THAILAND: IN SEARCH OF THE REST
The bow of the boat with a crunch cuts into the beach covered with coquette, framed by coconut palms, bushes and sprawling banyan trees. Turquoise waves are behind. Surf ahead splashes. Overhead – towers of clouds. In the distance, through the mist over the sea, silhouettes of rocks with forest caps appear. As soon as you jump from the board into the warm water, as the hotel employees already shout “Savasdi!” – “Welcome!” Everything is so beautiful that it is even suspicious.
No biting insects. No snakes, jellyfish or sharks. After a day in this paradise only one flaw is found: the evening invasion of mosquitoes. But it does not last long, besides the usual help repellents.
All other disadvantages of local life turned out to be positive. Electricity from the mainland to the island is not carried out. And nothing drowns out the sounds of nature.
Instead of the din of discos – the rustling of palm trees, the sound of the surf, the clicking of geckos and the scream of birds coming from the jungle. Instead of the TV – nightly defile of motor boats, from which fishermen throw nets and set traps on crabs. Only remote engines are heard from the terrace. And the glittering garlands of light bulbs above the sea are visible.
Here you go to bed early and get up early. You begin to live like in those old times when the daily routine was determined by sunrises and sunsets. Probably exhausted by the stress of the inhabitants of large cities would give for such a rest a fortune.
The word “Ko” means simply “island” in Thai. Koh-Bulon-Le is located in the Andaman Sea, south of the main tourist centers – Phuket and Koh Lanta. Besides him, the archipelago includes three more large islands. But tourists are allowed only here. With its pristine atmosphere, this secluded, wooded piece of sushi especially attracts those traveling “savage”.
On the veranda of the Coconut Bar tourists from Europe, South Asia and Australia were seated. The aromas of spicy Thai soup made from coconut milk, sweet and sugary spirits from red jasmine and even marijuana are in the air. Once it smelled the same way on Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. While it was not built up with boxes of hotels, rumbling discos and strip clubs. The island of Boulogne-le is fortunate in this respect: it is too small for large investments. In addition, it is part of the national park of Ko-Petra. So there should be no hotels here. Only Pansand Resort owners have a license, and a dozen other campgrounds and hotels operate on bird’s rights. What adds to them the charm of cheapness and accessibility, which has long since disappeared in other places.
It does not matter that for the sake of this we must go to the very south of Thailand, almost to the border with Malaysia. And then sail from island to island in search of the last pearls of the Andaman Sea. The main thing is that they still exist, these places that have preserved the simplicity and charm of old Siam.
On the map, the island of Boulogne-Le is similar in shape to the sea stingray. Only without a sting. Around small coves, wild beaches, rocks with underwater grottoes and caves. In the northeast rise hills. To get to the top, you need to wade through the thickets of ferns, wet from the rain. And sweating, to overcome a steep climb. But at the top awaits a reward: a gorgeous view of impassable mangroves and a strip of foamy surf away on the reefs.
This whole island is easy to get around in a couple of hours. And if it were not for its small size, then it would be possible to decide that it was he who served as the prototype of the legendary “Treasure Island” by Stevenson.
On the archipelago of Boulogne – only two dozen permanent residents. These are not pirates, but peaceful fishermen of the Mokhen nationality. In Thailand they are called “chowla”, that is, “sea nomads”. It is unknown where their ancestors came from. Here they have a couple of villages with huts. When foreigners overrun the country on New Year’s holidays, the Chaule earn money by supplying fish, eggs and vegetables to hotels and restaurants. And carry tourists on their boats to the White Rock. This color gives a bird’s droppings to a stone rising from the sea. There, wearing a tube and flippers, you can soar in warm water over coral thickets.
Instead of a taxi here are long-tailed fishing boats. They owe their name to a pipe with a shaft mounted on the stern and setting the propeller in motion.
Each island of the archipelago is unique in its own way. Along the shores of nearby Boulogne-Ranga, there is an entire garden of corals with many exotic fish. Boulogne-Mai-Pai is famous for its white sandy beaches and a biostation with a scenic view of the whole archipelago.
At half an hour on a fishing boat – the island of Boulogne-Don with the village of “sea nomads”. This is not an ethnographic attraction for tourists with folk dances and souvenir shops. Here everything is for real. They live modestly – in huts of boards and sheets of tin. But do not live in misery. On the covered terraces, women fix fishing gear and cover with crabs for crabs, which clutter up half of the island. On the shore, men rummage in boat engines. There is a football field, elementary school, a mosque.