Cassie and Mandy go Sailing With Sora
23 February 2009 | Andaman Sea
The world's second most powerful earthquake, the 12/26/04 tsunami, has not altered the super-sized beauty of the Andaman Coast. The emerald waters of Phangna Nga are clean but silty due to the rivers emptying into the bay from the mainland. So we briefly visited the craggy limestone towers concealing hongs (Cave systems where the top of the cave has collapsed leaving a steep crater in the island which is only accessible from caves at low tide), caves, and honey-hued beaches to the east of Phuket on our journey south to find clear snorkeling waters.
Hiding behind surreal cliffs, Railay Beach is accessible only by boat and remains a mellow place enjoying psychedelic sunsets. But Phi Phi Don was our first taste of really clear water. Unfortunately it's is also the diving and nightlife center of this area so the anchorage was churned and choppy from all the speed and long tailed boats delivering passengers to their dive sites. And at night it became party central with raucous music until the wee hours.
So we slipped away quickly to a bit of paradise at Koh (island) Racha where we were one of only 2 boats anchored in a beautiful bay with water so translucent we felt we were floating on air. Couldn't get the girls out of their snorkel gear for 2 days. Tried our old haunts at Nai Harn and sailed to Patong Beach, Phuket's decadent beer and bar Mecca. We soon tired of chaos, winking neon, strident techno, and carnival atmosphere (gasp!) and retired to serene Laem Singh, where we enjoyed the benefits of our last few days with 2 very fine human beings. And to top it all off - we were the only boat in the harbor, answering Mandy's quest for seclusion. (Remember she's the NYC girl!)
Cheers to celebrating Christmas all year long, KK