Hame

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

Well, after 20 hours of travelling, it’s only reasonable that I’d feel exhausted!

I got back to Glasgow late last night, and my Dad came to the airport to pick me and my mum up. I headed straight to bed and woke, bright as a button at 8.30 this morning! Not bad!

I ran a few errands today, made a couple of phone calls and generally got myself together, which was nice! It feels good to be productive [as I then spent about 3 hours playing guilt-free PlayStation…].

I also took myself for a lovely walk around Kelvingrove Park this morning, though the weather was pretty dire and very cold – my wee fingers were red raw! The temperature will take a bit of getting used to, I reckon.

Dive Into Travelling Instagram post

In the evening, my lovely friends Eleanor, Matt and Dave had me round for veggie chilli and it was so gorgeous. I was so impressed by Eleanor’s cooking until I found out that her brother, Euan, had arrived on the fly and cooked it for us! I did wonder…


Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
Mac DeMarco – Cooking Up Something Good

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Baan Ton Mai Treehouse Cafe

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Klong Muang, Krabi

Today is the last full day that Mum and I have in Thailand…

For breakfast, we took a little drive out to Baan Ton Mai Cafe which was a lovely treehouse style restaurant between Ao Nang and Klong Muang.

It was definitely worth the visit for the incredible work that had gone into the place, but sadly the food was nothing to write home about. I was also pretty disappointed that such a natural looking restaurant served its drinks in plastic cups…

Disappointed that all drinks were served in plastic cups at Baan Ton Mai Cafe, Krabi

We then drove out to another part of Klong Muang beach for a dip in the sea and some beachside relaxation. I may have taken in a bit too much sun, between the bathing and the motorbike rides, but at least I got an Instagram worthy shot out of it.

Dive Into Travelling Instagram

We flew from Krabi to Bangkok this evening and have an overnight stay in a nearby hotel before our flight to London tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a long and boring day of travel, but tomorrow night’s update will be coming to your from the other side of the world!


song of the day: Matthew Halsall – Cherry Blossom
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#DailyBeachClean

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Klong Muang, Krabi

Klong Muang is a lovely little coastal town situated about 10km north of Ao Nang, Krabi. It came on the back of a recommendation from Karen, the lovely lady who runs Silver Cliff Resort, where we stayed near Khao Sok National Park.


The morning started with a gorgeous breakfast at Cafe 8.98 where mum and I had a pricey, but delicious feast. It definitely lived up to the high expectations and recommendation from Elle (thanks!).


We hopped on our rented scooter from Mr Kord and proceeded to take several wrong turns on our scenic route, before finally stopping at Pan Beach. It was tucked at the back of a resort and initially I was worried we might be trespassing to get to it, but as long as you buy a drink from their bar you’re good to go!

I sat around for half an hour and listened to some music, but when mum returned from a short walk on the beach to tell me that there’s litter everywhere, I couldn’t help myself. I had to take a long walk up the beach to pick up everything I could manage.

The most important rule of land cleaning is to log your data.

We could spend every day of our lives picking up litter, but if we never document what we’re collecting, then the manufacturers of these products will never be held to account. It’s vitally important that the information is documented so that legislation can be implemented – on the back of data collation – to cease production of these products and plastics in the first place.

Daily Beach Clean Instagram post on Pan Beach, Klong Muang, Krabi

Based on my experience today, I formed a new mission.

I want it to be natural for people who spend time at the beach to take a short walk together to collect and document any litter they can.

We have so many dedicated teams of people doing this on a monthly or weekly basis around the world. Perhaps we could all work together to do it, daily? There are people sitting on beaches literally every single day, we just need to encourage this behaviour to become more commonplace!

Exhausted after a solo beach clean, but definitely satisfied!

#DailyBeachClean has a Facebook Page, Facebook Group & Instagram presence.

Please consider supporting at least one platform by liking, sharing or tagging yourself with a picture of your efforts.

Thank you!


song of the day: Radiohead – Everything In Its Right Place
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Don’t get Krabi with Me

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Ao Nang, Krabi

Another quick update as today was pretty chilled after yesterday’s jungle expedition!

We have arrived in Ao Nang. It’s a pretty touristy place but it’s got a very picturesque beach to wander along. There were a number of people taking classic Instagram shots, boyfriends being forced to take pictures over and over again from different angles, and then there was me.

Jen looking particularly stunning on Ao Nang Beach, Thailand.

song of the day: The Notorious B.I.G. – Gimme the Loot
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Bamboo Cooking at Khao Sok National Park

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Khao Sok National Park

Today will go down in history as one of coolest days of my life. Thank you to Anitsak ‘Nit’ Chanyu for sharing your unparalleled knowledge and expertise with us.


Nit met us at our accommodation at Silver Cliff Resort and drove us in to the National Park, where we began our 2 hour trek through the jungle. From the outset, he was sharing his extensive knowledge of all things in nature, from giant stick insects in the first tree we came to, to the edible leaves we were going to consume later for dinner.

We began our trek on the main route but soon veered off the beaten track, alongside rivers and along winding, gnarled root paths. After about an hour and a half, we were now following the meandering riverside and eventually stopped to set up camp.

Nit retrieved some bamboo from which he carved cups, stirrers, dishes and cooking utensils, before preparing our dinner over a the fire. I helped him fold the rice into banana leaves and tuck it in to bamboo shoots filled with water, ready for cooking. We sourced our freshwater for cooking and washed all of our hand carved bamboo utensils in the river beside us.

The dinner itself was incredibly tasty. Spinach, mushrooms and garlic in a sweet and tangy sauce, alongside a coconut soup with leaves we’d picked during the hike. Dessert followed with fresh pineapple, little biscuits and tea and coffee. We completely stuffed our faces.

The sun set while we were preparing dinner and we used our head torches to hike back, spotting all kinds of amazing wildlife on our way. It was an outstanding experience and Nit had unrivalled knowledge of wilderness survival and nature conservation, particularly in Khao Sok. We were so lucky to have him as our guide. If you think you want to share this experience, Nit is the man to ask for.


Tomorrow we journey down to Krabi and Ao Nang to spend a couple of days relaxing by the beach!

Dive Into Travelling Instagram picture of a lizard on a night trek in Khao Sok National Park

song of the day: Doc Watson – Deep River Blues
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Nice Cave

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Khao Sok National Park

Check out my Instagram post for an update on today’s exploration antics!

Dive Into Travelling Instagram post about cave exploration in Khao Sok!

I promise I’ll have more to say on the matter over the next few days, but for now, I can barely keep my eyes open!


I released a full feature blog post about Sarana Bungalows this evening which I hope will inspire you to book your next paradise island holiday – get in touch if you want to do it with me!


song of the day: Luke Vibert, BJ Cole – Nice Cave
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Sarana Bungalows – Koh Phangan | The Top Ten

Planning your stay on Koh Phangan?

Stunning views from our beachfront bungalow, Koh Phangan

If you’re contemplating where to stay on the island, here’s why you should check out Sarana Bungalows to kick back and enjoy some of the best vibes in paradise!

Use this handy navigation list to jump to any section!

  1. Beautiful Bungalows
  2. Beach, Ocean & Infinity Pool
  3. Food & Drink
  4. Scooter Hire & Transport
  5. Things To Do
  6. Social Life
  7. Sustainability & #SmallChange
  8. Massage
  9. Yoga
  10. Sunset Views

Please note that Sarana Bungalows is Adults Only accommodation.
Although some of this stay was complimentary, all views and opinions are genuine and my own.

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Beautiful Bungalows

We had the joy of staying in one of the 4-bed beachfront bungalows. Our room had a lovely dock with a hammock, floor cushions and a perfect view across the water to Koh Samui. At night, it was a marvel to watch all the lights twinkling beautifully on our neighbouring island.

Sarana offer a variety of rooms to suit a range of budgets – twins, triples, quads and a dorm room – and they’re more than happy to accommodate groups!

Idyllic picture of our room at Sarana Bungalows

Conveniently, when you arrive and check in, you are assigned a tab number. This comes in super handy during your stay at Sarana Bungalows – all of your food, drinks, taxis, and more can be assigned to your tab and you can pay the bill at the end, using cash or card. If you are like me and want to track what you’re spending, just pop into the reception and they’ll let you know what your tab’s sitting at!


Beach, Ocean & Infinity Pool

Not only is there an idyllic beach right on your doorstep, but it leads you directly into the sea! No more wandering around with sand in places it doesn’t belong – you can get yourself back to your room, shower and be sitting with a cocktail in hand mere minutes after your dip in the ocean!

Game for some beach volleyball at Sarana Bungalows?

There’s a tree-swing, a beach volleyball court and I spotted some folks kite-surfing that I’m sure it would be easy to arrange – just have a word at reception to find out more!

Beach volleyball on the edge of the ocean.
Picture from Sarana Bungalows Facebook Page

Perhaps the sea isn’t always your thing?

No fear – there’s a stunning swimming pool with sun loungers all around for you to cool off and relax to your heart’s content.


Food & Drink

The Veggie Delight at Sarana Bungalows – 160thb

There’s a fantastic menu to choose from, at super reasonable prices! With plenty of vegetarian options of both Western & Thai food, cocktails, smoothies and drinks promos to die for – there’s something for everyone to enjoy at any time of day!

Check out my Instagram for a world of scuba diving and travel related beauties!

Dive Into Travelling Instagram Post about Smoothie Bowls at Sarana Bungalows

Scooter Hire & Transport

It’s super easy to get hooked up with a scooter at Sarana Bungalows. Simply jump into reception from 9am – 6pm for a scooter to be delivered a few minutes later. It’s 250thb for a 24 hour hire and there may be discounts for longer rental periods.

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If you prefer to take a taxi, just ask at reception and they will happily book one for you. It’s 100thb per person for a ride to most places on the island and they’ll let you know otherwise. Bear this in mind if you’re grabbing a taxi from the ferry – they might try to charge you more!


Things To Do

The folks at Sarana Bungalows are so helpful and there are a million and one leaflets on things to do around the island at reception, along with an amazing wall map guide! From scuba diving to full-moon parties, beaches to bars and restaurants, they’ve got you covered.

Weekly Activities Board at Sarana Bungalows

They also host a bunch of fun on-site activities for you to get involved in so be sure to check their weekly chalk-board for updates!

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Social Life

Sarana Bungalows is the kind of place that you can find your own space, peace and quiet when you want it. It’s also the type of place that facilitates friendships with ease. There’s a shared dining area where you’re sure to meet people from all over the world. There are lounging spots, a yoga temple and pool area where folks like to chill out – and don’t forget the beach, sea, and volleyball area!

Having a great time in the Sarana Bungalows infinity pool!

In the evening, there are often group tours heading out to the bars and clubs and, once you’ve found some friends, it’s almost too easy to join in! Koh-Phangan is renowned for its full- and half-moon parties and the team at Sarana really know how to do it in style.


Sustainability & #SmallChange

Sarana Bungalows really do care about the environment – and they encourage you to do the same! From bamboo straws to reusable wash bags, they’ve done their best to find sustainable solutions for everyday needs.

They’re also active beach-cleaning angels! Check out my guide to beach, land and reef cleaning and see how easy it is to play your part in changing our world for the better!

Sarana Bungalows Instagram post about their beach clean!

Into the bargain, there are free water refills near the bar, so remember to bring your reusable bottles. If you forget, don’t fret! They’ve got metal 1 litre bottles for sale at reception along with sustainable tote bags, bamboo toothbrushes and other wonderful, world-changing goodies!


Massage

Sarana Bungalows Instagram post about their massage services.

With 2 beautiful, beachfront massage huts, you’d be crazy to miss out! There’s nothing quite like getting a full body massage with the sound of the waves beside you, a cool breeze rolling by.

Sarana Bungalows skilled masseuses at work

Just think – that could be you!


Yoga

As if Sarana Bungalows wasn’t zen enough, they even host regular classes in the yoga temple, surrounded by lush greenery. Yoga mats and face towels are provided to make life super easy.

Yoga class in the Sarana Bungalows yoga temple

Our class was led by Instructor Elena, a true goddess at work!

Sarana Bungalows Yoga Instructor Elena’s Instagram Profile

Please don’t worry if you’ve never done yoga before – the classes are tailored to all levels and you should always be gentle with yourself. Remember to breathe, relax, and enjoy!


Sunset Views

What island paradise would be complete without breathtaking sunset views?

Sarana Bungalows Instagram post about their incredible sunset!

Sarana Bungalows offers these in abundance, but no matter how great these photos are, you’ve really got to experience a sunset like this with your own eyes!

Sunset over Sarana Bungalows

Sarana Bungalows is just the same – this haven on Koh Phangan needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.

Sunset at Sarana Bungalows

If you’re interested in booking a stay at Sarana Bungalows, drop them a message on their Facebook page or get in touch with me right here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading top ten reasons to stay at Sarana Bungalows. If you agree, please share this post, like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram. Your support is hugely appreciated – thank you!

On The Road

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Khao Sok National Park

Just a quick update today as the majority was spent in transit.

We rose at a leisurely hour and consumed a delightful breakfast at Sarana – this time I had the Veggie Delight which was delicious. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post on Sarana Bungalows to find out more!

They organised a taxi pick up at 11am to take us to the ferry. The trip was smooth, speedy and well organised. We departed Koh Phangan at noon and had arrived at our accommodation in Khao Sok by 5.30pm, after our (roughly) 3-hour-long mini-bus ride!

Khao Sok Silver Cliff Resort

Tomorrow, we have planned a full-day trip to a nearby lake – this was as a result of the great feedback we received from guests who are also staying at our accommodation. I can’t wait to find out what it’s all about!


song of the day: Ray Charles – Hit The Road Jack
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Secret Beach

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday on Koh Pha Ngan

I actually slept until about 8.30am this morning, which is a long lie for me! We lazed around and wandered up to the bar at Sarana Bungalows for a healthy breakfast – smoothie bowls!

No spider plants were consumed in the taking of this photograph:

Sarana Smoothie Bowls are absolutely delicious!

After enjoying our breakfast with a decent cup of tea, we ordered a scooter and set about planning our day.


I think both of us were a little nervous, but taking my Mum on the scooter turned out alright! We planned our trip to Secret Beach and got our ride on, all the way to a completely different location – Salad Beach. I assure you, I’m a better scooter driver than I am map reader…

After a dip in the sea, a read of my book (The Celestine Prophecy… I found it somewhere, the blurb fits with my hippie spiritual take on human existence, so I’m giving it a go) and a cloud-blocked sunbathe later, we took a ride to Secret Beach – successfully, this time.

We shared some food at the Secret Beach Bar – a mediterranean salad and veggie burger, both of which I quite enjoyed.

Secret Beach Bar chalkboard menu, Koh Pha Ngan

It was a lovely place to chill out and I highly recommend visiting this cute little beach if you get a chance.


Just before sunset, I took part in a Vinyasa Yoga class at Sarana Bungalows with the fabulous instructor Elena. It left me feeling absolutely fantastic and inspired me to keep up with my practice!

Mum and I took a short ride out to the night market and chowed down on some fried sticky rice, a coconut shake, and perused all the interesting stalls. Thai green curry and some fried cashew vegetable later, we’re back and ready for bed!

Tomorrow involves about 7 hours of travel to Khao Sok National Park… I’ll keep you posted!


song of the day: Ghostface Killah, RZA, Saian Supa Crew – Saian
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Farewell, For Now

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday on Koh Pha Ngan

Just as the tides ebb and flow, so do my movements around the world. Today, I said goodbye to Koh Tao, hello to Koh Pha Ngan and began psyching myself up for the next 5 weeks of travels, friends, family and freedom!

Luckily, I’ve got an awesome playlist of brand new music to keep me company on my journeys, comprised of every song that featured in February’s Daily Log Book!


Mum, Elle and I took a stroll down to Cafe Culture on Sairee Beach for brunch this morning. All 3 of us ordered the Vegan Breakfast – delicious – and the mango shake washed it down a treat!

Back home, I frantically packed up the bits and bobs I thought I’d need to bring back to Scotland, took a ride to Simple Life and said my temporary farewells to the team.

Then it was time for the Lomprayah Ferry to Koh Pha Ngan for a couple of nights crashing at Sarana Bungalows and OH MY – are we in for a treat! We’ve got a beachside bungalow, gloriously positioned to gaze out into the sea. It’s utterly stunning and I feel like I am finally on my own little holiday, too!

The seafront view from our room at Sarana Bungalows

song of the day: Mr. Oizo – Jo
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