The road to paradise is filled with kittens

Interviewing potential Furry Friday friends

Once again we were in search of that perfect Thai island. Something off the beaten tourist path, a bit secluded but at the same time still has amenities for us to enjoy. Our searches ended up leading us to Koh Phayam. An island in the Andaman Sea, close to Burma, and just at the start of the Similan Island chain. Information about the island was very limited, we mostly found blog reports of personal experiences on the island and the odd website for some of the bungalows. In our Footprints guidebook there was only a half column section with not much information. Reading all this gave us great hope in our minds and soon enough we found ourselves getting on a 6 hour bus from Phuket to the town of town of Ranong.

The only way we found to get to Phayam is to travel to Ranong and then take a small ferry or speed boat from there. Our bus arrived late in the day which meant we had to spend a night before the ferries were running again. Just across the street from where the bus stops is a great little place for a short stay, Kiwi Orchid Guesthouse. It’s quite basic, with shared bathrooms for 250 baht a night. But what else to do you need for just 1 night? The bed was comfy, there was free wifi, the owner is one of the most friendly of all guesthouse owners we have met, great food, (the coconut shrimp is superb, but skip the french toast), and to top it all off she LOVES cats. As your honorary Furry Friday author, how can I not love staying in a guesthouse that is filled with 14 cats plus a fresh litter of kittens??

One more?

We spent the night chatting with the various other guests in the restaurant. The owners friendliness must of rubbed off onto the guest as not a sole person kept to themselves. We met some fellow Vancouverites, a mom traveling with her oldest son who currently is moving to Laos to open up a guesthouse and fuelling station for ipods. They just got back from Phayam and couldn’t express enough how much of a good time they had and how excited they were for us to be going there. We also met another older couple from the Netherlands who also just back back from the island and stated how they have been going there once a year for the past 8 years! Talks with travellers about places they have been and places you are going usually end up leading to ordering more and more beers. Before we knew it our table was full of empty big Changs and my lap was constantly filled with purring kitties.

Cat in our room!

The excitement I felt inside as I tried to fall asleep that night was similar to being a child on Christmas Eve while waiting for Santa Claus. You know great surprises are going to happen the next day but your not entirely too sure exactly what there will be. Luckily a cat followed us back to our room and I of course lured it into our room to spend the night with us. I really miss our cats at home, and having a cat snuggle right up to me and purr in my ear as I tried to fall asleep was quite comforting. Good things are about to come…

Bail that water kid!

We awoke the next day and hopped onto the little 2 hour ferry to Phayam. It was full of food, locals, and a handful of travellers. The water was completely brown and we passed many different types of boats, all of them looking quite shabby. We even spotted a boat going by with a kid bailing water out while one person just napped on the front bow! Eventually the water started to get lighter, the sky started to clear, and before we knew it we were sailing in some of the most tropical waters I’ve seen. One look at the island and I knew we finally found it. Paradise!

We made it!
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