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April 28th, 2011 | Asia

On to Ao Nang…

Riding over the short bridge that connects Phuket to the mainland...

We crossed over the bridge from Phuket into the district of Phang-Nga, rode north for a short while then turned east and headed for Krabi…

It was a great ride, albeit a short one, and was made interesting when Colonel Thick-Finger suddenly put his right indicator on and took us off the beautiful new highway leading to Krabi, and off down a narrow country lane where two cars were barely able to pass…

Together with Chenty, we had continually teased Trevor about his relationship with his GPS… Half the time, despite setting our destinations while standing shoulder to shoulder, his Garmin would take us off course once we were on the road…!!

We put it down to his TFS. (Thick Finger Syndrome…!!) Those hams for hands of his covered too big an area on the touch screen of his GPS, and when Trev was leading, I could always be sure that we would be taking an unwanted detour somewhere along the line…!!

A short sharp ride to Krabi, and then on to Ao Nang...

We later discovered that he had set his Garmin for the “shortest route” instead of the “fastest route” and this is why our tracks differed so much…!!

Huge outcrops of rock dot the coast in this area...

Great stretch of road getting there...

Trev’s took us on a short cut through lush countryside, along a nice twisty section of road before coming out back onto the highway short of the town of Krabi itself…

I refueled, and then we turned off the main highway and head for the coast, past Baan Klong and down to the beach where the long tail boats left for many of the islands including Phuket…

Phil was waiting for us there, and once again our timing had been perfect… His taxi to the harbour in Phuket and the 45 minute boat ride across the bay had co-incided without arrival in Ao Nang…!! We hurried along the beach road into Ao Nang town itself, found a hotel right on the main road and then Trevor went back to collect Phil…

Crossing over into the province of Krabi

Ao Nang is not a bad place to spend a few days… It has loads of accommodation and restaurants that line the main road across from the long beach, which attracts many tourists and locals alike… Long tail boats take snorkelers and divers out to the nearby islands for day trips from this beach, while for longer trips, you need to go back a few kilometres to where the little harbour is…

The narrow beach is perfect for those long walks that would take you all the way to the harbour and back…

The beach at Ao Nang...

The Ao Nang Sunset hotel, right across the road from the beach...

I planned to wait here while Trevor, Chenty and Phil went over to Phi Phi Island for a few days, but although the Ao Nang Sunset Hotel was both comfortable and affordable, the internet connection was lousy…

A stern look from "Mom" put paid to our idea of leaping off my balcony on the second floor and into the pool below... My explanation about being a "little boy trapped in a man's body" wouldn't wash either...!!

We took some time to make use of the large pool that was in the courtyard of the hotel and then walked a few kilometres up the main road to find a place to have dinner…

Phill found a place where they could get their tickets to Phi-Phi and decided that they would not bother booking accommodation there, but would rather look for a place once they arrived…

As it turned out, they did a heck of a lot of walking to finally find and over-priced hut on the beach that they all had to share…!!

One thing that bothered me during our walk on the streets of Ao Nang, was the amount of people carrying pet monkeys, Lorises and baby Gibbons, who charged tourists to have their photos taken with them…

It was heart-breaking to see these poor animals being carried along the neon-lit sidewalks, and I thought about where they should be rather than where they were unfortuneate enough to find themselves… Although the Slow Loris is nocturnal, the Gibbon is most certainly not, and should have been tucked up in the leafy boughs of a tall tree, rather than being paraded about at 10pm at night…!!

The big boys drew many admiring glances... People liked the bikes too...!!

The following morning, I decided that I would rather move on to a place where I could get a decent internet connection and work on my blogs while my friends went to Phi Phi to do some diving…

We made arrangements for Trevor to leave his bike at the hotel while he was away, and I loaded the Big Fella for another ride… I wasn’t sure where I was going, but was looking for a place where I could take it easy and do some writing, sort through the thousands of photos I had, and enjoy some time on a beach as well…

Somebody had mentioned Koh Lanta to me, telling me that it was a good place to visit, with a great mixture of rustic as well as up-market accommodation along the coast, and enough roads to take short rides around and across the island…

It was barely 100 kms away, and I thought I’d take a quick look and if it did not match up to expectations, I would still have plenty of time to ride further down the coast and look for another…

Trev and Chenty bid me goodbye, with the usual comments about how "lightly loaded" the Big Fella was... He hardly needs a sympathetic ear people...!!

We made arrangements to keep in touch over the next few days so that I could let Trevor know where I ended up, and they would follow in a few days…

©GBWT 2011

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