Island tour Koh Lipe

January 27th: Today we hired a Koh Lipe Taxi, which is a motor scooter with a side appendage that sits 2-3 people for an island tour for 400 baht, or $15 Australian. The island is not very big (no cars) and it only took about one hour to see the whole island. We are anchored in Pattaya Bay which is the main tourist beach, it is quite basic with a few shacks on the beach which are bars or restaurants and then one main street called “Walking Street” that has a lot of massage/pedicure places, a few dive shops and lots of cafes and restaurants. All very basic and quite reasonable prices. The beach has the most soft, white sand, almost feels like talcum powder, and the water is lovely and clear and great for swimming.


The other two main beaches are sunrise beach and sunset beach, both very beautiful and a lot less touristy than pattaya. The long boats are everywhere, and they are an amazing piece of gear! The boats are a solid timber construction, all the same fitted with a long tail shaft and propeller on the back, mostly with a locally built diesel engine, single cylinder, hand start very simple engine. They have no muffler so are very noisy. The guys driving them are very skilled seeing as they have no reverse gear, they can manoeuvre them extremely well. They are all decorated with colourful scarves on the front high bow piece, not sure if it is religious but they look great anyway. There are hundreds of these boats roaring around. The beach has a couple of areas that are cordoned off for swimmers, it would not be nice to cop one of the long props whilst you are swimming!

We had a walk down to all the beaches, and on the far side of the island there are a couple of gorgeous little bays with hardly anyone there, and we will be able to anchor right there so will probably move around there in a couple of days. We are really enjoying it here and are doing a few jobs but also a lot of relaxation, swimming, reading and enjoying the local food.

 

January 28th: Our gorgeous grandchild, Charlotte turns 2 today! Wow where has that time gone, it has just flown! Of course they seem to be growing up really fast because we aren’t there to see them. A big downside to this travelling is not seeing our family. We had a quiet day apart from checking into Immigration, they have a little portable office right on the beach. It was quite straight forward and nothing to pay. Steve and Claire off Almacantar checked in yesterday and were asked for a bottle of wine, which of course they did not provide. We had a really nice officer and he did not ask anything out of order.

We had a swim and lazed on the beach for a couple of hours reading our books. Steve and Claire came over to Southern Star for dinner and we cooked some of the NZ fillet steak we brought in Langkawi which was absolutely beautiful. A quiet night and reasonably early to bed.

 

January 29th: Stay on the boat jobs day today, but it was one of THOSE days and very frustrating! Whilst replying to emails and sorting out some international payments, Outlook decided to block us sending emails, so then had to nominate 2nd email account, which was our Ocens.net account, and we had 10 minutes to retrieve password from that account, and wouldn’t you know it that wouldn’t work either. Plus Robbie was fitting some new coloured strip lighting that he thought wouldn’t take long, and that has taken most of the day (in-between him losing one of the power supplies that he eventually found under the chair, and the sticky paper on the strip lighting not wanting to come off) Plus we have been arguing with customs and freight company in K.L. over the delivery of our NT cards which we sent to Australia to get updated with the Med. And Turkey charts, which were supposed to be delivered to Langkawi, which is a Tax and Duty free state. Anyway to cut a very long story short, after a lot of emails, telephone calls and debate we have to pay the duty. BUT – they don’t accept Visa and want cash on delivery. Dodgy brothers I tell you! More phone calls and emails and thank goodness Noel from Yacht Supply on Rebak Island is going to organise delivery of the goods and pay the duty in cash for us and we will fix him up. Have to say what a great service he provides on Rebak, (Chandlery, rigging, mechanical, sail repairs and generally everything) we would have been really stuck without him. We were just astounded that we have to pay duty on something that A. belongs to us anyway B. is used or second hand goods C. we ordered new parts and goods delivered to Langkawi and never had to pay duty or customs on them. But that’s South East Asia for you!

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