Day 32 – Chumporn – Saturday 2nd April 2011
We have booked a tour of the local national park for tomorrow, which is combined with a snorkelling trip and fresh seafood. In the meantime we are making the most of this good weather and heading for another beach.
Hat Sai Ri (another beach) was also in the guide book, which recommended the local bus service to get there. The local bus is actually a giant wooden pickup truck, which we eventually found after a lot of walking.
The driver said 125B each, which we knew was too much. We went back to Fame Guesthouse and they explained that it was actually 1 x 25B each, not 125B. It was the way the driver said it that made it sound wrong.
After wasting so long, we decided to get a taxi there, and then use the bus to get back. Sai Ri was very different to yesterdays beach. Fish stalls lined the road, with strange looking dried seafood looking like aliens hanging from hooks. There was a short strip of stony sand and then the sea. A beautiful island, Koh Mantra/Maprao, almost felt within walking distance.
Later in the afternoon we waited at the local bus stop, where a bunch of people were already waiting. As we waited, a taxi turned up and offered to take us into town, but he was a lot more expensive than the bus. Luckily a local family helped us, told us we were in the right place, and showed when we reached town. All this without any English spoken. I love the helpful people you find when you need them.
Sitting in Fame restaurant, I was listening to a British woman, who runs a dive school on Koh Tao. She was trying to say that Koh Tao was fine, and that it was business as usual. She had lobbied the Thai met office to remove the weather warning, and talked of some sort of conspiracy theory about the evacuation. It really wound me up that a business owner was more worried about getting people onto the island than their welfare. When we left the island there were food shortages, power failures, no internet, landslides, buildings collapsing and no running water. Not most people’s idea of fine. Bloody British business people.
Looking forward to the National Park and Snorkelling tomorrow. Not looking forward to the seafood so much.