We had hired motorbikes for a week on Koh Yao Noi but because of the rainy weather had only used them for short hops.
Although most of the others were experienced riders, riding a bike on my own was a first for me – I’d ridden pillion plenty of times in my misspent youth and more recently all round Hanoi, Vietnam with my daughter (a thrilling experience!) Riding on my own was one to tick off the bucket list but I was very nervous.
After a bit of practice on a resort driveway I braved the open road (which in reality was almost as quiet as the driveway and much less bendy!)
I was glad to get to our first stop at the KYN Gym which is a world renowned centre for the practice of Muay Thai, otherwise known as Thai Kickboxing or ‘the art of eight limbs’ due to its combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.
Unfortunately, there was no training on while we were there but we were made very welcome and enjoyed a cold drink and a play with the very cute resident cat.
Next it was on to a small village where Thai’s version to Batik was being made using the traditional hot wax but instead of using a tool to make little holes to allow colour to be absorbed, the workers painted on colour with a brush.
The workshop is part of a Thai government “OTOP”scheme to assist villagers to develop and commercialise new skills other than traditional hand to mouth farming.
One of our group saw a piece that they liked but preferred a different colour scheme. She was able to commission a piece to her liking and picked it up a couple of days later.
Just over the road from the workshop there was a tiny cafe which, according to Cap’n Birdseye, served the best Pad Thai on the island. It was delicious and cost just Aus$2 (about £1.25!)for two.
I was gradually becoming a more confident rider (not withstanding a couple of scary moments) but all too soon it was time to return to the resort where our friends were staying as we were expecting another visitor – Jonathan’s former school friend and colleague who was in South East Asia for business.
Very happy to see our newly arrived friend we returned with him to our favourite haunts – the Sabai Corner Bungalows and then the Rice Paddy for an excellent dinner.