Jan 312019

After a long, hot morning here at Koh Surin, we will head East in search of cell towers and hot showers. It’s hardly been “Survivor, Thailand” out here, but we value our little luxuries.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

While our checkout time was noon, our electricity went off at 7:00 as usual, so there wasn’t much reason to linger in our cabins. On previous trips, we squeezed in one last morning snorkel, but with Kasma under the weather and a substantial increase in the cost of boat rentals, we wouldn’t be going out for just a few hours and then rushing to clean up and pack before noon. Instead, we variously relaxed, wandered in search of good photo ops, or edited fish photos. Basic meals were eaten. When we were finally able to catch a longtail boat to take us out to our speedboat ferry, we were first to board. With all of the campers squeezing in, it was once again a tight fit. Fortunately, with calm seas, it wasn’t too bumpy a ride.

Back at the pier, we picked up some items from Sabina Tours’ improvised shop, including a few “beer snacks” and the local kapi (shrimp paste). Best known for its powerful smell — take care packing it in your luggage — this variant is purpler in color (from the eyeballs of the tiny shrimp) and milder in its flavor and shrimpy aroma. It is a very nice product for recipes that make heavy use of shrimp paste, such as certain dips and fried rice, but it’s also considerate when cooking with friends not to stink up their kitchens too badly. Now my goal is to avoid breaking the plastic jar before I get back to California, as that would cause chaos.

We stuffed our bags and purchases into our vans and headed to nearby Khuraburi where our elegant eco-lodge awaited. The Kuraburi Greenview Resort no longer has a karaoke stage in its dining room, so it’s not as fun for me as it used to be, but it’s still a pleasure to stay here after our rustic experience on Koh Surin. The usual swimming and flower garden touring were curtailed by a few rain showers, but inside, the shower and A/C worked well, and the views over the balcony are still great.

Our dinner was surprisingly mild, perhaps because Kasma stayed in her room with a cold? But we didn’t send anything back as we needed all the time we could get to pack a small overnight bag for our next stop, a floating “raft house” on Cheow Lan Lake, in Khao Sok Park.

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