Lorna and Kev's slightly extended holiday
The day had finally come, we were heading for Thailand! We had seen a company doing shuttles from Georgetown to Krabi which was our intended destination. After using one of these to get to Langkawi we felt this would be slightly less stressful than the public bus. After waiting nearly an hour for the shuttle to arrive we were finally on our way. Breezing through the border thanks to our advance visa's and extra couple of ringits. Slightly unexpectedly we pulled over 30 minutes later and were told to get out of our comfy minivan with an older German man. More than a little confused as we were sure we were not in Krabi, the driver now annoyed that we didn't automatically know what his pointing meant, followed the older man as he looked like he had more of a clue than we did. In the end all this boiled down to the tickets we bought for only took us up to the first Thai town where we were put on a local bus, not exactly what we had paid for. The bus quickly became more than full not a pleasant way of spending the next 5 hours. Just to add humour to the day the German man all of a sudden started shouting at the driver from up the bus, general gist was that he had missed the stop for Krabi so once again following him, it worked out last time, we pushed our way off the bus and started walking... somewhere. Turns out the German man spent 5 months of the year in Krabi, even though he doesn't like it much, not as good as it used to be apparently. To be honest i still have no idea where we ended up, i just know that this man in a very nice hawaiian shirt and sandal/socks combo lead us to a tout office, ending up paying 200baht (far to much) to get to our guesthouse. Thankfully our room for the night was lovely. The lady owner who's English was not the best but was a lot better than my Thai had given us a much better room than i had paid for, our own bathroom, fridge, TV, A/C heaven! It had been a very long day and Kev was still in a mood from Penang so instead of going to find the food market we raided the 7/11 for pork buns, Chang and noodles and settled down watching the Syfy channel. After many hours of research i had decided on Koh Jum for our well needed island retreat. So first thing we hot footed to the little ferry port buying our ticket from the guide book recommended agent (just incase). Being our first proper day in Thailand I couldn't help notice comparisons with Malaysia. Thankfully no smell of rotten sewage, the streets are cleaner and pavements are on most of the roads, i like it already. The transport is much more fun here too, they have an inventive use of motorbike sidecars anything from icecream boxes, kitchens or just square platforms for an alarming amount of people. However so far my favourite way to get around is in the back of a pick up truck, just don't try and sit on the edge without a bit of practice or very good balance, i'm sure they take those corners extra fast on purpose. Anyway, after our entertaining 5 km ride to the larger ferry port we eventually set got comfy on deck. As there isn't an actual ferry that goes to Koh Jum you have to catch the ferry bound for Koh Lanta and hop off about an hour in. I really do mean hop off, 3 small wooden long boats pull up along side and you just have to climb across to your accommodations boat coming to collect you. Its an interesting experience that i really didn't enjoy, kev thought it was hilarious, git. However within minutes all was forgotten, motoring through the water along Koh Jums coastline nothing else mattered. It was amazing the island paradise i have always dreamed of. No huge hotel highrises, no cheesy shops not even a cash machine. Along the west coast where we were spending the next 3 nights there are a handful of bungalow resorts we opted for Seasons. A low key very pretty set of wood and concrete bungalows most with sea views. We booked into one of the smaller bungalows at the back for 500baht a night and spent the next 3 days lounging on the beach and swimming in the perfectly clear water, occasionally stopping to eat the gorgeous food from the restaurant. We had every intention of exploring the island before we left, according to the map there was 2 bars at the end of the beach and the local Muslim village with a seafood restaurant that got rave reviews, however we couldn't bring ourselves to leave our little corner of paradise the farthest we managed was the next bungalow resort down called woodlands about 1km down the beach we didn't eat there but it looked very nice. We spent our last morning on Koh Jum watching the staff play volleyball, i couldn't help envying them living here and enjoying there work so much. Our little long boat arrived and we set off the meet the ferry returning from Koh Lanta, this time no squeaks of fear but i did manage to stand paralysed not able to move on my own accord, thankfully i had kev and the boat staff there to shove me across. Graceful as ever!