This blog should be rather short and sweet, since we have spent the past couple weeks relaxing on the east coast of Southern Thailand. We had been eagerly awaiting our beach time since we were in the heat of India, so as you can imagine we felt it was long over-due. We had originally planned on seeing both the west coast beaches of Thailand....famous for beautiful limestone cliffs shooting out of the water....currently in monsoon season, and hitting the islands on the east coast. We decided we deserved some wonderful weather so needless to say we started with the islands on the east coast. The weather was so amazing that we never made it to the west coast....we have to save something for next time.
We were very happy to get to meet up with our Irish friends Rob and Lorraine once again. This time around there were six of us since their friends Steve and Gemma were on holidays from Ireland as well. We started on the island of Ko Samui which is the largest of the three islands. We weren't sure if it was really what we were looking for because it is one of the more developed and commercialized islands. But we found a great beach on the northwest part of the island away from the 7-11's and McDonalds. We relaxed on the beach here for a couple of days but the group was itchin to see what else was out there. So on our third day we headed to the next largest island Ko Phangan.
At Ko Phangan Breezy and I were both in search of a bungalow with its own hammock on the porch. It didn't take too long for our dreams to come true. Our first few nights we stayed in what we all called "butt beach" (the proper Thai name was Hat Thong Nai Pan Yai) but the beach and it's sister beach made the shape of a cute bum on the map. So for us foriegners it was much easier to remember. While here we did our fair share of relaxing in the hammock, reading, swimming, playing frisbee and just hanging out. One evening we did motivate to rent kayaks and kayak across the bay to the other half of the bum. We were suprised when we made it to the other beach right in time for happy hour, so we figured we would stay for a beer.
The following day we chartered a long tail boat to take us out for the day. In Mexico you can do the full day booze-cruise with activities and beer. They didn't have that to offer so we made our own trip. Our first stop was a cove known for its live coral. None of us were expecting the coral to be so close and as it turned out a few in the group cut up their feet. Yes, coral really is as sharp as they say it is. But it was neat to bob around and see the ecosystem below. I was having a great time until I bobbed right by a hot pink jelly fish the size of a large grapefruit. After that I was done snorkeling The boat then took us to Hadd Khuat or Bottle Beach, which is known for its seclusion. The only way to get to this beach is by boat or a 4km walk. Aside from the 4 bungalow resorts, there isn't much else on Bottle Beach. But it was just what we were looking for. So I scouted out the options that we could mover to the next day in between playing on the beach. After a few hours here we were off to our final destination. Ko Phangan is suppose to have some beautiful waterfalls....but I guess since we were there at the end of the dry season they just weren't too spectacular. Needless to say, we were far from impressed with the waterfall we walked up to. But we still had a great day.
After 3 nights at butt beach, the whole group decided to head to the remote Bottle Beach, which Breezy and I ended up staying at for the last week of our time. Call us lazy, but we figured that we have seen enough in the past 6 months and it was nice not to have to figure out where we were going for a whole week. Our last week consisted of eating, sitting in the sun or in the hammock and reading, eating some more, playing frisbee and volleyball, eating, snorkeling in the bay and hiking to the scenic overlook...ah yes, and eating a little more.
For those of you who are familiar with SE Asia you already know that Ko Phangan is home to the famous Full Moon Party. As much as Breezy wanted to go, unfortunately we had to head back to BKK the same night as the party. But hanging out with the Irish was almost like having a full moon party every night We had our very own 1/2 moon party The time eventually came for us to say goodbye to Rob, Lorraine, Steve and Gema. We are hoping that we have convinced Rob and Lorraine to come and visit us in Colorado on their way back to Ireland. It was sad to have to part ways. Then a few days later it was our turn to say goodbye to Bottle Beach and head back via long tail boat, truck taxi, catamaran and bus (about 18 hours) to Bangkok.
We are down to our last few hours in SE Asia before taking off for our 8th and final country.....ITALY! So the next time you hear from us we will be writing about Italy. Hope you are all doing well and we will look forward to seeing many of you next month.
Breezy and Toni
lazy hammock reading...hmmmmm
Waterproof lightbulb container....
hungry cat trying to steal my beer
All of us saying goodbye
From the view point
The boat we left on