Posts Tagged With: beach

Gili Trawangan– A Photo Essay

no cars on this Island, only bicycles and horses

crystal clear water

a beautiful restaurant on the beach


a turtle sanctuary

a beautiful spot we found past the turtle snorkeling point

the perfect place to relax. spent most of our days just lazying around

an abandoned boat on the beach

the boats they use are very different to anything Ive seen before

some deck chairs to take in all that sun

blue star (150,000 a night plus breakfast, with an amazing beach just on your doorstep)

our cute little bungalow

the view from our bungalow – we stayed at blue star for 150,000 a night including breakfast

just across the road there is paradise

i can see the bottom

the beaches were stunning

a lonely boat in the ocean

a sunset from a treehouse bar

a full moon rising

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Had Ying Long and Had Yao

The trip to Ying Long took about 30 minutes and was quite charming. The road was windy and passed though small farms and villages. Ollie sat up front for the journey and was surprisingly calm most of the way. Along the road, some locals would give us welcoming smiles, while others eyes were about to pop out of their heads. This was definitely a first for them. Not just seeing foreigners, but seeing foreigners on a bike with a dog. Upon arriving at Ying Long beach, we were greeted by an open boom gate and no one in the box to ask for the 200 baht entry fee. We thought it was our lucky day and rode through and found a place to park the bike. The beach was totally deserted, with a few locals rummaging through the grass, looking for who knows what. Maybe some type of bug, that they like to eat. We have seen them selling all sorts of things at the market, but are never brave enough to try them. I did eat a deep fried scorpion before in China, but that just tasted like a french fry. Anyway, back to my story. We stepped onto the beach, made our base for the day and went straight into the warm soothing water.

Ying Long beach in Trang, Thailand

totally deserted

Ollie having fun in the sea

the pup is swimming again

the crabs leave these amazing patterns on the beach

beautiful lime stone cliffs


















Swimming was refreshingly good that morning as it must have been over 35 degrees celsius. We had noticed a hidden beach around the rocks, and decided to go and suss it out. I packed the dry bag with all our valuables, got the snorkels out and we preceded to make our way towards the secluded beach. The tide was pretty low that morning so I was able to walk with Ollie, guiding him in the right direction whenever he found the desire to head back to the main beach. Ang had her snorkel out and was out of sight before I could say “lets go”. We all made it to the beach successfully without any of us losing a body part, which I thought was a good achievement. Once there, we had the whole place to ourselves, hidden from the world. The beach was tucked away around the rocks to the right and was just incredible. I felt like I was on the reality tv show, Survivor. Always thinking about how I would survive, if I had been left out here for a couple of weeks. How I would make a shelter from the fallen palm leaves, go fishing and scale the rocks in search of more food. Luckily this was only a fantasy and if I was hungry, a restaurant was just around the corner to cater to all my needs.

the secret beach just off Ying Long

the view from the secluded beach,Ying Long to the left

the hidden beach we discovered tucked away from prying eyes

a small slip way to the ocean

a little too tricky for Ollie to climb over the rocks

sunken footprints from the soft sand

an attempt at a panarama

By the time we had made the decision to go back, the tide had risen a lot, so there was no more walking back for me. I had to swim slowly and carefully with Ollie, and once again at every opportunity, he made a go for the closest beach. “no Ollie! That’s the wrong way pup”. Reaching the shore exhausted, Ying Long seemed different. Oh! There were people! A bunch of kids were playing in the water and a family was having a picnic under the pine trees. This was our que, so we choose to move on as there was one more beach we wanted to see before heading back to Thung Song. We quickly got Ollie some Kao pad talay (seafood fried rice), which he rudely ignored, gathered our things and jumped on the bike.

On the way out, we were stopped at the boom gate, and asked to pay 200 baht. Confused, we explained there was no one here in the morning, and we thought it was free. She didn’t seem to care and insisted on the 200 baht. We pulled out a 100 and offered it to her, as the only money we had left, and then told her we were teachers from Thung Song. Suddenly her mood changed, and she told us not to worry. ‘Mai pen rai’ which is never mind in Thai she spat out repeatedly. Obviously realizing we could speak a little Thai, she engaged us in a some what confusing conversation, which I never totally understood. After a few ‘mai kao jais’ (I don’t understand), she gave us the go ahead to move on (without paying) and we did without a second thought. Our next destination was Haad Yao (long beach). Haad Yao was not very far from Ying Long and if I am not mistaken it was about 10 minutes on the bike.

Haad Yao beach in Trang, Thailand

Haad Yao had no entrance few and facilities to camp

a view through the trees

one more shot before getting some lunch

Haad Yao was our final stop on the two day trip. We were pretty worn out by the time we reached it, and couldn’t do much else but take a few pictures and find a restaurant to lounge. Our tummies were rumbling. We ordered ‘naam tang moo sawng geow’ (2 glasses of watermelon juice), and phla pliew wan (sweet and sour fish), which I really enjoyed. Once the meal was over, so were we and all that was left in us, was the lengthy cruise back home. We jumped on the bike, got comfortable and drove into the distance, sad it was all over.

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Camping in Pak Meng

Ollie loving the wind in his face

A couple weeks back, myself and a friend hit the road to Pak Meng for the day on our bikes to have a look at what the big fuss was all about. We were very impressed by what we saw and wanted to see more. When I got back home, I was very excited to tell Ang about Pak Meng, as we had been speaking about taking Ollie to the beach and this seemed like the perfect place. It was about two hours on the bike, there was loads of space for him to run wild, and there weren’t that many people for him to harass (ollie seems to be obsessed with new people and whenever he meets somebody new, Ollie just won’t leave them alone). We had also spoken about doing some camping, so this weekend was going to be a first for many things. Ollie would need to endure a two hour bike ride and we would need to figure out how to build a tent (which I’m sure wouldn’t be too difficult). With the bike packed to the max (a tent, a sleeping bag, Ollie,  Ollie’s toys and our bag), we hit the road and made our way slowly towards Trang.

ollie pup cruising the highways


The first 30 minutes was a little scary, as ollie was not used to the bike and he didn’t seem to like the idea of being constricted in Angela’s arms. He would try and wiggle his way out, causing the bike to sway a bit, causing me to pull over, but eventually he found his comfort spot and was relatively quiet. The journey would turn out to be a slow one. Frequent stops for ollie to use the bathroom and stretch his legs and  problems with our rear tyre didn’t make things any easier. Ollie spent most of the time in Angela’s arms but for the last 10 km of the trip, Ollie sat up front with me and rode in style. The strange looks we got from the Thai locals, said either two things: 1) “What the hell are two farangs doing with a dog on a bike in Thailand” or 2) “check out those two farangs and there dog. Wow! I thought we Thai were the only ones capable of doing that.” We arrived in Pak Meng in one piece and knew that the difficult trip was worth every frustration. The look on that dogs face was priceless. He was an Ollie pup in puppy heaven.

a smiling ollie riding up front

nearly there, 6km to go

made it in one piece

As soon as we pulled in, Ollie’s face lit up like a firecracker, and we knew we had made the right decision to bring him. He was certainly in his element and would be for the rest of the time there (the happiest I’ve ever seen the poor pup). First things first, I needed to get the rear tyre repaired before any further movement, so I dropped Ang and Ollie off, and explored the area looking for a repair shop. Around Thailand they seem to be plentiful (when you’re lucky), so it didn’t take too long before the tyre was replaced with a new inner tube for the 20th time (okay, a little stretching of the truth there).

one more photo ollie, then you’re a free pup


We have had some bad luck with the tyre though and without any exaggeration, have changed it  seven times. Most of the time, there has been a repair shop close by, but there have definitely been a few occasions, where I’ve had to push the bike a fair distance (obviously hating my life at that moment). Anyway, with the tyre not deflating every two minutes, peace of mind sunk in, and it was time to take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery. We found a quiet restaurant on the beach, sunk our feet into the sand and took in the view, with a cold beer and a plate of grilled prawns.

ollie running wild

that dam tyre again. another flat!

maybe the weight from two peeps and a pup took its toll

the view from our table, where we ate lunch

i should be in that water

beautiful Haad Pak Meng with views of Koh Mook and Koh Ngai

Pak Meng beach

ollie running wild

The rest of the day was spent lazing around on the beach, swimming and playing fetch with ollie pup. As it was Ollie’s first time at the beach, he was loving the water. In saying that, he was a little nervous about going all the way in and would just get his little paws wet. Even a ball game, didn’t get him excited enough to race in and marinate his furry body. However, with some more encouragement and a little persuasion, we finally got him paddling around, which was the funniest thing. He looked like a giant rat in the water. In saying that, it’s probably a little gross to think about.

ollie still running wild


It didn’t take the pup long to build up confidence and master the art of doggy paddle. He was born to swim I tell ya. The dog was even doing back stoke at one point. He could have been an olympic gold medalist. There might even have been a point where I thought he was a fish. A big black rat fish! Haha! The pup had an amazing time in the water and we were super happy to see him doing so. The little guy has so much energy, that at least out here, he could play until he was all played out (which is hardly ever).

ollie in his element

relaxing time

Ang doing yoga poses. perfect execution.

ollie learning to swim.

ollie and Ang

come to daddy

some locals playing a little footy

Ollie all played out

After a full day of exhausting play time with the pup, we were once again shown how a sunset can blow you away. We have been lucky enough to see these magical sunsets often in Thailand and are always over the moon when we see one this radiant. After countless pictures, it was time to set up the tent before it got too dark to see what we were doing. The tent went up easily enough, but a few problems with the front zip, kept us struggling for 20 minutes, while being attacked by ravenous blood thirsty  mosquitos. We eventually got it zipped up, but knew a few mozzies had snuck in. Sleeping was going to be interesting. Hungry as ever, we found a lively restaurant and ordered our favorite soup, Tom Yum Gong, and a steamed fish in a lime sauce (phla neuang manao). Both dishes were excellent, and ended off a wonderful day at the beach with Ang and Ollie.

another beautiful sunset

what a sunset

getting the tent ready

a magical sunset


really easy to set up these days

with the set up of the tent being a piece of cake, more time was spent appreciating the sunset

the full moon

Not much sleeping went on that night. Ollie seemed to bark at everything that walked past and woke us constantly. There was also the problem of those few mosquitos that snuck in while we were trying to fix the zip. They made my life a lively hell, and didn’t stop pestering me until I left the tent in the early hours of the morning. Note to self: Don’t use tents with broken zippers! The early rise did allow the opportunity for a long walk on an abandoned beach, which is always something I like to do, when I get the chance. Ollie was loving the freedom again and had the entire beach to inspect with his full intensity. The plan for the day was to explore two other beaches I had researched online. They were 25km north of Pak Meng. We filled our stomachs with the usual coffee, eggs and toast, packed the bike and took a slow ride towards Haad Yao (long beach).

good morning!

that was not a good nights sleep

time to go, more beaches to see

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