Jet ski rides with locals : )

Trip Start Mar 02, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, April 8, 2013


In need of some peace and quiet and adventure; away from the parties, today was exploration and activity day in the beautiful Ang Thong National Marine Park. 

Rise and shine at 8:00am with a pick-up truck ride in the open air: morning air breeze and views out to sea; picking up other travelers along the way, till we arrived at our boat: a two-tiered wooden boat complete with yellow slide and diving board (to which I was of course very excited about). 

We were greeted on the boat with breakfast of donuts, fresh fruit and tea. More tourists arrived in trucks and joined on the deck; and off we went! So-long Phangan, and out into the blue; at one point for 360 we couldn't see any land. Feel so at peace out on the sea, the sun beating down, all is well. 

After an hour and a half we arrived at our 1st stop- snorkeling. Opting out of the slide (until later) I climbed the stairs to the very top of the boat, jumping off the wobbling dive board and deep into the warm waters. Despite being told no sharks were in these waters, I still felt a little uneasy but tried to enjoy the plentiful colourful fish and corals beneath the surface. A great little spot, but spoiled a little by the fact there were so many other boats and tourists in the same small sport. I also got in the obligatory slide down the slide, while here; returning to being a kid! 

Clambering back on to the boat, the anchor came back up and we began our journey around the beautifully scattered, lush vegetation covered islands and rocks amid the gorgeous turquoise blue waters. Simply breathtaking. 

2nd stop- kayaking! Back on a long-tail to reach the island lined with kayaks and coconut trees with wooden swings hanging between them. While others got on their life jackets and took to their kayaks I went straight onto the swing..again Big Kid?! Lots of fun was had in the kayak- following our instructors around the island and into the caves- as we raced to keep up with them they soaked me with their paddles. Stopping for a rest at one of the coves beaches our instructor effortlessly climbed the side of the rock, no harness. As he made it look easy I thought I'd give it a shot; I struggled to get off the ground! After a quick swim and floating like a starfish in the salty waters we returned the kayaks and climbed the many steep steps to the viewpoint over a lagoon and out the other side, over the island and out into the water and the rest of the Ang Thong Marine Park. 

If we thought that those steps were hard work in the heat, it was nothing compared to the climbing on our third stop! We were told to stock up on water and to wear decent foot-wear, naturally many wore flip flops and took only a small water bottle. We were warned by returning, sweaty and red-faced climbers that it was tough. Here we go! The hour climb was lined with thick rope to hold on to and though perilous, and definitely would not have been allowed in the UK, the final 100m climb was something else-jagged rocks with large crevasses; which we climbed on our hands and knees! All the hard work and fear for out lives was worth it come the top-the most spectacular, picture post-card view out over the National Park Islands. Now to try and get back down before dehydrating. . . ! 
Returning back to the boat, via the smaller long-tail was a group of jet ski-ers. As others clambered on to the boat I looked over and jokingly said can we not do some jet ski'ing?! To which the man replied 'come on then'. I couldn't believe my luck 'really?'. I quickly scrabbled out the boat, onto the jetty and on to the back of the jet ski before he could change his mind, asking no questions to our guides who would be leaving for the main boat in a few mins once all the passengers had returned. I knew now that this local man was not going to hold back- I held on for my life as he picked up to fall speed and whizzed around in circles and over the ripples left from our speed. Though screaming loudly into his defenseless ears, I was having the time of my life! On returning back to the boat the crew laughed and asked if I had had fun, the others passengers looked at me in envy! 

Content and exhausted from a long day of sun and activity; as the sun set, I laid out on the deck bench and slept the journey back to party island.

Laura xx 

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