Thailand Archives - Away Lands
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A Glory Day Sailing in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

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Thailand was not on our itinerary for our fall tour through South East Asia. We had been already been to the most remote Thai islands we could find last Christmas, and we just had so many places we wanted to see that we thought we would just fly right over it – from Cambodia right down to Malaysia. But as unscheduled travel tends to happen, we ended up with a free week after high-tailing it out of Indonesia as quick as we could (a story for another time.) After landing in the Kuala Lumpur airport with no plan to continue on before our flight to Sri Lanka the following week, we found a corner, some wifi, and looked for the cheapest direct flight anywhere – and found Phuket. In our previous trips to Thailand, we had always avoided Phuket – the island just seemed like it would be too crowded, too developed, and too bro-ed out, but for a $50 flight, we decided to give it a week.

 

And DAMN. Phuket was much more charming than I expected – we found a cute little hotel with a southwestern flair on Karon beach and spent a few days here, before heading out to Koh Phi Phi Don. I had huge mixed feelings about going here – the photos always looks so beautiful, but it was the one place that everyone seemed to go to in Thailand. But from the second our ferry took off, I was hooked at staring at the island formations in the distance. The further out we got, the clearer and clearer the water became. I knew I had to spend every moment we possibly could in that water. Our first day on the island, we went down to the dock to find a man with a boat, which was about the easiest transaction I’ve ever had in my life. $40 for a half-day tour, including snorkels.

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Video – Away East

We are so, so excited to share this video from our trip to Thailand and Bali and the launch of AwayLands! This is a dream and a project that we’ve been working on for almost a year, and it’s almost overwhelming to see the work we’ve put in come to a final product. This is our launching point, and from here, there’s nowhere to go but everywhere.

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The Best Little Island – Koh Mak, Thailand

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One of my favorite things about Koh Mak became apparent as we stopped at the number of little restaurants, shops, and dive centers around ‘town’ – most of the places were owned by people from different parts of the world that had found this little island, and had just never returned. There was the older American couple that ran the amazing wood-fired pizza shack and the former Mr. Universe contestant who opened the Swiss-Thai Fusion Restaurant (Schnitzel with green curry – surprisingly amazing). It seemed like everyone we met there was just loving this tiny island and loving life there – for obvious reasons. There were beaches at every corner of the Koh Mak, the water was warm and jewel-toned, and we were able to rent a motorbike right at our hotel and drive the island from end to end in 30 minutes. My favorite travel experiences have been when we were able to hop on a bike and drive all around on our own, with no need for cabs, trains, or other people’s schedules: just us and our freedom.  Brandon and I have gotten pretty good at maximizing our scooter travels – at one point, I held our drone with one hand and camera in the other as I gripped on to Brandon for dear life, and another time he carried a suitcase on top of his head as I drove us home. Koh Mak is was the most perfect easy-island-life place I’ve been to, with very few cars on the road (I’m still not very good at driving, and tend to panic like a baby deer if there’s another car around me) and long open stretches – even if (when) you get lost, you can never really get more than 15 minutes out of your way.READ MORE

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Tropical Paradise – Koh Kood, Thailand

 

Mapping out our Asia journey started with one photo of Koh Kood I stumbled upon, titled “The Last Unspoiled Thailand.” I just knew that that was the island we had to go to – even though when the trip started coming together, we realized how much of a trek it is to get there – a cab back to Bangkok airport and then a hopper flight to a bus to a ferry across the gulf to an open-air truck to a dinghy boat. But every step we got closer, the more beautiful the scenery became, and it was all immediately worth it.

Koh Kood is huge (the fifth largest Island in Thailand) but wild and undeveloped in a way that truly is unspoiled. Almost every beach just felt like a private paradise, we never saw more than a few people anywhere.

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One Day in Bangkok

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We did most everything in Bangkok wrong. We spent hours walking around the wrong parts of town, getting stuck in the massive China-town shops, we got conned away from the Imperial Palace and into a tuktuk ride around the city that stopped nowhere we actually wanted to go, then when we finally decided to give up and and take a nap back at our hotel, we got stuck in a cab in traffic for close to two hour. We completely failed Bangkok.

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