Sat 31.01 we ate a late breakfast in a now-deserted dining room, all the sports teams having left during the night/earlier in the morning. We had intended to try to visit 2 temples before leaving Kanchanaburi but we were unable to find directions to them so decided to keep going. Driving through the Petchaburi area we saw lots of the beautiful old wooden houses. It was a long boring drive down the peninsula as far as Chumphon where we crossed the neck of the peninsula to travel down the west coast through markedly different countryside consisting of fruit orchards and very lush vegetation and very tall trees. We eventually arrived in Ranong and found the Asia hotel, more by luck than my navigational skills.
Sun 01.02 With nothing to detain us in Ranong, we had breakfast in the DD coffee place where an American woman asked us if we knew where the bus station was because she wanted to go south to the national park of Khao Sok. When we had finished breakfast we saw her and her husband at the bus stop and offered them a lift. We dropped them at Takua Pa where they straightaway got a bus to the park. (It’s all about being in the right place at the right time for someone else). We drove on to Koh Lak where I’d thought of stopping but the area looked like modern America. After some arguing we decided to go as far as Krabi. This was a very confusing place as there are very few signs to the beaches/you have to know where you are going. We finally found the Laughing Gecko where we were hoping to stay, in one of the bamboo and rush leaf huts. The Laughing Gecko is a very laid-back place, set in a garden of cashew nut trees and within 5 minutes walk of the beach.
the morning sun filtered through the gaps in the walls
We had dinner with the hosts Patricia and Nui, who provide a buffet each evening, as well as with the other guests. DH wasn’t feeling well so went to bed early but the music from a nearby bar kept us awake until 2am.
Mon 02.02 at 5.30am it sounded as if 2 local mosques were in competition with each other to summon the faithful. (We subsequently only saw one mosque). DH stayed in bed all morning. In the afternoon we went for lunch at a local cafe with Fernando, a Spaniard staying at the Laughing Gecko. We returned there and later went for a walk along the beach (Ao Nang). There were lots of jelly fish washed up on the beach looking like so many blue silicon breast implants. We ate dinner at the laughing gecko again.
The Krabi area is known for its limestone outcrops, made famous as Scarramonga’s hideout in the James Bond film Dr No, although you would need to take a boat trip to see the most spectacular examples.
Tues 03.02 We left at 10.15 bringing with us 2 of the girls we’d met in the gecko. We found our way out of the area much more easily than we had found our way in, passing one of the national park entrances. The highest trees I have ever seen towered above us.
It took 3 hours to drive from Krabi to the Donsak ferry along a really straight and boring road. We arrived at Donsak at 13.20 hoping to be able to cross at 14.00 but were told there was no room until the 17.00 ferry. We suggested that the girls take the 14.00 so that they could have a look round Nathon rather than sit around doing nothing and we waited with the car. We were lucky enough to go on the 16.00 ferry. And so we returned to the island of Koh Samui.