Back to Pha Ngan, Staying in hell

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

My boat to Koh Pha Ngan was really early this morning and I really should have been more organised last night and packed in preparation. But as usual my stuff was spread out all over the room.

Started waddling off to the ferry port with my bag slightly heavier thanks to the guesthouse providing a towel in my room. The beach towel I borrowed from Luang Prabang is good but takes forever to dry. This lovely green towel with odd stains is far thinner and more suited to my travelling needs.

Got to the dock hungry and thirsty 30 minutes before the boat was due to sail. Made the rather odd choice of settling for a full English breakfast (with proper sausages!!). Been avoiding them for a while but I was starving but still it probably wasn't the greatest choice before an hour long boat journey.

Needn't have worried as the journey was painless and I just sat back admiring the views of the open sea whilst listening to my mp3 player. Some of the others onboard looked a bit ropey however, especially the guy sitting next to me who I expected to vomit all over me by the end of the journey. Luckily he decided to sleep it off instead.

Jumped in a tuk-tuk and arrived in Hat Rin 25 minutes and 100 baht later. They decided to be extra helpful this time and drop me right in the middle of nowhere near the sunrise side, not sunset like I asked. So I had to lug all my things over to the other beach and begin the arduous task of looking for a place to stay.

Kim had called yesterday and told me the place was empty, well it wasn't today. The streets were deserted but everyone was obviously sleeping off last nights buckets and I tried every place on sunset for 2 hours before finally settling on a place I never wanted to stay, Coral Bungalows. I mentioned last time I was here about the trouble Kim had but it was my only choice.

Some of what I had been told about this place was true. It is run like a dictatorship. No food/drink from outside allowed in your rooms, which I don't agree with. I had to specify how many days I would be staying, hand over my passport and pay up front which I have never had to do before. I was also staying in a crappy wooden hut without mozzie net (a necessity in Koh Pha Ngan) for 300 baht, twice what it was worth.

Redeeming points are that the resort is pretty nice. They are just putting the finishing touches to a swimming pool and they have a great area to sit around watching movies/football so I can see why some people recommend it. I still personally wouldn't.

I chose to sit around watching movies all day (that I had seen countless times in Koh Pha Ngan already) and generally while away the hours. At 7pm they started showing the film, The Beach, and I figured I should watch it again seeing as I was in Thailand and specifically Koh Pha Ngan. Koh Pha Ngan is depicted as the booze filled hell hole it is but slightly exaggerated. I was a bit shocked when they said, "who wants to come with me to KPN" as that is one hell of a trek! Sure you're not supposed to know the whole facts but the island used in the film is within spitting distance of Koh Phi Phi, whereas KPN is 6.5 hours away on the other coast of Thailand, and that isn't allowing for the 2 hour stops that are very probable in Krabi and Surat Thani!

It was also very unlikely that they would have arrived by night so no parties would be going on and everyone would have been in bed. The boat also would have arrived at Thong Sala where nothing ever happens but hell it's a Hollywood movie, they are always full of factual inaccuracies. Still it was a welcome diversion for an hour or so.

The first sound I heard when I arrived in Hat Rin was the loud speaker blaring out the same boxing promotion I never wanted to hear again, but I had nothing better to do tonight so went along. It was really good fun again and a couple of the later fights were superb. They ended up boxing western style and the crowd lapped it up.

I headed to Chicken Corner for another gorgeous schnitzel baguette before meeting up with Kim. Had a chat for about 10 minutes on the way to the beach before deciding we couldn't be bother and I set off on the long walk back to Coral.
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