This is a tiny outfit. Susanna runs the operation, deals with customers, books trips, and pickup people at their hotels. The company only has one boat, which is skippered by Meow assisted by Kay. Normally, there is a Western, English-speaking guide on board. For my trip, only Meow and Kay. Their English is less than limited but communication was fine, especially since I tried to learn a few Thai words from them. Meow's is a decent size long tail that he uses during the low season for fishing. In the high season, he installs a roof, side panels, and benches so he can take people on these trips. Meow's mother cooks the Thai lunch. I had red curry with chicken, stir fried squids, steamed rice, and cucumbers. The meal was truly delicious, probably better than at most of the tourist restaurants in Thailand.
Susanna picked me up at my hotel on the west side and drove me to Lanta Old Town on the east side. I boarded the boat at Meow's house, right from the front porch. As soon as we set off, I was offered two kinds of sweet Thai snacks and three kinds of fruits. Drinking water was abundantly available throughout the trip.
I booked a private trip to the Trang islands. First stop was a snorkeling spot. Our boat was the only one around. The corals and fish in this area seem better preserved than in the area around Phuket. Then on to a cave, must be Emerald cave. Meow and I swam in. Again, there was no one but us. This must be a rare event because judging from the graffiti on the walls, this place must be heavily visited. Then on to a hong called Morakot. This place is magical. One has to swim in the dark through a tunnel of about 80 meters long. Then suddenly one emerges into a pool of blue green water fringed by a soft sand beach, the whole thing surrounded by sheer cliffs from which hangs a profusion of plants. Again, this place must be heavily visited. As we we arrived, there was a large group of Chinese tourists being towed out on a line, on account of them not being able to swim. The standard procedure is for the guide and his clients to don life vests and swim in aided by fins. The guide wears a head light. Again we were lucky as when Kay and I were inside, there were no more than 10-15 people. But on our way out, we ran into a large group of Scandinavians coming in. Next stop was a very nice beach on Koh Ngai where we had lunch. Meow beached the boat, spread out a clean sarong, and served his mother's delicious lunch. Afterwards, we went to a spot off of Koh Ngai where I did some snorkeling, again all by myself. I think of all the snorkeling places I have seen so far in Thailand, this one is the best. (I hear Koh Rok Nok is great but have not been there.)
After this last bit of snorkeling, we headed back. Instead of taking me back to Lanta Old Town, Meow took me back to my hotel, which is located on Klong Jark beach, on the west side of the island. Just then it started to rain pretty hard. Meow steered the boat to avoid as much of the rain as possible even though at one point it was pouring down pretty hard. Nevertheless, he expertly piloted the boat around the southern tip of the island and back up on the other side. As we got into Klong Jark, it was still raining fairly hard. Under Meow's guidance, Kay rummaged around to find a plastic bag, emptied its content,and gave to me to put my day pack in. They did not want my day pack to get wet! I was floored - I would have been fine with a bit of rain on my gear, no big deal. Klong Jark beach in the afternoon low tide is covered with boulders. But Meow landed the boat at a sandy spot right in front of my hotel.
What else can I say? A great little outfit, a nice bunch of people.
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