Today was our first full-day on the island – happy! We had booked cheap accommodation because we decided there was no point of paying lots for a hotel, which would still probably be half as nice as what you’d expect. Many times in the past we booked nice-looking hotels online, which turned out to be very out-of-date, bugs-on-sheets type of places. The fan on the ceiling was rather old and made lots of noise all night, so we both woke up with minor headaches (which could have also been the result of the hundreds of miles of travel the day before).
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If you’re the type who likes honest and friendly service, and don’t mind staying at a basic place, get in touch with Hostaria 239 – a hostel next to the entrance to Phra Ae Park and Phra Ae beach. The owner is Italian and he honestly advised us of the best things to do and where to get reliable bikes and so on. He also does a good deal on breakfast, so [in the cute little tree-house] we both had a nice coffee, an omelette, homemade bread and fresh juice of passion fruit mixed with orange. I’m getting hungry just writing about it. He was showing me his jars of yeast and explaining bread making processes and so on, it was really cool to meet someone who just loves BREAD.
Being slow as ever, we left in the middle of the day, with tropical sun burning everything on the surface of the earth. We rented brand new mountain bikes (bicycles) for like 60 baht for the rest of the day as they were closing around 5PM. We cycled along the main road to Saladan Pier, then followed it southwards along the eastern part of the island to the edge of the Old Town (didn’t quite reach the actual town!). There were a bunch of trees growing in weird colour water. I know my description doesn’t quite paint the picture, so you can just look at the picture haha.
After sifting through the restaurants offering sea-view we found a nice one and had a tasty meal to ‘carb-up’ for the ride back.
The island is quite hilly for a bicycle ride, so we were sweating non-stop, but the ride back was even hillier, where we were pushing our bikes up the steep forest road. Auste was uncomfortable at first to ride the bike along a narrow road, but the drivers were quite cautious and sounded the horn when overtaking, so we felt pretty safe.
It was funny when we wanted to explore an interesting looking dirt road and we saw a big snake literally swimming through the tall grass with its head keeping well above the ground. In my head I was like “Dayuum! I ain’t know nothin’ about Thailand!”. I really don’t know anything about the local fauna so we made a U-turn and headed back to the main road asap. That day we saw elephants with their ‘masters’ (a.k.a. abusers), wild monkeys, chained monkeys (#whywouldyouever), eagles, giant lizards, crabs and coloured chickens (don’t ask me why). Aaaand when we got back, we had the brilliant pizza from Le Colibri again…mmm…