OK, Ko Surin
This is a group of island 20 odd miles off the coast. The largest two are maybe a mile or so long and half that wide. Then a number of smaller islands from 1/4 mile long down to less than 50 yards.
All of granite, steep right from the waterline and all surrounded by wondrous beaches or more likely coral reefs. There is a small national park headquarters and some small cabins and tents in the one small level area. Some common shelters for serving meals and that’s it.
Oh a dock with longtail boats for going out to the reefs. longtails are long narrow dory shaped boats with a motor on the rear. The motor can be anything from a small one cylinder up to a medium sized car motor. The motor is mouned high in the rear of the boat, and the drive shaft of the motor goes straight off the end of the boat with a propeller at the end. hence long tail
The cabins are basic, but have a bathroom, cold water only, which is not really a problem as the cold water in the tropics is tepid and a cool shower is just what is needed.
The beds however… I can sleep on a 1 inch foam pad, or even on the ground when it’s not too rocky, but this is basically a thick piece of lumpy cardboard so the lumps are worse that nothing. Fortunately, we were to find that snorkelling 5 or 6 times a day makes any surface look good, and sleep comes easy.
The snorkelling: Well words are going to fail so I will keep this basic. Varied living coral of every sort. fans, shelves, brains, swirls. just about any shape you can visualize. Colors, yellow, irridescent blues, reds the whole spectrum. There was some damage to staghorn corals from the tsunami 2 years ago, but recovery has been amazing.
Fish: even better than the coral to me. teensy, large, 1″ – 6′ every color, shape: single, schools of 12 to maybe 10,000. Swimming in the aquarium of my dreams. Some sea turtles as well, flying underwater in an amazingly graceful way. A few sharks, not too big thank you, one swimming directly under us.
The water is a wonderful temperature, I can stay for a couple hours without chilling with nothing more that a long sleeved t-shirt (for sun protection).
So the days are easy to outline out in the morning to 2 or 3 sites, in for lunch, a brief rest, and out for 2-3 afternoon sites, back for rest and supper, and a bit of reading and early sleep, even on that bed.
The one break in the routine was fun. Thailand competed in the ASEAN football championship (Soccer) against Vietnam one night. The game was in Hanoi, and was broadcast. We watched withthe Thai staff, and guests. Nothing like a good football game with good fans watching, even if you don’t understand the commentator or the crowd. Thailand won 2-0 and we were all ecstatic with each goal. Of course 2 years ago when we were in Hanoi we would have been for the other team.
One of our group had a good underwater camera, and I was going to get pics from him, but darned if he didn’t drop the camera later on into 100+ feet of water. Too bad.
Sorry for the lack of detail, but without visuals there is no way to do justice.
After 3 days we are on the boat and back to the Mainland and on to a lake and to Nakhon Si Thammarat, where we are now, I’ll get to that as soon as possible.