Big Question Marks

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I blame the beach!

We’ve been quite tardy on the blog, and there’s only one way to put it: it's because of the beach.
Standing on these pristine white-sand beaches, mango shake in hand, looking over the clearest water ever... yup, it’s the hard life.

Earlier back in Bangkok we’d met up with an old friend from our fruit picking days in Australia. What luck, Birte had finished a month living in a monastery on the north-east of Thailand. Monastery living was similar to what we’d encountered in Burma only there’s no Junta, the roads are 1000 times better, plus there’s electricity and running water.
Well, as you can imagine we all decided quite quickly that the islands of Southern Thailand were definitely the place to be for some R&R. With our joint tickets bought (via sleeper train & boat) we set off.
Train travel was very fun, it’s addictive especially when you can travel and sleep at the same time – it’s just so appealing to me. Round about 9ish a porter comes by and transforms your seat into a bed, I recommend the lower bunk – you get the window. Then at first light the porter returns to wake you from your peaceful dreams yelling at the top of his lungs about the next stop coming up.
The boat was fun too; it’s a 2 hour ride from Suratthani to Koh Samui – this allows you to get your “base tan” going, so that when you arrive on the island you don’t blind everyone with your white skin.

Koh Samui was a great place to get to working on our tans, we found some beach bungalows for 400 Thai baht on the sunny beach of Lamai – that’s on the east side of the island. Then something funny happened:


It seemed the entire time we were there we did nothing of any substance. Pure gluttony.
The travel gods took out their vengeance by giving Dayle “Shingles”, but we didn’t let that stop us! Before you ask – YES, Dayle stopped growing a horn on her face and is in full recovery, if not fully recovered thanks to the plentiful (and cheap) pharmacies of Thailand.
On Koh Pha-Ngan we went back to our old haunt on a northeastern beach, Thong Nai Pan Noi. Lucky for us we were very far from the “Black Moon Party” where neo-hippies get bashed on ecstasy and listen to trance and swap patchouli oil and talk about how they mastered the ‘dog pose’ so well they can sniff their own butts. Seems there’s a big ‘party’ for every single moon phase – even ones you never knew about, like; the “3-7ths of the first quarter Full Moon Party”. Yes, naturally all this builds toward the actual “Full Moon Party” where the dreadlocks really fly and the patchouli is rank on the beach for days.
Our beach at Thong Nai Pan Noi had a great sheltered bay, with 400 baht bungalows, and we even got to see a schooner moor in it – Adrian was very excited that it had 5 masts.
Wanting to get some diving in, it was a quick jump to Koh Tao. We did two great dives among batfish, angelfish, barracudas, and even a scorpionfish (very poisonous!), and were sad to leave. Each dive went for a bargain 1000 baht and we rented an underwater digital camera for another 1000 baht. The pictures, just like the dive, came out amazing – and as our luck would have it the battery died just as we surfaced from our second dive!
Somehow that’s the summation for our past 15 days; sun, sand, hippies, and diving. It’s really not our fault; we blame the beach!

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