Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Tiny Thai Gem Unlocks Its Charm; Tiny Koh Larn Is One of Thailanda[euro][TM]s Best Kept Secrets, Writes Rowena Robertson

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Tiny Thai Gem Unlocks Its Charm; Tiny Koh Larn Is One of Thailanda[euro][TM]s Best Kept Secrets, Writes Rowena Robertson

Article excerpt

I EYED the ferry with trepidation.

aPeople die on these things,a I muttered to my partner as we were jostled aboard a two of a handful of westerners among a hundred or so Thais heading for tiny Koh Larn island on the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand.

Wead just travelled two hours by taxi from the plush Bangkok Novotel in Siam to be deposited on Pattaya Cityas crowded Bali Hai Pier by a driver who promised faithfully to come back and get us three days later.

As doubtful of that as I was of surviving the next hour, I joined the crush on to the double-decker ferry which seemed to groan and creak with every embarkation.

A sailor from way back, my fearless partner joined the diehards perched on the railings, while I squeezed myself into a tiny spot on the lower deck and tried not to remember every news report Iad seen of ferry sinkings.

The alternative to our 40-minute, 30 Thai Baht (90 Australian cents) voyage was a 15-minute 1500 THB ($46 AUD) speed boat run from the mainland but we decided a as wead done throughout our whole Thailand adventure a to do it the local way.

So far, that had worked for us but, as we heaved away from the wharf and headed into the open bay, our fellow passengers chattering and laughing as though their very lives didnat depend on this ancient, over-crowded tub not going down with the first whiff of a wave. I wondered if now might be a good time to start acting like a tourist.

Clearly the only one surprised the 7km voyage ended without tragedy, I sent a silent thanks skyward as we disembarked on Koh Larnas Naban Pier to run the gauntlet of a swarm of taxi drivers frantic to get us on to their scooters a preferably both of us and our backpacks on the same bike.

Wead read it was a 15-minute walk from the pier to our motel so we accepted one of the many offers of a lift a one scooter each.

As it turned out, the motel was a mere three minutes from the pier but the ride, while embarrassingly short, was an experience not to be missed as we weaved our way at an alarming rate along two-metre-wide dirt tracks which we soon realised made up most of the tiny townas inner street network. …

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