Saturday, November 28, 2009

There and Back Again – Similan Islands

Similan Islands? No, not in Hokkien (In Hokkien, it is…. What Testicles Islands… ). Similan Islands is not a chain of giant buoyant testicles floating west of Thailand. It is a chain of beautiful island nestled in crystalline waters west of Khao Lak. One of the last few beautiful gems in Thailand, they are open for visits only from the months of November till April. An attempt in conservation, an attempt to keep the coral reefs intact. Anyone can get there to a tune of THB2,000 for a one day trip, the journey beginning from the piers in a town within Khao Lak by the name of Tahplamu (Thap-la-mu). Getting to Khao Lak in a crowded van from Phuket will set you back by another THB500. You gotta get there early, the only boat leaves at 9. And so we took off in our rented Accord, don’t want no crowded van.

Unlike Singapore, if you did walk into any military facility you did be shouted and probably shot, here in Thailand, we just waltz into the naval base where it doubles as a pier for passengers boarding the speed boat ride to testicle islands….. I mean Similan. The journey took a good hour and a half, all heads on board dozing off left and right. The braless Caucasian in her so loose top puke herself all over. And as she waggled her way to the toilet, all the passengers were treated to a show of swaying papayas. It was enjoyable.

There are two types of waters in Thailand. Most will be green, but Similan is blue. It was snorkeling time and into the waters we went. Swimmers or not, we went in. And some were swept by the strong currents to far far away. Be warned on such trips, stay around your boat. And keep your head up constantly. For anyone not familiar with trips like these, be told now that the sea is not your private backyard. Boats will come and go and can run you down unaware. So please wear bright yellow bikini or trunks. Or stick a flashing torchlight up your ass. Be a beacon in the so blue waters.

Dare to bare, even the Asians did. In our conservative bringing up, this is not the norm. But they did. And they swam free topless in the ever blue inviting waters. Borderless, free to sway and unbounded. Perky but well tanned Asian flesh. I would love to see my friends doing that someday.

And to Donald Duck Island we headed. Someone put a large rock the shape of a duck on top a rocky hill (just a matter of speech, no one could have put it there). And so came the name the Island was christened. Further up hill, some one else put a very large rock precariously balanced right at the top. And so we were invited to climb to that rock, young old male and female. Unaware of the treacherous journey, we went, barefooted! On damped soil we stepped, on sharp rocks we made our feet gripped. I ain’t no monkey but the crossing I must make. Some passage required us to hold on to ropes to go around large rocks, the plummet to oblivion a possibility. We were all instant professional cliffhangers. And so atop the hill next to the well balanced rock, the view was beyond words (probably because scared until balls gone and no words can come out from mouth). Crowd control was never present. An accidental nudge will cause someone to cliff dive into cliffs. But no one cared, this is Thailand. We did the ritual of putting sticks to support the rock, in a testicular believe … I mean Similan believe that our wish will come true as long as our stick holds the rock in place.

The trip, one of my never ending crusade to visit all the nice islands of Thailand. My journey continues.

Full photo sets here under Similan Nov 2009.