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After Phi Phi

Phuket, Thailand

Our second moped expedition, this time from the Karon Beach (yeah the place that was too nice before haha), was not as fruitful as the first although, with Josh gone, I had to drive one myself. After accelerating spectacularly into a hedge in front of the terrified hostel staff, I got the hang of the whole driving thing and we drove around, stopping at a few nice beaches including an exclusive resort into which we invited ourselves.

We'd spent the whole morning bodyboarding and this alongside the moped excursion did not help my heat rash. By the end of the day it was worse than ever and I knew that the tour to "James Bond Island" that we'd booked for the next day was as stupid as it was exciting. However, I'd started reading The Motorcycle Diaries and decided that physuical pain should be secondary to exploration and new experiences. Che wouldn't let a bit of heat rash get in his way. He probably wouldn't even mention it actually... Maybe I will edit this down if it looks like I might become famous. Throw in a few more intelligent reflections... nah...

Anyway, as it happens I got lucky. It ended up being a cloudy day (which eventually turned into the first thunder storm of the trip) and a large part of the day was also spent in caves, on an air conditioned bus and in the shade. In fact it turned out to be one of the best day trips so far, although obviously I won't tell Josh that. We explored a temple in a cave filled with hundreds of monkeys and bats (it was a big cave) and then got on a longtail boat to skim around Phang Nga Bay National Park which has some of the best scenery I have ever seen.

We stopped for lunch at Koh Panyee, a muslim fishing village built on stilts and were served seafood soup filled with prawns and squid, fried fish with chilli, chicken with vegetables and cashew nuts, tempura prawns... it was a feast! Once we'd eaten our fill and bought some unneccessary souvenirs we were shipped over to James Bond Island. Despite being the main feature of the tour, it was not my favourite part. The whole area is incredible and the island is just the most visited bit, with tourists arriving in a one-in, one-out fashion.

In spite of all the boats and bodies it is hard to feel anything but lucky to be there. This was particularly felt later as we were chauffeured through the Talu Island sea caves in a four person canoe! Our guide paddled us through caves so tiny that we all had to lie flat on our backs and then we would emerge into beautiful hidden lagoons where he would stop and offer us weed! I arrived back home feeling completely spoilt and, continuing the indulgence, used the remainder of the 200ml bottle of aloe vera gel that I had bought just two days before.

permalink written by  steve_stamp on May 2, 2009 from Phuket, Thailand
from the travel blog: The art of being lost
tagged JamesBondIsland, FishingVillage and MonkeyCave

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