For my birthday, soo many months ago, we took a day trip in Krabi to James Bond Island and some surrounding sights. The tour was my favorite for the mix of sites we were able to see but tours are always a mixed bag for me. Time is always short and not your own. The access it provided to these sites was worth it though (even with the evil macaques).
Stop 1 – Kayaking!
An add-on to the basic tour (which they kept pushing on those who hadn’t taken it) but really wonderful. Where they didn’t let us kayak, we were propelled around by a strong paddler in an inflatable boat. It was nice to be able to focus on looking around and take in the beautiful nature, not to mention having my hands free to take too many pictures. As a flatlander from Florida, cliffs in the bay are a special kind of awesome. The limestones, carved by wind, time and water, had so much character. And the green of the mangroves dancing around them was really lovely.
A favorite moment was paddling into this nook. We had a moment when all the loud foreigners had left and it was completely quiet. I love times when all mechanical sounds are gone and there is just nature. In the nook, the sound of the long tail boats could not be heard, nor voices, just the sound of the water lapping the cliffs. It was a wonderful moment. I wanted to beg our kayaker to stay there but there was more to see.
We rejoined the other kayakers, passing vendors selling drinks and food on the water (smart!) and were returned to the floating barge, where we were rewarded with a purple drink that tasted terrible.
Stop 2 – James Bond Island
“James Bond Island” was made famous when first featured in the [awful] movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Overall it is a tiny limestone island, packed with too many tourists and quite a few souvenir booths. We tried to avoid both, so James took to the water, swimming out to “The Nail” and I checked out what was on the other side of the Island. It turns out nothing but at least I wasn’t wet for lunch. With few moments left, we peeked at the tiny caves and rejoined our group.
Stop 3 – Koh Panyee
Koh Panyee is a Muslim fishing village, built on stilts, anchored around an island. The top photo in this post is Koh Panyee. I’d first heard of it many moons ago because of a great youtube video of children who had built their own football (soccer) field. I didn’t realize it was so close to Krabi though.
We stopped there for lunch, which was included with the tour, and surprisingly good! It was a mix of chicken, seafood (no pork), soup, fried egg, salad, rice, etc. A wonderful birthday lunch! With our remaining time, we set off to explore the island and find the football field. This took us through rows of vendors selling various souvenirs, a school, another monkey that could be posed with, and finally we found signs for the football field. We had the company of a woman for a little bit, following us and trying to convince us to buy pearls, but we were jut there for pictures.
The football field has been upgraded a bit from it’s original birth of boards and nails. It stands on the bay, a floating blue, with goal net. I wonder how often someone is swimming after the ball.
We headed back to the boat and while waiting for others to board, noted the birds circling overhead. They appeared to be osprey and it was nice to see a symbol of home.
Stop 4 – Monkey Cave
Not cleverly named, it was a Cave and had tons of monkeys, or evil macaques, to be specific. Arriving, I encouraged James away from the moneys and into the cave which had many buddha images. Walking further in, the cave had beautiful rock formations, reminding me of caves I’d been to in the states, like Kartchner Caverns (a truly beautiful cave.) The caves had water running through them, so were slippery, as the person with the bloody knee seemed to signal. I snapped away and we left unscathed, that came later.
Outside of the caves, I went to buy monkey food for James to feed the monkeys (the man is ALWAYS trying to feed or pet any animal in the vicinity.) I paid for a bag of food and tried to get James’ attention, who was already interacting with a monkey. I noticed a monkey eyeing me. I tried to get James’ attention -and- get food out, but apparently not quick enough for it jumped on me and grabbed the food out of my hand. I was shocked and also very annoyed for it scratched me and surely now I would die of some horrible infection. 😀 So James took over most of the food and I proceeded to pour out peanuts and then get away from them quickly to take photos. It was a minor incident but I had a new goal of avoiding monkeys getting that close to me again (which lasted about 24 hours until the next day and next jerk.)
Stop 5 – Ton Tai Waterfalls
Very done with monkeys, we drove to our last stop, Ton Tai Waterfalls. Hiking was possible but time was limited so instead we focused on chilling in the cool pool of water, as little fish nibbled on us every now and again. The water coming down from the waterfall made a very strong current too that we let push our bodies around the pool.
And with that, we loaded up again for the ride back, James out like a light. It was a nice way to spend a birthday. (Even with the evil monkeys.)