James Bond Island – un loc frumos in Thailanda / James Bond Island – a beautiful place in Thailand

This post is available in English too. Please scroll to the end of the post, under the romanian version and find it there. 

Ma aflu din nou pe plajele insorite din Thailanda, de data asta doar cu gandul, in timp ce va povestesc despre alte trairi pe care le-am experimentat acolo. Si pentru ca vroiam sa punem piciorul pe cat mai multe insule, am ales sa mergem in prima excursie mai lunga, care urma sa ne ocupe aproape o zi intreaga. Destinatia – insula James Bond, in golful Phang-Nga unde, in 1974, s-a filmat “The Man with a Golden Gun”. Am contactat o agentie din zecile de agentii existente in Ao Nang si a doua zi, la ora 7 dimineata, am fost preluati de la hotel de o doamna – ghid localnic – care ne-a condus la un microbuz. Impreuna cu alte cateva persoane, dupa un drum de aproximativ o ora si jumatate, am fost  transferati intr-o barca si… spre insula agentului 007 🙂

Drumul cu barca pana pe insula a fost spectaculos. Vaste paduri de mangrove care iti taiau rasuflarea, numeroase stanci  crescute in maresi o apa de un turcoaz incredibil, completau imaginile unui basm.

La un moment dat am ajuns aproape de un sat pescaresc musulman, suspendat pe apa, dar unde am oprit doar la intoarcerea de la celebra stanca.

Dupa inca jumatate de ora de mers cu barca am ajuns la Insula James Bond. Un loc foarte frumos, dar extrem de aglomerat, cu tarabe si vanzatori de tot felul de suveniruri, cu multi turisti aflati in cautarea celui mai bun loc de unde sa imortalizeze celebra stanca .

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Aici totul este foarte bine calculat, am avut o perioada de timp exacta in care sa ne intoarcem la barca si am plecat catre urmatoarea destinatie: plimbarea cu canoe. Am fost putin speriata pentru ca era prima oara cand faceam asta. Cel care ne-a insotit era un localnic cam prea glumet, a inceput sa faca niste miscari distractive cu noi doi in canoe, iar noi nu aveam nici macar veste de salvare. In fine, am trecut intr-o alta parte a marii prin niste sparturi in stanci, am vazut lagune impresionante, dar cea mai cool experienta a fost cand am trecut printr-o gaura sapata de apa in stanca, unde a trebuit sa ne intindem pe spate si sa nu ridicam nici macar un deget, pentru a nu ne lovi de peretele care se ridica amenintator deasupra noastra. Am tipat putin, nu stiu daca de placere sau de frica, oricum, a fost o senzatie placuta si usor inspaimantatoare, in acelasi timp. Vislasul nostru radea de noi de se prapadea si, din cand in cand, amplifica senzatia mea de uimire maxima: wow, beautiful, amazing:), simpatic omul, stia sa se vanda bine si mai stia ca ii vom lasa un bacsis, la final (in Thailanda peste tot dai bacsis, chiar daca ai platit serviciul respectiv, gasesti peste tot o cutiuta in care esti rugat sa pui tips daca ai fost multumit).

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Vanzatori ambulanti puneau la dispozitie nuci de cocos, al caror suc era excelent la 40 de grade si nu costa decat 40 baht bucata (aprox. 5 lei).

Fericiti ca am scapat cu viata si bronzati, impotriva vointei noastre si in ciuda cremei cu 50 SPF, am plecat sa luam pranzul, inclus in pret, in satul musulman suspendat, de care v-am vorbit mai devreme. Intrarea in sat se face direct prin restaurant.

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 A fost uimitor sa vedem cum traiesc oamenii aici, pentru ca este un sat in adevaratul sens al cuvantului: au o moschee, o scoala, un bazar foarte mare, o banca si chiar un teren de fotbal, toate functionale si construite pe niste picioare de lemn direct din apa. Unele constructii pareau, pe alocuri, ca se vor prabusi iminent. Eu nici acum nu inteleg cum oamenii aceia au curaj sa locuiasca acolo, in mijlocul marii. Am vazut si un aspect care nu mi-a placut, din pacate, dar mi-am dat seama ca asta face parte din viata lor: aruncau resturi menajere direct in mare, iar apa din jurul satului era destul de murdara. Ne-am plimbat putin pe strazilecam aglomerate, am mancat fructe de mare, orez si pui thailandez foarte bune. Locuitorii acestui sat din Provincia Phang Nga se intretin din pescuit, vanzarea suvenirurilor si acest restaurant foarte mare, tot timpul plin la orele pranzului.

Cine ar putea dormi aici?

Am continuat drumul cu barca spre debarcader unde ne-a asteptat acelasi microbuz cu care venisem dimineata. Pe drumul catre casa am oprit la un templu budist situat intr-o pestera, dar eu am fost mai atrasa de maimutele din jurul pesterei, care erau foarte numeroase, jucause si… flamande 🙂

Apoi am plecat la hotel, iar spre seara am negociat o excursie privata  cu long tail boat, doar pentru noi doi,  pentru urmatoarea zi (aici totul se negociaza, iar pentru mine a devenit o placere sa fac asta). Am incheiat seara cu o cina fabuloasa, la fel ca toate celelalte.

Adorm cu gandul la excursia de maine, cand vom avea o barca doar pentru noi doi, vom merge pe niste plaje superbe si vom face pentru prima oara snorkeling. Deja sotului meu ii surade o idee: ce-ar fi sa incercam in zilele urmatoare scuba diving?!? Hmm… vom vedea 🙂

Pe curand!

[…Eng…]

My holiday in Thailand – 3

I am again on the sunny beaches in Thailand, this time just thinking, while telling you about the other experiences I have lived there. And because we wanted to set foot on as many islands, we chose to go on the first long trip, which would take us almost a whole day. Destination – James Bond Island, in Phang-Nga Bay where, in 1974, “The Man with a Golden Gun” had been filmed. I contacted an agency from dozens of existing agencies in Ao Nang and the next day, at 7am, we were picked up by a lady – a local guide – who drove us to a minibus. Together with some other people, after a journey of about an hour and a half, we were transferred to a boat and … to the 007 agent island.

The boat trip to the island was spectacular. Spacious mangrove forests, breathtaking scenery, numerous “high seas” rocks and incredible turquoise water complete the images of a fairy tale.

At one point we came close to a Muslim fishing village suspended on the water, but where we only stopped when we left the famous rock.

After another half an hour of boat ride we reached James Bond Island. A very beautiful, but extremely crowded, place with stalls and sellers of all kind of souvenirs, with many tourists looking for the best place to immortalize the famous rock.

Here everything is very well organized and we had an exact time to return to the boat and headed for the following destination: canoeing. I was a little scared because it was the first time I did this. The guy who accompanied us was a bit nasty, he started making some fun moves with the two of us in canoe, and we did not even have rescue vests. Finally, I went to another part of the sea with some cracks in the rocks, I saw impressive lagoons, but the most cool experience was when we passed through a hole in the rock, where we had to stretch out on our backs and do not lift a finger, not to hit the wall that threatening rose above us. I cried a little, I don’t know whether of pleasure or fear, anyway, it was a pleasant and slightly scary feeling at the same time. Our rowing man laughed at us and, from time to time, amplified my sense of utmost astonishment: wow, beautiful, amazing, nice man, he knew how to sell well and that we would leave a tip at the end (all over the place in Thailand, even if you paid the service, you find everywhere a box where you were asked to give tips if you were satisfied with the service).

Vendors provided coconuts, whose milk was excellent at 40 degrees and it costs only 40 baht (about 5 RON).

Happy that we escaped safe and sound and tanned, against our will and despite the SPF 50 sunscreen, we went to have lunch, all inclusive, into the suspended Muslim village that I told you earlier. Entrance in the village is directly through the restaurant.

It was amazing to see how people lived there, because it is a village in the true sense of the word: they have a mosque, a school, a great bazaar, a bank and even a football field, all functional and built on some wooden pillars erecting directly from the water. Some constructions seemed to fall imminently. I do not even understand how these people have the courage to live there in the middle of the sea. I also saw an aspect I did not like, unfortunately, but I realized that this is part of their life: throwing household waste directly into the sea, and the water around the village was pretty dirty. We walked a bit on the busy streets, enjoyed great seafood, rice and Thai chicken. Residents of this Phang Nga province live from fishing, selling souvenirs and this very large restaurant, always full at lunch time.

We continued our boat trip to the pier where the same minibus we had come in the morning was waiting for us. On the way to our hotel, we stopped at a Buddhist temple in a cave, but I was more attracted to the monkeys around the cave, which were very numerous, playful and … hungry.

Then we went to the hotel and in the evening I negotiated a private long-tail boat trip only for the two of us for the next day (here everything is negotiating, and for me it has become a pleasure to do that). I finished the evening with a fabulous dinner, like all the others.

I went to sleep thinking of tomorrow’s excursion, when we’ll have a boat just for us, we’ll go on some beautiful beaches and we’ll do snorkeling for the first time. My husband got an idea: what if we would be trying scuba diving on the following day?!? Hmm … .. we’ll see.

See you soon!

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