Long Day in a Long Tail

We just got back from a fun-filled adventure in Krabi, Thailand.  We stayed at the very lovely Ban Sainai resort in Ao Nang, a peaceful place nestled in a lush green area a bit away from the town.  Unfortunately the trip didn't have the best of starts as we found out that our cat Sigmund had passed away.  But it was a good reminder to make the most of life, and so we spent the next few days truly enjoying life.
A sad evening for us in Ao Nang
This sunset dedicated to Sigmund
The next morning we set out on a four island tour, exploring the islands visible just off the coast of Ao Nang. We climbed aboard a a long boat and headed out for the day.
long boats on the shore
Most pictures you'll see of Thailand feature a green island, turquoise water, and the front bow of a long boat.  They give you the idea of a serene paradise.  They rarely show the back of the boat.  The back is where the motor (old car engine) sits, open, exposed, and noisy as hell.  If you look carefully in the picture below you'll see the shoelace used to rev the engine.  Not shown are the three ropes tied in no doubt precise precision that keep the attached rotor straight.  It was actually quite fascinating to see the shocking way these engines were held together, and once I put earplugs in the ride was quite pleasant.
long boat engine
The first stop was at Railay Beach.  On the internet Railay sounds like an amazing place, but in reality it's pretty much a dump.  It's packed with 20-something tourists who have abused and trashed the area.  The area had a foul stench and the beach was packed with people.  It got me worried about whether we'd really enjoy the rest of the day, or Thailand in general for that matter, but luckily it got better.
We had 45 minutes to explore Railay, which was plenty of time to walk down the path and check out Phra Nang Cave.  This was certainly an odd site.  If you zoom in, you'll see what this person is praying to.  Kind of odd right?
Phra Nang Cave
Fortunately we were soon back on the water again, headed for Koh Poda Island.  Once again there were way too many people (lots and lots of boat tours), but here the beach was big enough that we were able to get away from the crowds.  We enjoyed a nice view of the island referred to as James Bond Island.
James Bond Island
Then we noticed a few people around some trees, and monkeys in the trees!  This was when I was reminded how dumb humans are.  Yes human, give the monkey your iPad, see what happens.  Or hold a plastic bag of food near a monkey and see what happens.  These dudes were a bit freaky, definitely fearless, and we didn't get very close because we did not trust them.
Stupid human tricks 
Snack time - check out those teeth!
We then went for a stroll around the other side of the island.  For some reason it was empty, and we enjoyed a nice quiet walk.  In the distance we could see two more island, their sand banks slowly filling with more long tail boats.
Pretty view of Koh Tub and Koh Mor 
After a lunch of green curry chicken the boat took us snorkeling next to James Bond Island.  There were lots of little yellow fish, and one great big jellyfish, unfortunately swimming among pools of diesel fuel.  I did not snorkel here because I thought the fish swimming in the fuel was sad, but the others enjoyed it - at least until they realised they were swimming with a giant jellyfish.
lots of yellow fishies
The boat took us to another spot for snorkeling, and then past what is called Chicken Island.
Chicken Island 
We then stopped at Koh Tub Island - or it might have been Koh Mor Island, either way-   The two island sit next to each other with a large sand bank joining them.  At low tide you can walk across the sand between the islands, making it a stunning spot.
The sand bank and one of the islands
After a slow stroll between the islands and a few minutes resting in the shade on the beach, it was time to head back across the water.
Lizard on Koh Whatever Island
Exhausted but happy


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