Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeRetirementThailand Reopening! Hat Yai & Koh Lipe Tour

Thailand Reopening! Hat Yai & Koh Lipe Tour

Hey everybody, we’re again in Thailand! Mrs. RB40’s sabbatical continues. We had a brief relaxation after our California street journey, then flew to Thailand. There are such a lot of flight issues within the US and Europe, however Asia remains to be functioning fairly properly. Our flight to Thailand was trouble-free. It was a extremely lengthy journey day, although. We spent over 24 hours on the street and within the air that day.

The excellent news is Thailand reopened in July. Guests can enter with none particular move or Covid take a look at outcome. We breezed by way of immigration they usually didn’t even ask about our vaccination standing. It feels similar to within the pre-Covid days. It was rather more tough to enter Thailand over the previous two years.

  • In 2021 – I needed to quarantine for 2 weeks inside a lodge room and took 3 covid assessments to enter Thailand. That’s two on the lodge and one earlier than boarding the flight to Thailand.
  • Early 2022 – I solely needed to quarantine for one night time whereas I waited for the covid take a look at outcome. On that journey, I took 2 Covid assessments to enter Thailand.
  • After July 1, 2022 – No Covid take a look at except you will have signs. Thailand is welcoming vacationers again.

Southern Thailand

This journey is a calming trip for us. We’re going to the seashore and seeing the sights. On the final two journeys, I got here simply to assist my mother and father. This time, we spent a couple of days in Bangkok to recover from jet lag, then flew to take pleasure in every week in southern Thailand. I grew up in northern Thailand and haven’t spent a lot time within the south. Mrs. RB40 traveled by way of southern Thailand when she was younger however didn’t actually know the place to return then. This time, I did my homework and located some attention-grabbing locations to go to.

Hat Yai

Hat Yai is the biggest metropolitan space in Southern Thailand. There are various companies there and it’s a well-liked vacationer vacation spot for Malaysians, Singaporeans, and different folks south of Thailand. They arrive to eat low-cost scrumptious meals, store, and go to the seashore. I believe this space isn’t as standard for westerners. Phuket and Krabi are extra well-known. When you’ve got solely a few weeks, you gained’t have time to go to each.

Anyway, let’s see what we did in Hat Yai.

Low-cost scrumptious meals!

Hat Yai is known for its fried chickens. Nowadays, you’ll find “Hat Yai fried rooster” throughout Thailand. However in Hat Yai, they’re simply fried rooster. One of the best ones are from numerous stalls round city. The one we appreciated finest was Sofeeya Fried Hen. They open at 4 pm and run out of meals in a short time. We visited at 6 pm they usually already ran out of legs, thighs, and wings. The one issues left have been breasts and claws. We bought a few breasts. They have been nice! In Hat Yai, they serve fried rooster with sticky rice and fried shallots. It was the proper combo. We cherished it.

They’d a couple of legs left after we bought there, however they have been gone by the point we get to the entrance of the road. In addition they had some Gai Kolay left, grilled rooster on sticks. I attempted one and it was fairly good. Their signature fried rooster was means higher, although.

From one other cart. This time we bought wings! 4 for 100 baht, about $3.

Chinese language meals and dim sum

We additionally tried a Thai/Chinese language and a dim sum restaurant. They have been nice too. There are a ton of Chinese language eating places in Hat Yai. Many Chinese language immigrated right here within the previous days when Songkla was an enormous port metropolis. Then the railway was constructed by way of Hat Yai and Hat Yai grew rather more than Songkla. That’s why there are such a lot of Chinese language eating places in Hat Yai. In addition they cater to Chinese language descendants from different SE Asian international locations. Many locations promote shark fin and chook nest soups. They’re nonetheless highly regarded with folks with Chinese language ancestries. RB40Jr didn’t wish to strive so we skipped them.

Spicy fried seafood
Stir-fried cabbage with crispy pork stomach
Dim sum and Bakuteh soup

Hat Yai Municipal Park

Wow, the Hat Yai Municipal Park is large. It’s a bit out of city so we would have liked to rent a taxi to get there. We paid 500 baht for the taxi to take us to the three foremost temples and return to city. They don’t wish to take you should you solely go a method. Anyway, it was price it as a result of this park is on an enormous hill. We’d have a troublesome time mountaineering it within the warmth. Alternatively, you could possibly take a Seize, the Asian model of Uber. Sadly, I couldn’t get Seize to work on my telephone so we paid for the taxi.

The three foremost temples are a Hindu temple to Brahma (the god of creation), a Thai temple with an enormous standing Buddha, and a Chinese language temple devoted to Guanyin. The view was nice from the park. You may see the sprawling metropolis of Hat Yai all the best way to Songkla and the ocean. Between these two cities, it’s also possible to see the grand mosque of Songkla. Hat Yai is a melting pot and these cultures dwell alongside one another largely harmoniously.  

Songkla previous city

From Hat Yai, we took a day journey to go to the Songkla previous city. The simplest strategy to get there may be to rent a taxi for the day. They’ll take you to see the sights round Songkla and numerous locations on the best way. Nevertheless, I wished to take the native transportation. It’s less expensive and we wish to expertise the native way of life.

Right here is how you are able to do it too.

In Hat Yai, go to the clock tower. It sounds spectacular, nevertheless it’s only a small clock tower. You could find it simply on Google Maps. That is the place you’ll be able to queue up for the passenger van to Songkla. It price 34 baht per individual, nearly $1. I instructed them I wish to go to Samila seashore and the motive force dropped us off proper there. It was nice and tremendous low-cost. The experience was excellent and took about an hour. A songtaew shouldn’t be as comfy and far more pungent (from the exhaust.)

Samila seashore

150 baht

Samila seashore is sort of good! I by no means visited earlier than this journey. However Mrs. RB40 abruptly introduced that she had been there earlier than. On her earlier journey, she bought to Samila seashore someway and simply frolicked on the seashore. This time, it’s much more enjoyable. The seashore has extra actions for vacationers than 30 years in the past. We took an image with the favored mermaid statue. RB40Jr bought a pony experience. We sat on the swing and relaxed. And you should purchase many issues to snack on. It was a enjoyable stress-free seashore.

After that, we walked across the previous metropolis of Songkla. There are various historic buildings which can be nonetheless in use. It’s fascinating to see buildings from numerous ages standing collectively. Sadly, we bought to the previous metropolis a bit late (2 pm) and plenty of eating places have been closing up. I suppose they cater to the early crowd.

We discovered a Pad Thai store that was nonetheless open and had a small meal there. After that, we seemed for a tuk-tuk and instructed the motive force to take us to the van queue to get again to Hat Yai. The passenger van took us again to the Hat Yai clock tower and that was it. It was a enjoyable day at Songkla. Subsequent time, we’ll should get there earlier so we are able to strive extra Songkla signature dishes. I wished to strive their beef stew, however the store closed earlier than we bought there.

Fried child shrimps

Koh Lipe

After 3 nights in Hat Yai, we have been off to Koh Lipe. This can be a dream vacation spot for a lot of Thai folks. Nevertheless, it’s a bit tough to get there should you take just some days off. Most Thai folks appear to go on trip for simply 2-3 days. Anyway, we booked a switch to the island from a tour firm. The van picked us up from our lodge at 8 am after which drove to the airport to select up extra passengers. After that, it took about 2 hours to get to Pak Bara pier in Satun province. We had a fast lunch after which boarded the pace boat to Koh Lipe at 11:30 am. A mistake that may come again to hang-out us later…

Sadly, it was wet and the ocean was a bit tough that day. The boat experience was fairly bouncy and plenty of passengers bought seasick. RB40Jr was considered one of them. He threw up and felt actually dangerous the entire means. We shouldn’t have eaten something earlier than the boat experience. The experience was 90 minutes of jerking up and down. My again was in ache for a couple of days after that. Anyway, we bought to Koh Lipe and checked into our lodge.

*Koh means island. So Koh Lipe interprets to Lipe island.

Serenity now

View from our room

On Koh Lipe, I splurged a bit and booked us a pleasant room at Serenity, a small resort by the dawn seashore. We have been very impressed by the room. There’s a personal balcony with an amazing view and our room is a fairly good dimension. It was constructed within the previous fashion – wooden lap siding with no insulation. The AC needed to work fairly arduous to chill the area down, however we appreciated it. Mrs. RB40 by no means stayed in a wood home earlier than and she or he cherished the ambiance. The decorations have been fairly good too. We have been afraid the mosquitoes would sneak in, however we didn’t see any whereas we have been contained in the hut. All of us bought bit lots whereas we have been out and about, although. And we placed on loads of mosquito repellant. Don’t overlook to select some up from 7-Eleven earlier than you go just about anyplace in Thailand. Oh, additionally they have movement illness tablets should you want them…

The RB40 way of life. Excessive tide on the seashore.

We spent 3 nights in our first room and actually didn’t do a lot. We performed on the seashore, kayaked round, tried standup paddle board, and explored the Koh Lipe strolling road. It was nice. We had a calming time. For our final night time, I upgraded us to the pool villa. The room was just a bit larger, however you get a bit personal pool. This was our first expertise with a non-public pool and we actually loved it. It’s good to have your individual little pool to dip in after getting out of the ocean. Ahh, luxurious…  And it didn’t price rather more than what we paid for a motel room in Santa Barbara, about $190.

Oh, the included breakfasts have been superior too. They gave us a ton of scrumptious meals. After breakfast, we have been good till time for supper so we solely ate two full meals day by day. All in all, we had a incredible time at Koh Lipe. It took quite a lot of effort to get there, nevertheless it was price it. It was probably the most lovely islands I ever visited. We have been there through the off-season so many shops have been closed. However we appreciated the calm and peaceable ambiance. It’s extra genuine than visiting an island stuffed with vacationers.

Big breakfast for 2

After 4 nights, we have been able to get again to the mainland. Luckily, the ocean was calm that day. We additionally returned in a pace boat that was a bit bigger. The experience again was very easy and no person had any problem with movement illness. Whew! The van dropped us off on the Hat Yai airport and we flew to Chiang Mai.

That’s all for at the moment. Tune in subsequent time to see the place we’re touring subsequent. I shot a bunch of movies, however haven’t had an opportunity to edit them but. I’ll attempt to get them up on YouTube, nevertheless it’s actually arduous to do any type of work whereas we’re touring round. I’m simply having an excessive amount of enjoyable. 🙂

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to comply with together with our journey. We’ll go to Northern Thailand subsequent, then Jap Thailand.

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Joe began Retire by 40 in 2010 to determine the best way to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved monetary independence and retired at 38.

Passive revenue is the important thing to early retirement. This yr, Joe is investing in business actual property with CrowdStreet. They’ve many initiatives throughout the USA so examine them out!

Joe additionally extremely recommends Private Capital for DIY traders. They’ve many helpful instruments that may show you how to attain monetary independence.

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