Through a number of easily made miscommunications, our ferry trip from Mairood to Koh Mak was a comedy of errors and we weren't always 100% sure we were going to make it. Chin had asked us what time our reservation was for, and since he and Judy and others were going to Trat anyway, they kindly gave us a ride at no cost. The first miscommunication was him not being specific asking, and us not being specific telling (because we didn't really understand this) which ferry line (and consequently which of two piers) we needed -- and so, in the way things work, we went to the wrong pier. No one there spoke English and we speak no Thai, but somehow we realized we were at the wrong pier, approximately 20 minutes before the ferry was to leave -- and the other ferry was 40 minutes away. Our hotel on Koh Mak had already purchased our ferry tickets, but all there was to do was to buy new ones and take our chances. Someone at the ticket desk understood our situation well enough and called the hotel to tell them to pick us up at the correct pier on the other side.
So we boarded the big catamaran-style ferry (no life jackets visible anywhere despite a sign that said we were required to wear them) and headed off, hoping for the best. It was a 2-hour trip, since we stopped first at Koh Kood and then on to Koh Mak. Sure enough, a man from the hotel was waiting for us, with truly the most beautiful smile we've seen on our trip, and off we went.
|en route in the back of a songthaew|
Seavana Resort was really lovely, and our room was gorgeous -- but with a terrible absence of electrical outlets.
|our jewel box of a room|
|we had the top floor|
|sitting on our patio - behind those chairs on a slightly elevated platform was a jacuzzi we never used,|
and never planned to, anyway
|the butterflies were fabulous -- often the size of small birds! This one wasn't that large, but it was beautiful.|
|hammocks and day beds (and swings) were scattered throughout the property|
|sunset reflected in the little creek|
|wrong island, dudes!|
|crab tracks made me so happy.|
|these giant red leaves were everywhere|
|so happy to be in such a beautiful place. I'd forgotten to remove my yellow ferry sticker. :)|
|Marc specializes in art shots and panoramas. I love it when he's taking pictures..|
|here's one of his beautiful panoramas|
|the sky was really soft and beautiful|
|And here is a shot he took because he knew I would love it -- and he was so right. Leaves at the edge of the pool.|
|and speaking of the pool -- there it is!|
|The place doesn't look real, does it? It was really so very lovely. That island out there is the one we|
could've kayaked to. Too bad.
|Just your basic paradise, really.|
|The watermelon and pineapple were SO SWEET, and the|
yogurt was homemade, silky texture and lightly sweet with
vanilla, and my eyes practically rolled back in my head.
|walking to breakfast -- that's the restaurant on the right.|
On the second day, we decided to take a bike ride to the other side of the island. We figured it wouldn't be as windy as it was on our side (we were right), and we also figured the breeze would help moderate some of the heat. Although we thought the island was supposed to be flat, we'd obviously noticed that the bikes were of the mountain bike sort, and we scratched our heads over that. Hmph, why would we need to change gears? Why those larger tires? Why no basket for water and our phones? Hmph.
|At the Koh Mak Temple, these Buddhas watch over the harber|
|The monks' bathtub -- that snake with the little silver hat would make me nervous.|
|The Buddha you first see when you enter the temple grounds|
|Five Buddhas sitting around this tree.|
|But he is mighty cute riding his bike.|
|We passed so many rubber trees -- always planted in orderly, straight rows, each one|
outfitted with a small black bowl placed underneath a diagonal slash in the bark.
|so windy! But the clouds weren't blowing around at all -- it was all just whipping in across the ocean|
|But the sunset was still gorgeous -- not the pale pinks and oranges of our first night, though|
|We travel together very well|
|DANG it was windy.|
We'd planned to take the 1:30 boat back to the mainland, but due to the wind the later boats were all canceled, so we had to take the 11:30 boat instead. HOLY COW. That was like riding a bucking bronco, no lie. I was grateful Marc had dramamine in his backpack, because I'd have been puking. While we were waiting to get on the speedboat (not a big catamaran ferry like the last one), we started talking to a couple from Germany who were just leaving after 5 weeks -- they had also been at the Mandala Ou in Nong Khiaw! They talked to us at length about Sulawesi, in Indonesia, the island we'd planned to visit on that vacation but heavy rains caused us to change our plans and go to Bali instead. I don't know; the pig and rooster slaughters sounded pretty horrible, and the death ceremonies, and while I'd really love to have gone there, I'm not sure I could manage the actual being there. But MAYBE! They were quite adorable, those two, and when we boarded, they sat at the very back of the boat, the last row. And then as the ride got underway, and the waves started splashing us, and as the boat would go way up in the air and then slam down hard on a wave, we could hear them both laughing so loud, having a blast with it. Since I wasn't seasick I could have fun too, and while I was very cold from having sea water splashing me throughout the trip, and my glasses were so wet it was hard to see, it was still lots of fun. Of course it was great when we got to the mainland, too, I won't lie.
|This is the speedboat|
|REALLY GLAD TO HAVE LIFE VESTS|
|Dripping wet, but so happy|
So we have a night here in Trat, and tomorrow we fly from Trat to Bangkok to Taipei, where we'll spend the night and have much of the next day to sightsee before we board the flight home to NYC. Not sure I'll get a post in before we get back to NYC. Koh Mak was gorgeous, the people we met were all so kind and beautiful, and we had a great time. The staff were especially sweet to the small children at the resort; they would carry a baby around while the parents ate, or play with a child and put her pacifier into her mouth, or just chat with them so sweetly. We'll remember it with a smile, for sure.