Trip Start Dec 29, 2007
33Trip End Mar 10, 2008
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Gopher: Gosh, Captain, who's the pretty lady? She sure does look familiar!
Captain Steubing: She should, Gopher. That's Tammy Lynn, the big country music star out of Nashville.
Gopher: Golly, it IS her
Captain Steubing: She might not be in the best mood to meet her number one fan, Gopher. Didn't you hear? Her fiance, some big-time music producer, left her on the altar. This was supposed to be her honeymoon.
Doc: Sounds tough, Captain. But I've got just the right medicine to heal a broken heart.
Julie: Oh, Doc! You're incorrigible! How many venereal diseases do you have now?
Doc: Thirteen and counting. Which is surprising, since I'm not at all attractive. It's a good thing I became a doctor on a floating trap for women, otherwise I'd never get any action.
Vicki: Better make that fourteen, Doc. My test results just came in from the clinic on Puerta Vallarta. Chlamydia!!
Captain Steubing: Doc!!!!
Isaac: Well, awwlll rigghhtt! (said with a double-finger-pointing gesture)
When we disembarked, I took a half-hour shuttle ride to Lonely Beach on the west side of the island, where I checked in at the Siam Beach Resort. This is a simply gorgeous place. Ko Chang is located just off the southeast coast of Thailand, near the Cambodian border, and is the country's second largest island after Ko Samui. Development has been limited to the west coast beaches, and seventy-five percent of the island is untouched rainforest. It's still fairly easy to find a deserted stretch of coastline with white sand and clear blue water, and I was pretty much a beach bum for my first three days
I'm staying in a rustic bungalow built into a cliff overlooking the beach. There's no hot water and I have to check the bedsheets for lizards before I go to sleep (but, hey, who hasn't gone to bed with a lizard at some point in their life?!), but it's thirty bucks a night and I can hear the ocean from my room.
Lonely Beach - which is more crowded than you would think - is far south of the main tourist area on the island, which is nice. There are only a handful of Thai people here, as this is mainly a resort beach for young Europeans. Speaking of, if I may give a spot of advice to my friends from the Continent here on holiday....just a little bit of healthy body shame can go a long way toward improving the beach aesthetic for all of us. If you're twenty-five with a hot body and want to parade around topless, be my guest, please. But if you're fifty-five and overweight, the only thongs you should be wearing are on your feet.
All kidding aside, I'm fully in favor of topless beaches (big surprise for those of you who know me well, I'm sure!), but not for the obvious reasons. If you ask the average American man how many hours of his life have been spent thinking about or trying to see naked breasts, he will likely respond that it is easier to count the hours not involved in that pursuit
And why do female tourists always insist on getting their hair braided when they're on a tropical beach?? Look around, people!! None of the natives do it because they know it looks ridiculous. I know it was really popular with Bo Derek in "10", but honestly, when she was running down the beach in slow-motion, no one was actually looking at her hair....
OK, anyway....sorry about that. I've been spending most of my days working on my tan, alternating between the beach and the hotel pool, with an occasional massage or banana shake just to mix things up. I'm up just after sunrise, eat my meals on the coastline, read a lot, and am usually in bed by ten at night. It's a big change of pace for me after running around the region for the past month, but I was ready for a little quality time with my inner slug.
I'm finally feeling a hundred percent after my battle with a minor bacterial infection, so today I went on a day-long group trek through the south part of the island with Jungleman and Monkeyman. We hiked through pristine rainforest and spotted monkeys, snakes, and two very large and very hairy tarantulas. We saw waterfalls, learned how rubber is tapped from trees to make little plastic toys in Japan (the rubber sap sells for about $2 a kilo), and got some great exercise.
Tomorrow, I'm leaving Ko Chang and flying to the Krabi province, which is supposedly the most beautiful area in Thailand, to see some beaches on the Andaman Sea. Take care!