Ko Yao: The sea and coast, 2010

Yat, our boat driver, was a fisherman by trade. When he wasn't talking about locals not liking the tourists, it was about the tide, the moon and fishes. We had a wonderful time with him.

Better from far

We wended our way in and out of the bays, cliffs and caverns formed by the limestone karst.

B: I prefer them from far.

I rather agree with her. As you will see from the pictures (or rather, from the sheer number of pictures of them), the views - from afar - of the rock formations were spectacular.

The tide was too low for the boat to get us into the first 'hong' so we had to make our way in on foot. The mangrove roots were high above water level and crabs were scuttling about. I showed Yat a picture of the crab I took and he said it was a "strong man" - the crab had one oversized pincer.

Big fish

We were also shown a cave where fishermen went to seek shelter from the rain; the tallest tree that had been left standing even as other trees around it were burned down to make way for plantations; and some good snorkelling spots. "Tell me if you see a big fish," Yat said.

There was a 'nature park' at which we could snorkel but it didn't look that inviting so we didn't want to pay the entrance fee to go there. Yat took us to a nearby bay that was, in his opinion, just as good. He joined us in the water, to cool off after a long day.

We saw lots of interesting and colourful fishes although, as Yat had correctly predicted, nothing particularly large.

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