As soon as we got into the island with its crystal clear waters and empty beaches we felt we had made the right choice. We had called ahead and booked a hut in the popular island hut resort, who's taxi was there to pick us up. Getting there we explained who we were and got taken to a 300 baht 'hut', mattress on the floor, massive gap between wall and roof and a toilet without a seat. Let's say we weren't enthralled. Then we were shown to a 500 baht beach front option, baring in mind we had booked a 350 wooden hut, we were unsure of paying the extra, wondering where the hell our booking had gone. As we walked back to the desk the 500 became 700. Interesting as the guys who arrived with us, without a booking, were offered the first room for 200 and then the second for 500 for 3 nights. We asked for the same, Nope, for us 700, ignoring the fact there was a pricing sheet above his head where it said 500..... We asked about our booking, he said none left but we could go to a different resort for 350 a night. By this point we were getting thoroughly pissed off by his rude, money grabbing attitude, nothing is more annoying than being blatantly ripped off. We asked to go the the other huts, he called the guy, unsurprisingly the price went to 450. We agreed to go look, anything to get away from him!
We were picked up by a lovely guy, instantly feeling better leaving the resort we went to the other side of town, a little quiet bay. We were shown a big hut on the front with a hammock and 'interesting' alfresco bathroom. Asking to see cheaper we were shown a 350 hut, the one apparently unavailable according to the last guy... And told we could have it a night as they honoured bookings they had for the next day. We took the bigger hut.
In the end we had a lovely spot, overlooking what we realised to be Koh Nai! The family were kind and funny and the bay had a few fish we could snorkel around. Only 20 mins walk from town we were glad we moved, although it turned out we were the only ones showering alfresco!
The island was a lot quieter with mud tracks running between rubber tree plantations. We spent 3 days lazing around, exploring the island, lots of reading and a spot of kayaking.
It's a shame we had such trouble on the first day, and still ended up with a dodgy room. It spoilt the vibe a little for me, over the last week we've had a few frustrations caused by being white female travellers, where people often try and scam a couple extra quid. Like I said it's not big money, but it gets tiring and seems worse in touristy spots like Thailand, almost makes you crave the simplicity of Cambodia where everyone was just damn friendly even though they had a lot less. With that attitude you were happy to spend a few extra quid with them.
Today we got the speedboat back to the mainland (it's amazing how many you can squeeze in that space!), taxi to Trat and currently in a minibus to Bangkok. With any luck there'll be some space to get on the night train to Krabi tonight, time for some southern exploring!