Day 9: Krabi (Hong Islands)

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If the idea that it can just keep better keeps holding true, my mind will be completely blown by the end of our trip.

First stop

First stop

Today we had booked a trip to the Hong Islands on a long tail boat from our hotel.  The Hong Islands are literally right out in front of our hotel, so it is obviously more convenient to leave from here than to go into Ao Nang for a long tail.

Snorkeling wore him out!

Snorkeling wore him out!

We woke up early and meandered downstairs for breakfast.  We were set to leave at 8:00 am, so Miguel wasn’t so spry at first (I think he both loves and hates me for waking him up so early every morning).  Yesterday, we ordered “picnic boxes” for ourselves for lunch.  We wondered why they had been expensive and we found out why…

Short of bringing out a tiny box with a small amount of food, they brought out two huge cake boxes.  Not only were they big, but they were heavy!  Luckily, we would have the boat to hold our things we didn’t want to carry, but really….maybe the term “picnic” has some different meanings…

LOVED the first stop!

LOVED the first stop!

After breakfast, we were off.  The ride from our hotel to the first island that holds the park office was maybe 20 minutes.  Luckily as we arrived, there was no one there.  Our driver threw us some masks, pointed to a spot in the small bay we should go and told us to be back in two hours.

Longtail

Longtail

The place was incredible.  The lighting wasn’t great yet to take any photos, so we both headed into the water to snorkel around for a bit.  If you remember, we did a dive in Ang Thong.  Ang Thong was great because of the diversity (you can see some things there that are unique…like the sea turtle and the blue spotted rays and sea snake), but this place had a massive amount of fish…my favorite being the parrot fish (so beautiful).  The clarity was really good as we could see all the way to the bottom (about 3 meters).  In the middle of the little bay was a tiny rock island.  On the side of that facing the beach, there were plenty of fish, but we headed around to the other side and were pleasantly surprised.  Coral was starting to grow…or maybe I should say regrow….and there was an even greater amount and variety of fish.  It was great!  At some point, I noticed Miguel had left me and most likely headed back to the beach.  After about an hour, I headed back in too for a little break.

Outside of the bay on the first island

Outside of the bay on the first island

What was our own private little sanctuary when we arrived had become really crowded while I was in the water.  I laid on our new beach mat for a bit with Miguel, but decided to head back into the water to take advantage of the clarity and also to get away from the people.  While there were other people snorkeling too, all were close to the beach and wearing life vests (my cue that they were weaker swimmers and wouldn’t venture too far around).  I was again rewarded by having the water all to myself on the other side of the little rock island!

The floating dock on the first island

The floating dock on the first island

Final long tail picture!

Final long tail picture at the first island!

When we left this first island, our driver took us to a little bay surrounded by high cliffs and mangroves.  The water was a really nice color and it was pretty shallow.  We hopped in the water to see if we could see anything near the mangroves.  In Florida, mangroves are usually a great spot to see some wildlife.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good here…although we saw some crabs and I even saw a baby barracuda (disappointed Miguel missed that one!).  We didn’t stay long here, but it was a really beautiful place to see.

Entering the bay

Entering the bay

Our longtail driver!

Our longtail driver!

The mangrove bay entrance

The mangrove bay entrance

Our last stop was another little island that, thankfully had almost no one.  We took our massive “picnic boxes” and went to eat lunch.  We opened the first box and realized they failed to mention how much food they gave you!

Last stop!

Last stop!

Our lunch view

Our lunch view

More of our lunch view!

More of our lunch view!

We ordered Pad Thai.  Well, it came with fruit, pad thai, an assortment of danishes, chips, chocolate sticks and fruit chews.  It was more than two people could eat together.  Needless to say, we saved the other box for the next day.

Random swing

Random swing

After eating, we went back into the water for some snorkeling.  We saw a similar variety of fish here, but the clarity wasn’t as good (but there was a current around the island, which could have been causing it).  What I did see A LOT of were shrimp goby.  It became my personal challenge to swim/float by them without darting back into their hole!

Just a little clear...

Just a little clear…

The last beach

The last beach

On the way back

Cool old boat

Cool old boat

We stayed on the island for a few hours and then decided to head back.  It was a really amazing day.  By the time we got back, it was 14:30.  We wanted to work out, but honestly, it was still way too hot for us.  We hadn’t been to the amazing pools yet, so we decided to relax for a bit and wait for it to cool off a bit.

Our hotel from the water

Our hotel from the water

Saying goodbye!

Saying goodbye!

Beach in front of our hotel

Beach in front of our hotel

Just playing...

Just playing…

OK..more "serious"

OK..more “serious”

Obligatory nice selfie

Obligatory nice selfie

Goofy selfie!!!!

Goofy selfie!!!!

The pools at the hotel are really cool as they are all infinity pools with a view of the water…although for me, the pools could be warmer!

Our hotel

Our hotel

More of the pool/restaurant area..

More of the pool/restaurant area..

Looking up to the main building

Looking up to the main building

Infinity pool!

Infinity pool!

Pool selfie!

Pool selfie!

In the evening, we did some crossfit.  I chose our skill to be some scaled work with pistols.  The movement is deceptively difficult because it pulls in a good mix of not just strength, but balance and flexibility.  This exercise proves even more challenging for me as I no longer have a good range of motion after my ankle dislocation.  As I go down a little past halfway, my ankle just doesn’t want to move anymore.  So, we did some negatives work with these (I WILL get it!:) ).  After, we wanted to do strength training, specifically cleans.  All they had were dumbbells, which we used to do a kind of awkward, desperate work with cleans…and nothing really replaces a barbell!   I chose a WOD that wouldn’t be as long/draining/horrible/awesome as yesterday: “Ivan the Terrible” (with some modifications).  The original workout called for 90 second jump rope, lunges, pushups, situps.  Well, we didn’t have a timer and we had no ab mats (concrete and sit-ups inevitably leads to monkey butt, which is not something you want to have on vacation).  So, we decided to do 200 single count jumps and four count scissor kicks to replace the sit-ups.  The repetition scale went 50-40-30-20-10 with the jump rope count staying the same each time.  It was a really good WOD, although after yesterday, it felt like an “easy day”….I think a lot of WODs would have felt that way after yesterday.  We worked out in the corridor like the day before because of a mix of space and the horrible, mold like smell in the gym.  As a result, we got a lot of gawkers during the workout (a little annoying, but at least no one gave us shit for using the corridor as our box).

A visitor to our room

A visitor to our room

Selfie madness!

Selfie madness!

Elevator was slow...

Elevator was slow…

...really slow elevator...

…really slow elevator…

Seriously...

Seriously…

After the fullness of that day, we decided to shower, order room service and chill.

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