Day 176: An Unwanted Visitor

Today will be another quick posts folks. It saw us leaving Koh Tao and arriving at Koh Phangan. The place we’d be staying for the next few days, and also where we’d enjoy the festivities of Songkran. It was a relatively short day, which is always great news for me, as it means I can write about it fairly quickly.

• For the first time since staying at Sairee Cottage Resort, I was woken up countless times throughout the night by various sounds outside. The insects must have been holding a mass jungle party, as the sounds filling our room were ear achingly loud. Eventually I did get off to sleep, and it wasn’t until 10am that I awoke.

• The wall near my pillow was scolding hot from the morning sun, which made it a lot easier to get out of bed and into the shower. I encouraged the girls to do the same when I was done, as check out time was 11am. We got away with being 5 minutes late, and didn’t have to pay the 500 baht late check out fee. After leaving our bags at reception we headed out for breakfast.

• We returned to one of the first restaurants we visited. They sold a large English breakfast, fully equipped with sausages, eggs, bacon, ham and beans. The whole thing only came to 150 baht (£3). The Internet was too patchy when we attempted to find accommodation in Phangan, so after breakfast we returned to our resort to try our luck there.

• A couple hours had passed since we left, and it wasn’t long before we our pre booked taxi was set to collect us. We found a few places to stay on our next island, but nothing that really stood out. Every place we found charged too much, just to add an additional bed for a third person. In the end we decided to show up and wing it instead.

• When 2pm rolled around we were ready and waiting on the main road outside our resort. It was running late, meaning we didn’t get picked up until around 2:15pm. The black leather seats were hot to the touch, which made Sarah yelp out as her exposed legs touched down on them. The ride lasted all of 5 minutes before we reached the port.

• We then had the job of locating our boat, it turned out it hadn’t arrived, and wouldn’t until 3pm. For the time being we had to sit tight on a floating waiting room, which ended up crammed with people as the time grew closer to our boats arrival. After the large ship had docked, the crew loaded everyone’s bags aboard, before allowing the passengers to transfer over.

• The ship had an upstairs and downstairs seating area to choose from, both of which had lovely cold a/c blowing around. This was something we hadn’t had since being on the islands, so I spent the following hour and a half upstairs reading through old blogs. Around 4:30-5pm we were on Koh Phangan.

• Like usual we were approached by hotel scouts. This time around it was a woman. She offered us a good deal, 600 baht for 3 people, making it only £4-5 each, and she didn’t charge an extortionate price for an additional bed. We had to pay an extra fee for a taxi ride, but it worked out ok, as the driver gave us a reduced fee. There was an older South African woman already in the taxi, she had been travelling for 17 years. Her most recent country was England, where she’d been studying art in London. She was a great laugh, but didn’t share the same love as me for our capital city. At the end of the journey (when we reached our resort) she asked if she could take pictures of my tattoo sleeve. I had gained yet another fan of my expensive art piece, then I waved goodbye as the taxi drove off over the hill.

• By that time, Sarah and Anna had already gone ahead to check out the room. They weren’t impressed, claiming it was too small for 3 people. We were then offered one more room, after Sarah went in search of another place, luckily it was perfect. We dropped our bags off and checked in, the girls then went for a wander along the nearby beach to watch the sunset, while I ate pad thai at our restaurant. It was perfect timing after I finished my meal, I bumped into the girls outside our room. However, inside the room, Sarah discovered something she wished she hadn’t.

• As I led on the bed, trying to connect to the resorts wifi, I heard an almighty scream coming from behind me. It was Sarah. While she was messing about with the blinds, a large long legged spider crawled out from behind. “Urgh Urgh Urgh”, were the panicked sounds coming from her mouth, she quickly ushered me towards it, holding on tight to my right arm as she hid behind it. It was in one of those awkward positions, holding its ground on the corner part of two walls. I couldn’t get it if I’d tried, I asked Sarah what she possibly thought I could do, then she screamed “use a tissue”, as if that would help. Remembering from the Perhentian Islands that these particular spiders are too quick to catch, I gave up without even trying. Anna then went to reception to get help. She was also as scared as Sarah. When she came back she was joined by a young male employee, in his hand was a long handled brush. He hit the spider off the wall, and for 5 seconds it disappeared, before reappearing and scuttling across the floor. Sarah jumped on the bed, Anna on my mattress, followed by me casually hopping beside her, hoping neither of them noticed my cowardice. The young man managed to scoop the spider up using the bristles of the brush, and flicked it off outside. He then walked away with a smirk on his face, as if to call us “chickens”. All that remained of the spiders presence was a single leg on the floor. That alone was enough to intimidate Sarah. Later on during dinner Sarah googled the spider. It turned out to be a friendly (if not intimidating) character, that didn’t bite, nor was it poisonous, and mostly fed on large cockroaches. Making me feel bad for it losing a limb. “Invite them in” it said, fat chance of that happening google!

• When everyone calmed down, we went out for food. We asked briefly for directions, then continued the same way the taxi went earlier that day. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from, the only problem was the large hill we had to climb before we’d reach them. We found a nice restaurant that was part of a beautiful looking resort (which had a pool). After using their Internet, Sarah found out it cost £23 a night, which was nearly double what we were paying. We spent over 3 hours there, enjoying nice food, and I’d like to say company, but that would be a lie. For the most part, Sarah and Anna were playing on the phones. The worst part was, Sarah didn’t even have a phone, she was using mine. This meant getting conversation from them was like getting blood from a stone. It wasn’t until the end that I finally got a go on my phone, every time I asked Sarah for it before then, she’d intelligently say “I’m looking up other places to stay… Unless you want to do it?” Well played Sarah, that little line gained her an extra ten minutes each time. Around 9:30pm we paid up and went in search of a 7Eleven.

• The reason for this? Sarah wanted a particular flavoured ice cream, which only 7Eleven seemed to stock. After a 10 minute walk (and passing many stray dogs) we turned back around, unsuccessful in our findings. We had to make do with a local convenience store instead!

• When we got back to the room I performed a room sweep for the girls, it was clear. But in our absence the room had filled with smoke, after Sarah was smart enough to light a mosquito repellent coil in an unventilated environment. We opened the door and got the fan blowing to help the smoke escape, which defeated the purpose of the coil in the first place. When the smoke had dispersed, we closed the door, and Sarah went about killing any mozzies in sight. We were very lucky there wasn’t a fire alarm in the room, otherwise we’d have returned to some unhappy faces. After getting ready for bed, I began to write about the day, while the girls watched tv shows. When I was done, I watched a tv show of my own, then tried to forget about the spider as I led on the spare bed (a mattress on the floor). One thing was for certain, it wouldn’t be me waking up in the middle of the night through paranoia, it would be the blonde one doing her routine torchlight perimeter checks instead!

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