We're 'very bad' in Haad Salad!
Trip Start Sep 09, 2007
33Trip End Ongoing
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Matt then got on the back of the bike with me and I gave him a first-hand taster of Asian roads - within a few minutes people were driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway towards us! - as we shot off back to the bar to watch the football whilst the girls took the local bus with the suitcases... we're such gents! They also brought with them a whole host of goodies - big thank you's to my Ma & Pa for the toiletries and travel bits n bobs (especially the body spray - Charlie's not smelt that good in ages!), to Craig & Fiona for the Aldershot programmes and DVD, the tanning tablets (ha ha, very funny!!) and the Pic n Mix/sweeties, and of course to Smelly & Matt for the brand new travel Scrabble, the Haribo Tangfastics and all the other bits from Charlie's very strange but vital list!
We decided to base ourselves in Railay for the week as we'd been told good things about the beaches. When we arrived to a grey-black dirty sand beach which was filled with boats, half-covered in mangrove trees with the water right up to the path at high tide we sensed Smelly and Matt were doubting our 'tour guide' qualities. Luckily, after checking in (they took the resort with a pool and rooms with AC and fresh laundry daily whilst we settled for a mattress on the floor, a shower that smelt of sewage and a toilet that smelt of cabbage!) we discovered Tham Phra Nang beach on the other side of the mini Railay peninsular. Phra Nang is a beautiful beach with a pretty stunning backdrop of the Phra Nang caves. The sand was white and soft, throughout the day you could see monkeys climbing across the face of the cliff, the snorkeling was really good and the Thai ladies on the beach sold cracking barbecued chicken, spring rolls and ice cold Chang beer - their confidence in us was restored!
One of the days on Railay we took a boat out for an island trip around the area. The first island (Koh Tup) gave great snorkeling as well as the chance to watch a Bollywood movie being filmed on the beach - extravagant dance routines finished off with the guy and the girl pulling a 'face-the-camera-and-point' pose bringing the memories of many an Indian bus journey coming flooding back!
Smelly and Matt left us to return to the cold wet and miserable weather while we moved on to Koh Lanta for more sunny beaches (not that we're rubbing it in, honest...). Our second day there saw us meet up again with some old traveling buddies in Kate and Darren (AKA Adrienne and Rocky/Dorothy and Tin Man from the Kathmandu Halloween night!) and after a couple of days' catching up over a few Chang's we moved on to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon party.
Needing a bit of 'downtime' after the Full Moon exploits we headed North on Koh Phangan up to Thong Nai Pan beach for a few lazy days. We checked into a nice - that's to say 'Tom and Charlie nice' not 'Smelly and Matt nice'! - resort with a pool and were suitably chilled and recovered (despite our 'plumbing problems' - see video at bottom of page!) to celebrate my birthday: an afternoon by the pool with a few beers before the 6 of us headed out to a few bars for drinking games, improvised Pictionary and a few cheeky 'top ups' from the
Next stop in Koh Phangan was Haad Khuad, or 'Bottle Beach' - we moved here on the strict instructions of Kirsty n Kev who claimed the chicken kievs there were the best they'd ever tasted!?
We finished up on Haad Salad (Charlie liked the name!) courtesy of our toothless and half-blind taxi boat driver, and via yet another pharmacy where my 'disease' was diagnosed with yet another condition but yet another doctor/pharmacist/idiot in a white coat (as you can tell I was getting a bit fed up by now) - this time I was told I had white lice herpes (ooh, that's a new one!) and was prescribed yet another different form of antibiotics/cream treatment. The most surreal part came when we were waiting for my drugs and this shady-looking Canadian guy shuffled in, avoiding all eye contact and asked the girl behind the counter who much their valium was. When she gave him the price he asked whether he could get a cheap price if he bought 400!?
Haad Salad actually turned out to be a bit of a disappointment after Bottle Beach - we were told it had a coral reef which was great for snorkelling but this has been destroyed and is still being destroyed further by all the boats that pass in and out of the bay, which is a real shame but unfortunately not the first time we've seen it in Thailand. The funniest part of our 2 days there was when we passed an ultra-pricey resort with a fantastic pool. We were both hot and in need of cooling down so we thought we'd chance it. After being turned in by an eagle-eyed waiter (grass!) the owner came out and quizzed us: our 'we've just checked in and can't remember our room number' argument fell on deaf ears and we ended up running out in our soaking wet swim gear giggling as he shouted after us "You are very bad!" Tee hee.