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Published: September 8th 2005
Gareth and Sarah
Met them on their first night in Ko Samui. They had seen Craig last week in London and he had mentioned we were in Thailand but never thought we would bump into each other!
Last time we wrote we were in Ko Samui debating whether to head off to Krabi and Ko Phi Phi or to go via Trang to some of the other islands on the south west coast. After leaving the internet cafe we headed back to the resort to watch the final Tri Nations rugby match and bumped into another South African couple traveling from London. They had just arrived from Bangkok. After some discussion we realised that Sarah and Gareth are very good friends of Keith's brother, Craig. We enjoyed a good evening of cocktails on the beach and swapped info. We hope to meet up with them in Sydney for New Year.
We finally decided to head to the south west and endured a day of travel via boat, bus and taxi in to Trang, followed by a second day of taxi bus, long boat, and finally a motorcycle ride, landing us finally on the remote island of Ko Sukorn. Riding on the back of a 50cc scooter with a large backpack on your body is pretty scary, but even more so when the roads are dirt and it has been raining for three days. The back and stomach
Trang Night market
Keith got an upset stomach from some of the local cuisine - (Lisa carrying Fanta served in packet with ice)
muscles were given a serious work out just trying to stay upright on the scooters without having to cling to the skinny Thai guy who was driving the bike! The Thais use scooters for everything, they manage to fit a family of 4 on one bike with the cat and all... No helmets et al..
The island was really pretty with lots of green fields and palm trees, although a large portion of it is mangrove, so the beach had dark sand and murky water after all the storms. Not quite what we had been imagining. It is the rainy season on the west coast so we managed to get half price discount on accomodation. We were very lucky in that it only rained at night. So we took off on mountain bikes to explore the island, which only took 2 hours to do the whole perimeter. We seemed to be the subject of much amusement for the locals, especially the kids, who love asking questions. They are not used to seeing Westerners (farangs) so we were the talk of the villiage. On a second attempt to entertain ourselves and get some much needed exercise, we took out a kayak
Ko Sukorn Sunset
Our private black beach
and attempted to paddle round the island. We didn't get very far - Lisa was imagining sharks and sea cows over turning the boat and Keith's dusi style paddling was all too much for Lisa to keep up with. After a little tiff, we managed to return to shore in one piece after catching a wave on to the beach.
The bungalows were lovely and the staff were great to talk to. Lisa had the chef making up all sorts of vegetarian concoctions from the menu - since there were only 4 tourists on the island - us two and a German with a Thai bar lady from Bangkok - the chef was more than happy to oblige.
The generators only worked from 6pm - 12pm, so we would enjoy several hours of air conditioned sleep and then wake up sweating at about 2am again, with no fan or air con available. This morning we had to get dressed by candle light - up at 5.30am to catch a motorbike to the pier, then a long boat to the mainland, then a taxi to Trang and finally a bus to Hat Yai. We arrived here at 2pm and
Rubber plantation - Ko Sukorn
On our bike ride around the island
had to search out a guest house whilst the tuk tuk drivers harassed us at every street corner. Lisa managed to scrape off the skin on her shins trying to get on the tuk tuk, backpack clearly weighing her down. The restaurants close between 2 and 6pm so we stumbled in to a food court in a shopping mall and had fried noodles - just for a change... Lisa once again had to try and explain in sign language that she wanted a vege dish of some sort. Ended up with fried noodles and what looked like the storks from some plant. Oh well...
Tomorrow we catch a train to the Sungai Kolok, walk over the border to
Malaysia and then catch a bus/taxi to Kuala Besut where we board a ferry to the Perhentian islands. This is all the plan, but since we haven't booked a thing it may all come apart at the last minute...
So, our last night in Thailand - we have really enjoyed it - the Thai people are really freindly and we have been to some amazing beaches. Looking forward to expereincing a new country and new culture in Malaysia -
Lisa needed this after the bike ride and kayaking!!
Lisa was hoping there may be some new dishes to try out too, but from reading we have deduced that it is still going to be rice and noodles for a while...
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tuk tuk bikes
........I was finding the ride on a tuk tuk to be quite hilarious until I read that it was behind some one other than your spouse!hmmmmmmm.....i think I would have had the back pack between the driver and myself and I would have hung on like the chickens on a typical SA taxi!!
Madeleine Ballantyne smith
moron me has been writing all these comments each time only to realise that login is required..! So you guys have missed all my fabulous enteries! HA! SO.....the tuk tuk was the speciality for me in the last blog! As i mentioned earlier- if that comment arrived!- i would have had my backpack between me and the scarey driverdude and I would have been like the chickens hanging off a SA taxi!
Hey, help me out here!
do you remember where you rented those 50cc bikes? any name or contact phone # that I can have? i plan to rent one for my son, i dont want him to ride anything bigger than that. thx! Paul