After the excitement of finding the elusive fisherman’s shrine at Koh Rok Noi, the rest of the trip back to Langkawi, Malaysia, was pretty uneventful.
We stopped overnight at Koh Lipe in the Butang Group and dropped anchor at Pattaya Beach.
Before we went ashore we were a bit disconcerted to see quite a large fishing boat anchor close to us. It’s always frustrating when people anchor too close – a bit like being on the beach and someone comes and puts their towel down right near you when there’s a whole beach to choose from.
The large vessel had only just anchored when around a dozen smaller (and outrageously noisy) long tails roared past our bow (no slowing down around anchored boats here) – all heading straight for the larger vessel.
“What the heck were they doing?” we wondered.
There was much shouting and jostling of boats and men and then we saw why. The long tail drivers were buying fish from the larger boat and then speeding off – presumably to try and be the first to the many fresh seafood restaurants on Koh Lipe and get the best price for the catch of the day.
Thankfully once the transactions were over the large vessel took off and relative peace was restored.
We set off the following morning in calm conditions. As we approached the border with Malaysia we saw a long line of boats – looked like a hundred long tails at least – presumably fishing just inside Thai waters.
We have seen thousands of fishing boats during our time in Southeast Asia but never a long necklace like this during the day.
As we approached the border we lowered our Thai flag and raised the yellow quarantine flag and the Malaysian flag once again. It felt good to be going back to Langkawi after a couple of months away.
Dropping anchor in Telaga Bay we enjoyed a glass of white wine and took in the stunning view.
The following day we checked in at the lemon coloured mock-Georgian customs and immigration building.
It is such an easy process compared with Indonesia – checking out in Tanjung Penang we had to go to four different buildings and the process took at least an hour. In Telaga we were in and out and at the Harbour Master’s in five minutes.