Today was the day we finally did something. It was the day of our trip, which would see us visiting some islands. The itinerary went as follows:
The 4 Island Tour
• Pick up from Krabi Town 8am
• Depart from pier on longtail boat 9:30am
• Phranang Cave
• Chicken Island
• Tup Island
• Poda Island
• Return to Ao Nang
We had to get up early, once again, to go on this trip. We got up around 7am, got dressed, and managed to go next door for breakfast. We did all this before our lift arrived to take us to the starting point, Ao Nang. A big flatbed style vehicle pulled up at 8:20am. It had already been making it’s rounds, picking up passengers along the way. Bar one other person Sarah and I were the last to climb aboard. We were all taken to the nearest town and divided into different groups. Those who were coming on the 4 island tour were handed blue stickers. We had to wait a little while before the boat was ready, as soon as it was the whole group was beckoned over, then all 17 of us had to squeeze into a tiny boat.
It started out fine as we set off. It wasn’t until we reached deeper waters that the sea began to kick up a fuss. It threw a tantrum so bad that the waves it continued to hurl at us nearly capsized the boat. There was no respite from it’s unforgiving ways. Each one continued to throw us up and down, and side to side. Everyone knows the trick to avoid seasickness is to watch the horizon. It’s constant steadiness usually helps your focus. Though when the horizon continues to disappear behind the hull of the boat, it becomes somewhat problematic to look at. Fortunately, the boat ride was only 10 sickening minutes long before we arrived at our first island. However, it did get hairy towards the end, the boat was rocking so much that the young tour guide suggested we put on life jackets! It must have been because this first island was the closest, therefor the most convenient, that we decided to stray from the itinerary. Instead of our first island being Phranang Cave, we stopped at Poda Island instead. It continued that way for the rest if the day. Possibly due to the sea’s temperament.
Poda Island is a privately owned island, because it doesn’t belong to the government it meant we had to pay an additional charge on top of the one we paid for the day trip. It was only 10 baht. This was fair enough, because of the sheer volume of tourists, they tend to be a bit messy and occasionally litter. The money helped the owner keep the place clean, or so we were told. Not questioning it, we paid the small charge and spent the next hour sunbathing on the really windy beach.
When our time was up, we climbed back into the boat for a smoother journey to Poda & Tup Islands. These 2 islands were connected by a walkway of sand. Because we were riding on top of the waves (with the current) it not only made the journey smoother, but 10 times quicker. Sadly, when we reached the islands it already had 5 speedboats anchored down. This meant taking any sort of god photo was ruined because of all the tourists. Another factor that kind of ruined it was the wind. It was blowing so hard by that point that the walkway looked more like ocean, rather than the two tides meeting. With that said, every so often the wind would die down and we were able to get the photo opportunity we had been waiting for.
We snapped away as much as we could before the next idiot would walk directly in front of our cameras. It was beautiful even with the wind, and it was the only opportunity in my life that I could feel biblical. By that I mean I pretended to be Moses parting the seas, it’s the little things in life. Soon our 40 minutes were up and it was back to the boat to visit the next location, Chicken Island.
Chicken Island got it’s name for quite a simple reason, one of the giant rocks looked like a chicken’s head. No other reason than that. I was hoping for, at the very least, a society of poultry that had evolved to some higher level of being. Possibly having jobs, vehicles, an economy, or even a civilisation of some sort. No, nothing even close, just a stupid rock that didn’t even resemble a chicken, in my humble opinion. The main reason we went there, besides looking at a rock, was to go snorkelling. Even Sarah conjured up the courage to fight her fear and jump in the water to be surrounded by fish. There were hundreds of them, all around us were various colours and sizes of aquatic creatures. It held no candle to the sights I saw when I went diving, but to the likes of Sarah, it was damn near magical.
Try as we might, it was impossible to touch the fish. They’d get away anytime we got near. We’d occasionally get to touch one, but that was only by accident as we tread the water. Every time the two anchored boats came close to each other it would force schools of fish close to our proximity. That seemed to be when Sarah was most impressed. We called it a day when a member of staff running the tour asked if 3 people from our boat would move to another vessel. This was because of a weight displacement issue and the increasing aggression of the sea. 3 people opted to hop ships, it was then back to Poda Island for our lunch break.
It was a nice buffet style meal. We could help ourselves to rice, mixed vegetables, fruit and chicken. It was ok but the constant fly abuse was irritating. We paid for the food, not them, yet there they were pitching on everything, helping themselves like they do. It was only a quick lunch before the group set off for it’s final island of the day, Phranang.
It was another 10 minute boat ride before we arrived. Only this time, instead of going side to side, we mostly went UP and DOWN. I write it in block capitals to emphasise my point. We were going so high, that at points my stomach fell, much like when you’re on a scary ride or when you jump in your sleep. Phranang is famous for it’s cave, and when we arrived we noticed also for it’s vast amount of Russian occupants. We were given a generous 50 minutes to explore this time. Sarah and I decided to give the cave a visit first of all. As we passed the many Russians, all of whom love sitting in the sun, we eventually reached the mouth of the very rude cave. It turned out to be a place of worship, but not as we expected. It didn’t belong to any religion as such, instead, the people believe it’s the location of a princess spirit.
The locals would pray to the phallic decorated cave in order to have success in conceiving children. I didn’t notice it at first, but when my eyes adjusted I couldn’t help but see John Thomas everywhere. Big, small, black, white, pink, purple, red, fat, skinny. You name it, it was there! We then returned to the boat area (after taking photos, obviously). I put the bag back on the boat, then Sarah and I went for a swim to waste the rest of the time. During our time in the water, Sarah made small talk with a girl from the boat. She had accidentally cut her foot on some coral while snorkelling, after a wave forced her into it. Sarah suggested she get some butterfly stitches to help keep it closed, as it was looking more like a gash than a cut. When our 50 minutes were up that concluded our day trip. It was then one last boat ride back to Ao Nang.
Sarah and I opted to stay there for the rest of the afternoon, rather than get on the free ride back to Krabi Town. It meant we’d have to pay later on when we were ready, but in the grand scheme of things it meant we’d only have to pay one way. Rather than getting back to our guesthouse and deciding we wanted to return. We had a quick look around the shops, they had pretty much the same things as every other tourist spot: hats, sunglasses, clothes etc. Sarah then wanted to spend some time sitting on the beach. Not wanting to sit and fester in the heat, I opted to go for a walk. I marched all the way to the left until I reached the end. The only interesting sight on that side of the beach was 2 topless female sunbathers. I then marched all the way to the right. The most exciting thing that side was a granny wearing a flat peaked baseball cap, she looked like a retired rapper.
When I returned to Sarah (to my surprise) she suggested we leave the beach and go find some food. Initially it started out as “let’s go get some Haagendas”, but ended up being “let’s just go in that bakery instead”. We sat inside for a good hour or so, enjoying a cookie and a brownie, while Sarah made a couple Skype calls. When we left we were luckily able to catch a tuktuk bus (an over crammed van) back to Krabi Town. It took longer than the bus did that morning, on account of it curb crawling to pick up more passengers. The driver didn’t put his foot down until there were 10 people sat down and 4 hanging off the back. When we finally got back to Krabi it was getting on for 7pm.
I grabbed a slurpee in the 7 Eleven for the walk back to our guesthouse, but we found ourselves stopping in the tour guide again to book up another day trip for the following day. Then began a falling out between Sarah and myself over a slight miscommunication. I won’t go into details, but in a nutshell there were 2 day trips, I wanted to do one and Sarah wanted the other. They both involved kayaking. Now I thought we were going to do one on one day and the other the next. There began the miscommunication. Instead, we ended up booking up my day trip and Sarah decided against doing hers. I got angry as I thought Sarah was getting funny because we booked up mine. She wasn’t. So, after a quick shower and discussion I told Sarah mine probably wasn’t any good in comparison. I only wanted to go for one reason, to see the 3000 year old cave painting. The rest of the day seemed tedious other than that. We then returned to the old lady and changed our trip. The next day would now see us kayaking up the mangroves, admiring beautiful wildlife. Downside, it would be another 7am start. I told you I wouldn’t go into details!
With everything in its place and paid for we went on the search for food. The obvious place? The seafood market. We bumped into a young American couple that were on our trip. We introduced ourselves officially. The girl was named Hayley, she was rather short, 5 foot, to be exact, had brown hair and was into her sporting activities such as climbing. The boy was named Jason. He stood around 5’10”, had short brown hair and really white teeth. Sarah and I hit it off really well with them, and after 20 minutes of chatting in one spot, joined them for the rest of the evening. We grabbed some snack type foods, corn on the cob and fruit, then began looking for the night market.
Luckily for Jason and I, the girls couldn’t find it. In the end the 4 of us returned to the seafood market, grabbed some fruit shakes and a table and enjoyed each others company. Oh, of course, I ordered a meal for myself. I was the only one to do so. We remained together until 11pm, the stalls were closing for the night before we left. Hayley and Jason were doing another day trip also the next day. It was different to ours so we agreed that we should meet up again the following night. They agreed, much to our pleasure. We then returned to our guesthouse’s to conclude a brilliant day in the beautiful country that is Thailand!