On an island in the sun.....well mostly cloud

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Black and White Bungalows

Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, December 24, 2005

This was by far the worst bus journey I have had on this trip. The bus was luxury but after the 1am rest stop I couldn't get back to sleep! We pulled into Chumporn dock at 5am and ha to sit around for 2 hours before finally being allowed on board. Confusingly it was warmer at 5am than it was when the sun came out at 7am.

Now I should warn you that I am prone to sea sickness, and the word catamaran is almost enough to send me rushing to the safety of the nearest toilet, so as you can guess the prospect of a 2.5 hour boat journey didn't sound too appealing! I should also tell you that the sea has been so rough the last week that the boats weren't even running until a couple of days ago! Not a good start!

Didn't think it would be that bad though. Boy, was I wrong! I managed to hold out for the first 30 minutes, with the boat constantly bobbing up and down, trying to block it out by sleeping but it didn't work. Straight outside to join the hordes of others holding the rear rail and throwing up in unison. Felt good to realise I wasn't the only one. I also noticed that after being sick on the boat you seem to have enhanced clarity for the next 20 minutes before suddenly noticing the undulations again and throwing up again, quickly followed in sympathy by the 3 people to the left and right. Synchronized vomiting! Quite a sight!

After 1.5 hours we docked at Koh Tao and I was pleased to be back on land, well the pier at least. Didn't last long though as I was quickly ushered onto the boat to Koh Pha Ngan. Please to see it was a bigger boat so hopefully it'd be better and thankfully it was. I managed to successfully sleep the majority of the hour and reached dry land without having to leave my seat once.

It was 10:30 now and thankfully no more boats to take for a while. On the boat I had been saying to Lars, "I am flying back from Samui, You won't get me on another boat!", but I know that isn't going to happen and I'll be back on a boat when I come to leave the island. But that won't be for a long time as I'm going to be here ages! I don't like staying in places long so I'm going to have to learn how to adjust to island life and chill for a few weeks.

Our boat arrived at the main pier of Thong Sala and we were promptly hassled by everyone trying to take us to the various beaches around the island. We were going to the party beach of Haad Rin, famous for its monthly full moon parties on the beach, which I will be attending in early January. For now though it's all about Christmas and New Year parties. Got a tuk-tuk and I must have still been half asleep as I ended up paying well over the odds for the ride. Still had no where to stay and arriving on Christmas Eve it could well be a bit of a problem. Indeed it was to start with. First few places we visited were either full or stupidly expensive.

I was getting hassled by some local about his hotel. I politely informed him that it was too expensive and he flew into a rage shouting, "why you come to Thailand if you not want spend money! You English you got lots of money!". I was getting ready to inform him that I'm not just on some 2 week holiday and just happen to be in Thailand at this time and comments like that are more likely to make me take my tourist money elsewhere, when I was saved by my phone ringing. He continued to keep shouting at me so I just ignored him and took the call from Kim, who had been on the island a few days. Land of smiles my ass! People rave about Thailand and from what I've seen so far it seems unmerited. I preferred Laos and Cambodia infinitely more to Thailand so far.

For all the guys shouting about there being no accommodation cheaper than 500/night I quickly found somewhere for 150/night. My own little wooden shack palace with big bed, useless mosquito net and a porch with a hammock. More than adequate for my budget. Who needs air con and an en-suite? Accomodation successfully secured I let Lars and Sandra go off and find some more luxurious accommodation and set about swaying in my hammock for a few hours.

In the evening we headed off to meet up with Kim and the guys at their place, Coral Bungalows, for a few mulled wines before hitting the town. It quickly became apparent that I was a minority for a change. I was surrounded by 9 Swedish people and I was the only Englishman, quite a novelty for Thailand! Not that I minded in the slightest. It was interesting to sit back and observe and try to understand anything they were talking about. Not a clue!

Headed to town and the rest is a bit of a blur. A Sangsom bucket or 2 later and we were all wasted but happily dancing around to our hearts content. It was packed on the beach, although Ireckon it'll be far bigger for New Year and the Full Moon in January but I had a great time and retired to bed at 5am. Sure to be the first of many late night liver punishing sessions on the island.
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