I am going to go into details of what I did everyday. You can pretty much guess, swim, beach, eat. 🙂 But I am going to tell you some of the amazing Thailand hospitality.
At lunch the one day, I was just leaving the hotel when Wan the owner says, “Rob, come here!” I come into the lobby/kitchen area, and Wan starts pulling out plates of Thai leftover food. He tells me to eat, enjoy. Trust me, this food is amazing!
On another occasion, Wan is getting onto this motorcycle and says, “Come with me to my restaurant.” and he gives me a ride to his Seafood Restaurant. Next time I come here, I am going to try it. I did try his Seafood from the Market, and it was pretty awesome. He BBQ’d the fish and brought it back to the hotel deck for me to eat.
When I was at the beach, I had enough sun and wanted to come back. I was too early to catch a truck bus, so I started walking. A local pulls up beside me and says, “Get on!”. He gave me a ride back into Naban for free!
The two ladies I see selling street food all the time, invited me to see loi krathong celebration, during the super moon. I didn’t party with them, but I did stop by and say hello for a few minutes that night.
On a different note, I did meet two backpackers from Denmark on my last night. We had some great conversations. One of them was about the war between Denmark and Canada. It is over an Island called Hans Island. Denmark has claimed it theirs through Greenland treaty, but I guess Canada thought it was ours. So far, only two bottles of liquor have been killed during this war. The first was Denmark left a flag with a bottle of Schnapps, and a note saying, “Welcome to Denmark!”, and the other was later. Canada arrived on the Island and left a bottle of Canadian Whiskey, a Canadian flag, and a note saying, “Welcome to Canada!” for the Danish to see.
Yes, that is how Canadians resolve issues!
Just to complete my Koh Larn Experience, here are some pictures from under the water!
After last nights crazy Thai adventure, I still have to get up and meet Anastasia at the ferry around 10:30 AM. She is coming for a night with her sister Olga, and friend Kosta. This is going to be another 2 days of really awesome fun, with my friends from Jomtien Beach condo.
Right on time, the ferry pulls into Naban Port and just a few minutes later I see the 3 Russians. We all say hi, and walk back to the hotel, where they will check into their rooms and we will take our motorcycles for the day.
I have no idea what the plans is, but I think I will try and show them all the beaches, and end off the day with a sunset from Monkey Nual Beach.
Nual Beach, also known as Monkey beach is the furthest away beach. But come on, we are on an Island, it is only 8 minutes away. 🙂
We spend about 2 hours on Monkey beach swimming, snorkeling, and watching the monkeys fight.
Onto the next beach. Only 5 minutes away is Samae which is just around the corner, and over the hill.
As we are going up the big hill, the bike starts to run out of gas, but we make it to the top and easily make it to Samae beach.
Samae Beach is full of people and no real place to sit. So we decide we want to go to Tien Beach, but before we do, we have to head back over the hill to get gas. I am not sure if we will make it.
I was right, less than half way up the hill, it runs out of gas.
Within seconds of running out of gas, two Thai girls on a scooter stop and ask what is the problem. I tell them we ran out of gas, but had hoped to make it over the hill. I kind of felt like a stupid tourist!
The girls said, “wait 5 minutes, we will be back.”
While we were waiting to told Anastasia to push the bike up the hill. She gave me a nice look, which I take it as. No, that is not going to happen.
About 5 minutes later the Thai girls come back with a liter of gas and fill our tank.
I ask them how much I owe them and the girls says, it is 45 baht per liter. I give her 60 baht, and they refuse to take it. They give me 20 baht back and tell us to enjoy our holiday.
I am amazed! This is the second time a Thai person has done a selfless act of kindness and wanted nothing in return. I am extremely grateful.
Well, the Russians and I are back up and running. We turn the bikes around and head to Tien beach.
Tien Beach is a lot like Nual Beach, but smaller. We find a great place to lay our towels down, and we all jump in the water.
Tien beach is really pretty. There are rocks on each side of the beach, and then the beach itself is soft, yellow sand, with warm water. Just prefect.
While at Tien beach we also have something to eat, as the prices at this beach are a little more normal. Unlike Nual (Monkey) Beach.
It is getting closer to sunset, so we head over to Nual beach for our view.
The sunset was pretty awesome, but it is now time to leave the beaches, and head back to the hotel to get cleaned up, and go for dinner.
For dinner that night, we went to the Koh Larn Weekend Night Market, and guess who I see. My lady friends from the street. On weekends they set up here to sell food. I love it. They saw me first and yell out, “Friend, Friend, BBQ here” and as normal, are laughing like crazy.
I also see the owner of the hotel. Wan. I find out, the one lady is his mom. This is really cool. I feel like I am with friends.
Wan gives us, as he calls it, VIP treatment. We all get discounts on the fish, and Wan also brings it back to our hotel to eat on the patio.
Anastasia, Olga, Kosta, and the Amazing Rob!
A great meal, with amazing friends. The best way to end such a fun day!
Day two starts off with Seafood Rice and coffee on the patio, which takes me a few minutes to wake up. Maybe one to many rums last night. Haha.
After breakfast, we hop back on the motorcycles and head to the view point from near our hotel. This overlooks Tawaen Beach.
From here, we go to the next view point that over looks Nual, Tien and Samae Beaches.
This is the view point with 1 billion steps, to reach the top. The entire way I complain about how many steps there are. But I make it to the top.
For whatever reason, I am getting the same heat sickness I got back in Indonesia. Back them, it was everyday, within 20 minutes of being in the heat I would get feel sick. I hope it doesn’t last all day.
Anyways, the view from here is awesome!
After the view point we head over to Nual Beach where Kosta and I drop off the girls and head back to the hotel to give the scooters back. We only had them for 24 hours.
Kosta and I take a scooter sidecar ride back to the beach, where we have a little fun accident. As the scooter driver is going down the driveway, he locks the front brake up, and doesn’t release it. The back of the scooter comes up in the air. Kosta and I both fall forward, and then the bike stops. He still doesn’t release the front brake. So Kosta moves to the back of the sidecar and the back wheel comes back down. Neither of us got hurt, and I told the driver, this was fun, can we do it again. He says sorry, and I say, no worries. All part of the authentic Thailand experience. haha!
We spent the entire day at Nual beach, and the highlight was when Anastasia got the courage to feed the monkeys. Everything was going great until one of the baby monkey’s decides she wanted to touch Anastasia on the shoulder. I even said, “here one comes.” As soon as the little one touches her, she jumps and screams. Oh My God! it was funny. I spent the rest of the day teasing her about the little tiny monkey who scared big girl Anastasia. hahaha!
After an amazing two days spending with my friends, it is now 5 pm and they are heading back to Jomtien Beach. The good news is, I will see them again in a few days when I leave the Island.
See you soon friends and thank you for the amazing time!
Today is another day for exploring a new area of Koh Larn and I remember reading about a really nice beach, that starts with a T. I don’t remember the exact name, but I should be able to figure it out from the tourist map downstairs.
On the map, I see Tawaen Beach is not far from me. Walking distance, maybe 30 minutes.
As I am walking a local pulls up beside me and asks, if I want a ride. I said, sure, how much. He says, “Donation”. I say 20 baht, which is on the low side of the standard amount, but he agrees.
I tell him Tawaen Beach, which is straight ahead, no turns. This is also the direction he is facing.
I get on and the first thing he does is turn around and starts going the wrong way. I tap his shoulder and say, no no, and point other way. He thinks I do not know where I want to go and tells me, he knows where he is going.
After another minute of me trying to explain to him, no, this is not the right way. I live here! I know there is only one road to this beach. He finally stops and asks someone to translate.
No one understands, put I manage to explain again, I know where! He believes me and takes me to the correct beach. Mind you, the distance we drove the wrong way, is further than the actual distance to the beach from where we started.
We get to the beach, and he says, sorry, he didn’t understand. It is all good, as he still is happy for 20 only baht.
Just another adventure. 🙂
Walking onto this beach, I see tones, and in Australian, HEAPS of people. This does not look like the calm, relaxing beach I read about.
So get this, I later realize the beach my confused driver was taking me, was actually the beach I wanted to go to. I had the wrong beach name and location. This doesn’t matter though, I want to see all of the beaches.
So onto Tawaen Beach to explorer.
The beach is 99% filled with beach chairs, and I do not want one. I like to find a free spot to lay my towel down just on the sand.
At the furthest end of the beach, I finally find a small spot and drop my towel, toss on my mask and run straight into the water. Awww nice!
The water here looks the same as Monkey Beach, but I little less clear from all of the people and boats stirring up the sand. Still nice and clean though.
I swim and explorer the water for about 45 minutes, and then decide to dry off and walk around the beach vendors. I want to get an idea for what the prices are. On Monkey beach, the prices are crazy expensive when compared to the town prices. For example, a beer in town is 55 baht, on Monkey beach, it is 120 baht. Rice dish 50 baht, on the beach 250 baht and up.
Here on Tawaen Beach I find the prices are much more reasonable. 70 baht for a beer, and rice dishes around 120 – 180 baht.
I sit down at one of the beach restaurants and have lunch. I had a chicken burger with fries for 170 baht. I have been craving westerner food for a few days now. Mmmm sooooo good!
After my late lunch, I am done with this beach and decide to head back. It is way to busy here for me anyways.
I was able to catch a Pattaya Bus back to the main street, for 30 baht.
On the way back to my room I see my favorite street food ladies and stop for a little chat. I will be back later for dinner.
The rest of the day I relaxed on my patio, so nothing really mentioning, except when a Thai guy walked by and I said hi. I know, nothing exciting, but that changes later.
Around 11 pm, I am laying on my bed, when I hear a knock at my patio door. I see it is the young Thai guy from earlier. He asks if I want to come and have a beer. I say sure.
He introduces me as the Canadian, and I meet his friend, Tap, and the two Thai girls. I call one Crazy, and the other Funny. I have no idea how to spell or pronounce their names. Oh yeah, his name is Man.
2 hours later we are all still drinking. These 4 are truly power drinkers. They have well over 30, 700 ml beers already gone, and Man just left to go by more. I offer to pay for some of the beers and they would not have it. They also kept giving me another beer before I finished off mine.
One of their favorite sayings, is SahSee, which I am spelling wrong, but means. Last drink. So you must chug the entire drink and then they give you another, and say it again.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day. LOL!
I think around 4 am I decide I am done and need some sleep. I say goodnight to my new funny friends and head to bed.
The adventures when travelling are always so unexpected!
Today I woke up after a decent sleep in a full air conditioned room.
My first thought was, what the hell to do today, then I thought. I might as well as walk towards Monkey (Nual) Beach and explorer how to get around the island without a scooter.
I check the map and it shows about a 40 minute walk from here.
I am only taking my towel, sunglasses and money inside my GoPro stick handle. That way when I am swimming, I have nothing on the beach worth stealing. I really don’t know what it is like here.
After about 20 minutes of walking, I know I am about half way, but the sun is taking its toll on me. If I see a taxi or bus I will jump on.
A few minutes later a Pattaya Truck bus pulls up and I jump on. I ask the people on it how much they are paying, and they tell me 40 baht to the beach, and 30 baht back. I will try for 10 since I am a little past half way.
We arrive at the beach and I offer 10, he says 20 baht ($0.75 CAD), and I give it to him. No haggling!
As I walk alone the beach, I look for a place with no rental beach lounges, and some shade. At the far left / east side there is ample room like this. So I lay my towel down and head straight into the water.
The water is warm, clear, blue, with very light yellow sand. Soft sand at that. Not very many rocks or coral. A very good swimming beach.
Swimming around I do see little fish, that look like barracuda, but only the length of your hand. I also saw a small crab, and rock fish of some sort.
Sorry, these images are pulled from video and I haven’t been able to find what species of fish they are.
I swam for maybe 45 minutes and then I saw Monkeys jumping and playing in the trees. This is so cool, I was hoping to see them today.
I walk over and start watching them.
There is a Russian girl standing beside me, and I ask her if she speaks English. She says, “yes, a little.” So, I start talking to her about the monkeys and maybe feeding them.
She says, “Lets get some food!”
A few minutes later she comes back with her husband, and he says to me, “Come, come, we feed them!”.
We start the climb up the hill.
We reach the top.
Right away, one pisses on me. The joy of monkeys, but they are so cute.
Can you see all 5 in this picture?
My new friend feeding the daddy. He was really calm and nice!
After our little expedition, her husband and I become really good friends, in a very short time.
We end up spending the rest of the day hanging out, and this group of Russians were some of the nicest people I have met. They gave me food, water, rum, and homemade vodka. Which was damn good!
In their group, there was 3 couples and one single girl.
After our day of swimming, chatting, and laughing, they all invited me several times to come to Russia and stay at their homes. I am thinking I will have to do this one day. They even told me they will find me a good Russian girl for my wife, because I need a wife. I love it! So much fun.
2 PM and the monkeys came down to the beach where I get a second chance at seeing them, but this time, I am not getting pissed on. Woot Woot!
This time the monkeys are a little more aggressive, but on one gets bitten. If you do get bitten, life will suck! You have to get a tone of shots/needles, and they are not cheap. Also, you have a very good chance at getting Herpes Virus B, which is fatal in humans.
So don’t piss off the monkeys. If they want something, give it to them.
Around 3 PM we all jump on a bus and go back into town, where they catch the ferry back to Pattaya. I was sad to see them go, but I really do hope I see them again.
6 PM rolls around and I am ready to find some food. From my balcony, I can see two older Thai women cooking street food. This is always cheap and yummy.
I walk over and get 3 BBQ Skewers.
The ladies have lots of questions for me, as it is not normal to see a tourist after 6 PM.
They ask if I am alone, and I say yes. This sets them into uncontrollable laughing and the one says, “You want Thai lady”, and the other one winks at me. Oh my god, they are funny. I think they are around 60 years old.
Then they ask where I am staying and I point to my hotel. The one says, “Ohhh” and they start laughing even more. The one lady says to me, “You need women when you stay there, that’s honey suite.”
Now I get the pink room, and then I notice a sign that says, Love In Resort. This resort is the honey moon resort for Thai’s when they get married.
Who am I to judge, it is the cheapest place, so I am happy.
Anyways, these ladies are awesome, and I visit them almost every night for food.
Another end to another great day! Started off as a 1 hour trip to the beach, and ended up being an all day event with new friends.
It is almost 11 AM, I am all packed and just waiting for Earthie, to arrive. Earthie is the person I rented my condo from. I am very curious at how much my electricity, water, and cleaning bill will be for the month. The entire month I was tried to only use the air conditioner when I was over hot, and during the night so I could sleep.
Earthie arrives and we check the readings on the meters. After doing a quick calculation, I am very surprised. The total comes out to 1500 baht ($58.00 CAD) for all 3. Not bad at all, and that means I get 3500 baht back from my deposit.
If you ever come to Jomtien Beach, I highly recommend renting from Earthie. Check out the video of my room.
We wrap things up and I say goodbye to Earthie. He is a pretty cool guy and I hope to see him again in the future.
It’s 11:30 AM and I want to catch the 12 o’clock ferry to Koh Larn. If I miss it, I have to wait 2 hours.
I waddle as fast as I can with my backpack to the closes motorbike taxi, and we head off to the ferry.
This is a new experience. I am comfortable on the back of a scooter, but adding my backpack, and laptop in my hands, is more of a challenge. Especially when we are going through traffic as fast as it will go. And down hill, he pulls in the clutch to coast, because we were at red line, and now we can go faster.
Oh yes, this is fun, and exciting. I am glad I do not have a helmet on, that would slow us down anyways.
We make it to the ferry, with 10 minutes to spare. The cost is 150 baht, but I give him 160 baht, which makes him really happy. Back home this would be an insult to give 40 cent tip, but here, not so much.
I jump on the ferry and get a good seat, where I can see my bags. I love this ferry, it only cost 30 baht ($1.15 CAD), and has decent seating for an 40 year old tug boat turned into ferry, with wooden seats. So cool!
For some reason every time he blows the horn, I do the same in my head. Beep Beep! … maybe to many years of watching Thomas the Tug boat. (You know you are Canadian when you get that reference!)
From the port to my hotel is about a 12 minute walk, but it is peak heat time of day, and a motorbike taxi only cost 30 baht. So, this is my option.
I show the young guy where I am going, he says he knows it. As we pass my road, I wonder, maybe he knows another turn. Nope.
We arrive at a different hotel. I show him were to go and he says… Ohhhh. No problem. He knows a short cut between the two road.
OMG, he was not kidding. The short cut would be difficult to walk down, let alone taking a motorbike, with two manly men, and my packs.
As we are going down the path, a tree grabs my hat! I am not loosing another hat! I tap his should and ask him to stop. He stops looks back and sees my hat hanging 8 feet in the air. He is laughing so hard, and says many things in Thai. I laugh as well as I jump and grab it. How the hell did it get 8 or more feet up? Anyways, he thought it was pretty funny and keeps laughing as he is driving.
2 minutes later we are at my hotel. He wants 30 baht, I give him 40, and say, no change. Again, this makes him pretty happy.
Motorbike taxis in Thailand have a bad reputation for being angry, and trying to rip people off. I honestly do not know where this comes from. I have never had that. They tell me a price before I get on, and they always keep to their word. I never haggle, because the price is very fair, and most times I feel it is too low, so I give a nice tip.
So, if you are in Thailand, do the same. Don’t haggle to save $1 dollar, when it cost you nothing, and to them it is the world. You will get the same great experience that I have!
The owner of the motel/hotel/homestay, is not here, and the receptionist does not speak any English. She can tell I am wanting a room and keeps talking to me in Thai, while smiling. I smile back. I have no idea what she is saying, then she pulls out her phone and makes a call. Now I know we are going in the right direction. A few minutes later she grabs a calculator and shows me 3500. From this I know she knows who I am. This is the correct amount.
I give her 3500 baht ($134 CAD) for 7 nights, and she takes me to my new room. I have named this room, the Love Shack!
Later I will update the blog with my video of the room and area, but I have found out the free WiFi is a shared 56 K modem. So, yeah, I won’t be posting any vids as I am using my phone data to write this blog.
I am cheap. Here on the Island I get a 70 mbps (8000 KB/s) connection on my phone, which is amazing, but it cost me $1 CAD per 1.5 GB. I need that for porn in my Looooove Shack! hahaha kidding!
The remainder of the day I walk around and explorer my food options. My favorite place is closed though. 🙁 Not sure why.
9 PM, and I am starting to wonder what I got myself into. I am truly living with the locals. At around 6 pm, all of the tourist left the Island, and I am sure I am the ONLY non Thai remaining. Normally I will see at least one other person, but here, none, not a single one.
It is a little weird because on the mainland, you will find half of the locals speak a little English. However, here I think it is like 1 in 5 maybe.
This is going to be a very interesting week, and I am going to make the best out of it and see if I can make some local friends.
The last few days I have been wanting to go to Koh Larn Island for two reasons. 1 is to see what the beaches are like, and 2, is to see if I can find a homestay or apartment rental for a reasonable price. Researching online, this seems not possible, but I am going to try.
When I woke up and I noticed sun in between white clouds. The forecast is calling for heavy rain, but this is the best I have seen in a few days now. This is my chance, I am not waiting another day.
I get dressed, which means I put on my shorts and a shirt. I then toss my GoPro and money into my day bag and start walking towards the beach, where I can catch a Pattaya bus.
I love the Pattaya bus. All you do is hold your hand out, if they see it, they stop and you jump into the back of the truck. You never really know exactly where they go, you just know when you get on, they are going in the right direction.
These buses, as they call them, cost 10 baht (38 Cents CAD) per jumping on.
While on the bus/truck I check every few minutes my GPS to see where I am, and to make sure I am going in the general direction of the ferry.
About 20 minutes or so later, the bus is within a 10 minute walk to the ferry and I guess this is as close as it will go. So I press the buzz button and the bus stops. They don’t pull over, they just stop, and you jump off and hand 10 baht to the driver.
10 minutes later I am at the peer.
Too reach Koh Larn Island, there are a few ways, but all are by boat. I can take a speed boat, which is the most expensive option, but fastest. I think around 1000 Baht ($38 CAD), and a 15 minute ride. Another option is to take the ferry. It cost 30 Baht ($1.15 CAD) and takes somewhere around 45 minutes.
The speed boats are geared towards tourist, and the ferry is more how locals travel. So, if you know me, I am not taking the tourist option.
You pay as you get on the ferry, and there is no walkway or anything like that. The boat is tied to the peer, and you just jump from the peer onto the boat. Simple, and safe. 🙂
Too my surprise the ferry is full of tourist. 🙁 all Russians, which is 90% of the tourist in Thailand. So, not as authentic as I thought it would be, but that’s OK.
45 minutes later we reach Koh Larn Island.
The first thing I do is grab a scooter for 200 baht ($7.64 CAD) for the day. This includes a full tank of gas, and detailed instructions on how to ride it.
Instructions: He points to the throttle and says, “go that way!”, and then he pulls the left handle brake and says, “No more going that way!”.
I can see why so many Asian tourist get hurt on scooters every year. Scooters are the highest cause of tourist deaths in Thailand and this is why. Anyone can rent one, even people with no concept of how to ride.
Helmets are law in Thailand, but try and find a helmet!
During the day, I see first hand at how bad some people are when riding. One incident was on a fully open road, which is wide enough for 3 cars, with only myself going one way, and two tourist on a scooter coming towards me. Oh, one detail, is they drive on the left here! So, anyways, I am on the left, riding against the shoulder, when I see them coming at me, in the middle of the road. For some reason, I knew they were going to come right at me, instead of going stright, and they did. I stop against the shoulder, and wait! A few seconds later, they come straight at me. I point to the other side of the road, but nope, they don’t seem to know how to steer. Luckily they are only going about walking speed as they drive up onto the curb 3 feet in front of me, where they finally stop.
I laugh, shake my head and continue driving on, as I go around them.
This happens more than once, over 3 hours of cruising around. All you can really do is laugh and be happy the Island has no cars, for there sake.
One cool thing, I got the scooter going 65 KM going down a hill. I was really proud of myself and was smiling and laughing the entire time.
The first thing I did was drive to the quietest beach, to see if I can find accommodations.
It only takes 8 minutes to get to Nual Beach, and I find there are no hotels, homestay or anything like that at any of the beaches, from what a local tells me.
This is good and bad news. I now know I only have to look in one area, but the bad is, I was hoping for a place on one of the beaches, outside of the little town.
For the next hour I ride around to Monkey Beach, and then onto Samae Beach, just to see what they look like, since I have time.
Then back to Koh Larn town to start looking for accommodations.
I stop at about 6 places and see the price range is between 1000 and 1500 baht per night. Way more than I am going to pay, as I am currently paying 400 baht.
My luck panned out, and I find a place for 900 per night, which includes a breakfast and free scooter for my stay. However, 900 is still more than I am willing to pay. So I start my negotiations, and tell them I am staying for 7 nights or more. He then drops it to 800 baht.
I don’t need a scooter or breakfast, so I tell him I will do 500, no scooter, and no breakfast. he calls his wife, she comes over and says. Yes!
Perfect! This place includes unlimited WiFi, with AC, and at 500 baht a night, this comes out to $134 CAD per week.
So now my plans of going up North Thailand is on hold. I can come live on an Island, go snorkeling everyday, relax, and be far away from tourist. I love this.
On November 8, this is this will be my home for 7 days or more. Who knows!
My next stop is for a smoothie. Riding a scooter in 34 degrees Celsius heat, makes me thirsty.
I find a nice local street restaurant, that has smoothies for 40 baht ($1.53 CAD). I order a Kiwi smoothie and relax, while watching the local girl entertainment.
From what I can tell, there is a mom, and two daughters running the place. The one daughter, who I am guessing is in her 20s is a total instigator. She makes me laugh so much, I love it. I am coming here more often.
She teases her sister non stop. She was either flicking water at her, or trying to scare her, and then when she noticed me laughing at her. She started at me. I was looking at my phone, and all of a sudden, someone grabs my sides and goes, boo! Yep, it was her. This girl was funny as shit. Just an all around good person.
After my smoothie I decided to drop of the scooter and head back to the ferry.
It was only 3 pm, but I am done with the heat for today.
Getting home was easy. After the ferry, I walked back to the area where I got off the Pattaya bus and found another bus going the other direction. I hop on it, and 15 minutes later, I see it does not go back the same way I came, but goes close enough. I ended up about a 30 minute walk from my condo, but since I started to feel rain. I jumped on a scooter taxi, for 30 baht ($1.15 CAD). The guy took me right to my condo, and just in time. A few minutes later we had a massive storm.
Check out the end of the video below.
Well, that was a pretty cool day, and I cannot wait to move to the Island in 9 days.