Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"A Little Island Getaway"

Well, that's what Lonely Planet promised us. It says, "soothe your nerves with a half-day getaway to Ko Kret, a carefree island... on Bangkok's northern edge."

Jenna has gone back to Korea, but Mimi is still here, staying at a guest house in town. So, we met up with her today for a little getaway to Ko Kret island.

First, Matt and I rode a tuk-tuk (love those things!) down to the pier and asked around about getting to the island. We found a guy who would take us in his long boat for a fair price, so then we waited a little while for Mimi.

Once Mimi came, we got into our little long boat with the driver. I was NOT thrilled about getting into this thing. It just seemed too flimsy to hold all of us.

But it held us, and the ride to the island was fun because Mimi was sitting in the very front of the boat, holding a drink that didn't have a lid on it. It was funny watching her trying to manage it while flying across the water in that little thing. (Think Evinrude on the Rescuers Down Under). So, he dropped us off at the island, and we told him we would be back in two hours.

First, we ran into a school where they were having New Year's parties. We definitely felt 'off-the-beaten-path', but we thought that was normal. Then, we ran into some houses... lots of houses. And this old lady was trying to say something to us, but we had no idea what she was saying.

So, we kinda wandered around, through this island village for awhile taking it in. It was pretty fascinating to see how these people live. We finally found a sign that pointed us in a direction to go to the pottery village, which is apparently the main attraction on this island. When we found that, it was pretty cool. You could meander through this huge warehouse (open-air, of course) and watch all the different stages of pottery.

This guy took 17 seconds from
getting the clay, shaping it,
putting the detail on it, and
then setting it on the board to dry!

Then ready for sale across the street. After the pottery village, there were a bunch of temples strung around the island. We finally did find our way to the real pathway and started walking. And we walked, and walked, and walked--seeing nothing in particular, just random houses. The scenery was beautiful at some points, and then you would round a curve and there would be a huge pile of garbage. Lots of 'spirit houses'. A few temples, but to be honest, I'm kind of 'templed-out'.

Matt turned around to me at one point and said, "I hate this place." We were tired of walking, really hot, thirsty, and tired of walking. Mimi was still quite content, so we were trying to keep our complaints to a minimum. But after about an hour of solid walking around on the concrete slab, I starting feeling sick, like dehydrated sick.
Thankfully, not too much longer, we kind of got our bearings and realized we were still at least a 40 minute MORE walk back to the boat. Mimi and Matt found a boat that took us further around the island closer to where we were supposed to meet our boat. He dropped us off at a dock, but it wasn't the RIGHT dock, so then Mimi went off in search of our boat guy. At that point, my cute, tired, hungry, cranky husband said, "I spoke too soon when I said I hate this place. I actually LOOOOOATTTTHHHHHE it."

I knew he was serious, but then we started talking about why we didn't like it. Turns out it was all about expectations. He thought he was going to a beachy-island with cantinas and lounging around. Poor guy. Next time, I'll have him read the Lonely Planet before we are off on a mini-day trip. I didn't know that it was going to be such a long walk around the island. I would have enjoyed it more had I prepared myself for that. I enjoyed the first 15-20 minutes of the island, but then I was ready to go.

The boat guy wasn't where Mimi thought he was, so then we regrouped and looked the other way. We finally found him and were on our way back. I wish I had my camera for the boat ride back. It was beautiful! And the fresh air and wind was what I needed to keep me from being sick.
I'll do another post with more pictures.

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