Week Twelve - Ko Phangan and Ko Tao

Trip Start Aug 26, 2003
Trip End Aug 24, 2004

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Friday, November 21, 2003

Day 78 - Tuesday 11 November

Due to complaints from one Christine Orr this weeks entry will have less guff from Peter.

Up for last bit of sun for Nic and get transfer to catamaran to Ko Phangan at lunchtime. Have booked Long Beach Resort bungalow in North West of island - 600 baht per night. Cheapest room with fan (no a/c) and cold water only. Nicola is getting very frugal. 30 minute boat ride in gorgeous sunshine. Pick up in Resort's jeep after walking for half hour to find it. Soaked in sweat and sit in back with ladyboy and driver in front. 15 minutes later arrive at gorg beach and resort. Room is indeed a little frugal but fine with nice wee balcony which comes into its own over the next few days. Get into trunks and go for swim. Meet an Aussie girl and her friend from San Fran. Have dinner then watch a bit of the nightly 8pm film then go to the beach bar which is run by Marty (from Lurgan) and his partner Cerys (from Manchester). Great nights crack but overdo it a bit. Bed about 4am as our usual reception of thunder and lightning begins. Heaviest rain we have ever seen. Just when we thought it couldnt get any heavier it does. An Olympic grade swimmer could swim up it. Eventually sleep.

Day 79 - Wednesday 12 November

Still torrential rain when we get up so sit on balcony. Nicola reading Peter getting RSI from Gameboy. Nicola falls on way to shop and badly scrapes her leg - clumsy oaf. Get some provisions for rest of day on balcony. Pringles shares soar. Watch monsoon into the night. Very relaxing.

Day 80 - Thursday 13 November

More of the same. Dash to internet cafe during break in the weather and send general e-mail to friends and family. Kill bottle of Vod with pineapple.

Day 81 - Friday 14 November

Woken up at 6am by more T&L. V v heavy rain. Make a dash for brekkie then to reception to see if boat running to Ko Tao. Told it probably wont sail until the 19th. After chatting to Marty and Ger (from Dublin) who were discussing there monthly Visa run to Myanmar (formerly Burma) we realise that we only have about 10 days before our Visa runs out. Decide to get to Ko Tao earliest or make a backward to journey to Ko Samui - then Surit Thani then train up to Hua Hin. From there we will get train to Bangkok and fly to Vientiane in Laos where we will spend some time before travelling by bus up to Luang Prabang. The longer we stay in Laos the better as we want our next 30 day Thai visa to carry us into the new year. A whole load of people checking out of resort to get the (more substantial) boat to Ko Samui. Leaves the place very quiet. Threaten to move out so get upgraded to top of the range bungalow for 700 baht. Air con / TV / sheets / minibar / bigger room / bigger balcony for watching the rain and most importantly a hot shower. Decide to leave on Monday to wherever. This means we can watch the rugby semis as well.

Day 82 - Saturday 15 November

Have had enough of sitting about so decide to hire Moped to take trip to south side of island to buy some of the class Full Moon Party t-shirts which we didnt have the wherewithall to buy on the night. Never having ridden a bike before Peter expects it to be a breeze. It isnt. Steep hill out of resort very badly rutted by all the rain. Stall several times with Nic having to walk up most of it. Once we get onto the proper road not too bad except when we have to slow down. As we approach south side to road turns to narrow track with unbelievably steep hills. Stall bike, traffic stops and slide unceremoniously backwards down hill. Nicola unable to get off. Peters sandals fall off. Heels digging in trying to slow descent. Bloody nightmare. Nicola has to walk back up. By now helmet has fallen to back of Ps head and strap is strangling him. Eventually reach summit and transfer helmet to carry cage amid much swearing. Reach south beach with adrenalin pumping. Dismount and gather ourselves in cafe. The road to the FMP beach is too much too face so decide we have gone far enough. Send couple e-mails then have to face the return journey to get back for the rugby. Thankfully have got the hang of hills and actually manage to breathe a few times on way back. Stop off in main town and find that the boat to Ko Tao sailed today so hopefully if fair weather holds should be OK. Watch match with Marty and couple of fellows from Cushendall?? and some English girls. Pints flowing and resort to Marty's bar after match which goes on late. Meet a few regulars who have been here for months. Johan and Sacha from Sweden with better English than us as does Rob from Holland. Drinking buckets of Vodka. Both blocked, Nicola esp. Falls all the way to room.

Day 83 - Sunday 16 November

Nicola stays in bed all day. Peter gets up to watch England match with Marty and the owner of the resort whos best mate is the King of Thailand's son. Force a couple of pints down and eventually return to room at 10. Nicola reading. Pack ready to leave tomorrow. Have enjoyed Ko Phangan and Long Beach resort although weather prevented us from spending much time on the beach.

Day 84 - Monday 17 November

Get lift in resorts jeep to pier for boat to Ko Phangan (1.5 hours) which is supposed to be a divers/ snorkellers paradise. Walk to Sensi Resort which we had read about but it hasnt opened for the season yet. Walk back to ferry and get taxi (big Jeep thankfully) over to Tanote Bay on the East of the Island. Horrific roads. Takes car 40 minutes to cover 5kms. Beautiful bay and nice resort. Hut on cliffs big with fan no a/c and cold water only. 600 baht. Other 5 resorts in bay closed so very quiet. Go snorkelling with masks and snorkels bought on Phangan. Both masks crap so have to hire from resort. Fantastic snorkelling. Millions of fish and nice coral. Have dinner and decide that it is just too quiet so tell them we are going tomorrow which doesnt please them. Book taxi for 8.30 am. Hot night. Electricity goes off at midnight which makes for sleepless night.
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