Speedboat trip to Ang Thong marine park
No Gravol required, but please dont judge my hair!
We booked a day trip with "On Sea Speedboats" for snorkeling and kayaking at the Ang Thong marine park northeast of Samui. They were very good...prompt pickup in fancy plush van at o'darkhundred (OK, 7 am, but we're on holidays here!)'. Our hotel made up these huge 'boxed breakfasts' since the buffet hadnt opened yet for us to take. Too much food for anyone but a linebacker, but we don't like to waste, so took it along on the boat (hint: pretty paper mache bags vs salt water.....decision to ocean!)
There was pre-seasickness food for us at the dock, tea and toast and a big bowl of individually wrapped Gravol tablets. Sean, mariner that he isn't, took this as a very bad sign, and sat looking queasily out to sea as we waited to board. The speedboat part meant that there was very little rocking on the boat, and none of us got even the least bit sick on the one hour ride out. First stop was snorkelling in a little bay at the far north of the marine park, a protected section of little islands and beaches. There were lots of fish, and coral, and the water was super
warm. Unfortunately, there were about 4 other boats there (times 25 per boat) so it got a little crowded.
After about an hour, we headed off to check out the islands at a little slower pace; on one we got off and did a bit of a stair climb to a gorgeous view point of the islands, and a very blue lagoon. Now THIS is the Thailand of the photobooks! Next stop was lunch on another island at a little fishing village. The restaurant was a going concern, catering only to the day trippers on these snorkel boats, but decent Thai buffet lunch. Ben and I did a little wander around the tiny fishing village...quite a stark contrast...literally tin shacks in the mud, garbage everywhere, dirt paths. Ben was pleased that we don't live there, and I wondered about the trickle down economy (ie did any tickle down from our tour boats, and the restaurant??)
Next stop was a little beach, and some self directed kayaking. My almost 7 year old Canadian guide (KW) is quite the expert on those paddles! Our canuck travel buddy shared my mango smoothie, and we had a little swim, then back to
Samui....crispy and salty, with very bad hair! Would recommend ON SEA SPEEDBOATS as organized and good value. One last thing...the plush comfy van was nowhere to be seen for our dropoff at the hotel, but a cracked-vinyl, no AC utility van took us back. Don't blame them really...we were a pretty stinky bunch!
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