Trang (City of Waves)
Trip Start Jan 12, 2010
51Trip End Dec 02, 2010
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Where I stayed
P.J Guesthouse (150B)
Trang really comes alive at night. Night markets, food vendors and street stores all begin to open up
So after a couple of days exploring the town, i gathered some information and began planning my day trips. I decided to split attractions into 3 categories (Beaches, Waterfalls and islands) and devote an entire day to each theme over the following 3 days. As seems to be the norm in Thailand, my guesthouse also doubled up as a tour operator. As i was staying there the week, they gave me a "special price" on an island hopping tour. I booked this for the end of the week and hired a motorbike for the next 2days. I spent one day visiting a hot spring before hitting up all the beaches. Then the following day, i made a visit to two waterfalls.
Day 1: Hot springs & Beaches; I hired my bike. A brand new and snazzy looking Honda Click. Armed with a crude map, pencilled in directions and highway route numbers i made my way out of the city of Trang towards the coastline. On the way i noticed signs directing me to some hot springs. It was en route, and i had all day, so i stopped off to take a look
Once i'd made it to the coast, i went to the first beach, Hat Yong ling. Unfortunately coming here incurred an entrance fee as it was part of a marine national park. The beach was incredibly long. I entered at the northern end of the beach, it's end marked with an out crop of inpassable cliff. The ranger with whom i paid my national park fee, told me you could reach another beach - Hat San, if i swam around the out crop. I did just that, but due to the swim involved in getting there, i couldn't take my camera, so i have no pictures of Hat San. After some time here, enjoying the beaches and both the sea and inland views, i began the long walk south from Hat Yong Ling to Hat Yao. Technically Yong Ling and Yao are just different ends of the same (very long) beach. However, Hat Yao was stunning. The waters were clean, clear and inviting. The surrounding landscape was pictuesque and the sand was soda white and soft. This was paradise. I spent a long time here and even have a nice little story regarding this beach. There was a family with 3 kids playing on a huge inflatable tube. After jumping off it and splashing each other for a short time, the tube began floating out to sea. Their father ran in to retrieve it but he was out of his depth before he could reach it (a lot of Thai people either can't swim or are poor swimmers). I swam out and retrieved the tube
Day 2: Waterfalls; The second day was the last with my motorbike. I visited two waterfalls, Ton Tok and Ton Tae. Ton Tok was an impressive waterfall in both size and beauty and while it was the more picturesque of the 2, there wasn't an aweful lot to do here once you'd had a bit of a climb and a dip in the waterfall's basin. Ton Tae on the other hand covered a much larger area and had many more tiers. It was also a popular picnic spot for many Thai people and families. After a quick explore of the area i found a nature trail into the surrounding jungle. As with Khao Phanom Bencha national park in Krabi, the "trail" was a beaten track at best. After having an explore, i went to head back to the waterfall, but didn't recognise my surroundings. At first i thought just listen for the sound of crashing water and i'll get back to the falls. The sound of high trees rustling in the wind sounds very much like water running
Day 3: Islands tour; The third day was the last of my day trip escapades. This was the island hopping tour i'd booked through the guesthouse i was staying at. After waking up early and returning the motorcycle i'd hired, i was transfered via minibus from my guesthouse to the pier. There were lots of other people on this tour, both Thai and foreigners. Before boarding the boat, we had to pay a fee as we would be entering one of the marine national parks. Now i know why my tour was cheap. It didn't include the national park fee. Suddenly i remembered about the ticket i'd bought 2 days ago when touring the beaches. I rumaged around my bag and presented a screwed up and forgotten national park ticket from 2 days ago. As luck would have it, it was still valid (most national park tickets allow the user access for 3 days). That saved me 200B (£4 - at time of writing).
On the tour we stopped off at reefs several times to snorkel. We passed many islands including Koh Muk and Koh Kradan which are 2 very famous and popular islands in this province. I did think about staying on one of these islands as opposed to just visiting, but they are a bit out of my price range. Not to mention the fact i spent an entire month on an island not so long ago. I think i've experienced "island life" enough recently and have gotten it out of my system (for now anyway). There were other islands we passed but i forgot their names
One of the tour guides was a girl named Kwan. We got on really well and arranged to meet the following day. We spent the day together and had a picnic at the same park i found at the beginning of the week. We had a lovely time together. This was my final day in Trang and because i'd already made plans to travel to my next destination (Satun) i couldn't stay longer. So we exchanged numbers and i said i'd return in a few weeks to see her again.
I really enjoyed Trang. It had some beautiful beaches which you pretty much had all to yourself. The waterfalls were the most impressive i've seen to date too. Because Trang gets more rainfall than other areas of Thailand, there is a lot of water, even at this time of year in the dry season. The town has a great atmosphere and doesn't see too many tourists. The Thai i've learnt thus far really came in useful here.