Dave in Thailand
Koh Lipe Day 3 - The main event - snorkelling

And then it was Saturday, Day 3, the day we planned to rent a boat and go snorkelling around the area -

- a map of the area around Lipe, again just for orientation of where we went snorkelling; the X's mark the three spots we snorkelled this day ... Lipe Island area diving-snorkelling map
- and here is a pic of the view from the Mountain Resort dining-reception area, looking out over the area we will be visiting as soon as we have our breakfast (no food pics from the Mountain Resort, the food at the resort was not memorable in any way, unfortunately) - all just too, too beautiful - the small darker green island sort of in the middle is our first destination, Koh Hin Ngam, maybe 20 minutes or so by boat, everything was quite close on this day ....
looking out over the sea from the Mountain terrace
- well, down the main stairs of Mountain Resort and we're heading out for the main event, some snorkelling around the other islands .... down the main stairs of Mountain View resort
- a moment of contemplation, waiting for the boat, on the front step of the Karma Bar (closed during the daytime) -
waiting for the boat

- and a few minutes later our ride for the day shows up - a man called Gaoreng, who did us very well for the day for 1,000 baht (about $30+ Cdn), took some pictures, showed us good places - on the jungle path to the chaolay village and Sunrise Beach

- just a look back at the island, the Mountain Resort visible on the small mountain to the front and center, and to the left at the back of the beach another place called the Andaman Resort, you can see how close those blue-roofed bungalows are to the beach, looking directly into the sunset at the end of the day I've shown in previous pictures - another good option to think about if you come here -
looking back at Lipe and the Mountain Resort

- and not much longer, we get to the first snorkelling place, the island called Ko Hin Ngam, which means 'beautiful stones', about which we will see more after the snorkelling ... in the water at Ko Hin Ngam

- the favorite position ... I just can't get enough of this, it is so beautiful under the water, always changing, so many things to see - don't get the wrong idea bout the t-shirts etc, the water is wonderfully warm, but the sun is very dangerous, and you don't realise you have a serious sunburn until it is too late to do anything about it - one lesson is usually enough, and I had mine many years ago shortly after arriving in Thailand (you'll recall what happened to my foot on the first page for just forgetting the sunscreen on that one little place! - imagine your poor whole body like that!!) - Ann doesn't like swim fins, but maybe she'll try them the next time, I keep urging her to, they make a big difference in getting around - I don't like life jackets in places close to shore, although I use one sometimes in deeper water further out, where they can be useful if you have to adjust your mask or something, as you often need to do, and don't want to be wasting all your energy kicking to keep your head above water far enough to mess with it ...
in the water at Ko Hin Ngam
in the water at Ko Hin Ngam

- so, I have this sort of underwater camera that I took some pics with this time, it's nothing fancy, basically a cheap instamatic in a waterproof housing, that we got as a promotion from the local vid shop from where we rent movies - so the underwater pics do not do much justice to what you really see there - but I wanted to try to do some without paying a fortune for a 'real' underwater rig, and here are a few pics, from here and I forget where exactly the film ran out, but at least a couple are from the next place we went later, I'll just put them here, the coral and fish are pretty similar everywhere around here -

sargeant major fish These little black and yellow fish are very common, called 'Sargeant Major' fish, I think (still trying to get a grip on id-ing all this stuff, there's so much of it all, and info is freaking hard to come by in any useful quantity and organisation) - and under is some 'foliate' coral, also common - all the corals come in many sizes and shapes
foliate ral

This is a very common sort of coral, often in lumps the size of a small car (I added the little 'giant clam' sign with the nifty ACDSee program), called boulder coral, and underneath is a fish called a Parrot Fish, which comes in a number of color variations and is quite common
parrot fish
boulder coral

spiny sea urchins A group of spiny sea urchins, very common everywhere, the spines are evidently painful, I haven't experienced any yet - and a Surgeon Fish, evidently they have some sharp scalpel-like thing on their tail, again no personal experience!
surgeon fish

This is another very common sight, a large anemone with some small fish called variously Damsel Fish, Anemone Fish or Clown Fish - you may have seen the movie Nemo, and there is a 'nemo' at the bottom right here, pretty small in the pic, but they are quite common in anemones like this, and cute and fun to watch as they swim in and out of the waving anemones (which also evidently have stingers); another giant clam to the upper left, these are also quite common - anemone with clown fish

small gang of Butterfly Fish A small group of Butterfly Fish (I think! - similar to Angel Fish, but those are generally larger, so the info indicates - also quite common, though, and in a number of different color patterns -

- don't even know what these are, and it's not a very good pic overall, but it is so amazing to be swimming around and suddenly a school of fish go swimming past, some close enough to touch, but when you reach out you never can touch them -
small fish school swimming by

Again not a great pic, but it's MINE!! (you can see a better one here actually, and a lot of other good coral stuff as well at the site)- but these little Christmas Tree Worms are so beautiful, and small, and colorful, and stuck to a lot of the boulder coral like this bunch christmas tree worms on boulder coral

And finally, this is one of Ann's favorite things when we go snorkelling - feeding the fish - old bread or something like that, and they just come and swarm around and eat it right out of your hand, it's pretty neat to see all these little colorful fish that close to you - Ann feeding the fish
Ann and Dave waving from the water

- well, eventually we were ready to carry on to other places, and headed just a few hundred yards down the shore in our boat to the rocky beach which is what the island is named for - beautiful rocks - this is the sign that tells visitors not to be taking the rocks away - the sign on Ko Hin Ngam

- and the legend is, as Ann told me, that if you can pile 12 of these rocks on top of one another, any wish you make will come true, and she was going to do it - Ann making her rock pile

Ann making her rock pile successfully - and eventually she was successful -

- and just a quick pic together before we left - and I mean quick, those rocks were very hot in the midday sun! Dave and Ann on Ko Hin Ngam

- well, not a whole lot more pictures really, just more of the same, mostly, with a couple of more stops for snorkelling around Adang Island, one near the little island on the west, another across from Lipe itself where we saw beautiful large yellow sea fans (unfortunately a large group from one of the resorts was there at the same time and it was a bit like trying to float peacefully in a buffalo herd). We did plan to do a bit of snorkelling also at the Had SaiChao beach on Rawi Island, and actually went there for a few minutes, where we saw the sign below - this sort of thing is common, and is is one of the less endearing traits of many Thais involved in any sort of travel business, government included - the Thai writing at the top of the sign, which few farangs (=foreigners) can read says Adults 80 baht, kids 40 baht -

Ann looking at the park sign telling about entrance fees the park sign telling about entrance fees

Dear Tarutao Park and Tourist Authority of Thailand, tarutaosatun.go@hotmail.com
I visited Koh Lipe last weekend (March 29-Apr 1) with my wife, and we enjoyed our trip very much. But we do have one question for you.
When we went on our snorkeling trip on Saturday, the boat driver stopped at the park on Koh Rawi for snorkeling. But there were many, many people there, and we do not like to snorkel in large groups of people; also, we saw the park fee was 400 baht for farangs and 80 baht for Thais, which I thought was quite a bit too much to pay for what was offered. So we did not stay - but as we started to leave, the park attendant told us that because we had gotten off the boat, we were already in the park and had to pay the park fee. My wife tried to tell him we did not know about the park fee first, and that we thought it was too much so would not stay, but the attendant insisted that we pay for 'entering' the park, although we had not really planned to, or wanted to, which she did, not wanting to have a big scene or anything.
Is this park policy, that even if the visitor does not want to visit the park, you demand they pay the fee just for getting off the boat and walking a few steps in the sand? If this is the policy, you really need to put a large sign somewhere telling people about it BEFORE they get off their boats, I think. Most farangs are not very happy about having to pay 3-4 or now even FIVE times as much as Thais for entering parks, but to have to pay such fees to NOT enter a park seems a bit excessive.
Waiting for your response -
{and I never did receive any response, nor was the letter printed in the English newspapers I cc-ed it to -

- and eventually the weary but happy snorkellers get home, of course - Ann and Dave standing by the boat

- back home again! swimming stuff hung to dry, time to relax with a beer (or have a nap, if one is tired) - Dave on the bungalow porch

- and eventually dinner, of course, this time down the beach at the Andaman Resort restaurant - fish and grilled squid on the menu this night - fish dinner at the Andaman Resort restaurant

- and then back along home along the beach in the dark, a beautiful walk, pictures cannot even start to do it justice - there were quite a few interesting things along the shore, though, if you took your time and watched, while listening to the beautiful sounds of the surf and night air, such as this Butterfly fish, evidently either discarded or lost from a fishing boat (we were walking along the fishing village area, and those long tailed boats might get used for touriest stuff, but a lot of them are working boats) - Dave with the dead fish on the shore

- And so a great trip finishes - one of the best for sure - so - where next???? .... where now?

the other pages in this little tropical island paradise near home photo album are
Day 1, arriving at Koh Lipe
Day 2, a tour of Lipe

Other Dave in Thailand stuff:

Wien Tien
PSU AG Fair 2004
Loy Gratong at PSU 2004
Kuching 2004
Luang Prabang page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4
Phnom Penh, Day 1 Arrival, Day 2, the CamTESOL conference,
Day 3, the Killing Fields and S-21, and Days 4-6, touring around a bit

this site is mostly sort of a photo album for some friends and family, but if you have stumbled across it somehow on the net and want to contact me, siamdave at yahoo dot ca should get to me ....