Phang Nga Bay - Ko Tapu - Ko Panyee - Middle of Nowhere pier - Laem Sak - Palm fruits weighing station - Ao Luek
05.03.2012 - 05.03.2012
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After a short night's sleep for me (I am finally into Millenium book I!!), we head back to the Phang Nga bay, where we had been by mistake the night before while looking for the Phang Nga city. That's where we ride into The Cap'tain. This nice sunburnt skin pirate convinces us to rent a long tail boat with him (1200 baht for the both of us!!) and shows us around...
We see so many marvels they are hard to describe. Long cliffs with small birds nesting in them, incredible blue or green waters, mangrove, islands as far as you can see are just a few of them.
We get to Ko Tapu aka James Bond island. It is very touristy and there's nothing special to say about it, apart maybe that a part of the cliff broke in the middle of the island and that a lonely island peak stands in fron of it. We are well on our boat with our captain and we stop on our private beach (with a dragon!) to go for a private swim Lots of sea canoes but we decide to stay enjoying our long tail boat on our own.
We go to the Ko Panyee muslim village. There's a great atmosphere in this stilted houses village. We explore the many shops and houses and give some money for the construction of the Ko Panyee mosque. I buy pearls necklaces and earrings for nothing and we eat an absolutely delicious crab dish and a shrimp tempura, probably the best food we had along with last night's since we arrived in Thailand. I drink some ovaltine shake which is absolutely delicious (not too sweet and very malty, a must-try!). We head off back to the bay and our motorcycles but not before taking a few pictures with our pirate captain.
En route for the way back to Ao Nang. We want to take our time and stroll by the beach to avoid the 4 highway where it is not so nice with mopeds. It will prove to be difficult because the coast is very tricky to go along...
We follow our guts to check out the road and go through this cave national park (of some sorts) and end up at a view point (pier) where we can see the river and the phang nga province on the other side (we are now at the north of the krabi province). We are amazed at the type of houses we see along the way, they all seem quite rich and well maintained (grass is mown, etc.). We decide to go to Laem Sak and check out the temple.
Laem Sak has a great view but the weather is not so nice and we are a bit disappointed... We head off from the pier to the temple which we visit (big modern temple with not much spiritual energy for me). Upon the advice of a responsible we head off to see the works for a Buddha pagod. When we come back, we 'interrupt' a very nice moment when 3 monks are shaving the head of an older monk... Totally worth it. Since Laem Sak only has Home Stay and we're in want of a bit of confort we decide to head off to Ao Luek to find some.
On the road to Ao Luek, I fear some heavy rain coming and we stop alongside the road. A woman comes out and tells us we cannot stay exactly where we stopped with our mopeds which seems to be a sort of a weighing system. She does not speak a word of English so we do as she explains and wait. The rain is absolutely pouring down and we see small to large trucks (from 3 wheelers to pick-up trucks and 8 wheelers) come and go. They get weighed on the way in (full) and gt weighed again on the way out (empty).
We look at the fruits and have no idea what they are (some guy tells me they can be eaten...). We'll realize much much later that they are palm fruits meant to produce oil for food or cosmetics.
The rain gets less threatening and we leave for Ao Luek.
Once in Ao Luek, we look real hard for a potential hotel but all tries (nonexistent Mountain resort, weird TN Mansion by the 4, another mountain resort to which we cannot find the entrance, old and crappy bungalow resort) push us to take a VIP room for 700 baht at the Ao Luek resort. We get a very nice and clean bungalow by the river with a view on palm trees. We have the companionship of several geckos and a few silly birds who sing non-stop through the night (the weird firefighter alarm bird and the 5 year-old bird who found a whistle).