Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

It Only Gets Better

When I went to Phra Nang beach in Krabi Province, I was convinced that it was the most beautiful beach in Thailand.
Now, having been to Ko Tarutao, I find that I am mistaken. Ko Tarutao is paradise.
We went down there for New Year's. Alisa did the research and, with little information, we headed to Hat Yai and to the pier at Satun. We originally planned on staying on Ko Rawi, but that plan was foiled by the absence of accomodation on that island.


I'm glad we ended up where we did- Ko Tarutao is amazing. Kilometers of abandoned, untouched beach. Actual seashells all over the beach.







Monkeys, lizards, birds, frogs. Tarutao is part of a National Park, and the whole island is run by park staff. No one trying to sell you anything. No commercial vendors at all. Just park-run services.








We spent much of our time enjoying the beaches. We also visited Crocodile Cave, a formerly crocodile-infested cave that you take a longtail boat to access. It cost us 100 baht and at first, we figured it was just a quick trip to the cave, maybe a little walk inside. The mouth of the cave is fairly large, and we were immediately impressed by the massive stalactites. Our guide led us down a rickety ladder into the darkness, where we boarded (to our surprise), a raft. He pulled us and another group about a kilometer into the blackness- thank goodness we had flashlights- where we were amazed by incredible rock formations and thousands of bats. We got off the raft eventually and walked through about another kilometer of cave. Best 100 baht I had spent in a while...
New Year's Eve was more low-key than it has been in the past, especially when we got the news of the Bangkok bombings. It was nice to relax with friends on a beautiful beach instead of party, though.



We went to Ko Adang for our last day of holidays, seeking more utopia and snorkelling (not available on Ko Tarutao). It was something of a process to get to Ko Adang, and we stayed in probably the grossest lodging I have been in yet, but we had a great time anyway. The sand on the beach was odd, like little quartz crystals, but if you waded out about ten feet into the water and stuck your face in you could see hundreds of tropical fish. We rented masks for 50 baht and went snorkelling for about an hour. It was amazing- we didn't have to swim far at all and we saw more fish than I saw on all three of my previous tours combined. Angelfish, puffer fish, an eel (which I didn't see, a good thing because they terrify me), starfish, anenomes, urchins, parrot fish, clown fish...it was great. Another super investment of a couple bucks.

The whole trip was a remarkable success, despite many hitches in transportation and not really being sure where we were going, staying or doing at any given time.
Happy New Year's to everyone!

Until next time,
Heather

4 Comments:

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Melissa said…

    Wow! Gorgeous! See -- I knew I should have stayed!
    Stupid Winnipeg, Stupid No Ocean!
    -Melissa

     
  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger ViciousTim said…

    That lizard is whack (wiggidy-whack). He looks so wildly uncomfortable crammed in that litle space. Well, I suppose it's better he crawl in there then say, into your shoes.

     
  • At 5:25 PM, Blogger Heather said…

    That lizard was the bane of our existence. He was about 8-10 inches long and really freaking loud. At first, we didn't mind a lizard in the rafters...then he started to squawk as soon as we got ready to go to sleep. We resolved to be rid of him, attacking in tandem with brooms and rakes...I hit him in the face with a garden implement and he didn't even flinch. He was biting the tines of the rake and looked determined to keep us up at night when he suddenly bolted onto the ceiling, causing us girls to run screaming from the room. We went and got some park staff to help us deal with him- they climbed circus-like onto each other's shoulders to try and find it but by the time they arrived, it had vanished. Typical. Anyway, we thought it was over, but he returned in the middle of the night and screeched at us again.
    I guess he had the last laugh...

     
  • At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Melissa said…

    Hi Heather, I'm a stranger to you but occassional reader of your blog which I really enjoy! I feel envious of your beach trips...

    Your yucky lizard, when I lived in Thailand I had one that lived in my house, it was horrible, gross, loud, and left big buggy poops everwhere. One night during one of it's "tukae tukae" songs, I decided that maybe bug killer would make him scramble. So I sprayed behind the food cabinet where he lived...and in the middle of a "tukae" he went dead silent. I never heard him again, although he still lived there. I killed his vocal chords with bug spray! Very mean I know, but I hate reptiles. And yes they can bite...if they clamp onto your hand they will not let go. It's not dangerous, but very disgusting....

     

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