Yesterday was a great day out at the national marine park off Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan. For just £33 we had a speedboat, seating around 40 people, out to the archipelago of islands that constitute the park area. It was a bumpy ride making a few passengers feel ill – waves we hit, flew and banged back down, then a bit of tilting but that didn’t last long. The group were oohing and aahing, laughing or groaning all the time 😉
We Arrived at the first island for kayaking or beach, at the park hq. It was stunning!!! White sandy beach, clear green waters and grassed areas with the huts for eating, tickets and administration. Behind it all were lush tree covered crags, rising above the water and beaches. Just like pictures show but I thought were photshopped!!
I chose the beach, feeling unsafe in aplastic canoe out on open water and over lunch heard one had tipped over, so I was happy to miss it and just look at the views. We did out trip backwards as so many boats out there.
We had lunch there too, and after I walked down by the restaurant to see the land area area behind… and found wild monkeys, marmosets I think, just playing in the grass and trees!!! What a lovely, unspoilt experience although they weren’t afraid of me if I didnt get too close, just sitting in a bamboo tree, breaking bits off or jumping down through trees to chase each other through the long grasses, and then up on branches or the fence round the tip area.
I stood and watched them, moving quietly and slowly to change views, for about 20 minutes. The bigger one in the bamboo tree came down, saw me and watched me watching but then came towards me and sat in front of me. Aware of monkeys being aggressive, I carefully moved by him gently talking to him as I went. He just watched me go, and then just stand watching the younger ones playing and eating. It was a lucky find that others missed staying on the beaten track. i did share my find with an olde American couple who gave me the time so I Didn’t miss the boat leaving at 12.30, who then had just their last five minutes to go find them. I hope they did.
After that our next island 15 minutes away, was to climb narrow, steep steps to a beautiful green lagoon in the hills – again the colour was amazing!!! We came down, some swam a little and we stayed wet in the boat most of the day after that first beach stop. Out third island stop, after the driver took us up against a cliff side speeding the boat round the curve creating a white wave to gasps of awe, was for snorkelling. We stopped just off the rocky is and no beach, and snorkelled off the boat in 6-7 metres near shore or 8-9 metres on the outside of the boat mooring.
Im not water-confident, especially the sea, so this was an unexpected challenge. But I did it, albeit I forgot to take off my shorts and realised later as the flapped around my thighs, wearing a lifejacket as some did to stay afloat easily. I tried to remember how to clear my mask and snorkel of water but it didn’t work well, so had to float on my back when I needed to!!! But again some lovely coloured fish, one about 18″ multicoloured, maybe a grouper; one about 8″ long with electric blue fins that shot out as it swam and yet others in white, yellow, a bright blue one and angel fish to note a few; al eating and swimming around us above so e huge corals and sponges, one sponge about five feet high or more and perfectly round!!!
l loved it a d in the hour, relaxed into it, swam outside the boat and sometimes just floated still to watch them feeding. I look forward to diving in Aus again now too!!!