Enjoy South East Asia during the monsoon season, I can definitely recommend it. It will not rain always. Most probably every day it will drizzle for only 30 minutes. A break from the sun is also good for the skin as we all know and prices are obviously cheaper than in peak season. Just try to avoid the f****** haze ;-).
I tried to escape the haze in Singapore so I flew to Penang Malaysia. I stayed in George Town and enjoyed the local food. I also made friends with Malaysians. Many of them are Indian immigrants and most people speak English well.
Take a skewer put it for a few minutes in the hot pot and eat as many as you want. Pay, in the end, the number of sticks and each color has a different price. And no! There were no bad surprises later on. They frequently change and if the place is crowded probably the food is good too. You can also cook it yourself so just make sure you leave the food long enough in the boiling water.
Malaysia has a high tax on booze but other things are actually very cheap. If you like Malaysia but you want to drink cheap booze, you should go to Langkawi. That’s what I did. Not exactly for the reason of cheap alcohol but the difference is significant. A beer cost 4 times less on Langkawi than in the rest of Malaysia. The island has many things to discover so it’s worth to stay there a few days.
In the meantime, the haze made it to Langkawi as well and I had to escape it again although, I could not discover most sightseeing places in Langkawi. Once again, it’s nice to have an excuse to come back again someday.
So, I went to the west coast of Thailand which is the other coast of the Thai-Malay peninsula from Langkawi. I hope that it will not haze there too and the haze map did not show any high PSI in this region. A direct flight from Langkawi to Bangkok would have been 250 US$ as I wanted to fly out quickly. Over Kuala Lumpur, it would have been 150 US$ but I was surprised to find out that the Ticket is for 15 US$ only to KL. The day after, a ticket to Surat Thani costs 20 US$. I was never in KL I decided to go there for a day although it was rainy. Price wise it was worth it and I was not in a hurry. I had a great short stay in KL.
I can really recommend checking flights over big hubs in Asia if you think that direct flights are too expensive. Also, check how much it is if you buy two single tickets instead of a connecting flight. Especially, if you stay overnight you may find a cheaper connection because nobody offers you a connecting flight with more than 24 hours stopover.
I also spent one day in Surat Thani. I landed in the late afternoon and I did not want to continue to Koh Samui directly. It was a good decision! The place does not have many tourists and people often don’t speak English. I really like to see the everyday life of Thai like how it is without tourists. I knew that the Islands that I wanted to go will be full of foreign immigrants and tourists.
I went to Koh Samui first. You can see this island in one day. Most people go there for drinking or just hanging out at the beach. My stay was for 3 days and I stayed in a very nice place called Liquid Lounge Hostel. Especially for people who travel alone, it is a good choice. The owner treats the guests like his family and spends a lot of time with socializing and giving advice about the island.
I like doing whatever there is to do wherever I go. Next, I went to Koh Tao and others told me it’s the cheapest place to learn scuba diving in the world. So I did my open water and advanced course there. I paid 450 US$ in total which includes (a very basic) accommodation during the course. The dish you can see on the last picture a white snapper in red curry the best dinner I had in Thailand.
With the same philosophy, I went to Koh Pha-Ngan where I enjoyed the crazy full moon party and also participated in one training of Muay Thai. I can recommend you to do it because it is a really good training if you don’t accidentally take a punch you will feel really good after.
After Koh Pha-Ngan, one month has already passed and I had to leave the country because I did not want to extend my visa. My traveling philosophy is visa cost after one month of stay in a country is nothing but corruption, I really don’t like to pay this. So, I decided to go to the Philippines… Don’t miss out my next post on www.blogodiary.com 😉