After my first review of Samed Nang Chee Viewpoint, I got addicted. Personally, I think that we can share our good memory of travel via words and photos is also another kind of happiness. Today, it's the time for "Koh Tachai" one of the dream destinations of many people......
** This review is going to be 'long'. If you are looking for the comprehensive information in order to decide whether you wan to visit this island of not, I think this review will be beneficial because I have lay out all the details that I also used to wonder and try to find the answer before I go....
// But if it's too long, please accept my apology ><
I've heard of Koh Tachai for a long time. Previously, I also read a lot of review and tried to decide which tour package I should go with. Finally, I buy a one day trip of Love Andaman. At that time, there's promotion of 4 vouchers of which you can choose to go whichever island. Each voucher is 1,900 THB.
After getting the voucher, it's time to plan for the trip and hotel as well as taking leaves. I have asked for the leave half year in advance. When everything is ready, we just wait for the time to come....
......Finally, that day comes. This past February, I fly to Phuket Airport around 11 a.m. After that, I go take the rental car at the Budget from the airport. Then, I just roam around Phuket, enjoy the sunset at Promthep Cape and find something to eat there before going to stay at Khao Lak. I stay at Motive Cottage Resort which is not so far from the pier. It is close to fresh market and 7-Eleven which is very convenient. I didn't stay at Phuket because I didn't want to wake up too early because it is a 2 hour drive from Phuket to the pier. Our program is a one day trip to Koh Tachai and the other day to Koh Similan. Well, we just want to fully enjoy with the islands.....
One day before the tour, the staff of Love Andaman called and asked us which hotel they could pick us up. I didn't drive the car there because I'm not sure if the parking lot is available and I think the pick up and drop off van service should be more convenient.
It takes 15-20 minutes to reach the pier. We reach the Tab Lamu pier at around 8 a.m. I'm shocked as there's a lot of people. This place looks very big from the review but it looks so small today, probably due to there's really so many people today. Most of the tourist are Chinese (about 90%), the rest are Thais and Westerners (I feel like minority).
A public parking in front of Love Andaman is quite limited. Nearby is a private parking that we need to pay so driving a personal car here is not recommended.
Once we arrive, we need to get in line in order to register using the voucher (don't forget to bring it, actually only photo is also ok as I show the photo of it on my phone to the staff). The line is divided into Koh Tachai, Koh Similan, and Koh Surin. After that, we get a different color of wristband. If we get the same color of wristband then we will go on the same boat. We can wear it either on left or right hand, all up to you. Many people are happy that they also get a cute free wristband, Love Andaman is so kind....
But wait! We must return when we are back. If you want it, you can buy it from Love Andaman (haha, sorry).
Breakfast line of Love Andaman
In between, we can also get in a queue for breakfast. It's quite a long line. The breakfast is simple food like small one bite sandwiches, sticky rice and custard wrapped in banana leaves, imitate crab roll sandwiches, cookies, Patonggo and pork porridge (or probably chicken). There's also tea, coffee, soft drinks and fruits available. It's already 8.30 a.m. when I get the food and the guide also calls us to gather behind. The front area has a lot of people. I recommend you to have a chill eating time behind at where the staff gives us a brief.
Meanwhile, I have to quickly eat because the guide is about to brief us (tourists going to the same island reached here early and finished their breakfast already). At this point, I just eat anything I can as I will use quite a lot of energy for taking photos, snorkeling, etc. The guide introduces the tour program, restrictions and several instructions. After the brief, we are the first group to get on the boat. The sea sick pill is recommended. Many people said you will get sleepy if you take it. But for me, I don't feel anything. I think it depends on each person.
Then, the guide takes us to the furthest back of the pier to get on the boat. Here also has a restroom that you can use. From now on, you will spend about one hour and a half on the boat and using the boat restroom seems not so convenient (I also never try actually). After that, the guide lets us take off our slippers and put at the basket. The guide said people forget the slippers a lot each day and it becomes trash. The guide said the national park doesn't allow slippers on island (Oh well...why I see some people who come with other tour wearing it.....Ok, let it be.. don't get too curious).
After that, we go pass the photography point (which in on the way to the boat). The photographer is already there to take our photos. We all know that this photo later will go into a frame or souvenir dish when we return. Even though we don't want to buy it but just take it for the peace of mind of everyone (I think our photos taken at Koh Tachai by ourselves is more beautiful, haha).
It is quite important that you go on the boat quickly because it can define your life journey today. It is a first come first serve seat.
The seats inside the boat is divided into three zones.
The first one is the front zone. I'd like to call it open air zone. It receives air a lot as well as the wave but still it's another kind of fun. You can also get to sunbath for those who wish to have tan skin but I think most of Thais would avoid it. It is not recommend for those who have bad Sphincter but it'd be helpful for those who have digestion problem. The strong hit of the wave allows the food to be well mixed with the digestive water in the stomach.
The second zone is the shady zone which is divided into the middle zone and the end zone.
The middle zone is a bit shaky. We need to sit facing each other like we we sit in the Song Taew so our body is not well balanced. It's like half of our body sitting at the end of the boat carry more weight because the head of the boat is always high up so sleeping is inconvenient. And when facing the wave, our butt can jump 1-2 cm high up from the seat. Then, everyone will gradually move to the end (you can observe this when you go). Finally, everyone will sit at the end (because we love each other, right?).
I think the ending seat is good because we can sit back and enjoy the ride like a normal car position but it's very loud as it's close to the engine room. The sun is also bright and our neck will get sunbath. It is also the position that is wet at all time due to the passengers get on and off from this position.
In addition, there's two more seats on the left side along with the captain seat. I think this position is also good. I'd like to call it Honeymoon Seat because I think it's suitable for lovers. They can just enjoy the seats among themselves. It has good view, airy and also shady.
Of course, on the way to the island, I take the middle zone seat (You probably think that I take the Honeymoon Seat, right?.......)
(The water) is so clear...and I just love it.
When the passengers are here, it's time to set off. We are on a big boat with three engines. Passengers are all Thai but we are quite squeezing with one another, probably there's about 40 people altogether. The guide said that he tries to put all Thai together and not with Chinese tour group. It is reasonable so everyone is ok. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Koh Tachai. Well, before we get close to the island, the water is just so super crystal clear and this blue is just so turquoise. Seeing this, I can't resist no more.
Today I decided not to snorkeling but spend more time on the island and take photos instead. Personally, I think if I go for snorkeling, I would have less time on the island, only after lunch. It's going to be only two hours and we need to go back around 15.00 p.m.
For those who want to snorkeling, they don't have to get off from the boat but continue on. The boat has already prepared a mask, snorkel and fin in a free size for everyone (If you read the review before this, you must go choose and take the equipment for snorkeling before getting on the boat). They go snorkeling at two spots and 30 minutes at each place.
Beautiful sky, clear water, white sand, just like what's they have known for.
We are among the first boats to arrive here so they are yet many people on the beach. The guide suggests us to firstly go to the viewpoint on the right hand of the island before noon because we can get beautiful photos as the sun will be behind us and we won't get backlit photos.
So I go to the viewpoint first. It is a walkway with robs from time to time. It takes about 10 minutes walk to reach the viewpoint. I must say that it's very hot at feet and the surface is quite rocky so please be careful while walking.
The walkway up to the viewpoint
The way towards the viewpoint is quite shady.
Turning back to look at the sea, it is so turquoise blue. But wait a bit, I will definitely take photos with you on the way back.
The viewpoint is just here.. not so far now....
This is such a beautiful viewpoint. There's not even a single person when I'm up here. When looking down, the water is so clear that I can see fish swimming. If we have wide lens, we could have captured different angle of this beauty.
Here, many people stake up stones at different spot. The breezy wind and this fresh air is just great. When you are up here, please try to close your eyes and breath in deeply, you will feel the nature embracing you and we can feel the freshness of the sea. It refreshes me very much.
This is such a handsome corner. We need to stand at the middle stone and we can get this right photo (but please be careful of this slippery).
I spend about 20 minutes at this viewpoint. After I have some beautiful shots, I quickly go down as my feet start to burn now......
After that, I walk down to the beach and enjoy photography time as people are yet crowded....
A swing (on the left of the photo) is a very popular prop for photography. So when' it's available, please take it and get some nice shots.
This is another popular corner which is the walkway to the beach with the Koh Tachai sign.
About 11 a.m. the lunch is here. Although I'm not yet hungry as I had a big breakfast, I must eat now because if I wait till noon when snorkeled people are back, it'd be crowed and no seats. It happened just what I have anticipated. So let's finish our lunch and continue our photography (we must have the most of it).
Lunch boxes and beverages of Love Andaman
Please be careful to get the right lunch boxes. It's now not served in a buffet style like previous reviews (this is in accordance with new regulations set by the National Park). For the main course, we can choose one from Fried Rice with Shrimp, Spaghetti, or Fried Seafood with Basil Leaves. For the appetizer, we can choose one from Fried Fish Ball, Teriyaki Chicken, Spring Rolls, Fried 2-3 pieces of Chicken wings, or Boiled Seafood with a sauce. For beverages, only drinking water and soft drinks are available. We also have Brownie as a dessert (It's quite different than previous reviews where they have beverages and sweet fruits line).
Behind the food zone, there's canvas for those who want to keep something here. But we have to be careful as there's only some staff to help look after.
Our Lunch box today...
Lunch box today....That we got the food now, let's just eat so that we can have more time with photography.....
The food looks good but ordinary taste. It is just here for us to have some food, it is not so delicious that we must exclaim "Oh my! So delicious" or the kind of feeling that we want to eat more (you understand me, right?.....)
But...at this point, it's really hot and I'm very thirsty. I can only finish two boxes and I keep brownie for later after I play in the water because I must be tired and hungry (again). I secretly walk to see the food of other tours and it is similar. I see some tour provide vegetable salad too, probably most of their customers are Westerners. Overall, every tour provides lunch boxes.
At noon time, the water is still super clear.
The white sand with a super blue sky
After that, I keep taking photos at the front beach. At 13.00 p.m., the guide takes us for nature trail in which we can see Hairy Leg Mountain Crab and Amphidromus atricallossus classiarius.
This is the bat (but doesn't eat banana as it's sleeping)... can you find it?
When it's 13.00 p.m. it's also the time for nature trail. It takes only 15 minutes walk. Along the way, we will see bats sleeping on the tree. Hairy Leg Mountain Crab is quite shy. It's quite difficult to see one. But once we see it, I think it's much bigger than I expected as I thought it's like the crab that we put in Somtum. For Amphidromus atricallossus classiarius, it's quite plenty if you look carefully at the leaves.
This view is quite beautiful. It's along the nature trail and not so many have taken photo with.
I found it.....the sleeping Hairy Leg Mountain Crab.....
As well as Amphidromus atricallossus classiarius.
We keep walking and about 15 minutes we reach the end of the island. We go up on the rock and get another beautiful angle. Now it is 13.30 p.m. so we have about another hour or so because we need to get on the boat at 15.15 p.m. to go back to the shore. This departing time is depend on the water tide. Like today, we cannot leave at 15.00 p.m. like normal time, we need to wait for another 15 minutes and this is really our gain, hehe.
This view is taken from the end of the island.
Oh wow.....how clear is the water.....
Now, we can fully take photos. We can change and jump into the water right way. There, the guide of Love Andaman will also stand by around to take photo for the tourists. We can ask them to help us anytime. The guide is very dedicated to photography. This really impresses me, I give ten plus plus for their service hearts.
Photo name "the dedication, commitment, and service mind of the guide".
The afternoon sun makes this blue water become so turquoise. There's also black ear shark swimming nearby but they didn't hurt us. I feel like time passes so fast. It's like we are swimming in a big salty pool. My happiness reaches to its peak level. But regardless of how much you enjoy photography, do not forget to leave sometime for taking shower.
Let me just silently stay here a while.....I really solute to this white sand and clear water.....
The restroom of the National Park at Koh Tachai
About half an hour before we have to go back, I encourage everyone to take shower at a shower area near the beach before changing clothes at the restroom.
It's very important to wash away all the sand while washing our body. Even I just go to the water and didn't play with the sand, I found some sand in my panty when I wash my body.
We must wash away all the sand because we have to follow the regulation of the National Park saying that we cannot bring any sand home, otherwise we could get a fine (they count each and every sand.....I'm just kidding).
The afternoon sun at around 15.00 p.m. makes the water looking even more beautiful.
After taking a shower, I come to wait for the boat and also take some more shots here. I just want to stay longer but I also can't swim back, haha.
Finally, this time comes, when I have to say goodbye to.....Koh Tachai.
The boat is here to bring us back.
Get in a line to go back....
While I'm in the queue, I was thinking could I get the same seat? My answer is 'No'. I get upgraded (or downgraded?) to sit at the back near the engine. I don't mind much. I could sit anywhere at this point as I'm so exhausted, just want to be back now. The only cons is that the sun is always shinning at my neck but I cover it with some cloth, so no problem...
The seats are all full on the way back. But since the other boat of Love Andaman lost one of their three engines so they can't take the same number of passengers back. So then, we have one Chinese family going back with us. At first, they couldn't go but we Thai people are very kind so we squeeze in and let them come with us.
After getting on board, everyone just sleeps. It takes the same time as when we came. When the boat approaches the pier, the guide gives everyone cold cloth and takes back the wristband (I thought they would give us). If you like the service today, you can also tip them at the tip box.
Now, we can go collect our slipper in which they have placed according to our boat. Then, we can stop by for a souvenir, photos we took when we came and wristband.
We are in queue to get a delicious coconut ice cream.
Also, there's more food here in addition to super delicious coconut ice cream, like Fried Noodle and beverages. Please feel free to help yourself.
Cool Soft Drink
Fried Noodle (not so popular today)
Of course, coconut ice cream is the most popular food. There's one customer line up for ice cram twice and that uncle who gives us the ice cream probably remembers him so he said each person can only get one time (with Southern Thai accent). I think people are not hungry at this point, but more thirsty and want something cool. Also, the guide didn't say that it's only one time each. If people are a lot, I think we could queue up for a second round, he probably can't recognize us. Anyhow, it's really delicious like what they have been talking about or I'm just too hungry? ><
After I finished eating, I go to take the van back. For going back to Phuket, you need to turn left and turn right for Khao Lak. We need to let the driver know our hotel and if he also goes that way that we can take his van. We wouldn't go back with the same pick up van this morning. Whoever gets to the van first can go back first. So now our one day trip is ended. Once I'm back to the hotel, I jump into the swimming pool again as it's still hot and I can also wash my body again......Yeah, another impressive day at Koh Tachai has now officially ended.
Koh Tachai in my opinions
- It's very beautiful, just like the rumor has it. The sky is beautiful so is the clear water. The sand is so soft that I feel like I walk on the white flour.
- There's no mobile signal on the island which provides a great opportunity for us to stay with the nature and our trip friends. We can take lots of photos and post it on social media later when we are back on the shore.
- Sunglasses is extremely needed because when the sun shine with this dazzling white sand, it burns our eyes a lot.
- Do not expect to see Hairy Leg Mountain Crab walking on the beach like what we used to see. The guide said Hairy Leg Mountain Crab lives in the forest and dislike the heat and it's unlikely that they would walk on the beach. So what about the photo we saw earlier.....what is it?.....Hairy Leg Mountain Crab with battery on? haha.
- Do not forget to go the viewpoint at noon, it's quite easy to go. Many people miss it because just by seeing the beach, they are already very happy.
Love Andaman in my opinions (as a customer)
- The place is beautifully and modernly decorated with good public relations that easily access to the social media users and the new generations.
- I give a 10/10 to the staff service, they are very friendly and nice.
- I give a 5/10 for the food as it's much downgraded from the previous reviews.
- There's a lot of Chinese tourists and very few Thai. I'm afraid that it'd become a Chinese tour in the future. I'm not sure why there's not many Thais. Probably, the economy is not good?
- As far as I talk to the customers who used to come with Love Andaman when it just opened. They said Love Andaman was great. Their food was much superior than other tours and with exceptional services. They had more time to take care of customers when the customers were yet this many.
- Personally, I think Love Andaman is alright. I don't feel bad, neither I feel so impressed that I would like to come back. Next time, I would like to go with other tour for more choices.
- I think the morning van should come earlier so we can have more time for breakfast at the pier. I didn't have breakfast at the hotel as I was hoping to eat it at the Love Andaman.
- It's best to let the van pick up and drop us off at the pier because the parking is very limited and not convenient at all.
- Do not forget to drink a lot of water. Even I usually drink a lot of water but on my first day I got blister in my mouth. I think we could get dehydrate without realizing while we enjoy the beautiful sea. It's also a good idea to take the blister medicine along.... just in case.
- For those who want to snorkeling, I encourage you to have 2 sets of clothes. The one you are wearing in the morning should be the one that is ready to get into the water and prepare another cloth for changing on the way back. I think changing cloth on the boat is not very convenient.
- You should also bring the towels as Love Andaman didn't have it for you.
- For those who don't want to snorkeling. We can wear a chick cloth with some prop for photo shooting and wear swimming suit inside. After lunch, You can just take out outside cloth and jump into the water. Then you can either change back to the previous cloth....or simply just come back with the wet suit as it get dried pretty easy.
I'm so in love with you....Koh Tachai
Thank you so much for reading until this line. Well, I really want to give you the most details possible as I believe you also read several reviews in order to get good information. I hope that this review will be beneficial to everyone. Next time, I will come back with a one day trip review to Koh Similan with Love Andaman.
Again, please accept my apology for any mistakes :)
If you love me like the way you love Koh Tachai today.....
You can keep loving me at Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hungrytraveller [=
Thursday, June 23, 2016 10:35 AM