Thailand Fling Part 3...Ferry Tales

Ko Yao Noi, Thailand,  November 2022

A disappearing island…well, that’s what it seemed to be when sitting looking out to sea from our balcony.  Some days it was there, but when the clouds moved in and the heavens opened, it faded into the greyness. We were intrigued, and after a quick check on Google maps, soon found out that the name of the land mass right opposite our coastline was called Ko Yao Noi (translated as long, little island!) and its big sister, Ko Yao Yai (yes, you guessed: long, large island).

Now you see it…

The locals apparently wanted to preserve its mystery, as finding a way to get there was challenging to say the least.  Our friendly Aussie said we could get there by ferry, and could even take our scooter over to get around, so we set off on a recce to find the pier. After a longer than expected road trip to Ao Thalane pier, where the longtail boats set out for the islands, we were then told by yet another antipodean called Pete, that the car ferry pier was actually only 20 minutes from our place! We had to abandon our plans to find the elusive pier that day as we got thoroughly soaked in yet another deluge on the ride home.

All aboard!

After more research (the name of the pier only appeared in Thai script on the map (in fact Google maps had an annoying habit of changing into Thai script at a whim!), we did eventually locate the ferry port.  Using a series of mimes and hand gestures with the local fishermen, we hoped we had confirmed the times and prices of the crossings. Either that or we had arranged to sell our scooter for 500 Baht at 2pm the following afternoon!

Thankful that the weather had improved, the next day we found ourselves riding the scooter up the ramp onto a rather rusty old ferry (although fully equipped with a mini convenience store and a prayer room -which we hoped we wouldn’t be needing!).  The ferrymen managed to squeeze an amazing number of lorries onto the deck fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle and we departed only 20 minutes later than schedule – quite good by Thai standards!  Luckily it was a smooth crossing and offered spectacular views of the limestone karsts rising out of the waters of Phang Nga bay.

A smooth operator..

We found our lodgings for the next few days, the charming but “rustic” Sabai Corner Bungalows which had the feel of tree houses in the middle of the jungle (along with the wildlife!).  The bamboo bungalows were built up the hillside on stilts, and the climb provided some much-needed exercise, after which Ian immediately made himself at home in the hammock on the balcony overlooking the beach.  We did struggle a bit with the “outside” bathroom, which was not only outside, but also down two flights of stairs – not terribly easy to negotiate in the middle of the night!  The shower and toilet (for reasons we couldn’t work out) were set up on a platform and it took quite some manoeuvring to position yourself on the loo with your legs dangling over the edge, but once you were there, the view was wonderful!

Ian waiting for the lift!

The island lived up to its name and we had circumnavigated it in under 40 minutes but found a lovely little restaurant called The Rice Paddy, run by a very chatty German where I finally satisfied my houmous craving. Hat Pasai, our local beach, was one of the best on the island, but our plans for a lazy afternoon were ruined by an incoming rain storm and a very low tide.  We hadn’t realised how tidal these islands were, making swimming nigh on impossible unless you were up very early or fancied a moonlit dip.  We consoled ourselves with cocktails in the waterside bar back at the hotel, where the lovely new barmaid had decided it was happy hour! My kinda gal!

Putting my feet up!

After a very rainy night, we awoke to leaden skies, so spent a relaxing few hours reading in the comfy hammocks overlooking the sea, before Ian sloped off to the local sports bar to watch the cricket. 

Conflicting rumours about the departure time of our ferry back found us sitting on the dock of the bay at silly o’clock the following morning, with only a few noisy chickens and the relentless rain as company. We were relieved when the ferry and a few other passengers finally made an appearance and the weather thankfully dried up as we returned to the mainland.

The departure lounge

With only a few days left in the condo, we made the most of the pool and facilities there while we could.  We made a couple of trips out to Krabi Town to extend our visa for another month (surprisingly easy) and for a much-needed hair trim and manicure.  Considering that most of the countless nail salons in the UK were run by Thais and Vietnamese, I had imagined that this would be an easy task…but no.   After many fruitless attempts to find somewhere offering the same service as back home, I gave up and came to the conclusion that all the decent nail technicians had either brought their skills to Europe, or they were missing a trick here. First world problems, eh?!

Next stop:  Going Down South…at…Lanta…

Seven ....not quite Eleven
Praying that the passenger in seat X made it!
Ian takes a cat nap
Our last line of defence...but still the little buggers got us!
Not only delicious...a work of art
Giant catapult? To repel tourists from the mainland?
The quiet before the storm
And here it comes
Back to reality...or not?
Get set...
A final sunset

12 thoughts on “Thailand Fling 3 – Ferry Tales”

  1. Hi Kath and Ian…miss you!!!
    i loved reading yours adventures. Kath, you managed to take me with you to Thailand. Beijos and have fun!

  2. Daria W. Devantier

    Oh my, the discoveries continue!! Your photo of the food: in my short week in Thailand, I was humbled at the reverent way even simple meals were presented. The pride taken in the plating of food truly made every meal an experience beyond mere caloric consumption. I admit, in reading your words, I’m not so sure I could do this adventure. You both must have an incredible ability to mentally repeat “this too shall pass” to see past each hiccup and just “know” it’s gonna be better soon. That ability is priceless, not only to have, but to draw off when around you. I “still” revel in our chance meeting, in San Fran as I was making my way to Thailand…you were truly one of my great finds on that trip, and I am SO enjoying reading about your unexpected “finds” on this extended stay. Bless you, Kathy, for the gift of your observations!!!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Daria! I must admit that as we get older, we do find our adventures a little more challenging. Not sure I’m going to be scooter riding out here in a few years time! But we love travelling…the sights, sounds and the wonderful people we meet along the way. And we’re very grateful we’re being able to do it! ❤️

  3. Amazing photos and spectacular sunset. We visited Ko Yao Noi by speedboat for the day when we were there in Feb 2019 and also Bon island for lunch by longtail boat. Luckily for us, it was hot and dry! Hope the rain stops soon for you! xx

  4. Noreen Allen Allen

    Great to read and see how you & Ian are enjoying your amazing trips ! We shall be off soon to Argentina – looking forward to sharing our adventures next year ! Love Noreen & Patsy xx

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