They often say that eclipses, like new moon (sun eclipse) and full moon (moon eclipse), are the closing down of one thing and make way for new beginnings. There are also sayings that it is not a good time to make decisions or make purchases because things can turn out differently than planned and miscommunication can also happen. In my case, all of this happened. Things did turn out completely differently than planned, In this travel blog update, I write about my further travels to the islands in Thailand.
Nikon Coolpix: perfect for my dive travel blog and hopping around the islands in Thailand
I always struggle with decisions, so that´s nothing new, I did close down my ´isolated time´ on quiet islands and started a new, more social time on the Phi Phi island, the place I skipped in the first place! Also, I did purchase a Nikon Coolpix, which has a whole other story, because not much later it broke down on the Maldives but I received a new one from Nikon!
Nikon Coolpix as a dive camera for my dive and travel blog
And I can absolutely recommend the Nikon Coolpix as a travel and scuba diving camera! It was a nice investment for my travel blog, and I will be writing a full review soon and share why I like the camera much. Very briefly, I think it’s great that you don’t need an extra house, since everything always breaks down with me. So you can take the Nikon Coolpix with you to a depth of 30 meters, and unlike the Go Pro, it has a flash, you can zoom and it has a macro mode! So it served (and still serves) me well for Splashpacker travel blog and on my further travels to (not only) the islands in Thailand. Click here to read my review of the Nikon Coolpix as dive camera for diving holidays.
Back to the travel blog update about islands hopping in Thailand!
Click here to order your Nikon Coolpix on Amazon, or click here for bol.com. I receive a small commission on your purchase through these links. I myself have the model W400, but there are different versions and models in different price categories. Are you curious about what else I bring with me when I go splashpacking? Click here for an overview with all travel blog articles about packing lists.
After travelling to the 9 islands in Thailand: time for decisions!
So, after the island hopping to 9 islands in the Andaman Sea, where I write about in my previous travel blog posts and share my experience about many islands in Thailand, it´s time for me to make some decisions. And if there´s some area in my life where I am a disaster queen, it is in making decisions. But I always, like everybody, am forced to make them as time goes by. And somehow, while I am confused, it always feels like something is pushing me in a certain direction.
I can see this clearly if I look back at the time since 2006 when I left the Netherlands for good (although not planned at that time), and write about all those years in the book Safety Stop.
A stopover on the Phi Phi Islands during my travel to Phuket in Thailand
On my journey from Koh Jum Island back to Phuket, I had a ´stopover´ of four hours on the Phi Phi Islands. At the start of my ´islands hop travel adventure´, about 2 months before that, I skipped the Phi Phi Island because it´s seemed too full there, too touristy and too much partying. I wanted to see more ´real´ Thai islands, get to know the culture of Thailand and write about that on my travel blog.
And after all travels to many quiet, not very touristic, islands in Thailand (which you can read more about in my previous travel blog updates) I still did not want to go to the Phi Phi Islands. But I needed to wait there, so I decided to check it out at least and get the most out of my waiting time.
The first people I met, on my travel to the Phi Phi islands in Thailand, were scuba diving instructors
Not really interested in the Phi Phi islands, I did not inform myself much about it. So I felt overwhelmed by the amount of scuba diving centres on this island. Being a diving instructor myself, I always feel ´in my element´ between scuba dive instructors. In my experience, they are always relaxed people willing to share some good tips: always useful for my travel blog about the islands in Thailand! An instructor recommended me to go to the viewpoint during my wait on Phi Phi.
Lost on the way to the viewpoint on the Phi Phi Islands: a nice story for the travel blog
Even though the diving instructor explained me the way to the viewpoint very well, and he even provided me with a map of the island, I wouldn´t be me if I did not get lost. That´s why I almost never dive without my compass! However, it turned out being a good thing, because when I thought I was following a road, I was actually on the path to an accommodation I was going to live in for about six weeks! (I earn a small commission on your purchase through this link to Agoda, also if you click here to find your accommodation on the Phi Phi Islands on booking.com).
But this story comes later (click here for my next travel blog update). I did find my way to the viewpoint finally, and it was a bit of climb, but absolutely worth it. The view of the islands was absolutely breathtaking: worth a photo for my travel blog about the islands in Thailand!
The first eclipse effect: miscommunication in Nai Yang Beach
After my ´quick visit´ to the Phi Phi islands, I continued my journey to travel to Phuket Island. I booked a budget accommodation close to the beach, so I didn´t need to get a taxi to pick up the bag with my diving equipment. However, it took me a while to find the place because apparently they were very close to the airport and far away from the beach! So at first, I was very disappointed.
I wanted to cancel my stay but this was all a bit complicated so last-minute, so then I agreed to stay at least for one night. And I´m glad I did because I stayed there the other days as well and had a great time! This is a typical example of letting your emotions of disappointment take over if you still don´t know what´s going to happen.
It turned out to be a Splashpacker travel blog pick for the islands in Thailand: support local people!
It turned out to be a very Thai experience, with the most lovely people. I later figured out that they just started the ´guesthouse´, their English was not great and they started it so that their son can work. He had a bad accident making him not being able to walk very well. It´s a lovely Thai Buddhist family owning the place, which only consisted of a couple of rooms at that time.
It was such a local experience and I love to support local people! So, eventually, it was a good match with my travel blog and a recommendation for other travellers who want to travel to the islands in Thailand!
Hero Phuket: travel blog recommendation for travelling the islands in Thailand
So, eclipse influence or not, I instantly decided to recommend this place on my travel blog for the islands in Thailand! I was the only guest at the time and got invited for dinner with them, could borrow their private scooter for free and in the evenings we had a drink whilst playing ´four in a row´. Remembering my stay there still makes me smile, it was really a lovely family.
Also, the father of the family brought me to the bus stop when I took off again to leave for Phuket. If you ever need budget accommodation super close to the airport in Phuket, please go there. I had such a good time that I forgot to take any photos here! Click here to book on booking.com, or use the image below to book on Agoda. Either way, I earn a small commission on your purchase through these links.
Enjoying hopping around the islands of Thailand so much…
I enjoyed my islands hopping and travels through Thailand ( & a bit of Malaysia) so much, that I decided I wanted to travel and blog more. I felt so free last months in my fairly small backpack, but now I had one problem: I was carrying my scuba diving equipment including teaching material of about 20 kg in a weekend bag on wheels. One wheel almost rolled off and the bag itself almost felt apart too. Although I´m still not sure if it was a bad decision, because a few days later various diving instructor jobs came my way, and maybe I would still have been travelling one year later instead of returning to work again on the Canary Islands.
… so the decision was made to travel and blog more!
But at this point, I decided I wanted to blog and travel more around the islands in Thailand than to teach diving. By the way, the eco-hostel in Phuket town (I earn a small commission on your purchase through this link, and also if you click here to book this place on Agoda) was fully booked this time. I still recommend the eco-friendly hostel and write about this cool accommodation with recycled decorations in a previous travel blog update about the islands in Thailand.
This time, I had a great time in M-bed which is also located next to the bus station. The Thai couple owning the place is super friendly! They offer comfortable, clean rooms with an amazing price-quality rate! Here is the link to the accommodation on booking.com, or you can click here for Agoda. Once again, I earn a small commission on your purchase through the links.
My scuba diving equipment was sent by Thai Post from Thailand to the Canary Islands
Soon after that, I figured out that I could send the whole bag by ´land & sea´ transport to Gran Canaria for a fairly cheap price. It took about 4 months, and it was going to be tracked, but sending my pretty valuable scuba gear by Thai Post, still felt a bit, yeah let´s call it ´funny´. I also needed to claim at Spain immigration that this was my personal belonging and not something I bought in Thailand, to avoid paying tax about it.
So, I continued to travel the islands in Thailand with my ´Splashpacker´ bag
But in the end, it all turned out well. Not an eclipse effect: it did arrive about 4 months later and I have to agree I felt more relaxed when I received the e-mail from my aunty saying that the bag has arrived. I also went to the museum next to the post office in Phuket, and I saw this stamp there, love it! Are you wondering what I carry with me if I go ´splashpacking´? Cick here for a link to tips about (dive) travel luggage and packing lists.
Ready to travel, blog and explore more islands in Thailand!
And so it happened this time that I went back again to the immigration office, I was dressed properly, so no embarrassments this time and my passport got stamped before I knew it. Six weeks longer to go to travel to more islands in Thailand! I did a bit of shopping in Phuket and then I was ready! My plan was to go back to the Phi Phi Islands because those four hours on the island changed my mind about it! I already booked the accommodation I found while I got lost on my way to the viewpoint, (I earn a small commission on your purchase through this link to Agoda), also if you click here to find your accommodation on the Phi Phi Islands on booking.com).
Stuck on the Phi Phi Islands, the islands I was avoiding in the first place
After that, I planned to go to Railay Beach before I would continue to the Gulf of Thailand. However, I got stuck and stayed for six weeks on the Phi Phi islands! I met a bunch of scuba diving instructors with whom I had a lot of fun, before departing back to the Maldives where I worked in 2010. So, even more, to write about for Splashpacker scuba dive & travel blog! And, I would not be Ellis if my plan did not change completely… Or, I can just blame the eclipses 🙂
Travel blog tip for travelling to the islands in Thailand!
Use the online search machines from 12.go to find either your cheapest international flight to Thailand or to book any boat or bus ticket to travel to the islands in Thailand. Splashpacker travel blog earns a small commission on your purchase through the above links or the search table below.
Travel blog tip for excursions & day tours on your travels to the islands in Thailand
To book trips such as excursions and day trips on the islands in Thailand, you can use ‘Get your Guide’. Click on the ad below and search for the desired island in Thailand to book your excursion locally. Splashpacker travel blog receives a small commission on your purchase through the ad below.
What is next on Splashpacker travel blog?
In my next travel blog update, you can read more about my time on Phi Phi Island before I return to the Maldives. I go back to the island I used to work in 2010 and see my ´Divehi´-brother after all those years! I do some great scuba diving there, three dives on every day this week, including a night dive, diving with the manta rays and the many sharks are still living at Madivaru Corner! It felt like I was back in my old working- and living life on Veligandu Island for one little week. Here is a little preview to the dive with the shark on Madivaru Corner:
Stay tuned on Splashpacker scuba dive & travel blog, for more islands hopping and not only in Thailand!
Stay tuned by subscribing to the mailing list below or follow me on Splashpacker Facebook page and Instagram where I also share new updates. After Thailand, more will follow on this travel blog including islands on the Maldives, Singapore, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before I return to Europe. Here I start working on the Canary Islands and explore the Portuguese Islands (Madeira and the Azores) . Splashpacker has also started a YouTube Channel recently! Happy diving & safe travels!