Early the next morning, we boarded our ferry on a 4-island tour eastward across the scenic island-dotted bay where we settled into a resort at Ao Nang for two nights. Thailand is inexpensive to visit and has some of the most beautiful beaches and island scenery in the world. Thai food is among my very most favored, making the country a desirable place to vacation! The 4-Island tour cost around $50 per person and provided big ferry transportation from Phuket to Ao Nang and back a few days later. Also included was lunch, drinks, snacks and transfer to a speedboat which took to visit 4 small islands in the Andaman Sea Bay.
|Ferry leaving Rassada Harbor|
|View of our resort from the ferry|
Chicken Island was our first island stop. We were provided with snorkeling equipment and given about 45-minutes to explore the waters. Unfortunately, most of the abundant coral in these once thriving seas is dead. Some blame it on the Tsunami of 2012, but in reality, the fuel of tourist boats is probably as much at fault. However, we did see a nice variety of colorful fish in the clear blue waters. It was not until we left the snorkeling bay and sped around to another viewpoint of the island that we understood the name given to this place.
A short boat ride brought us to the shore of Thale Weak Island where we were provided with a typical Thai lunch on the beach. This stop actually included two additional small Isles. Thale Island is connected to Mor and Tup Islands by sand bridges which are revealed at low-tide.
Mor Island has some scenic volcanic rock formations along it's shores where under the shade of some trees, Bob found a place to relax. I just love the colorfully decorated long-tail boats which are floating everywhere in these waters!
On Tup Island we just enjoyed the gorgeous scenery and chuckled as we watched other tourists pose for photos, and scoffed at the typical teens who can't seem to lay aside their phones for more than a minute - even in a place like this!
Poda Island was the third stop on our agenda, and offered a beautiful fine white sand beach with an imposing view of a large karst jutting out of the sea.
Ranked among the most scenic beaches in the world is Railay Beach on the southern coast of Krabi, Thailand. This was the last "island" to see on our tour. I had actually considered staying here instead of in Ao Nang, but decided against the remoteness of it's location. Just visiting the beach satisfied my curiosity and confirmed that I had made a wise decision. Don't get me wrong, this is an amazing place - one of the most beautiful beach settings I've seen (see video clip below). It is a haven for rock climbers and is the home of a couple of cave shrines dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. They are filled with "lingam", wooden phallic images which are representative of the god, and symbolize male potential and creative energy. We went ashore on the west beach, and took a short walk to see the east beach - at which time was nothing but mud because of the low tide. Along the way we were entertained by dozens of monkeys.
We were impressed with the popular little tourist town of Ao Nang, and glad to be staying here for a few days.