Days 349-350 Thursday-Friday April 3-4, 2008 – Krabi Town to Phuket, Thailand
While getting ready for the “Four Islands Tour” on Thursday, we noticed the effect that our island time had on Shawn Reece. Gone was the light skinned boy we know and in his place we saw a much darker figure. With us leaving to spend another day out in the sun, his tan was sure to get even darker!
At 8am on Thursday morning an oversized songthaew filled with about twenty tourists came to pick us up for the “Four Islands Tour”. We were the last of the group to be picked up, so immediately after we hopped on board the driver made his way towards Ao Nang Beach. Ao Nang Beach is a touristy area located around thirty minutes from Krabi Town and the scenery along the way is nothing spectacular.
Once in Ao Nang, our songthaew group was split up according to what tour they were going on. We then watched one group after another depart into the big blue sea, leaving only the people on our longtail boat tour waiting on the shore. Around twenty minutes after our tour was scheduled to depart, our guides dealt with the unknown holdups and we were loaded into a custom made oversized longtail boat for the tour.
The “Four Island Tour” gets its name because the tour visits four islands. (Now that is detailed commentary!) While island hopping can be fun, to be honest we were really looking forward to the snorkeling. To get to our first island and snorkeling spot, it took around twenty minutes. Along the way we were treated to a glimpse of what makes this area special, the many massive limestone islands that jet up from the water.
Our first stop came when the boat docked at an island with twenty or more other vessels scattered about. The first thing we noticed was the picturesque white sand, followed by the beautiful water just asking us to jump in. After sorting out Shawn Reece’s snorkel and mask situation, (they didn’t bring any child size masks) we headed out into the water. Our guides informed us when leaving the boat that we had exactly thirty minutes to snorkel in this location. The water was clear and we had a lot of fun, but after our allotted time, with a small fear of being left behind, we headed back to the boat.
The next stop on our tour was Chicken Island. This island gets its name from its unique shape and I was really curious to see if the island really looks like a chicken or if it’s description has been exaggerated. As we approached, it became clear that the island does bare an uncanny resemblance to our favorite poultry. After admiring the island for a bit, our boat dropped anchor and we were given another twenty minutes of snorkeling time just off of the coast.
After leaving Chicken Island we headed for the third stop, where we were given lunch and about an hour to explore. This spot turned out to have the best snorkeling we would see on this day. Shawn Reece also took advantage of a loaf of bread we bought before leaving the mainland to feed some of the area’s fish. He was so excited to feel them all around while in the water.
Once our lunch hour was up, we were taken to a beach resort for another thirty minutes of exploring. Unfortunately, shortly after getting on land, it started to rain. We did manage to explore through some rocks to find a small cave, but other than that we spent most of the time huddled under cover to keep dry. By this time everyone seemed to be ready for the tour to end. Before long, we were brought back to the mainland and eventually back to our hotel.
The “Four Islands Tour” turned out to be fantastic. For a reasonable price we got to snorkel in three wonderful locations amongst some of the finest scenery in the world. In addition, the tour guides were friendly and the whole day was quite enjoyable. There really isn’t much we could complain about when talking about this tour!
On Thursday night after getting some rest and taking showers, we headed to an outdoor night market where the red pork and pad thai were incredible. This turned out to be the perfect way to say goodbye to Krabi. On Friday morning we packed up our things and headed to the bus station where we immediately found ourselves on the bus towards Phuket. (It’s amazing how that happens!)
Phuket is world renowned for having some of the most aggressive touts in the world. Immediately after emerging from the bus after the two hour ride from Krabi, they started to hound us. We just ignored them and kept walking, but with the temperature well over 100 degrees, my mood started to sour. Corner after corner more taxi and tuk tuk drivers continued to call out to us with relentlessness, but finally after twenty minutes of walking with our heavy backpacks, we found a guest house for the night. Our start in Phuket really left a lot to be desired.
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The Coomer Family