Two days kayak trip in Ko Phangan

Living in perfect paradise is great, peaceful and easy. But after two month without any extreme experience we get bored a bit. To full feel our willing of exciting and new experience we took a two days trip along seaside of Ko Phangan island.

The idea to make a kayak trip, was born about three month ago in Bangkok and originally was an idea to do a trip around Ko Phangan. After closer look on geography of the island, we decided to do a short two day kayak trip from Mae Haad beach (the better known as Ko Ma) to remote beaches, like Bottle beach (Haad Khuat) and Thong Nai Pan beaches.

Every local we talked about our plans was surprised the whole idea, one of the rental agencies even refuse the kayak rental. Whatever, finally we got a kayak for rent from some resort on Ko Ma for generous 500 baht ber day. It was simply beach kayak for three with two paddles.

After few rainy and cloudy days the 1 of June was a nice day with calm sea and clear sky. The first trip from Mae Haad (ko Ma) to Bottle beach (5,5 km) we have done for not more then a 1,5 hour. The rest of the day we spend on the beach and in the sea, doing nothing, it was a bit bored too, actually 🙂 On the Bottle beach we have got a nice beach bungalow for 200 baht for an overnight.

On the next day we paddle for about 2 hours and covered the distance for about 7,5 km with nice tailwind. Arrive to Thong Nai Pan Yai beach we took a rest and started thinking about way back. From the beginning we had two ways, by boat or by kayak.

At first we took a second option, but got a disappointed. Since we left the bay and start paddle to the sea, we can not move even for a bit. The head wind became even stronger and waves higher. The only one way we can move was the way back to the beach.

There are a lot of boat taxi on the beach, but the price for 1,5 hour ride back to Ko Ma was too expensive – boatmen asked for 1500 baht and did not bargain at all.

We was not ready to pay such a big money for such a short ride and continue searching for a boat. Smiling boatman from tourist boat (those who making day trip along Ko Phangan for tourist) agreed to give us a lift to Сhaloklum beach, from where it is a short trip to Ko Ma, for reasonable 600 baht. The price was included fruits and drinks on the boat and snorkeling on Malibu beach.

The last 1,5 km from the point where boatman left us, we paddle for less then an hour and finally arrived to Ko Ma, where locals who let us the kayak met us on the beach. They already known about our adventure – Ko Phangan it is small village and new are spreading very fast.

Short summary of the trip – it was fun, but I would not recommend anybody else do the same 🙂

News from the Jungles

Short message for friends how lost us – we are OK.
Living in paradise island is something incredible, please forgive us for being quite for a while.
Since last post nothing outstanding happened, actually it did, but we are too lazy to write about it.

A week ago we made a day trip to Ko Samui for visa extension. Last time we been on Ko Samui island four years ago. Huge development, large number of tourist had change the island, and for now I can say that I do not like Ko Samui – hot, noise, traffic jams, etc. Ko Phangan is very, very, very quite to compare with Ko Samui, so we are very, very, very happy that we are here.

Visa extension process took about 20 minutes and cost regular 1900 baht. Assuming that Red Shirt Protests and street strikes are still happening in Bangkok, the price for one month in Thailand looks too expensive. I hope the Thai government will cancel the visas fee again, like it did after airport blockade in winter 2008. We was happy to use free of charge visas and will be happy to do this again.

It is a rainy season, but rain is not often. Sometimes it is very hot and dry, but sometimes huge rain happens. When it happens we do not have Internet connection and even electricity sometimes 🙂

After all we are doing very well, making some plans and enjoying the life. Pretty and simple.

Living on Ko Phangan, summary of the first month

What we have done.

So, we had spent on Ko Phangan a month. As I wrote before, we came to the island not for a rest, we had an idea to do some things, here is a result:
Dima wrote two application for mobile devices on Android OS. They are ZX Droid – ZX Spectrum emulator for Android – now everyone can use ZX Spectrum games and application on mobile phones with Android and made the port of well known ‘Tux Racer’ 3D game for Android.

If you would like to have this application and games you can easily go to Android Market and download them for free, if you have Android device, of course.

As for me, I`m doing weird but nice things, like paper lamp, oil paintings and teddy bear dolls. All of this hand made items you can see on my new web-blog Inspiration of Today by Kiseg where you are very welcome.

How much is the life in Paradise

A lot of people had been asking me How much is the cost of living in Thailand? So now I can answer the question “How much is the cost of living in Ko Phangan”, here is the list:
the rent (one bedroom house with large veranda and beautiful garden, so not the cheapest one) – 10,000 THB or ~310 USD
utilities (water, electricity and Internet ) – 2,872 THB ~ 88 USD
food and every day necessaries (healthy vegetable and fresh meat) – 8650 THB ~ 268 USD
motorbike rent – 2750 THB ~ 85 USD plus 10 for fuel.
extra (like beer, entertainment, cheese and other things that extra, and probably would not be nessecary if we would like keep our budget in a minimum) – 7500 THB ~232 USD
All together we spent about 993 dollars for a month for two people.
For somebody this amount can looks very small, for another it can be expensive. I do not want to say that this is cheap, but this price is for good style living in Paradise.

So, we a doing great! Ko Phangan is good place to leave, and we are really happy that we are here. Next posts I will write some stories about Ko Phangan.

Weather on schedule

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April is the hottest and driest month in a year in South East Asia. Hopefully this year we spending it in shady jungles instead of deadly hot Bangkok. But even here we were waiting for a rain. Since middle of the month, heavy and grey clouds started to appear. Every day we were hopping for a rain, but got only a few drops one time.

Yesterday, finally, was a real tropical rain with endless rain streams that can easily transform to rivers and wash down to the ocean everything on their way.

It was marvelous, full water rain for about couples of hours. The rain washed out all dust from palm leafs and trees. Evergreen forest got new water and freshness and became even more green.

Jungles are smell different after rain, sweet smell of tropical flowers combined with a bit of mold and mushrooms.

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After sunsets frogs began concerts that for long for a whole night with billion of sound other jungles creatures, like it was wonderful after rain music.

Notable, that yesterday was a day of full moon. The day when due to lunar calendar rainy season has to began. Few days before yesterday all local families cleaned their land from leafs and yellow grass. Seems that weather came just on time. Next month will be the most rainy season in a year, will see how we will like this.

Snorkeling on Ko Phangan, more fishes

More pictures in Gallery:

Today we saw a flocks of fish, so beautiful!

Try to find three fishes on this pictures 🙂

Corals are also marvelous:

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Snorkeling on Ko Phangan

Today was a nice weather, not so hot and cloudy, and we decided to go snorkeling. The beach at Ao Mae Hat with beautiful view to Ko Ma is our favorite spot for snorkeling. This place very popular with divers and other snorkelers.
The visibility was ok, about 20-25 meter. Through the clear water you can see rich marine life in the corals just 10 meters from the beach!

Today we saw a lot of fishes, different size and color. This one are the favorites of the day:


Fishes are Chaetodon lunula and Chelmon rostratus.

More pictures

In Jungles

Planning to stay on Ko Phangan island for about two month, we were aimed to rent a nice house.
There are a lot of houses for rent on Ko Phangan, but majority of them are full with tenants for now. Seems that season is still high in April.
But we got a luck too and found a pleasant place:

I love this place: very shady (the house surrounded by trees and palm trees), very quite (only birds sometimes disturb us) and very private.

The house has spacious living room and large bedroom, fully equipment kitchen and bathroom.

House has everything necessary for comfortable living: Air Condition, bathtube with hot water, satellite TV and ADSL Internet.

That is our small paradise, where we gonna live and work for a next few month.

The price was very generous, we pay 10,000 baht (less than USD 300) per month, Thai owners asked us do not tell anyone, that we got it so cheap :). Every month we have to pay extra for utility, such as Internet, electricity and water, but still price will be fine for us.

So, the dreams can come true – now we live deep in Jungles!

In Thailand, again

Two weeks ago we came from Myanmar to Bangkok. The time past quickly with some business in Bangkok and Pattaya. We rent a storage box in Pattaya, where we normally keep all things that we have in Thailand (cloth, some leaving staff, souvenirs from different countries, motorbike gear, etc). Going to Bangkok we left in Bangkok in guesthouse Dima`s big backpack and went to Myanmar particularly without luggage. That is actually help us to save more than USD 10 with AirAsia tickets. On the way back from Burma we have to collect all our staff and move it a one place and took what we need to go to Ko Phangan.
It takes time.
Yesterday we finally went to Ko Phangan, the island in Thailand, where we been last year and liked it so much.

Chinese New Year 2010

After three years in Thailand we finally could catch the celebration in Bangkok China Town on Yaowarat Rd and we wish to share our experience of Chinese New Year Celebration.

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It was very interesting to observe how locals do preparation to the main celebration. Two or three days before main date (14 of February) all Chinese places, like shops, restaurants and travel agencies, was cleaned. All family members were cleaning inside the shop, washing signs, streets and around. At the same time China Town was very busy, it was great shopping time. Most of the locals were buying presents, fruits, cloth and some religious staff. Fruits was bought as an offering and as a presents for friends and relatives. The funny thing, that pumpkin was extremely popular as a present too, so nice small decorative pumpkin, we could not stay out of madness and bought one.

Early in the morning February 13 locals started with fireworks, generous offerings to temples and spiritual houses and burning false money and some old stuff.

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The main celebration began at 6 pm February 14, the same date as St. Valentines Day. Yaowarat road and some places around were closed for transport and extremely quickly filled with crowd: Chinese, Thais, foreigners, a lot of people and many were wearing red. Together with red Chinese lights whole China Town colored with red — it was spectacular.

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As always Thai and Chinese celebrations share cultural performances with the market. Socks and glasses, t-shirt and plastic dragons, towels, slippers, funny key-holders and of course food. Food is everywhere, delicious food, different and surprising…

Near the main stage, where the cultural and historical performances was shown, few booths with Chinese entertainments were organized: Chinese chess game, Chinese tea ceremonial, Chines dresses and etc.

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Walking by the Yaowarat road was complicated during to huge crowd, the situation went even worse when The Princes showed up. She was doing some kind of shopping/inspection in China Town, and moving from place to place. The security closed the road every time, and the crowd got stuck few times. Unfortunately it was prohibited to take pictures of The Princes, as one police guy told us. One time she was inspected the travel agency just nearby the place we got stuck with the crowd, so we can take a glimpse. We were surprised how she was looking — very ordinary, simple t-shirt (red of course), gray hair and zero make-up. Locals were very happy seeing the Princes celebrated Chinese New Year with them, we was happy that they were happy.

The celebration was continued on February 15 and even 16. Locals were visiting each other and doing presents. The sign on our favorite Chinese restaurant shows that they will start to operate tomorrow (17.02).

So, Happy Chinese New Year to all of you!!!