A new world and a new year

Trip Start Dec 22, 2010
Trip End Jan 21, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Satun,
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

 After our pretty dramatic start in Bangkok we were ready to head south for some relaxation in the sun. A bit scary to go to the airport with only photocopies of our passports (our original ones were left at the Vietnamese embassy with our visa applications) but we felt ready to go and explore in our new and light fisherman's linen pants and shirts that we picked up from our friendly neighborhood market. Josh went travel hippie chic in green-tan and orange while I couldn't resist the purple pants and well, a purple top. Surprise.
I must admit, I never thought I would ever see southern Thailand due to all it's tourism. The thought of speedo clad Europeans and families with screaming kids working on their tan on the beach and young 20-year old somethings dancing the night away to bad techno music sipping Redbull and Vodka Buckets, just didn't sound too tempting. But we did a lot of re-search and found a couple of places were we could escape the crowds: Ko Kradang and Ko Adang.

So a mad taxi drive, a flight, a minivan, a stop in the lovely city of Trang, a local bus (where I forgot my sunglasses) and two boat rides later, we finally arrived. And it was picture perfect. Crystal blue water, palm treas and empty beaches. What else can one ask for? Ko Kradan's staff consisted of a couple of ladyboys, to musicians and a couple of younger giggling girls and boys, that liked to hoola hoop in their spare time.

We enjoyed hiking trough the dense jungle to the marvelous Sunset Beach where we could snorkle and relax while a few fishing boats slowly floated by. We drank coconut water explored the reef and kayaked every day. Josh became friends with the two musicians on the island and joined them for a few evening sessions, playing the guitarr and singing while I hung out with the rest of the staff sipping on a few local favorite drinks.

As the warm rain came in over the island, it was time for us to head way further south to Ko Adag, a national park close to the Malaysian border.We didn't expect much of the 12 dollar accommodation but were very much surprised to find that we scored big time!!!! A beautiful little bungalow with high ceilings, a real bathroom (!) and beds that I would call firmer than firm. We had a partial ocean view and a lovely deck surrounded with deep and thick jungle.Amazing and breathtaking. As we ooooh and ahhhhhh-ed one could hear the sweet sound of Mother Nature: birds, crickets and last but not least the secedas. Small but VERY loud little creatures.

This national park is geared towards Thai tourism and there were very
few signs in English. We did have one on our deck stating not to leave
our belongings outside unless we wanted for the monkeys to get a hold of
them. There is only one little restaurant but it is divine! Best food I have had in Thailand so far. Priceless to see the staffs eyes widen as Josh orders two of everything.

Making the days go by on the island is not hard. There are a couple of hikes, one trough the thick jungle where I wish I had a machete knife to make our way to the lovely little waterfall, and the second one that is to the top of the island from where you can get breathtaking views. If you are thiking of doing the later one I'll give you two pieces of advice: be in descent shape and wear hiking shoes.This is a 60min butt-kicking straight up 1,500 vertical feet kind of hike. Seriously, no switch backs just straight up. The view along with the delicious breakfast we had after made it very worth it though :)

And last but not least there is snorkeling. Now, I'm not super comfortable in the ocean but I had to set aside all fear and insecurity because this was an opportunity not to be missed. We hired a longtail that took us around the island and dropped us off in all the sweetest of the sweet spots for underwater exploration. I so wish I had an underwater camera so that I could have photographed the incredible reef that was exposed infront of my foggy mask! I might even have to ask you to come and see this whole New World in Ko Adang. Forget Hawaii, Fiji and Panama, this was the most vivid and surreal experience I have ever had below the surface  of the ocean. By far. And there was just us. Us and the thousands of exotic fish, coral and other creatures that made the reef of Adang their home. I believe I heard the theme of "little Mermaid" being sung by a few fishes accompanied by some clams on percussion.

A spiritual experience. Out of this world. A day I will never forget.

We toasted in the New Year with our favorite beer Chang at our bungalow under a million stars to the sounds of fireworks. So lucky and grateful. This is the best way to end a year and to start a new one. On the road. In love with Life and in Love with my travelmate.

I wish you all Peace, Love and Health for 2011.
Yours truly, the Swedish Vagabond

PS, and for you who are wondering, yes, the 35 phone calls to my banks paid off. It was a Hallelujah moment.
PS2 I have had problems with transferring pictures from the later part of the trip (Ko Adang) stay tune for more soon.

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Peter on

Looks like dream that place. Just to let you know, if you pass by Koh Lanta on your travels, head over to Mr Tom's establishment and say hello to Anna's sister Helene (who you now) who is there with her family since early December.

See ya!

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