Hey, Thailand's beautiful, the people are just great, the food's fantastic. It's the right format for us to ease back into travel!
Although Phuket's not the choicest slice of Thailand, the kids lapped it up even more than we imagined - Rosie especially. Leaving Phuket, the taxi (ute) ride to Bang Rong Pier, and the speed-boat ride to Ko Yao Yai (Big Long Island) were "real adventure travel" in her words.
We stayed at Thiwson Beach Resort on the north of the island, which has stunning views of limestone karsts.
Day 1 was unusually hot and humid (or maybe we weren't used to it?) and we both grumbled about whether we could tolerate our room with fan vs air-conditioning at twice the price. The 'traveler' in our heads won, and we've been just fine, thank you very much.
Day 2 saw us walking to a neighbouring resort that we spied on a headland, Esmerelda View. It was delightful to feel so engaged with a 'walk'. Timber houses on stilts, waving kids, water buffalo, rubber plantations, motorbikes. The kids saw latex being cupped from trees and the sheets of rubber ready to be sent off for tyres and shoes.
We easily filled a few hours at the resort. The daughter, Pond, unbelievably hospitable, walking us through her fruit 'orchard' - jackfruit, pineapple, mango, different types of banana, star fruit...
Lunch of green chicken curry and coconut vegetable soup was fresh out of their garden, with the chook having been killed yesterday, the coconut milk being made on-the-spot by Pond's mother...
Throughout our stay the sea was murky, so no snorkelling, occasional swimming, some kayaking, long jump competitions with Rosie, board games, kicking the soccer ball, badminton, reading, showers to cool off...
Our trip from Ko Yao Yai to Krabi was by a big long-tail, passing lots of karst islands; raining; lots of Muslim locals; monkey in a cage with an open sore where the metal neck collar had rubbed. Helen found it hard not to vomit and we talked about jobs working against this type of cruelty.
Arrived at a busy, small pier and jumped onto a pretty full open minibus with around ten on board. By the time we got to Krabi over an hour later there were 34 folk (with two French guys standing on the back), six empty LPG bottles and two empty petrol drums.
The kids laughed at it all. We were glad to stretch again.
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom
Location:Ko Yao Yai, Thailand