Hah, every time I start to make plans they get changed. This time I was planning to go to Trang, to Pak Meng beach - actually to the pier there - to get a boat to Koh Muk (Mook) which is said to be very un-developed and tourists are rare, those who do go get to sleep in tents! It sounded great and I was excited to go, but instead met a Thai on the train who lived south, closer to Satun.
Satun is near the Malaysian border, and also near Pak Bara pier - the jumping off point for Koh Lipe. We shared a cab and I ended up going to Koh Lipe for a night. I would have stayed longer but it was rather expensive, the cheapest place to stay was 300/night and the cheapest meal I found was 70 baht, more than 2x what it has cost everywhere else! I figured I would save myself some money to just leave in the morning, it was beautiful and mildly developed, but I guess that means it costs more too. I passed the night at the Mellow Mango bar with the owner who spoke nearly perfect English. Cool guy.
On the ferry to the island I met an interesting Thai guy who was very passionate about Thailand and nearly cried when he was telling me how corrupt and undemocratic it is, and how because of everyone's greed his beloved country is being destroyed. He seemed to know what he was talking about, and his comments certainly warrant more investigation! He said the only difference between Thailand and Burma (where a brutal military junta have oppressed democracy violently for over 30 years now) is that the people have been brainwashed to not believe it - they actually believe it's a democracy - and that the outside world turns a blind eye. I definitely need to find out if this is true.
In any case, on my ferry back to the mainland he was there again, and when we landed he offered my a ride with his friend who was going to Krabi. It's about 300km and would have cost over 600 baht to make the journey myself by any means, so I gratefully took the offer. I skipped Trang and Koh Muk and instead went to Ao Nang - near Krabi, and a jumping off point for Koh Phi Phi (Pee Pee).
Koh Phi Phi was made famous by the movie The Beach - with Leonardo DiCaprio - and has been developed heavily, though hopefully not as much as places like Pattaya or Phuket. Hopefully I can find accommodation for 200/night or under as I did in Ao Nang.
I've also uploaded new pictures to Picasa that may give a brief snapshot of my last night on Koh Samet and my night on Koh Lipe, they can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/105962156335543450490/KohSametKohLipe?authkey=Gv1sRgCOzjxsv-6Mr9fw&feat=directlink
Boat to Phi Phi leaves in 15 minutes, so maybe I'll update again from there!