May came and went in a bit of a blur, it was so busy. There were3 long weekends (1st, 5th and 12th, and then we had a week of holidays for my birthday and our wedding anniversary from the 20th-28th.
We went to:
Sukhothai on the w/e of the 5th – this being the oldest capital of Thailand, around 7 centuries ago;
Koh Samet on the w/e of the 12th – this is the back-packer island that we have visited before, and
Krabi and PhiPhi Island on the Andaman sea side of the peninsular.
Sukhothai is about 5 hours drive north of Bangkok, and is in a less populated area of Thailand. After about 2 hours out of Bangkok the drive was very pleasant as there is good roads and not much traffic. The city has a park that is where all the temples are preserved (like Angkor in Cambodia and Ayhuttaya near Bangkok). It’s a small city, but a very pleasant and interesting area and is also the centre of what was a thriving ceramics industry before even the Chinese got into that. We visited many of the temples, and also some of the ancient pottery kilns. Trish has a dish that she bought in an antique auction in Bangkok that is from that area and period, so it’s about 700 years old.
Koh Samet is all about beaches. It was great to spend a w/e soaking up the sun and swimming in the lovely blue, 80 degree, sea. Terrific also to spend the evenings dining “Al Fresco” with your toes in the sand, and the sound of waves lapping on the shore in the background.
Krabi and PhiPhi are beautiful, but we picked the wrong week to be there. The rainy season has started early here in Thailand this year, and the first 5 days of our holiday it rained quite a lot. It’s not unpleasant, at 90 degrees, but it does limit what you can do, especially when you get a monsoon downpour every now and then. We spent the first couple of days on the main land coast at the Krabi beaches. Wet, but a pleasant stay. Then it was a REALLY rough ferry ride over to PhiPhi, the usual throwing up job on ferries in the rough (though we were OK, thankfully). The weather picked up shortly after we arrived in PhiPhi, and we did manage to get some snorkelling in, and even one day out on a speedboat going round the various reefs – which was perfect for me.
We had our wedding anniversary on PhiPhi.
Everything appears to be almost back to normal after the Tsunami – thankfully.
On the way back we stopped off in Krabi again (that being where the airport is) and after a disaster with the hotel I had booked on the internet (very run down) we went to the opposite extreme and went to a near-by Sheraton. This was fabulous (of course) and the place was built in a preservation fashion amongst a mangrove swamp, which was very interesting. This was a great treat and the perfect end to the Holiday.
All in all I worked less than half of the month of May.
Now THAT I can take.