Welcome back to the third and last part of the Thailand journal! I hope you got a small glimpse into the wonder that has been my yoga/meditation/food journey so far. In this part I want to talk a bit about the experiences, what you can do on Koh Yao Noi and why I definitely want to come back.
Most of my days consisted of yoga (morning or evening, I only joined once a day), exploring the island and eating. On my first whole day at Island Yoga the information desk told us that the easiest way to get around on this island would be either on bicycle or on a scooter. Yes, you could walk as well, but seeing as it was quite hot and humid I didn’t want to venture too far on foot. So I after morning yoga, I usually ate breakfast, showered and then borrowed a scooter and decided to do a “round-trip” of the island. Koh Yao Noi is not big (guess that’s why it was named the “small, long island”), it has few streets and one of them leads you all the way around the island. On my first trip it took me about one hour to go round although it has to be said that I stopped at various scenic points, some shops and fruit vendors.
At the only 7 Eleven store on the whole island (and they are very very proud of it!) I bought some coconut water, a soda and some snacks. Directly across the shop is a small fruit vendor that has varying fruit throughout the day – whatever is available at that time. I just had to stock up on that too! I mean, dragon fruit for about 1€??? Give me two of that, some mangosteen, a big bag of rambutan (they were in season) and toss in a few of those longkong too! For only 6 € I had a big bag full of heavenly fruit that I would devour within two days.
It was way past lunchtime by then and on my way back to the resort I passed so so many beautiful, secluded and deserted beaches. All in all there were so little people on the island (or at least they were so scattered) that whichever beach or forest you went to you met only one or two other humans. I specifically said humans because you could stumble upon a cow, goat, dog, cat or other animal anytime, but more of that later. When I passed an especially beautiful beach I stopped the scooter, parked it somewhere in the green alongside the road, took my snacks, fruit and drinks with me and searched for a quiet spot in the shade. I found the perfect place for me, sitting on a rock, digging my feat into the sand below while the soft waves crashed around my ankles and enjoyed the ocean view.
At peace with myself and rehydrated I made my way back to the bungalow. There I took a stroll, watched Youtube on my hammock outside the bungalow, played with the cats and waited until it was time to eat dinner. At first I thought about trying all dishes on the menu while staying at this resort, but the menu was huge and because it was so hot I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to. Most of the time I had some sort of salad, curry or rice with various veggies, fruit and meat. One of my favourite dishes was the Pomelo-Chicken salad, made from the plump flesh of ripe pomelo, dressed in lemon, salt and fish sauce, topped with cooked chicken, fried onions, roasted peanuts and sometimes other veggies when the cook had them on hand. My go to drink was anything fruity, like fresh watermelon juice (my mouth waters just by thinking about it), mango juice, papaya juice and so on.
During my stay at Island Yoga most of my days consisted of the same: yoga, meditation, sleeping, strolling, merrily cruising on the scooter, eating and petting the cats. You could only swim during high tide because otherwise the water was too shallow and the beach was more of a muddy swamp than anything else. High tide was around noon and around midnight, so I hardly swam. But they had a pool which I used sometimes. It was also nice to just relax in front of the lit pool and enjoy a good book.
After all those days on the beach, doing yoga and eating amazing food I felt so relaxed and peaceful. I knew the end this journey was near but somehow I did not dread it. I had somehow learned to enjoy the moment and not worry too much about the end of my trip, the days and months after I returned home or even the far far future. I wanted to give every new day the respect and gratitude it deserved.
So I packed my bags, hugged my newly found friends goodbye and enjoyed the ocean and beach on my way back to the hotel near the airport. I could hardly wait to see my partner again. Even though it was one of my shorter trips, I found new appreciation of life and the people in it. Also, I somehow knew that I would return someday – alone, with my partner or with friends, that I didn’t know – but the feeling stuck.
If you are looking for a quiet place to unwind, let go and refocus, maybe give Koh Yao Noi (or really any other place that feels right to you) a try! You never know what you may find – maybe even yourself!
Until next time!