Thursday 31 January 2019

Final day on Koh Mook

Great start to the day with a run to the pier and back.

I was really scared of the dogs that wander around the island and if they would chase us on our run, but in fact, all of them have been quiet and disinterested in us, apart from to try and be friends with us. I have gone out of my way to ignore and avoid them, and now I feel as if I might have missed out on something.
A fantastic surprise on the run was when we ran through hundreds of butterflies that all flew out of the flowers by the roadside when we ran past.
After a lovely breakfast we walked back into the town taking photos as we went.

I complained when we first arrived that we had been sent to a different hotel due to overbooking problems, but today we transferred to our correct hotel and they put us in the biggest and best bungalow to make up for their mistake. It is absolutely lovely and is surrounded by an exotic garden.
As we sat inside admiring the view a large grasshopper jumped onto our window and stared in at us. 
It looks like a giant monster, but is actually only a couple of inches long! 

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Boat trip to Koh Kradan and the Emerald Cave

Fantastic day today on a boat trip to a nearby island and a hidden Cave.
We were in a long tail boat with only a friendly German couple and our smiley captain.
First stop was the beautiful and quiet island called Koh Kradan. We stopped just off shore for some excellent snorkelling in the clear blue sea and then on to the beach for a sit down and a paddle.

The first picture shows our island in the distance.
Then we were off back to our island to see the Emerald Cave. We visited here a few years ago and I was very excited to see it again.
We moored our boat up near to the entrance which is hidden under the cliffs, and can only be reached at low tide. We jumped into the sea and then had to swim through the cave following our captain and his flash light. We passed a group of Chinese tourists who were all clutching each other shoulders in a long caterpillar and slowly making their way through.

They did the same thing on the way out and were waving and singing loudly to us as they headed back.
The cave opens out onto a secret beach with high vertical cliffs on all sides.
It was a lovely day out and has restored my faith in Thai boat trips.

Koh Lanta to Koh Mook

We booked a speedboat crossing for the 30 kilometre journey to our next island. That makes it sound a bit James Bond, but actually there is no other way because the ferry is no longer running - I don't know why.
We could see the boats coming and going all day from our verandah just along from the ferry terminal.
Of course ours was late, and packed full of people and luggage, but once we got going it was quite exciting. We bounced over the waves and after 50 minutes we stopped at another island. Lots of people got off and I bagged a seat at the back.
 The scenery was beautiful as we bombed past it  and then we arrived at the tiny Koh Mook Pier.
It was only the width of a motorbike taxi and we jumped onto one that took us to our hotel for £2.50.
 We arrived at our bungalow and then there was a lot of messing around because they said that they were full so sent us to a nearby resort. It wasn't as good as the one we had booked and paid for and was also cheaper, so very annoying. It seems that they do this quite often which is quite a scam.
Anyway, our new bungalow is nice and we are a bit closer to the beach, but further from the town.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Last day in Koh Lanta

We had a lazy day today, although we did start it with a nice run along the beach. There was a little path just past Elvis to get on to the sand.

Not too sure where the rest of the day went, but it did involve eating huge portions of mango and sticky rice from Auntie Joy's little market stall.
In the evening we went for a couple of cocktails in a Swedish bar that was extremely rustic,
and painted in the colours of IKEA - and the Swedish flag.

Sunday 27 January 2019

Three beaches today

We set out today on a beach walk. The first one is nearest to our hotel and the busy pier. For some reason though it was completely deserted.

We disturbed thousands of little crabs that ran away from us in huge gangs, then gradually they disappeared under the sand like magic as we watched them. To get off this beach we had to climb up a rickety plastic ladder, and then we walked over to beach number two.
This was the good one from yesterday's sunset.
The tide was further out and we walked almost three kilometres round to the other end. We stopped to sunbathe for a while and tonight Darren has a very attractive red and white striped effect across his whole body.
Talking of Darren  here he is emerging from the sea on beach number three.

Saturday 26 January 2019

Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lanta

Got up early this morning and did a fake parkrun along the two main beaches of Koh Phi Phi. Lovely, but hot.
We then caught the ferry to Koh Lanta. It was a very tatty looking green boat, and we all had to sit indoors down some steps and not far above the water level. Our luggage got a space up on the deck in the sunshine.
All was well until the boat sped up and was shooting through the waves. The spray was going right over the top of the boat and my window kept coming open, so water sprayed in and after a while it also started dripping on to us through the ceiling! It only took an hour though and our hotel is right next to the pier.

All of the buildings are built on stilts out over the water and it is a great place to sit
 and watch the world go by. 
Last night we ate at a restaurant just a couple of doors down and on the way out Darren noticed their advertising slogan 'Eat here, die at home'. Strange.
At sunset we walked across the island to Klong Dae beach for a beer and to enjoy the view. 

 Ps, one of our suitcases got soaked during the journey, still feeling lucky that it wasn't mine. 

Friday 25 January 2019

Hike to the beach

This morning we hiked up to the viewpoint at the highest point on Koh Phi Phi. It was very steep on the way up, but we were rewarded with a whacky and strangely beautiful garden full of lovely views and giant concrete fruit.

We then followed a tiny path through the jungle to a secluded and quiet beach.
We set ourselves up for a serious sunbathing and swimming session, and then rounded it off with beer, mango and sticky rice in the beachfront bar.

Thursday 24 January 2019

Final morning in Ao Nang

This morning we went on a lovely walk/run/photo session. The tide was really low and we almost had the beach to ourselves.
We jogged out to an island that is almost always surrounded by water and on the way backed we stopped to take photos of the beautiful views, more art, and then to have a go on a huge swing.

This afternoon we caught a ferry to the the nearby island of Koh Phi Phi and are off out later to hopefully watch the fire dancers. 

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Thailand Biennale, art in Krabi

A major modern art spectaculare is taking place all around us in the Krabi area. It is called the Edge of the Wonderland 
As you might expect  a lot of it is very strange, and the first thing that we encountered is called 'About the hiding of the giant jellyfish'.
In case you are wondering  I am standing on it. It is a wobbly  jelly like pavement that bounces up and down as you stand on it, together with a speaker that makes a sound like breaking glass or a cat being strangled. We were first surprised by it when we ran over it on our first morning while out for a jog. Today we found out that it was actually art and in summary from the information pack 'the jellyfish (underfoot) is there to scintilate hidden issues that are easily missed'.
We found another piece of art on our boat trip yesterday, and that was a large rock in the sea with a golden band around it.
I liked this one and it glittered beautifully in the sunlight.
We found a couple of others that were a bit rubbish  but then came across a really good one called No sunrise No sunset. The title didn't seem to make too much sense, but here are a couple of photos of it.  It is a huge mirrored box that you walk into and inside is a pool with a statue of a lady with the sea behind her.

Sunset Island tour

I hadn't quite forgotten how poor some Thai daytrips could be, but this outing brought all of the memories flooding back!
It had it all, long unexpected waits, overcrowding, unhelpful or overworked staff who don't explain what is going on and lots of diesel fumes!
However  the other passengers were really nice and we did see almost everything that was advertised.
We were the first people to be picked up in the van  and nearly an hour later we passed by our hotel on the way to the pier.
However oonce on the it was boat was big and the views were great.

We sailed under the base of some amazing islands. Daz also joined in with the snorkeling, both in the daylight to look at fish  and in the dark to see a small amount of phosphorescent plancton.
Good sunset too.

Monday 21 January 2019

Singapore to Ao Nang

Yesterday we caught a flight from Singapore to one of our favourite places in Thailand - Ao Nang. We haven't been here for a few years  but we soon felt at home.
It is a beautiful town and it seems cleaner and more up market since our last visit.
We went out last night for a very weird and poor pizza, but a couple of excellent cocktails.
This morning we went for a run along the beach, and we were lucky in that the tide was right out. It was unbelievablely hot in the sun though and I was pretty relieved when we got back. Next time I might stick to the shady path under the palm trees.