The Tarutao National Marine Park includes the enormous but seldom visited island of Tarutao, and the more remote Adang-Rawi group of islands where, weather permitting, we will spend many hours face down in the water and enjoying unspoiled vistas (or various beverages) on white sand beaches.
On my first trip to Thailand, I did my first snorkeling in the Tarutao park. The undersea life includes enormous colorful clams and soft corals, which were quite novel to me as I had never seen anything like them in Hawaii or Cancun. In recent years, the one island in the park open to development, Koh Lipe, has seen enormous growth. Setting “Survivor Thailand” here might also have increased the popularity of the park.
The bug is back. And although I could have squished him (her?) several times in flicking it toward the corner, it failed to take the hint to run down the hole. Currently it has left the bathroom and disguised itself against the wood paneling of the Western wall of the bungalow. I will let the housekeeping crew deal with it.
Pak Bara (February 4, 2010)
My morning leisure time was consumed with a small project for work, so I had no time for sunscreen as we rushed our bags into the van and headed down to the pier. Breakfast was a small plate of pad thai noodles with shrimp, supplemented with a ripe tangerine and a delicious coconut custard on sticky rice. Before boarding our boat, we shopped the local boutiques for shirts.
Every year, Kasma Loha-Unchit leads groups of her cooking students and other fans of Thai cuisine on trips to Southern Thailand. Highlights include hours of snorkeling on the extensive reefs in the Andaman Sea; relaxing on beautiful beaches; visiting a batik workshop; shopping in vast markets featuring fresh fruit, vegetables and prepared foods; swimming in jungle pools and hot springs; and eating lots of delicious Thai food. For a general overview of the experience of traveling with Kasma, see Visiting Thailand with Kasma Loha-Unchit.
What to Expect on the Southern Trip (Trip “So”, formerly called Trip “C”)
Kasma offers a 28-day Southern trip that covers the Andaman (West) coast of the peninsula and selected destinations on the Gulf (East) coast; in 2010, she offered a shorter 20-day trip focused on snorkeling the Andaman Sea; current and future itineraries may vary. Here are a few notes about these trips, based on having taken the longer trip in 2006 (and updated following the shorter trip in 2010).
Satun (Saturday, February 4, 2006)
The noisy air conditioner and defective showerhead made rising and shining a chore, but I made it to the lobby on time. We sped from Satun North and West to Pak Bara Pier where we dropped in on a local shop for a breakfast of pad thai noodles. I picked up a bunch of bananas for the island, but they would only survive 30 hours before becoming too overripe to keep eating.
Satun (Sunday, January 23, 2005)
We got on the road North to Pak Bara from where we would catch our chartered boat out to the islands of Tarutao park. We stopped for breakfast very near the pier, having a choice of various lunch-like items. I vaguely recall a slightly tough beef stir-fry, but I wasn’t taking notes.