Six go exploring in Koh Yao Noi and discover the secrets of Sabai Corner

Six in a tuk tuk

It was a grey and rainy day on the first day of our friends’ visit to spend time with us on the good ship Bali Hai so we decided that wheeled transport on land was the way to go to allow the six of us to explore the island of Kao Yao Noi. We hired a tuk tuk to have a look round and at the skipper’s insistence, to the delight of some of the crew members and the trepidation of others went to hire motor bikes.

Serious negotiations with Joy to hire motorbikes
First though, there was something more important to accomplish, massages all round to soothe the travellers’ weary bodies. Although quite a small island – and when we there, really quiet – we were spoiled for choice and between us managed to sample a good variety of establishments from the most basic (and great value) to the most luxurious and rather more expensive ones (but still less than half the price of other countries such as Australia and the UK).

Capt’n BirdsEye shows us how it’s done
We followed the skipper’s advice to hire our bikes from Joy, who owns a boutique where she sells lovely clothes and exquisite fabrics, quite unlike the things sold at other shops that are virtually all the same (and probably imported from India). Most of her clothes are handmade by Joy and a band of local ladies and she also has some interesting trinkets and gifts on sale.

A couple of items we bought at Joy’s shop
With two bikes to take then and the rest to follow the next day we took off to see some of the island on bike and tuk tuk.

The skipper following the tuk tuk on his newly acquired motorbike
First stop was the Sabai Corner Bungalows which had a very interesting restaurant and bar – the remarkable thing being that none of us observed the obvious until we had visited several times. Can you see what we failed to notice?

Maybe we are too busy to see what is right in front of our eyes?!
Maybe it was the light?
I think you should see it now
Gradually the secrets of Sabai Bungalows were revealed to us – once we saw one phallus we started to see them everywhere – carved in wood I hasten to add.

How did we miss that?!
All of a sudden we were careful where we put our supporting hand if we were having a lazy lean against something!

But wait  –  there’s more!
After predinner drinks at one of the resort bungalows, we went for dinner at the Rice Paddies restaurant, run by voluble host Frank.

The view of rice paddies from the restaurant
The food was authentic Thai and quite hot – even the milder dishes had a decent bite to them. Tiny little bats flew in and out of the restaurant to nibble at a banana left for them. Frank’s two dogs, looking far too lean and healthy for restaurant dogs, kept us company as we ate.

The tiny little bat eating a banana
One of Frank’s dogs
Six went to bed happy after a their first day exploring Koh Yao Noi. For the visitors the lure of massive beds and outdoor bathrooms with rainforest showers was too much so it was just the two of us who retired to the boat. Despite the squally conditions, it was as always, good to be back on board.

Bali Hai awaiting our return

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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