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Published: February 9th 2020
Boy from my home stay delivering a carrier bag of live crabs to a restaurant on his bike
The day started well, Grandma’s Kitchen was open at 7.30am as promised and my pick up came exactly at 09.30, despite my last minute jitters that they’d forget me. At the ferry we Ko Mook people got on first and they put our bags downstairs, as we were the last to get off. It was much nicer sitting upstairs on the deck although there was no seating. The first stop was Ko Ngai, which looked VERY nice from the boat and I wished I was getting off there. Then we went past Ko Mook and stopped at Ko Kradan, which looked better for a day trip than an overnight. You had to get off the front of the boat onto the sand, and for people with suitcases along came a guy with a trolley and wheeled it along the sand. It looked like all the accommodation is along the one beach. At the far end there were speedboats with the day trippers. By this time it was 11.30, when I was expecting to arrive, and we finally go to Ko Mook pier at 12.15. Mr Yai was waiting for me, and there were plenty of motorbike taxis too. They charge per
person here rather than for the whole thing, which is a bit of a cheek. It seems to be 50B wherever you are going.
My Yai explained stuff as we motored along. There is a walking street, very small, and we turned off it to his place. I’d have walked past. There is no sign and you can’t see the 2 huts and 2 tents as they are hidden away at the back under the cashewnut trees. He said that they are just waiting to flower and then pollinated by bees and butterflies. There was a bees nest high up in one of the trees and he said don’t tell anyone or the locals come, smoke out the bees and take the nest. The fruit looks like a big green kidney bean and grows to the size of an apple, with the one nut per fruit developing in the outside. He can harvest 200kg from his trees and the nuts then have to be roasted before being eaten. No wonder cashews are so expensive!
Now to the accommodation. I had to remember to breathe. After reading conflicting reviews (everyone loves Mr Yai and puts up with the place),
it seems that he has not yet got around to adding bathrooms to the 2 huts. There are communal ones in a block. It will be so much fun visiting in the middle of the night. He tried to convince me, unsuccessfully, that wooden huts are cool, like having aircon. It was very hot inside. There is a fan and a mozzie net. No chair, so I took one in from outside, otherwise there’s nowhere to put stuff apart from the small table the fan’s on. No mirror and no curtains at the windows. So it was all as described really, just a bit of a shock to see it in person. I looked at booking.com while he was cleaning and saw that for the last 2 of my (foolish) 6 nights the loft room is free, same bathroom but aircon and the WiFi will reach, so I asked if I could move and he just charged me an extra 50B a night, which was nice of him. He said that he will take me anywhere for free on his motorbike and every night at 5 he goes to watch the sunset at Charlie beach with any guests who want
to come and then we come back together.
He explained how to get to the nearest beach, although the tide was out, waaaaaay out. I had some lunch and then walked along to the point where the Sivalai Resort is, and back the other side to the pier, looking for sea creatures in the warm (hot) shallow water. No blue starfish as I’d read about, hundreds of tiny crabs along the edge of the sea. And SO hot, absolutely dripping, one of the hottest places I’ve ever been.
The main problem here is the lack of anywhere to sit comfortably, right now I’m on a high stool at the reception, the WiFi only reaches to the shower block. Can’t sit on the bed as it’s in the middle of the room. There is one hammock in the trees, but it really needs a few more touches to make it acceptable. It it’s not bad enough and he is so nice that I don’t want to move.
Hoping that the reggae bar 2 doors down isn’t too noisy.....
Update: both bars, the Reggae Bar and the Tingtong Bar, were far too noisy, as were the howling dogs (one on my
porch), the 3.30am cockerels, the 5.30 am mosque, which had the dogs all howling again and the loud, drunk tourists. After zero sleep I made plans B and C, meaning that I would just stay 2 more nights, then go to Ko Lipe earlier. Luckily the room I’d booked was free for those nights and so I threw money at it (£47 a night) and look forward to my own bathroom, aircon and WiFi, albeit a bit patchy! I was feeling murderous by the morning, although after a second, much better night it didn’t seem so bad. The novelty of the shared bathroom wore off very quickly, when visiting at 3am.
I did after this fall a bit in love with the island and the people, more in the next blog.
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