Day 20 – Weds – 24th June:
Last night after drinks at ‘The Rock’ club I turned in, but unfortunately (for me) the party went on all night and the room was just over the club.
I was not in the dorm because it was fully booked, but the Russian girl at the desk gave me and three other guys (we didn’t know each other) a private four bed room instead. This is because she promised us beds in the new dorm but although it was finished, it smelt too strongly of paint to be used. This was a good upgrade as the private rooms are much more expensive and she only charged us the dorm rate, but bad luck that we were over the club.
I was also a little fed up of dorms (yes after only two nights in a shared room) so this morning I moved to the hostel where Maren and her friend stayed on the first night. They had also since moved from there because the wifi was bad, but I just wanted the private room so it didn’t matter.
Today we decided to go snorkelling again. We wanted to see some turtles and we asked in a nearby diving shop if we could get a taxi boat to one of the bay’s that is known for turtles. They said that the sea was too rough for the taxi boat to be running today (just a bit choppy but they don’t take tourists out because they often get seasick, I have encountered the same thing in Chaina, Greece). But they suggested we go to shark bay where you can see small sharks and turtles.
We walked down the road to get a taxi and an old lady offered us a taxi but we couldn’t find the car so the driver came and found us and walked us through a broken path/shortcut to the main road where the carb was parked.
We flew off, a very bumpy ride on the back of an open truck going very fast (like many taxis on the islands).
At shark bay there was an awesome reef which started right at the waterline. The water was very shallow, only up to my waist for about one hundred metres out to sea. I snorkelled for over an hour but I didn’t see any sharks or turtles. On my way back to the beach I asked another snorkeller if he had seen any sharks (these are very small fish sharks we are talking about here) and he laughed and said that you had to go out about two hundred and fifty metres to see any. It was still very shallow at that point but I didn’t want to go out that far so I went back to the beach.
Maren’s snorkel mask had broken (it cost 100 baht so shows that it doesn’t pay to buy a cheap one) so they hadn’t snorkelled for very long. I lent her mine and they went back in the water while I read my book.
We hadn’t brought any food with us but the only place to eat was a posh hotel restaurant by the side of the beach. I ended up buying a fruit smoothie to tide me over because I was very hungry. It cost me 140 baht which is about £3 GBP, so still a lot cheaper than at home but very expensive for Thailand. The average price is normally between 20 baht (in the north) and 80 baht (in the south).
We called the number that the taxi driver gave us, they like to give you their number in the hope that your will call them every time you need a taxi.
Back in town we decided to book our tickets for the ferry to Ko Phangan the next day at a one of the many tour offices.
We went out for a light dinner. Maren’s friend had a touch of food poisoning so we didn’t stay out late.
Day 21 – Thurs – 25th June:
Today we had to be up early to catch our ferry. I was a little late and I think the girls were a bit annoyed about that :p. We were supposed to be at the ferry pier for 9am but I know from before that this is just a guideline. We arrived at about 9.15 am with plenty of time to spare (in my opinion anyway :p ).
The ferry company stickered us, they love their stickers, ours said ‘Koh Phangan‘ in orange. (Maren’s friend was off to a different island so we said goodbye to her). This time it was the company Lomprayah that we were using, not the same as the one I arrived with. I think Lomprayah is the fastest service, with the trip to Ko Phangan taking only 45 minutes rather than 1 1/2 hours.
Our bags were loaded, last as we were the first stop. The ferry was already very full because we were loaded last but we managed to get some seats on the middle deck outside. This was because there was water dripping down onto the seats from above, and they were the only empty ones but that was lucky for us and I didn’t mind the water.
There was a really good view of Ko Tao as we sailed away from it and it sort of does look like a turtle from a distance. Tao means turtle in Thai and Ko means island.
The place was called High Life Bungalow and was a highly recommended flash packer hotel. It consisted of many bungalows on stilts built on various levels right on the beach at Haad Yao. Haad means beach in Thai and Yao means long.
Maren had a budget of 900 baht a room (I didn’t but I was just waiting to see what happened when we got there) but it turned out that their cheapest room was with fan and only 500 baht!
We got our own private bungalows with balconies and hammocks. Both bungalows had awesome beach views.
These are our huts (Maron’s was below mine, all the huts were staggered at different heights).We realised later in the week that the rooms were also cheap because the wifi didn’t reach our huts as our were the furthest from the router but we just used it in the restaurant and reception.
The hotel had an awesome infinity pool as well. Beautiful! We spent the afternoon by the pool after lunch at the restaurant. The food was very well priced considering it was Ko Phangan (the popular backpacker party island).
Here is a picture of the awesome pool!Next up: days twenty-two and twenty-three.
Previously: days eighteen and nineteen.
Recent related posts: lightening the load – stuff I posted home – packing light update.