Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Year End Trip - Koh Adang

After the craziness of Koh Lipe, time to really let it loose and relax a little, get away from the hustle and bustle of people and crowd and immerse myself totally in nature.. And that's where I ended up - Koh Adang. A 10min longtail ride away from Koh Lipe (100B. For whatever reason, 50B doesn't work anymore!!)

Upon arrival, it is like instant quietness hits you. U look out at the beach and maybe you see a couple of people there, and you wonder 'Where are all the people?' Thing is the place is booked, and you see lots of tents but no one was out and about! It's so peaceful! Just what I need to cleanse myself after all the late nights and partying in Lipe..

Checked myself into my 600B bungalow. Pretty nice and cool, very spacious inside with attached bathroom (no hot water though). Electricity runs from 630pm till midnight.

There's only 1 restaurant that operates 0730-1500 and 1730-2100. Eat while you can!! Apparently, they kinda 'close' the kitchen at 830pm and starts playing lullaby songs as an indication that you're s'posed to go to sleep!!!
Adang is really small. The map shows it all! Only 2 visible trails to trek - The View point and the Pirates waterfall.

After dropping my bag, I changed and 1st stop - The View Point! It's only 800m so I thought 'Hey that's nothing!!' Alas, the sun and the lack of sleep did me in! 8hours of sleep in 2 days did nothing to my stamina. And with the sorching sun shining, I was huffing and puffing 10mins into the hike! Damn, this is so not me! Perspiration kept dripping and dripping and before long, I was drenched in sweat!!

There are 3 viewpoints in total, each higher than the next (Arbehden??) Viewpoint 1 was ok, you see Lipe and stuff but was not high enough. View point 2 was quite nice!! But of cos I don't hike up here to stop at No 2! It's all or nothing!

So it was, 40mins later, I made my way up to View point 3!!! Where you get an almost unobstructed view of Koh Lipe and the surrounding! It was quite magnificient!
I stood there, for a few minutes and just sat there and start into the open space. Then an idea struck me, since I'm alone (yes no one was there at all!! Cool!) And I'm facing this amazing view, let's do something crazy...

There you have it! I flashed Koh Lipe!!! Crazy tourist you say!! Who cares man! At least now I can say - I flashed Koh Lipe, Have You??

Then it's descent time and lunch at the fancy restaurant (the only one actually), where the phad thai absolutely sucked!!!! It was black, and I think it was fried flat noodles and NOT phad thai, which I ordered. But anyway hungry man. And it's freaking 80B, not cheap so eat it up!

After refueling, time to explore Pirates waterfall! Trail is well marked until the last 300m where there was no roadmarkers. You just follow the pipes (well they surely lead to the water source) and follow your instinct to go upriver.

That is where you need to climb over big slippery rocks and stones, and kinda makr your way through the somehow trodden road. I suffered a few slips and bruises while climbing my way over the water rocks but that's not going to stop me aiy!

About 45mins later, I reached the Pirates waterfall. And as some people have said, it is really nothing! Just a damn small flow of water, and the pool of water doesn't even look appetizing enough to dip into! All that for bloody 45mins of trekking and bruising myself?? WTF!! But anyway I had time to spare and wanted to do some serious workout so oh well!

After a good workout for the day it was time to relax by the beach and do nothing! Then wait for the sunset!

The crowd there was mainly families with kids or couples. One my 1st night, it was 90% families, and I was the only single backpacker there. Was rather lonely. But being tired, it was a good thing. Meant that I could read a book and just go to sleep early!

Next morning, woke up early to head over to Lipe for snorkelling trip. You can actually arrange for snorkelling trips on Adang itself, but because of the low demand on Adang, they don't have organized trips, rather they rent out the boats at 1,600B or 2,400B per day depending on the number of stops and distance. So if you can find a group of people to share, that is the best. Else, hope over to Lipe real early and get on one of their organized trips! I called the night before to book myself on one of theirs and turned up at 9am to pay. Was s'posed to be 650B but somehow I paid only 550B! My guess, either they deduct 100B as I didn't rent their mask/snorkel or because they had already filled up the boat and I was extra!

It was 5 stops at islands/points further away from Lipe.

Our 1st stop was at this location with nice stone formations.

Snorkelling here was pretty ok. Nice corals, colours and stuff...

6months out of action in the world of snorkelling, I almost forgot how to dive underwater! But a few tries later, it all came back to me!

2nd stop was so much nicer! Saw alot of colourful fish and great corals. Also saw a sea snake! Yea! Followed it for a while and snapping happily away!

The Chao Lay caption started feeding fish and they swamped towards the boat!

Trying to snap a photo of myself underwater

Saw a freaking HUGE eel and was trying to position myself for a good shot amid the tons of sea urchins and the strong current (it was between rocks where waves crash in) and in the midst of it, cut my toes and foot on the hard corals. Bleeding in the water, but still it didn't attract any sharks! :)

Lunch stop at Ko Rokroy, a nice small little island.. Spent most of the time just dipping in the water (too hot too hot!!)

Hiked up a small distance to a viewpoint. Not the most fantastic viewpoint but at least it was something!

After lunch, we headed to Monkey island where tons of monkeys loom... It reminded me of those hideous, cunning monkeys at Sister Island, who tore our potato chips, snatched our water and drank our beer!

After a whole day of sun and sea, it was back home to Adang. Close to the sunset time!

Met my new neighbour, a couple of German lads who just moved in next to me! Yea, finally a non-family! I was starting to get bored cooped on the island with families around!! 1 day of silence was good, but another day? Rested enough, time for some company and chit chat and Changs!

Watched the sunset once again, this time more beautiful than the night before and headed to the fancy restaurant yet again for our fancy dinner! Yea right... A couple cans of Changs later, the lullaby song was on, and before 10pm struck, lights were ALL OUT! And we had to retreat in the dark back to our rooms...

My german friends would later pop by Singapore (in transit) for a visit! And it was hilarious watching them try Durian for the 1st time!

1 comment:

khon Kaen said...

Just lovely - the story and the photos. I will be going to Koh Lipe next month and will try to visit some of the other islands too.