More beach bumming in Ko Phangan

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
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Trip End Feb 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Longtail Bungalows

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, August 1, 2011

Hello everyone

Our trip from Malaysia to the island of Ko Phangan reminded us of how much more you get to see and experience when you avoid using planes. We arrived in HAT YAI one of the southernmost towns of Thailand, on an overnight train from Malaysia. We had to change trains and so spent a few hours (which quickly became many hours when the train was delayed by 3 hours) at the train station. Since not many travellers make it to Hat Yai we invariably were the only 'Falang' the locals had seen in a while and immediately we were the stars of the show. Contrary to the usual shy nature of the Thais a couple of people came up to us to show their interest. One guy ran after me, grabbed my hand, shook it vigorously while exclaiming 'very good very good' and went on his way before I had a chance to respond, another guy went up to Paul, took his phone out and took a picture of Paul while laughing his head off. Clearly we had very different effects on the locals. 

The train journey itself started off great. We were enthralled by the beautiful views we chugged past and oohed and aahed at the beautiful limestone mountains with their weird and wonderful shapes. As we'd taken the local train which cost us the grand amount of one english pound for the 8 hour journey we were sitting on seats which had been built with no thought to physiological health or comfort. Five hours into the journey our butts were throbbing with discomfort and we found ourselves making up songs which after many attempts at perfection ended up as 'my bum is so numb and it ain't much fun, so give me some rum etc etc....Clearly Keats we are not! It's amazing what simple things can amuse and idle brain. 



8 hours later we finally made it to Surat Thani, our stop for the night. Immediately a Thai guy tried to swindle us with the sweetest smile sending us in the opposite direction of the Taxi stand and then offering to drive us himself for an exorbitant amount when no Taxis turned up. A quick walk around the block got us to the real Taxi stand and we got in with a smug look of satisfaction on our face. The hotel we stayed in was a great surprise. It was a proper hotel, with pool and all, nice sheets and a proper breakfast in the morning. We'd paid something like fifteen pounds so we were delighted.

The next day we set off to Ko Phangan and were in for another lovely surprise when we made it to our beach - Thong Nai Pan Noi. The bungalows were great. Really clean and set in a beautiful garden with a hammock outside. Ko Phangan is a great island with a laid back feel to it as long as you avoid the infamous Haad Rinn (unless you're in your early twenties and want to party). The beach we stayed on was perfect at night, it had the right amount of bars set up on the sand and restaurants bar-b-q's without being crowded. There's always something special about sitting on a mat on the beach watching a Thai man juggling with fire balls and sticks. It's magical and thrilling and of course the great abs never hurt. ;)


 
 



 

Well despite not having fulfilled our initial plan of working at the retreat place in Ko Phangan, Paul and I still really loved Ko Phangan and the people there. It's still got a slice of that Thai magic that is quickly disappearing as places become over-developed and crowded with tourists.

And I have to admit that Ko Phangan will always have a special place in my heart as it was on this island, 6 years ago, that I dreamed a little dream of one day travelling the world and sharing it with someone special. I guess dreams do come true! :)

See you in our private jacuzzi overlooking the Gulf of Thailand next

Lots love
Karen and Paul
xxx    
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Comments

mom on

Great read lovely pic's xx

MARY TSITEROU on

THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE THAILAND U CAN FIND ANYTHING U WANT FOR EVERY TASTE, I LIKED KHO PHANGAN WE WERE HEADING ONCE TO KHO PHANGAN BUT IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE 2 KHO PHAN GAN AND WE WENT TO THE OTHER ONE NOT BAD BUT VERY LIMITED NO ELECTRICITY AT NIGHT A SMALL ISLAND NOT CROWDED NOT BAD BUT NOT TO OUR TASTE I SEE THAT THIS ONE IS JUST WHAT WE WANT.

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