9th August - 11th August (internet cafe Rayleh beach)
When i bought my ticket i was a little unsure quite how i was travelling - apart from the boat part; the journey turned out to be quite an adventure. At 12.30 i was collected by minibus from my resort and after a few stops to let various people on and off and travelling at breakneck speed we arrived just in time for the boat from Nathon harbour. The boat to Surithani on the mainland was fine. I popped into the toilet at the Surithani harbour, came out and showed my ticket to someone official looking who spoke quite frantically in thai to someone else, who then pointed to the moped taxi. I hopped on to the back of the moped carrying my large rucksack and some hand luggage and was taken at high speed to chase the bus that i had missed, after some beeping and waving the bus stopped and i paid the moped man 40B. The bus travelled about 20 minutes and dropped me an indian looking chap and a japanese lad on a street corner where we got into another minibus and were driven for about 10 minutes, each dropped at different places, i was at a roadside cafe where i had to wait so i had some noodles. There were other travellers arriving here. I was sold my first nights accommadation at 'jungle huts' in Khao Sok and at 18.30 me and a few others who were loaded into 2 minibuses. I think something had been happening beforehand to do with one of the drivers who was apparently a bit of a psycho and a few of the travellers, and there were some very pissed off people on board. When our driver stopped for petrol, two travellers got off saying they had had enough and would get a taxi. They left and the pscho came over and started pointing, shouting and swearing. Everyone was a bit edgy now. Our driver raced ahead of the psycho but after a while he stopped because he didn't know the way! After some phone calls he went on and after a bit of searching around we found jungle huts, most of the others hadn't booked anywhere so they got off as soon as they liked the look of somewhere. I arrived at 21.30 in a basic hut with a bathroom and a bed for 300B.
I only stayed one night in jungle huts, after some looking around i moved to 'Baan Rimnam' at 200B per night.
Most of the jungle tours left early so i spent my first day just looking around and reading. This is rain forest and surprisingly it rains quite a lot, electric fails quite often as well. Met Kiam (a tour guide) who showed me where to stand for the 18.30 bat highway and sure enough loads of bats came flying through along the river. Kiam is a really nice guy and a good guide, he took me, a group of four young english girls and a 34 year old german policeman on the lake tour the next day.
The whole group was very nice and friendly and we had an excellent day on a long boat, walking through muddy island jungle tracks, wading through rivers, swimming in the lake and exploring a cave full of bats and big spiders.
I was surprised at the lack of wildlife, there were no birds but we did see 2 monkeys literally flying from one tree to another, colourful butterflies and dragonflies, leeches on our legs, and big lizards. We all met up later for food and drinks in a really nice place. Also spoke to some british people who work in Krabi, they gave me some really useful information and it sounds like a great place so i am looking forward to that. Coincidentally Ralf is driving there there tomorrow morning so he is giving me a lift.