Our second day in Krabi started off as a mad rush, we were going on a tour with Andaman Tours booked through Buri Tara Resort where we stayed. The itinerary was to visit a few smaller islands, Hong Island and kayak. They were scheduled to pick us up at 8am yet we woke up at 7am, got ready and realised that we only had 10 minutes to scoff down our breakfast which consisted of fruits (watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe) and a slice of sourdough (which was all we could managed) before heading to the hotel lobby to wait for the tour bus. Within 15 minutes of cramming in the back seat of the pick-up, we arrived at the pier. The pier was crowded with diverse groups of people that were all eagerly waiting for their guides for further instructions. Thankfully for us, we were quickly lead to board a yellow speed boat bobbing close to shore amongst many other docked long-tail boats and speed boats swaying in the waters similarly.
Our first stop was Lading Island. We were allowed about an hour of free time to snorkel, relax on the beach or explore the island. It was my first time ever trying out snorkelling! 😄 even though it was by the shore, I was pretty nervous but I would say it was a good warm up to the up-coming snorkels in the next few days. My excitement to get into the water however did not end up well. I absentmindedly waddled into the sea, hurriedly snap on the snorkel mask and plunged myself into the waters. I had entirely forgotten about the FitBit tracker on my wrist. I whipped it out of the water the moment I realised, but it was too late. My FitBit tracker met its fate on that very morning. I was devastated. (The FitBit team is amazing though, they have agreed to send me a new tracker because the tracker is supposed to withstand a certain amount of water and mine obviously did not..) An hour passed quickly, we were shepherded back to the boat. It then sped off into the open waters on to our next island!
Our second stop was Pak Bia Island. We were again free time to do whatever we want on the island but this stop also included our lunch. (yay, food!!) This time I decided to attempt getting a tan (my fair skin refuses to get tanned) while Sheryel went back to the waters. We were starving by the time lunch was served. They had containers of rice, curry and vegetables lined up on the window sill of a hut. However, the curry both had chicken in it so Sheryel and I settled for rice and vegetables. Soon after, we were asked to get on board the boat and we were off to our next destination.
Third on the list was Hong Lagoon, we did not get off the boat here but the guides offered to snap pictures of us at the lagoon. When it was our turn, we scrambled to the head of the boat, smiled and made way for the next couple to get their turn.
I must say, the guides are professionals at taking pictures too (haha). When everyone on board was satisfied with their pictures, the boat sped off to Hong Island. It was time for kayaking!!! In secondary school, I was not given the opportunity to attend Outward Bound that many of my peers participated in and as such, I had never been on a kayak before, what more kayak myself in open waters. 😱
Our guides prepared our kayak as we re-organised our belongings into the waterproof bag I bought the night before (YAS! to practical buys, whoo). They made sure we had our lifejackets on, sat us in the kayak and pushed us off into the waters. HERE WE GO!! Well, needless to say, Sheryel was a pro at it. She made it seem so easy. “Just do this!”, she said. It is safe to say that after the first three rows I made, my arms gave up on me. But we had to go on, the lagoon awaits us.
Don’t worry, friends. We survived. The lagoon was even more amazing when we were on our kayak, maybe it was the fact that we brought ourselves there (after much perspiration and effort) rather than the speed boat that made the view much more breathtaking (literally? 😏 ) Sheryel had a brilliant idea to dock our kayak near the mangroves so that it would stop floating away and we could snap pictures (and of course, for me.. REST)
A friendly guide from a nearby long-tail boat was in the mangroves pointing at something, beckoning us to get closer. “It’s a bat!”. Sometimes I wonder if my poor soul belongs to my huge physical body, I was scared but Sheryel was fearless. “Let’s get closer!!!”, she said as she got her camera ready. I saw the bat, it was ugly… pretty cool but still a scary bat.
The arduous task of kayaking back was motivated by a brown jelly blob that we found in the water by the mangroves. It looked like a mushroom, yet bigger and slightly translucent. I was certain it was a jellyfish but had not seen one liken it, so we kayaked back to shore to ask the guides. The journey back seemed so much longer, the water was choppier as well. I saw a huge pink jellyfish in the water next to our kayak but did not dare to whip our my camera, just in case.
Hong literally translate to Room in Thai, this is because the beach is protected on three sides by rock cliffs with a narrow entrance to the sea. This makes Hong Island the perfect place to snorkel for non-swimmers and beginners (like me!) where the water is shallower yet you can still admire the fishes. I was afraid to snorkel, I only could stand in the sand and put my head in the water. My feet had to touch the ground. I saw nothing except murky water because there was so much movement (children swimming, couples snapping pictures, people walking out onto the beach) on the shallow end. Thank Goodness for Sheryel, she encouraged me and offered to hold my hand as we swam further out. I finally saw fishes! We were both however slightly afraid of the fishes, we enjoyed admiring them from afar but at that moment, a school of fishes swam right towards our faces. We screamed. I panicked and kicked a coral that was underwater (sorry coral 😞 ), my foot bled and the alcohol swab stung. Meh. I learnt my lesson and I am certain that nature is beautiful yet so powerful in its own way.
Our tour guides then sent us back to the pier where they got us onto different taxis that drove us back to Buri Tara Resort. Apologies to the resort, over the 5 days, we definitely brought in a mini beach into the room. We washed up and rested for awhile before heading out again.
We found the Kon Tiki store to confirm our tour on the fifth day. We were met with the dilemma to decide between snorkelling or diving but we decided that diving costs way to much to not be certified after, so snorkelling it is!
Meal times are always so interesting. We will walk around aimlessly in search for stores that provide Vegeterian options and store owners by the streets would beckon us in by means that we would least expect. “你很漂亮”, which means “you’re very pretty” in Mandarin or “你好!” (Hello) were often the lines that were directed at drawing us in. We finally found a restaurant that we agreed on and shared a Tom Yum soup and mixed vegetables while I had a plate of stir fried beansprouts and tofu and Sheryel had Pad Thai.
After dinner, we walked around and explored the shops along the streets. We realised that things were not exactly the cheapest there. We retreated to another restaurant for a plate of mango sticky rice which was rather disappointing because the rice was not the least bit sticky but instead swimming in sweetened coconut milk.
More walking was needed to digest our dessert and we came across a stall selling coconut ice cream! It was Sheryel’s first time ever trying a coconut ice cream.
We also fell in love with tie dye dresses that we eventually caved and bought even though they cost us $14 sgd. I bought a fresh coconut on the way back to the resort and we retired for the night. It was an eventful day of firsts and a great night of exploration.
Here are more pictures from the day: