Published: December 21st 2008December 21st 2008
We slept.We slept and we slept some more. Phra Ae was a totally sleepy little beach town. Empty bars quietly play Bob Marley as the sun too goes to sleep over a calm blue sea, dogs wander aimlessly, and hammocks sway gently in the sea breeze.
We stayed in a cute bungalow about 200m form the beach. On arrival we were greeted by the owner, 'Hatchiboat', who gave us freshly cut pineapple. Hatchiboat was simultaneously generous, caring, loud, nosy and annoying. He visited several times a day, sometimes baring food to share or sometimes just to say hi and checkup on us and other neighbours. He wanted to know where we were going, what time we would return and was continually advising us to go eat 'Muslim food'. He made our stay rather entertaining and on the morning we left he brought us coffee and cake, knocking on our door at 6:45am.
We spent 3 nights on Prah Ae, Koh Lanta and just couldn't seem to get ourselves to do anything but stroll, sleep and eat. We had dinner with Eva's friend Rob and his girlfriend on the first night and concluded the night with way
too many B52's! Rob runs the local T.V on Koh Lanta, "Krabi Live T.V" on cable channel 2.
The second night we caught a ride with the T.V crew down to the local Boxing Stadium to see some Muay Thai, Thailand's national sport. Tickets were 800Bht (~$40ea). A little pricey, but it is the most entertaining sport ever! I think I have finally found a sport I can enjoy watching.
There were 11 bouts, starting with little kids (even girls), right up to an international title. Muay Thai is no regular boxing. Points are awarded for aggression, technique and style. Punching, elbowing, kneeing, kicking and wrestling are all allowed. The little kids were nuts! Not your ordinary schoolyard fight. Roundhouse kicks square in the head, powerful uppercuts and skillful combination punches, but not a single tear! In fact, one of the girls who lost and had copped a hiding was running around with her friends afterwards as if she hadn't just had the living day lights knocked out of her.
Also impressive were the three knockouts. I've never seen anyone drop like a sack of potatoes before. You could see his eyes rolling in his head, then
BOOM, out cold on the floor. One guy tried to get back up after being KO'd and went straight back down and the emergency crew had to step in and were slapping his face and making him smell that stuff that brings you round again. The atmosphere in the Thai crowd was electric, a chorus of cries rising and falling with every blow. It was so exhilarating!
Aside form the boxing, we did little else in this sleepy town. We didn't even swim in the beautiful water. We played cards, read and fought it out for the hammock on our front porch (Eva, unfortunately, also spent quite sometime on the loo!) We could have visited the main town, or gone kayaking or elephant trekking or on an island tour, but we just couldn't be bothered!
One of the days at lunch we met a cool dude named 'Bob' (after his idol Bob Marley). We were wondering why there were so many mangled cats and dogs walking around the restaurant (including on the tables) and discovered that the restaurant doubled as an animal shelter (as well as a shrine to Bob Marley). 'Bob' (dreadlocks and all) raises money to
care for the animals by allowing tourists to take his photo in his shrine for a small donation. While we were a little concerned about the health and safety issues of this set up, we supported his cause.
It took us a little while to acclimatise to the lazy pace of life, but once we wound down Koh Lanta made for some very relaxing and peaceful days. Nevertheless, us fast-paced gen Y's were glad to only be staying for a few nights.
Next we are off to Koh Tao, a 22hr trip by bus and boat, including some long transits in between. We are currently waiting it out for 6 hours in Krabi Town for the next bus.
Koh Tao and Koh Phangan will be beach, partying and probably more partying than we would like. Half-moon here we come!
Over and out,
ps be sure to check out the videos we've posted too!
There are more photos below