Frugal Bastard's Cruise 2008 - Day 5 - October 8th 2008
First view of Thailand.
Koh Poda (Island) at rear - our destination.
Our destination from water taxi.
Unloading the water taxi.
Beach on Koh Poda (Island).
Rest of beach on Koh Poda (Island).
The first noticeable thing upon landing was that the monkeys were roaming around in packs and annoying people. The monkeys rifling through everybody’s belongings whilst they were swimming or snorkelling. Not long after we landed a lady was bitten by a monkey she was trying to chase away. She had to return to the ship for medical treatment and I heard later that she was taken away to hospital. Not a nice, abrupt finish to the holiday. Another lady stepped on a sea urchin and they were unable to remove the barbs so she had to go back to the ship to see the doctor. Perhaps a warning about the dangers faced with monkeys and sea urchins might be advisable from the tour operator.
Koh Poda is a beautiful island. There’s a small shop and it costs 10 baht to use the toilet and 30 baht to have a shower. Kayaks or sea canoes could be hired for about 80 baht – that’s cheap.
The range of tropical fish, coral and sea slugs was very similar to Hawaii. The tiger fish nipped Miky and Yu-Jin. I didn’t like the way the small school of these fish encircled you. We did quite a bit of snorkelling and met Tony and Lorraine from Wales, after a monkey tried going through our belongings. In actual fact, the monkeys were great for helping you meet other cruise passengers. You had to stick together to protect your things! I was videoing a monkey who was doing some thieving and it was Lorraine behind me yelling at a monkey to go away. She and Tony said they would take care of our gear whilst we snorkelled. This couple took five or six holidays a year, not all cruises, so they’ve seen some fantastic places.
Cheeky Monkey on Koh Poda Island in Thailand
There was another island nearby and I decided to swim to it. Next to it was a smaller island in the shape of a jet ski. The round trip took me 25 minutes and it was about 300m offshore. It was a little disconcerting not being able to see the seabed for quite some time and it only reappeared once I was about 10-15 metres from the small island. There was a huge school of silvery coloured fish however and a great many sea urchins.
Nearby island to Koh Poda (Island).
Fair way back to the ship.
Coconut trees everywhere.
Looking back at the mainland.
Welcoming sign - Poda Island.
Not so welcoming sign - tsunami warnings.
Three hours on the beach was enough so we headed back a little early and prepared for a late lunch. Miky had a workout upon returning, Yu-Jin went to childcare and I had a sleep. Too much swimming (that’s my excuse). Excellent meal after Yu-Jin had a swim later.
Back on the water taxi.
Me on the water taxi.
Heading back to the ship.
The next stop was Phuket which we reached that evening but we weren’t interested in leaving the ship for any of the night shows. We went ashore at the port to have a look at the markets there but it was only for about two minutes before the rain and wind drove us back. Whilst walking around the ship’s deck we noticed lots of people heading towards the Galaxy of the Stars so we ventured in. It was for the gameshow “The Weakest Link” and I was chosen as the seventh and last contestant. Matthew, a year nine student, was voted off first. I remember his father entering the room and announcing, “Here are the losers,” which was rather ironic with his son being the first loser. Matt James, a software engineering student from UWA, was voted off next. I was left with four women, Liz, Susan, Mary-anne and Rosemary, who worked for a politician but wouldn’t explain further, gave me three votes in the next round and I was voted off. I can safely say that I was never the weakest link so I’ll have to satisfy myself with the title of Smartest Man On Board. It was good fun in front of everyone – mainly older people who might forget by tomorrow anyway. Before I headed to bed I listened to some singing in the Bar Gemini.