|Today we decided it was time to but the pedal to the metal and head to the east side of the island to check out the former pre-tourism city center known simply as "Old Town"... this sleepy little single street village is where most folks depart from if they are taking island tours with the operators but outside of that there is very little left for activity in this one time thriving fishing village. It actually gives it a much more authentic Thai feel then many of the places you go in Thailand that are simply quickly build concrete enclaves.
This village of old wooden fisherman huts, and cheap tourist merchandise (since its so far off the beaten path) actually provided us a really nice day of touring. There is not much out this way for sun swept beaches (unless you swim out to one of the many small islands dotting the sea scape) but the mango mangroves growing into the ocean front give this area its own green charm. We actually cruised the island back-roads for about 5 hours. In that time we managed to explore the Old Town pier, grab lunch as a stunning viewpoint restaurant and take a look at a more traditional side of Thai lifestyle that is often missed as folks buzz through this country going from tourist hot-spot to tourist hot-spot.
We saw more species of monkeys, some cool fish, and even stopped in an an elephant farm. We cleverly pretended as though we were going to take a tour by elephant back only to punch out once we got our pictures. It is sort of a dick thing to do and they clearly were not pleased but it didn't seem like they treated the elephants particularly well so for that reason we decided not to feel guilty about it.
We were suppose to meet up with a Canadian couple we had kept running into for some drinks and dinner but we ended up with a little case of Bangkok Belly (probably something we ate... we are getting quite a bit more daring) so in light of the fact that we are to transport to Phi Phi tomorrow by ferry we decided to sleep this one off after one more evening of beach front dinner at our resort.