So I last left you with Chris and me in a small boat on our way to a big boat for 6 days of sailing. Well, here we go:
Day 1 of sailing introduced us to our boat mates, 2 couples from Germany. The German Skipper and Lek, his Thai Crew, rounded out the group. Luckily for Chris and me, the Germans spoke English pretty well and were kind enough to let us in on most of the conversations, so we were able to enjoy some interesting chats throughout the voyage. For your viewing pleasure, here’s a glimpse at both couples:
First things first, we made our way out of Bang Bao harbor in search of wind, relaxation and snorkeling. It quickly became apparent that we had made a good decision to hop on the boat, as the day played out in perfect paradise form. We relaxed, read, ate delicious thai food, snorkeled, and finally tucked ourselves into a tiny little bay for a beautiful sunset and some German Folk Songs.
Day 2 things turned a little…different. The day started much the same with a morning swim, peaceful breakfast and off we went. An hour or so into our morning sail, the skipper appeared on the bow of the boat with, as he said, a story for us. Well the story turned into a true tale about his dear friend, 92 year old Heinrich, who had passed away recently. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Heinrich’s family could not come to Thailand to attend the funeral or collect his remains, so our German Skipper had taken it upon himself to fulfill Heinrich’s final request: to be buried in the Bay of Thailand. So yeah, it turns out that we had just become attendees at a burial at sea. Even better, the burial at sea was for a man who, during WWII, was a Prisoner of War taken to Siberia by the Russians. We were at a Nazi Funeral at Sea! Really.
Following some somber German music, kind words and Heinrich’s final trip to the sea, we toasted him with some kind of German apple flavored alcohol that, according to one of our German boat mates, tasted “like high school.”
Then it was back to the bow for a relaxing afternoon at sea, followed by another wonderful sunset and a Chang. Sunsets and Changs go very well together. That evening we took the wee little boat into shore on the island of Koh Kood for a fire show and some drinks.
The following morning Chris and I swam to shore for a leisurely morning walk on the beach, then waited for the little boat to pick us up again for a hike to a waterfall. We wound our way through a brackish little lagoon and finally docked for our walk through the jungle.
The walk through the jungle brought us here:
Chris went swimming and looking for fish…
While I made use of the rope swing…
Which made Chris want to have a go too:
At long last, it was back to the boat for another leisurely afternoon jaunt to Koh Mak, another little island in the Bay of Thailand.
After dinner on the boat, Chris decided to go for an evening swim at about the time the German folk songs began again. To our delight he discovered that there was a huge amount of phosphorescence in the water, which of course resulted in me jumping in the water too, and the two of us floated around with snorkeling masks on, waving our arms and legs wildly. What could we see? It was like being in a real life snow globe full of glitter. Or maybe like swimming with a massive swarm of fireflies? Whatever it was, it was AWESOME.
The following morning was another swim to shore, another walk on the beach, a delicious coconut fruit shake, some mango sticky rice, and a walk through the little village of Koh Mak. The others then joined us for a walk to another beautiful beach on the other side of the island, and it was at about this point in time where I simply could not believe I could be so fortunate as to find myself in such a beautiful world.
After making our way back to the boat, we settled in for a lovely lunch on the bow, followed (30 minutes later of course) by some fun jumping and diving off of the top deck of the sailboat. It was high!
That evening was spent in a harbor of the island of Koh Wai. There was a neat little jungle walk that brought us (and our cooler of Changs) to a sunset lookout. The sunset was not one of our best, but the hike and the view were spectacular.
(If you look closely at that last one, I’m peeking into the frame in the right corner. It’s kind of a silly photo, but for some reason I like it.)
Anyways, then it was back to the boat for bed, followed by our final full day at sea and the captain’s dinner.
Then it was back to our favorite little village of Bang Bao, where we said goodbye to our new friends and settled into a night of air conditioning and a good shower (our first actual shower in 6 days).
The following morning, satiated by a night in air-co, we headed back to the little bungalows we had stayed at our first few nights in Bang Bao. It was time to get adventurous and explore the island, so the first order of business was to rent a scooter. For about 5 bucks a day, the island was ours to explore. If these faces do not scream freedom, I’m not sure what does:
Now, some quick background: Chris grew up riding dirt bikes all over Parker. I grew up riding a bicycle around Manchester by the Sea. This motorized bike business was new to me, especially when it came to dirt roads, steep hills, and monkeys – literal monkeys – crossing the road. For the first hour or so I am fairly certain that Chris was convinced that renting a scooter was the worst idea we had ever made, and I was convinced that – despite the helmet – I was a goner. Things improved quickly though as I discovered the thrill of the wind in my ratty island hair, and Chris proved that his years of dirt bike riding had been excellent training for a day on a scooter. Once those two things happened, we settled in for an absolutely beautiful day of beaches, curry, a waterfall, elephants, some padthai, and an afternoon Chang. This was a day in which I, again, fell very quickly in love with world.
The following morning we still had the scooter (they really mean it when they say it’s a 24 hour rental), so we woke up early, rode into town to pick up some mini coconut cakes (the world’s most delicious breakfast) and then made our way to the beach for one final restful morning in paradise.
When we returned to our scooter, we found these mysterious footprints:
While we were at the beach, monkeys had been hopping up and down on our scooter! The nerve.
Anyways, our final restful morning in paradise was followed by our final restful afternoon in paradise in which we chose to consume our weight in seafood. Oh the glory (and the carnage).
Then it was back to Bangkok for a day where we proceeded to see just how much food two people could consume in a 24 hour period. The answer to that question was A LOT. One curry after another, multiple padthais, two coconut shakes, a mango shake, mango sticky rice, green mango with chili, pineapple, pretty much everything that wasn’t tied down. It was gluttony at its best, and we loved every second. Oh, and we rounded out the stay with a thai massage…slightly painful, mostly delightful. So long Mongolian tension…see you tomorrow.