Written by: Moo Noi
It was 1993 travelling with a mad Czech Girl. I fell in love ... with Thailand not the girl.
"Let’s go on holiday" she says. "Where too" I replied". "Thailand" was her answer. Forgive my ignorance but I had never heard of the place - was it a shop in Oxford Street?
Accompanied by the lonely planet guide we just got on an airplane, forgot to let work know that we were off and that was it Thailand here we come.
The lonely planet had lots of fantastic pictures of amazing places in Thailand. We were off to Phuket and it did not look like we were going to the right place.
Upon landing we showed the pictures of some beautiful beaches with rock outcrops to a Thai man that did not speak English and he gestured in the direction of a small road that left the airport. Everyone else got on a bus and went off to their prearranged hotels and well laid travel plans. We started hiking down this road for a couple of miles until we reached a main road with a bus stop. Here we waited. And waited. And then waited a bit more.
It was at this point that we started arguing. Apparently it was all my fault that we were stuck in the middle of nowhere without a clue as to which direction we should be going. At this point I thought it best if I took a leak and by the time that I came back things would be calmer (always a good plan).
By the time I returned a Thai van had pulled over to pick up my blond, leggy companion. They looked a bit disappointed when I turned up but having looked at the pictures confirmed through a series of nodding heads and smiles that we were heading in the right direction. This seemed to placate the blond annoyed person who scowled lovingly at me. Apparantly it was Krabi that we should be heading to. They stopped and let us off at a sign that said Phang Nga Bay , smiled and waived. There was a bungalow hotel by the roadside so we checked in.
It was dark by this time and so Mrs Grumpy went to bed and I decided to eat some food. No idea what it was as the menu was in Thai but it tasted really great. Everyone smiled at me. Then my heart sank .. I had to go to bed with.....
Next day the sun was out and MG (Mrs Grumpy) had cheered up no end (it was my fault that it was overcast the day before). We headed off to James Bond Island as luck had it the boating station was two minutes walk away. This was an amazing experience - off to the Gypsy villages and just boating around the amazing rock formations.
Then it was waiting for the bus to Krabi however we were picked up again by a European Van that were heading to Trang and were happy to drop us (well MG) in Krabi.
Krabi Town is on the river and so we stayed at the hotel closest to the river with amazing views over the landscape which is totally mind boggling in Krabi. The beaches were either along the coast in Ao Nang or catch a boat to Phi Phi Island or Koh Lanta. We chose Koh Lanta - a 3 hour journey.
Lanta in those days was a beach paradise with no roads to talk of. Very cheap and the restaurants and bars were built on stilts at the "harbour" which was again built from wood.
The beach was amazing and we stayed at Lanta Villas. The Thai people were so nice and the island such a haven that MG and myself almost spoke to each other at times.
Two weeks came and went with lots of experiences that I have not got time to mention here.
I gave up with MG immediately upon my return to blighty and the next year came out with my mate Stinky.... To be continued.