This morning went as usual, wake up and head to breakfast. Then wait in the lobby for pick up. The van was 2 mins early! Our guide had lobster hands like the lobster boy from old school side shows, it was amazing.
We rode in the 15 passenger van for about an hour picking people up. Our guide gave us a briefing on our itinerary but in the end we did nothing in the order he told us. He was very pleasant and loud. Which combined with a thick Thai accent was a tiny bit comical. He said he was loud because we were going places with a lot of people. And when it’s time to go, and you don’t hear him, you get left behind.
About an hour in we made a stop at a gas station for a bathroom break and snacks. It was like a bodega but more crowded. Then back in the van to the Monkey temple.
Apparently a lot of temples here are in caves and this was one of them. There was a very large, gold reclining Buddha. There were also a lot of other statues of buddhas and monks. But oddly enough, no monkeys.
It was extremely hot inside. Beads of sweat covered my face. I hate sweat, so this wasn’t pleasant. We had 20 mins to roam around. Up some stairs there was a Buddha dressed in white, placed up in the wall of the cave. To the left there were stairs down to a huge cave. More stairs to the right up to an opening in the ceiling. These stairs were very old, hand made, cut into the stone. They were also very steep. I decided to not to attempt. Denali, on the other hand, climbed them in flip flops. He was slipping and sliding, I thought I was going to have a heart attack when he was climbing down.
Then back into the van and to the pier. We stood around for a little bit, this seems to happen a lot here. We got on a speedboat to Khao Phing- Kan aka the James Bond island. The views along the way were indescribable.
The island itself has a very small beach area with caves and a small climbable mountain. There were stairs built so you could get higher to achieve a better view. One very huge negative, there were so many people. It’s become a tourist attraction since being part of a James Bond film. There is a large vendor area near the bathrooms. You passed them as you get on and off the boats. The vendors were hawking trinkets you didn’t want or need. We had 30 minutes, which was plenty of time, then on to the next stop.
Our speedboat pulled up to a bigger boat that housed a mini store and a huge covered platform with tables and chairs.
We decided not to go ocean canoeing. When we go there, it was not in fact canoeing but small kayak shaped blow up rafts. Some in our group went “canoeing” so we used the time to rehydrate and rest. There were free strawberry drinks and shade.
When it was time to go, we all got back on the boat and headed to the floating village. We did a drive by, for real. I guess we missed the part where we weren’t stopping. But at least we got a few pictures of the village. It wasn’t long until we were back the dock debarking. Then back in the shuttle bus to lunch at the Fruits Garden. Yes the FRUITS Garden. There were giant fake fruit everywhere! We were lead down a long path to an outside dining area.
We were give an interesting combo of food. Rice, thin noodles with veggies, a fish dish, ground chicken in a coconut sauce, chicken wings, and some kind of ground mixed vegetable dish. There was also questionable water, we didn’t drink. After we ate, we walked around and took pictures.
Then back on us to waterfall. The waterfall, if you can call it that, was a bust. Best guess it dry because it’s not the rainy season. I feel like they should have told us before we booked the tour. But on the bright side, Denali saw this cool plant.
We got back to hotel around 5:15 and noticed the room had not been cleaned. We let it go. Then came at knock at 5:30. A lady from housekeeping was trying to clean the room. We told her to come back in 20 minutes but she said she was leaving for the night. We just asked her for new towels. When we went down to dinner we complained. The receptionist barely understood us. She kept asking if we wanted the room clean right then. We said no. We just wanted it cleaned while we were gone tomorrow. It went back and forth for a few minutes of miss understanding but the final result was that the room would be cleaned before noon tomorrow.
We had dinner at an Indian place close by. The food was good but the set up of the restaurant was strange. The dining are was on two sides of walkway. The walkway lead to a massage parlor upstairs. We ate and called it a night.