An unexpected journey

As I was on the bus heading to Ranong for a visa run I looked up and noticed a couple looking for a seat. As we got to talking I learned they were headed to Koh Phayam which they told me was one of the few islands still relatively untouched by tourism. I flirted with idea of visiting this island as I had some time to kill before meeting a friend in Koh Tao. Next thing I knew I was standing in front of the ferry to Koh Phayam overhearing my story being told by somebody else. Like me Matt was at loose ends and had been headed to Koh Samui when he decided to give Koh Phayam a try when he heard about it on the bus ride over. We immediately hit it off and we hung out for the next four days. Koh Phayam itself is a small island with beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and a relaxed vibe which makes it a perfect place to do nothing but unwind. After several days of beach bumming I felt the itch to move. On to Koh Tao. Having been hit with a burst of energy I jumped on the opportunity to obtain my diving ticket. What followed were four days intense training which included a few visits to the underwater world swimming  surrounded by clown fish, bay fish and blow fish. I felt like I was the host of a show on the discovery channel. Exhausted from four days of diving I had to catch my breath so I headed to Koh Phangan. Yes the island that hosts the full moon party. But there are a few different beaches to stay on so you don’t have to be caught up in the madness. I stayed on Haad Yuan which is a 10 minute boat ride from the party beach, Haad Rin, which has a positive and relaxed vibe. The island itself is large with some beautiful viewpoints and waterfalls so hiring a motorbike and exploring is recommended. It was great to rejuvenate again to prepare for a long journey that brought me to Khao Sok National Park. This somewhat unspoken about place provides a great contrast from island life. Staying in the middle of the jungle you feel like a tiger could knock at your door at any moment. The freshness of the jungle vegetation blended with the singing of the hundreds of creatures makes for an incredible setting. There’s nothing more to do here than one or two day jungle treks which are definitely a must. My favourite parts were the raft houses built 100 feet above where the village used to rest before the dam was built, the scenery on the boat ride to the cave and exploring the cave itself. This place was not on my radar but I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I don’t know what’s next. So far travelling has been unexpectedly expected.

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