When I arrived to the hotel on Yao Yai Island early in the morning, my room wasn’t ready yet. I was eager to see more of the island, and suddenly, renting a moped seemed like a great idea.
I used to work as a tourist rep in Greece many years ago, and at that time, we used mopeds to get around to see the tourists at the different hotels. I don’t think tourist reps use that kind of transportation nowadays, because you’re very exposed if an accident happens, and trust me, it will. Just within the course of a summer season, I had two crashes including a rather bad one right in front of some of “my” tourists. However, this was all forgotten that morning on Yao Yai Island. Instead, I couldn’t wait to be on the road again, wind in my hair, born to be wiiiild!
I drove down south and checked out a couple of picture perfect beaches before I stopped at a roadside restaurant to have some lunch. It was the usual open air, plastic chair configuration, which I’ve over time have learned to take as an omen for good food.
The population on Koh Yao Yai is predominantly Muslim and the food is halal so you won’t see a lot of pork dishes. Instead, the island’s food vendors offer a refined selection of meals made with chicken and beef, so it doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.
I had a noodle soup with meatballs and stir-fried chicken with basil, and while I was eating I could feel that someone was staring at me. I looked up, and I almost choked. Behind the kitchen, just a few meters away, was a giant bird! I don’t know a lot about birds, but I think it was some kind of raptor. It had a rope attached to its feet, so I assume that they kept it as a pet:/
The nice lady at the restaurant had been watching me taking photos of my food, so after I had finished my meal, she indicated that I should go and take a photo of the bird too. I felt really awkward about it, because I’m really against keeping wild animals in captivity, but I was also aware that this wasn’t the time to start educating people about animal welfare, so I just smiled and snapped a few photos, which I later deleted. However, if you look very closely, you might be able to spot the bird in the photo below.
I continued my trip around the island, and I was feeling adventurous, so when I saw a small road, which looked like it could lead to somewhere nice, I decided to drive down that way. I could see a tiny bit of the ocean glistening between the jungle-ish vegetation, so I figured that if I just continued a little further down the path, a beautiful secluded beach might be waiting there for me.
After a while, the trail got really bumpy and narrow. I was hoping that it was just a short stretch, but it actually got worse to a point, where I couldn’t even identify what was track and what was jungle anymore. That was when I should have faced reality and turned around, but instead, I continued a little longer, determined to reach my destination.
Then suddenly, one tire slipped and before I knew, I was in the middle of what felt like a controlled, slow motion crash. While I was lying on the ground, it dawned on me how incredibly stupid I had been. Not only was I on a rented bike without insurance, I was also at a really deserted place. If I had been injured, I would have been in some real trouble, so kids, don’t try this at home.
After brushing off the red dirt from my clothes, I therefore decided that my adventure quota (and my stupidity quota) was up for that day, so I slowly drove back and handed in the moped again.
Are you visiting Bangkok? Check out my Bangkok Guide: