When I first went to Thailand in 2005, only a few months had passed since the devastating tsunami. Although we heard from fellow travelers that the recovery was well underway in many areas, we decided to stick to the north of the country. The famous beaches of Thailand remained on the to do list.
Three years later: Check. Well worth the wait, the Andaman coast is a bit of everything. Calm and quiet beaches or raging Australian meat markets with pulsating music, crystal clear water perfect for snorkeling or rolling waves perfect for body surfing.
In Ko Lanta our bungalows were meters from the lazy ocean where you could kneel in the water and the tide would barely move you. We ate Roman-style pizza overlooking the water and wondered about the steady lights on the horizon (which turned out to be boats).
In Ko Phi Phi we dodged party fliers and drunken revelers before renting a longtail boat to take us to the uninhabited marine park of Ko Phi Phi Leh (made famous in the movie The Beach). Radek discovered the joys of snorkeling and I rediscovered the fact that I can’t snorkel to save my life. Perhaps I have an oddly shaped head that masks simply can’t fit?
In Phuket we relished in the small crumbling city, the lack of drunken joiners and a bowl of killer ice cream then found our own perfect beach at Laem Singh. I envisioned myself renting a fading colonial in Phuket Town then taking a songthaew to a different beach everyday and eating Pad Thai every night. Not a bad idea, eh?