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Published: August 7th 2012
The 100 Degrees East Diving Team had a personal transport pick us up at the hotel this morning at around 8:45. The driver was right on time and we were on our way. Like most taxi/trasports, he drives on both sides of the road, completely disregarding traffic laws. It leads to some tense moments, but you get there quickly. Once we got to the dive shop, we had to fill out the usual liability release paperwork saying that if we died it wasn't their fault. Typical stuff. We waited for about 30 minutes for everyone to show up, and then we were off!
The boat ride takes about an hour, and the first item on the agenda was a snorkeling outing next to a huge rock island. They gave each of us goggles, a snorkle, and fins so we could get around easier. With the necessary equipment on, we started swimming. Kayde was a bit chlostraphobic at first, but after a few minutes she was fine. We followed the outskirts of the island, and would swim in and out of caves the waves had formed over the years. We saw all sorts of colorful coral and fish. We snorkeled for
about an hour and by that time we were both tired of having a mask on our face and having to breathe through a tube. The underwater camera we bought seemed to work well, so I hope you guys like the pictures.
Next up, we headed to another small island (there are 42 of them in the national park) for lunch. This is apparently a hot spot for tourist as there were several other boats there, and some small concession stands on the island. The dive team provided lunch for the day so we sat under the palm trees and had a quick bite to eat. They prepared some sort of chicken curry, stir fried vegetables and rice. The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. They always had fresh fruit and drinks available so we were good to go. We then got to lay out on the beach for about 30 minutes to let our food digest. Once the relaxation was over, Kayde and I got in a two person kayak and set off around the island. We stayed up under the edge of the island for most of the ride, but we got a chance to
get out in the open water towards the end and see what we could do. Hint: it wasn't much. I know I will be sore tomorrow.
We finished up the marine park tour with a stop on an island known for having monkeys. This seemed to be the most populated island, as there was several little huts near the beach. We saw a few monkeys, who frankly seemed rather disinterested in us. We left the island after only about 15 minutes and headed back into shore.
I hope that the pictures do the marine park justice. It is probably the most beautiful thing we have ever seen. I am pretty sre this is the best part of our Thailand trip and we certainly will never forget this place.
We plan on heading to the food vendors tonight again for supper. We can't get enough of their food. It's awesome and cheap! What more can you want?!
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