Day 179: Koh Phangan Well With The Bad Weather

As you can probably tell from the title, today’s weather was just as bad. We had a couple hours sunshine in the afternoon, but for the most part it was cloudy and dull. And at one point the streets turned into a river when the rain came hammering down. You’ve got to love the tropical storms. They leave as quickly as they arrive. We didn’t do anything note worthy today, bar ride the bikes to a different part of the island. All we did there was enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. But for my personal log, more than anything, here is today’s post in full.

• Today was a record for lie ins. I don’t think I’ve known either Sarah or Anna to sleep for so long. I woke up around 10:30am, and enjoyed some tv, while the girls remained asleep until midday.

• Then, much like a stereotypical sitcom, we gathered at our local restaurant for breakfast. I enjoyed another helping of porridge and a mango shake. Sarah wasn’t feeling too good, so she returned to the room after eating to have a lie down until Anna and I were ready.

• We must have spent a couple hours on the Internet, barely saying a few words, until Anna needed my help. She is also planning on visiting Australia, and is currently going through the same visa process as Sarah and myself. The only problem is, because Anna is Danish (yet speaks very good English) it is very difficult to understand the Australian governments website. They use a lot of technical terms and specific words, that might not have been taught to people whose second language is English. They really could benefit from having their website in various languages. I explained what each word or term meant, whenever Anna asked, but she also found herself having to stop after a while. As there are certain pages on the visa form which can’t be filled out without a medical check first.

• Between helping Anna out, I was researching the handheld console that is the “Nintendo 3DS”. Why you ask?… Oh you don’t? Well I’ll tell you anyway. On the 24th of May it will be my birthday (and also the release date of Hangover pt3). Sarah has asked me what I’d like, and so far that is all I can come up with. I spent the majority of my time googling their specifications, what colours they came in, if they were worth having, and how much they cost. My kind and generous girlfriend said she’d get me one, if it was what I truly wanted. I was planning ahead, if I were to do farm work in Australia I’d need a pastime during my downtime. Still uncertain, I eventually gave up the research – well actually, the Internet died. So Anna and I returned to the room, and found Sarah reading on the bed.

• We came up with a plan, because Songkran was the following day, we thought about moving accommodation to somewhere closer to the action. On our steel horses we rode, with the destination being Thong Sala. This was the location of the main pier, where we’d arrived from Koh Tao. We didn’t really know much about the area, other than it was the go to place for the water festival. Anna and I stopped our bikes at a junction to better think it through. We noticed a TESCO lotus around the corner, so we parked our bikes up and crossed the street outside to visit a nearby cafe/hotel.

• I think it was named “The 1 bar boutique hotel”, and acted as a coffee shop for any outsiders that weren’t guests. We asked the lady inside where the best area would be to go for the festival, to which she gave the nonspecific answer “everywhere”. Everywhere on the island was great, including Haad Yao, where we were staying. At first we were going to stop for a drink, but decided to come back after we got a better understanding of where we were. Moving resorts would be a hassle, and we wanted to make sure it was worth it. So we hopped back on our bikes and had a quick ride around.

• We found nothing but the pier and a roundabout. We did one full rotation of it, before heading back in the same direction as we came. Sarah spotted a small tourist information shop that might have been able to help our current predicament. Anna and I parked the bikes again, then we all went inside. Another nonspecific answer was given, but she swayed more towards the opinion that Thong Sala was better for the celebrations when we pressed her for a location. We then asked her about the boat and bus prices to Bangkok. 1300 baht! Forget it, we thanked her for her time, then visited a rival shop next door. We also pressed her for a good location for Songkran, to which she said Thong Sala as well. Her bus and boat prices were a lot cheaper, 850 to be precise. We thanked that lady too, then we were set to return to the cafe/hotel.

• I don’t know if it was a blessing or a curse, but as I sat on “Red Danger” (the name I’ve just given the bike) the girls looked at a shop selling trinkets. Like magpies, they were drawn to the shiny shiny. It was in that very moment the heavens opened. I’m surprised the awnings didn’t collapse under the pressure of the falling liquid. Each droplet was the size of a tennis ball, and they were falling faster and faster, to the point it looked as though the sky was literally falling. We took refuge in the nearby shops and waited for it to pass. We didn’t get that luxury, but it did ease off slightly, giving us enough time to get on the bikes and ride.

• Because there was less traction on the road, I rode more carefully. Three tall glasses of hot chocolate were enjoyed, and they helped us warm up. Having ridden in the rain, and stepping into a building with a/c, we were a little chilly. We soon warned up, and began discussing where we’d stay. It didn’t take much talking before we decided to stay where we were. We could hand in the bikes later that day, and pay our resorts staff to give us a lift to Thong Sala in the morning. This saved us the trouble of packing our bags and finding somewhere new. With that sorted, we got on the bikes for the last time that day, and set off for our resort.

• I felt bad when we arrived, the weather was a lot nicer than 10 minutes before, and Sarah wanted to see Haad Salad beach, but couldn’t. The second we pulled up to our resort the fuel gauge began to flash. We were running low. After asking the young male employee how far away it was, he said 10 minutes, and he also said we’d need more fuel. Sarah told me not to worry, as she wasn’t that desperate to see it, especially as there was a beach at the bottom of our resort. Anna and I then handed over the keys and helmets, and our bikes got a looking over for any damage. Luckily these guys weren’t like the people from the horror stories we’d heard. We were both told they were ok, then went upstairs to pay, and retrieve our passports.

• While we were there, we noticed Hut Sun sold boat and bus tickets. We had forgotten to return to the tourist shop to pay the cheap fee of 850 baht, so we enquired at our place instead. Initially the lady said 950, but we got her down to match the price. I think we lost out in the end, as we still had to pay another 100 baht for a taxi to the pier. The whole time we were at reception we had to avoid the Mosquitos. Some were so big that you’d physically feel them pitch on your skin, and no matter how hard you crushed them, they wouldn’t die. It was because of the time of day, it was around 6:30pm. Dusk, much like vampires, this was their playtime. Given the fact it had been raining, they were out in droves. I killed a couple, but there were so many that I ended up receiving a few bites. After we paid, Anna and I headed to the beach for sunset.

• Again, it was stunning. This time there was a more chilled out water painting effect. The sky was reflected perfectly on the water below, and the horizon looked like an infinity pool because of the colour match with the clouds above. The colours were very soft, very light shades of pinks, purples, oranges and reds, all worked together to create the heaven like surroundings. We both snapped many photos of the beautiful scene, before the sun disappeared completely, and the colours merged into one. We then returned to Sarah in the room.

• It was here that I schooled Anna at a pool game I’d downloaded earlier that day. I beat her every game, except for the ones she won by default, occasionally I’d pot the black too soon, or the white followed it into the pocket. Either way, Anna was happy to take the win regardless. After Sarah had finished showering, the three of us went out for tea. Because we no longer had the bikes, it meant we were hoofing it. We wandered back up the steep hill and ate at the same restaurant as we did our first night. We stayed there for around 2 hours, before heading back to our resort, on the way Anna and I continued the pool game, passing the tablet back and forth to signify the next persons go. We sat in the restaurant area of Hut Sun for a further half an hour, being entertained by the peculiar pugs, and the various items they’d carry in their mouths. At 10 o’clock we called it a night. We watched some tv shows, I shaved my face, then I went to bed. Now to get some sleep ready for Songkran the next day, it would be a battlefield of water and fun. Just wait to see what I write about that!











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