Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
58Trip End Ongoing
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It was difficult to leave Ko Tao! Our Scottish pals departed on the 18th and we ourselves had a very low key day. The morning of our leave, we were fortunate enough to meet Luca and say good luck. He was off on more dives in the afternoon - and we would have loved to stay around. Instead, we took a boat back to Surat Thani and then a bus to Krabi. We used Songserm again as we had good service with them from Bangkok. This time was a little different...
There was some confusion at the pier after getting off the boat. We were all rushed onto our bus and then less than 2 mins later told to get off at the offices just near the jetty. (I think the aim was to get us to buy food in their shop). We were also told to validate our tickets
At this point, due to the disrespect, I lost the rag with the guy. I shouted back that the other guy sent us back to the office and we had asked himself about validating the tickets already and he didn't give a straight answer! We had our tickets all along but the people we asked never read them or gave an answer to our questions. Anyways all's well that ends well. The bus got us there in the end and without further issue. This was the only time in Thailand where we felt like meat. The "tour services" can have that effect sometimes.
Once in Krabi the Songserm driver wanted everyone to go into his office to get accommodation. Still a bit incensed I didn't want to give them any more time (bitter I know) and so we left quickly after speaking to another chap in the parking lot who offered us a AC room in Krabi town, KU Krabi Guest House, near the main markets, for 500bt and free taxi there
After that we explored the night markets - the smell of food is amazing... Krabi is a very nice little town, with a gridded street system leading to the river. The people are really nice and friendly. Atop a hill there is a shiny white Buddhist Wat. An elaborate staircase leads up from the main shopping street. We ate and then, tired from sitting around on boats and the bus for 8hours, we went to bed early in preparation for our kayaking trip.
Days 50 20.07.10
We got up early for breakfast before being collected at 9ish for our kayaking trip. The guy was actually in the reception/restaurant for a while talking to the receptionist (who wore nothing but a towel "I am sexy in the mornings" ) all along.
The chap drove us to Krabi Discovery in a nice AC grey jeep
Our general itinerary was exploring Ao Thalane by kayak and a stop for lunch. The area is beautiful, basically bay, towering mountain islands, mangrove forests, caves, lagoons, beaches and did I mention sea?
We were introduced to our guide, a really nice guy, and off we paddled into the sea. It was just the two of us. When we were diving, we got to get out of the sun and heat by going underwater - no such luck with kayaking today! It was blisteringly hot and we got burnt despite our best efforts not to!
Our first destination was a pretty isolated beach still on the mainland but out around the bay. It had fabulous pink and purple rocks littered on the sand. Looked like long dead coral. There was also a stunning sea arch where we sat in the shade for a while
We paddled through some amazing canyons next (finally the tide had come in a bit) and into the lagoon. It was beautiful. When we were silent and just glided along without paddling all we could hear were the sounds of the forests way above the cliffs. That was really special. Next we headed through the Mangroves, only ten years old, as they had been deforested. Now the area is protected.
Our guide was hoping we would get to see some monkeys but unfortunately they were not down at the mangroves at low tide. He took us to yet another hidden beach. After staring at what I was sure was just cliff and trees he told us there was a monkey there in the trees. He managed to lure it down with noises but said he had nothing to feed it. It was at this point that I reluctantly parted with my delicious pineapple... :( The monkey came right down to the beach and stuffed his/her little face! I snapped away at it, at the same time a little anxious about getting too close. They have sharp little teeth. The monkey wanted to get to the kayaks, he had seen the food came from there, so we had to clear him away a bit
We saw plenty of other wildlife though which I should not neglect to mention, tiny ghost crabs on the beaches, a few large crabs in shells, little silver jumping fish, mud skippers (fish that can live out of water but need to keep their skin wet) and the final creature we saw was a beautiful luminous kingfisher. This one was perched on a branch well away from us but then decided to fly right by us offering us a close up view.
So after leaving the water our driver brought us back to the hostel, stopping to buy us some tasty treats! We got fried battered bananas and papaya (i think - it was orange) We had another walk around Krabi before calling at day. Tomorrow am we leave for Ko Phi Phi to sit on "The Beach".