7th of March and today we rented a scooter to explore the island. It was incredibly hot and we were glad to enjoy the Fahrtwind. Kjell was sitting in the front row and felt like a scooter driver himself. We took a great ride along the Island of Koh Lanta, drove to Old Lanta and afterwards did some shopping in Baan Sala Deng the main town on Koh Lanta. We just made it in time to get back to our place before a major rainstorm broke down. Swimming in the pool while the rain was pouring down was just awesome...
8th of March and we took our scooter for final shopping activities buying a chinese lantern to light upmat night on the beach. We spent the rest of the day beaching and Jens had his first Thai Massage directly on the beach... I followed him and was enjoying myself so much with the wind in my hair and the waves splashing on the shore. Life can be so wonderful. At night it started pouring again and we left the beach restaurant in the middle of two major showers.... we took Kjell to bed and packed our bags for the next morning... For a couple of hours we did not have any electricity and around Midnight the rain was gone for a couple of minutes and Jens and I rushed to the beach to light up our Chinese lantern.... The start was really easy unlike the lanterns that we lid at a Wedding of our friends ;-) but when the lantern rose up to the sky during this very romantic moment it started raining again and the lantern's situation got really bad... we saw it rising and slowly going up into flames.. really dramatic and somehow beautiful. We decided that this was even more good luck to our family than anything else...;-)))))
9th of March and we had to say GoodBye to this wonderful spot... I wonder if Koh Yao Noi can put up with this place! We were picked up in the morning to drive by Minibus and Ferry to Krabi where we switched into a taxi to be driven out to Thalen Pier. I thought it was just a few minutes ride but it turned out to be almost an hour to get to the pier. The driver, an old man, was very careful with his pick-up, driving with maximum 40 km/h. It was a kind of de-accelleration - a first taste of Koh Yao Noi. We hopped onto a speed boat and after a half an hour drive got to Koh Yao Noi! Thanks to the fabulous advise of an old colleague (thanks Gesine! ;-)) we checked into Lom'Lae Resort and were not disappointed at all. Currently I am sitting under a huge tree in a hammock directly on the beach while Jens and Kjell check out the sandbanks during low tide for crabs and other fishy creatures. This place is completely different to the luxury at the Long Beach but not an inch less beautiful and relaxing. I feel like Birgitson Crusoe... ;-))) Our bungalow is with view to the Rice field and 2 minutes from the beach. The food is very tasty so far although the prices for almost everything really are much higher than at other places. (i.e. Thai Oil massage in BKK 250 b, Koh Lanta 350 b and Koh Yao Noi 650 b). We have asked to change to one of the bungalows with sea view as there seem to be a little more air from the sea breezing into the appartment. I already love this spot and our kid is perfectly happy again. Looking forward to a good swim tomorrow in the morning time when tide is high!
10th of Feb and after a chocolate pancake breakfast we went to our perfect private beach for a swim. The tide was high and the water warm and blue! We sat in the hammocks with our butts in the water... Kjell spent the day in the water, so did we. Again towards the evening we had some warm showers that did not really bother us. Although our rice field bungalow with our personal water buffalo (we named him KlongKlong due to the wodden bell that was hanging around his neck) was really nice we decided to move into the family bungalow a few metres from the beach and with way more space the next morning.
11th of Feb, we moved, felt great on the huge porch with hammock and sea view as well... we rented a scooter and went to discover the small Island. Within a rough 45 minutes you could have actually surrounded this Island that we really fell in love with. Some few travellers but mostly friendly and mainly muslim influenced locals. We went to this recommended spot 'Sunset restaurant' for some rice and chicken and I tried there infamous 'Fried green papaya salad' - yummmmmieee! This place, located directly on the shore of the sea, was run by a friendly Thai family and while we were enjoying our meals, their kids and friends where taking a swim right beside us. We really enjoyed... This place was good for another sad reason as well. Due to the tides all the ugly dirt from the sea was swept on the shore and directly at the entrance of the restaurant and due to the incoming tide you could see the incredible amount of waste swimming in the sea. Plastic bottles, bags, .... in a countless number and I felt that this visual environmental pollution really had an impact on Kjell as he kept on staring at it for quite a while. At night it was raining again but nevertheless the heat did not go down... we had a goodnight's sleep until I awoke due to some 'mousy' noises.... Jens did not bother and I would not have either as the bungalows are in plain nature with open bathrooms but they kept on making these nagging noises and somehow I just thought they might fall over me or eat up all of my clothes like one of my bathing suits was badly damaged in KhaoSok. I survived... ;-)
12th of Feb and unfortunately for a couple of hours we were not able to swim at the sea due to a colony of itching jellyfish. So Kjell and I had this brilliant idea to start the day with a good activity. We got a huge plastic bag from the Hotel and went down our beach to collect all the waste that came in with the tide during the night. It was nice to see how engaged Kjell was, commenting on every single plastic piece, every bottle, every rope,... that he collected. We had really good discussions on how difficult it is to avoid plastic in our life but that every single person can do its best to make this environmental waste situation better. I told him that Germany already is one of the leading countries by i.e. seperating waste into categories but that other countries are not even aware of the waste they are producing. While we were collecting and our bags was filled not only by us but also by other Hotel guests Kjell learnt something even more important: He went onto the beach area of a neighboring hotel and when the staff saw him collecting the waste they started collecting as well... Kjell realized that if one is doing something good, others will follow. For one tide, we actually had the feeling that we had done something really good to this beautiful world! After this action the mean jellyfish obviously were thankfull to us and left the beach for us to swim... ;-)
13th of Feb and what a great day to finish our stay on Koh Yai Noi! With two more couples we had chartered a longtail boat and driver to take us down to some cute little Islands with nice beaches where we could swim and enjoy our lunch. We went to some cool diving spots where Kjell for the first time did some snorkeling. It went really great with the paddles and snorkle except that the masks were just too big and water kept on coming into his eyes. We saw a big blowfish and a small 'Nemo' as well as other unknown fish and sea urchins... a wonderful day indeed! During the night we had mice visits again but not as bad as in the first night.
14th of Feb and we left Koh Yao Noi via ferry to get to Thalen pier. We were actually expecting taxis to pick us up and drive us to Krabi bus station but none were there... it took some time to arrange a taxi and we were lucky that a women just took us to the bus station for little money. Half an hour later we got on the A/Cbus to Surat Thani and after a quick 4 hours ride got to Surat Thani and the train station. The train was delayed for 30 minutes but all went perfect at the end. Jens enjoyed his first train ride in Thailand and slept like a baby.. ;-) With a delay of 6 hours (from 2 am to 5.30 am we just didn't move) we finally arrived at BKK Hualamphong station around noon on the 15th....