Friday, February 26, 2010

Koh Kradan, Thailand

Literally paradise! And I mean that in all seriousness. In fact, I just bought a book called, LITERALLY, THE BEST LANGUAGE BOOK EVER. It talks about the fact that people use the word, literally, all the time and don't mean it. They use it to embelish descriptive phrases. Apparently, we should all go around saying figuratively instead. Like, it was figuratively the longest line ever at the Embassy. I don't know if that'll catch on though.

Back to the point. Koh Kradan is a paradise. When we were planning our trip, it was a bit daunting weighing all the pros and cons of the different Thai islands without any first hand knowledge. I didn't want to end up on a crowded island with angry locals and beaches full of trash and the sand sprinkled with glass (many of the horror stories I read made this seem the norm). So, we waded through all the information we could find on the internet, polled our friends who had been there and finally decided on Koh Kradan. It was one of the only islands that we didn't find much information on...and therefore didn't read any reviews trashing the place. I think it was this fact that led us there.

We reserved a bungalow on the island before we left Korea. We knew we'd need to reserve in advance in order to have somewhere to stay over New Year's. Apparently, Thailand is quite popular at that time of year, and I can see why. This was my first year spending the holiday on a tropical beach, and I highly recommend it for anyone considering such a trip.

Koh Kradan is tiny. If low tide lasted longer, we could have walked around the whole island in a couple of hours. It doesn't have any roads, vehicles, or bikes. There were no stores, no clinics, no nothing...except for one swanky resort, a few bungalow operations scattered along the main beach, and a small camping area. It was paradise!

The water was so beautiful, two-toned blue and calm throughout most of the day. Absolutely perfect for swimming. The sand was white, white, white! No trash or glass to be found. The food was pretty good...especially at Paradise Lost. A resort owned by an American guy that reminded me a lot of Dustin Hoffman.

Our days followed a pattern similar to this...

Wake-up
Swim
Eat Breakfast
Drink Coffee
Lay in Hammock and Read
Walk along Beach
Swim
Eat Lunch
Lay in Hammock and Read
Snorkel
Walk along Beach
Swim
Shower
Eat Dinner
Drink Beer
Sleep

There was some variety...what I read, the direction we walked in, the food we ate, ect. It was one of the most relaxing times I've ever had. I miss floating on my back and feeling the current push and pull me around the bay. Aaaaaahhhh...I want to go back!



We didn't take any pictures the first day we got to the island. Instead we swam and chilled out. This is a photo of the sunrise the next morning.




Our rustic home for the week. (Yes, we did bring our own hammocks - and they were awesome!)

View from our Bungalow


There were a few more people near the other end of the beach close to the where the larger boats anchored. We lucked out and there were never many people on our little section of paradise.


During low tide, a sandbar emerged from the water and became a spectacular lounging spot.


Total Relaxation


This is the restaurant at the place we stayed. It was so nice sitting in the shade of the palapa roof, listening to groovy music, drinking wicked strong coffee, and looking out at the beautiful ocean.


Fortunately there were quite a few trees along the beach for us to string up our hammocks so we could change our view daily.


No skinny dipping for me...it's a halter suit.


There is a reef a few hundred feet from the beach. The lack of waves made the water perfect for prolonged back floating.


Another idyllic scene.




When the tide went out intersting sea life emerged.


Although some of it was pretty yucky. I think this is a sea slug.


We saw these signs on both of the islands we visited. A reminder of what can happen even in a place that feels so safe and peaceful.


Interior of the Island


The opposite side of the island (Sunset Beach) was more rocky and supported a number of wild pineapple trees.


It was pretty but there were sand fleas and only a few bare patches of sand. Needless to say, we didn't spend much time over there.


The path across the island was a nice way to keep cool and soak in a bit of the tropical atmosphere is the late afternoons.


I didn't know clematis grew on sand.


Kids in Kayaks


On New Year's Eve, Jason and I sat on the beach and watched the full moon rise.


Near midnight, the guys who worked at the resort lit these paper laterns. When they filled with enough hot air they took flight. It wasn't a very smooth operation, and luckily nothing substantial started on fire.


No high pressure sales tactics here. (Sales office for buying trips or boat rides to other islands.)


This little cutie pie liked to sit under our hammocks and keep us company in the afternoons.


Paradise

1 comment:

karmaking said...

Amazing photos (I don't know whether to credit you or Jason). I only hope I can make this my daily routine some day:
Wake-up
Swim
Eat Breakfast
Drink Coffee
Lay in Hammock and Read
Walk along Beach
Swim
Eat Lunch
Lay in Hammock and Read
Snorkel
Walk along Beach
Swim
Shower
Eat Dinner
Drink Beer
Sleep

I guess they call that retirement.

Oh, the big, slimy, sea thing is a sea cucumber. Much slower moving than a slug if you can believe that.