A Speed Boat, No Padded Seats, 4 Scared Passengers, & Possible Kidnapping!
After our nail biting motor bike ride from the Centera Grand Resort to Bali Hai Pier, I was looking forward to the relaxing ferry boat ride to Coral Island. We had our bottle of vodka, some orange juice, & everything needed for a relaxing ride. As my friend Drew & I walked down the pier towards the ferry, a man approached & offered a round trip charted speed boat for 600 baht total “$20.00”. There would be no relaxing time drinking our vodka on the ferry boat ride, we decided to take the chartered speed boat instead.
As we were lead to the chartered speed boat, I noticed the boat definitely seen its better days! There were around 8 additional passengers also heading to Coral Island. We got seated in the front of the speed boat, & were handed some very old life jackets. I noticed some of the passengers giggling & talking with the captain, which I assumed was because of the hot pink colored life jackets handed to us. As we start our trip to the island, it quickly became apparent this was not going to be a relaxing ride.
The ocean was choppy, the captain was going full throttle, & our seats were wooden with absolutely no padding. After getting some air off one of the waves & slamming my tailbone into the seat & hitting my forearm into the handrail, I quickly realized I needed to hold onto the bottle of vodka & be very careful it doesn’t break. After 20 minutes of hauling ass over the rough seas & holding onto the bottle for dear life, I thought we reached our destination.We pull up to the side of very large boat & quickly started getting slammed.
The captain was having issues securing the lines, which was causing the two boats to slam against each other. After a few tense moments, the captain was able to secure the lines. He quickly rushed most of the other passengers dangerously off the back of the boat onto the larger boat. Assuming this was our destination, we walked towards the back of our boat to climb aboard the larger boat. We approached with the last two remaining passengers, but the captain started shouting & waving everyone back & looked angry.
Without giving an explanation the captain gunned the engines towards the ocean. I only grew concerned when I glanced over towards the local Thai ladies & noticed they were concerned by their facial expressions. As we head further into the ocean, I glance over at Drew & attempt small talk. Drew was growing more concerned by the minute & basically ignored my attempt at small talk. As I grow more concerned, the boat suddenly banks left & hundreds of boats & other travelers come into view. We were safe, not kidnapped, & finally about to open the bottle.
Finally The Bottle & Relaxation!
Upon exiting the speed boat & walking towards the beach, we were greeted by a women who lead us to some lawn chairs. The lawn chairs were placed under large tents along the entire path of the beach. The cost per lawn chair is 100 Baht each “$3.00” & this came with one small table. There were food stalls & souvenir shops including a variety of shops offering different activities. At this moment our only concern was getting some more alcohol into our system.
We sat down & had some shots, bought some BBQ chicken, & reluctantly agreed to my first & last manicure. I’m not a big fan of people touching my feet & the lady accidentally clipping a chuck of my small toe with the clippers did not help the situation. Besides getting a chuck of my small tow clipped off, which Drew found humorous, Coral Island was a great escape from the craziness of Pattaya. We relaxed, ate some food, went swimming, & rode some motor bikes around the island.
When the allotted time came & went for our charted speed boat to arrive, we began to wonder if we were left behind on the island. After one hour passed from our departure time & not seeing the other two passengers, I decided to relax on a lawn chair & watch Drew squirm on the beach. It was around 90 minutes passed our departure time when the chartered speed boat finally arrived.
A Perfect Crash To Finish The Perfect Day!
After a fun & relaxing day at Coral Island, we were heading back to the craziness of Pattaya. We arrived in Bali Hai Pier & exited the speed boat with only 200 baht between the both of us. We were half-way to our hotel & each 20 baht short for individual motorbike taxis. We decided to put our money together & take one motorbike for 200 baht. Based on the days events, I should have known this would not end smoothly, but sometimes you need to learn things the hard way.
My name is Phillip Whitehair, I quit my job in 2016 & started traveling around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over Asia! I was lucky enough to check out Ream National Park in Cambodia, which still is one of my highlights in Asia.
I support myself online & want to inspire others to hit the road & travel. Anyone can hit the open road & experience life, you just need to make it happen. That road you travel could be the road leading into Ream National Park!