By Earth Saiswang.
Hotel Management & Investments,
C.P. Land Public Company Limited.
Naravadee likes places that are not too “touristy.” I refused to go to scheduled shows, dinner that you must pre-book, or places that you must dressed to be seen,” she says. “I like to go to a place where normal simple ways of life are still lingering. And that’s why she liked Koh Yor in Songkhla Province.
“This place is special in my heart because I spent my few childhood years in Songhkla and we traveled by fishing boat to Koh Yor a few times,” she says. “That was when Tinsulanond Bridge had not yet been built. We fished and picnicked on the boat. Our elders told us that thieves and pirates lived on the island, so my memory of Koh Yor was full of adventure and romance. Of course, I know now after going back to Koh Yor a few times that the story is more a fantasy than the truth!”
It’s easier to go there now, she says. “These days, you can drive to Koh Yor. It is just about 30km from Hatyai, which is accessible by plane. But don’t expect white sandy beach or to sip Mai Tai under coconut trees watching the sunset.
“There’s none of the things you can find on popular big beaches. But expect to find good seafood freshly made in Southern-style, and drink coconut juice from the shell. There are no vendors trying to sell you massage or sunglasses, just local villagers prepared to go out of their way to help you find yours if asked to show the way. It’s probably nothing special to them but to city people like me, this is a real breath of fresh air.”
Since her parents took her on fishing boat to fish around the island in 1975, Naravadee has been coming back to the island whenever she can. She was just there again last year.
“I want to tell people that I want to retire and die there,” she says, “but I don’t know when that will be so I guess I will go back every chance I get. I would love to bring my parents, my brother and sister and anyone I love and care for, and share this sentimental place. Although now, more people know about my hidden treasure.”
Must-Do: Eat seafood at local restaurant and watch sunset. Its skyline has magnificent cocktail colors of gold, pink, purple and blue around 6 p.m.
Must-See: the drive around the island
Sleep at: BP Samila Beach Hotel on Similar Beach, Songhkla Town
Eat at: Any local restaurants on the island
Drink at: There are many great places to drink especially on Haad Rin.
Bring: Some money and an open mind
Don’t forget: Koh Yor is not for everyone. But if you love to discover beautiful things in everyday life, then it is definitely for you.