Same same but different

Trip Start Nov 01, 2004
Trip End ??? ??, 2006

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

Is there anything better than travelling in a foreign taxi in the dark with a load of strangers and none of you have any idea where you're headed?

We were arriving late by ferry to Ko Phangan after a long day travelling from the other side of the Thai peninsula. So naturally enough we allowed some random Thai punter on the ferry to talk us into staying at his "wonderful" bungalows in the middle of nowhere. He was armed with a photo-album of pretty pictures, a winning smile, the offer of a free taxi and a price of 150 baht by bungalow per night. We were too tired to do anything but agree.

So there we were traveling along strange roads in the dark accompanied by two other homeless travellers who had also been recruited on the ferry. Anna was a Danish girl (yes Simon, she was reasoably hot) taking the scenic route home from Australia. Bill, a 62 or 67 year old depending on who he was talking to, English man who lived in Spain. Bill was on a three month tour of Thailand, the purpose of which was to sample as many Thai prostitutes as possible. He was a shameless, sad, old git and I'm happy to say the Thai women were fleecing him for all they could get (rent, phone credit, money for sick relatives, etc.). We know all this because it was Bill's only topic of conversation.

Our persuasive Thai punter had done a legger as soon as he got us off the ferry and into the taxi which wasn't very encouraging. When we got to the resort - I'm using that term in the loosest sense of the definition - we were the only people staying there. Judging by the cobwebs in the bugalows we were the first people to stay there in a long time. So we took the only possible course of action and got drunk on Chang beer with all the other residents. All two of them.

The following day when the sun came up the middle of nowhere turned out to be a pretty little beach on the North West coast of Ko Phangan. And we were joined by two more happy campers. Steve from England and Mrs Lee, a Korean woman from Paris who seemed to spend most of her time travelling around the world. Although her English was so dreadful I'm not too sure about anything.

Me: How long have you been in Thailand?
Mrs Lee: Yes, Luis Vitton is very good quality
Me: Eh, yes

Having drunk the resort's entire supply of beer the pervious night we all, sad old perverts and funny Korean women included, went out for drinks to the brilliant Pirates Bar nearby. We met up with a couple from England called Marie and Mark (we seem to only ever meet couples called Marie and Mark for some bizzare reason). We had had a few beers with them back in early November in Kuala Lumpur. They should be in Sydney around the same time as us so hopefully we'll see them there too.

Two nights drinking with every resident in your resort is definitely enough so the next day we went to a beach on the other side of the island called Thong Nai Pan Yoi - as recommended by Scriver, Monkey, random others and me. I'd been there two years and loved it. Unfortunately it was a case of same same but different. It was really windy so there were too many waves to swim. The same bungalows as before but Game Bar was gone. No puppies under the bungalow but we were sharing our room with the biggest lizard I have ever seen.

Before coming back here I'd heard a vicious rumour from Lynn Hicks that the lovely, old woman who sold cakes and cookies (some of which happened to be happy ones) on the beach had been thrown into prison. While I can't fully confirm this tragic news we definitely couldn't find her anywhere. Or her replacement for that matter.

We've now moved down to Had Rin - full moon party territory. Again, same same but different. Believe it or not my hammock broke with me in it yesterday....just like the last time here in 2002. Although I didn't break my arms this time. Maybe I should stick to chairs in the future. Or learn how to tie decent knots. The next full moon party isn't until the 26th so it's a bit quiet. The benefit of this is the bars are giving away lots of free and cheap drink. 100 baht for a bottle of Thai whiskey, coke and Thai red bull. Nice.
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