This is Castaway in Ko Lipe…
…and it’s where Liz ended up on her birthday this year.
Not that she knew where we were going until we reached the port town of Pak Bara. It’s still in the Satun region so it’s only 60-odd km away from Satun town. Despite my military precision planning where I had arranged for a driver from the boat yard to pick us up at 8.30am Sunday morning, at precisely 8.30am Sunday morning I received a call from Un (our project manager) to tell me the driver couldn’t make it. Typical. I’d half expected this but Un kindly stepped up and drove us to Pak Bara himself.
The ferry from Pak Bara takes around 1.5 hours, a trip that could have taken just an hour were it not for the stop-off at Ko Khai island to allow the local day trippers to dip their toes in crystal-clear waters. It was the first clear waters Liz and I had seen in a long while too.
Ko Khai is one of a few islands in this region that surround the large Tarutao Island, which is a national park. Only a few of the islands in this area are inhabited, the rest are protected.
We arrived at Castaway resort around midday, me having sunburnt my forehead because I didn’t get a space inside the boat. The local tourists knew better when we boarded and shoved their way under the canopied saloon. Liz and I ended up on the bow of the boat under the glare of the harsh morning sun. Forgot to pack a hat, of course. Still, if you’re gonna be a tourist for a couple of days, you may as well do it properly.
Castaway is a rather splendid resort on ‘sunrise’ beach. It’s an eco-friendly affair with stilted bungalows set in amongst a canopy of fig trees. It has enough facilities to keep you within the resort, but since it’s right on the beach it never felt like one of those all-inclusive affairs.
There’s a large elevated area with a bar, library and eating area, whilst on the waters-edge itself are a few gazebos and beach mats.
For a couple of hours in the afternoon it’s two-for-one cocktails. Be rude not to, really…
Liz and I are (currently) early risers, so after our first night we got up just in time to catch a spectacular sunrise, creating a silhouette of Ko Tarutao in the distance.
Of course Liz couldn’t walk past the massage bungalow without grabbing herself an all-over body massage and a foot massage too.
We did eventually go for a short wander on the second day and headed north-west towards one of the western-facing beaches. It was a sprawling mass of bars and the street to the beach was packed full of sunglasses shops and bars showing the footie.
It didn’t take us long to realise Castaway is in the best spot so we scuttled our way back to Castaway before a refreshing shower hit us. Gotta say the staff at Castaway are worth a mention. Piere, the proprietor, noticed from my preliminary emails that this was a surprise birthday for Liz and made a point of moving us to a better location within the complex. The bungalows don’t have AC but they’re extremely comfortable. The food is good too, served up quickly.
Of course not everyone comes away on holiday to soak up the sun and cocktails. There are far more important social interacting things to do…
Whilst Liz was pampering her self I went for a little wander down the beach and met a few holiday makers having fun.
Making the most of our two-night stay we managed to knock back a couple of bottles of Prosecco (er, and a bottle of Mateus) seated in the dining area lit by subtle lanterns and the moon.
For some people, however, the drink was too much.
If you were looking for Week 13 of Esper’s refit, don’t worry, we’ll have it ready for you in a day or two.