I awake from a deep, deep sleep cocooned and somewhat swaddled in fresh crisp white sheets on yet another comfortable hotel bed.  I’m vaguely aware of the sound of birds chirping outside my room and the sun is just beginning to peek through a chink in my curtains heralding the start of yet another perfectly sunny day.

There’s something about this trip, or Thailand which means that I’m sleeping so well and each morning I awake feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the  activities planned, but first breakfast which is taken on the terrace overlooking the pool and the sea.  It’s an international buffet affair and there is plenty of choice to suit everyone’s palates from waffles and croissants, live cooking stations through to more traditional Thai breakfast which my traveling companion who writes at IshitaUnblogged is enjoying.  I’m a big coffee fan so order 2 cups of freshly ground coffee and then head off to explore the buffet in more detail.  I’m tempted by a small croissant and place an order for a takeaway omelet to be enjoyed later in the morning as I’m not really an early morning breakfast type of person, preferring instead to enjoy and savour my coffee.

This was the first night at the Beyond Resort Krabi Hotel in Amphur Muang.  It’s a beautiful modern hotel set on the beach with rooms either overlooking the bay or set back away from the beach in lush greenery.  I was pleased to be in one of the cottage rooms as the lush greenery surrounding my room made a great escape from the usual sandy out look in Dubai.  The hotel is also situated just off of a main road which Ishita and I explored the evening before for some traditional thai dinner, but more of that in another post.

Our day is simply titled Hong Island, but it’s so much more than that, it’s a day full of island hopping, of riding the waves in a fast speed boat, soaking up the sun on the beautiful Hong Island, exploring Poda Island, snorkeling in the clear blue sea, soaking up the tranquility of a beautiful lagoon and for me, of dreaming that one day I will be on board that beautiful majestic schooner which we see close to the lagoon, as we had back to our hotel at the end of the day.

I’m happiest when on or close to the sea, or the beach and the sun so this is a perfectly happy day for me, particularly as I get to nab a space at the front of the boat and get to embrace the feel of the wind rushing through my hair as we race our way through the blue sea.  With the sun on my back and the occasional splash of salty sea water, I love our speed boat journey though I must admit to loving more more authentic, albeit much slower and less sexy,  travel on the long tail boats too.  This is also the first  day when the entire group all travel together on one boat so we get to spend more time with the rest of our international group hailing from England and Germany and we get to swop travel experiences and tales from our trip so far.

Starting our tour from Ao Nang our plan is to undertake what the tourist guides describe as a sea tour but for me, I’ll just call it the Perfect Day.  After an exhilarating speedy boat ride, through crystal clear waters our first stop is Poda Island (Ko Poda) where we spend some time watching people offer prayers and gifts for their wishes to be fulfilled as well as to watch small groups who were rock climbing on the limestone cliffs.  With time to spare, we went for a walk along the beautiful beach to soak in the atmosphere and I bought some refreshing cold drinks from the floating boat cafe.  There’s something quite surreal about standing in the warm sea up to your thighs in water as the cafe boat beside you bobs closer and further away with the tide, you make your order, wait for the staff to expertly juice a watermelon, or to quickly fry up a lunch time treat, wait for the boat to get closer to you again, or walk further out and then wade ashore carrying your goodies.

En route to Ko Poda we pass Ta Lea Weak which means divided sea.  Here, at the right time, it is possible to walk between the islands on sandbanks which are only exposed in the right tidal conditions.  Sadly, we weren’t there at the right time, but I’ve seen pictures and it looks like a cool thing to do.

After departing from Poda Island we head close to another island where the majority of us leave the comfort of the boat, for some great snorkeling in crystal clear waters.  Floating gracefully above the coral there are plenty of big and little fish to see, mostly colourful and with vibrant neon colours.  It’s so peaceful and unspoilt here, that more than once I find myself completely surrounded by schools of fish as they swim around me and under me and it’s somewhat magical to witness and to be part of this magical moment.

Lunch is on Hong Island where we have a simple Thai Beach Buffet lunch at a discrete beach front restaurant whilst listening to the birds cheep and watching a large monitor lizard who casually walks past our lunch stop.  After feasting on a pudding of fresh sweet juicy watermelon and sweet pineapple the afternoon is free for us to enjoy the beautiful beach, to top up our sun tans, or to swim amongst more fish who are tempted close to shore by one of the local guides on the island.

The afternoon is spent relaxing, there’s plenty of shade to hang out under, or a beautiful little sheltered part of the island where it’s perfect for snorkeling, lounging about in the shallows or just soaking in the relaxed atmosphere as you people watch.  And so, in the spirit of travel research, this is exactly what I do 🙂

Upon leaving the island, we take a short detour to a beautiful lagoon which is lush with greenery and the water appears a deep dark green.  It’s so peaceful, conversation on our boat stops as we all take in the beautiful unexpected scenery.

And so, our day at sea draws to an end as we return back to our hotel James Bond style, speeding quickly through the waves at high speed until we find ourselves stepping off the boat and straight onto the beach in front of our hotel just as the sun is setting,  a great end to the perfect day.

Later in the evening we visit Krabi Town for some night time shopping on Aonang Walking Street, get drenched in a sudden thunder and lightening storm and take refuge in Starbucks and have dinner at Takola Thai restaurant where Ishita and I get to meet the owner unexpectedly and persuade him to do a quick foodie interview over great coffee and homemade ice-cream, but that’s for another post.

Until then thanks for reading

Disclaimer : This is part 4 in a series of posts about my recent trip to Krabi and Bangkok as a guest of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Middle East and Aviareps Group.  All opinions are my own based on my experiences of the trip in April 2013.

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