8 May 2013

Morakot

The unpromising entrance to the sea cave
 In my last post I referred to a beach of dreams at Nui Bay but on my four island Andaman Sea snorkelling trip south of Koh Lanta I was taken to an even dreamier beach - so dreamlike it made me gasp with amazement. Have I been anywhere on this planet more naturally wonderful and beautiful? I very much doubt it.

The longtail boat chugged across a gentle seascape that glistened fabulously in hazy tropical sunshine. There were only six pssengers on board and we had already made two snorkelling stops at looming limestone karst islets. Ahead of us lay the larger island of Koh Mook. We could see a couple of other boats anchored near steep limestone cliffs. Perhaps this was The Emerald Cave I had noticed in the itinerary leaflet.

So I would be swimming into a sea cave. It looked rather dangerous to me and I imagined my skull cracking on the sea cave's roof as the swell lifted us up. We donned fluorescent lifejackets and dived in. One of our longtail sailors guided us into the cave with a torch held aloft. We swam into inky shadows where all you could see was the torchlight bobbing and then I realised there was daylight ahead.

We swam round the corner to see the dark frame of  the inner cave entrance opening up to reveal a most secret and gorgeous white beach. The sun was directly overhead like a theatrical spotlight and it was as if we had reached the bottom of a crater. There were hundred foot cliffs all around us swathed in tropical greenery. The only way in here was through the sea cave - a hundred metre swim.

So this was what Morakot (Emerald) Cave was all about. Not so much the cave but the little piece of Eden you met on the other side. There was a balance to the vegetation. Each tree, each shrub had earned its niche over thousands of years and they met together in a windless equilibrium, safe from storms, entertained by sweet birdsong. Here, legend says, pirates once holed up. I can believe it. Such a secret and magical place. I just wish I'd had my camera with me to record this masterpiece from Mother Nature.
The secret beach at Morakot, Koh Mook
So now I am back in Bangkok. This morning I have spent an hour or two squeezing stuff into my mammoth navy blue suitcase and hoping it doesn't break the weight limit. My flight leaves at 9.20pm - returning to the real world - England my England - where I am sure that from time to time I will recall the jaw-dropping spectacle of Morakot's inner beach. Some things you never forget.

5 comments:

  1. What a truly magical end to your Eastern adventures.

    I for one, can't wait to read what happens next in
    Mr. Doasyouwouldbedoneby's English adventures.

    LLX

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  2. Trelawnyd ......seems a just a little duller after reading this

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  3. Some people only experience marvelous things vicariously through others, and some people experience marvelous things all by themselves.

    This armchair traveler thanks you today for being one of the latter.

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  4. Yes, thank you for sharing that experience. The image you painted was exciting to read and I know I would probably never be brave enough to take that 100mtr swim underwater to see it first hand. It makes you wonder though how many other hidden spots like this are around the world, undiscovered. Safe travels!

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  5. LETTICE LEAF During his English adventures perhaps Mr Doasyouwould... will turn into an enormous caterpillar that feeds exclusively on mature lettuce leaves!
    EARL JOHN GRAY (Inheritor of tea empire) I am sure that the salty Thai seafarers would be astonished if they suddenly found themselves wandering the winding lanes of Trelawnyd. You could invite them in for a nice pot of Earl Gray.
    RHYMES WITH...Even as I swam into that sea cave, I thought to myself - I'm doing this for you Bob!
    CAROL CUNNINGHAM Were you perchance in "Happy Days" with The Fonz? The swim wasn't under water - just bobbing on the surface, half a metre below the jagged entrance roof - which then opened up into a cavern. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

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