Another early start, washing down breakfast with a strong coffee and we were off in the coach to Nathon, the Capital of Koh Samui. This is a locals town, where the port is and definitely worth a visit for the night market and food stalls!
With this journey unlike the Snorkelling, you can either take a speedboat or a slow boat, the slow boat only takes 30 minutes longer, is cheaper & includes the island landing fee which the speedboat doesn’t. Patrick and I have got good sea legs so clambered up to the sun deck so we could watch everything go by & internally shout “thar be land ahead” – okay maybe that last part is just me.
I wouldn’t recommend up top if you are prone to seasickness though, there were a few queasy faces and not so pretty sights as they leaned over the railings – Ask for a seasickness pill from the captain before you set sail, they’ll be more than happy to oblige!
We set sail and had a mug of coffee each, I tend to get a bit anxty when faced with wind and the ocean so refuse to remove anything from my bag and have my cameras string wrapped round my wrist. Apart from that I love being on the sea and find the swaying quite relaxing.
Fast forward about 30 minutes and the marine park begins to come into view. Little islands emerge from the water, reminding me of the Vanishing Isle, I can’t be the only one who remembers this one from Aladdin?!
The first part of the trip those that had opted to kayak jumped into their kayaks and paddled round the island following our guide like a brood of ducklings.
Butterflies twirl and whirl above and through the trees where choruses of beetles hissed. The kayaking tour takes about 20-30 minutes and you do not need to be particularly good at it, you’ll catch on quick enough!
Our guide pointed out a phalic shaped rock named grandfather rock, with no grandmother & how mother island had no father, perhaps in some twist of face they will meet some day?
She also informed us that shockingly, coconut trees are quite rapidly being destroyed from the top down by long-horned beetles, that arrived in southern Thailand about 10 years ago. You can see the dead shells of coconut trees lining many of the beaches.
The awkward moment I cut the boyfriend out of the picture 🙈
Anyway, back to the kayaking! We carefully steered around the coral, which you can see so clearly from above, through caves and round to our landing point to climb up and see into the Emerald lake, a salt lake in the centre of mother island.
After making our way down and getting a table boat back, we hopped on to our boat for Lunch to fuel us for further activities in the afternoon.
Well, there are plenty of options in the form of a hike – be sure to bring good shoes if you want to do it though!; snorkelling, sea kayaking or just lazing about on the sandy beach.
We opted to take both snorkelling gear and our kayak and took straight to the beach of Lazy cow island. You can leave any valuables in the medical hut for free, although the man may be a little grumpy. We swam in excited to see all of the beautiful corals, but the water wasn’t so clear when swimming in it.
So I ran back to the grumpy man to pick up our things and Patrick took great pride in getting the people off our kayak, who’d decided to perch on it in our absence.
We went around the coral by the beach to view it from above and it was so beautiful, a much better view here and amazing variety of coral.
Paddling across the way to a small uninhabited island we creeped along the side of the island, gawping at the rocks, brain coral & neon coral as we went. Finally landing on an abandoned beach.
We pushed the kayak up the beach and explored our new found land, in doing so we saw a wild boar!!! I mean, how cool is that?! Yes, they are dangerous, but this one was quite young and as you can see from this picture we were observing from a little distance.
After we’d had enough of playing Robinson Crusoe, we took back to the kayak to see if we could fit into any caves along the island. This is when something at the time rather stressful, now more amusing. Patrick’s oar broke. There we were paddling away in the middle of the ocean and snap. We thought we may be able to find it, but soon realised searching would have no avail. As it was almost time to head back we took it in turns to make our way to the boat with our remaining paddle.
They were completely entitled to charge us for this as it did happen on our watch, even if we were using the paddle as it was intended, but the main guide was really understanding and wavered it for us.
The journey back was lovely & a calming lull came over us all as many took a nap, whilst others read and watched the islands dip out of view again, with only butterflies following us to let us know it wasn’t all in our heads.