|koh pha-gnan, thailand - beach bliss|
White sand, warm turquoise
crystal sea with microscopic baby jellyfish that stink all over your body.
Party spots are lined up with bungalows, bars and restaurants. Just behind the beach there's two main streets that cross at Chicken Corner, the meeting point, disseminated with more bungalows, travel agents, cocktail bars, restaurants that show four pirate movies a day, internet shops and all the other shops -there's even a Thai-boxing Gym!- offering everything a tourist can possibly desire.
We are in the land of continuous entertainment.
Morning swim. At 9am it's already
too hot and still a strange time to see the sand littered with bare tits
and bottoms. It takes a bit of adjustment after the extreme imposed modesty
month followed of sunbathing, swimming, having Thai massages on the beach,
watching a few videos till we got sick of them and going out.
As the date approached the place was getting packed and being hard enough to get any sleep on normal nights, we strategically moved to sunset beach a few days before, just 10 minutes away and more the long term traveler scene. We found there the friendliest place.
The so long awaited party was as mad as promised and we had a great time. The beach was a huge rave in the water, on the sand, on the speakers, with fires, glow paint and fireworks all over the place and people losing their head.
As well as doing nothing at
all on this paradisiacal place, we managed to go on a day boat trip round
the island which was well worth it.
A friend of a friend from London
happened to be around at the time and we went out a few times, met him
on different and varied states of high-ness with different and varied
girls till it got too much and suddenly flew off to sweet England.
And the great day came. My birthday, sure. 33. So I was supposed to die (I always had the conviction I would die at 33 like Jesus Christ) but the only thing that died was my millennium watch. Bummer.
To celebrate we went to watch
a Thai-boxing combat of 10 fights. It was pretty cool with all the ritual
The end of Thailand was an almost missed rushed bus trip to Bangkok to catch our flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Next morning nice an early
I caught a flight to Koh Samui, whose airport was a laugh - a small, open
sided bamboo building.
Haad Rin beach was great (but
there was something kind of odd about the place). Picture postcard white
sands, palm lined, clear blue calm sea.
There was even a Boxing gym that I visited a few times for a Kung Fu work out. We found it very easy to just hang around doing very little and ended up staying 3-4 weeks (longer than we'd planned).
We only left the beach twice while we were there, once on a boat trip around the island and another time for an evening out to go and see some Thai boxing (see video).
We got into a routine of lazing
on the beach, swimming to cool down, snacking in cafes, having massages
on the beach, watching films in the evening (we saw the beach which was
crap compared to the book) etc…
The party was a fairly full-on affair and was much bigger than the other parties that feature through the lunar month (black-moon party followed by new moon party, followed by half moon, full moon warm-up, the actual full moon, the post full moon chill out… its an endless cycle of parties).
Just after I arrived, by chance, a friend of a friend from London appeared, he was staying just down the beach from us so we enjoyed a couple of nights out together. It was good to see a familiar face after 4 months away from everyone.
Highlights of the month for me were: snorkeling on the boat trip, cheap grass, topless sunbathers, having the computer working again, sleeping loads.