Here we are in country number 8. I wasn’t sure coming to Thailand was going to be for us. I had heard lots of people rave about it, but when asking why they liked it so much it was usually something about the beaches. Although I am a beach girl, I felt like I wanted a little more. We headed to Thailand from the Island of Langkawi, Malaysia to Koh Lipe Thailand by ferry. It was an easy journey and hassle free immigration point. Koh Lipe is a tiny island and from first glance it appears to be laid back and a great place to spend a few days. Unfortunately we weren’t able to find a hotel for more than one night and booked another ferry for the next day to Koh Lanta. After visiting the Walking Street full of restaurants and shops for dinner that evening we were really wishing we had stayed a bit longer! The language barrier here is the toughest we have encountered so far and I wasn’t expecting it to be so touristy. People as a whole don’t appear to be very happy or friendly and I hope this changes as we head north. Food is cheap and the beaches are beautiful, but the people truly make a place. I’m still up in the air about Thailand, but look forward to seeing what the next weeks bring.
After handing our passports off to a desk clerk at a marina in Langkawi, Malaysia, we boarded a boat bound for Thailand on which our passports would follow in a bag after getting a departure stamp from the Malaysian customs office down the street. Upon arrival into a country, you normally go through customs and stand in front of an officer who has a serious look on their face and proceeds to look you up and down while asking you a series of questions about your time in the country. Well, in Thailand you depart the longboat that picked you up from the ferry and get shuttled to the beach where you stand waiting for your passport as (let’s call them “husky”) European men in speedos bask in the sun right next to you. After about thirty minutes, your passport appears and magically has a stamp on it, again from some customs office down the street. We never actually saw a customs agent and were without our passports for the entire trip over to Thailand. Kind of weird. It’s hard to get a true first impression of this place because all I see are tourists, they’re everywhere. My impression of the locals is not really good so far, probably because they have to deal with all of these people on a daily basis, most of which are rude and inconsiderate. The locals where we stayed at Sunset Beach Resort were very nice though, and the island of Koh Lipe seems really laid back with good food and beautiful beaches. I’m really excited to go diving in Thailand and see what else this place has to offer. What I’ve heard from people who grew up here, is that the south is nice, but get up north. So we’ll see how it goes, hopefully we get away from all of these Europeans in their banana hammocks and experience the real Thailand.