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Published: February 15th 2020
Wednesday 12th February 2020
Well, our journey here took longer than expected but we got here in the end! Our speed boat left Koh Yao Noi around 9.00 a.m. and should have reached Koh Pu pier in 45 minutes to drop us off, ending its journey at Koh Jum pier at 10.00 a.m. However, half way across the bay, one of the engines started playing up, so we chugged to the floating dock at Railay and we and our rucksacks were cast ashore, well on to the wobbly pontoon jetty actually. Our boatman got on his phone and about fifteen minutes later a smaller speed boat arrived from Krabi on its way to Koh Lanta. The driver of this smaller boat was very young and he crashed into the pontoon at speed, then asked us to jump on (he didn’t tie up or anything). We threw the rucksacks on first, then said a prayer and clambered aboard. There were already passengers on board and all of their luggage, including a pushchair, had fallen into the gangway. The six of us who were marooned on the floating pontoon had to climb over this obstacle course to join our fellow passengers. The
young driver then revved up the two large Honda engines and decided to swerve and zig-zag, bumping over the waves for the next forty minutes of so to Koh Jum; because he could! We clung on tight. We asked if he would drop us at Koh Pu pier (as booked). “No!” he said “I only stop one pier, Koh Jum!” This was OK for the other four, that was their destination. So, we sped past our pier and headed south to Koh Jum. We got there about 11.00 a.m. We went to a café and got coffee and then got a tuk-tuk back up the island to Koh Pu; a journey of about half an hour, mostly through forest. So, we had a bit of hassle, but stunning scenery and we enjoyed the views. When travelling blind, one learns quickly to cope with the bad and relish the good; and this little island is very good. It has very little development at the moment, is covered by tropical rainforest and encircled by small sandy bays and rocky outcrops.
The cheap room we had pre-booked online was not a room at all. It was a little cupboard! We were able
to upgrade to a larger cupboard (600 Baht)! It will do for three nights. The beach is gorgeous, the water is warm and the little restaurant is reasonably priced. Happy days! We would have liked a bamboo thatched bungalow, rather than a room in a larger bungalow, but there are only three of the individual ones here and they were already nabbed by German tourists (they got their towels on the loungers before us)! Only joking! Our fellow guests are really nice friendly, like-minded people, who enjoy the tranquillity and remoteness of places like this. There are, however, signs of development in the south of the island (Koh Jum) so if you want this desert island experience with its calm and peacefulness, grab it within the next few years.
Our bungalow has just four rooms with a spacious shared lounge. Apart from us, there is only one other couple sharing the bungalow with us at the moment, he is Spanish, she is French and they live in the Pyrenees. Lovely people. It isn´t the best accommodation we have had, with a few very large cockroaches here and there, but the setting is picture postcard stuff; relish the good! The
French woman didn’t know what I meant by the word “cockroach”
and I didn’t know the word in French, but when I said “Cucaracha”
in Spanish, her husband confirmed that they had found two in their bedroom, one in the bed. Nice! Thursday 13th February 2020
Today we rented a small motorbike to drive around the island. The island has just one road, mostly concrete but with some stretches just sandy dirt track. The concrete suddenly disappears without warning and then appears again after one has negotiated the bumps and holes. The hooter on the motorbikes is there to toot the chickens and beautifully plumed cockerels, as they proudly saunter across the road, admired by the clucking hens. Dogs roam about as they please, or lay down for a snooze, expecting the driver to go around them. Sadly, due to the lack of tourists, the main village, in the south (Koh Jum) where the shops and the pier are, is very quiet; it is High Season now, most of these places close through the summer rainy season. In the north (Koh Pu) there are no villages, just a few scattered hamlets and forest. We did,
find a little stall at the side of the road where plastic bottles of petrol were on sale (red, yellow and green like traffic lights). We bought a litre of the yellow stuff, which is what the guy we rented the bike from told us to get. No idea what the difference is. It was great having the bike, we shared the driving but decided that next time, if we rent bikes again on this trip, we shall get one each. On the bumpy tracks it will be safer because the bikes are easier to handle without a pillion rider. We have some good video taken on our Go-Pro.
Late afternoon, after taking back the bike, we had a swim in the lovely sandy bay by our bungalow, then chilled out waiting for the sunset. It doesn’t get much better than this! Friday 14th February
After sitting on a motorbike most of yesterday we thought we should get a bit of exercise today, so we walked to a beach on the west coast, at the end of the road (2.2km). There we found a stunning beach and a Thai “Rasta” bar who serve up the most wonderful
breakfast pancakes (with pineapple in them and honey on top). The sea was really warm and we spent most of the day there. On the hot trek back again through rainforest and small rubber plantations, we saw quite a large troupe of Macaque monkeys. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the good camera with the zoom lens on, just my small digital Nikon and our phones, so couldn’t get any close-up shots. It was great to see them, several babies in the troupe and the large male leader came nearest to us and bared his teeth; a good daddy protecting his family!
Tomorrow morning, we are leaving this lovely little island and heading south again to Koh Lanta. Lanta is larger and more touristy than the other islands we have visited on this trip, but according to our Lonely Planet guide, the south of the island is quieter and more “laid back” than the main development in the north, so we are heading south when we get there. We are going by long-tailed boat, so its “Long-tail to Lanta” for John’s birthday on Sunday (16th
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