Our snorkeling time on Koh Lipe has come to an end, and we’ll dry out for a couple of days before resuming our observance of undersea life off Koh Lanta. In between, we will feast on delicious Thai-Chinese food and arise before dawn to visit a waterfowl preserve where we’ll test our photography skills.
We will be taking a break from snorkeling for three days, and then resuming from our new island base on Koh Lanta. In the meantime, we’ll feast on Chinese-Thai cuisine, do a little early morning birding, and take a little time to relax. Or update our blogs. ;-)
Our last morning on Koh Lipe involved another run through the buffet (ho hum) and then a chaotic transfer by longtail boat to the ferry pier. Pier is generous: a too-small rectangular area composed of air-filled plastic blocks has two speedboats tied up to it at a time, and several longtail “taxis” attempting to unload passengers and bags from all directions. No one seems to be in charge, but the captains of the ferries give orders and reprimands. Tourists approach one another for a clue, but we who cannot speak Thai are all confused.
Krabi (February 3, 2010)
We left the comforts of the Maritime and headed South for the final leg of our snorkel journey. Our first stop was for a lunch-like breakfast of noodles and fried chicken. When we arrived at Nua Klong, we outnumbered the available pieces of chicken, so a new order went into the fryer. Hot and deliciously crispy, the secret to this recipe, besides palm oil in the fryer and a dusting of rice flour on the chicken, is the type of lean, strong, free range chickens in this region. As we worked on our chicken, bowls of noodles in a pale green sauce began to arrive. These thin rice noodles, known as khanom jin, are made with a slightly fermented rice flour dough and traditionally served in a light coconut milk curry with ground fish. The noodles here are made on the premises, and have a nice texture; also the sauce is very tasty.
Koh Lipe (Tuesday, February 7, 2006)
Plans to try for another sunrise had to be scuttled when I overslept my alarm by 40 minutes. Perhaps the noise of the ceiling fan drowned it out, or my subconscious chose additional sleep. After a quick cold shower and a sprint of packing, I arrived in the dining room to a filling breakfast of rice porridge with a few chunks of fish, slivers of ginger, toasted garlic, and optional crushed chillies. Mmmm, seconds please.
Trang (Friday, January 28, 2005)
We checked out of our hotel in Trang and headed up the road for dim sum. The first spot, which apparently is the best place in town, did not have enough available tables for our party of 14, so we headed to a second. Our plates included a delicious roasted pork, as much fat and crispy skin as meat; steamed fish with ginger; siu mai pork dumplings (I’ve had better in California); fish cakes; fried bread (Chinese doughnuts); sticky rice steamed or grilled in some kind of leaves; sticky rice stuffed with pork; crab claws in a pork meatball in bitter melon; crab claws in a mixture of crab and shrimp meat; black mushrooms in a brown sauce; steamed pork buns; and, last but perhaps best, steamed buns filled with a bean paste-coconut custard blend. And, for once, all the tea I could drink. We were extremely full but we stopped just up the road at Kook Ming, the bakery that originated Trang cakes. After mulling the many choices in the gift shop, people settled on various favorites, and we sampled the “three flavor” cake. It wasn’t my favorite: it was more of a three-color-not-that-much-flavor cake to me, but I was still scheming a way to get a dozen of those bean paste buns for the island.
Koh Life (Wednesday, January 26, 2005)
Before leaving Koh Lipe, we had one last breakfast. Most of us had anticipated our first taste of “genuine” Pad Thai (without ketchup), and we had it before taking our longtail “taxi” to our big boat back to the Pak Bara Pier. Once on land, of course we ate again, having a lunch of prepared curries (I tried the goat curry, which was tasty but the meat seemed not to have been trimmed very well of gristle and hide), soups (I tried the beef, whose richness was tempered by cilantro and lime), noodle soups or fried rice. Then, quite quickly, we were on the road again. After a strong dose of Benadryl for itching, I napped in the van until we reached our hotel in Trang.