I didn’t start to travel the whole outside of the Mediterranean until I was 26 so I led a pretty sheltered life for most of it in terms of exploration.
Is the sea really that blue in Thailand?
The first time I saw the turquoise waters of Asia it blew my mind! I had seen Thailand in pictures and obviously the film The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio but honestly, I thought the color of the water was CGI. I am from Yorkshire so seawater is usually brown or grey, at best a dark blue but that’s it.
We had just disembarked our 4th flight of the trip, Newcastle to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Bangkok, and Bangkok to Krabi a total and new record for me of 18 hours. Feeling a bit tired but also very excited we arrange our “transfers” at a kiosk in the airport. Krabi is a very small airport; in fact, I’ve seen a much bigger Tesco Express in my town. But it’s very clean and you’re in Thailand so what are there to moan about?
The reason I say “transfers” like that is because of the next part of my story.
We walked for about 400 yards down through a small shanti town, and down a ramp to a platform. It was rickety as hell and looked like it was going to drop to bits at any given moment but again it’s Thailand so no moaning from any of us.
We were waiting for a local water taxi; there were no tourists only locals. I remember beneath the jetty were thousands of mudskippers which I have never seen before. The boat was probably 40ft long and made by the same person who made the jetty so a confidence booster. But again I’m in Thailand, it’s 32 degrees and life couldn’t be better.
I was experiencing sensory overload. The heat, the smells of the local Pad Thai, and Thom Yum cooking in homes overlooking the river, WOW just WOW! Then there was the view. Do you remember that Top Gear episode where they go to Vietnam and make boats out of their scooters? That view of those sandbanks and rocks sticking out of the water is what I saw. I sat at the back of the boat on my own away from my girlfriend and friends just to soak it up. I’m 6ft 3 inches tall too so I was a giant next to all of these friendly locals.
As we pulled up to our stop in Koh Jum I was amazed to see we were staying on what appeared to be a tiny remote flora-covered island. To get to where we were staying our “transfer” was a 50cc motorbike with a piece of wood strapped to the side of it, which would accommodate two regular-sized people at best.
I was asked to get on behind the driver, as I would have tipped the thing over.
Who needs roads?
Yeah, so in the next part and final part of this journey we dashed through the heavy jungle, weaving in and out past big rocks, trees, and certain death. We arrived at our Resort (see below)
I will continue this story in my next blog, which will include tips on visiting Koh Jum, Thailand, and how to kayak like a god 😉 (I wish)
How we got to Thailand for less than £600:
If you’re prepared to slum it a bit and not fussed about luxury hotels or flushing toilets then this is how to do Thailand for the same price as a big TV.
Look around for last-minute flights: We saw a Facebook post on a friend’s wall for ‘cancellation flights to Thailand for £499 via Cheap Beach Holidays’ we called up and booked them right away.
Internal flights in Thailand are super cheap so don’t even bother to pre-book just get them when you get out there. Ours from Bangkok to Krabi cost £80.
The boat transfer cost less than a costa coffee I think £1. Oh, that’s another thing I should mention Thailand is super cheap. Money goes a long way, especially in the lesser-known areas.