The breeze on the longtail boat was a welcome change to the stifling heat of our guest room. Tonsai was behind me, and I was feeling better. Czech #1 and I were headed to Phrang Nga to see Ao Phang Nga National Park. After a much longer bus ride than we imagined, we arrived to the tiny town of Phrang Nga. We had a nice guest house - complete with electricity and windows! Our first step was to find some wheels. We rented a motorbike from a local, and went off to find some nature. It felt great to be back on two wheels. We found a nice hike nearby, and enjoyed caves and waterfalls. On our way back we came across the Heaven and Hell temple. It was dusk, the temple was deserted, and it was unbelievably creepy. We climbed up to a crazy view from the top, dodging bats all the way up. There was a fire breathing dragon, morbid statues staring at us, and very large animals everywhere. We made it out alive and perhaps a bit more enlightened about our daily struggles with heaven and hell... on earth. A memorable first temple experience! Back in in Phrang Nga we found a nice local restaurant and enjoyed red curry soup, mango sticky rice, and great conversation. It was wonderful to reunite with a beautiful friend.
The next day we motorbiked it out to the Dan Pier to find ourselves a longtail boat. We booked through the National Park office, and Lim picked us up for our own personal tour. We rode by James Bond Island, but didn't stop since it looked a bit like a tourist trap. Instead Lim stopped off for swimming on a small island, took us through a cave, and stopped by a Muslim fishing village/island that was touristy, busy, and a bit stinky. That afternoon we took a motorbike ride to Natyai beach. Halfway there there was a rainstorm, but we were lucky to be driving by a coffee shop! We had lunch by the sea on a beautiful, quiet beach and witnessed a ceremony. There was a nice sunset on the ride back to Phrang Nga town, but the ride was a bit terrifying since it was getting dark. After a few close calls with very large trucks and buses we arrived safely back, and I vowed never again to motorbike in the dark! The next day we were off to Patong Bay - exciting but all I could do that night was lie in bed and think about my pending flight back to the US 2 weeks later... so soon! The resulting insomnia attack was not to be my last...
Combining a passion for travel, the desire to make a difference & a love of maps, MaggieMaps was born.
Unless otherwise noted, all prose, poetry, maps and photography posted on this blog are Copyright 2013 Maggie Maps
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