Chris n' Mel in Thailand
Got ourselves out of bed pretty early for us - 8am! and were picked up at our hostel and taken to the pier for our island hopping tour. After the masses were seperated onto different boats, most of which were surprisingly Thai tourists, we got on the last one. During the chaos we were plotting our strategy to get the bet possible seats for maximum tanning and ocean spray, but all proved unnecessary when our guide sent me and chris directly to the front of the boat and to prime seats - she knew. Its been a while since ive been on a speedboat and id onbviously forgotten the experience cos i was a bit gutted we didnt have anywhere to lie across the deck and sunbathe, ahh, i was of course thinking of a sailboat. As soon as we set off i realised why theres no lying space - you'd be bounced all over the place and flipped into the sea. It was pretty hard to stay sat in our seats as we crashed through a pretty rough sea, cool though and luckily id learnt my lesson about not drinking from glass bottles whilst on a boat before any real damage could be done. First island we stopped at was Koh Tub and Koh Kai which are joined by a sandbank you can wander between. While approaching me n chris were quick to spot a deserted part of the islands hidden past some rocks that the hoards hadn't spotted so we headed straight for it. A brave young couple wandered into our private patch but we stood our ground and they soon made a sharp exit (see pics). Just a little stop here so we climbed back aboard and headed off, stopping alongside Chicken Island for the all important photo opps (obviously named when you see the pics), to an outcrop of 4 islands, with no beaches but a great spot for snorkelling off the boat. There were loads of colourful fish here and i really got the urge to go further afield and deeper, cant wait for diving in a few weeks! We climbed back on board and headed for Poda island for a bit of a longer stop and lunch. This was a much bigger island and we found a spot for sunbathing as the sun was out in force and it was a gorgeous day. After lying in the sun for about 5 mins, having lunch and doodling in the sand Chris was up and in the sea which was a beautiful turquoise colour, so i ran in to join him and throw each other around like kids. We were just getting good at him launching me into the air from under the water when a few specks of rain fell into the sea...then the skies opened. Within seconds complete panic spread across the beach as our fellow daytrippers grabbed their towels, bags and children and legged it towards shelter. We were quite happy staying in the rain till we remembered our precious camera was in our bag so we followed suit. After 10 minutes or so drying off the sun was out again, the skies blue and it was lovely and hot - if this is the rainy season i think we can handle it, especially with the comedy chaos it brings. Back on board we headed for the last stop, Phranang Cave, where apparently the spirit of an Indian Princess Goddess lives. Theres a big shrine and a strange pile of giant wooden falices as locals believe worshipping her here will bring them increased fertility. We got out of that cave sharpish and headed for the beach which was quickly being swallowed by the sea which seems to have a mind of its own out here, not much pattern with tides etc. Heading back to land on our bumpy ride we decided we were ready for a beer so we headed to one of the few bars open, O'malleys' balcony sun trap and polished off many more Singhas while it went dark. We've had a good time here but we're ready to move on from Ao Nang, so tomorrow we head off for Koh Phi Phi, which sounds right up our street...