Koh Yao Noi

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October 28th 2012
Published: October 28th 2012
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Monkeys at the pier.Monkeys at the pier.Monkeys at the pier.

We considered it a good sign when we saw our first monkeys of the trip hanging out on the pier to Koh Yao Noi island.
Koh Yao Noi is an island village east of Phuket and west of Krabi. Mostly Muslim, there is no alcohol allowed in town, the call to prayer is heard in the mornings and the evenings, and most women cover their heads (though it seems few cover their entire faces and bodies).

Although we came on a lead of some great opportunities for a multi-day kayak trip, we were not successful in our pursuit. Because it is not yet high season, many of the outfitters are not yet renting out camping gear. In addition, it turns out that some of the prime islands are currently hot spots for the bird nests that apparently are exported to china as a gourmet delicacy. We were advised that it was dangerous to camp on these islands because of the high stakes nest poaching going on. Alas, we found a bungalow to stay in rather than camp (complete with toads in the bathroom that came up through the shower drain), and called it good for a week of relaxing on the island.

We stayed in a simple bungalow on the beach of the bay of Phan Nga. The tides here
Super PhilipSuper PhilipSuper Philip

Sometimes if I'm really nice, Phil will pull a 'superman' and carry both of our packs :)
are drastic, rising or falling approximately twelve feet every six hours. Sometimes we were able to swim right outside our door, and other times we had to walk a fair distance to find the water, amidst crabs and sea cucumbers in the tidal pools.

We spent our days swimming, relaxing, walking into town for some cheap street food, taking a couple of yoga classes, driving a motor bike into town (on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, no less), and walking among the rubber tree plantations. Although we were tempted to go to some of the other close by and popular islands such as Railey and Phi Phi, the locals encouraged us to stay, noting that their island was the only one not over run by tourists and still authentic.

The highlight of our time spent here was probably a day of sea kayaking in the bay. Limestone karsts (cliffs) spike out of the bay and form islands. The limestone is dissolved by water, and is the rock that classically forms caves. As we were kayaking, we were able to explore these caves within the islands, if the water level was not too high,
Our backyardOur backyardOur backyard

Just outside our bungalow, limestone karsts in the distance.
always being careful not to get stuck in a cave, as the water overtakes it. This area is also just beginning to be explored for rock climbing, though the locals are trying to keep the best roots under raps, so it doesn’t turn into another ‘dirt bag climber’ island. Unfortunately, we forgot to put the battery in the camera before hopping in our kayak, so we have no pictures of our day.

Because a lot of ‘gringos’ (not sure of the Thai name for whites) settle on the island, we also indulged in some real French Pressed coffee for the first time in weeks at a little café opened by a French couple. We also ate pizza and drank wine at an Italian joint opened by an honest-to-God Italian, though the intake of dairy after having very little over the course of this month was a little hard on our systems.

Although the rainy season is apparently over, we experiences some of the biggest downpours and loudest thunder in our lives. Although the first time we were stuck on motorbikes, Philip did an amazing job getting us home during the downpour. Just last night, only minutes
Phang Nga BayPhang Nga BayPhang Nga Bay

after seeing the stars of a clear night, thunder seemed to vibrate our bungalow and the rain created rivers in front of our bungalows. Something we certainly rarely experience in CO.

Tanned and relaxed, we take an overnight bus tomorrow from Krabi to Bangkok, and hopefully a train to Laos for some inland adventures along the Mekong river!


25th November 2012

The Thai call foreigners "farangs"...
but I guess you won't be needing that since you have already left the country...maybe next time.

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