! So I figure I'll walk back, it wasn't that far, but it was dark. When I get back I found out the owner had gone to get me... Oh well, I'd restocked with beer from the shop on the way back, I was good :D

Here are some beach photos:

Big overhanging rock. I tried to wade around it but it got a bit deep :(



A little cave in that big rock! This was about 10m in or so. It's so dark it's almost like being blind


Ko Lanta / Kantiang Bay

I headed to Ko Lanta after leaving Had Yao. It was only 35km west, but I had to do a 140km loop with two ferry crossings to get here. On the way the GPS decided to send me down a road that didn't have any big arrows saying go this way, but I deicided to follow it anyway. It turns out that road was being resealed, so you have to dodge them constructing a road. Then a little further down it turns to dirt... I figured I should go down that anyway, since I'm on a vehicle that can do it! And HOW AWESOME WAS IT. It had rained the night before so it was a bit muddy in places, but quite manageable. There was one spot that looked very slippery so I decided to go through the car track under water instead of slip into it, but it was a little deeper than I expected! I stopped to check how high the mud had gone (only to the footpegs :( ) and then a local on a scooter zoomed past. I kept going and then eventually got to a T intersection and the guy on the scooter had also stopped there. He asked "Ko Lanta?" and I said yes, then he pointed me in the opposite direction to what the GPS was saying. I queried this, but he just said to follow him, so I did, and he showed me a short cut and that joined up to the GPS track! The road smoothed out here so I went speeding past him and got to the sealed road. I stopped and after he caught up, I gave him the thumbs up and waved. Now I want the Pirelli MT21's I had on before...

The smooth road! Although, this is where I got wet because I hit a puddle at high speed.

Actual mud! on my bike! I'm not sure it's ever had that much on it.

So then it was just a matter of two ferries (I'm not exactly sure if I got my change back from that one...) and then I was on Ko Lanta!
A ferry exactly like this one!

Another ferry!

Ko Lanta!

There are hundreds of places to stay on the island, far too many. There was one mentioned on wikitravel at one of the "10 best beaches in the world" that looked quite cheap, so I headed for that! And now I'm here at Kantiang Bay Resort. They offered one of the A/C rooms for 600baht a night, I think that's because that's all that was free, but that was 100baht less than the website. Suits me, now I'm here for the next three nights! Expect more photos!

Kantiang Bay

More Kantiang Bay

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