Today I went on one of those idyllic Thai boat trips, cruising in the endless emerald green sea, island hopping, snorkelling with exquisite sea life & corals, basking in the sunshine – heavenly!
I booked the trip via my hostel & was collected at the door with another girl. We were given stickers for our boat trip & dropped off at the port. There were numerous boat trip stalls offering various trips & we quickly found the one we were booked on. Our boat arrived & we were called to board in a disorganised fashion. The boat was packed & I got a nice seat by the starboard side to take in the stunning views.
The first island we stopped at was Phra Nang Bay beach. It is has epic climbing & a fertility cave – saturated with dick ornaments.
I must be getting prudish (or overexposed) in my old age because I didn’t find the penis shrine with hundreds of various dick ornaments overly funny or shocking. It was funny when a woman was making her young son pose in front of the phallic ornaments… I feel like I’m pretty over tackiness at the moment. It was still a pretty island losing a bit of it’s charm to the volume of people on it.
Our next stop was Koh Tub & Koh Mur, linked by a sandbar walkway accessible in low tide. Everyone else got off for a wander but it looked really busy. I curled up on the deck with my book & the crew fed me watermelon slices, it was lovely!
Another stop was by Koh Gai (Chicken island). The boat stopped offshore & we all got snorkels & went into the sea to admire the sea life. The fish & coral were absolutely amazing! Snorkelling is the most fascinating, exhilarating discovery I have made this year. I cannot get enough of it. If you haven’t done it before I urge you to try it. The colours, shapes & behaviour of the sea life will blow your mind. I enjoyed every second of it & was one of the last people to climb back onboard the boat when it was time to leave.
For lunch we stopped off at Poda island. The views were absolutely stunning. The boat trip operator was serving our lunch which was not very nice. I didn’t eat mine & got a bbq corn instead from the only food stall I could see. We had some free time here & I hid in the shade reading my book & admiring the views.
After lunch our tour was over & we sped home. By this stage everyone onboard was quite lethargic from the sun & boat trip. The girl I had befriended couldn’t find her flip flops on the way back & got really panicked. I have never seen someone so upset about $2 flip flops. She said they were only cheap but her feet were big & she knew she would never be able to get another pair of big flip flops in Thailand – she was so relived when she found them!
When we got back to the port the boat anchored quite far from our boarding point. We all had to climb off the boat into the sea – which was up to my shoulders! We had no explanation as to why the boat didn’t bring us closer…. I felt sorry for the old people & people with children. I had to carry my backpack over my head, afraid my camera, phone & book would get wet. The waves crashed over us as we slowly waded one by one towards shore, soaking wet. We had to wait another hour for return minibus back to the hostel but ended up taking a songthaew, keen to get home & showered.
I had a great day but it was altogether very touristy, of course. I hate the conveyer belt tourism industry, I hate feeling like cattle being herded around somewhere special. Ideally a private boat with a guide would be the best way to experience the islands during off peak times. Next time I’m back in Thailand I will absolutely spend the extra money for a more personal experience. However, if you’re on a budget, for what the tour offers – it is well priced, organised & a tried & tested excursion.