Tropical Island Christmas

Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 19, 2011

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Monday, January 3, 2011

 14th Dec
 After a bustling Bangkok we had a quiet week in a pool villa near Hua Hin again. I won't go into detail as I have already done a blog on a villa already, and it's an excuse for me to catch up!!! I will say however that it was a relaxing week much enjoyed by all.
  We arranged for a taxi to take us to a town about 3 hours down the coast called Chumphon. The taxi driver dropped us off in town and we quickly found a hotel for the night, another cheapy at 15 a night and once again it was a really nice place. The receptionist also booked our boat tickets out to the Islands for the next day. That done we went for a walk around town. Chumphon is a little market town with nothing for tourists really.
  Early the next morning we caught the fast cat out to Ko Phangan. We opted to stand outside at the back of the boat and the views were fantastic. It was a calm day and the water looked like a sheet of glass, truly beautiful. The journey took about three and a half hours with a stop at Ko Toa. When we arrived at Ko Phangan we walked down the jetty and made our way to the Mai Pen Rai office. After a couple of hours wait we were driven across the Island to our resort.........well OVER the Island is more accurate. The road was horrendous, part tarmac part dirt road. You see the Island is just one BIG hill covered in jungle. Oh and I forgot to mention we were packed into an overcrowded pickup. Anyway 45 minutes later we arrived at the resort of Mai Pen Rai which translates into English as SO WHAT.
  Mai Pen Rai is nestled around its own little beautiful cove on the East side of the Island which is by far the quieter side of the Island with literally nothing else around.
 After checking in we were escorted to our bungalow. Simple enough? No. I'll walk you through the trek. First came the 350mtr walk across the sandy beach. 2nd scaling the rocks. 3rd you had to crawl under a massive boulder to get to the path on the other side. 4th was to follow the path that went up and down round and about and seemed to go on forever. This epic trek took 15 minutes and factor in the blazing heat and that we were lugging our backpacks with us, Cathy and I were bathed in sweat and dog tired when we finally got to our bungalow. This walk sealed the fate of Mai Pen Rai for Cathy. She never really took to the place after that and I blame that first trek. Kev by comparison had a villa just across the beach and the bell boy carried his case for him !!
  Our bungalow was nice if not a little dark and it had a balcony with a fantastic view out over the Gulf of Siam. I spent many happy hours just sitting there looking out at that view and listening to the waves breaking on the rocks below. The treks back to the beach were often interesting too due to the wildlife, such 4ft Monitor lizards on the path and butterflies the size of Black birds. One evening I almost stood on a snake!! Cathy shouted a warning but I had already placed my foot down. Luckely enough I missed standing on it by 3 Inches. We watched it slither away into the undergrowth and to this day I don't know if it was poisonous. It was orange in colour and about 20 Inches long.
  We ate everyday at a lovely little place just above the beach. Their Thai currys were to die for and I can say I tried all of the Thai dishes on the Menu, all fantastic. I'm now a Thai food fan.
  Kev was not happy about not getting a phone signal on this side of the Island so he could phone his girlfriend Kit everyday and Cathy felt trapped in the little cove with virtually no way of getting out. So they decided to get the pickup into town and hire a couple of mopedes. Three hours later they returned with their bikes. They said the roads were real bad so they chose bikes with knobbely tires. I went for a ride with Kev the next day and I got my first and last taste of how bad the road really was. As usual I jumped on the bike and caned it up and down those steep hills shouting to Kev DEATH RACE !!!  He never really rose to the challenge and when I finally crashed I could see it in his eyes he was thinking SERVES YOU RIGHT. And so it did. But luckely for me I crashed when I was not tearing around and that was a first that
After picking myself off the floor and checking the bike over and finding it not damaged I decided I didn't want to play this game anymore. I did not go on the bikes after that. Cathy and Kev made several trips to town and enjoyed their rides, I was happy on my own two feet !! Later the same day me and Kev hired a kayak. We paddeled out of the cove and around the headland. When we were about half a mile away and tired and hot, Kev said it would be nice to cool down by going for a swim. I said it would be difficult to get back in, but he wanted to anyway. So in we jumped in and very refreshing it was too. Getting back in however was a different story.
 Every time we climbed in it ended up capsizing. This happened about 5 times and each time it happened it got harder to climb back in, that was not helped by the fact that every time it capsized we laughed more and more. We eventually got back in but we found that the kayak had taken on a lot of water and was on the verge of sinking. We gingerly paddelled back, thankfully we stayed afloat. Kev must have had the same thoughts as me earlier that day, He stayed on his own two feet after that.
  Christams arrived with none of the build up we get at home. We woke up one morning and it was Christmas. We did the same thing we did eveyday swam, ate, Chilled and wandered. The restaurant that we went to everyday did do a christamas Dinner........well BBQ on the beach that night. I had Barracuda and Cathy had Red Snapper and it was delightful. On the beach people were launching Chinese lanterns into the night sky one after another and it made for a really beautiful sight. Kev said it made his Christmas.
 On another day all three of us went snorkelling and this too was more of an adventure than we bargained for!! Cathy and Kev decided we should swim across the cove and around into the next cove. It was a long way and by the time we swam there they were both dog tired. I on the other hand had my fins on and was as fresh as a daisy. I left them floundering on a rock laughing their heads off as they got washed on and off the rock. The snorkelling was not the best as it was a little murky, but it gave Kev a good idea what snorkelling is about and it was great fun.
    We left the Island on the 28 Dec a few days earlier than we had originally planned. Cathy wanted to move on and Kev and I both agreed. I had a brilliant time on the Island and shall always remember that Tropical Christams.
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paul on

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trish and john on

i bet you.v been in titer holes then that, john would have been on stilts if he saw a snack,lucky escape. what a adventure in such a short time,

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