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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Travelling with allergies part 7: To the beach!

"Hello again!

Having spent some time in Bangkok and then Chiang Mai and after a hefty 8 hour coach trip (not to mention the 2 hour rough ferry ride!), we eventually arrived on the beautiful island of Koh Toa.

A quick freshen up before heading to the golden sandy beach with a calm bright blue sea lapping at the shores while the sun set. We headed to a western restaurant for our first meal on the island where I enjoyed a grilled chicken breast with salad and potatoes, ones again relying on my allergy cards to do the communicating.

Did anyone order a pineapple...?
The next day we all enjoyed a lie in before walking to the beach for day one of what turned out to be many of tanning. We walked along the main beach Sairee beach before finding a suitable spot to rest as the 30 degree heat took it out of us and we were all dying to go for our first swim. For lunch we choose one of the many beach side restaurants where although not very hungry we enjoyed some chips between us. I quickly got the impression this tiny island was mainly run by western owners and its income primarily from us tourists so it was surprisingly hard to find the Thai restaurants we had been so used to. I finally crumbled after almost 2 months since leaving home and enjoyed a wonderful steak and chips that evening!

The next day I woke and had to refresh my cooling pack for my adrenaline injectors again. I've been using this since arriving in the 25+ degree heat back in Bangkok. It's a small pack with beads which absorb water keeping the adrenaline from getting to hot. The pack is pretty easy to use - I simply submerge it in a sink of water for a few minutes and it will stay cool for a few days...magic! The pack is made by a company Frio, and I've used it abroad before. I would really recommend it if you're thinking of travelling to hot places and need to take your adrenaline.
Our week on the island was mainly focussed on relaxing with daily beach trips, swimming and playing beach ball. For a couple of days we rented scooters allowing us to get around the island in minutes which was SO much fun and a must do!

Big boy toys
We discovered a restaurant on the beach which had a BBQ on the beach every night (living the dream!) so I could see exactly what and how every thing was being cooked. I ordered a chicken kebab served with a grilled baked potato and sweet corn from which was AMAZING and so cheap. I enjoyed it so much we returned for our final night where we all chowed down on kebabs after my previous success.

With the large number of tourists populating the island, eating out was made easy by the large western menus which were impossible to resist! Not necessarily a bad thing though, as after so long away from home, I'm already looking forward to Australia and its promise of a taste of home again. 

After starting off what would be a slow tanning process, we left the island and headed to Phuket in southern Thailand where we spent four days. Unfortunately our hostel wasn't in a great location as the beach was a 20 minute drive away, so we settled for laundry, repacking and relaxing instead. After many daily chess games and trips to the 7 eleven for snacks, sadly our time in Thailand came to a close.

BBQ on the beach!
I've really enjoyed Thailand and would strongly recommend it to everyone!  Although the traditional Thai cooking dishes are not all suitable and risky, there are many dishes which are suitable and I've actually really enjoyed. Having allergy translation cards has been incredibly useful at all times and made ordering simpler.

We packed out bags on the 12th December - by chance exactly 2 months since leaving home. The next day we caught out flight to Singapore where we would be spending 5 days staying with some of Ollie's family before catching a flight to Darwin, Australia. 

Check back soon for a shiny new Singaporean entry in a few days!

Stephen :)"

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