Ko Pha-Ngan

Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
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Trip End Apr 05, 2009


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

EN:
Much less developed then Ko Samui, Ko Pha-Ngan is an equally stunning island, and the home of the famous Full Moon Party. We stayed at Hat Rin, on the southern tip of the island, where the Full Moon parties take place, and even if we didn't visit during the full moon we still had the chance to go partying at the beach, there's always something going on in Ko Pha-Ngan: half-moon parties, black moon parties, pool parties, cross-dressing parties, or just plain parties! Even on any regular night, Hat Rin's Sunrise Beach gets pretty livelly, several different bars with big sound systems feature DJs playing techno, trance, hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, and others, dozens of stalls selling higly alcoholic buckets, fire shows, and hundreds of people partying... the parties go on all night, although by midnight most people are drunk. There are fire chalenges for the most intrepid (or drunk), like fire rope jumping or jumping through a fire ring, we stayed away from those but had a lot of fun watching others having a go at it. Drugs are huge here and the Suan Saranrom (Garden of Joys) Psychiatric Hospital in Surat Thani has to take on extra staff during full moon periods to handle the number of farang ("foreigner" in Thai) who freak out on magic mushrooms, acid or other abundantly available hallucinogens.

Besides partying, we did a lot of beaching and we also rented a motorbike for one day to explore the island. The roads on Ko Pha-Ngan are very (very!) steep and sometimes it was quite a challange to go up (or down) the hill with the two of us on one crappy scooter. All in all it's a nice ride around the island, we especially liked the tiny and quiet Hat Chaophao beach and the more developed (but still quiet and beautifull) Hat Yao beach. The highlight of our motorbike trip was the Ao Mae Hat beach (which the guide calls "not fantastic", don't know why!) which is stunning with its cute little island connected to the land by a narrow sand bank. The reef is very close to the shore, so it's great for snorkelling, but swimmers have to watch for the sea urchins (Eva can tell you why). We were even thinking of spending the rest of the days here instead of staying on the Hat Rin Nai beach, but eventually we didn't, as the disaster stroke on the way back to our village. :-)

Around 5pm we decided to ride back home and being at the other end of the island (cca 15km from our village), it would take us about half an hour. As soon as we left the very beautifull Ao Mae Hat beach, we got a flat tyre. We were in the middle of nowhere, there were only a few houses along the road and none of the locals spoke English. Just when we started to think we were going to have to spend the night here, a couple of guys from one of the houses offered to fill up our tyre, so that we could get at least to the nearest village and find a repair shop there. Unfortunatelly that didn't work out as our valve was screwed. Again, we started to think we were gonna sleep here, but didn't give up and tried to ride a bit, which was not the best in two people on one bike. Luckily, just when it started to get dark (nothing happens after the dark here!), a local English farang ("foreigner" in Thai) rode by on his scooter and stopped to see what was going on. He offered help, so Eva got a lift with him to the nearby village and Nuno was following without trouble on the flat-tyre-bike. Unfortunatelly the bike shop we were aiming for was already closed, but our saviour called his Thai partner and she advised him to go to another shop in another nearby village, which was open (thanks God!!!) and the guy changed our tyre in no time. We arrived safely to our village at around 8pm, returned the bike (the tyre was more expensive then the rental and the owner wouldn't give us money back, but it was peanuts and we didn't care), went home and decided not to move the next day to the beach we liked, we were too tired and lazy! :-)

Plus... our room in Hat Rin Nai was super comfy with aircon, hot water and a fridge, and most important of all - we had a huge window facing the west, so every night we were sitting on our bed, drinking beer and wine and looking at those stunning sunsets over the sea. :-)

PT:
Tão bela como Ko Samui, mas com muito menos infraestruturas turisticas, Ko Pha-Ngan é famosa por ser a ilha da Festa da Lua Cheia (Full Moon Party). Ficámos em Hat Rin, na ponta sul da ilha, e o local das Festas da Lua Cheia, e mesmo sem lua cheia tivémos oportunidade de ir a festas na praia, em Ko Pha-Ngan há sempre festa: festas da meia lua, festas sem lua, festas na piscina, ou simplesmente festas! Mesmo numa noite normal, a praia leste de Hat Rin tem bastante vida, vários bares com DJs passam todos os tipos de musica bastante alta (maioritariamente techno, mas também outros tipos), há dezenas de barraquinhas a vender baldes de misturas bastante alcoólicas, espectáculos de fogo, e centenas de pessoas... as festas duram toda a noite, ainda que pela meia noite practicamente não há ninguém sóbrio. Para os mais intrépidos (ou bêbados), há desafios de fogo, como saltar à corda em chamas, ou atravessar um aro em chamas. Estas festas também envolvem bastantes drogas, e o hospital psiquiátrico Suan Saranrom (Jardim das Delícias) em Surat Thani tem turnos reforçados durante a lua cheia para acomodar o monte de farangs ("estrangeiros" em Tailândes) que se "passam" devido aos cogumelos mágicos, ácido, ou algum dos outros abundantes halucinogénicos.

Para além de festas, passámos bastante tempo na praia e também alugámos uma scooter para explorar um pouco mais da ilha. As estradas em Ko Pha-Ngan tem subidas muito (muito mesmo!) inclinadas e por vezes a scooter teve bastante dificuldade em nos carregar aos dois, mas conseguiu. Dos muitos sítios interessantes que vimos nas nossas voltas de scooter gostámos particularmente da pequena e calma praia de Hat Chaophao, a menos calma mas igulamente praia de Hat Yao, e, sobretudo, da praia de Ao Mae Hat onde há uma pequena ilha ligada à praia por uma estreita lingua de areia. Em Ao Mae Hat, o recife fica bastante próximo da praia, por isso é um bom sítio para snorkeling, mas há que ter cuidado com os ouriços do mar (a Eva que o diga!). Até chegámos a pensar em passar os dias quen nos restavam na ilha em Ao Mae Hat, mas no regresso a Hat Rin tivémos um pequeno incidente e acabámos por chegar a casa tarde e demasiado cansados, pelo que dicidimos ficar onde estavamos.

Por volta das 5 da tarde decidimos regressar a casa (cerca de 15Km), mas assim que saimos de Ao Mae Hat tivémos um furo. Estavamos longe de tudo, e apenas haviam algumas casas perto da estrada, mas ninguém que falasse Inglês, ainda assim conseguimos explicar o problema e alguns habitantes locais ofereceram ajuda, mas o problema era na vávula e ficámos na mesma. Tivémos que tentar seguir viagem com a roda em baixo, mas com 2 na scooter não fomos muito longe. Entretanto já se estava a fazer noite, e começavamos a pensar que não chegávamos a casa, quando apareceu um habitante local Inglês ofereceu ajuda. A Eva apanhou boleia com o nosso salvador e este ajudou-nos a encontrar uma oficina, só com um foi mais fácil levar a scooter. À segunda tentativa encontrámos uma oficina ainda aberta e lá arranjámos a roda, o que foi mais caro que o aluguer da scooter. Chegámos a Hat Rin já pelas 8 da noite, e, como estavamos cansados, decidimos ficar por ali mesmo e não ir para Ao Mae Hat como tinhamos pensado.

CZ:
Ko Pha-Ngan je jeste o neco hezci nez Ko Samui a mnohem mene ovlivneny turismem. Ko Pha-Ngan je take mistem konani slavnych uplnkovych pareb (na plazi ve vesnici Hat Rin, kde jsme se take ubytovali), sice zrovna nebyl uplnek, ale na Ko Pha-Nganu to je uplne jedno, protoze pokud zrovna neni uplnek, poradaji se parby za pulmesice, kdyz je nov, vpodstate jakakoliv prilezitost je dost dobra na chlastacku. Kazdy vecer vychodni plaz ve vesnici Hat Rin ozije a vsechny bary (a neni jich malo) nazhavi svoje repraky, naplni tezce alkoholicke kyblicky a rozjedou to nahusto. Kolem pulnoci uz jsou vsichni dost nality, ale party nekonci a vetsinou se jede az do rannich hodin. Nektere bary poradaji ohnove show a kolem pulnoci se obvykle vytasi s horicim lanem, pres ktere se opilci pokouseji skakat (docela sranda), pozdeji prichazi na radu zapaleny kruh, takze ozralove, co si mysli, ze jsou tygri, se ucastni hromadneho skakani skrz horici kruh. Prodej halucinogennich latek tu jen kvete a behem uplnkovych noci mistni psychiatricka lecebna zdvojnasobi pocet zamestnancu, protoze spousta lidi ulitne na ruznych houbickach a podobne a musi byt hospitalizovana, nekdy o sobe nevi i nekolik dni.

Krome pareni jsme take pilne plazovali a jeden den jsme si pujcili skutr a vyrazili na obhlidku ostrova. Silnice jsou tu opravdu strme a nekdy to byla docela sranda vysplhat se na kopec nebo ubrzdit to smerem dolu. Prece jenom jsme na chudakovi skutrovi sedeli dva a nebyl na to moc vybaven. Nejvic se nam libily plaze Hat Chaophao (malinkata a klidna), Hat Yao (o neco vetsi, ale krasna a ticha), vitezem ale byla Ao Mae Hat, ktera je vazne nadherna, vede z ni asi 3m siroky pas pisku, ktery ji spojuje s mini ostrovem vzdalenym asi 50m. Hned kousek od pobrezi zacinaji rust koraly, takze je to skvela plaz na snorchlovani, akorat si clovek musi davat pozor na morske jezky, protoze jsou hned par metru od pobrezi (na jdnoho jsem slapla a moc pekne to nebylo). Libilo se nam tu moc a chteli jsme tu stravit tech par dni, co nam na Ko Pha-Nganu zbyvalo, ale nakonec se tak nestalo, protoze cesta domu neprobehla presne podle nasich predstav. :-)

Kolem 5 hodiny vecer jsme vyrazili smerem k domovu, bylo to asi 15km (pul hodiny jizdy). Bohuzel jsme hned asi po 5 minutach pichli, takze jsme se octli v dost prekerni situaci, protoze kolem nas vpodstate nic nebylo, krome nekolika chatrci, navic nikdo z mistnich neumel anglicky. Nastesti rychle pochopili, co se stalo, a kdyz jsme si zacinali myslet, ze u nich budem muset prespat, tak se vytasili s pumpou, ze nam tu pichlou pneumatiku nafouknou, abysme se dostali alespon do nejblizsi vesnice a nechali si to tam opravit. Moc stesti jsme nemeli, protoze byl rozbity ventilek, takze to neslo nafouknout. Zacinalo se stmivat (a po setmeni jdou vsichni spat :-), takze jsme nasedli na nas invalidni skutr a vyrazili, moc to neslo, prece jenom jsme byli moc tezky. Nastesti kolem zrovna jel na skutru mistni farang (=cizinec zijici na ostrove) a pomohl nam. Do nejblizsi vesnice jsem dojela na jeho skutru a Nuno frcel za nami, byl o moc lehci, takze to slo docela dobre. Bohuzel opravna mela uz zavreno, ale nas zachrance zavolal svoji thajske partnerce a ta nam poradila jinou nedalekou opravnu, ktera mela otevreno a pneumatiku nam konecne vymenili. :-) Domu jsme dorazili docela pozde vecer a uz se nam nechtelo druhy den stehovat na jinou plaz, takze jsme nakonec zustali na Hat Rin. No a ke vsemu nas pokoj na Hat Rinu byl super, hned u more, dokonce jsme meli klimatizaci, teplou vodu a lednicku. Nejvic se nam ale libilo obrovske okno na zapad, takze jsme kazdy vecer sedeli na posteli, pili vino a pivo a pozorovali zapady slunce. :-)
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