Koh Larn Island – Thailand – Day trip

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Athens – Bahrain – Bangkok – Pattaya – Jomtien Beach

I wake up late, knowing I am just going to be wasting time until 5 pm, when I head to airport to catch my flight to Bahrain.

My checkout time at the hostel is 11 AM, but they have a locked room where people can store their bags during the day.  This is great.  I lock up my bag, pull out my laptop and almost start to work, when the crazy Aussie sits down beside me.

A few minutes later a German couple also sit down.  We chat all afternoon, until just after 3 pm when they all have to leave.  I decide I might as well as do the same thing.

I catch the two buses to the airport, check in, and head through security and then customs.  Both are very fast, as I am one of only 4 people for some reason.  Good timing I guess.

Time flies right bye and I am on my plane.

The plane is full, and as I guessed it, I got an annoying guy beside me.  He has no concept of space, and consistently puts his arm over the arm rest into my seat.  I can’t stand this.  We all have our own seat, the armrest is the border, don’t CROSS IT!.  I try several times to tell him this seat is my seat, not his.  He doesn’t understand, and continues to elbow me the entire flight.

The hardest part is you can’t even say, “Excuse me!”, so they get the hint because they don’t understand any English.  Thank god the flight is only 4 hours long.

I arrive in Bahrain at 11:30 PM, and have a 9 hour layover. Sleeping in helped, I am not tired.

I walk around the airport looking for place to relax, but there is nothing.

I check the prices at the two lounges, to see how much it is to rent a bed for a few hours.  If I remember she said 80 Bahrain, and I thought great, until I found the conversion.  It is $168 CAD for 7 hours rental.  Screw that!

Well it is now 1 AM, and I need to find a toilet.  I find the only one that is not locked, and there is a 4 man line up, with 2 stalls.  I cramp up, but make it into a stall just in time.

I don’t know if you know or have seen what clean toilets are like in Persian countries, but they are more nasty than the overfilling squat toilets in Asia.

Picture this!  A toilet with no seat, no toilet paper, piss and shit sprayed all over the bowl and tank.  A garden hose to wash your brown eye with, that people who should be experts in using, still spray water everywhere but in the toilet.  The floor is half an inch of water.  Oh yes, I am wearing flip flops, not half an inch thick!

Well, at least I made it into the toilet, get my business done, spray my third eye clean, and leave with a wet ass.

This actually clues me into why these guys where long tailed shirts.  It is to cover there stained wet pants!

Let me explain one thing here.  This is not a dirty airport!  Bahrain is a rich country and it shows.  They have 3 guys in the washroom with mops cleaning constantly, but they can’t keep up, with how the people are.  I think they are just used to having people clean up after them.

Yes, you can win this in the airport!

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That is where the excitement ends and the 7 hours of boring wait starts.  I just sit, listen to music, and go for little walks, for the remaining time.

My next flight is there, and I am so happy to be getting on.  Now, just another 7 hour wait until Thailand!

This plane is full again, and the guy sitting beside me is a big dude.  All I can think of, please no, not another annoying dude.  I have not slept in 24 hours!

BUT! I am wrong.  He tries hard to keep from putting his arm on me even though the seats a little to small for him, and “Thats whats I appreciates abouts hims!”  Another bad quote!

Half way through the flight he and I start talking.  He is from Bahrain and is a retired flight attendant.  We have some really great talks.  This flight is 7 hours long, yet, I enjoy it, even with a sore back, no feeling in my ass, and neck pain.

We land in Bangkok and I am so excited.  Within an hour I will be at my hotel sleeping 🙂

Customs again is very fast.  I am second in line, and my bag came out quickly as well.

I walk out to the taxi pickup and the next taxi guy in line asks where I am going.  I show him it is only 5 KM away and he says, “No No, not from me.”  He explains he has to pay an entrance fee into the airport and he has to charge me that on top of my taxi ride, which is less than the airport entrance fee.  He then walks me to the airport arrival area, and gets me a taxi from there.  These taxi’s never enter the airport, so no fee.

If I would have taken his taxi, it would have cost me 300 Bhat ($10 CAD), but the taxi he got me, cost me 150 Bhat ($5 CAD).

Online you read about all of the taxi scams, but here is a perfect example of a good Thai person.

My hotel had bad reviews, but I am getting great a reading between the lines.  A lot of people expect 5 stars in Thailand for $20 a night.  I am sorry, but get real!

I paid $19 for a night for a clean room, comfy bed, and even with a very nice pool.  Check it out!  Oh yeah, and everyone was super nice, unlike the reviews said.


The next morning I leave the hotel at 10:30 AM to the airport, where I catch the bus to Pattaya.

Bus to airport was 150 Bhat ($5 CAD), the 2 hour bus to Pattaya was 120 Bhat ($4 CAD), and then a shared taxi to my condo was another 100 Bhat ($4 CAD).  These were all luxury, clean, new buses.  Can you get that in Canada for this price?

I meet Earthie, the young Thai I am renting my condo from.  He is a really nice guy, and he gets me settled in quickly.  This is a place you have to see!  12,000 Bhat ($447 CAD) for 31 days, plus the service fees, which he has no control over.

Can’t believe this is where I am living for the next month!  Right on the beach, with an amazing pool!  Jealous, I hope so. 🙂