The second half of Vietnam

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Angkor temples and Vietnam

The second half of Thailand

Enjoying the ocean, above and below!

We’ve been having such a good time the last couple of weeks that we have completely forgotten about updating the blog!

But here it finally is, an update from our time on Koh Tao, Khao Lak and Koh Phayam.

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First off, we did our Open Water Diver course on Koh Tao! We can proudly say that we are SSI-certified Open Water Divers. Here we are on the first day of the course, first time in the wetsuits, ready for a training session in the pool.

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I’m all geared up, and ready to go down! We spend four hours in the pool doing exercises and getting used to being underwater.

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First day on the boat, heading out to do our very first dive in the ocean. In Sondre’s sunglasses, you can see the reflection of the boat, which was awesome!

After a few hours in the classroom, a four hour pool-session, four dives over two days and a final exam, we were certified! (And I aced the exam btw, 100%! Whereas Sondre only got 96%…)

We spent one final day chilling on the beach on Koh Tao, before we headed off to Khao Lak.

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Panorama of the sunset at Khao Lak Beach. The lighthouse on a rock in the water made it quite a spectacular view.

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We couldn’t get enough of diving on Koh Tao, so we went diving in Khao Lak as well! We went to Similan Islands, which is supposed to be one of the best dive sites in Thailand. This is the view from the boat, and as you can see the water is really clear. We had two very nice dives here.

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We saw a turtle swimming in the water! Didn’t see him when diving though…

After a couple of days in Khao Lak, we went to Koh Phayam, a small island on the west coast of Thailand. They don’t have any cars on the island, only motorbikes, so we had to take a motorbike taxi from the pier to our bungalow.

We stayed at a really nice place called Little Hut, in the most charming bungalow ever! I could have stayed there for a long time, if there had been a few mosquitos less and a roof over our bathroom (which was also the home of a few spiders and frogs).

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Aow Yai Beach on Koh Phayam, this is the biggest beach I’ve been to! It took me an hour to walk back and forth the entire beach.

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Sunset at Aow Yai Beach.

Yesterday we came back to Bangkok, and tomorrow we’re going to Siem Reap in Cambodia. New adventures awaits!

And finally, a mandatory photo of a cat. This one lived by our bungalow on Koh Phayam, and we named him Truls. So cute, but with the most horrifying meowing I’ve ever heard from a cat.

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From Ao Nang to Koh Tao

When I wrote my last blog post, we were still in Bangkok, and it seems like ages ago! I’ve been really bad at taking pictures lately, but I’ll share what I have.

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This is the sunset on our second day in Ao Nang. We lived about 2 km from the beach, so it was a nice walk down to the beach were we watched the sunset. It gets dark so fast after the sun goes down, so by the time we were back at the hostel, it was already dark!

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The next day we had our first day at the beach, and it was really nice and relaxing. We decided to try out a beach that I read about on wikivoyage, which were supposed to be a lot nicer and less crowded than the main beach in Ao Nang. We had to walk through a monkey trail to get there, as you can see in the picture. There were a lot of monkeys there, and one of them stole a soda bottle I had in the side pocket of my backpack. The monkey had to climb on me to get the soda, and he snarled at Sondre when he came close. That was a bit scary, but we survived!

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Another beautiful sunset at Pai Plong Beach!

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After a few days in Ao Nang, we headed for Khao Sok National Park. The bus we took there was a karaoke bus! Thankfully, the other people in the bus didn’t want to listen to karaoke either, so we asked the bus driver to turn it off, and he was shocked. Apparently people like karaoke in Thailand.

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Arrived in Khao Sok, and went exploring the town. It was really small, just a 2 km road with shops and restaurants. They sell fruit shakes everywhere, and they’re really cheap. I had a pineapple and dragonfruit shake for 30 baht!

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Second day in Khao Sok, and we went hiking to find the Rafflesia flower, which is the biggest flower in the world. The hike was really though, and we were so sweaty, but we found the flower! It wasn’t as big as it can get, but we were still happy to find it.

We also went to an overnight lake trip to Cheow Larn Lake, a really big and beautiful lake in the national park. We went for night and morning safari and two hikes to caves. You might have already read on facebook how I overcame some fears hiking in the caves. Sondre has some pictures from this trip, so he’ll probably post some soon.

We are now about halfway through our stay at Koh Tao, a small island on the east coast of Thailand. The 12th of February was the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, the island next to Koh Tao. That was the biggest party I have ever been to, taking place on a beach. We didn’t bring our phones, because we didn’t want to loose them, so we don’t have any pictures.

In about an hour we are starting our diving course to get our open water certificate. So excited!

Haven’t taken any pictures of food lately, but here are some pictures of cats and dogs.

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A really cute cat I met in Khao Sok!

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This is Buddy and Siggy, the two dogs that live at our hostel. A lot of dogs are visiting all the time, and I wonder if this really is a hostel or a dog shelter.

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A cat came and sat down with us while we were having some beers. We named him Karl.

 

That’s all for now!

 

A view from my lens

Here’s a bunch of photos that I’ve taken in the first week here in South-East Asia. Don’t miss the videos on the bottom of the blog post!

 

Our first days in Bangkok

We’ve been in Bangkok for four days now, and it’s amazing! Although the air is really bad and my eyes are constantly running…

I don’t want to write a wall of text, so I’ll share some pictures instead.

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Our first tuk-tuk ride!

 

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The first day we went to the big shopping centers at Siam Square. They are really big and we walked around a lot. Needed a break, and bought some Oreo crushed ice with jelly bubbles!

 

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The second day we went to Pratunam market. We got there by the canal boat, that was a really fun and rough boat ride, as you can see from the waves is this picture.

 

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This is Golden Mountain, a temple located right next to the canal boat pier. We went up there and watched the sunset.

 

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The sun is about to set! We had a 360º view of the city from the top of Golden Mountain.

 

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Our third day we went to the temples. First to the Grand Palace, but it was so crowded with tourists that we left almost right after we arrived. Decided to go to Wat Pho instead, the home of a 46 m long reclining Buddha statue (it was HUGE!). Took some pictures there, but you could probably just google it and see pictures much nicer than mine. I’ll share this picture of a kitten sleeping in some cables inside the temple though, because it’s cute.

 

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Speaking of cats, this is Peanut. He lives at our hostel. And he doesn’t like to be picked up.

 

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Today we went wakeboarding, and it was so much fun! You actually start out with a kneeboard, and I was so bad that I didn’t try the actual wakeboard. Sondre did though, but faceplanted after 10-20 meters every time! It was hard. And our arms are killing us right now.

 

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Dressed up in my wakeboarding gear!

 

And last, but not least, some pictures of food:

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My breakfast, fried rice with chicken.

 

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Sondre’s pad thai, and me and Miri’s massaman curry. So good!

 

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We went to Chinatown and ate dim sum!

 

Tomorrow we are flying to Krabi and staying at a hostel in Ao Nang. On Sunday we’re gonna do something crazy, so stay tuned for our next blog post!

Departure tomorrow!

Tomorrow we’re leaving for Bangkok! We’ll stay in Bangkok for four days, then travel south to the beaches, diving and hiking.

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This is all the luggage we are bringing. My backpack (the purple one) is 6,5 kg, and Sondre’s is 5,5 kg. Feels like so little, but I think we have everything we need! We have most of our electronic equipment in our hand luggage, so the total is still a bit more than 12 kg.

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Took some passport photos today. We might need them on some of the borders, to get a visa. We could take the photos at the border, but it would cost us a lot more than 100 kr for four photos…

Stay tuned for our next update from Bangkok!