01.11.2013 - 03.11.2013
We were super excited to see Jon, who was over with a few friends from the UK for Nick's non-stag do and non-wedding (long story).
Having woken to a glorious day and chance to meet up with our close pal, we put the previous day's problems behind us.
So, what did we do with our J-Ho weekend...?
Big hugs. Beer. Bit o'sun. More beer. Convivial chat. Cocktails. Boats. More sun. More beer. Beaches. Gin. Hugs. Misty eyes (from me).
Ok, ok.... the detail (I'm sure Linzi will appreciate anyway, you were missed lots x).
After a quick Friday night drink just the three of us, and dinner with everyone, we went on the hunt for a decent bar or two. This search lead us down a narrow brightly lit lane before it was too late to notice they were all Thai girl and ladyboy bars... pub names like 'Kitty', 'Lovely', 'Climax' and 'Ting Tong' (no, really) should have given the game away...
I was leading the way, with the 6 guys behind. The whole street appeared to cheer loudly as the wallets, I mean guys, approached. It was hilarious. I felt like some sort of madam pimp leading fresh meat down the street. We stopped briefly and were quickly surrounded and grabbed as they tried to drag us into their bars. The boys were very gallant, took one look at me and said let's get the hell out of here. We made a quick exit!
We found another place but the guys were looking tired after their Bangkok stay so our first night was a pretty quiet one. We were also probably a disappointment to Jon as we've got used to earlier nights and early starts, so I was taking in huge lungfuls of air by 10pm!
We decided to go to Railay Beach on our first day together (a 10 minute long boat ride from Ao Nang). Ian from the group also joined us, Nick had to work (he's hopefully about to get his first book published), Roger was off to Koh Lanta and John had the two bob bits.
Railay was beautiful... archetypal Thailand beach with high surrounding cliffs. As the tide went out the shoreline was also covered in hundreds of tiny crabs, no larger than your little fingernail. I've never seen so many in one place before.
Ian & Jon
After the beach, grabbing a beer, it blowed a hooley and absolutely chucked it down... I tried to get them all to look grumpy...
We had great Thai food in the evening and the guys found a sports bar as Man U were playing. I left them to it in favour of a pedicure and some shopping. Oh why can't match nights always be this good?! We'd booked a day's boat trip to the Phi Phi islands for the next day, so we all headed home before midnight.
The speedboat trip was great... we were taken to a few scenic spots including Maya Beach on Phi Phi Leh, made famous in the Hollywood film 'The Beach'.
Harvesting birds' nests for bird's nest soup
This was heaven and hell. Ant & I agreed it was the finest white powdery beach we've ever been on, but we also shared the experience with hundreds of other tourists. There were so many boats ours had to wait for a parking spot. Shame really, although it was no different to what we were expecting, given its fame.
We had a few snorkel stops, the water was gorgeous although there were lots of tiny jellyfish which kept giving us small stings so I didn't stay in for too long. I thought we saw a couple of seahorses on the bottom but it was hard to tell as they were swimming flat rather than with tail curled up.
Monkeys clinging to the rocks at 'Monkey Bay'
Does this count as fish bombing?
Final stop was Bamboo Island, a very stunning white beach and crystal clear water. Paradise indeed, it was so hot with zero breeze everyone scurried to the shade from the boat. Ant & I enjoyed more snorkelling until a small pink territorial fish bit us both! Fiesty little thing.
And so our last evening with J-Ho. We treated ourselves to a steak place which had great reviews. It seemed to get the thumbs up all round for juicy steaks but the service was crazy slow. We were there at 8.30 and didn't get our mains til after 10. No matter, we were downing a nice Malbec in the meantime.
We had a good last night with some late night cocktails with the guys but we still weren't on top form as Ant & I both had colds. A sad farewell to Jon! We left him our heavy Buddha head as a thoughtful reminder.
Great to see you mate! Oh, and sorry about the photos.