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The last leg

Mastering the art of becoming beach bums

sunny 35 °C

We decided a long time ago to spend our last two weeks on the beach. Before we came home, it was time to really unwind. No overnight buses, no dorm rooms and, as good as our time was at New Hope Cambodia was, no excitable children.

Before we could relax, though, we had to get to Koh Tao. A tuk-tuk, a plane, two taxis, a boat, a ride in a pick-up truck and 24 hours later, we arrived at Aminjirah Resort.

As we bounced down the steps and turned the final corner of the path, we weren't disappointed. In front of us lay the sumptuous cool waters of the infinity pool, which bled into the vast blue ocean in the distance. Paradise.

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Needless to say, there was very little that could drag us away from such serenity. Our days tended to follow a similar pattern: lazy morning, lazy afternoon, lazy evening. We became very lazy.

On a couple of occasions, we headed to Sairee beach and flopped in the shallow waters. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was warm enough to imitate a bath.

As fun as it was be ludicrously lazy, we figured it'd be wasteful of us to miss out on a snorkelling trip on an island widely regarded as one of the world's best budget sites to see underwater creatures.

However, we were regretting our decision when our guide told us that reef sharks could be circling at our first snorkelling site (go on, take a look. Terrifying, aren't they?). I suppressed a minor panic attack and dived into the crystal clear waters, but soon forgot about the potential shark sightings as fish of all shapes, sizes and colours drifted in between the jungle of coral on the seabed.

We weren't content with being lazy on just one island though, so we moved on to Koh Phangan for more of the same. Except this time it was slightly different. We were pretty much on the beach. Well, if you want to be precise, we were 10 metres from it. A hop, skip and jump away from a gorgeous bay, flanked on either side by rainforest and backed by a smattering of restaurants, crepe stalls and cafes serving ice cream.

Our only venture away from Thong Nai Pan Noi was to join the throngs of neon-draped revellers at the infamous Full Moon Party. The last time I was there, the night ended in 24 stitches in my forehead. This time, it was a far less traumatic episode as we were happy to watch the world go by in a blur of fire ropes and strobe lights with a beer in hand.

The party marked the end of our time on the Thai islands and left us with just three days before we flew home. Over our final dinner in Thailand, it dawned on us that we'd soon be back and a horrible sinking feeling took hold as we realised that it would soon be all over. We asked each other what our three favourite moments of the trip were. Far too difficult, we concluded. We couldn't whittle it down to three.

How about five? Impossible. Even at 30, we figured that we would miss so many incredible memories off the list.

In the 139 days that we were away, we visited eight countries, saw a humpback whale, added 49 new beer labels to my collection, walked for four days to reach Machu Picchu, swam over a school of more than a million fish, sipped drinks at a 52nd-floor skybar and danced thousands of salsa steps in a Cusco courtyard.

You would think all these incredible experiences would satisfy the travel bug, but the list has just got bigger and bigger. Until next time...

Kristian and Sophie

Posted by kristian23 00:39 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach travel thailand backpacking koh_tao koh_phangan couples full_moon_party aminjirah sairee_beach thong_nai_pan_noi

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