Phang Nga and Ko Yao Noi
Phang Nga is not much of a town, but the surrounding area, with the karsts in the water is truly beautiful. It is nearly impossible for me to pronounce its name correctly, so it’s a good thing I didn’t stay that long. Any word in Thai that begins with ‘ng’ is extremely challenging for my mouth to say.
Although I’d been traveling with my sister and had stayed in several different places over the previous week, I decided one night was enough in Phang Nga. I took a bus to Phuket to meet someone who would take me to the ferry and then his guesthouse on Ko Yao Noi. He told me he’d be there in 10 minutes. I sat on the side of a busy road in Phuket awaiting his arrival. One hour and 20 minutes later he arrived. I wasn’t feeling all that well, and the waiting didn’t help – if I’d known he’d be an hour and 20 minutes rather than 10 minutes, I’d have gotten lunch somewhere while I was waiting.
Luckily, it hadn’t been raining, but as if on cue, the rain began as the songthaew arrived. It was about a 20 minute ride to the ferry pier, then a 20 minute wait at the pier.
It was about a 40 minute ferry ride to the island, and it was raining cats and dogs the entire way. Some man with Down’s Syndrome who worked on the ferry gave us plastic waterproof ponchos to wear, for which I was grateful. In fact, it is probably due to his act of kindness that this computer is in working order.
When the guesthouse man and I arrived at the pier on Ko Yao Noi, it was still pouring. We took about a 2 minute songthaew ride, then we got on his motorbike in the driving rain. After about 10 minutes he got a flat tire. He said, “You wait here I go to my sister’s house nearby.” I was left in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road, in the jungle, in the pouring rain. To his credit, he was back in 5 minutes with a different motorbike. After about 10 more minutes we arrived. Even though the place wasn’t great, smelled of a bamboo bungalow mold, and I was the only one staying there, it was only 500 baht and had a fantastic view.
After my lengthy, wet, and somewhat harrowing trip, I was happy to sit and look at the picturesque view from my verandah of the lovely limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay. I had absolutely no energy, so taking in view of the rain, the bay, and butterflies chasing each other, was the best way to spend my afternoon. The view here is really exquisite. It all has such an ethereal quality to it.
I could tell I was coming down with something and went to bed early. I awoke as the clouds parted to see ‘the Supermoon’.
In the morning, it wasn’t raining so I took a little bike ride around Ko Yao Noi. In the afternoon I took the ferry back to Phuket.
The whole experience was reminiscent of my travels in SE Asia in the year 2000. I think I will always enjoy traveling, but not moving moving from place to place so quickly. I stayed in 7 places in 7 days, good thing I was traveling light. I think sleeping in the air conditioning made me ill.
I wanted to go surfing, but with loads of rain in the forecast, not feeling well, and the fact that transport in Phuket is supposed to be expensive and challenging, made me decide against it. I saw a few beaches in the rain and had my taxi driver take me to the airport only about 2 hours after arriving in Phukhet. The idea of 8 beds in 8 nights, and being in tourist-land Phuket, had everything in my being say, “Get out!” So I did. I booked an expensive one-way flight back to Chiang Mai.
Ahh. It is a complete deluge here in Chiang Mai, but I am glad to be back to my lovely home.