Time to leave this flat, sandy, mysterious island with its 700 inhabitants, small villages, beautiful beaches and almost no tourists.
We needed two ‘island cars’ (speak tractors) to transport us, and all our stuff the 10 km from Mr. Chui’s place to the pier on the east coast. Everything was loaded on the long tail boat and off we left for the 1 ½ hour trip to the mainland. Sitting on a full loaded long tail boat, just about 10 cm above the water surface is quite an experience, especially when the waves splash all over. Luckily, the sea was quite calm today and we floated easily across, passing other islands and dense mangrove forests.
Mr. Chui accompanied us to the mainland probably to deposit all the money, which we had paid him for food, beers and accommodation, in the bank. I had asked him the other day if he is not afraid of being robbed, but then he showed me a small toy pistol and explained that he defends himself with this very well. But obviously he is still careful enough and won’t let tens of thousands of THB lying around, even on a seemingly peaceful place like Phra Thong.
Our next stop is Khao Lak, where we will spend a few days visiting the tsunami memorial, and looking at how the area had recovered after the 2004 tsunami.