In the morning I had my first chance to see the scenery surrounding Ya Nui. The red dirt track,now part of the road around the coastline, was lined with rice fields, water buffalo, coconut palms and other vegetation, accompanied by butterflies and dragonflies galore, and, of course, the odd chicken, duck and goat.
Koh Gaew or Buddha Island was very simple when I visited it in 1988, although well know by local Thai people it was not the tourist destination that it is now. The resident monks would come ashore at Ya Nui to collect building materials and I accompanied the boat one day. The beach was empty and a small temple boy came over and presented me with a coconut freshly picked on the island. To the rear of the island amongst the rocks is a footprint of Buddha although on that visit I had no idea of it's presence.
Fishing was, and still is, a very important part of life in Phuket and whilst the tourists were out on Deep-Sea Fishing trips with expensive equipment, the locals could, and still can be seen, wading out into the sea with the simplest of fishing rods, or even just a fishing line wound around an empty water bottle.