LINKFIELD ROAD TO LANGKAWI………………..

I took the ferry from Koh Lipie to Langkawi, which is an island in Malaysia; I was met there by my friend Chris Hedger (Hedge)………..we have been friends since our school days when we both lived in Linkfield Road, Isleworth, and eventually became members of the “Hounslow Bowl” scooter boys. It has been a long and eventful journey from Linkfield Road to Langkawi, and Hedge has bought a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom, two balconied condo there, where he very kindly offered the second bedroom to me for the duration of my two week stay on the Island. It has been great to catch up with him, enjoy his hospitality and good humour, share a few beers together and get an insight into life in Malaysia, or rather, more specifically, on the lovely island of Langkawi. Hedge has been living in Johor Bahru, southern Malaysia, for many years but I think he will now rent out his condo there and move permanently to Langkawi; although he is yet to make a definitive decision, I can see the appeal of life in Langkawi and while he retains both properties any decision is always reversible……….

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Above……….the little immigration office on the beach at Koh Lipie………and below, the customary “long-tail’ boats waiting to take you out to the ferry which has to drop anchor in the bay because of the shallow water……………

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Above…………sunset on Cenang beach, Langkawi…………..and below, the beautiful condo that Hedge has bought…………..

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Above………….one of the balconies at Hedge’s condo, and below sunrise from that same balcony (I got up early, we did not stay up drinking all night)………….

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Above…………..sunset from the other balcony, and below, the condominiums swimming pool……….it also has a very nice and well equipped fitness centre, a spa and massage room, a hairdressers, a deli and a decent bar that serves very good grub………..

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Above and below………….Hedge took me on a tour of the island to look at some of the other beaches and places of interest……………

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above……………. Hedge’s magnificent twenty five year old Mercedes Benz, which I had the great pleasure of being chauffeured around in for my stay, and below, one of the points of interest, a beautiful (but expensive) golf course, that Hedge treats himself occasionally……Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 01.41.44

 

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As you all know, no post of a beautiful island is complete without a flower…………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KOH LIPIE………………….

Koh Lipie is another of those stunningly beautiful and idyllic islands that Thailand seems to  have in abundance…………clear turquoise water, clean golden beaches fringed with tall elegant palms and the tranquillity of not very many occupants…………

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Above………….my four poster sun-bed on the beach in front of my hotel ……………..

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Above…………..outside a beachwear shop……………….

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Above and below………..on my second afternoon on Koh Lipie, an incredibly violent storm could be seen approaching the island and for about half an hour before it arrived, it bathed the island in an eerie translucent light, before it emptied its contents in a raging deluge….. photos do not really capture this strange light effect but I’m posting a few all the same

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I got up at 05.30 the next morning to find that cloud remnants from the storm had left brushstrokes across the sky, making for a truly wonderful sunrise………………..

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This lad came and sat right next to me for half an hour or so as I sat watching the sunrise………………

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CHA-AM TO KOH LIPIE………….

I took a twenty minute taxi ride from Cha-Am to Hua Hin to catch the overnight train that I had pre-booked with an online agent to Hat Yai, in order to take a mini van to Pak Bara to catch the ferry to Loh Lipie

 

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Above………….the delightful little station at Hua HIn

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Above………..every station in Thailand has a security guard on duty 24 /7………..and below, the night train to Hat Yai trundles into Hua Hin station at 19.15……….30 minutes late and it has only come a couple of hundred kilometres from Bangkok…………

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Nothing like the rain to bring you down……..
Nothing like a train to take you far away…….
Leaving here without a sound……….
Should have been gone yesterday…………

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Above and below………..my first class air-con sleeper cabin, 1425 Baht (about £28.00) for the 12 hour train ride

 

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Above and below…………breakfast in Hat Yai having arrived more than 2 hours behind schedule, before taking a mini van to Pak Bara to take the ferry to Koh Lipie

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Above………….there is no port on Koh Lipie, the water is too shallow all around the island, so they have anchored a large landing pontoon a couple of hundred meters out to sea……….so the ferries and speedboats moor there and you then pay 70 Baht for a lift in a “long-tail” boat to the beach, where you jump out into the shallow turquoise water and walk up the beach to your hotel……………traveling can be awfully demanding at times………

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Above and below…………arriving at Koh Lipie…………… (^∆*)

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CHA-AM……………

I am back in the absolutely charming seaside town of Cha-am on the west side of the Gulf of Thailand; I spent a week or so here last year and it’s appeal has in no way diminished……….it is a traditional Thai resort, so not many farang (foreign) visitors; quiet during the week, it bursts into life on Saturdays and Sundays when local and visiting Thai’s bring a wonderful facade of colour and a cacophony of laughter and shrieks of enjoyment to the beach…………..it is so uplifting to spend the weekend on the beach here surrounded by so much happiness and watching the children having the time of their lives without the assistance of mobile phones or games consoles …………..and great to see that the kite sellers and “horse-rides” that ply their trade on the beach still appear to be doing good business……..

It is the kind of small town that I could easily visualise living in, and I have made contact with a local real estate agent and I have already viewed 6 different condos; as a foreigner you cannot own land in Thailand, and consequently a house in your own name; but you can own an apartment in a condominium as long as the number of foreign owned apartments in any condominium is 49% or less………..you can still buy if the 49% allocation has been reached, but only then on a 30 year renewable lease……….

 

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Above and below……………some photos from the beach at Cha-Am…………..

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There is a river at Cha-Am that provides a perfect harbour for the countless fishing boats………….

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Above and below………a wonderful chain operated lifting bridge; one of the condo’s that I viewed is a ten minute drive or ride to the main beach at Cha-Am, this time can be cut in half by using this bridge,  but fairly obviously only by scooter or motorbike………..

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Above………this is one of the condominiums where I viewed an apartment; a good sized apartment, 101 sq meters with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a good sized balcony, the view from which you can see below………….

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Above………..one of the 3 swimming pools in the condo grounds, and below, its sunbathing deck with steps down into the sea………………

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KOH CHANG TO BANGKOK

I am now back in Bangkok after a very relaxing 6 days on the island of Koh Chang; I have made posts about Koh Chang over the previous two winters, so just a couple of photos of the lovely Chang Buri Resort hotel that I stayed at, and a few of the ferry crossing back to the mainland………………

Tomorrow morning I head south to the traditional Thai seaside town of Cha-Am where I will stay for about a week………….

 

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Above………….don’t know who Frank Schneidwind is, but he has apparently upset somebody enough for them to go to the trouble of having leaflets printed displaying their obvious contempt for him………….

and below………. you like to think that the hull of the vessel is in better shape ………

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KOH MAK……………ANOTHER HIDDEN TREASURE

Tomorrow I will leave this beautiful island of Koh Mak and take a speedboat ferry to Koh Chang for 600 Baht (£11.50)  ………..  I have hired a scooter everyday since I arrived here and have ridden all round the island a couple of times; so here are a few snaps from Koh Mak….

 

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Above and below…………wonderful wooden pier on the north coast of the island……..

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Raft with an ingenious outboard motor……………..

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Above and below……….I found this lovely little Wat (Temple) which I believe is the only one on the island……………

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I was the only person there, until after a few minutes of wandering around, a young monk appeared and said hello; he then bade me to follow him, and he led me down to where this  beautiful gold statue looks out over the sea (below)  ……..  not knowing it was there I may well have missed it were it not for his kind gesture………….

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another pier, another boat, another Thai flag……………

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……….above and below, no sun-beds or fat Russian tourists on these beaches……….

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KOH KUT TO KOH MAK……………..

On Friday I left behind the beautiful island of Koh Kut and took the ferry to the island of Koh Mak………….the hotel that I stayed in on Koh Kut (Horizon Resort) is owned by a Frenchman, Stefan, and his manager Fabrice is also French; they have been in Thailand for 11 and 7 years respectively and both of them speak Thai and English. They were both extremely friendly and helpful and Stefan booked my ferry to Koh Mak by telephone and gave me a lift to the pier……….

So, I now have 5 days here on Koh Mak before I take another ferry to Koh Chang…………

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The new catamaran service that I took between Koh Kut and Koh Mak, which only took about half an hour and cost 300 Baht (about £6.00)……….

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I am staying in a lovely little beachside hotel here called “Sky Beach Resort” I have a nice large and recently constructed bungalow, 20 metres from the beach with a sea view……above is the beachside bar and restaurant………….

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Above and below……….06.45 first morning for a swim, while I could have the sea all to myself…………not that I have seen more than two or three people in it at any one time since……………………ieieieieieieieie

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They clean the beach every morning but it is difficult to figure out why, because it never seems to get dirty at all, just an occasional dead palm leaf…………..

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Above and below, as I have grown accustomed to in Thailand, wonderful flowers and plants everywhere you look; these are in the hotel garden just behind the beach…….

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KOH KUT A HIDDEN TREASURE………………

Yesterday I left Koh Kut and took the ferry to Koh Mak where I will stay for 5 days before  taking another ferry to Koh Chang (again) ……..so here are some photos of this beautiful island; an island that has really taken my breath away with its incredible natural beauty, its stunningly clean and clear turquoise tinted water and its verdant and diverse vegetation…………Wow, I mean woweeee…………

It is so quiet and tranquil, I have not deliberately taken photographs sans people, but there  are so few people here that it is difficult to take a shot of a beach with a few people on it…………. this island is as close as you will find anywhere on planet earth to having a sense of  beautiful isolation while still being able to stay in comfortable accommodation…………..the message is clear, don’t wait too long………….ieieieieieieie

 

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The little Yamaha scooter that I hired for a few days to travel around this wonderful island

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Having just had my “once every 3 days” holiday shave, I thought it was a good time for a “selfie”

 

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and also time for a haircut………… 80 Baht (£1.60) ………….I did’t have the heart, or the vocabulary to ask for a retirement concession  (^∆^)

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Above and below………..the stilted fishing village on the east coast of the island; I have visited similar fishing villages before, notably on Koh Chang and Koh Lanta, which although both are quite authentic, they have started to cater for tourists with little shops and stalls selling tee-shirts and trinkets…………no such thing here, this is the real deal, completely lost in time…………..amazing

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Above and below………….beautiful, clean and deserted beaches are to be found all over the island

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no penny arcade or candy floss on this pier………………

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KLONG CHAO WATERFALL – KOH KUT………………

As is customary, I have hired a scooter for a few days to look around this amazing island of Koh Kood; yesterday I rode to the Klong Chao waterfall in the middle of the island……….today I will ride to the beaches on the south west of the island and then across to the fishing village at Ao Yai on the east coast………….

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KOH KOOD (KUT)………………

I am now on the truly beautiful island of Koh Kood, sometimes known as Koh Kut…………..it is so quiet and chilled, this must be one of the few Thai islands to have retained this degree of tranquillity; it really is heavenly…………I am staying in a beautiful hotel “Horizon Resort” that is built on a rocky headland overlooking a magnificent bay…….it consists of just 20 detached bungalows, scattered around the huge grounds……………all photos in this post are taken from the hotel

 

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Above and below……….early morning view from the balcony of my bungalow

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Above……….my bungalow, centre………….

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Above, top right, the hotel restaurant where you enjoy breakfast and any other meals that you choose to……………

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Above and below……….views in different directions from the restaurant……………..

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Above………table No 6, my chosen table for lunch yesterday; just waiting for somtum jae and a freezing glass of white wine to be plonked on its surface…………..ekekekekeke

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Above………taken using the “Panorama” feature of my camera………which I am not a great fan of, but it does offer a sense of perspective to the wonderfully  huge bay……….

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Above and below…………my private bathing and swimming platform………….oh, stop it will you, seriously, stop it !!!!!

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Above……………..not sure what he is, but he stands on a rock near my bathing platform every afternoon………….and below, the hotel’s massage room………..full one hour oil massage 400 Baht (£7.65)   …………….. and she is excellent………..

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oooops………nearly forgot, one aspect of the headland on which the hotel is built faces west, so we get to view the sunset everyday……………….

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