Day 9 - Hongs, James Bond Island & the Ocean
This morning, we had the wonderful luxury of doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. Some of us woke up early and headed the beach to watch the sun rise, while others took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in. Those who didn't go to the beach spent their time by the hotel pool, relaxing and drinking one of the amazing fruit smoothies offered here!
After our relaxing morning, we took a short drive to the pier where we boarded a larger boat that took us to the island where one of the James Bond movies was filmed. The view was beautiful and it was so wonderful to get to see such perfect scenery! After that, we headed toward our first sea cave. We split up into pairs and hopped on an inflatable kayak with a tour guide paddling the way. The caves were basically underneath an island, but because the tide was low, we were able to kayak through them. However, at some points, the caves were so low and narrow that we had to lie flat on our backs, because if we made the slightest movement to get up, we would hit our heads on the rocky ceiling of the cave. After traveling through these narrow caves, they opened up into bigger open spaces, where the sky was visible, called hongs. We visited three different hongs, and each time, the natural beauty amazed us. As we went through one of the caves, bats hung upside down above us, flying back and forth, screeching to each other. Another time, we were able to see a family of monkeys on the shore, running around playing with each other. We also saw jellyfish, a baby crocodile, crabs, and cool little fish that could breathe both in and out of water.
We had a nice lunch on the boat, one that didn't include white rice, which was a happy change for our group, who was beginning to miss American cuisine. We had some time to swim and jump off the boat as well. As we headed back to the pier, we had a traditional thai dinner and watched the sun set from the boat. When we returned to the hotel, we bought yummy banana crepes from a nearby stand and split up to enjoy our last night in Thailand. Our options were to go to a local night market, go to the beach, or just hang out at the hotel. This was a truly amazing and unforgettable trip and this was such a perfect way to end it. Tomorrow we get on the planes that will take us back to New York! Before that, many of us plan to take advantage of our free morning by taking one last dip in the ocean :)
Carmen & Grace