Our Travel Blog

Friday, August 12, 2005

Koh Ngai - Trang, Thailand



We are back from Koh Ngai Island, a beautiful Island on the Andaman Sea!!! Left Kuala Lumpur at 10pm on Thursday, 4 August. Drive was a breeze, not much traffic as it was a working day the following day. Managed a pit stop for a 2 hours nap at a rest area north of Butterworth but could not remember what that was called. Arrived at Changloon(before Bukit Kayu Hitam) at around 5.00am at the shop where we were to get our thai registration aka "rego"(pronounced as "regio" as the aussies or Julie calls it). As we arrived earlier, the shop was not open until around 6am later....so we took more catnaps. BTW, this is actually a coffeeshop(kopitiam) which also doubles as a place selling Thai vehicle permits/rego and insurance(the real thing ok), take hotel bookings for hatyai....you actually pay for your stay in advance here, and you may also exchange for thai baht from here. However, we actually found out later we can actually get better deals from the travel agents in Hatyai itself.............what a bummer! Bugger!
Cleared the Malaysia side border at around 6.45am local thai time, proceeded to conduct our ritual at the duty free outlet. Bought a case of Tiger beer, two cartons of ciggies and a Martini Asti(yummy). Drove from Hatyai to Trang Town, had "kuay chap" for breakfast at this place, I forgot the name but this place was actually featured in the Lonely Planet book. Thereafter, we proceeded to look for the elusive suckling Pork meat which according to Jules is really yummy.....drove though almost every streets and alleys but......darn, could not find it...was supposed to have "ta pau" to the island. As we did not have much time left, we continued to the Koh Ngai Resort transit office. Here we were greeted by their customer service staff who was unable to speak a single word of English or any language that appears comprehensible to us....darn! Fortunately, with Jules around and some ability to converse in thai(picked up from those Bird songs and MTV), we were told that we have to drive directly to the pier at Pak Meng pier as it provides a safer parking for Shanghai. Arrived at the pier at approximately 11.30am, took a boat to Koh Ngai. The 45 mins trip took slightly over 1 hour as the sea was rough due to the monsoon....ya and I had a tat bit of seasick, almost puked(normally I do not subject to this as this was really bad, up and down and side to side for like 45 minutes). Met another couple from Amsterdam onboard. As we arrived at Koh Ngai Resort, we were greeted with the usual Sawadee Ka and a glass of pineapple juice. Upon checking in, we we told that we were one of the only 4 guests at the resort as it was the low season. We thought...cool, talk about being in a private island......you know kinda reminded me of the movie "I know what you did last summer"? ......hahaha.
Following day, basked under the beautiful clear skies, on the sand and by the surf. Oh ya, and no haze here on the island, unlike down south in KL and certain parts of the peninsular Malaysia. Thank goodness, the haze, courtesy of our friendly sumatran neighbour did not moved as far north to the islands. Highlight of the trip was taking a boat at sunset from our resort to the nearby Ko Hai Fantasy Resort for a candlelight dinner right on the beachfront..btw, this was pre-arranged. Food was great and was complemented by a bottle or thai red wine followed by a bottle of Martini Asti Champagne. A surprise birthday cake awaited Jules in the room as we headed back, with garlands laid out in heart shapes on the bed....left Jules speechless :) We spent the rest of our last night in the island lazing out under the stars with our newly found friends from Perth, Australia, Phil and Wendy.....well the rest is history as I was almost knocked out stone cold from the alcohol....what was that we had Jules? Next day, no hangovers(luckily) as we had a return boat scheduled at 9.00am. Left the island(reluctantly) after breakfast, headed for Hatyai. Hatyai was no stranger to me, and especially for Jules. She can almost declare the place as her second home. Did quite a substantial amount of shopping, mainly for personal care items at Boots, and groceries at Tesco Lotus.....btw the thai pronounced it as Lotat. Man, you can really save if you get your groceries from here. Left Hatyai on Monday at around 4pm, arrived in hazy KL around 11pm.

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