So Long, Thailand...

I included some of my favorite pics from Thailand at the bottom.

After 21ish days in Thailand, I have arrived in Malaysia. More specifically, I am on the island of Langkawi- my 6th island of the trip. I have yet to spend a night on the mainland.

Thailand was incredible, and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a hot, cheap, fun place to go with beautiful beaches really friendly people. My stops were skewed to the “more touristy,” as a lot of locals aren’t born and raised on the Thai islands.

The locations ended up being:

Phuket- 4 nights. Even by “touristy” standards, this place took first prize and the blue ribbon for Most Touristy. The majority of the population was Russian families or couples.

Ko Phi Phi- 3 nights. I was super happy I went- especially for the visit to Maya Bay (The Beach beach), but don’t need to go back anytime soon. Was worth visiting the one time in my life.

Ko Lanta- 6 nights. My favorite spot so far. The least touristy stop with the most locals. Lots of scootering around and enjoying cheap food.

Ko Muk- 4 nights. Tiny island that was nearly empty because it is low season. Half of the island has locals, and the part I stayed on had more dogs and hotel employees than visitors/ tourists. There was plenty of time I had the entire beach to myself.

Ko Lipe- 4 nights. Another small island with a cool walking street, really nice beaches and beautiful turquoise water. The nicest hotel stay so far, with a super friendly Thai staff.

My last night in Ko Lipe was really fun, as the family staff at my hotel invited me to join them for a home cooked meal on the hotel deck. The dinner consisted of whole cooked crab, a few different kinds of salad, and rice. The crabs were much smaller than traditional crabs I have eaten in the States. I struggled getting the meat out, and the rest of the dinner party was constantly laughing at me and my Crab Meat Removal Difficulties. There were 8 people at the meal, and only 2 other people spoke any English. They showed me how to get some of the crab meat out, but mostly they were just staring at me like I had never seen a crab before. The silly American has never eaten a crab!

It reminded me of a time many, many moons ago. I was around 12 years old, and I was eating sushi with a Japanese friend at his family’s house. I had enjoyed sushi before that point, and they had asked me what type of sushi I liked. “Spider rolls” was one of my responses, and they nearly died of laughter. They thought that I enjoyed sushi filled with actual spiders. This silly American eats sushi with spiders! What an idiot!

The morning journey from Ko Lipe to Langkawi was filled with a standard amount of me not knowing what the fuck is going on. Because I was going to Malaysia, there were some immigration procedures involved. They took my passport and kept going- somewhere. Where that somewhere was I don’t know. We were on the beach waiting for a longtail boat, so it wasn’t like there was some back office area to go to. Of course this morning was the first time during my entire 3 weeks in Thailand that it was raining. Not a huge deal, but standing in the rain and getting my bags all wet is not ideal. Eventually the immigration stuff gets worked out on the Thailand side, I get on the longtail that takes me to a small dock, and I get on the ferry that will take me to Langkawi. Because it was so stormy, the sea was nasty. It was NOT a fun boat ride- the ferry was leaning aggressively side to side. It was not comforting feeling like the boat could tip over (spoiler alert- it didn’t). I was happy that I didn’t succumb to sea sickness. Just in case, I did see there was a trash can within reach. Fortunately the boat ride was only about an hour, and magic- I am in Malaysia!

There is some more immigration to be worked out on the Malaysian side, so I wait for that. In standard 3rd world efficiency, the Malay immigration office literally has a stack of everyone’s passport who just came over from Thailand. They just start picking passports at random and calling out names. By the grace of the travel gods I see them pick an American passport, and instantly I guess that it’s mine (confidence was high that I was the only American). The passport indeed was mine (maybe they picked the USA one first to appease the great and powerful Barry Obama?). I am stamped and out of the immigration office in less than a minute.

I get some Malaysian Ringgits out of the ATM, get a taxi, and head off to my hotel.

Another island, another country. New adventures await.