16.01.2012 - 21.01.2012 32 °C
Visiting Ao Nang wasn't in the original plan but due to my inability to make a decision on if I go to Phi Phi or not and several recommendations from fellow traveller's over a beer one night here I am. The trip from Lanta again on the ferry was a delight rather than the dismal trip I had experienced before. The sun was shining, it was only 2 hours and more importantly there was room to move and I wasn't concerned about sinking.
Ao Nang is a small holiday town really and it's a really good base for trips inland such as trekking, seeing the tiger temple and hot springs and the like, none of which I have done or plan to do of course. Well ..... the sun finally came out and the weather was fantastic so it was Beach for me and again Ao Nang is great for day trips to a multitude of small islands either by cheap longtail boat or speedboats.
The town is shaped in a T which for me is brilliant as it means I can't get lost AND a starbucks was on my walk from the guesthouse to the beach, a Macdonalds too but shhh I'm supposed to eat Thai food when in Thailand. To be fair I have been eating some and it's been ok ( I hate spicy food ) but I was getting a bit tired of chicken fried rice so a sneaky Cheeseburger was yumm. Eating out so far has been incredibly cheap and I haven't been eating street food either but typically I'll pay 100 baht for dinner which is about 2 pound and in Dubai you can't get a peanut for that.
On arrival in Ao Nang I experienced my first accomodation 'Oh Dear' moment (politely described) so let me introduce you to my friend Pete's accomodation Skank-o-meter. I used to work with Pete in Dubai and we are both travelling Asia at the same time and our trips collide at several destinations where we hope to meet and share stories, so it's good for us to use the same language.
So the Skank-o-meter is below
Basic but clean: Room slightly damp - mould may be present
- Basic but noisy: Room may be damp, running water sketchy and racket caused by all and sundry
- *Pass the sanitizer: Containing many features from the above plus unnecessary grime/stained bedding.
- ** Grim: Wet mattresses (from urine and/or steam cleaning) resulting in many room changes to find one where you can breathe and not bathe in someone else's pee pee.
- *** Utter filth - urine present on mattresses along with other unidentified substances. Plentiful unpleasant and unrecognisable smells. Retching may be imminent and full body sanitizer and/or vodka required to remain unharmed.
Overall conclusion: where are Kim and Aggie when you need them?
My Accomodation I would rank * plus it had no windows and was the size of the bed, not quite the pictures I had seen when booking on the internet so I dumped my bag and decided to go for a walk to find an alternative. Epic fail, 4 hours later I'm still in the beach bar drinking cocktails with a new friend from Germany. They sell cocktails in plastic buckets here, brilliant idea I thought. Anyway the evening continued with a bar crawl venturing into the small go-go girl bar area, several bars with Live bands singing either Highway to Hell or Hotel California and a locals bar which is a stall on the side of the road and before you know it it's 3am and not only have I not found alternative accomodation I've been locked out of the one I had ! Guesthouses don't all allow 24 access so it seems. I did get in btw and moved room the following morning AND moved again the following day. I learnt my first Thai word that night Kob Khun Ka ( thank you) repeated a million times.
There are monkeys here too and I love monkeys they just sit and play with tourists bags scavaging for food at the very end of the beach, it's a bit of an effort to get to see them, firstly I had to walk past the long strip of massage sala's which means getting hassled at every one and then the beach where the monkeys are is across a dip on the beach. I didn't time the tide very well so had to cross through waist height water lifting my bag over my head but it was worth the effort but then the heavens opened and the storm came. I was already wet from the crossing so getting wet from the rain again didn't worry me but the thunder and lightening did so I decided to take shelter and have a massage until it passed. I now have a massage addiction and have managed to squeeze a massage into my daily routine :-)
Highlights - Too many to mention it's been great but I suppose the monkeys would be top of of the list
Lowlights - Getting locked out and 3 room changes !
Here is the Link to Pete's Blog, it's a really informative read and of course hilarious http://slummin--it.travellerspoint.com/