Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand
Snorkel, Kayak and Hiking Adventure
We finally arrived the beautiful island of Koh Pha Ngan after over 20 hours of flying, crazy taxi rides, and ferry trips departing from the most unstable (and wobbly) pier known to man!
After recovering from a night of mayhem at the Full Moon Party, we decided to embark on a full-day snorkel, kayak and hiking adventure to explore some of Thailand's more secluded islands...We left our hotel at 7:30 in the morning only to be dropped off at a restaurant to await the opening of the tour office...When we finally boarded the speed boat, we were packed in like sardines and I was actually seated on top of the boat to make more room...As our brochure warned us, this is Asia and safety is never taken into consideration!
First stop - snorkeling. Ari and I grabbed life vests and were instantly titled "lazy" which we thought was hilarious as lazy was one of the few English words our guide knew. We later learned that he'd learned the phrase "vacation, not racing" to describe how we ought to kayak, but everyone knows that a little competition makes for more fun. The water is crystal clear here - not to rub it in - and many of the islands are surrounded by caves and passageways which makes for fun explorations in the boat. In between our island-hopping boat-rides, we left the pack at the beach to explore a cave high in the mountainside. But it was the final hike to Emerald Lake that had the most stunning views! The inspiration for the film The Beach, the saltwater lake is completely land-locked, surrounded by high sandstone cliffs covered in dense foliage - almost reminds me of Jurassic Park because of the palm trees and the sounds from these crazy insects that you can hear the moment the boat docks.
Tomorrow we are heading away from this touristy area to a more secluded beach "resort" in Haad Salad - north on the island of Koh Pha Ngan. We are loving Thailand so far, especially the cheap eats. We've been enjoying Thai food every single night at one of the many restaurants, and our most expensive bill has been $6. for the entire meal - including 2 beers of course!
Miss and love you all. Goodbye for now.