We were supposed to get up at 4.15am but kat set her alarm for tomorrow.. Doh!! Instead we woke up at 4.50 with 10 mins to get our crap together and get down for the minibus to Koh Lipe. We were 1 min late and saw a silver bus pull off so we were crapping ourselves as we thought we had missed the bus.. Fortunately we hadn't. We piled onto the mini - minibus and sat there. After a while we pulled into a hawker type service staion which was no where near the border and the driver asked us all for our passports. We all made a fuss about this, but we followed him to a desk where they filled out the Thai entry cards... Rather rubbishly. Coop is apparantly Malaysian, so look out for a Malay looking Chris Cooper with Coops passport!
When we eventually got to the border it was relatively easy, but some people seemed to take ages. Maybe as we already had the visas due to us being geniuses!
We changed to another minibus at Hat Yai. This minibus looked like the inside of the predators spaceship, but there were loads of aircon vents and the seats were like they were from the bridge of the starship enterprise, so big, comfy and cool!! Yep, we too have noticed the little luxuries are soooo good!
From Hat Yai we went to Satun and got a speed boat from Pakbara pier to Koh Lipe, which was another 1.30 hrs itself.
On Koh Lipe we took a longboat to Pattaya beach and rocked up to the first place we came across called Monkeys. It was 300B (6 pounds) a night for a room we squeezed the 3 of us in. After a walk to the other places we are staying in well the cheapest place by far.
It's pretty touristy here with lots of French and German, and the resorts seem to be getting bigger and more luxurious. Ours seems to be the most basic, but it is cheap so we don't mind. Most of the people seem to be here for a holiday rather than traveling.
We had a wonder down the path to "sunrise beach" and got some food. The sea food is stuff that has been caught that day, and you just point to what you want and they'll cook it in the dish you want. Coop and Kat had crab. The restaurant was the first sighting of a ladyboy... Coop hopes they're all this easy to spot as this one had full on dark stubble and red lipstick! No need to look for the 12 0'clock shadow!
After dinner we had a beer on the beach. The restorts all open their bars at night on the beach and lay out matts with triangular pillows called axe pillows, which are really comfy!
A guy started to twirl a firey stick thing, but when he finished these two lads who looked about 7 started doing it. Kat took a video on her camera and they loved it. We had to keep showing it to them, they they got us to take pictues of them posing.. They were busting some proper moves. A glittering carrer in Bangkok definatley awaits this pair!
Neil turned up on the second day on Lipe, so he got the room next to us. We didn't get up to much today apart from a bit of swimming in the crystal clear water and sunbathing on the white sand... It's pretty tough, but someone has to do it!
More fresh fish, in the form of Grouper for dinner, and then a few more beers on the beach.
The third and final day on Lipe and we decided to hire a longboat for 800B (16 pounds) to take us around some of the islands. Koh Lim Ngam had some good snorkling which Kat and Coop got involved with. Claire doesn't like the water too much, so she just sunbathed on the boat. Although she was feeding the fish our tasty crisps which they clearly thought were tasty too as they all swarmed around Coop and Kat which freaked them out!! The longboat sailor took us around to the other side of the island where the beach is covered in highly polished black pebbles, with green and red sediments in them. We were going to steal some and put them into Claires bag without her noticing, but a sign quite clearly said we would be cursed, and we and our families and friends would all die. We therefore just piled them up in a tower as loads of others had done, probably trying to avoid the same fate.
Had a bimble to "Sunset beach" and just got there in tiime for the sunset. Walking through the island we came across little communities of locals and areas where there's loads of building going on. One thing we have noticed, and heard about Thailind in general is the place is developing so fast. Tourism is clearly so relied upon for money that I'm sure what were idilc islands only a few years ago, will soon be home to huge resorts.
We did find a really nice place for dinner in the middle of the island, and it was far cheaper than on the beach, so bargain all round. We did manage to get 3 dogs in tow though who all insisted on fightlng each other under our table!
Decided to go to Koh Lanta tomorrow so we've booked the tickets, so another early start. At least it's cool then!