We’ve been on the island of Koh Phayam for six days now. Eight more to go. We’re finally settling into the pace…which is slow. It’s not easy to slow down completely, but we’re getting there. The kids keep us on the go, of course, but we’re finding time to relax and reflect on the busyness of the last 8 years. And sometimes I work a little on my book or do some freelance editing.
Amongst Thailand’s touristy islands, Koh Phayam is still fairly remote and very chill. After a flight from Bangkok to the small airport at Ranong, we took a 45-minute speedboat out to the island. There are no cars out here — just scooters — and only a few small shops, though there are quite a few guesthouses for tourists, most with simple bungalows like ours. The beaches are beautiful. The island is covered in thick jungle and swarming with large butterflies and birds, including some very animated hornbills. (I have to remember to get a picture!)
We’ve met some brave people. A European single mum who is travelling with her three kids, 5 years and under. A Burmese mum who had to leave her 5-month-old baby in her home country to work on the island through the seven-month-long tourist season. (She’s super smiley, but she said that even though she looks fine, she not okay in here, tapping her heart. Courageous woman. I still have visceral memories of the ache of leaving Manu at daycare as a three-month-old, and that was just leaving him for the day.)
This is the beach we’re staying on, at a little restaurant where we often eat. It’s a tough life 😉
One downside is that the water has quite a few tiny jellyfish. They only give a little sting but it’s enough to make the kids hesitant to swim. Izumi, on the other hand, has been thrilled to find a bit of snorkelling straight out from the beach. (He got *very* close to that lionfish — apparently about 2cm away — without realizing they’re extremely poisonous.)
Yesterday we rented scooters to explore the island. Izumi took one, with Kazu in the carrier on his front and Manu behind. Natsuki sat behind me on another. So much fun 🙂
With the scooters we could visit Long Bay, a beach popular for surfing. The sea was pretty calm yesterday, but we still rented a boogie board and had a few fun little rides.
In eight days time we’ll take a boat back to the mainland and then a six-hour bus to Krabi, toward the south. Until then, here’s a little farewell face 🙂