Phuket, Koh Phangnan, Koh Tao
01.06.2009 - 15.06.2009 36 °C
After having a physical experience in Nepal, a cultural experience in India, and a wildlife experience in Malaysia, Thailand has definately so far been the party all night and chill all day experience!.
I flew into Phuket and caught a taxi to my hostel with a French guy who was living in Thailand as a Thai boxer, my hostel in Phuket was in the town rather than at any of the beaches which was perfect as my first visit to Patong beach revealed how much I hated it! It was full of English bars and English people, English breakfasts and burgers and hardly any Thai people in sight apart from those who want to make a fast buck from the tourists! Anyway I stayed in Phuket only two nights before booking my journey to Koh Phangnan. On the last night of my stay I went out to a bar with all the people from my hostel and met some cool people who were also travelling to the island, unfortunately after many nights of absteining from alchohol I had a few too many Chang beers and ended up having to get up the next morning ready for a boat ride with a stinking hangover (Changover) and only 3 hours sleep.
It took all day to get to Koh Phangnan and I ended up meeting some guys on the boat who I had watched DVD's with in KL, they had a place to stay so I decided to see if I could stay at the same place. Because of the looming full moon everywhere was really expensive but I lucked out by renting a small apartment from the owner of an ice cream shop who happened to be in the boys hotel when i was checking it out. The apartment was cool, 30 seconds from the beach and very cheap! no free ice cream though I did try bargaining for it!
I wasn't sure how I would like Koh Pangnan but I loved it and only physically leaving the island stopped me from partying. Every night there was a party on the beach leading up to the full moon, they played all different kinds of music and had fire shows to keep you entertained. I have always been told by everyone who has ever been to the Thai island that I need to sample a bucket so on my first night I did just that. A bottle of Thai whisky, 3 red bulls and coke all pored into a big bucket with ice and lots of straws...needless to say they were the end of me. After 2 nights in a row drinking red bull and not being able to sleep at all I decided to move onto vodka / lemonade buckets...much more sensible! So my week spent on Koh Pangnan went pretty much like this every day....go to bed about 10am, sleep till about 1pm, have a shake and museli fruit and yoghurt for breakfast/lunch, hang out in the pool until 7ish, have Pad Thai for dinner, have a power nap until 11pm, have some pre party drinks at friends hotels then party on the beach dancing until the morning...I saw the sunrise everyday! It was great and sooo addictive, every day I would wake up and promise myself an early night watching DVD's and then every night I would be out partying on the beach again. I met some really fun people, two guys from Texas, a couple of peeps from Canada, I shared a room with an Austrailian girl and I met loads of lovely Israelis who I partied with on the beach. The only thing that I did that left Hat Rin beach was on the day after the full moon party we took bikes to a quiet beach in the north of the island and hired some snorkling gear for the afternoon......yes the night after full moon I was out partying aswell!
So eventually I left the island and headed to Koh Tao (turtle island) to do some diving. Koh Tao is where I am now and is much more chilled out, there are bars on the beach but they generally have big chill out cushions and are there for relaxing after a hard days diving. My diving course was great and I am now a qualified PADI Open water diver. It took four days and 5 dives in total to complete aswell as an exam. I was in a small group of 6 and on the first day we pratised the underwater techniques required for diving at a small bay on a nearby island, I was nervous at first as it felt weird to be breathing underwater and there was lots to remember but by my last couple of dives it was feeling a lot more natural and we had a lot of fun under the water, following our instructor, seeing little tropical fish amongst the coral, and getting video'd underwater. There was a chance that we would see some barracudas and whale sharks but unfortunately not on this occasion. I was tempted to follow it up by doing my advanced PADI but I think that I will save that for a different island or maybe Bali.
My next move is up to Chiang Mai and northwest Thailand and then I plan on doing a full circle into Loas, Vietnam, Cambodia and then finally back to the islands for before getting a flight to Bali early Sept. I still want to see Koh Chang and Koh Phi phi so they will be on my list when I come back round....aswell as another full moon...maybe!