12 February 2020
Our cruising buddies Dave and Linda, from way back in the Azores, in the year of the Horse, 2012, joined us for a luxury mini-cruise around western Thailand in this year of the Rat. More like year of the tourist. In comparison to Indonesia, Thailand is simply mobbed or as we'd say in Scotland, hoaching. As I said before - Indonesia, be careful what you wish for. ( https://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/468812 )
Dozens of Tour Information Centres, thinly disguised as official Tourist Information Centres lure hundreds of punters into their grasp to flog them half or all day tours of the outlying islands. Fleets of powerboats and long tails load up to beat their customers' bums to a pulp as they thrash to windward in twenty five knots. The Long Tails cut a smoother path, moving more leisurely, if you can call sitting in front of a throbbing six cylinder 1970's truck engine spewing diesel fumes and oil for hours on end, leisurely.
Together, the tourist boats create a perpetual wash from ten 'till four every day in the island anchorages. It's hard to complain though when you're really part of the problem.
The key, we've discovered, is to sleep 'till ten, then, when the boats start thrashing in, head out for a wee sail to the next island, arriving as the tour boats leave, around four then relax and enjoy the quiet, the quite stunning limestone scenery and reflect on how nice it is you've got your own wee boat.
Ashore, Thailand abounds with tourist resources. Bars, restaurants, tattoo and massage parlours. There's hostels and Homestays for the budget conscious traveller i.e. the under thirties who really should be at home working, paying taxes to support the health care systems I'll be needing shortly. Three star hotels for the up and coming; or those with children heading to, or at university and luxury five star spa resorts for the wealthy. Or those without children.
Put it all together and you get a thriving tourist industry. Peace and quiet during the day, not so much. But it's been rather pleasant.
Meanwhile, we're off for another ten dollar massage, a two course meal for two, with drinks for 7/6d.