Our Travel Blog

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sun, Sand, Surf and Beers in Koh Lipe

It was the weekend when most city folks heading out of Kuala Lumpur in all directions on the start of the long holidays the following week(Deepavali on Tues and Hari Raya on Thurs and Fri). We started our journey after dropping my mom off at KLIA for her flight back to Miri, Sarawak after having spend some 10 days here with us and her friends in KL. Left KLIA around 2pm headed northwards. Much to our delight, traffic was smooth flowing. We reached the northern border of Bukit Kayu Hitam by 6.30pm.
Arrived in Hatyai about 6.30pm local time(Malaysia 7.30pm), earlier than expected, we proceeded to Tesco Lotus for groceries to take to the island the following day. As we wanted the experience to be "back to the basics" as much as possible, we checked into Cathay Guest House which charged only 300 baht per night which is about rm28. From all our earlier trips that we made, we also learnt that we get more for the ringgit in exchange for baht at the thai border and hatyai then from those suckers in KL. At the border we changed rm1 for 10.80 baht vs rm1 for 9.50 baht in KL......suckers!
Anyway, the guest house was what we paid for, nothing fancy to expect, but hell for the hack of a one night stay that's alright.
Next day, departed Hatyai in the morning around 8am headed towards Pak Bara Pier where we are suppose to take a ferry to Koh Lipe through Tarutao Island. Those of you who remembered the first "Survivor" series would remember Tarutao. Along the way we bought a huge block of ice that sits neatly into the esky, laced it with a packet of salt....for those of you who remembered your elementary school science, you know what that does to the ice. I don't need to elaborate.

The ferry did not leave until around 1.30pm to our frustration, but we made full use of our time to chill out with Mr Beer. About 30 minutes into the ride was when the adventure started. Smooth sailing turned into a rollercoaster ride. Waves that when higher than what I can see through my window from where I was sitting. Waves coming in through the front at the bow of the ferry, poured into the passenger compartment.......urghhhh...puke puke(no need to say no more). Anyway, we finally arrived at the mountain resort, northeast of the island of Koh Lipe at around 6.30pm local time. Here the sun sets at about 6.30pm.
Bummed in couple of nice folks whom we were to spend sometime with over the next few days at the island. The least expected was a Buddhist monk from Chiangmai who goes by the name of Phra Mong Khon, who brought 3 other fellow monks for the latter's first visit to an island and was on the same ferry with us the day before from Pak Bara. We spend a full first half of our first morning on our verendah, discussing about thailand, chiangmai, culture to cellphones over coffee...what an interesting young chap! He speaks mandarin by the way, and of course fluent thai. Apparently he hails from China and have also spent some time in Kelantan, Malaysia.

At noon, Phra took us along the sunlight stretch of the beach in search of a place for rental of some power fins. Talked to a couple of Chao Lay people who are inhabitants of the island, most of the fishermen. These people have now settled down on the various islands in the satun province were the sea gysies, mainly known to most as sea pirates who in the early days, trawled the straits of Malacca and the Andaman sea. Further down our walk we were brought to a little diving outfit by the name of Chao Lay Dive. Here we met a few more interesting people, not the locals but "farangs"(foreigners). Well, we met Jim, an American gentlemen who is a dive master who runs the dive shop. Jim hails from Minnesota and have not been home for 10 years. Interestingly, he used to work for one of the Ford top sales division in the US selling F-series trucks. He was even given an F-150 to drive around. Sick of his job, he travelled around the world to some of the most beautiful diving locations, including Bahamas, and the other islands in Thailand. Then there was Richard, who is from Columbia, who I thought was American initially, also a dive master. Richard has recently graduated in International Business from one of the Universities in Northern Thailand and is trying to get a permanent job somewhere around the planet. Shannon from Tampa, Florida typical surfer dude type kinda guy hangs out and assists Jim at the dive shop. Later we met Paul from Sydney and his girlfriend from Israel, Yala. So anyone who is heading towards Koh Lipe for some serious diving(all kinds of diving including wreck diving), look for William J. Anderson(Jim) of Chao Lay Diving. Or you can call contact me a note below via the comments on the blog so we can hook you up for better rates.

Well, the rest of the time on the island was trekking, beer, sunbathing, beer, snorkelling beer, chilling out and more beer. The rest is up to you to imagine! One of the coolest experience was at this place called the Monkey Bar, on the beach at the Pataya side(South). The owner(a farang from downunder I presume) had 2 monkeys and a little kitten. The monkey treats the kitten like one of their own species, hugging and pulling him by the arms for a drink and up and down the make-shift wooden hut.....and the mother monkey actually drinks beer every night!

Some pictures taken:

(Chillin' at Porn Resort)

(at the Pancake Lady's...for whatelse? Pancakes(Murtabak) and beers!

(view from Mountain Resort, Koh Lipe)

UN chillin' time!
L-R: Paul & Jules(Malaysia), Yala(Israel), Paul(Australia), Shannon(US), Richard(Columbia), Jim(US)

(hmmm...surfer dude vs hot chick!)

(Tarzan & Jane?)

(Thirsty YET?)

Click here for Map of Koh Lipe


More pictures logon to http://www.pauljules2005.shutterfly.com


At Tuesday, August 14, 2007 12:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The owner of monkey bar is a Sea Gypsy named Tin, no farang ;P. Born, and spend all his life on the island. Never really liked that monkey, think she's gone now though!


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