Life and Times of an ESL Teacher in the Land of Smiles


Simple rules- work and travel harder.

Thailand’s Best Island? (from


The top priority of my sister Stephanie’s recent visit to Thailand was quality beach time, so I spent the days and weeks leading up to her arrival in search of Thailand’s best island. My criteria were simple: Beautiful beaches, plentiful flights to Bangkok and as few tourists as possible.

My research led me to Koh Kradan island, located in Trang province near the Malaysian border. A couple hours south of infamous party spots like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, Koh Kradan boasts the same natural beauty as Thailand’s more popular islands, but without the crowds and noise.

If you’re looking for a Thai island that’s big on scenery and light on “the scene,” beautiful Koh Kradan is definitely your best choice.

I knew from the moment we stepped onto the “long-tail” boat at Trang’s Kuantungku pier that it was going to be a wild ride. Sure enough, the sky opened up soon after we embarked, which made the hour-long journey to Koh Kradan a wet and rough one. Stephanie seemed disappointed — hadn’t she wanted a sunny beach vacation? — but I assured her Koh Kradan would be worth the trouble.

We arrived on the pristine shores of Koh Kradan to find the island basically deserted, save for a couple other tourists. The rain lasted most of the afternoon, but the incredibly scenery I saw all around me confirmed almost immediately that I’d made the right choice — Koh Kradan was definitely looking like it would be Thailand’s best island!

The next morning, Stephanie and I headed out for a swim. I say “headed out” because low-tide at Koh Kradan is extremely low — you need to walk about 15 minutes “out” to a sandbar in order to enjoy a swim. But it’s well worth your trouble — the water’s as clear as if it came from a bottle!

By noon, the tide is high enough that you can swim back to the shore from which you walked. Koh Kradan is something of a natural swimming pool, its clear waters gleaming an electric blue in the afternoon sun. This alone makes it a contender for Thailand’s most beautiful island, in my book.

You’ve probably noticed a lot of rocky beaches in my picture, but Koh Kradan has plenty of sand beaches as well. The rocks simply all texture and color to the island’s incredible scenery.

After a few days in Koh Kradan, we headed on to some of Thailand’s other islands, include popular Koh Mook. Although all Thai islands have their own special sort of charm, none come close to the isolation and beauty of Koh Kradan, which I can safely say is Thailand’s best, most-beautiful island.

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Fighting Leeches and the Heat on Knuckles Range

For a few weeks in October, I had the opportunity to be off from work and lazy-iy-up in Sri Lanka.

As early as April, I had my ticket flying from Bangkok to Colombo. Rough Guide Sri Lanka chedk! I could not be more excited especially after bawling over some pictures of the tea plantations and waterfalls on 500px.

Negombo Beach

After months of preparation, the short holiday shaped up from Colombo- Kandy- Dambulla- Sigiriya- Pollonuwara- Nuwera Eliya- Ella- Tangalle- Galle- Negombo.

The days were filled with much walking and tada! rice and curry.

You can read more about SRI LANKA on Rough Guide and Sri Lanka Elephant Tours.

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No Man is an Island in Koh Yao Noi

Had to wake up early as 5:30 in the morning to catch this one.

Had to wake up early as 5:30 in the morning to catch this one.

Any chance I am given, say a long weekend, to spend time on a new place I take. After the wondrous crystalline shores of Koh Lipe in Satun, I embarked Southwest this time to the epicenter of the Krabi, Phuket and Phanga triangle— Koh Yao Islands. Though I didn’t bask on the group’s biggest yet lease populated (compared to Koh Yao Noi) island Koh Yao Noi, the three days spent on Yao Noi Island was a bliss. Usually when I travel to a new place, I set off as fast as I could covering as much as I can, However this time, the term island life never meant more than before. Lazy, quiet and calm. Staying right on the beach, the small bungalow I stayed in glimmered on the two mornings I rose up with the sunrise. Walking on the low tide shore, shells dry up and small crabs crawl shyly back to their holes. Navigating the island on a scooter, I had too much heat, rain and wind under five hours.

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Filed under: Beaches and Islands

“Looking back at Koh Lipe” by Colin Campbell


We just arrived in Malaysia after a couple great days in our last island in Thailand called Koh Lipe. Internet was next to non existent in that remote spot, so I hope I can get on a good connection here now that we are on the bigger island of Langkawi, Malaysia. Koh Lipe was, by far, our favourite spot in the three weeks we explored Thailand. It was very minimally developed, from the lack of a dock for the ferry to the grass hut we found for the three nights, we knew we were in for a unique experience.

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Filed under: Beaches and Islands