No Muck at Koh Muk

We left Koh Tarutao in Thailand on 9 February heading for Ao Chalong where we planned to meet up with other boats heading for the Andaman Islands, India’s furthest ocean outpost except for the Nicobar Islands (where visiting yachts are not allowed).

Koh Muk
 

We were later than we had first anticipated partly because we had to wait for a new motor for our water maker to arrive from Australia. But at last we were off! 

This time we decided to sail via Koh Muk (aka Koh Mook) for the first time and it was a decision we did not regret at all. 

Sunset at Koh Muk

This island is as far away as possible from the rip-off, too crowded, tourist haunts that many parts of Thailand have become. It is a small but very pretty, clean island with friendly, helpful locals who are not hell bent on making money out of visitors to their island home. 

This is where we had dinner, they also served delicious mango juice and did our laundry.

We initially anchored in the southern anchorage of Koh Muk but there was such a horrible roll that we decided to motor round to the East of the island where it was much more comfortable although the dinghy ride into the island was a little longer. 

On our way back to the boat – quite a hike!

We enjoyed walking through three of the resorts on shore – all nicely done with some beautiful villas available. Being built in an isthmus most of the accommodation had sea views. 
The village was very quiet with a few general stores and some nice looking restaurants but no cars and not even many motor bikes! 

We settled for a pleasant spot on the beach where the cocktails were extremely cheap (although we opted for the fantastic fresh mango juice) and the food cheap and delicious. 

The next day we went back to our original anchorage- gorgeous!

As it was such a lovely spot we decided to stay an extra day and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. We motored back to the first anchorage where there was a lovely cove. There were quite a number of tourists but it didn’t feel too frantic. 

At lunchtime we climbed a steep flight of stairs to a lovely restaurant on a cliff with fabulous views. What a glorious place!

View from our cliff top restaurant
Perfect crystal waters
We were planning to stay the night at that anchorage but it was so rock and rolly that at 10 pm we up anchored and followed our track on the chart plotter back to the Eastern anchorage which was perfect. 

Bali Hai in the bay
Another sunset! Always continue to amaze.

The next morning we headed round the island to the Emerald Cave – a the only way to enter this cave is to swim through a dark cave for about 80 metres until you reach a beautiful hong. The Emerald Cave is so named because when the sun shines on the water, it reflects colored light all over the cave wall.

Tourist boats at the Emerald Cave

We got round there about 10am which was far too late as by then it was very busy with tourists. We did motor up to the cave and were amazed by the strings of tourists in life jackets swimming along in a long line, shrieking and giggling. 

The tourists lining up in a “crocodile” to enter the Emerald Cave

We returned to Bali Hai and headed for Koh Phi Phi where we were going to anchor for the night. On the way we were delighted to see dolphins for the first time in ages. They seem very shy in SE Asia and typically don’t play around the boat’s bow wave or swim alongside. Nevertheless, it always makes you feel happy when you see them!

The dolphins were swimming in this cove near the Emerald Cave

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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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