Attack of the evil monkey… round 2!

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today was the day of our boat tour around the island of Krabi. We are getting ready to head up to the north of Thailand over the next few days, but before we go we want to experience some of the amazing tropical islands that Thailand is famous for. We don't really have the time, the money or the inclination to go and stay on the islands overnight: we aren’t really beachy people, so have decided that a day trip around the islands is enough for us. The Krabi area is famous for its limestone cliffs and island monoliths which come rising out of the ocean- this area is particularly famous for the monoliths featured in The Man With the Golden Gun (Tom tells me they were Scaramangas secret lair… whatever that means!). So were up at the crack of dawn to get picked up by our tour company and driven to the port for our ferry boat. As with most things in Asia the day wasn’t organized too great: we got dropped off at the port, given a little sticker to say which tour we were on, directed onto a huge ferry and then taken out into the middle of the ocean. From here a raft of speedboats pulled up next to the ferry and we had to jump, literally, off the ferry and into one of the speedboats that was waiting for us. Of course this would never happen back home, health and safety laws would never let nearly 130 people hop from a ferry onto a couple of speedboats whilst bobbing around in the middle of the ocean and with no safety precautions other than a little Thai man to hold your hand and shout at you. But, as we have learnt, you just have to go with the flow in Asia otherwise you would never end up doing anything and in the end most things tend to turn out for the best over here.

There were about 30 other people on our speedboat… most of them being very red, elderly German people, who wear the tiniest bikinis and Speedos known to man and don’t give a crap what anyone thinks of them. I think they’re great… they are on their holidays and they don’t care who sees them in their g-strings and thongs, with their sunburnt bums. Our first stop of the day was a beautiful beach called Railey Beach. It actually looks like it does in the postcards!! The sand was soft and white, the water was emerald green, there were traditional longtail boats lining the beach, palm trees and limestone cliffs framed the whole island. Oh and there was a gang of evil monkeys prowling the beach and stealing people’s belongings. If you have read our blog previously you will know that Tom and I had a slight encounter with some rabid monkeys in Bali and since then I have developed a phobia of monkeys: I really don’t know why everyone thinks they’re so bloody cute… they are NOT cute, they are EVIL!!! We were walking along the beach and one guy had left his clothes and towel on the branches of a tree while he went for a swim only to find that a monkey had decided to sit on them while he was gone. When he got back he tried to pull his clothes away only to get clawed in the face by a screaming monkey… see I told you they were evil! There were dozens of them climbing the trees and randomly attacking people, so I was very happy to get around the corner and find that they weren’t on this section of the beach.

At the end of the beach was a huge cave filled with stalagmites and stalactites: it was so beautiful and we stayed for a while watching some people doing rock-climbing. Hidden in the corner of the cave was a Buddhist fertility shrine: when we were on the boat our guide had told us in his best English that when we get to the shrine we will 'see lots of d*cks there… yes… lots of big d*cks’. Everyone on the boat was giggling like schoolkids when he said that and, suffice to say, the guide was quite surprised when we told him that word was actually a swear word and he probably shouldn’t say it in front of children. But in all fairness, he was right and when we got to the shrine there were indeed many big d*cks! Considering that it is a religious site used by Buddhists to pray for their fertility there were some really funny photos being taken… including one of a lovely little old lady cuddling one of the ‘fertility symbols’.

After our visit to Railey Beach we climbed back on the speedboat and were taken around to the other side of the peninsula where we had our lunch in one of the beach-front restaurants. So far on this trip we haven’t had very good food on any of our day tours, but today was the exception! OMG the food was amazing! We had a huge buffet of sticky rice, sweet chili squid, spicy chicken curry, sweet and sour battered fish, king prawn soup, omlettes, veggie stir fry and fruit salad. It doesn’t take much to make us happy, since we’ve come traveling our standards have dropped drastically in pretty much all areas, but a good lunch brings a smile to our faces like nothing else! After lunch we still had half an hour before we were due to leave for our next destination, so we stripped off and went for a quick dip in the sea. The beach near our accommodation is really lovely, but the current is quiet strong so it can be difficult to bob about in the water without getting carried half way down the beach. So we were really happy when we got in the sea here and found that it was as still as a millpond!

Back on the boat we headed off to our next stop: two tiny islands which are connected by a strip of white sand at low tide. These islands were really small and have become staples on the tourist route around here; when we arrived the whole place was heaving with people and we couldn’t even find a spot of empty sand to sit down on. Instead we popped back into the sea for another dip and found that we were surrounded by a school of tropical angel fish! We didn’t stay here long because it was so packed people couldn’t even walk along the sand without falling over one another. Next we were heading off to do a bit of snorkeling at a place called Shark Point. There weren’t actually any sharks there and after having such amazing snorkeling at other countries on this trip, the coral was a bit disappointing here. There weren’t many fish and most of the coral was dead, but we did get to see a jellyfish and some parrot fish (which always make me smile because they are so funny). The snorkel site was actually right underneath one of the limestone cliffs and there was even a small underwater cave which you could explore. I didn’t go in (I know I’m such a wuss, but seeing the jellyfish scared the life out of me) but Tom went for a look around and said that he couldn’t actually see that much because it was so dark inside. Afterwards we got back on the boat and headed to our finally stop of the day, a beautiful beach on Poda Island. This beach was simply amazing! We were surrounded by huge limestone cliffs and monoliths, the sand was like silk between your toes, the sea was as warm as bathwater, it was quiet and surrounded by palm trees and there were longtail boats bobbing about in the shallows selling ice cold beers and cheese and ham baguettes to people paddling in the water. We could have stayed there forever! As we were walking along the sand we suddenly realized that this would be our last ever visit to a tropical beach on this entire trip: once we leave Phuket, we won’t visit another beach again because we will be spending most of our time inland! That was a very strange feeling. Since we arrived in Australia, beaches have been a huge part of our trip and we can’t believe that this will be our last one. Feeling very sad and a bit surreal we decided to make the most of our last beach and we jumped back in the sea for a final swim in the tropical waters.

Later that evening we arrived back home at 8pm. After leaving the speedboat, getting the ferry back to Phuket and the shuttle bus to our accommodation, we were both exhausted and having been up since 5am we collapsed into bed and slept like babies!

 So that was our last visit to a tropical beach on our round-the-world trip of 2010-2011. I think I’m going to cry! I know that we still have a long way to go before we are heading home just yet, but I can’t help but feel like it’s the end of part of our trip. Considering that neither of us particularly likes visiting the beach, we haven’t done too badly at becoming beach-bums on this trip. Hopefully one day we will get to return to some of the amazing beaches we have visited and enjoy them once again.     
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rach on

loved reading this blog , u seem to have the travel bug back yipeeee!!

ferry boats phuket on

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