Koh Pha Ngan by bus

Trip Start Jun 07, 2004
Trip End Nov 27, 2004

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Continued from ; The visa run

Nikki is busy with her head buried in her books. It's her final year and I feel like I am sometimes getting in the way. I take a little vacation and where better than on my favourite island.

The aircon on the big double-decker coach is not made functional until the driver fills up with diesel. Once we are well outside the city limits. Meaning that for about an hour, it's stifling inside as the bus crawls through the evening traffic. The bus is fully occupied.

The next morning the same bus pulls into ' Derek's pub ' on the outskirts of Surat Thani where coffee and food are served. There is a restroom for those who ( for a small fee ) wish to clean their teeth and wash that ' I've just spent the night trying to sleep on a bus ' effect from their faces. I am one of them.

Coloured labels are attached to our shirts, dividing the group into their different offshore destinations. I watch the ragged coastline of Surat Thani and its small islets recede behind us as the boat leaves the pier and after a brief unloading at Na Thon ( Koh Samui ) the boat chugs into Thong Sala, Koh Pha Ngan. I jump aboard a shared taxi service to Haad Rin and call Tom who sends the little white rascal truck to fetch me. Here I am again on Leela beach. In a thatched hut on stilts dug deep into the sand, less than 10 meters from the lapping surf. With a bucket-flush toilet and sea water shower in a kind of bathroom attached to the rear of the hut on a concrete base about 1 square meter in size. I have an old mattress and a floor fan. A small verandah for my hammock and all the time in the world.

There are grey skies and very few people. I shuttle back and forth between Haad Rin and Leela beach with shopping lists in my mind. Things I require such as a big spray can of bug killer. Days are spent like this waiting for blue skies. But they are not coming. Ominous grey builds into minor gales. The monsoon season is upon us . As I sit on the thin strip of white sand outside my hut , I formulate a plan while coffee brews on the stove. I shall circumnavigate this island on foot and take five days to do it.

Next ; Exploring an island, part 1
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