Haad Yuan beach

Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
Trip End Jul 08, 2014

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Where I stayed
Barcelona Resort

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Sunday, October 2, 2005

Following our emotional send-off at Bedford Road (thanks Katy), David helped make our lift to Heathrow a little lighter by playing us the 'farewell CD' he'd made us. A few tenuous ones on there mate but we're still smiling at the thought of us belting out "Rocking All Over The World" with the windows down while going round Chiswick roundabout in rush hour!!

The short hop to Bangkok was fine, arrived 3pm local time and got a black London cab to our hotel. The taxi was obviously a gimmick for english tourists but it still had London ads in the back so it was definitely a real one. On our 2nd night we watched England v Wales in the hotel bar and ended up chatting to a geordie lad who lived in Formby (Larkhill Lane) and then went out for drinks on Khao San Road. We asked a taxi driver if he knew anywhere we could drink late and ended up being taken to a brothel! It was all very blatant in there but we got no hassle so had a few beers and went home.
Our hotel was plush: huge chandeliers in the lobby, 2 rooftop pools and endless eating options, but Bangkok itself was hot, humid and smelly so we were glad to get away. Next day a 17 hour bus and boat trip got us the 650km to Kho Phangan and then a taxi boat to our beach - Haad Yuan.

Haad Yuan is a 150m-long beach cove, with rocks at each end and a backdrop of palm trees and jungley hills. The only way in or out is either a 2-hour mountainous hike or by longtail taxi boat. The taxi guys earn a good living. There is no mains electricity to the beach, so the lights and everything else automatically goes off each night when the generator is turned off.
All the bungalows are built into the small palm forest and hills behind the beach. Ours has a huge balcony looking all the way along the bay. Walking up to our room we can literally pick mango, bananas, coconuts, papayas and more from the trees- no wonder the food here is so good.
Within a week we'd both had a Thai massage. There's an old guy by the name of Mr Long (wonder if that's his real name?) who has been doing Thai massage for 35 years. He's 72 and gave Lou her massage; John's was done by Mrs Long. The current Mrs Long is actually Mr Long's 7th wife (hang on, perhaps that IS his real name!) as Thai men can marry as many times as they like. Great massage. 90 mins for 300Baht.
Can I just explain prices: 75 Baht to the pound right now means our 500 Baht bungalow works out at 7 quid a night, between the two of us. From here on in you'll have to work it out yourself.

We took a boat trip round the island one day. We saw the King of Thailand's favourite waterfall and have to say we were pretty nonplussed by it.

Sunday 18th was Full Moon and also the day our friend Tim arrived for a semi-impromptu week in the sun with us. Full Moon Party was at Haad Rin, a 5 min longtail boat ride away, and we arrived there about 1am. All the beach bars had a huge sound system outside and from a distance each was indistinguishable from the other. People were either dancing, talking, well shouting, to one another, or asleep (?) on the beach. We saw the odd person too pissed to walk, and lots of undercover police (we were offered drugs by a bloke with handcuffs sticking out of his pocket) but is wasn't the carnage we'd expected. 6,000 people on one beach and you're bound to have some problems, but is was OK. We were back at Haad Yuan by 7am for sunrise and a cup of tea.
Tim stayed until Friday and we felt as if we'd not really done much while he was here, but really that just sums up Haad Yuan. Nothing much happens. For a 4-day period over Full Moon the beach filled up more as the accommodation at Haad Rin (FMP beach) became full . But now it's back to normal, there are only 6 or 7 people staying at our bungalows and not too many more at the other 2 sets along the beach. It all makes for a fantastically slow pace of life, so different from London. We've been here 4 weeks already and we'll definitely be here longer yet.

We're mainly beach-ing, eating, drinking etc with a scottish couple, Kev & Alice, who've just started a 12-month like us, and Grant, a bloody loud Aussie who's been travelling now for 3 years and who drinks 3 days on, 3 days off. Shame about the Ashes, eh Grant?!
We went to see a Thai boxing match the other night. Samran, the guy who sells the sarongs and thai pants along the beaches, was fighting in the 7th fight of the night so about 8 of us went along to support him. After a very scary & wet boat trip we got to the place in plenty of time. We saw the first 6 fights but just as Samran was coming into the ring to fight the police turned up and kicked everyone out. No-one asked any questions but it seemed the promotor hadn't paid the necessary bung to the local fuzz. Saran never fought.

Stayed up for the Champions League game against Chelsea the other night too. We got back from dinner about 11.30pm and there was no-one left up in our bar, not even staff. I put the TV on, quietly, so as not to wake any of them up, and waited. The fridges were locked so I couldn't even have a beer while we waited until 1.45am for kick-off. At last we saw what we'd been waiting for: the big game. Unitl, that is, a generator was switched off somewhere and all the electricity went off for the night. 3.21am 15 bloody minutes left in the game and we had to go to bed! The final shock of the night though came when we eventually got to our room. While looking for a sarong Lou succeeded only in finding one of the Taxi boat drivers sleeping off a hangover on our balcony!

We are emailing now from the next cove around from Haad Yuan. There's a place here called The Sanctuary which is like a health retreat with yoga, meditation etc - Lou came over here on Thursday with Alice for a day of pampering. They had spa treatments, saunas, massages and other stuff and rounded it off with tea and scones afterwards!

Our itinerary has changed somewhat over the last 4 weeks and we're sure it will again, so it's a good job we've got flexible tickets. Koh Tao will be our next stop, where we'll do our PADI Open Water dive course, and then on to either Laos or Cambodia -we're not sure of the route yet due to flood in Chiang Mai and other problems elsewhere in Thailand. We'll be in Koh Samui for Christmas though.
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