4 islands and the emerald Caves
Trip Start Oct 01, 2004
121Trip End Ongoing
The ride to Ko Ngai was breathtaking. Our joinery began by motoring through the mangrove forest's, small villages and finally the breathtaking cliffs of dozens of small islands.
The snorkeling at Ko Ngai and Ko Cheuk was less that ideal. The islands were paradise, but the reef was dead. It was a disappointment after the marine national park. I'd recommend doing it in the reverse order :)
After 2 hrs of snorkeling at Ngai and Cheuk, we were off to Ko Kradon for Lunch. Once again, the island was a paradise of white sand and turquoise water
Upon arriving at the emerald caves, we quickly realized that the tide was strong and the waves were wicked. Everything about the event screamed " health and safety hazard". In general, the Thai locals on our boat could not swim. This however did not stop them from suiting up and jumping in. MC and I looked at each other with surprise!!! The water was rough, even for 2 strong swimmers.
Somewhere around here, everyone joined a konga line (of life jackets) and our guide started pulling the line into the caves. That's correct, no one swam (cuz they can't). Just a konga line of lifejackets being dragged through rough water. As we entered the cave, the waves carried us within inches of the ceiling ( and I mean inches!!!). It was at this point that a Swiss family of 4 returned to the boat. For some reason we carried on???????. As we entered the cave, the water continued to thrash us and we started to lose light. At this point, everyone began to scream (In Thai)!! it was like being in magic mountain, but in water and with real risk. I asked myself, why are they screaming??? Did someone get hurt, cuz its a likely possibility. Is someone dead, cuz the life jackets are below standard and no one can swim? What am I doing? Why did I pay for this? Thank god I can swim!!!
Shortly after the chaos, the cave opened into a beautiful beach, surrounded by lush forest. Its nice, but we still have to go back!!! Before departing, I was spotted by a few locals. Apparently I was their first Ginger siting. To my suprise the local women lined up to be photographed with me. Each taking their time to press themselves against me and touch my hair. My fame was short lived, but it still made me uncomfortable. At least no one offered me ointment for my skin disorder :)
As we departed the cave, our guide asked us for help. Mainly because it was evident that we could swim. So there I was mom, holding a life preserver, feverishly kicking and pulling 20 + Thai locals through the cave.
In the end, I would not recommend this tour to anyone. The Reefs were dead, the cave was deadly and it was by far one of the stupidest situation I've put myself in (in a while).