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Meditations around the world My 8-month Trip to Southeast Asia.

March 9-19: Back to the Beach

THAILAND | Monday, 19 March 2007 | Views [1194]

March 9-19

Another overnight bus took us from Bangkok down to the port city of Surat Thani. From here we caught a ferry to the island of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand.. The next few weeks seemed to go by very quickly in a blur of sad anticipation of Leslie's flight back home.

Our overnight bus rode the ferry over to the island with us, so we were riding once again for a bit, then transferred to a pickup truck with bench seating (called a sawngthaw; a very common form of local transport) and ended up at Lamai Beach. We found the beach well developed but quiet. The area was a bit expensive for our budget, though. We relaxed here for a few days and then got a ride up to the largest beach Hat Chaweng. For the day we walked around the beach and looked into some accommodations. It was very crowded and seemed quite expensive, so we decided to move on to one of the quieter areas of the island. We ended up staying on the northwest side of the island where we walked down a long sandy road to a quiet beach called Bang Po. The bungalows were a bit back from the beach but the restaurant relaxed right in front of the sand. We got motorbikes and rode around the island a bit, making it down to the southern part of the west coast and had a drink at a gorgeous stretch of empty beach looking out over the aquamarine water to five small islands huddled together a few kilometres from shore.

Having received an email from my Norwegian friend Joeran, we decided to head over to the island of Ko Pagnan, where I had spent almost two weeks at the beginning of my trip in October. I had met Joeran at a small beach named Bottle Beach and travelled with him for a month afterwards down to Malaysia and back. Joeran had returned there in January and had been mostly there since.

Leslie and I caught a boat to Ko Pangan (Koh Pa Ngan) and then a sawngthaw to a longtail boat that delivered us to Bottle Beach. We got a bungalow and for five nights we enjoyed the beach and the company of Joeran and his new girlfriend Lilia.

The subtle anxiety of Leslie's leaving built up during this time and before we knew it, we were packed up, heading back to Samui and on our way to the airport. Leslie's was booked on a night flight to Bangkok from the island's small airport. From there she would have an early morning flight with several layovers on her way back to the states. With a few tears she left to board the plane and I slowly and thoughtfully walked the four dark kilometres back to my bungalow, escorted much of the way by a friendly black dog. Not ready to go into my bungalow, I sat on a chair in the sand overlooking the dark water lapping against the shore. I was unused to feeling alone and I didnt know what to do with myself. I turned around to find an old man, security for the facility I supposed, crouched in some bushes watching me suspiciously. I laughed to myself and walked to my bungalow and let myself in. Alone.

Tags: beaches, bottle beach, gulf, ko pangan, ko samui, on the road, surat thani, thailand, travel, vacation

 

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