Friday, 7 February 2014

The Islands!

Firstly I should explain the current update on my foot from when I fell in Lop Buri. I have not really mentioned it that much but it has hindered my mobility somewhat (walking takes a lot longer and has been pretty painful) I've been soldiering on but it really has been me pissing me off for nearly three weeks! I figured there must be a small fracture so I took to the internet for some self diagnosis and saw foot fractures, especially where mine is, are very common and it will heal by itself so long as I keep it rested. I debated, but resisted going to the Doctor as I know the advice given would have been not walk on it and they would have given me a prescription for pain killers I can already obtain without one. I would then have the hassle of paying excess on my insurance and going to claim it all back so in the end I didn't bother. I have waited it out, making sure I wear my sports sandals instead of flip flops for the support and that has definitely been helping as I can almost walk normal with those on. The plan for the first three days on Samui (based around my foot) would be to not do very much to give my foot a full fighting chance of surviving Koh Phagnan; the most notorious party island in the world.

Having not pre booked any accommodation on Samui this was our first port of call. We had to take a mini van to the opposite end of the island as thats where everything is, the guy dropped us off in Lamai, a quiter place to that of the more popular Cha-Weng. It was a steaming hot day and we had all our stuff with so instead of walking around we grabbed some motobikes and found accommodation that way. It didnt take us long to find a cool little guesthouse "Kaoeng Bungalows"with an amazing view of the sea, It was a very reasonable price at just 350 Baht a night, I figured we would pay a lot more on the islands but this was perfect, especially considering the view.

Our days on Samui were spent riding around on our bikes exploring, along with laying on the beach and of course sinking a few beers and whiskeys. On one of the days we headed for a waterfall, now obviously I was not ready to climb but I saw they offered an off road 4x4 lift (part of the way anyway), Dave said he would walk and I should get in this and meet him at the top. The ride was fun, I thought it was just a lift for lazy and elderly people but it was actually more like a roller coaster where we had to hold on for dear life while he flew this mini monster truck around. At the destination Dave was nowhere in sight and if I was to see the actual waterfall I did indeed need to climb some rocky stairs. I kinda wished I hadn't as it didn't help my foot, but the waterfall was cool and I found a quiet spot where I could have a dip as it was sweltering. A little while later I still could not find Dave and had no phone on me so I headed back the guesthouse where I bumped into him on his bike on the street.

Now I must say that the nightlife on Samui disappointed me somewhat, I had a preconceived idea about what it would be like but basically it was dead pretty much everywhere (this may well have been down to everyone being on Koh Phangan for the Black Moon Party I'm not sure). It was a good thing in a way that there wasn't much going on because the whole point was to rest my foot. On one of the evenings while searching for a party we randomly came across a Thai bar called 'Camp Beer' I think. Pretty much everyone on Samui are farang holiday makers so it was a surprise to find this, I was really pleased, it was a great night. After relaxing on Samui my foot was feeling better and it was time for us to head off on the three hour boat ride to the infamous island that is Koh Phangan, home of the Full Moon Party!

We had checked the dates prior and realized we would miss both the full moon and half moon but none the less we heard this places goes off whatever the lunar cycle may be. As we were waiting at the pier for the people who had just come from Pangan to get off we got a glimpse of what we were in for, the amount of people coming off with cuts and bandages was ridiculous, after they had all hobbled off we got on and set sail the three hour journey. We had not pre booked here either but started talking to a guy at thier pier who was trying to get us to go to his 'Coral Bungalows' it was just 5-10 minutes walking distance from the one and only Haad Rin beach and had a pool so we thought it was definitely worth a look, it was also offered at a discounted price (500 baht for aircon room instead of 1500) because of the moon so we went for it. It turned out to be a super cool place with super nice staff, it was the perfect pick. What did make me laugh when we got there was the amount of signs specifying the amount of money you would have to pay if you broke/lost anything in the room/resort. They had literally covered everything, it was obvious that this place gets pretty looney on the full moon.

After checking in we rented bikes to go exploring, now oh my god did we have to check these bikes over throughly before we took them. We had to sign off absolutely everything and if anything was broken afterwards the fines were extortionate. I have never encountered this in Thailand before, you here the stories of people getting scammed when renting bikes but in reality thats not the case they normally just chuck you the key and off you go, but no this was very very different so we had to be thorough. I'm sure we wern't going to be scammed but should we actually have broken or scratched it it was going to be expensive. With the bikes being fully checked off we went on exploring and oh my days these were the sketchiest roads I have ever been on, it was up and down and up and down, with very steep hills that on a few Dave had to push himself up on full throttle. After checking out some awesome views we came across a man and his monkey getting coconuts from the palm trees. He had this thing tamed pretty well, it was on a long leash and was high up in the tree, the man warned us to watch our heads and he shouted some commands for the monkey to twist the coconut and drop it down to the ground. We spoke to the guy after and he told us the monkey doesn't eat much food but runs off whiskey and red bull (sounds a bit like me)

After a few hours our exploring was done now all that was on the agenda for the rest of our time was partying, after all we were on Koh Phangan. We met some wicked people here including two guys from England, Emily and Matt who we spent all of our time with. The first night was a pool party at our resort which I have a vague recollection of it being crazy as hell. The second day we woke up around noon and got straight on the buckets playing cards all day until it was time to head to the clubs on Haad Rin beach. This night was even crazier than the last, it was full of fire dancers, nos baloons and many more buckets. I'm not sure what time I got in but in the morning Dave woke up with a tattoo, yes a tattoo, he'd decided at 5AM it was a good idea to get the Hong Thong (Golden Phoenix) logo on his leg, I was actually gonna get this a while back but have decided against now even though it does look pretty cool. It was super funny in the morning when we found out.

The third day we decided to give the booze a break (at least for the afternoon anyway) and our plan was to head to mushroom mountain to get a round of milkshakes, after chilling for a while we went on a mission to find some baloons, the bar told us they had them but to come back around 8PM so we ended up on a diffrent mission involving the maddest bridge you have ever come across. I mean this thing was seriously dangerous so we trod very lightly all the while I was laughing so hard I actually got stomach cramps and was sick; I dont know why it was so funny but it was. When we got around the corner along the rocks we realized it was the way to some quaint little bungalows that looked pretty smart, you got a really good view of the beach and the island from there. We sat for a while and contemplated the journey back as we needed to get back before it got dark as that would not have been fun at all. By the time we got back we decided it was time to start on the buckets and it went on from there, in the evening there was a foam party on the beach where we partied all night long, there were again fire dancers, people jumping over a giant flaming skipping rope and human fireworks in the sea. It was a guy stood on a table in the sea with fireworks attached to him almost like a human catherine wheel. How he didn't get burnt to bits i don't know, then again he probably did, he must have.

The following morning we had to pack up leave, it was time to head back up to Bangkok and then to Ayutthaya, we didn't fly but took the boat (of course) and then another sleeper train to Bangkok where we got a different train up to Ayutthaya. Its my birthday in two days and Dave leaves in two so we are spending his last few days here.

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are spectacular, there are many more islands to explore but for now thats all time allowed for. I'm not sure I need to return to Samui but will certainly be going back to Koh Phangan for a full moon party. That was place will be going off!!

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