23.10.2012 - 25.10.2012
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 was our Four Islands trip. This consisted of; Pick up from our hotel, then a speedboat to Phranang beach, Tub Island, Chicken Island, Yawasam Island, Poda Island and Koh See Island. I know that is more than four islands, but for some we just stopped nearby to take photos or snorkel. The others we actually got off the boat and had time there.
Once aboard the speedboat, I thought I would give my waterproof camera a try. As I pulled it out of the case I realised it was already on. I tried to turn it off, but it just was not happening. The only way I could get it to turn off was by taking the battery out. Thinking that I would just leave it on and use it till the battery run out, I tried to press the shutter release to take a shot. Again it was just focussing. So I tried the on/off button to see if that would take a photo, nope! Now that wasn’t doing anything either! The only thing I could do was take videos. My camera was officially KAPUTT!
I sulked for a couple of minutes, annoyed at myself for not being more careful with it in the first place. But decided that maybe we could try get it looked at somewhere, get a new one or if they were too expensive we would just have to stick with Marks alone. Shame really, as I had wanted us both to have our own so we could get pics of each other as well as capturing our journey from our different perspectives Hey Ho!
On our trip Mark and I were the only English people. There were mainly Chinese tourists and a Thai family with a very cute little boy. As you’d expect the speedboat was great fun and extremely fast. We were soon at our first destination. We all clambered off the boat one by one and made our way on the beach. There were some caves to one side so Mark and I decided to head in that direction.
When we got to the edge of the beach I could see a cave full of penis statues?? My first thoughts were that it must be something to do with fertility and we moved closer to see if there was any information regarding the cave. Thankfully there was, and I had been right. People were praying and lighting incense sticks (I could only see women doing this), obviously in the hope that they would then be blessed with a child. We took in the scene for a moment or two then headed round towards the rest of the rocks.
I started to snap away, enjoying the scenery when I was interrupted by something I really did not want to see…
…Memory Card Full!
Usually this would not have been an issue. I would change the card for a new one and continue without a blink of an eye, but not today. I had stupidly forgotten my spare cards. I could see in my mind where I had left them. FAIL!
Had it have been the end of the day I would have just accepted my silly mistake but this was our first stop! I found some shade and quickly started looking through the photos I had stored on the card. I needed to delete the ones I thought were not likely to be of any use to make space for the day. I hate deleting on camera. The screen is too small to really see the image. I much prefer to look at them on the screen before making any decisions but I didn’t really have much choice due to my rookie error.
Please let this be the last camera related incident of the day! I couldn’t take anymore! Ha ha!
Before we had to leave Mark suggested we get some snaps of us there on his camera. So we started trying to get a half decent photo of us both with his arm holding the camera out. Luckily our guide from the boat appeared (a very smiley, friendly Thai man) offering to take the photo for us, then it was time to head back to the boat.
The next stop was snorkelling, just off the rocks of one of the islands. Mark and I don’t like to wear the life jackets, we can both swim and I personally find that they just make it more difficult. Everyone else on the boat obviously did not feel the same and were faffing about trying to get them on and sort out their snorkelling gear. We were stuck towards the front of the boat unable to move. The guide obviously noticed this and made his way over asking my name. Once informed he proceeded to shout at the top of his voice ‘Everybody move, Jenni is ready! Jenni coming through! Jenni will go first!’ before quickly glancing back to look at Mark before continuing ‘Jenni’s friend will go second!’ It was highly embarrassing as everyone looked at me, probably very confused as to why I was getting special treatment and being pushed ahead of them.
Once I was in the water he kept calling my name and throwing bread and biscuits into the water where I was swimming so the fish would surround me ha ha! It was very nice of him as I got some great photos!
For most of the time in the water Mark and I just paddled around slowly exploring the rocks and coral without any problems but at one point a fish went under me and I continued to look at it a little too long. My snorkel went under and I got a mouthful of water. Choking and trying to sort myself out I went upright for a couple of minutes treading water. I must have been moving with the current because I ended up being over some rocks without realising and hit my foot on them.
It was stinging a lot so I knew I must have cut it but didn’t want to lose any time in the water so ignored it and carried on.
Once back on the boat my new friend spotted my cut straight away saying ‘Oh No! Jenni! What happened?’. He ushered me to the front of the boat and went to fetch the first aid kit. On his return he started to clean the cut putting various liquids on to it. One of them was 100% alcohol and I nearly flew of the seat! Wow it stung!
Whilst he was busy tending to my toe the others had come back on board. The little Thai boy was watching him intently and the guide began to tease him, telling him I had been bitten by a shark! Ha ha! The boy’s face was a picture! He then covered it with a bandage and secured it with waterproof plasters.
The next island consisted of two sections joined by a sand pathway under only a couple of inches of sea water. Mark and I explored one part before making our way over to the other for our lunch. Lunch was a Thai curry and rice, yummy! After we decided to chill out on the beach for a while, so I put my sarong down (best purchase ever by the way, so many uses!) and laid back, closed my eyes and enjoyed the sunshine beating down on us.
Next thing I could hear our guide shouting from across the beach ‘Stop sleeping Jenni! Time to go, c’mon c’mon’ ha ha. So we grabbed our bits and headed for the boat.
When we were all on board my new friend came to sit with us. He asked where we were from and how long we had been in Thailand. We told him all about our travelling trip and he proceeded to ask if it was our honeymoon. Mark laughed and I said ‘no not yet ;p’ whilst winking at him haha! This was followed by my new friend telling Mark ‘Marry her! Ask her! Ha ha! Will. You. Marry. Me! Ha ha! He found it very amusing that Mark was laughing and replying ‘Ssshh’.
Shortly after we pulled up near Chicken Island. It was a very brief stop, so everyone could get photos of the rocks that looked like a chickens head. My friend offered to get a photo of Mark & me with the rock in the background, so we jumped up onto the front of the boat. He took one shot and then shouted ‘One more! Kiss! Pre-Honeymoon kiss! Ha ha!’ I think he was really enjoying winding Mark up and I can’t lie, I was finding it highly entertaining also!
Our final stop was another island where we got off the boat and spent time exploring the area. Unfortunately as we were climbing down from the boat, Mark stubbed his toe on one the metal bits, nearly ripping the nail off. It was bleeding and instantly went a lovely purple colour. We sat down in the shade for a couple of minutes until the throbbing subsided a little. What a pair! Both now with injured toes!
We didn’t want to waste our time so decided to get on and have a look around. Escaping the crowds, we headed in the opposite direction to where they all seemed to be going and found ourselves walking up a stretch of beach that we had all to ourselves. That was until we came across a massive puffer fish on the beach. Of course it was dead, and wow did it stink! I had to hold my breath to get close enough to quickly snap a photo.
It was so peaceful, no sounds other than the waves gently hitting the sand. We walked quite far up towards a point where we could see a nearby island. I decided this was a photo moment and reached for my camera. It was so beautiful.
The sun was extremely hot so we nipped in the water to cool down. Then we messed around taking photos of me doing my fave move, the star jump!, with the view of the island in the background.
Time flew by and it was soon time to get back to the boat, ready to head back to Ao nang.
Once back on land we got a transfer back to our accommodation. When we hopped out of the van my new friend couldn’t resist one last laugh. He wound down his window and shouted across the street ‘Bye bye Jenni! Bye bye Mark! Remember, ask her! Will. You. Marry. Me!!’ ha ha! Such a funny and nice man. It had been a great day and was a lovely way to end our time in Ao nang. It was off to Koh Lanta the next morning.
Wednesday 24th October, we were picked up early in the morning. Late as per usual, but we had got used to ‘Thai time’ ha ha. If they told you a pick up time was at 8am, they could arrive anytime between 7.45-8.45am and it was almost always late. We always got to the meeting point early just to be on the safe side .
We were in one van for quite a while until we reach what we all thought must be the pier we would be boarding our ferry to Koh Lanta. The driver emptied everyone’s bags onto the pavement and walked into a shop. We noticed it had a ferry timetable so went in to check it out.
No one was communicating with us about what was going on, so Mark decided he would ask the lady at the desk. She slapped a sticker on him and said to take a seat and wait as we would be going back in the van we had just got out of.
We sat for quite a while and nothing seemed to be happening, so Mark approached a man at a different desk to enquire further. He then slapped another sticker on to Marks stop stating ‘Lanta House’ our next accommodation and shouted over to the driver. He told Mark to take our bags to the van.
Once Mark and I started putting our bags on the van, everyone started to try and squeeze in even though they had not yet been told if they were getting back in. The driver was getting quite huffy but still did not speak to anyone.
It turned out that everyone was getting back on the bus so why the driver had taken all our bags off I am not sure. I still question whether he actually knew what was going on himself. It all seemed to be very unorganised with very little communication. All bums were on seats and the van was full and ready to go when the door slid open once more. An eastern European girl was told to get on and sit on the floor as there were no seats left.
At first she did as she was told, then after a couple of minutes while we were waiting to leave she rightfully started to question why she had been placed on the floor of a full up van when she had paid the same amount for her ticket as everyone else. The response she was greeted with was less than friendly and I think unacceptable; aggressively the man told her ‘if you do not want to sit then you can wait here for next bus’. He had completely ignored her question. She asked how long that would be, but he shrugged and huffed and said he didn’t know and it was her choice. He was completely uninterested and obviously knew there had been a mistaken overbooking but he was not going to acknowledge the fact and just wanted rid of us.
She didn’t really have much of a choice. Who in their right mind would want to wait on their own with him? Not knowing whether the next van would be a couple of hours or even the next day! She climbed back onto the floor shrugged her shoulders at everyone and simply stated ‘oh well, I just had to say something’. I did feel sorry for her, but I was secretly glad that it wasn’t me down there.
The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful. Slightly different to what we had come to expect; getting dropped at a pier, boarding a ferry and then picked up at the other end. This time we stayed on the same van the whole way and went on two short Car ferries instead.
We arrived safely at our new accommodation and got checked in without any problems. It was a very basic hostel at only £2.54 each a night! Bargain! We had a private room with fan and shared the bathroom. I was very impressed that included also was; free shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste and tea and coffee!
We chucked our bags in and headed out for a walk to check out the area and get some food before relaxing after our long day. The next day, Thursday 25th October, we didn’t really do much. We were in need of a lazy day as we were both pretty tired.