slowly conquering the world, one country at a time
Hey there! I’m so sorry that it’s taken me so long to reply to this, I only just saw it! Oops.
I only spent one night in Patong, as a stop over between Chiang Mai and Koh Phi Phi. I’d definitely recommend spending as much time island hopping as possible- it sounds time consuming and expensive but it’s so worth doing (and if you look around you can do it really cheaply)! It’d definitely not a hassle to move around. With two weeks, you could spend maybe three nights in Patong at the beginning and end of your trip, which gives you a whole week to play with in the middle- three or four nights on Koh Phi Phi (make sure you spend a night on a boat at maya bay- book this now!) and you could even venture over to Krabi/railay/tonsai for some rock climbing and deep water soloing.
Even at the busiest of times (dec, jan, feb) you can book on arrival or the day before, which is what I did. This gives you heaps more freedom. You can book boat trips on the day, even when you get to the pier. If it were me, I couldn’t stay in Patong for more than a few nights at a time.
In Patong I stayed in a hostel called ‘Capsule’ which is right on the Bangla Mall strip- great for nightlife and so close to the beach but also really fucking gross. Like, used condoms and broken glass all over the street. It’s worth finding somewhere nicer a little further away (even a few blocks) because it’s not hard to get around! There were some beautiful resorts on the beach (a little out of my price range) and you can find good info on trip advisor or the thorn tree forum.
While I was there, I ate at a tiny boutique bed and breakfast/ guesthouse owned by an Australian mother and daughter- Cafe Siam Guesthouse. The breakfast was AMAZING. I wish I’d known about it earlier, because it looked beautiful and pretty cheap. If you stay there, let me know how it is :) you can find my blog post on it here:
pad-si-ew-and-me.tumblr.com/post/75452543994In terms of costs, in Patong I paid $20 a night for a double bed in the hostel which I shared with my partner at the time (so $10 each) and our room on phi phi cost the same. Krabi was a bit more because there are fewer options- we paid $30 a night. Keep in mind though that we didn’t stay in resorts or even hotels- just guesthouse and hostels. Clean and comfortable, but super basic. The south is much more expensive than the north- you’ll spend up to $3 for a fruit shake in some places (no more than $1 up north) but drinks and snacks at 7/11 are the same everywhere- very cheap. You won’t spend more than $5-7 on a meal with a drink. Street food is muuuuch cheaper but you won’t find much of it in the south, though don’t be afraid to try what you do find. Eat what the locals eat. Most places do a cocktail bucket for between $3-5, and beers are usually $2.50 or so for a 500ml bottle.
If you have any more questions, let me know and I promise I’ll get back to you sooner this time hahaha. Good luck :)
the weary cycle
My first real Vietnamese meal since I left Saigon- pho tai and bun cha gio from Saigon Feast in Newcastle, Australia.
The more I travel, the less I feel like I’ve seen and the more I feel I need to do. It’s undeniable- this travel bug, the need to push yourself , the uncomfortable feeling of being grounded or stationary, the more uncomfortable feeling of being somewhere new and the thrill of conquering this.
Equally though, is the Fear. This Fear comes in many forms but every single traveller has it. There’s the Fear of going ‘home’ and finding work, a home. There’s the Fear of outgrowing the life you have for yourself halfway across the globe, or that it will have outgrown you. There’s the Fear that you’re running out of time, that you’re not using your time, that maybe the experience isn’t worth it and maybe home is a better option.
But then there’s also the Fear of never leaving- when you find a place where you could work, make a home, meet people who are growing with and around you, and are constantly pushing yourself. When you find that place, that’s when the real Fear sets in. The uncertainty, the ‘this could be the rest of my life’ and the ‘but I have so much waiting for me’ and ‘what is really holding me back?’
For me so far, these fears are everywhere. You just have to push through them, until you find clarity. I guess there is one main thing I’ve learned so far- losing yourself isn’t all that bad, and finding yourself is severely overrated. And that home is a state of mind.