Up early to the sound of insomniac cockerels. Have cold shower and head to town for brekkie. Book 11am boat to Ko Lanta, 200 baht each. Do spot of shopping, buy v attractive sun hat for Nic and Sony mini speakers for MP3 player at cost of 6 GBP. Check out of v basic bungalows and walk the long, v long walk to ferry. V hot on board and no air con, both sweating liberally. Eventually boat departs and we get a much needed cold breeze. On board ferry full of touts selling their accommodation on Ko Lanta. Choose Rasta mans, Lanta Marine Parkview Resort on the south part of the island costing 500 baht per night, approx 7GBP for both of us. Air con, hot water and balcony overlooking bay. Ferry takes two hours then transfer to open jeep for half hour journey to accommodation over potholed dusty roads. Covered in dust when we arrived. Accommodation good but sometimes get whiff of urine, not good. P says that if you were staying in an old peoples home or prison it would smell like this
. Nic points out that we are not booked into either. After a while we dont notice the smell. Shower attached to bungalow but open to the sky, which is nice, although also open to bugs. Resort v busy and hippyish, nice atmosphere and built into cliff on the edge of the bay with steps down onto the beach. Bar and restaurant beautifully lit with uninterrupted views across the bay. Watch another thunder and lightning storm passing overhead whilst huddled in the bar although drinking coffee not alcohol. Decided to have a night off the drink. Due to rain decide to update travelpod and spend hour or so in the attached internet cafe. Decide to book a four island snorkelling trip for the next day, 1100 baht for both, approx 18 GBP. Got washed and changed for dinner. Our wardrobes have changed considerably since leaving NI. Jeans, boots and sweatshirts have been exchanged for Quicksilver, Roxy, shorts, t shirts and flipflops. Bed early for early start next day.
Day 72 - Wednesday 5 November
Up at 7am for brekkie before snorkelling trip. Have extended stay by one night and have therefore to move rooms slightly further up the cliff. Same room and view and smell. Set off at 9am on long tail boat with three other couples. Pick up two other couples on the way. After hour and a half arrive at first island, boat ties to buoy and we all jump overboard in shoddy snorkels and masks supplied by boat
. Tide quite strong, Peters mask keeps letting in water and no fins are provided. So Peter quickly returns to boat whilst Nicola has a swim about. Visibility not great but spot a few fish and some nice coloured coral. All back to boat and onto next island, no one seems particularly impressed with first snorkel. Next island however we all don life vests and are led by guide with torch through cave into centre of island which can only be accessed by swimming. Unbelievable beach in centre of round island, very The Beach. Lie on beach looking up to the sky about 80ft above and then swim back out to boat where they have some how prepared hot chicken fried rice and fresh fruit for us all. Next island are told we have one hour to lie on the beach to do as we please, lying on the beach, swimming, etc. V beautiful. Back to boat for 3pm and race approaching thunderstorm back to resort. Just make it back before the rain whilst chatting to Scottish couple who we meet later for drinks at our resort. Nicola and Steve are both travel agents and we pick up a few tips for our onward travel.
Day 73 - Thursday 6 November
Up at 6.30am to get lift on open back truck to Ko Lanta pier for ferry to Krabi on the mainland. Have quick coffee and croissant on the pier before boarding boat
. Due to drinking Thai beer Chang Peter has whats known as a Changover and vows to switch to Singha beer in future. Nice air con ferry trip spoilt by extra loud video of Thai comedy being shown on faulty video. Two and a half hours later arrive at Krabi and wait for 11am bus to Suratthani. Bus also air con and very empty with just a few English people on board. Bus leaves late on two and a half hour journey. Cutting it fine to catch the ferry to Ko Samui. Arrive at 2.30pm and then realise we have to transfer to a coach to take us to new ferry terminal at Donsak, 80km to the south as opposed to Suritthani ferry. Book accommodation at our transfer point called The World. Not expecting much but free transfer from the pier so book one night. Another nice coach to Donsak pier then onto ferry. Getting dark and arrive at 6.30pm. No sign of transfer and taxi man tries to con us into lift. Phone The World whose driver is waiting at a different pier but turns up in a luxury air con jeep ten minutes later which raises our hopes for the standard of accommodation. Driver informs us that THE Full Moon Party takes place on neighbouring Ko Phang Nan this Saturday and that the hotel can organise half hour speed boat trip across. Arrive to v nice, clean bungalow with all mod cons and v friendly staff. As it is dark we are unsure if the supposed beach front bungalow is actually close to the beach as promised. Have dinner in attached restaurant along with a few mudslides, vodka, baileys and kahlua, v nice. Can hear the sea but cannot see it
. Retire to lovely clean bed and before we fall asleep we realise that today is in fact Thursday not Wednesday as we had thought all day.
Day 74 - Friday 7 November
Up for included breakfast and realise that restaurant is no more than 5m from the sea. Water not as nice as Phuket for snorkelling but nice sun loungers under the shade of the palms. At about 3pm pluck up courage to go for first Thai massage together in attached facility. Nicola enjoys and thinks masseuse is good, PW not so impressed. Complains that lady has separated a perfectly good calf muscle from his shin bone after 39 years of fusion. Decide to book tickets for Full Moon Party, although Nic bit anxious feel have to go. Book boat leaving at 9pm returning 4am. Last out first home, old age. Wander along beach to town and call into Billabong Surf Club for a few more Mudslides. Then tuk tuk back to World Resort. Bit drunk go to hotel restaurant bar and chat the night away with hotel staff Joy and Co and a couple from Bavaria. Nic in bed for 10pm, PW 12am.
Tag Heuer watch bought in KL mists up when sweating
. Luckily only sweating 24 7. Misses no more than 3 minutes per day. Body of face rusting. Luminuous hands only visible when using torch. Apart from that just like the real thing.
Day 75 - Saturday 8 November
Up for brekkie and down to beach for the day. Go to bed in the afternoon to get rested for Full Moon Party. Have doze up at 6.30pm. Have another nice dinner in restaurant. Tonight is also the Thai festival of Loy Krathong when Thais make elaborate little Lotus shaped floats out of banana leaves containing, money, food, flowers and a candle which they push on waterways everywhere around Thailand. They light up the whole coastline with a lovely orange glow which we can see on our boat trip across to Ko Phang Nan. At boat most passengers already rightly and we drink our carry out of Malibu and pineapple. As we arrive at the beach the place is already busy. Smaller than we imagined but all the bars pumping out their own tunes. Each bar has small tables and rugs laid out on the beach in front of them with the punters happily drinking small plastic buckets full of their favourite tipple. Most common is Samsong Rum with coke and red bull. Apparently the World Health Organisation warns against drinking out of buckets at the Full Moon Party as there may be more than your favourite tipple in them
. Walk the length of the beach and we return to our selected favourite bar which was called the Cactus bar. Fantastic music and all forms of live passing us by. Both delighted that we came as there are all ages and all sorts of people at party. PW buys a disposable camera and gets some fantastic shots of the revelery. By the end of the night the beach is thronged and we are v drunk. By 3am beach crowded with boats to take people back to Samui. Boats only come in as far as waist deep and we both fall repeatedly in our frantic search for the correct boat. Clambour aboard one and pay again for priveledge of safe return. By now camera ruined, money soaked and we are in a right state. Sit dripping all way back to Samui. Arrive back on a Samui beach. Nicola accidentally whacks PW in face with flip flops rest of passengers gasp in shock. P feels no pain. Nic climbs steps off boat onto beach. PW falls over the side. Kersploooooosh. Both now soaking again. Cannot find transfer bus so pay private taxi to get us home. Glad to be alive.
Day 76 - Sunday 9 November
Having arrived back at 4.30am v drunk and soaked lie on until 2pm. Lie in bed and watch Ireland getting sadly beaten by France then Wales in their tight match against England. Up and showered for dinner at 7pm
. Email in resort not working so back to bed for 8.30pm. PW buys Bangkok Post to catch up on world events. Looks like we arent missing much. Headline reads, Swiss Pile Up Kills One. Obviously a slow news day. Not surprisingly no drink taken today.
Day 77 - Monday 10 November
Beach in morning then hired jeep for afternoon to see waterfalls and all other sights on the island. Also book ferry for next day to Ko Phang Nan. Pick up jeep at 1pm and go to waterfalls No 1 and 2. Bit disappointing but very hot day and walk to second one was bit too much. Next onto Hin Ta Hin Yai, his and hers. A beach renowned for genitalia shaped rocks where the grandfather and grandmother of the Thai nation were supposed to have been washed ashore. Next to Chaweng beach. The most popular and populated beach on Samui and v touristy. Too touristy for us but stop off in Tropical Murphys for pint and bite to eat which was quite good. Next to the famous Big Buddha statue for sunset and then back to hotel for early night. Sunset here is about 6.30pm which accounts for our early nights and early mornings.