Couch Surf Ko Phangan

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End May 25, 2009

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So, having said our goodbyes on Ko Tao, we took a short ferry ride over to Ko Phangan... the Thai island famous for its Full Moon, half moon, black moon etc. parties... Unfortunately we didn't time our trip right for any kind of party...  However, we did take the chance to do our first Couch Surf.

Couch Surfing is a website that was set up to enable people who are travelling to meet local people and stay with them to learn more about their lives... It's a great way to meet people, and even though we were members before, we never got round to trying it... Mike always raved about the people he met doing it, so we thought we'd give it a try... We had a search for available couches on the island and came across a Canadian guy called Ryan, who was house sitting for someone else... we sent him a message, and hey-presto!  He came and met us off the boat and took us back to his place...

His place was amazing... a beautiful little bungalow right on the water on the west side of the island.... he even gave us his double bed and opted to sleep in his hammock on the porch instead - legend!!  We decided the first thing we should do was cook our new host a meal, so we headed off to the market and got some ingredients, then cooked up a bit of pasta and had a good old chat over a beer :)

The next day we got up really early and headed off to Khao Ra, the highest point on the island - about 640m up.  We left early to try and avoid the heat, but it was still really hot... he had heard that a lot of people take tour guides to get up there, although I have no idea why... the route is really clearly marked with water bottles hanging from branches the whole way, and we actually had a guide in the end anyway - a gorgeous brown-red dog (who I named Jessie) who led us the whole way :)

The view from the top was gorgeous... it's a shame really because it wasn't the clearest day - that made it great for keeping us cool, but rubbish for providing a good view... it was still totally worth the climb though :)

That night Ryan cooked us a lush Thai curry... unfortunately Tom wasn't feeling well, and he felt like he had a pretty high fever... I was worried... at home I wouldn't have bothered, but I was worried about Malaria or Dengue or something, so I put him on the back of my moped and took him to the hospital... they gave him paracetamol and told us to come back the next day... which we did... It turns out that the cuts and bites he got on his foot in Ko Tao had become infected from all the sand and time in the water... they were not looking good... The nurses at the hospital cleaned him and and the doctor gave us some medicine and sent us on our way, with strict instructions to keep the foot clean, dry and in the open air... 

So we went and found a place to stay in town (you never want to be at someone else's house when you're sick...) and set Tom up in bed... Every morning I would go down to the shops and buy a 5 litre bottle of water and snacks and take them back to Tom, and he would read and sleep and rest... and he got much better pretty quickly :)  It was a real shame for him because it was some of our last beach time and he wasn't allowed near the beach, but he took it fairly well :)

After about a week he was all better and we took another ferry back to the main land to join a liveaboard dive trip across the Similans... more on that next time!!
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Where I stayed
Ryan's Place!
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