Xmas Eve on Koh Maak

Xmas eve on Koh Maak was pretty chilled. Helene checked into her room near by and then joined us for some lunch. The food at Holiday beach was amazing, I ordered Tom Yam for lunch and it’s the best I have eaten to date. I have eaten enochi mushrooms before, but never in Thailand, my Tom Yam had plenty enochi in it, tasty!

After a large meal and a Chang beer I was ready for an afternoon nap. Our cottage was really cute but not ideal for afternoon naps as the sun was cooking it. I still managed to have a phat nap. When I got up I thought it would be good to go for an open water swim. Once I got away from the shore I headed to a nearby island, but soon realized that the water around the island was waste deep with coral and sea urchins everywhere. I spotted loads of little colourful fishes, but nothing particularly big.

When I got back from my swim I decided to chill on the grass in the sun chairs. I have developed a bit of an Angry Birds addiction, so I played a few more levels while the sun cooled down a bit. At about 5pm the temperature was perfect for a run. I got ready for my run and said cheers to Barbs and Helene.

Koh Maak is pretty flat, so I set out at a blistering pace and felt strong enough to maintain the speed all the way to the other side of the island. I arrived at the pier on the other side of the island, there was a Buddhist temple near by, all very intriguing for my fresh newby eyes. this island truly is a paradise!

As I turned around to head back to Holiday Beach resort from the pier I spotted Helene on a bike. She had water, what a blessing, I was hanging for some water. She was heading back to where she was staying, so I ran along side her. Its a lot easier riding a bike than running along side a bike. So I had to run at an even higher pace on the way back, but surprisedly I maintained.

I got back to Barbara chilling at our hut and was knackered! It’s always a good feeling being tired from sport. Shower time and then a game of back gamon with barbs. Afterwards we headed out for dinner at the restaurant at Holiday Beach resort. Helene joined us for a Xmas eve dinner that was so not an Xmas eve dinner. We all didn’t feel like Xmas the western way, Thailand doesn’t celebrate Xmas, so a good evening.

I was pretty tired from my sports that day, so I headed to bed around 8:30pm. Barbs walked Helene home and then joined me for a great nights sleep. We needed the sleep after our crap nights rest at Tiger hut.

Xmas morning we woke up to some shitty windy weather, not very pleasing. I chilled with Barbs in bed, while she read her book I captured some business ideas for 2012. For some reason I woke up feeling inspired with ideas of how to improve my company LightSpeed and my startup FeedMyMedia in the new year. Feels good to be inspired, the year had drained me, not in a bad way, just needed to recharge my batteries.

Our plan for Xmas day was to join Helene and cycle around the island exploring.

Tiger Hut and onward to Koh Maak

When I returned from my failed visa run, I arrived at Tiger Hut to find Barbs chilling hard in our hut. She moved all our bags from Baan Rim Nam with Ian’s help to our hut for one night. The hut was pretty basic and budget, but it was 20m from the beach and had a spot to hang our hammock.

First order of the day was to get in the sea, was not feeling super energetic, so I just managed 1 km swim. The sun was setting as I swam out, so by the time I got back to the beach The was a gorgeous sunset happening right in front of our hut.

Barbs and I poured ourselves some stiff G&Ts, she decided to do a mini sunset photo shoot. Amazing, beautiful, speechless! We continued to chill in front of the hut watch the color disappear. When it was dark we missioned into town for some dinner.

I tried to get Lief the Danish guy from the Visa run to join us but he was not feeling so great, so we were having dinner just the two of us. We walked along Khlong Prao and saw Kati’s where we did our cooking course. We knew the food would be awesome so we stopped in there.

Such a lovely restaurant, friendly staff, decor was pretty, very inviting. We order starters, spring rolls and prawn tempura with a Chang beer to wash it down. It was funny, a cockroach was crawling around and the Europeans are so squeamish they were freaking, then one of the staff accidentally squashed the cockroach, kak funny!

Our mains were Garlic and Pepper prawns with rice & Sweet and sour prawns with rice. We ordered another Chang to wash it down. The good life! We paid for the food and rolled out of the restaurant back home.

We decided to get to bed when we got home because we had an early start in the morning. The bed however sucked balls, springs stuck into our backs and it was generally pretty uncomfortable. Thats budget accommodation for you. We feel asleep pretty quickly, but woke up at some ungodly hour feel the death bed’s wrath. Barbs made a plan to soften her side and I went to sleep in the hammock, which was pretty comfortable.

We got up at about 7:30am and packed our bags for the taxi down to the Bang Bao ferry pier. The taxi driver fetched us around 8:30am and we headed off. We eventually got down to the pier at around 9:30 and the boat headed off just before 10am.

The boat made 1 stop before we arrived at our final destination, we stopped at Koh Wai a teensy little island. We dropped some people off and picked up Helena the French woman from our cooking class. It was cool reconnecting, catching up with what she did and what we did since our last meeting. Gotto love being on holiday in a tropical foreign destination.

We arrived at our final destination Koh Maak and thought we knew where we were, but we didn’t. We headed off to what we thought was the right place, but we were on the wrong side of the island. Luckily we met a friendly local Thai guy who called the owner of Holiday Koh Mak Resort. We got fetch and taken to our new home, which looked like paradise!

Helena could not stay where we were as there was no space, but the owner of the resort made a plan to sort her out with a place to stay. She headed off to check out her prospective room while we sat down to lunch. Good times.

The start of our Thailand Holiday

December 2011 has been a tough month for work and parties. Finding the balance and keeping the motivation worked out well in the end. It helped having a team of guys who work hard and play hard. Without the team work would not be possible and it’s great when you can have a good time with them once work is done.

We made some stiff financial targets, which meant for the first time in the history LightSpeed we were able to pay the team full thirteenth cheque. Everyone put in 150% and deserve the bonus. I feel like we achieved what set out do and I saw this happening back in September. I decided to book another Thailand trip after finishing WordCamp Cape Town. So here I am sitting in a hammock writing my first blog post of the holiday! Still feeling pretty jet lagged, but who cares when you have the sea breaking in from of you and palms providing shade.

My wife and I flew out of Cape Town international airport on Thursday 15th December 2011 around lunchtime on Malaysia Airlines. It was a spacious enjoyable flight. We landed on time in KL international airport at about 6:30 am.

Next we had to catch an Air Asia flight to Bangkok, little did we know that Air Asia has there own airport terminal about 20 min bus ride away. We arrived at LCC terminal to catch our Air Asia flight at around 9 am. It’s a small rather strange terminal, luckily we didn’t spend much time there, our flight left at 11 am. Really cool airline, we were very impressed with the service and quality of flight.

Bangkok was 1 hour behind KL, so even though the flight was 2 hours we arrived in BKK international at 12 pm, which was spot on time. I had arranged a limo service (translated in our terms a mini-bus taxi) to drive us from BKK to Koh Chang. We found our driver Mr X in no time and were on our way without any hitches. Before leaving the airport we managed to buy a couple of big Chang beers, then you know you are in Thailand!

We could have flown from BKK to Trat and then caught a taxi, but I am glad we didn’t as the mini-bus allowed my wife and I to stretch out and sleep. When we weren’t sleeping we were able to appreciate the country side. Our driver was awesome, he got us to the ferry crossing to Koh Chang in about 4 hours.

We started the ferry crossing to Koh Chang at about 5:20 pm, it took about 30min to get across. What an amazing crossing, smooth as could be and we watched the sun set behind Koh Chang while snapping countless pictures.

After driving off the ferry Mr X started the final stretch to our journey. It was lovely driving down through Koh Chang seeing the little villages along the way, dreaming about what we will be doing over the next week and a half on Koh Chang.

We arrived at Warapura Resort at about 6:30 pm, checked in, unpacked and poured a phat Talisker 10 year whiskey from duty free shopping spree. Our favourite food in Thailand is Pad Thai, so we headed out for a tasty dinner. After dinner we decided to walk off the food, went down to check out the beach, heavenly. We hit the hay after a long day and slept a solid 12 hours.

Just had breakfast while writing this blog post and now heading out for a sun filled day of beaches and swimming.