Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pang Nga Bay... Ito Na Ba Yun???

PJ and I arrived at the Pang Nga bus station at 4 a.m. last Monday. As the sun rose, we were stunned by the towering karst cliffs gleaming in the early morning light. We realized that the town of Pang Nga sits at the foot of this surreal landscape and nothing could've been a better sight after a long bus ride from BKK. Our host, Tone, picked us up at the station and brought us to his house that is surrounded by rolling hills of a rubber plantation. Driving around, we soon realized that rubber is the main industry in this part of the country.

Pang Nga town early in the morning

Moi at the rubber plantation. I didn't know that rubber grows this tall ha. Wala yan sa Surigao, shet.

Later in the afternoon, we went to the Phuket International Airport (a good 40 minutes by car from Pang Nga) where we picked up his cousin who arrived from Bangkok. We were joined later on by one of Tone's former students. The group headed off to Phuket Fantasea, one of those glittering shows that feature elephants, tigers, trapeze artists, dancers, pyrotechnics, giant sets, rain-on-the-stage, and so on. The ticket price comes with dinner, but I think it's a bit pricey for a show that is garish and lacks context (oh the never-ending spectacularization of Thai culture is getting on my nerves already). Anyhoot, we were there and we tried to enjoy the show nonetheless (no photos allowed). The show ended at 11 p.m. and we still had to drive for an hour back to Pang Nga town.

Phuket Fantasea, a must-not-see in Phuket

The following day, PJ and I took a tour of Pang Nga Bay, probably the most popular destination in the province. We hopped on a long-tail boat crammed with a cargo of dried shrimps and boxes of fish sauce. The boat meandered around the vast mangrove forest set in a magnificent backdrop of soaring karst walls. The boat dropped us in Panyi Island, which is home to a Muslim village sitting on stilts. We allowed ourselves to get lost in the tiny alleys until we reached the "soccer field" of the local school that is cantilevered over the murky water. From there we had a good view of the bay, just perfect for camwhoring.

Top: Jetty to Panyi Island. Bottom: Panyi Island.

The fags invade Panyi Island in Pang Nga Bay.

For only 800 baht, we took another long-tail boat to the famous James Bond Island (supposedly The Man with a Golden Gun was shot here in the 70s). Oh, our boatman (I don't know how else to call them) was a young, dark, gorgeous thing with the cutest smile in the entire Pang Nga Bay. On our way to James Bond Island, our boat went under a cave just big enough for small boats to pass through (it reminded me of Suhoton Cove in Bucas Grande in Surigao). A number of tourists were kayaking around the cave.

Scenes in Pang Nga Bay, including the cave in the sea with tourists in kayaks.

The boatman said he was bringing us to a beach good for swimming. We were disappointed that what he meant was a strip of sand in a tiny cove with uninviting murky water. He then said that he will leave us in the cove for five minutes as he supposedly needed to "go to the toilet". And who can refuse such an excuse, especially when he flashed his beautiful smile? However, PJ and I panicked as he sped away. At that time we were dead sure that we were stuck in that freaking cove until the tide washes us away to the Andaman Sea. But indeed cute boatman picked us up long before we could finish a stick of cigarette. The fags were relieved (and hopefully the boatman too).

The gorgeously crispy boatman at the cove "good for swimming". Duh.

He then brought us to James Bond Island, which is a disappointing column of rock sticking out in the middle of a cove. Methinks: this is it??? That rock must feel like one superstar as hordes of tourists gawk at it and as cameras click relentlessly. It was mayhem dear. But well, we were there already so we took loads of pictures and PJ even decided to take a dip in the water, the only tourist to do so (the water was murky because of the mangroves). Some tourists were kayaking around the area and some were getting tans on the decks of their yachts.

James Bond Island

Tourists at James Bond Island. Parang artistang pinagkaguluhan ang isla ha. Ang ganda nya.

After a day spent in Pang Nga Bay, we went back to the mainland, said goodbye to cute boatman, and took a songtaew back to Pang Nga town just as rain came in torrents. Tone drove us back to his secluded house in the hills where we spent an evening with his parents.

With Tone's parents.
Salamat, salamat sa mainit nyong pagtanggap sa amin.

To see more camwhoring on our first two days, click here.


jericho said...

shettt .. ang ganda ng lugar ... luv luv ko talaga ang Thailand ... and the Thais op kors!

kawadjan said...

jericho: maganda cya pero di kahanga-hanga. wait for my post on krabi. doon ako natulala.
love ko rin ang thailand... ang thais, well, ewan ko lang. charing!

gibo said...

mukhang hindi happiness ang trip na ito. ang saving grace lang ay ang boatman :-)

yes, krabi is fantastic. hintayin ko ang post mo on this.

Sh@ney said...

Good Morning,
Just dropping by to let you know you have been linked at the LGBT Bloggers List Blog I am compiling.
Thankyou and have a great week ahead.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin