Excited, we were ready to go at 8am waiting in the lobby. It wasn't a long drive at all but the wait for them to coordinate groups when we arrived was ridiculously long. Anyway our trip is guided by "Mr One, the only One" - so he says.
We head off for our longtail boat with a group that is mostly Chinese, one guy called Aaric is immediately entertaining and adopts the tour guides number two initially as he keeps repeating what he says and passing out instructions, we later realise this does not mean that Aaric knows what's going on, at all.
The views on route were stunning and we spend the day hopping from beach to beach, swimming and chilling. The first island has the most amazingly curious fish - Matt notices them when he walks into the sea, as he sits still they all start to swim to him and in symmetrical diagonal rows they face him stationary as if waiting for something - it's a bit freaky but really cool. Jacq gives it a go and the same thing happens pretty soon everyone is at it.
The sea is blue and green, sands are white powder and swimming in the sea is so peaceful it's Jacqs favourite part of the day. Every now and then the peace is disrupted by China's answer to Frank Spencer - Aaric. It's hilarious to watch though, he's just naturally funny without of course meaning to be funny at all. We have all been told to be back on the boat at the first island for 11am, Aaric knows better than anyone as he was like a parrot mimicking Mister Ones' instructions. 11.10 still no Aaric. Finally, at 11.20 he arrives running flustered along the shore like a bay watch cast off - we are late for the next island but it's worth it.
We meet Mohammed from Lille in France he's on a 4 week tour and his parents are Algerian - he's friendly enough and quite inquisitive - he also finds Aaric hilarious. We stop for lunch, home-made spicy chicken and rice followed by fruits. Tasty enough but Jacq doesn't eat much not liking the look of the rice. The day continues with a total of 4 beaches and one stop to snorkel, Matt does a great job for a non-swimmer and sees some beautiful fish, Jacq was keen until one of the b*****s nipped her elbow - that was the end of that.
Mr One is losing his voice from all the shouting trying to get people back to the boat on time, mostly at Aaric. The lateness makes us late onto 3 islands with less time to explore which does become a pain.
On the way back we are all piled into little trucks heading to our hotels, and guess who we are paired with … you guessed it - Aaric! Well he just shocks the life out of us as he explains that back home he is a bit of a tech super geek and has designed some sat nav programmes for big corporations… literally the guy is a genius and likely a millionaire. Just goes to show you…you clearly can't judge an idiot by its actions - they could be minted, hustling, playboys just like Aaric.
Anyway, it's a great day - we caught loads of sun and saw some stunning beaches and as we head back the street market opens - it's 5pm and Jacq starving! She orders her now favourite, Chicken Massaman curry and rice, Matt BBQ chicken and sticky rice - it's gorgeous, nicest curry yet and makes Jacq even more happy when she spots a potato in it - she's been craving potatoes for days ;) costing only 190 baht it's a bargain.
We head back to pile on the after sun and FaceTime Phillip and Anna. We then head out to the bar opposite our hotel for "Thaiggae" there's a mix of maybe 7 musicians all taking turns and jamming to new music, covers, traditional tunes - it's fab and Matt joins in playing the drums and then guitar - we meet Bang the barman who has worked here 7 years and is the biggest hippie stoner we've ever seen. They are all stoned though, smoking openly as they play - it fills the air and seems to be the norm here - we have a great night and feel much more enlightened to Thai music meeting some really nice guys - videos to follow. Forget Reggae … Thaiggae is the way forward…