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Ko Tao to Krabi and the Pillars in the South

Day 22 – Round the World 2008

We awoke this morning with a sense of trepidation – we were back on the ferry in a matter of hours and our last trip hadn’t exactly sent us to the booking office clamouring for more tickets. We got a taxi back over to the pier this time, not really fancying an hour walk in the sun with the dreaded ferry on our minds. The taxi-cum-pickup-truck dropped us off at the pier and we trudged up it’s length to join the 50 or so other people, all looking at least as miserable as us at the what the next couple of hours held in store.

In the event though it was fine. It wasn’t much less rough really, maybe a little, but having survived the previous trip we realised that the ferry wasn’t going to fall apart any time soon. Cat and I sat and watched the movie on the TV at the front of the boat listening to folk heaving up their guts the whole way, and happily neither of us got sick. The movie might have helped, although simply because we were concentrating on following what was going on despite the fact that there was no sound. It probably doesn’t say much for the movie’s calibre when I tell you that we managed with no problem. It was a slightly implausable tale about a implausably good looking teenager who turns up at his new school to find that, in order to fit in, he has to fight his way to the final of an implausable and illegal cage fighting tournament which, despite being illegal, looked like it was being held in a pretty swish, well decorated and amazingly well lit nightclub. And of course, as one of the unofficial prizes of this tournament he wins the heart of the high school hot chick.

Anyway, at the end of this masterpiece of cinema we left the ferry and jumped on the bus waiting for us outside the terminal. It was rickety little VW camper type wagon but despite appearances it turned out to be highly efficient and dropped us off at the main bus transfer two hours later. When I say main bus transfer mind you I do mean a dodgy little cafe in the middle of nowhere where the owners tell you that you ‘might as well eat something from their well placed restaurant as the bus isn’t leaving for a couple of hours yet’. So, dutifully we ordered small meal to keep up going during the wait, and only minutes after we were delivered our food the bus driver turned up and announced he was leaving in 5 minutes. When are we going to learn…

After wolfing down a piping hot Thai curry and incinerating my tonsils in the process we set off on the longer leg heading south to Krabi. The scenery was pretty amazing on the way south – initially we cruised through rainforest and palm plantations but they eventually gave way to ridiculously beautifil sea-scapes and weird and wonderful rocky outcrops. I’m not sure what caused them but the south of Thailand is filled with rocky columns, sometimes precariously thin and sometimes village sized in width. Always though they are hundreds of metres high, sheer sided and topped with a thick growth of trees and bushes. When you see them all lined up on the horizon, the sun glinting off the tropical sea you can easily see why people keep coming back.

That night we got ourselves a room at the Village Hotel, just outside the centre of Krabi, and ventured in for a bite to eat. Krabi didn’t seem anything special but it was a nice enough place to spend the night waiting for the ferry. We discovered a cool little market in the centre of town with dozens of food carts selling dirt cheap dinners and snacks so we grabbed a couple of samples and, as usual, it was far better than most of the asian food you get in a restaurant at home. Afterwards we nipped into a tiny little bar on the way back to the hotel and discovered a geordie sitting in the corner playing guitar for drinks. He was setup with the full kit – amp, microphone, etc – but the place was so small he didn’t need them and he was just chatting to the small crowd in the pub and taking requests. He was a damn good singer though and we spent an hour or so there singing along to some geordie accented covers before hitting the sack in preparation for making out way to Ko Phi Phi tomorrow.

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