Snorkelling and The Emerald Cave

I wake up to the dawn chorus; there are no sounds here except the waves, the birds and the wind blowing through the coconut trees. I wouldn’t say I have had the best night’s sleep, as the beds are so hard we may as well have slept on the floor but when I look out of the door I feel so invigorated and alive. It’s really fantastic to wake up on the beach in such a beautiful setting. Simon goes to get our usual coffee and we sit sunning ourselves in 2 battered old deck chairs on a completely deserted beach.

A young couple from the Netherlands called Eva and Jan have asked us if we would like to share a boat with them this morning to explore the islands around us. We are waiting to see if Maisie is feeling better before we make any firm plans but when the kids wake up around 8am she’s ok and says she does want to go out today.

We have some pineapple, papaya and banana for breakfast and then set off in the boat. I chat to Eva on the way, like most people we have met they are travelling the other way round to us and we talk about their experiences in Cambodia and Vietnam. Soon we arrive at The Emerald Cave on Koh Mok, for many years this cave was used by the local people who gathered bird’s nests from it and then used by pirates to store treasure. At low tide it is possible to take a boat through the caves but at high tide the only option is to swim through the 80metres in pitch black. We were expecting this so aren’t surprised but I think it came as a bit of a shock to Eva and Jan.

We all don our life jackets and jump off the edge of the boat and into the deep blue water. It is warm and clear, the fella’s are feeding small blue and yellow fish off the ends of the boat and they are all around us. The kids of course love it. We swim to the start of the tunnel, our guide has a torch but it is very dark and cool out of the sun. We start to swim along slowly, even though we’re all so close together I can touch Simon and the kids, I can’t see a thing. It is quite a strange experience swimming along in complete and total inky blackness.

Suddenly the tunnel opens out and we are in the sunlight and fresh air. It is I suppose, a bit like being inside a volcano with tall cliffs stretching upwards a hundred metres or so high. There is a small beach and the water is very warm. Although it is really amazing and beautiful it is slightly spoilt by the fact that there are loads of people in there. So much for getting an early start to avoid the crowds!

We swim back to the boat and set off for Ko Kradan, this is the most unspoilt of all the islands in the Trang province and has a lovely deserted beach. We try several beaches and use the snorkel equipment we have hired to look at the fish and underwater rocks. By now it is 2pm and we’re all hungry. We set off back to Ko Hai and enjoy the wonderful scenery along the way. We managed to get some photos but it was difficult due to the large amount of spray coming into the boat!

Back at our island I have a quick shower and realise that I have left both our shampoo and razor at the guesthouse in Trang. What a pain, now I have to contend with dirty hair and hairy legs and that is enough to make me decide we should move onto Ko Lanta (A bigger island) tomorrow. Still despite the misery of that, the fantastic food makes up for it and I have chicken, coconut and ginger soup for lunch. So good, I can’t tell you!

Simon spends the afternoon doing maths with the kids and I lie on the bed nursing my sunburn and reading my book. Later we have dinner of fried chicken and mixed vegetables and round it off with coffee and a packet of M&M’s each.