Well… I say we are “get up and go” people, but the last few days have not shaken out that way. Again we rose late and being the laziest of all laziness, we had breakfast at the hotel. It was cheap and good (fresh fruit and yogurt) and allowed me to go straight back to the air conditioned room and do some much needed work.
I’ve chosen to travel with my laptop. This is because I know I’ll need to do work on the way around, and it’s just so much quicker with a full scale laptop. My phone can do most things, but not everything. And even what it can do, it takes longer. So if I have to work, it’s going to be in short quick bursts.
That out the way, we had some travel organisation to do. Aimi had picked the next hotel we are staying at near Railay. She usually has a knack for picking good holidays but we ended up with termites and cockroaches this time, so maybe she’s losing her touch? In anycase, we had to get back to the mainland and cross over the country towards Krabi. Both of us suffer with sea sickness so we asked the hotel receptionist to book us the early morning fast boat followed by an air conditioned bus. This should get us to the hotel by 3pm which is a good time to then relax by the pool for a bit and then get some dinner. Lets see how close to plan that goes on Monday…
We walked into town and as it started raining decided to do a bit of souvenir shopping. I got a cool TShirt with Koh Tao’s dive sites on the back. I’m very happy with it! We also met an Argentinian who has his own dive shop here but most seductively, a slackline set up to play on! I couldn’t resist having a bit of a bounce. Rain having stopped, we meandered down the road to find some lunch at a different random bar.
This one was basically made of just concrete pillars and a roof and then decorated with lots of lights in baskets and boating odds and sods strung around on driftwood and ropes. Finally Aimi chose something other than Pad Thai, which meant I could have it. (Along with my customary mango shake) But this was probably the least enthusiastic Pad Thai we have sampled so far. At least it was cheap at 280B for both of us which was a good deal at £6.50.
Or so we thought.
After a suspiciously short amount of time to be unrelated to the food, Aimi wanted to return to the hotel, to be near a toilet. I stayed well clear, out on the sun terrace we had been upgraded to, overlooking the pool. With our own access steps no less, lar dee dar! I can see why people go for these rooms. It’s quite nice to be able to pop back inside, have all your gizmo’s, books and towels to hand and guaranteed access to a sunbed without fighting off a herd of holiday-nazi’s. Not that our hotel was busy, it was literally just me and some retired Australians.
After chatting to them about the pool, hotel, where they and we had each been and comparing notes we ran out of things to talk about. I keep up to date with only the most important news, or property industry specific stuff. Aimi and I both don’t watch any random TV or really follow any popular series or show and neither of us like watching sport. We must be really boring people to try and talk to, haha! Meh, they were nice but never going to see them again, so doesn’t matter if they think we are boring! I went and ordered myself a mango shake and enjoyed the luxury of having it delivered right to my veranda as I listened to a fantasy audio book.
Maybe because of the queasy lunch, this evening Aimi was keen on some western food. We found an Italian in town called Portobello Bistro that had some great google reviews and we can fully understand why. This was the first restaurant that meets or beats western standards in all cases.
It was a modern, clean and well organised establishment, with comfortable dining furniture (not the usual spine breakingly low backed chairs most other places have). Its open air, so its as hot as the weather is, but every table benefits from a fan giving airflow. The waiters are attentive and understand English perfectly, always looking out for your eye and anything you need. Way better than any restaurant at any cost I’ve been to at home!
The toilets were clean, simple single loo cubicle affairs which in a hot country are normally absolute sweatboxes, but they had thought to put a fan overhead to give some relief as you relieved yourselves. Also they provided paper hand towels so you could actually dry your hands. Sounds obvious, but this is one of the only places on the island that offers this basic, but necessary, amenity.
The bar was fully stocked and the barman clearly knew what he was doing. We had 2 very tasty cocktails, Pomegranate Crush and Blueberry Mojito which were excellent. These also arrived fresh, cold and within only a few mins of placing the order so they are really fast.
And I’ve saved the best till last because the food is what we were here for. Specifically I saw a photo of the charcuterie board and knew that was what we needed. Piled with meats, salads and cheeses it was wonderfully fresh and familiar. Coupled with a pizza, it was the perfect amount of food for 2 people. The pizza, of course, is excellent. Plenty of toppings, good stringy cheese, thin and just crispy around the edges. And I requested that everything come out together, rather than individually like all other Thai restaurants. So that’s exactly what happened, which made it so much more enjoyable to be able to eat and share the food together. At the end we indulged and had dessert because another surprise in Thailand was cheesecake. Its my favourite dessert so I was keen to find out what it would be like and I was well rewarded. It was a beautifully made, large slice of perfect cheesecake, better than a lot I’ve had in the UK. There even “appears to be some red crap on my cheesecake” which made us laugh (if you know that episode of Friends)
It came to 1290 baht, which makes it the most expensive dinner we’ve had in Thailand. But given the service, quality and quantity of food, it was 100% worth it. And consider, thats still only £30 for something you’d easily pay £90 for in the UK.
After messaging Mr Mojo all day, we got confirmation we would be diving tomorrow. This is the last full day on the island, so I’m glad we can make the most of it. Time for an early night.