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Playing catch up...Ko Pha Ngan

THAILAND | Saturday, 4 July 2009 | Views [625]

While on Ko Pha Ngan we stayed in a bungalow on Ko Mah beach which is the place travelers come to for snorkeling and quiet relaxation. The sunsets were gorgeous- hot pink streaks across shades of blue and purple, melon orange pouring out dusty blue grey. The water was as warm as the days making it somewhat difficult to cool off. The reefs cover the majority of the ocean floor near the water's edge so in order to enter cooler waters one must very cautiously navigate through the reef out into the deep. The ocean was also incredibly calm, more like a bay. From the shore we could view a neighboring, much smaller, island which was connected to Ko Pha Ngan by a narrow land strip. On two occasions we hiked to see waterfalls and to our disappointment they were completely dried up. We arrived to find just a trickle into some stagnant water- hello malaria.

We needed some excitement, Ko Mah beach was super super quiet. So, we took out motorbikes. It was both our first time out on a motorbike and I have to say the bikes provided some great laughs. They were not as easy to drive as anticipated but eventually we both got the hang of it with some close calls in the process. Bikes are a great way to explore the island. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of using this opportunity to drive into Haad Rin- hairpin curves and incredibly steep hills all with traffic. One hill was so steep that even when completely flooring it we had to help our bikes along with our legs- no exaggeration. Add to that I could not make right hand turns so this presented problems, a couple of times I was driving on the opposite side of the road. Then we ended up getting lost on the drive back and none of the streets were lit so I was driving in the pitch black choking down bugs. The time spent on the island was really relaxing. Every evening around 6:00 pm a thunderstorm would roll in and last maybe an hour. It made the sky look dramatic and the breeze would pick up cooling down the shore. I mostly read, wrote in my journal, and ate fresh fruit salads (french fries shared with Ans when the rain came in). The fruit has been unbelievably sweet and ripe ever since I have been in Asia, such a treat.

After so much relaxation I was excited for the Full Moon Party. After being packed into a pick up truck with a bunch of other Europeans we were dropped off in the center of Haad Rin- craziness on night of the full moon. The entire beach is one massive party with huge speakers blaring out all sorts of different music and people dancing everywhere on every surface. The sand was the softest I've encountered while in Thailand, cool and slippery under my feet. Buckets are the main beverage. You select your hard alcohol of choice, mixer of choice, and a can of red bull mixed in for good measure. We both got painted up in neon and danced danced danced. The next day was spent just laying on the beach dozing in and out of sleep. The weather started to increasingly get worse, perfect timing as we needed to head back up to Bangkok to meet Peter (Andrew's friend from NYC) in Hanoi.


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