It took a bit of effort to get there: a 2-hr. minivan ride, a quick Tuk-Tuk drive (Tuk-Tuks are the 3-wheeled motorcycles that loudly chauffeur tourists around town), a 45-min. minivan ride, then a 45-min. speedboat ride...but as we got closer to the island our excitement began to increase as the landscape seemed only to have palm trees and beach!
It turned out to be some of the most relaxing, most beautiful and peaceful days we've had the entire trip, and I must say, in my whole life! We planned to stay one night in the "garden room" and the 2nd night splurging in a "beach-front cottage" but pretty quickly we decided to extend our stay to 3 nights and spend them all in the garden room since it was really nice and nearly as close to the water as was the more expensive beach cottage. There were only about 30 people or so staying at the resort, mostly Europeans with some of them being families with small children. There was one restaurant that served great food, one bar with tasty drinks, and a very friendly staff. Our days were spent laying on the lounge chairs at the beach reading books (I started and finished a 600- page book!), napping, snorkeling, walking along the beach, and swimming and floating on inner tubes in the ocean. It was the kind of place where as I sat on the porch in front of our room, I actually saw and heard a large coconut fall from the tree nearby! (James had fun muscling through the hard shell to enjoy some fresh coconut milk!)
Oh, and cannot forget my second Thai massage...delight. There are about 4 or 5 small resorts along the stretch of beach on this side of the island but I do believe this resort was the best! The island is part of a National Park and a majority of the island is actually tropical forest, not people. Our "backyard" behind the resort was amazing greenery and the sounds of a tropical paradise. We couldn't believe how wonderful this place was and we felt so fortunate to be there. I must recommend it to anyone who is looking to get away to a small island in the future...for total relaxation and peace and quiet. In true Thai fashion, it is a really affordable place considering the amazing experience it offers. Considering how pricey Hawaii is, you could probably spend less money and more time at this island despite the longer travel to get there!
Being the picture-taking, detail-oriented gal that I am, I've included pictures of our bathroom! It was very cool...outdoor shower with a bamboo shower "nozzle", soap dish made of a coconut, and tub sink. I love the details and the effort put into making everything special!
Our original plan was to continue island hopping after our time on Koh Ngai, but after such an incredible few days we decided that island life couldn't get much better than this, thus we wrapped up our island time and moved back to the main island to head north towards the crazy capital of Bangkok.
If you recall from our last blog, the one about Krabi, James mentioned that while having breakfast at a small restaurant one morning, we saw a wall poster of a beach-front cottage on the island of Koh Ngai. Since there are any, many islands in Thailand, it was not a surprise to us that we had not heard of this island. We quickly grabbed a map from a nearby tourist agency and found this tiny dot of an island on the map. After a bit of internet research, a few phone calls, and the help of a nice lady at the "Yes I Can" travel agency, we had booked ourselves 2 nights at the CoCo Cottage on Koh Ngai! We only hoped it would be a more mellow, less crowded island then Koh Phi Phi.