Tiff’s Travels from Singapore to Phuket | Part Two

21st December 2017

Day 6 – Ko Tong, Thailand

Star Clipper Thailand

Our first beach day today, so we were very excited to grab our snorkel equipment and get in the tender boat which takes passengers to the shore. It was a wet landing, which meant climbing down the ladder into the sea – all part of the fun. Ko Tong, known as Monkey Island, is home to hundreds of wild monkeys... A large monkey was sat on one of the Star Clippers kayaks and stared hard at us, wondering what we had in our bags. Looking for food to steal, it was soon joined by more monkeys, who crowded around us in the hope of a free meal.

They soon gave up and ran into the trees, leaving us to explore the stunning white beach. The water was incredibly warm - so perfect for snorkelling and kayaking. We enjoyed some fast rides on the speedboat with the sports team as they showed off their water skiing skills. One of the ship’s waiters was on the beach with a cold box full of beers and soft drinks and, of course, we took advantage of this with a delightful Singha beer.

Reluctantly, at 5:30 pm, we left the gorgeous beach to go back to the ship, in time to prepare for talent night. Somehow, we got roped into singing Abba’s Dancing Queen... And after the talent show, we became dancing queens once again…

Day 7 - Ao Phang Nga

Phang Nga Bay

Cameras at the ready today! With photo opportunities as we sailed through the spectacular passage of Phang Nga Bay - famous for breath-taking scenery with limestone cliffs rising out of the emerald green Andaman Sea. Phang Nga is in the marine national park, with lagoons and vast mangrove swamps. There are 40 islands, some reaching an altitude of 1,000 feet and shaped like animals - with dramatic sea caves and sheltered, pristine beaches. Intricate stalagmites and the atmospheric lighting from cave openings produce a theatrical effect.

We took the speedboat excursion, cruising at great speed from the Star Clipper through picturesque Phang Nga Bay en-route to James Bond Island - one of the locations used in the movie The Man with the Golden Gun. We made a brief stop here to photograph the iconic giant rock and felt like we had stepped into a movie set.

James Bond Island

Our next stop was Koh Panyee Village, a “floating” fishing village established on stilts 200 years ago by Indonesian fishermen, who fell in love with the location. Their descendants are now the only inhabitants of Phang Nga Bay. We had a walking tour of this fascinating village, learning about daily life and visiting a school, followed by some local cuisine by the water’s edge. From there we journeyed back to the ship through Ao Phang Nga. Once again, we were travelling at high speed and, once again, we were able to marvel at the incredible scenery.

Back on board, everyone was getting ready for Captain’s dinner –where ladies put on their best dresses. It isn’t a dressy affair, but for those who wish to, the opportunity is there. The main course is a choice of lobster or chateaubriand… Both were excellent. This was followed by waiters dancing through the dining room balancing trays of lit Baked Alaska on their heads while everyone clapped and cheered.

Day 8 – Ko Miang / Similan Islands

Our final day of the cruise and another beach day with a wet landing. Koh Similan is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea - largely because of the clear blue waters that surround it - and is considered to be among the 10 most interesting dive areas in the world. This is because of the water and the abundant marine life. One of the most striking features here are the huge boulders that surround the western and southern shores. So, once again, plenty of photo opportunities.

A snorkelling safari was on the agenda for the afternoon, so back on the tender boat with our gear, where a whole underworld awaited - vibrant reefs and incredible marine life. From under the water to back on deck - we were about to enjoy our last evening aboard the Star Clipper. As is customary after the final meal, all of the crew gather in the dining room waving flags and singing “We are the World” – an emotional moment and time to reflect on the past week. Everyone has made new friends and created memories to take away with them.

Thailand Beach Boat

Day 9 – Patong Beach

Disembarkation day – always a shame, but all good things come to an end. Straight after breakfast, we got on the tender boat for the short journey to Patong Beach, where our luggage was stored at The Seaview Hotel. We had a stroll along the beachfront here, checking out the local shops for last-minute presents to take home. This was an experience in itself, as we soon discovered that many of these shops have back rooms where they store their fake goods.

By lunchtime, we were in a taxi to the Vijitt Resort & spa - 45 minutes away. We had a day room here, as our flight home wasn’t until after midnight. This gave us the opportunity to make the most of the facilities and relax. We had a light lunch near the beach before moving just a few feet to some loungers around the striking infinity pool. Within moments, the heavens had opened to a monsoon, so everyone ran for cover. We ran to the spa where we treated ourselves to a full body massage. The perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon and prepare the body for a long flight. Totally relaxed, we then went for a final cocktail down by the beach… And our final few minutes of Thailand before heading off in the taxi to the airport to begin our journey home.

Back to Part One >>

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